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 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