My wife lies to people. When they ask me what I do for a living, she either dodges the question or spits out a simplified answer. “He makes websites and graphics.”
She doesn’t mean to lie. She just doesn’t want to take the time and explain what I do. Because, frankly, I’m not even sure what it is that I do. I curate content. But what does that even mean? I’m constantly wrestling with explaining what it is I actually do. What real use am I to the world?
I believe wholeheartedly in what I do, I just don’t quite know how to explain what it is. And you know what? I think that’s a good thing.
I have a friend wrestling with the same sort of thing for his church creative team. They have a mission statement. But to be honest, it isn’t very good. Sure, it says what they do, but it just doesn’t sound very heroic. It sounds oversimplified and semi-trite. He tells me how his team is always trying to reword that dang mission statement. “What if we said it this way? What if we said it that way?” It never fully captures what it is they’re supposed to do. And yes, that’s a good thing.
Because here’s what a great mission statement really is. It’s a flowery sentence that sits on your wall. You glance at it every now and then. But you ignore it completely when the rubber hits the road. When things get tough you forget all about it.
But when your mission statement sucks, it nags at you. It begs to be made right. And your constant struggle to make it right keeps you abiding by its principles. You’re constantly redefining and refining who you are. And that’s a very good thing.
So ya, maybe I don’t really know what it is that I do. But I’m just fine with that. Though it sure makes for some confusing conversations when I meet new people.