This is the question on so many people’s lips these days. As we struggle with loss and look around to get a foothold. How do you go somewhere when you can barely hold on? How do you plan with nothing but uncertainty and financial ruin facing you?
This is a question I faced more than once in my life, a question I am quite familiar with. As I mentioned last time I have lost everything I had in my life—twice! I have struggled with financial ruin, depression, anxiety, and a traumatized self-image. I have been broken so many times that my broken places have been broken.
As I reflect back on how I made it through those times and rebuild my life there are four things that got me through. Today, we discuss the first:
I focused on my Mission and Vision
I’ve almost always had a “mission statement” but I have tweaked it over the years. (to find my current vision and mission just go to the home page of my website: johnelzinga.com
Somewhere imbedded within my Vision and Mission has always been some kind of wording that reveals how I can make an impact on others.
Focusing on my mission revolves around asking myself questions. Questions that reveal how my gifts and my organization can best serve others.
- Where does my area of giftedness (which can include experience, passion, talent, knowledge, expertise, etc) find itself making the lives of others better?
- How does it reveal itself? How do I know when I’m hitting the target?
- Where and how can my passion be utilized right now?
For me, it was always in the arena of coaching and teaching–training really and speaking.
When I had no organization in which to function and use these gifts I always found myself teaching within my local church. That way, I was still using my gifts while I was searching for a place to reestablish myself.
What do these questions do for you and your organization during this time? Where do these questions lead you?
Here’s what I found: focusing on my mission during times when things were falling apart helped me take my focus off myself and my circumstances and onto others. Somehow in that place I found peace. Peace in the midst of chaos. Peace in the midst of uncertainty.
No, it didn’t pay my bills or end my suffering, but it did give me a sense of where I was going even before I knew where I was going.