Have you ever filled up your gas tank and taken your car around town with no specific place to go? Minutes turn into hours and next thing you know you’re out of gas and back where you started. We waste time, money and energy like this on and off in our lives and sometimes it’s ok. Sometimes we need to drive around and clear our thoughts. As long as it is a rejuvenating break in the plan we’ve charted out for our lives it is a positive thing. If it’s a break from nothing, then it’s a one way ticket to nowhere land. It is easy to get caught in this trap if you fly by the seat of your pants.
We’re all given a certain amount of time on this earth. It’s important to take it one day at a time but we should all have an end in mind. With a flexible plan including goals and aspirations, we have a final destination that keeps us from wasting gas. Along with a personal plan, we should have a family plan. Stephen R. Covey explains in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that a family plan can be simplified into a single mission statement that gives your family a vision of where you are going and how you are going to get there. Without this, we can be swept away by society’s values and ideas of what life should look like.
No matter where you are in this journey called life, it’s never too late to make a plan. Do not look back on time past unless there is a lesson to be learned. Moving forward, what is it you want to bring to the world? What do you want to accomplish? Each person is made perfectly unique which results in many varieties of what a mission statement can look like. When combining yours with another, both persons should be willing to compromise while focusing on common goals. What is our purpose? What is our why? When children are added, each one should have a voice. If done properly, he or she will value the family’s mission statement and will be willing to use it as a guide in life. As the years go by changes can be made to accommodate life’s twists and turns. And as children grow into young adults, they will want their own plan.
Life is overwhelming and there is no pause button. Without an idea of purpose, or plan, anyone can derail. When keeping our goals in perspective we have an end in mind. It keeps us off the path to destruction or gives us something tangible to rely on if and when life’s troubles arise. Incorporating each family member in this plan gives everyone a purpose. Where are you going in life? If you’re not going somewhere, you’re going nowhere.
Lori Youngblood is a recovering drug addict. Her mission is to help others gain knowledge about the disease of addiction.