At a recent meeting, i was asked what is my mission in life. Not a near death experience, nor a mid-life crisis incident. Just a regular question to get to know me better.
This is a question, that has bothered me for a while. Perhaps in the last 2 years. Though, it has been magnified by the recent changes in my life.
I was surprised, that it did not take me long to give an answer. Immediately, i replied it’s composed in 3 parts. It’s a consultant trick i learned from reading books, that almost any direction, can be summed up in 3 parts. Even life is often in 3 parts, self, work, and family.
The 3 part mission, tracks the key components in my life. What i want to do for myself. What i want to do for my family. And what i want to do for the society at large.
Without further a do, they are as follows.
For my self, for the rest of my life, i like to go on many adventures. Be it with my wife, or with kids, or with friends.
Adventures can be the things that are in my interests, running, hiking, exploring places i haven’t been to, far away places, and experiencing different cultures. Adventures can also be activities or goals that will require me to go outside my comfort zone.
My mission here is to learn as much as i can about this world, before my brain stops working. Along the way, share the experience via photos and stories, for those eager to listen.
For my family, perhaps it can be divided in 2 phases. First phase is the next 15 years, where the focus is building a support system and an environment, where my kids can launch their life. Very prominent is financial support, but i think that’s just a small part. Not dole outs, but seed funding for their life.
The bigger part is helping them develop perspectives to see the world, and gain knowledge on how to contribute. Of course, not to spoon feed them, but to instill in them the habit of learning, the mindset of curiosity, and the thirst for adventure.
And the second phase, which lasts until the end of my life, is supporting them once they have become independent, and contribute in their own missions in life.
And the last part is for society. This is probably the part on where i say i want to change the world. You see, a few years ago i really believed in this thinking, and i have set really high expectations around it. It probably contributed to my bouts of depression, when i realized that things are not happening as i planned them to be. Let’s just say, i don’t believe in this mission anymore.
What i have learned, is i can’t really change the world, nor change people, but i think i can help those who have asked for it. And i can coach people as they embark in changing themselves, and can contribute as the world continuously change.
To be more concrete, i want to focus my contribution in society, to the city that i am very close with. I made it my life mission to help create a nurturing environment for people to build great software from Cebu.
I have been on this mission for sometime now, but focused in only one company so far. Since last year, i have explored the idea of spreading my focus to other companies. I have talked to other teams, and have learned about their challenges. And i think, i have seen a way to help each other, and contribute to this mission.
And starting this year, i have made concrete steps to make this happen. I plan to help as many companies as i can. I plan to do this, by helping their teams, which can be composed of both locals and foreigners, build world class software.
I expect to be working on this mission, for the rest of my life. I don’t think retiring at 60 works for me. For as long as i am healthy to contribute to this mission, then i will continue to do so.
There you have it, my life’s roadmap. At least, as how i see it now. Perhaps, once a year, or when opportunity arises, i will revisit this roadmap, and see, if any of these missions need changing.