Tag Archives: mission statement

On a Mission . . .

Do you have a defining purpose to your life? Does it motivate you to enthusiastically get out of bed each morning looking forward to the day’s activities? When your time on earth is just about done will you feel your life was worthwhile because you pursued this mission?

On a Mission . . .

One of the great aspects of the military is that no matter what our rate or rank we begin our service by dedicating ourselves to a mission: To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . This statement gives purpose to everything we do. When we experience the searing heat on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea during combat ops or have to de-ice that same flight deck to conduct humanitarian assistance operations in the northern reaches of Japan, we have a reason to endure the harsh weather and the punishingly long hours.

Why Will You Do What You Do?

So too in your life and business, you need to have a mission. Non-profit organizations learned this long ago because they have to motivate their workers, especially volunteers, to commit to a purpose and devote time and money to its fulfillment. The United Way provides a good example.

For-profit businesses can reap tremendous benefits from the same clarity of purpose. The mission statement for my company is: to help veterans secure a share of the American dream they fought to preserve.

Notice that this is not a goal per se. While it is written down, there is no objective to reach or time limit by which it is to be reached. Once you have a mission for your life and/or business, it becomes the litmus test by which you decide whether a particular activity or goal is relevant and purposeful.

A mission statement should be an expression of your most important values because if the two are in conflict you will be working at cross-purposes. Yet, if you are unclear about your morals it may be difficult to create a compelling mission statement.

5 Steps to a Personal, Business, or Family Mission Statement

Here are the steps for writing a mission statement:

1. Make a list of your five most deeply held values

Be careful not to mistake political positions for values. Look at why you have a particular political belief to determine the values the underlie it. If you need some help getting started check out this list.

2. Write down your elevator pitch

This is a brief explanation of what you want to do with your life or what your business is and does.  So called because you can deliver it in the length of an elevator ride. Harvard Business School has a website to help you build one.

3. Use your values to describe WHY your business does what it does

Write a paragraph with each sentence addressing how one of your values relates to your life or business. For example, if you are starting a plumbing company and one of your values is being thrifty, one sentence of your paragraph might be about providing the highest level of service at the lowest price.

4. Edit your paragraph to one or two sentences

Work on combining the essential idea of one sentence with that of another. Sometimes a single word can replace an entire sentence. For example, in my mission statement the value of “taking care of G-d’s children, especially my fellow service members” is expressed with one word: help.

5. Let it sit overnight then edit it

Once you have written your mission statement put it away until the next day then review it. Edit ruthlessly. Say it out loud. If it does not flow well keep working on it. Try using a thesaurus to find variations of words that express your thoughts more accurately. If you get stuck, set it aside overnight again. You may have to do this several times before you develop a compelling mission statement.

When you have completed your mission statement read it periodically, every morning before you begin work, or each evening when you plan your next day’s schedule. Even when you have it memorized, refer to it in written form. Its impact is greater.

Where are you stuck figuring out your personal and business mission?

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How to Have an Easy Life

Life is full of challenges, isn’t it? Making ends meet, relationship problems, disasters, sometimes they are overwhelming. The solace of a comfortable, easy life beckons. But if you actually got that comfortable, it would be a disaster.

How to Have an Easy Life

The Problem of an Easy Life

Have you noticed how children from families who cushioned them from every problem are unable to handle the ups and downs of life? They lack the skills to deal with challenges. As well, since they never face difficulties, they don't have the confidence and resilience to overcome obstacles.

According to Reader’s Digest, 70% of people who win the lottery lose or spend all of their money in five years or less. Attaining wealth without struggling seems to make life worse.

Such is the curse of an easy life. For young people, it hampers or prevents their development into self-sufficient adults. For adults, they lose the wherewithal to successfully overcome challenges.

The Remedy for a Hard Life

When all is said and done, you have two choices when faced with hardship:

  • Resent it or become depressed about how difficult your life is.
  • Find a purpose and mission in life that gives meaning to hardship.

If you choose the first option, your life will be bitter and hard. Resentment only makes difficulties more challenging because it creates an expectation that your life should be better. And that expectation will inevitably go unfulfilled.

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By finding your purpose and mission in life, you have a reason not just to endure hardship but learn from it. Such growth leads to greater resilience and self-respect, making troubles more easily borne.

Join With People Who Seek Growth

Historically religion gave meaning to people’s lives by giving them aspirations. Reasons to endure hardship include attainment of life after death or personal growth. Denominations that have strayed from this purpose have lost adherents in droves.

Being part of a community of believers striving to improve themselves supports everyone’s ability to reframe negative events. By accepting the inevitability of difficulties and surrounding yourself with people who face them purposely you will make your life as easy as it gets.

What Are Your Expectations for Life? 

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You Must Have This to Meet Your Goals

It is the time of year for setting goals. Last week I had my personal planning conference during which I examined the year about to pass and planned for the coming one.

You Must Have This to Meet Your Goals

I had several good accomplishments including seeing my mother more often now that I live closer to her, helping a lot of sailors at Submarine Squadron 11, and overcoming a debilitating back problem. Some of my shortfalls were disappointing: Lapses of speaking properly to Melanie and being patient enough with Madeleine.

Goals → Your Life's Mission

The sum total of my year: success. How do I know? Because I spent the year pursuing my life mission: To be a servant leader who helps people develop their fitness in the physical, mental, and spiritual realms by being a source of inspiration and information. The 11 goals I set for 2013 all supported meeting this mission. So despite having met only 8 of them, I can head into 2014 with a positive outlook and momentum.

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How will you know if a goal is worth pursuing? Does it fit into your life’s mission statement? If you do not have one, learn how to write one here.

If a Goal Does Not Support Your Life’s Mission You Probably Will Not Meet It

Do you want to lose weight, make more money, get promoted at work? All are worthy goals - if they fit into your life plan. I was borderline obese for many years. Dieting and exercise didn't work. I would lose a few pounds then put on even more.

After I got married, having a long, fulfilling marriage with Melanie and setting a good example of physical fitness, were crucial to my life mission. If I could not meet this mission for my family, why would anyone else want to follow me? Within six months I had overhauled my diet and exercise plan and lost 30 pounds.

Before you set your goals for 2014:

Make sure you have a well considered, inspiring personal mission statement.

Then as you set your objectives, make sure they support your mission. The combination is virtually unbeatable. And to boot, you are #LivingIntentionally.

What are you on a mission to do in 2014?

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Syncing Your Worldview and Life Direction

Are people wired for goodness or is the human condition a struggle between good and evil? Should people be free to make decisions about their owns lives even if that means they may hurt themselves and be uncomfortable or should their options be limited so that the chances they will experience pain are reduced? Is someone who cut you off in traffic rude and stupid or did he make a mistake?

Your worldview is informed by how you answer these and similar "big issue" questions. And your worldview in large part determines the progress you will make in your life.

Syncing Your Worldview and Life Direction

I have a friend who looks at almost everything in life as being black or white. A thing is good or bad, no middle ground or neutrality. Not long ago he remarked to me that despite numerous attempts he has been unable to sustain an exercise program. I suggested that instead of immediately embarking on a three or four day a week schedule that he start one day a week for just 15 or 20 minutes. He replied he did not think that was worthwhile since something that trivial would not really impact his life.

So because such a small amount of exercise would not really change the state of his fitness he saw no point in starting the journey. Aside from the habit creation that comes from easing into a practice, it is healthier for the body to take it slowly when beginning a regimen of exercise. But his world-view prevented him from changing no matter how sensible a course of action.

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When I first started in business my world-view impaired my progress. I thought all wealthy people had cheated or stolen to get their money. But they were the ones I needed as clients. Like me, when you are faced with such a dilemma, you have two choices:

Chart a new course consistent with your worldview 


Change your worldview

If you find yourself perpetually hitting a roadblock, it is time to examine how you view life. Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted and do the following:

1. Here are seven questions for understanding your worldview:

1.1.    Do you believe there is something beyond this life, a supernatural world or something of that nature?

1.2.    How did the material world come to exist?

1.3.    What is a human being?

1.4.    What is the purpose of life?

1.5.    What happens to you after you die?

1.6.    Is there such a thing as the truth?

1.7.    How do you know the difference between right and wrong?

2. Without any analysis or time for internal arguing write down your answers. You want your candid thoughts not what you might tell a pollster so you would not be embarrassed.

3. Analyze your answers. What do they say about how you view life? Look at the questions at the beginning of this post. Frame your assessment like you would answers to those questions, for example, "I think most issues in life are in the grey areas not black or white."

Here is the hard part. Consider how your worldview is impacting where you want to go in life. For example, if you are in sales but you think life is essentially black or white you are probably missing out on opportunities and interpreting every missed sale as a failure rather than a lesson in how to be more effective next time.

Because it works under the radar of your consciousness,

Your worldview determines your life 

even though most of the time you do not know it is having any impact at all.

When you become aware of your worldview and consistently see yourself through its lens you will be living intentionally, make more progress toward your goals, and feel happier and more satisfied with life.

Do you know someone whose worldview is preventing him from making needed change? How have you helped?

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What Is Success?

What is success? A lot of money? Power? A big house? In my experience rarely is anyone’s definition of success so simple. These are just yardsticks by which aspects of success are measured. Most people would agree that Mother Teresa was successful even though she was not wealthy and did not have a mansion. While she had great moral power, it is unlikely that having it was part of her definition of success.

What is Success?

For me, success means fulfilling what I believe is my purpose in life. As a result, it is not a goal but a process. This is why I think it is so important to have a personal mission statement.

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Ron of the Wisdom Journal lists six factors to consider when defining success. Prolific Living blogger Farnoosh lists ten questions for you to gain clarity on this issue.

What will you be resolved about?

Question – How do you define success?

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