Give Yourself a Mission

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Filling a Post

When you fill a post, your abilities and resources are limited by the assumed authority of responsibility of the post. You do gain all of its powers, but you cannot apply those powers outside of your set jurisdiction. You are constrained and defined by your role. You cannot act beyond of outside it.

Pursuing a Mission

A mission, on the other hand, gives you the ability to do or become whatever is necessary to see its completion. “Here is the desired outcome, now make it happen!” You may fill various posts along the way, but your conception of your capabilities is ever limited by the bounds of what role you are currently playing. Like an actor who changes costumes to suit the desired effect on the audience, you may be one thing at one stage of your mission and then take on a new role when appropriate.

I like to think that the Warrior Spirit is defined by its focus on a mission. Warriors are capable individuals sent to complete tasks by any means necessary. We were the ones getting sent on quests to find treasures stolen by the gods. We were the ones sent to handle sticky situations with enemy tribes. Historically, legendary warriors resorted as much to diplomacy, trickery, and seduction as they did to outright combat. They weren’t limited by their role.

It’s All in Your Head

Of course, the distinction is mental; what makes one person a role-filler and another a mission-completer is their perspective on their activity. Make no mistake, perspective is extremely important though, because it determines how capable we judge ourselves. Just seeing a mountain trail from the wrong angle can be enough to suck the strength from our legs, so we can try to view it from an angle that does not make us feel too small for the task. By doing this, we attempt greater deeds than we think ourselves capable of and are usually pleasantly surprised to find ourselves up to the task.

By viewing our lives as dedicated to the completion of a mission, we never reach a dead end. If we find ourselves in a situation that prevents us from completing our mission, we can freely move to a difference position—at least we are not prevented by our own view of what we can and cannot do.

But what happens when we define ourselves by our role?

Then, when we get stuck, we are truly stuck. How many artists refuse to do the necessary work of promotion and outreach because “artists don’t do business”? They limit themselves.

Interchanging Post and Mission

Stop trying to be something, and instead do stuff.

One person’s post may be another’s mission, but it is one thing to say, “I want to be a painter,” and another to say, “I want to make a living painting beautiful art.” In the first case, you may try to conform to your image of a painter. That may not be economically viable, especially if it matches the “artists don’t do business” image. In the second case, you do what it takes to paint and sell you art, including perfecting your craft, but also learning to network, promote and sell.

The result is that you learn a number of skills and empower yourself to overcome whatever obstacles might come your way, creative, financial, or personal.

Personal Reflection

In relation to myself, I think this means I need to get out of my head the idea of simply being a writer and focus more on doing that things that make up the life of the adventurous storyteller I want to become. Writing is a big part of that, but so is travel, training, martial arts, exploration, love, and storytelling as a craft distinct from putting words to paper.

So, how do you characterize your position in life right now? Are you on a mission, or are you simply trying to fill a role defined by society or others?

Thanks for reading! If you found this post inspiring, please e-mail it to a few friends, or share it on Twitter.

Fight on, Brave Warriors!

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