It was Friday, October 14th, 2011, one day before my 29th birthday. My family and I were headed down Route 17 South towards Warrenton, VA on our way to Chapel Hill, NC to spend another football weekend with my beloved Tar Heels. For days leading up to our departure, I was experiencing mounting anxiety about the trip. I did my best to ignore it, but my obsessive mind would not allow me to fully deny the apprehension taking over my body. This was not going to be an easy or enjoyable ride.
A few hours into the drive, my panic began to overwhelm me. I was feeling like I needed to escape. The car was confining and its frame felt as though it was closing in on me. I felt my chest begin to tighten, and minutes later a lump emerged in my throat. My mind began to race and I started to feel short of breath. As much as I had always loved those trips to Carolina, I was now wishing that I was back home where I felt comfortable and safe.
As my anxiety grew more and more intense a steady rain that had been falling had now turned into a torrential downpour. I’m not quite sure how my father was even able navigate the road, it was beginning to look like a complete washout. This was not helping ease my tension at all. I needed to take my eyes off the road and focus my mind elsewhere. So I pulled out my iPad and began reading a gratitude list that I had written to remind myself of all the amazing things that I had to be thankful for in my life. And then, feeling inspired, I decided to write a mission statement.
I began typing and without pause I continued to compose my statement until the emotion left me. As my random thoughts turned to convictions, I felt overwhelmed; my fears were transformed to tears and finally as I finished I felt a remarkable calm take over me. When I lifted my head and looked out the front window, I noticed that the rain had completely stopped and the clouds were beginning to part. Moments later, the sunlight began to make its way through. It was an extremely divine feeling experience.
My statement is very personal, but I share it with you to remind you that even in your darkest moments you can draw inspiration and strength from within. Rely on your faith, and you can weather any storm. Perhaps this will inspire you to construct your own mission statement for 2012. By sharing this with you I hope to continue to keep myself on track with my convictions as well.
Here is what I compiled that afternoon…
Mission Statement (10/14)
Stage 3: The terror barrier = BREAKTHROUGH to Stage 4 – Freedom! Escape the comfort zone and NEVER look back! Challenge your X conditioning with Y stimulants. Flip the switch. Train your mind to think differently. Unlock your potential. Break free. Bust open the lock! Use the experience and lessons learned to promote a healthier future for yourself and to inspire others. Give hope. Provide support to others. Free them of the demons that hold them hostage. Teach the power of faith and positive thinking. Lead by example, write it, speak it, and LIVE it, every day. “You can change your reality by altering your thinking”. No one can make you think or believe anything that is not of your choosing – you hold the power. Your thoughts and feelings determine what you perceive as your reality – they hold the key to your future. So by taking an active role in your life’s creation you give yourself the opportunity to create a life of abundance, full of the riches that you desire. Life is meant to abundant. The universe has no concept of what is small versus what is significant…those are man’s determinations – you can attract anything that you want to your life, “big” or “small”. You just need to believe wholeheartedly that it can and will be yours, maintaining an unwavering faith. Create a powerful next 30 years – earn that ticket to eternal life that you’ve always desired. Lift up the weak, the downtrodden and the forgotten who have nowhere left to turn. Live life through Christ. Set an example. Ensure that by your efforts you leave the world a better place than it was when you entered it. Find beauty in simple things. Look for the good in people. Smile at everyone. Talk to strangers. Turn negatives to positives habitually. Allow others in on that power. Ascend to the top by focusing in your mind on the magnificent view that awaits and by looking no further with your eyes than the next step in front of you. And when you get there, slow down, take the time to soak it all in, and enjoy it. And fill your mind and your heart with gratitude for the blessings received along the journey to get there. Because not everyone is fortunate enough to have this beautiful experience… to learn that there is far more to life than we had ever imagined. To unlock the secret and the power of faith. Remember how lucky you are. You are one of 5%. Tell your story. Say something! Make the most of the gift that you’ve been given by sharing with others. Continue to thank the Lord and feel blessed. Become a more active member in your community as you now are in your own life’s creation. Embrace opportunity. Realize that there are NO limits. Don’t over think, just take action and trust in the goodness of your heart. You once were lost, but now you are FOUND. Every action you take from here forward has purpose and meaning…it’s who you are, who you’ve become…so trust your gut and start creating. Paint the picture of the life you’ve always envisioned.