Personal mission statement: Be peaceful. Be patient. Be persistent.
I wrote this personal mission statement some five years ago when I was teaching high school in Houston, and it still hangs over my desk, keeping me on track and reminding me of my scholars. Here’s the explanation on the back side:
My mission statement is designed to help me combat the aspects of my character that would prevent me from living my life fully. I need to remind myself to be peaceful. Just because frustrating circumstances arise suddenly doesn’t mean that I have to become anxious. I can love, teach, and support my students without letting their problems send my brain and heart tumbling into chaos. “Be patient” finds its place in my statement because, once I’ve set a goal, I usually want to achieve it as quickly as possible. But sometimes the changes required are slow in coming. I must let the process take its course. This does not mean that I become passive, saying, “They’ll learn it eventually,” or, “I’ll write a book when the time is right.” No, I must also remember to be persistent. If one method fails, I will try another one. If one approach to helping a student doesn’t make a difference, I will try again. Never will I give up on others. Never will I give up on dreams. Never will I give up on myself. Instead, I will say to myself:
P.S. Reread as needed for inspiration. This is the only life you get; live it with joy and purpose.