Making Distinctions

Making Distinctions

Mission, vision, vocation, calling, destiny, bliss, passion, meaning. These are just some of the words that have been used to describe our human need to identify and express our purpose. But are these words all really talking about the same thing?

A mission statement is common in a business. Your company probably has one. It describes what the company does. You might have a personal mission statement. It would describe what you do. For example, your mission might be to design systems that save time and money. But that is not your life’s purpose. Purpose is bigger than that.

A vision statement also is often found in businesses. A vision is a picture of a future you would like to create. You might create a vision statement yourself. In Native American tradition, a person goes on a vision quest to discover his or her personal vision. Some people create a vision map, which is a collage of pictures that represents the future they want to create.

Vision statements, like purpose statements, can be very big. You could have a vision of world peace. This is still not your life purpose. Your life purpose lies behind you’re your vision and breathes life into it. If your vision is world peace, then your purpose might be “to be a voice for peace.”

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