Many messages are delivered to us through dreams.
I was no exception. Shortly after I had written Jesus, CEO and was on the road touring the country speaking about it, I realized that while Jesus was clear about his mission, too many of us are not. He could state his mission in a single sentence. “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” Every deed he did and word he spoke hewed to and from that single sentence and purpose.
One night during that book tour I had a dream. There was a woman wearing a flowing robe, standing barefoot by a long Grecian sort of pool. At her feet were countless fish flopping about on land. Knowing they could not survive or even breathe this “air” she bent down, quickly and gently picking them up and returning them to the water. As each fish returned to its “element” it made a happy swishing noise and swam off. As I watched this woman surveying her work I prayed “Lord, I want to be that woman.” And then I heard a Voice saying “You are.”
Following that dream I proceeded almost immediately to write “The Path: How to Find Your Mission for Work and Life,” which lays out a clear step by step process to clarify and define your life purpose into a single sentence. That book immediately shot to the Business Week Bestseller List, where it stood almost side by side on that list with Jesus, CEO for multiple weeks. People in the business world and beyond were proving that they not only wanted role models with spiritual values, but also wanted to know what on earth they came to do beyond job descriptions and roles.
Since that time I have had the privilege and calling to help as many people as possible get clear about their life purpose. Steven Covey himself actually recommended the Path as a book in his courses. I have more than two decades worth of stories from people who have used and been touched by the book. I like to think of each person as a creature who was “returned to its element” rather than flopping about in a place where it could not breathe.
One of my favorite stories is from a young man about to graduate from Annapolis. Claudia Coe, one of our Path trainers, invited me to help her facilitate a training for the class, as her son was also an Annapolis attendee. We worked with eight brilliant leaders in formation, and each wrote down their mission statement in a single sentence. I was surprised and touched by the variety in their core values: “Wholeness.” “Integrity.” “Honor.’ “Justice.”
Years later I received a letter from one of the men whose mission was “to inspire, drive, and accomplish justice.” He said when he wrote that mission statement he had no idea what it really meant. However, within just a few years after graduation he found himself in the Middle East—where he was asked to be in charge of the village tribunal in a foreign country. His charge was to administer justice. He said “I had no idea what my mission statement meant, but God did. He knew I would be there before even I was born.” This officer was, at the time of his letter, in charge of advising a senator on the head of the Veterans Affairs Commission. His role—to help “inspire, drive, and administer justice.” He wrote simply to say “Thank you. Thank you for walking your Path to help me find mine.”
The Path “recipe” hasn’t changed. It still works, for anyone and everyone who is willing to take the strands of their lives as they know it, and filter them in a new way. I invite you to join the July Path Signature Course to find out not only what you are made of, but what you were sent here to do. Uniquely. And may you make a happy splashing noise as you are finally returned to your element.
Amen and Amen
Laurie Beth Jones