Do we all have a mission? Are missions and passions the same thing?

Bisila Bokoko

Everyone has his own specific mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Is it true that everybody has a mission, a unique special assignment? Or are missions only for a select few?

I find this matter very amusing because I have read about it in so many books. Yet when I ask people, “Do you know what your mission is?” so many of my peers answer, “ I don’t know.”

On the other hand, I have met many others who have a clear picture of their mission and can state it very confidently. They know exactly why they are here in this world and how they will contribute with their presence and their work for the common good.

My mother is an excellent example of someone who has known what her mission was at a young age. She wanted to be a nurse since she was eight years old, and this mission has influenced all of her decisions in life.  She even immigrated to Spain at 14 years old to make her dream come true. My grandfather tried to persuade her to become a doctor, but she quit after the third year of medical school, saying, “The nurse is the person who really spends time with the patients”. She always had a strong vocation for service. Throughout my entire life, I witnessed how her mission and passion  merged. At her retirement party three years ago, I felt so proud of her and admired her so much because she always loved her job and it made her so complete and happy! She didn’t want to do anything else and she did what she wanted to do. How fortunate is that?

A few years ago I was feeling restless and anxious, and I was trying to find my own mission in life. I spent years trying to find out what my reason to be was, but I didn’t find any answers. It was around that time that some people, without my asking them, began telling me that I was born to do this or that. Their opinions were very insightful, and yet I still ended up questioning them.

Shortly afterwards, in a conversation with my coach Olga Albaladejo in Madrid, I told her, “I don’t know what my mission is.” She proposed that we make an exercise together, and it was truly powerful. Even after that, however, I still didn’t have a clear idea of my “mission” or where and how to find it.

After a lengthy reflection, I think a good start is to craft a mission statement for yourself like you would do for a company. Following are three points to take into account while you get there:

  1. It takes time to craft this mission statement and get it right. That is, what you begin with may not be what you end up with, but you must begin with something to end up with anything. Craft a rough draft and start living with it.
  2. Your mission statement can be broad enough that you might accomplish it in many different ways. That is, whatever feels genuinely meaningful to you. (Mine is not something that is static and non-movable. It is a cocktail of many things).
  3. Mission statements might change from life stage to life stage. Your mission as a young or middle-aged person might very well need some updating when you become older. (Mine has been transforming as I have been transforming myself.)

Personally, I realized that you don’t think your way into finding your purpose. Only by action (by doing), will you find it. I had to stop overthinking and instead take steps towards my goals without being afraid to fail or try new things. The experience is the reward.

I also switched off my head and started listening to my heart, I asked myself, “What do I love?” I understood that I was trying to find that ONE thing that I was meant to do. The concept that it must only be one thing was blocking me and limiting my vision. Today, I have several titles: Speaker, Entrepreneur, Global Brand Ambassador, Mentor, and Philanthropist, and each of these things brings me so much joy. They are my passions.

Passion is one key to unlocking your purpose and mission in life. How we can find our passions in case we don’t know them, or they are lost?

  • Meditation: 10-15 minutes can work wonders, and there are so many styles. Find one that suits you! I am a fan of both Naam and Ziva Meditation.
  • Journaling: It’s amazing how writing can help you to find your mission! I have been journaling since I was 12. I wrote my own life story day by day.
  • Exercising: Any kind of movement is essential for us as humans, and regular exercise opens up the way for seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Being in nature: The power of being in nature is not to be overlooked! At times, when I feel lost, simply taking a walk in the woods or spending time by the sea has given me clarity.

I came to the conclusion that when we live our passions, we are in alignment with our mission in life. This is because our true mission is to live life fully and to love others. The real purpose of anyone’s life is to be involved in living purposefully, and being able to serve others becomes your mission.

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