Personal Mission Statement LO13039

Benjamin B. Compton (
Thu, 27 Mar 1997 09:28:12 -0700

Replying to LO13018 --

Chau Nguyen wrote:

> Oh Winfried, where should I start here? First, sorry it takes this long
> to reply. I was out of town, and did not have access to my email.
> Second, i wish that i could read your message in the context of an inquiry
> rather than an interrogation, third why does my PERSONAL statement has to
> be complex? fouth, complex to what/whom standards? fifth, why is "being
> a good person" not complex enough? because it does not have many words?
> why can't complexity been in the thoughts instead of the words? sixth,
> after all, it is MY Personal Mission Statement, who gives anyone the right
> to dissect it? if anyone wants to teach me something, there are other
> ways to do so, seventh, now that you know how i feel about this, if you
> still want to hear MY deffinition of "being a good person", do let me
> know.

I'm going to assume that Chau has a personal & tacit definition of the
word "good," and that is sufficient.

I've learned an important lesson recently (at least I think I've learned
an important lesson), and that is we do not always have to justify or
explain ourselves or our beliefs to other people.

For a long time I've operated under the assumption that everything I did
had to be rational and logical. I needed to be able to explain why I did
what I did, and what I expected to get from the action. I still feel that
rational thought is an important element of living a happy & productive
life, but sometimes it's OK to act on the heart; to act without reason; to
go with intuition. And if someone questions your actions all you need to
say is "I don't have to explain myself to you."

I reached this conclusion when I came to realize how prejudiced/judgmental
people are. I don't think I've appreciated the power and depth of
well-entrenched mental models until I challenged a whole bunch of them at
one time. And, as a result, I've learned, firsthand, what is meant when
someone said (who I can't remember), you can't see a whole system until
you try to change it. The power and force of a system -- and the mental
models within that system -- can literally drive individuals to do things
that are self-destructive or that lead to unhappy & unproductive lives.

To challenge deeply embedded mental models -- and systemic forces -- takes
genuine courage & determination. It is not for the faint-hearted or the

Chau, I agree with you, it's your mission statement and you don't have to
explain or justify it to anyone. Thanks for being open about your

Ben Compton
"Friends are the ornaments of life."
Phone:  (801) 222-6178
Fax:    (801) 222-6993

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