It’s Friday morning. May 8th 2015. A surprise.
I was added to a Whatsapp group called “Young MENSA Indonesia”. There, I joined the “SIG (Special Interest Group) Books”. As the name suggests, it’s a group of people taking interest in reading, of any kind of books. (Thanks for not puling a prank on me, Erik!)
But, what is my mission in joining Mensa?
Type “mission definition”, in google.com and you are likely to find these three definitions:
- An important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes, typically involving travel.
- The vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith.
- A strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.
Upon reading the third one, I heard a whisper, “Do I have it?“
Working* is a major part of our life. Therefore, I would refer this section to the mission of a company, whose name has replaced the term “search” for a subset of, if not all, young generations.
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” is their mission.
Laszlo Block of Google, in his book Work Rules!, pointed out that this mission is a morale rather than business goal. One might ask why should it be a morale. Wouldn’t having a clear business goal more beneficial for the company? (What do you think?)
Mission: The Missing Part
I was interviewing some of my colleagues, friends, families, on what they hope to achieve out of life. I was doing it to help setting a light on my life. I was desperate in my attempt to find a personal meaning in living.
In this informal interviews, some said that they would like to have career advancement (read: better pay check). Some others said they are still figuring out their missions in life. It is not a bad thing. They know they need to at least find one (To live. Once Again).
As human, we often associate ourselves with jobs, family, friends, groups, and social circles (Identity Crisis: Are you YOU?). As much as I believe that those things make up our ‘self’, we are larger than just sum of the parts.
Living without a personal mission would mean going through life fleeting, with no direction (having no direction is as bad a way of living as having a wrong direction). And, to make it worse, we would, at “that” point in life, found our self to be blamed.
You know now why Google choose a morale mission. It’s a mission that would resonate with its employees, human beings. It gives Googlers a sense that they are actually helping people by making information accessible to all of us, that they are making a difference.
Why don’t we deliberately take the time to think, to look for meaningful contribution that we can give to our colleagues, family, neighbours, society, and to the world? And perhaps share it to others?
A respected colleague once said:
I’d better spend an hour more editing my article, than to have a thousand others spend a minute more in trying to understand it.
Have a nice week ahead!
P.S. on working*
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”?
It’s a phrase by Confucius, yet I just don’t get it. I think a job is a job, no matter how fulfilling it is. I don’t believe that having passion in doing one means it’s not a job. If someone asks you what you do, would you say that you’re not working? (If you’d like, go Google “job” or “work” up)