How 3 daily routines can make your career fulfill your life’s mission, according to the president of Deseret Management Corp.

In the opening event of Ensign College’s Career Week, Bishop Keith B. McMullin teaches students 3 daily routines they can practice to fulfill their lives’ missions

What is a career?

Is it a job? A profession? One’s intention in life?

A career is more than that, said Keith B. McMullin, the CEO of Deseret Management Corp. — a global operating company managing for-profit entities affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — and a former member of the Presiding Bishopric.

In his judgment, which is in line with Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word, “A career is more like a calling. ... A career sets forth a person’s progress, or general course of action, through life. It is what you become as a result of what you do.”

Speaking on the topic “Fulfilling Your Life’s Mission: How Your Career Can Help Shape Your Life,” Bishop McMullin gave the keynote address at Ensign College’s Career Week, on Monday, Nov. 6. His message was the opening event of a week featuring free professional headshots, a career and internship services open house, and a career fair to be held on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Bishop McMullin served as second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric from 1995 to 2012 and has led DMC since 2012. Before that, he worked for Ford Motor Co., managed several small businesses and was managing director of Church Welfare Services.

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With those years of experience, Bishop McMullin spoke to a gathering of students at the very beginning of their individual careers and life missions.

Bishop McMullin shared “three daily choices that have shaped my life and my career. I share them with you not because they’re the only three in the world. I share them with you solely for purposes of opening your eyes of understanding, so that grasping what your career might be, as you make these choices in life, can be more productive.”

1. Prepare to be led

Bishop McMullin said he follows a daily routine that prepares him to be led — including periodically studying his patriarchal blessing and always praying, reading scriptures, writing in his journal and exercising.

Bishop McMullin, who also serves as a patriarch, encouraged students to receive their patriarchal blessings. “The reason I mentioned it is that choice to receive my patriarchal blessing made all the difference in my career.”

Whenever he has encountered problems, he has turned to the inspired wisdom and gems of truth embedded in his patriarchal blessing.

Bishop McMullin does not miss a single day of praying or reading his scriptures, because “I am not going back to where I was before I served my mission,” he said. On his mission, “I knew that I had found something that was precious and wonderful. I wasn’t going to forsake that.”

Writing in his journal “clears out the cobwebs of the previous day.” And he gets on the treadmill or does strength training each day because “I am absolutely determined to keep this body useful for as long as I can and as long as the Lord wants to use it,” he said.

Bishop Keith B. McMullin gives the keynote address kicking of Ensign College’s Career Week.
Bishop Keith B. McMullin gives the keynote address kicking of Ensign College’s Career Week, in the school’s Multipurpose Room in Salt Lake City, on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. | Valerie Walton

2. Make your own bed

“There is nothing quite as disturbing to me as to walk into a bedroom where one of my children or grandchildren has slept and see an unmade bed. It just troubles me. You know why? Because I make my own. And I make my own because I’m going to start every day with something that is successful, and I can manage that. I may not be able to manage anything else during the day, but I can make my own bed.”

Beginning the day on top with a small success like making one’s bed will help the day go better and allow one to help make more beds throughout the day. It is also an action that helps shape one’s world.

Bishop McMullin said he is determined that “my world is going to be fashioned after my will. And my will is my mission. I know what it is. I know what God expects of me, and I’m going to live up to it.”

I urge you to ponder on that thought of getting, and then proceed and receive, your patriarchal blessing.

3. Take the road less traveled

This final routine comes from a phrase from the Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken”: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

Bishop McMullin said, “Do not take the road that goes the world’s way. Take the one less traveled, for it makes all the difference.” The less-traveled road is the path of the gospel leading back to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Choose truth instead of doubt, Bishop McMullin taught. Choose integrity instead of dishonesty and manipulation. Be true to one’s identity as a child of God.

In closing, he testified that “the gospel is true. God is in His heaven. Jesus is the Redeemer. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. And you are on the Lord’s errand. That is your mission, in whatever circumstance you find yourself.”

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