Monday, September 10, 2012

Big Idea Monday- On a mission


I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing- that it was all started by a mouse.
-Walt Disney

We just got back from a Disney 3-day cruise on the Dream ship, a gift for my daughter’s birthday. Each night , the shows shared a similar message of empowerment. You have no idea what your capable of unless you try. Believe in magic, it comes from inside yourself. Time is fleeting, cherish this moment. Who knew Walt Disney was such a new age, personal development guru? Actually, I think the timeless name for his type is: visionary. Maybe what made Walt such a successful dreamer can be traced back to his thoughtfully crafted personal mission statement. To make people happy. 

From that simple idea, a worldwide corporation grew. Cruise ships, theme parks around the globe and cutting edge animation. One man’s mantra set the standard in the hospitality and entertainment industries. Four short words commanding the employment of hundreds upon hundreds of thousands; helping them realize their career dreams while bringing smiles to million upon millions of people of all ages.

On this Big Idea Monday- I have a crazy idea. Why doesn’t everybody adopt a personal mission statement?  Abe Lincoln had one. Preserve the union. So did Nelson Mandela. End Apartheid. Mark Zuckerburg’s personal mission statement became his company’s mission. To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. The founder of Google had something similar in mind. To make the world’s information universally accessible and useful.

The common theme seems to be simplicity, value and a positive call to action. If you have a personal mission statement, do you really need a bunch of guidelines or resolutions in your life? If your mission statement is to: live life to the fullest, do you need to specify on a to do list each day to  get enough rest or eat only healthy foods or don’t forget to play with your kids? If your mission statement is to be a servant leader, do you have to schedule how many hours you volunteer? Probably not. All your day-to-day decisions seem to magically fall in line with your stated purpose.

You don’t have to be famous to have one. Mine is to: see the world through wider, brighter more childlike eyes and inspire others to do the same. Maybe I won’t end up in any history books by changing the world. But if I change my life and my families’ lives for the better, won't it be worthwhile?

One more thing, a mission statement can change over time. As you grow, your mission may evolve. President Roosevelt’s mission when he first took office was to: End the depression.  Later, his mission became to: End the war.

My mission fits me right now. Since I created it three months ago, I have already seen small and big changes in my choices, relationships, habits and how I spend my time. It all started with really thinking about what is personally valuable. What do I want to accomplish each day first and foremost. What things in my life are not compatible with my mission.

When a small town artist sketching doodles in his uncle's garage wrote down his mission back in 1923, he could have never imagined the legacy of happiness he would share. Disney claims it all started with a little mouse, but I say it all started with a humble mission.

What is your personal mission statement?

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