Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Personal Mission Statement

Yesterday's New York Times published an article about the benefits of creating a "personal mission statement" http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/personal-coaches-and-mission-statements/. 

In case you haven't been paying attention, three is the new two (or the new Hummer SUV) when it comes to numbers of children you're supposed to squeeze out of your vagina; Wednesday is the new Friday when it comes to partying like a rock star; and a "personal mission statement" is the new New Year's resolution when it comes to self-actualization. 

To help craft your personal mission statement, the Times article suggests answering a number of questions. I've re-printed them here, along with my answers, in the hopes that the endeavor will encourage others to create their own personal mission statement this year.

1. How do you want to be remembered?: As I've stated before on this blog, (See prior post titled "Fear of Flying"), I want to be remembered at an elaborate funeral with a minimum of 500 people, standing room only. In fact, my main hope for an after-life rests in the days and weeks immediately following my death, when the collective grief of the hordes of mourners is at its peak, and I can bask in its glow from the spirit world. I would also like a very detailed and inflated obituary in the New York Times detailing my life's achievements. And it had better be on the most emailed list for a week.

2. How do you want people to describe you?: I want people to describe me as 5"7 and 120 pounds, even though that is technically several inches taller and many pounds lighter than reality. Also, I want people to say I look good in pictures tagged: #nofilter. Of course, I also want to be described as having a rapier wit; 
unparalleled intellect; and as being 100% unexpendable in every way.

3. Who do you want to be?: Hmm. This is a tough one. I sort of want to be someone who can eat McDonalds every now and again; watch network TV; look at Adam Levine, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian; and go to Disney World or the Las Vegas strip without throwing up in my mouth a little bit each time I do (or think about doing) each of these things.

4. Who or what matters most to you?: Obviously, my kids matter most to me. Otherwise I would not be subject to the laws of human genetics and evolution, and as much as I transcend normalcy, I can't claim immunity from these fundamental biological precepts. It's also pretty important that nobody hates me, because I'm really sick of that schoolyard song being stuck in my head: "Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I think I'll go eat worms." Worms taste really bad, I can tell you from experience.

5. What are your deepest values?: My deepest values are to not be an asshole and not surround myself with assholes. It's that simple. Like, don't be a racist, homophobic, sexist, acquisitive, materialistic, littering boil on the ball-sack of humanity, and don't hang out with people who are, or you might catch their highly contagious asshole cooties. Those are pretty much my deepest values.

6. How would you define success in your life?: Well, my goals are modest. Let's just say I define success as a commute to work of ten minutes or less; arriving there basically on time every day; and reaching old age without being arrested for a felony (Class A or B only--Class C is a bit out of reach, methinks).

7. What makes your life really worth living?: This is a stupid question, with three obvious answers: (1) Sleep; (2) Alcohol; and (3) Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.

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