Perhaps foremost of the benefits I've derived from years of long distance cycling are the occasional moments of clarity while on a ride. So it was a few days back. While on my bike, I realized it had been years since I last reviewed the mission statement I constructed in 1994. As my long ride continued, a large portion of a new mission statement came to me clearly.
After getting home, with the new statement still percolating, I felt compelled to dig up that 1994 iteration as well as version 1.0, constructed in 1978. Setting aside how long it took me to unearth these artifacts, rereading them both was edifying. I'm convinced much of my personal growth between version 1.0 and 2.0, and even more so between version 2.0 and the present, can be linked to having a long-range vision of what I wanted my life to look like as the future unfolded. And though the three versions don't match up neatly with the years encompassing Act One, Two, and Three of my life, they're close enough.
I'd welcome learning of your current mission, no matter which version. If you've never attempted to construct a mission statement, I'd urge you to try. I strongly believe anyone can benefit from the effort it takes.
Mission Statement 3.0: Pat Barton (Spring, 2023)
As I wake each day, I will approach the sixteen hours ahead - like a gift waiting to be unwrapped - by aiming for these things:
* To ease someone's suffering - in some small fashion - and/or to make the world a better or more humane place, however marginally.
* To demonstrate in some way to someone I care about - via words or deed - that they matter to me.
* To meaningfully move my body, even if some would not call that movement "exercise".
* To write or otherwise create something, if even just a journal entry.
* To read some portion of a book or books.
* To play my guitar.
* To meditate.