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Please pardon my absence – been hard at it and just completed two weekends away, hence no meaningful opportunity to give lots of thought to this blog. While I was away, however, something happened which I felt worth a good chroniclin’.

I was out with my family, on the first of the two-in-a-row weekend break opportunities that had serendipitously opened up. (The second was a 35th anniversary weekend away that coincidentally happened both temporally and geographically coterminous with some top-level motor-racing, but that was a genuine accident even though my wife doesn’t believe me.)

We had gone out for an evening meal in a busy restaurant and I suddenly felt absolutely miserable. Not wishing to demean ‘real’ depression, but I felt so absolutely and irrationally fed up, all of a sudden, that I could imagine that feeling that way all of the time must be hell. I didn’t like it.

All kinds of emotions welled up, and I decided in a moment of utter pain that I would delete each and every mission statement and values list I had ever written and stored on my computer – and start again. That, I thought, should sort me out.

Well, it didn’t. I did delete all those records, and I did reconsider my values, principles and mission statement. And guess what happened?

Yup, exactly what I should have expected.

Anything I wrote reflected what I had always written. My vales were still what they have been for a long time; my objectives stayed the same; the words got jiggled about but the meaning remained constant.

My discovery?

When you feel down, it isn’t necessarily changing external things that will solve your problem.

Your emotional problems are often solved by reflecting on and returning to a focus upon what you should have been doing in the first place.

My problem wasn’t that my mission statement was wrong; my problem was that I wasn’t properly living it. I wasn’t exercising (hadn’t for a week); my writing wasn’t getting done (too ‘busy’, apparently); some short term plans hadn’t come to fruition and I’d allowed an empty space to develop. But through reviewing my PMS I rediscovered what I am for. The PMS is a reminder of what you/I can be when I/we are at our best. It is a constant that we can rely on.

All that said, there is something I am going to do to my Three Resolutions PMS. And that is I am going to turn it upside down. While development of your compliance with the Three Resolutions starts with self-discipline and develops towards purpose and service, execution of the Three Resolutions should start with Purpose and Service.

Nobly serving others with excellence, in the field you have chosen, or ‘just’ your family and friends.

That’s what’ll make you happy.