Rusty’s Corner: The Importance of Your Mission

If you’re a longtime reader of Rusty’s corner, you know that I love goals. I love the planning session to set them, and having to claw, fight, stretch, and reset to reach them. I have my goals written on my bathroom mirror so I see them every morning, and I keep a yearly list for all 5 areas of my life I want to make progress in.

Some years, I crush them. Some years, I have fallen on my face miserably (like my entire plan for 2020). However, goals always make me better because they push me.

I’ve found that goals are only a part of the story, though. Goals are like having a short-term destination you want to reach - but they can lead to the age-old analogy of getting up the ladder and finding it was leaning against the wrong building.

Most businesses today have mission statements. Don't get me started on how often businesses have mission statements they never talk about, look at, or make decisions by - but most businesses do at least have one.

Unfortunately, I have found most individuals do not, and that is a huge concern to me.

Maybe calling it a mission statement isn’t your thing, but the real question is how do you answer deep questions like these:

  • Why do you exist?
  • Who and what deserves your time, energy, and focus?
  • What were you created to accomplish that only you can do?
  • What breaks your heart that you want to change in your community?
  • What does success look like 40 years from now (hint: Success is more than career or finances.)
  • What strengths, skills, and talents are uniquely yours to make a difference?

Why is answering questions like these important? Because their answers provide a roadmap for follow-up questions. Answering these questions can be exciting and fun…but the follow up questions, they're not always so much fun.

For example, a decade ago I asked myself, “What does success look like in 40 years (when I would be 70 years old)?” The answer to the question came quite easily - and I could envision it.

That part was fun.

The hard part was the follow up question: ‘What are you doing today to get there?’

Ouch. My answer was nothing. I was not taking any steps toward the end result I ultimately wanted.

I had goals, and I was crushing them - but my ladder was against the wrong wall, and I was climbing with a vengeance.

I don’t know if you will need to re-write your goals or ambitions. I don’t know if you’ll need to shift your ladder. You may be right on track -  but from experience I can tell you it’s absolutely worth looking at.

“Where your focus goes, your energy flows.” Is your focus on where you ultimately want it to be?

You probably know the answer, even if you don’t want to hear the answer.