How Osama Bin Laden Will Help Your Mission Statement

It was May 2011 when an elite team of Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden.  It was a simple mission where a bunch of SEALs decided to hop on a helicopter, fly into Pakistan, and kill the most notorious terrorist in the last hundred years. Afterward, they stopped off for 2$ off lattes at the Abottobad Starbucks.  This, is of course, absurd.  The successful execution of the mission to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden came after years of careful research, planning, practicing, and even failures. The CIA team  and later other key players charged with this mission knew the ultimate goal.  They had a “mission” to achieve.  The mission was so well articulated, understood, and believed by those engaging, that through failures, thousands of miles, and a helicopter crash, Seal Team Six was still able to achieve mission success without loosing a single American Life.

English: Osama bin Laden Compound Italiano: Il...

English: Osama bin Laden Compound Italiano: Il complesso di Osama Bin Laden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of you living the intentional life, A mission statement is your guidance for daily living.

If the US Military can achieve mission success  thousands of miles from home, traversing hostile lands and facing brutal enemies, why do we find it so hard to achieve our mission here at home? Most people simply get through the day  in a “survival mode”.  A day becomes weeks…becomes months…becomes years…Steven Covey, wildly popular for his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People says in habit number 2 to “begin with the end in mind”.  Imagine traveling without a destination, or even direction.  At best, you would be treading water, at worse you’d run backward.   Your career, where your live, investments, behavior, children, the books and movies you consume, and what time you wake up everyday will be measured by your mission statement. Writing a mission statement can be intimidating.  In fact, I believe this is the number one reason why people don’t write one.  As with so much in life, the hardest step is the first step.  I have put together an 8 step list to help you get started writing your mission statement:
1.  No rules.  It’s your mission.  Grammar, time lines or no timeliness, too long or too short…don’t worry.
2. It can evolve.  Remember number 1.  Things in life change and so do priorities.  Don’t feel like you have to wait until you have everything figured out to write a mission statement.  Feeling “locked in” to a mission statement that cannot change is fuel for procrastination.
3. Brainstorm your values.  Write down your values.  Values such as faith, health, education, and a spirit of togetherness, help focus your mission.  After all , a mission statement is a clarified goal to live a life achieving your values.
4. Be intentional.  Writing a mission statement takes time and focus.  Spend some time reflecting upon yourself and your family.  Being intentional to write a mission statement that works for you can take several months.  Build space in your weekly planning for focused time for your mission statement.
5.  Don’t limit yourself.  Your mission statement is a goal to build upon. Later, you will take each value expressed in your mission statement and build a strategic plan on how to achieve it.  You’ll once again “begin with the end in mind”.  As a guide for living your life, it may seem “far-fetched” and “perfect world” today.  That’s normal.  Don’t aim for the ordinary, target the extraordinary.
6. Be honest.  Write a mission statement that works for your life.  This is your life, your chance to succeed by being intentional.
7. Pause. Do not rush to finish.  Being intentional is not about simply “finishing”.  Resist the urge to simply finish and “check the box”. Take a week or two to reflect, pray, and discuss with your spouse.
8.  Have fun! life is fun, enjoy!
Imagine a life without excuses.  Your daily living is the foundation of your future.  Share with us what a perfect day looks like.  How does this related to your mission?
Rocco De Leo

Choose the Heroic Life

Becoming a Navy Seal is perhaps, the most physically and mentally challenging experience a human can face. The training school BUDS is a rigorous 24 week challenge of underwater dive, land warfare, and parachute training. The 24 week journey begins with a 3 week orientation leading up to a “hell week” in which the candidates continuously train with minimal sleep. They live by their motto “the only easy day was yesterday”. What makes a person sign up for this? When they leave BUDS, they are strategically deployed to one dangerous crisis after another. Whether it’s rescuing kidnapd sailors from pirates in the Indian ocean or the daring mission to “eliminate” Osama Bin Laden , Seals, live a heroic life of adventure and danger.

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writing: Sandro Botticelli’s St. Augustine in His Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are able, as George Sheehan suggests in his 1978 classic Running and Being, to feed a desire within themselves to overcome a daily “element of present danger”, a threat to the status quo that threatens [their]everything. American poet James Agee writes “that in war, many men go well beyond anything that any sort of peace can make for them.” These men are heroes without a doubt. What, then, do they fear? Death? Pain? They fear, the same battle you and are fighting every day. This isn’t simply the struggle to find our purpose, its the epic fight to live out our purpose.You are built for adventure. We are all fighting internal battles. If you choose not to fight, you will decend into a dizzying world of mundane emptiness. The soldier fights an obvious battle for physical survival . He returns home to join our fight. He may or may not be comforted in knowing you that he is not the alone in fighting this battle. We all are soldiers. Some just choose not to fight. Your fight, however, is your fight alone. If you don’t lead yourself into battle, no one will. Your fight is less obvious and against a much more cunning and relentless enemy. Your fight is for a true adventure to discover what your soul desires and to draw arms against resistance. Your mortal enemy is’t a foreign army or a terrorist cell. Your enemy knows you better than any spy or undercover agent. Your enemy is you. The ultimate desire to live a life of holiness and purpose, a life moving forward toward greatness rather than mere survival lives within the heart of every man. Only the heroic person spirit stands up to the internal powers and proudly proclaims adventure and purpose over survival. This is a battle the hero fights every morning when he awakens before the sun and arms himself with the weapons of his own war. This may be the blank page for the writer, the shoes for the runner, or the books for the student. Somedays the battles are glorious invasions of Normandy achieving an overarching goal and driving toward purpose. Somedays are 9/11. The hero doesn’t just lick his wounds and wait to recover. He regroups and plans his next attack. If you are reading this post researching blogs on productivity or purpose, you are winning today’s battle. If you are reading this because you are stalling on your next project, you are loosing. You must recognize that you are made for adventure beyond mere survival. God gave us all free will, intelligence, and talent to do great things to glorify him. To live a purpose and discover it within, loving God, and never giving in to mere survival shall be our battle cry! Be your own hero and inspire others with your awesomeness.
Share today’s battle plan for living your purpose.

Rocco De Leo