Do You Have a Mission, or Are You on a Mission?

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It's important to be disciplined and work hard; it's also important to love what you do. Viewing an undesirable job as a way to fulfill a calling can lead to joy in whatever you do.

Let me ask you a personal question. What was your attitude as you got up this morning? Were you looking forward to your day? If you work outside your home, were you excited to get to work?

According to every national survey I have read, from Gallup to Northwestern to Pew Research, most Americans don’t like their job… and they certainly don’t look forward to going to work on Mondays. Many college grads I work with want to get a job, make lots of money, and retire by age 35. What’s the implication? They want to stop “work” so they can do something they want to do.

My question is: Why not get a job you don’t want to retire from? How about working somewhere that you can use your God-given gifts and believe it matters? As my friend, David Salyers says, “Lots of people in organizations HAVE a mission. Very few people are ON a mission.” David is the Vice President of Marketing at Chick-fil-A, a quick service restaurant chain. Often, people view “fast food” as the bottom of the totem pole in terms of platforms for work. But he, and just about everyone else I know who works with him, sees his job as a great place to influence the world.

Back in 1982, Chick-fil-A was suffering. The economy was horrible, and sales were down. That’s when founder, Truett Cathy, took his executive team away to create a purpose statement. That team came up with this purpose: “Our purpose is to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that’s been entrusted to us, and to positively influence all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” Suddenly, sales went up and morale went up because everyone had a purpose they could buy into. Everyone saw the big picture. They became people who were “on a mission.”

How about you? What’s your bigger picture purpose or mission to the work you do?

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