The tyranny of the urgent: “The greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.” –Charles E. Hummel
In this chapter we write a Family Purpose Statement. Her definition of simple living was “Living holistically with your life’s purpose” so a purpose statement is a helpful tool to decide what that life’s purpose IS! It will help us find an unshakable rock to determine what we can and can’t do. It should also be easy to read, timeless, and holistic (simple, timeless, and general without being too general.)
In this chapter, Tsh gives a series of questions to answer about what you do, what you want, and what you plan to do- I won’t copy it here, but if you can get ahold of a copy of the book, I found that it was a worthwhile excercise! We answer the questions, and then look for trends in what we said. Use those trends to decide what we’re really all about, and write our own purpose statement, and then make goals to align what our lives are with what we want them to be! Kind of a neat little trick- it feels like all those quizzes I took back in business school. They were fun then, and still fun now!
The benefit of having this family purpose statement (and displaying it somewhere easy to see) is that we can wipe away needless guilt about “doing it all.” We simply can NOT do it all- it’s patently impossible. If traveling is important to you, and letting your kids see the world, don’t feel guilty about not having an enormous garden that you don’t plan on being around to tend. If social volunteering is important to you, and your family spends time doing that, don’t feel guilty that you’re not home to bake homemade cupcakes for the raffle at school. For me, this is a pretty novel concept! (Again, I can hear my parents snickering- they’ve been trying to hammer this concept into my head since I was a kid. Ah, stupid youth!)
If you had to make a purpose statement for your family, what would it be? What’s important to you? What are you all about, and what is your life’s purpose?