How will I become that?


He's got the whole world ................
He’s got the whole world ……………. (Photo credit: ClaraDon)

In the Bible, God promises that his Word will be a “light unto our path” and a “lamp unto our feet” (Psalm 119:105). The problem I find with this statement comes when you actually picture it. A person, walking in darkness along a path holding a lamp, a light above their  head trying to see where they should place the next footstep, at least that’s the picture I get of Psalm 119:105. The thing is, holding that little light up in your hand you cannot see very far down that path, you can only see where your next footstep goes if that; you are unable to anticipate what lies more than a footstep ahead of you. I liken, this to life. We want to know where we  will we go, what we will we be, and were trying are best to foresee where that is, but the truth is we can barely see a footstep in front of us, that is all we really know.

Thinking about this predicament scares me a bit. I cannot begin to relate the life of spunky 23-year-old moving her way up in a commercial development company to the somewhat wiser, albeit not as fearless 27  year old before me fighting for energy just to do every day things sometimes, just to attend one class a week, at night, and pay attention to what is being taught; to do her part in her group project just like she said she would, even though truth be told her energy is low, like light of the sun peaking through the sky. It is just a small thing to some people, but for her it is a big thing. It means she can do something, use her skills for something productive, and towards a future, but looking at the future she cannot even imagine being off this couch studying, trying to make it work in the ‘real’ world again, dealing with all those people, starting to work her way back up the corporate ladder again. That is one of my biggest fears in a nutshell. Because I can only see and do what I can in this Business course now as I work, not for this project, not for this course, not for the semester, not for the year, and certainly not in the grande scheme of life. And as I am reading the textbook and reading about all the little things involved in an interior design business,  all the little things that go into a business plan, the process becomes overwhelming; I become overwhelmed. Then I look back to point ‘A’ years ago in University, in High School, starting to work, always so sure of myself, but not anymore. Now truly if I am lucky, I see only a “lamp unto my feet” (Psalm 119:105)  So how at one time was I the student who was so sure of herself, am I the older Student who is so unsure of herself, and how does she relate to the ‘adult’ who needs to be able to support and take care of herself, in her future?

I do not know the answer. We cannot tell the future and that is the truth. And we never even when things looked good, knew what lay ahead, we just thought we did. What occurs to me is that I have very little control over my life that is sharply destined by God, bad things, and the whims of other people; that even when I try to exert some control I just end up where ever  anyways. There is a plan alright, but on days like today, I cannot see that plan in action. The best thing I can think of to do on days like this where I can barely see what lies ahead of me is to take my worries and my problems and literally place them in God’s hands. Just like the song, “He’s Got the The Whole World in His Hands” I guess now he has my little problems too. I still wonder and I am still scared, but at the same time I feel this big weight lifted off my shoulders because the only answer to this problem, is that Jesus has to deal with it. Just as he dealt with the sins of all people on the cross, he must deal with my inadequacies too. So I am okay for a little while, the sun is peaking out, and one day when I have the strength to handle the responsibilities I am working towards, I will. Just like that.

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Some Nights


Mission Statement
Mission Statement (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The band Fun.sings a song called Some Nights where they sing ” some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck, some nights I call it a draw.” While I am not particularly sure  what the lead singer means by “cashing in . . .  [his] . . . bad luck” I think it has something to do with all these bad things that are happening to him and they are happening all at once. Sometimes he is able to stand up against the bad enough that he and his bad luck “call it draw.” But overall, as he mentions later he does not know “who he… [is] and “what he stands for.” He is in a conundrum and needs purpose in his life. Something that goes along way to helping someone who is not sure where they stand or what is their ‘mission statement, ‘

 

A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization, its reason for existing (Wikipedia 1). An example of a mission statement would be Starbucks who on their website http://www.starbucks.ca write (2):

 

Starbucks™ Shared Planet™

Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ is our commitment to do business in ways that are good for people and the planet.

It’s our commitment to purchase only the highest quality, ethically sourced and responsibly grown coffee. To reduce our own environmental footprint and fight climate change. And to give back to the neighbourhoods and communities we’re a part of. Thanks to the customers who buy our coffee, together we are able to make – and make good on – these commitments on a truly global scale.

Acting Responsibly

We’ve always been committed to doing business responsibly and conducting ourselves in ways that earn the trust and respect of our customers and neighbours – from creating a great workplace to ensuring our customers have access to nutritional information on our products. Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ means focusing on the core areas where we have the biggest influence – ethical sourcing, environmental stewardship and community involvement.

Above all, Starbucks believes in engaging, collaborating and openly communicating with our stakeholders. Since 2001, one way we’ve tried to do this is by producing a Global Responsibility Report that details our efforts to do business responsibly.

Or for another example the YMCA Recreation Centers in Edmonton:

Mission/Values

Who Are We?

YMCA Mission

The YMCA of Edmonton creates life-enhancing opportunities for the growth and development of all people in spirit, mind and body.

YMCA Vision

Strong kids, healthy families, thriving communities.

The YMCA believes:

  • That the growth of individuals in spirit, mind and body is fundamental to everything we do as an organization.
  • In the equality of opportunity for all members of the community.
  • In the values commonly shared in our community such as:
    • Caring
      • To love others, help them and to be sensitive to their well being.
      • To appreciate and live philanthropy in our daily lives
    • Honesty
      • To be truthful, building trust and integrity in all that we do.
    • Respect
      • To value the worth of every individual, to live by the golden rule, to honour the diversity of community.
    • Responsibility
      • To know and do what is right.
      • To be accountable for our behavior and obligations.
      • In the importance of philanthropy (giving of time, talent, treasure and trust), and the significance played by a volunteer/staff partnership in fostering a caring community.
      • In the importance of world-wide fellowship and its capacity to support the growth of individuals, communities and nations.

YMCA Diversity Statement:

The YMCA of Edmonton is an inclusive, charitable organization that believes in diversity.

YMCA Family Violence Statement:

The YMCA of Edmonton believes that violence in any relationship is unacceptable and that everyone exposed to family violence is impacted including unborn babies, children, youth and adults. We also believe that everyone has the capacity for change and growth and we will support anyone in an abusive relationship to get the help they are looking for.

(YMCA 2).

But I think individuals have mission statements of their own as well; things that they “stand for” and what they want to achieve in life; things such as goals, where they want to be 5 years from now, ways they can better themselves, morals, responsibilities, and personal beliefs.And I do not know about you but I feel very lost in life without some purpose.I also feel that a mission statement is something that you can look at to  give you purpose and keep you on track, such as it does in the business world. But people change, companies change, so I also believe that a mission statement can change with you. Certainly 10 years down the road from now you might care for different things in your life then you did before. Then again somethings may never change such as religious beliefs, the importance of family, or the desire to help people.

 

If I think about my own personal mission statement – or my set of values that make up that mission statement I think of :

 

– the importance of family

 

– being a Godly person

 

– being someone who can help and share her life with others

 

– being someone who is open to new ideas and has a thirst for learning

 

– to not hurt other people whenever possible

 

– to share God with other people

 

– to be accepting of other people, because you cannot even imagine how differently each person thinks; we always think people are like us; but really few are.

 

– to be creative with writing and drawing and in other areas of my life

 

– to take care of my dog and other pets

 

– to take care with my appearance as you only ever have one first impression with other people

 

-physically care for myself with exercise, watching what I eat etc.

 

– to get back to working part time

 

– to be a certified interior decorator

 

So this would be my personal mission statement and you could then write that into a paragraph, stick it on your wall and see what guidance it gives you in life. I encourage you to try it. As important as it is where you come from, life is also what you make of it, what your future will be.

 

 

 

Starbucks. Responsibilities.Page 2. 10 Oct 2012. <http://www.starbucks.ca/responsibility/learn-

 

more/starbucks-shared-planet.>2011.

 

YMCA of Edmonton. “Who We Are – Mission/Values.” Page 2. 10 Oct 2012.

 

< http://www.edmonton.ymca.ca/WhoWeAre/MissionValues/tabid/68/Default.aspx. 2012.

 

 

I Will Never Stop Learning


Kotowski Palace in Warsaw, interior design
Kotowski Palace in Warsaw, interior design (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am taking a business course for Interior Designers, and am finding that so far the course could be an overview for a business course in general. Our main assignment for the course, worth 50% of our mark, is a business plan for an interior design business. The first time the instructor told me this I think I was vaguely shocked. She handed out the instructions comprising a general layout for a business plan – all things included there in, went through the course guide that somewhat explained this outline, left us to form groups, and left me wondering how this assignment would ever come together. How could we possibly know all the things we needed to know to make a business plan by session 10 when this assignment was due?

I am still in that phase but today I finally pulled it together and started reading through the text-book. Making use of not only an $80.00 purchase, but finding information that further supported and added to the information the instructor had taught us in class (which often feels like she has trouble fitting into an entire class). As I started to research on the internet, things in my head started to fall into place, and I started to think and plan things out.  So now I feel a little better, you see  I have some knowledge now and that makes me happy and feel smarter. Not that I do not learn in class, I do, I am fascinated by what I learn, but it is also 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm at night when I am learning this information so often I feel fuzzy like that fascinating information goes in one ear and out the other. But when I am at home finally studying in the day, repetition kicks in, so does new neuropathways (now awake) connecting the information I am learning to what I have already learned and making something of it, that I think could one day be a business plan with my group.

So that is today in a nutshell. But I am finding all wonderful amount of things in this textbook – things I wished I had learned before I had started working, or even before the end of my Bachelors Degree such as information on making business presentations, putting together and responding to RFQ‘s (Request for Qualifications)  and RFP’s (Request for Proposal), business manners, and building client relationships. Some of this stuff is instinctive, but some of it I could have really used a background in before I started working. Even though, that has been about 4 years now, it occurs to me how funny it is that this information should all become so clear now that I am at home. So you see, an inquiring mind, never stops learning. Information can be found anywhere if only you look and in the most odd places. Four years ago, if you would have told me I was going to try to be a certified interior decorater I would have smirked at you, but not so now. And I am finding this course particularly packed full of useful knowledge, my only hope is that someday I will use it outside the classroom; I am convinced I will, perhaps, in the most surprising places.