It’s a mission statement. I’ve been trying to craft it for the past two weeks, and despite the encouragement and support of several people, I’ve been stuck. Clogged up like a hair-filled drain. I just haven’t felt the flow, the creative spirit that infuses my blog posts and journal writing. I know I am an expressive and powerful writer, and I know that I am passionate and confident about what I do and why I do it. But for some reason, I haven’t been able to get it on paper. Everything up to this point has been forced, boring and lifeless…..
Today I ran through a sun-speckeld forest, in a balmy 45 degrees. It was an out-and-back course, and the “out” was 2 miles uphill (ouch). Right about the time I turned around, I noticed that my body felt fantastic, grateful for the fresh air and hard work. The air started to warm and felt a little less dry. Next thing I knew I was cruising downhill, and my mind was finally free to wander (it’s hard to wander when you’re slogging up a hill).
My thoughts drifted toward the mission statement. Why was I having so much trouble? I thought about the advice I’d been given – have fun. Describe your passion, be personal. Say what you think you can’t say. I thought, why do I do what I do? What about it fires me up?
Well, I’ll tell you.
My Mission Statement
It is essential to my well-being that the work I do means something. I need to spend my days helping others. There are infinite ways to accomplish this – the Red Cross, environmental and charitable non-profits – but these pursuits have never appealed to me as much as the difference I can make for one person, just by helping him/her to get healthy.
There is a great deal of misery and conflict in the world. Far too many people are unhappy with themselves, their lives, their families and their jobs. People are unkind to themselves and each other, and compassion is in short supply. Consumerism has reached a fever pitch, and our society is plagued with a constant desire for the things we can’t afford. “Getting healthy” seems like an unattainable goal, an endless journey through a jungle of misinformation and marketing ploys.
This is some heavy stuff, and it’s easy to become despondent. But consider this – instead of looking outward, what do you see when you look within? If you could gain control over your own body, what things would change for you? When you turn your attention inward, you learn body awareness. You notice what makes you feel good and what makes you feel lousy. It might take some practice, and it might be incredibly frustrating. But eventually you’ll get stronger, start putting thought into how you move and what you eat, and ultimately, you will feel better than you ever have before. You will change, from the inside out. And suddenly, you will see the world through different eyes. Now, you know exactly what you’re capable of. Your health is in your own hands. You have an unshakable confidence. You are happier.
That is my mission. I take one person, show them the way from negative to positive, and I have eliminated one miserable person from the world. I do this ten times, and now there are ten more happy people than there used to be. And let’s say just one of these people makes such a dramatic change that they are inspired to share their experience with others. So now that person affects ten other people, and so on, and so forth.
I’m changing the world, one push-up at a time.
When I left all my clients in Boston, I was deeply moved by an unexpected outpouring of support. I was showered with gifts and engaged in several difficult goodbyes. Until I left, I had no idea just how great an impact I had on their lives. Now I know: what I do is invaluable. I teach people how to move better, how to be active without injury, how to live like a human being and set reasonable expectations for themselves. I show them their limit physically, then get them to push past it. Do you have any idea how empowering that is? You say, “I’ve never been a runner.” Three months later, you can run for 30 minutes without stopping. You have now made the impossible possible.
What else do you think is impossible?
Here’s news: nothing is impossible, aside from living forever (for now, anyway).
Showing this to people is why I get up in the morning. Being present for that moment when you really get it – when you finally show me a perfect push up (and then do two more), when you tell me excitedly that you had oatmeal for breakfast instead of donuts (and it was so easy!)- that is a gift. It is an electric feeling of love and pride, and it is worth every single second of work it took to get you there.
Knowledge is power, and by imparting my knowledge to you, I give you the power to navigate supermarkets and restaurants, confident that you are making the right choices. The power to let fitness gimmicks and fad diets become meaningless, like so many snowflakes that vanish as soon as they hit the ground. The innate knowledge that you are the one who knows what to do, not some magazine, not a TV trainer with no credentials, not the impossible bodies of Hollywood.
See, you are already in possession of a treasure chest that contains all the knowledge and ability needed to live a healthy, joyous life. It’s always been there, and it always will be. I’m just the one who happens to have the key.
So, there you have it. It will certainly endure a few rewrites, there will be some things added and others taken away. But I knew that making it a blog post was the way to go. Plus – I’m sneaking in my second entry for the week, so my New Year’s Resolution is still intact. Multi-tasking rules.
Now…..show me the money!