Building a Mission

February 24, 2023 by
Charbel Abboud

Most of the legacies have been financial ones. However, the best Legacy Builders leave much more than that; they leave a mission behind them. To start with, these people haven’t decided to leave a legacy in the beginning. These people have already lived their mission during their life. Think of Mother Teresa, Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, Gibran Khalil Gibran and many others; these people have lived their mission with full mind, heart and soul.

Mother Theresa was admired for her charitable work. She was praised and criticized for her opposition to abortion and her simplistic way of life but after all she founded the Missionaries of Charity, which had over 4,500 sisters and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation manages homes for people dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; dispensaries and mobile clinics; children's- and family-counseling programs; orphanages, and schools. Members, who take vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, also profess a fourth vow: to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor". I am pretty sure that Mother Theresa didn’t decide to achieve all of the above. But her way of life and her impact on people made her become a great leader and the sister followed her to continue and expand her mission all over the world. Now I assure you it is hard to say that Mother Theresa is dead; she still lives with us with her words, spirit and the continuous work being done by the missionaries.

Lieutenant-General-The Lord Baden-Powell was a British army officer, writer and author of Scouting for Boys, which was an inspiration to launch the scouting movement around the world. Again, the mission already started during the Second Boer War in Africa where Baden-Powell defended the town in the Siege of Mafeking. In 1907 he did a demonstration camp, which is now seen as the beginning of Scouting. In 1910 he retired from the army and formed The Boy Scouts Association. He passed away in 1941, but you guessed it right, the Scouting movement is still moving on and growing from one country to another. Since its conception in 1907, the Scouting movement has spread from the United Kingdom to 216 countries and territories around the world. There are over 54 million Scouts and Guides worldwide, with 171 national organizations governed by the World Organization of the Scout Movement and a nearly equal number governed by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Gibran Khalil Gibran is a very famous Lebanese artist, poet and visual artist. He was knows as a literary and political rebel. He wrote “The Prophet” book in 1923 and now he still is considered as the third best-selling poet of all time behind Shakespeare and Laozi despite his death 8 years after writing the book.

What brings a mission to life, what makes a person a great leader, what kind of power do these people have to remain “alive” despite their physical deaths…very curious questions that make us rethink our presence in this world. Why do we exist, and what are we doing while we are on this Mother Earth and what kind of a story do we want to leave behind…Do we have a purpose in life? Are we following a certain path or are we creating one? Are we living by the book or are we writing one? Are we good enough or we need to jump to another level. What makes us successful? Is it money, reputation, assets, fame or achievements? Is it about cars, houses, trips, or number of clients?

Have you ever thought for a while why do you wake up every morning? Have you ever thought why you do what you do at work? Why are you doing this kind of work anyways? What are your future plans? Is your personal life aligned with your business one?

Many of us think of those questions but sometimes we just don’t have answers. Whether you believe in coincidence or not, whether you plan your life or not, whether you love your business or not…life goes on anyway. The question is how good are you doing what you are doing and will people remember you for the job you do? Will people remember you for the life you lead? Do you thank God every morning for being alive and for giving you two feet to go to work and achieve what you have in mind or do you curse life every morning because you have to hardly get out of bed? You may not decide today that you want to leave a mission behind you but who knows, maybe if you love what you do, do it perfectly, inspire people around you, and make great achievements, yes maybe someone will take that flag and pass it on to other people…Maybe, only maybe you will become another success story that people will admire. You may not become Mother Theresa, Baden-Powell or Gibran but why not become a new name for history to remember. Maybe you will not be recognized worldwide as these legends did, but maybe your family and surrounding will remember you.

Why not start with your building, your street, your village, your country…Why not start with your school, your university, your business, your industry. Ask yourself what can I do everyday to make my business better, my industry better or even my village better. What kind of standard can you introduce and integrate for people to follow. What kind of improvements can you do that people will thank you for later on? What kind of activities can you launch for people to celebrate and keep doing every year? It could be as small as a yearly gathering, ceremony, or competition…literally anything could do the first step. Grandmothers had a great mission gathering the family on Christmas and Easter. This mission held the families bonded over the years. Can you do the next step and keep up the momentum? You don’t need to start big. Small steps being done every single day can help you improve and move forward towards bigger steps. It is the combination of those steps that will form a lifestyle and mission over time. If they could do it so can you. Nothing is missing except your decision to start. Then the energy will be contagious and people will start following.

How this mission will transform in the future is not important now. Whether it will stay as a movement, move to a community, become an NGO or grow beyond borders is not the question now. The most important thing for you is to start. Ask yourself, how can I change people’s lives through my life, through my job…how can I influence people to become better every single day. How can I become the best version of myself no matter what happens around me.

I can share my story in few words. My childhood was tough. I didn’t have a stable environment like most people do. Just like many other children around, my family had many challenges in terms of financials, bonding and many other problems that I had to face as a child. Besides all those challenges, our country faced lots of wars, ups and downs and economic crisis. All this affected me for a certain period of time. All this pressured me to become a loyal bank employee but with no ambition. Just doing my job and following instructions in order to get my salary at the end of month and pay my bills. But then I asked myself: what’s next? Shall I spend my life earning a salary and pay my commitments? I always did my job perfectly but that wasn’t enough. To cut the story short I decided to do something more significant, to stay in the financial industry but move to a freelance mode selling financial services and make commission from each and every sale. The road wasn’t easy. Leaving the monthly salary and waiting for a sale to come is not a piece of cake. But then from one meeting to another, from one bad experience to another, from having an employee mindset to become an entrepreneur responsible of my own decisions and activities, I gradually saw another picture of my own life. I started seeing myself as a messenger in life to protect people. That feeling didn’t come in the beginning. But year after another, and after paying my first claim, holding that check to support a family of one of my deceased clients, I felt a huge responsibility and a great feeling that I have personally saved the heirs of a man who initially said no to me. Yes, I work in the business of “NO”, the business of rejection. No one likes insurance because they feel it is negative and they just don’t want to die now. I don’t know how I initially convinced this person to buy from me. Maybe it was the urge for me to make a commission to be able to pay my bills. But after that incident, I had a turning point in my life and started seeing my business as a mission instead of a commission. Yes, I was the only person giving a check to the widow while other people were waiting for their turn to get paid. From one incident to another, from one check to another, from saving one family to another, my business became my mission and I promise you that I still like making money, even more than before, but I simply do it in another spirit. I am not only selling insurance anymore, I am helping people “Live with dignity and leave a legacy”®.

Few months ago, I unfortunately lost my beloved brother Michel. Due to the previously mentioned life challenges, Michel was almost father. He was my leader and my idol. He taught me how to fight and how to look at things in a positive way. I was lucky enough to have Michel as my elder brother who guided my way and showed me the right path. Maybe I would have drifted to a bad life if he didn’t hold my hand and walked me through life step by step. Michel passed away due to a doctor’s mistake. But that doesn’t change anything. Whether it was the doctor, the hospital or simply an unfortunate accident, reality is still the same. Michel had a great mission in his life. He was apparently a simple Arabic teacher at school. But in reality he did miraculous changes in the students’ lives. He was their guide, their mentor, their hidden father who always spotted their problems, listened to them and showed them the right path to solve their problems with their parents, get out of drugs, or simply get rid of many other bad habits. Many students would have almost dropped out of school if he wouldn’t stand by their side. We didn’t know all of this about Michel. He did all this with a very low profile. He helped students as if he was their real father. He wasn’t a teacher…He was a man on a mission. Now his wife, his children, my sister and I, along with all his loyal students are taking this mission further. We started an NGO in his name to keep Michel alive and help more and more students in their personal challenges.

No matter where you are now, no matter how bad your life is, no matter how wealthy or not you are, you can always do something to light a candle in people’s lives. I am sure you are reading this book to see how to make more money and leave better financial legacies, but I invite you to change your mindset and see how you can also become a man or woman of mission and change the life of people around you. Thank God every day for the blessing of life, thank God every day for the blessing of health, go out to the world, shine and enjoy every single day of your life.

Share this post
Our blogs