What is Your Mission and Why Does it Matter?

It’s the Most Important Thing to Turning Your Dreams into Reality

I’m currently going through Business Made Simple University’s online course Mission Statement Made Simple. I’ve gone through this course before but,

I don’t think you can ever be too clear about your mission.

This time I’m going through it with a mastermind friend. This gives us both the opportunity to get outside perspectives. Alternate viewpoints are a huge help to getting the mission honed to laser clarity.

A clear mission is what gives you clarity of direction and purpose. It is the filter that all your business decisions should be ran through.

A mission is a clear direction for overcoming a conflict that is causing havoc in the world.

Over the past several weeks I’ve had numerous conversations with people struggling with clarity. I know how difficult and overwhelming this uncertainty can be.

As entrepreneurs, the responsibility of having a clear mission rests on our shoulders…should we do this or should we do that? When we’re employed by someone else, we just show up and do what we’re told.

This is why in most cases there’s so much discontent of employees working in large companies…there’s no clear mission.

Without a clear mission we just wander through life with no purpose.

How do you determine what your mission is?

This seems to be the most difficult question and one in which the answer continues to be refined every day. We are all given natural abilities and things we are drawn to. For example, I have no skills or desires to be a brain surgeon, a dentist or a teacher and trust me you’re better off because I’m not.

One thing that is a determining factor if you’re fulfilling your mission is if you love what you do.

Do you look forward everyday to getting to work and have to force yourself to stop at the end of the day. Granted there are varying degrees of this based on different personalities, but if you don’t love what you do…it’s not in alignment with your purpose.

I think there is a specific core purpose that goes beyond our vocation. I think this core purpose can be put to use in different businesses or ministries.

My purpose is to help people find solutions for building their dream business, construction project and life. With this foundational purpose my mission can change over time.

I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Whether it’s my current mission to help construction companies struggling with a lack of business knowledge and customers who don’t understand or know what to expect from the construction process. Helping both accomplish their dreams, by providing businesses with systems and training to make their companies more efficient and profitable while educating customers in what to expect throughout the entire construction process.

Or my future mission with a NASCAR team. 😊 This is me turning my dreams into reality.

The important thing is to know yourself, search your heart and be connected to your Maker. The more you do this, the clearer the picture becomes. Having a clear mission moves your dreams towards reality.

Over the next few weeks, as we go through the rest of Mission Statement Made Simple, I’ll share other aspects of having a clear mission, i.e., key characteristics needed, critical actions taken by people in alignment with the mission and how to clearly share your mission with others.

We Are All Important to the Building of God’s Kingdom

No Matter How Small We Are in the Big Picture

Way too often we tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough or don’t have what it takes to do that thing…whatever that thing is. This perception is very good at keeping us from doing the things we’ve been designed to do.

We look around and see what everybody else is doing and from the outside it looks amazing. We have to remember that we are not designed to do what they are.

Each of us is here for our own specific purpose.

Or maybe we’ve been convinced that because we grew up in a certain place or look a certain way that we aren’t capable of doing anything great. We are too easily persuaded by these outside forces.

Some people thought Jesus wasn’t anything special. After all he was from Nazareth. In John 1:46 Nathanael said about Jesus, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

A concrete foundation is made up of sand, cement and water. All of these things are made up of very small individual pieces. A grain of sand, a particle of cement and a drop of water. Each of them by themselves is tiny and seemingly insignificant. However, without them each serving their specific purpose the skyscraper wouldn’t stand. Their role is vital to the outcome.

It takes a collection of different components to build a skyscraper, each serving their individual purpose. Each of us are like these small pieces. We are vital to the outcome.

Accept your part in supporting the kingdom.

This past weekend we had a movie marathon. And watched the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. These are some of my favorites and if you haven’t seen them, I would highly recommend it. These movies are based on the classic fantasy novels and children’s books by J.R.R. Tolkien.

In the story, the Hobbits are small little creatures. Just happy to be living their peaceful little lives…when called to do something big and out of their comfort zone. We are all called to do these kinds of things, we just have to be willing to.

Maybe fantasy isn’t your thing. But the story is a great one of good versus evil and how no matter how small and inadequate we see ourselves, if we’re willing, we can make a big difference.

Remember, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or how you look. What matters is your willingness to step out in faith and go where you’ve been called.

We Want a World Without Suffering

There is No Such Thing, This Side of Heaven

There is no question that the world has plenty of examples of suffering. Why, we ask, would a loving God permit pain and suffering? Ultimately, this is a question that you will have to ask Him.

Suffering is critical to us becoming who we’re meant to be.

If everything was easy, we would not be able to accomplish all that we are supposed to. Nature is full of examples of this.

When a baby giraffe is born it falls 4’-5’ feet to the ground. Then as it is trying to get up the mother kicks it, again and again. Working through this struggle the baby giraffe learns to get up. In a matter of hours, it’s prepared for lions, hyenas and wild dogs.

Or, what about butterflies pushing to get out of the cocoon they find themselves wrapped up in. We’ve all heard about someone helping a butterfly with this process and then the butterfly’s ends up being too weak to fly.

We are no different. Sure, it would be nice if we didn’t have to suffer, but this would leave us weak and unprepared for life. Suffering makes us stronger.

While everything else follows its instincts and does what comes naturally…we humans think and think and think… Rather than embracing the struggles and learning and growing, we want things to be easy. We think we know better than God how things should be.

Easy leads to a life void of meaning.

In Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he outlines his theory of logotherapy. Logotherapy says, “The primary motivational force of an individual is to find meaning in life.” This theory helped him to survive his Holocaust experience. Being in a concentration camp as a Jew…that’s real suffering.

Frankl says there are three things needed to experience a life of meaning:

  • Finding a worthwhile project to work on and working on it
  • Understanding suffering and viewing it from a productive perspective
  • Working through life’s challenges with other people

Too much of the time people drift through life accepting things as they are rather than doing something about them. We have more control than that. Sure, there are things that happen that are out of our control but, we have way more control than we choose to believe.

God knew what he was doing when He created the world. He knew we would need help, so He sent Jesus. Include Jesus in your group when you’re working through life’s challenges.

We can choose to embrace life’s difficulties and be stronger…or not!

It’s Up to You to Figure Out What Your Purpose Is

Once You’ve Determined That…Live It to The Fullest

We have all been given a specific purpose. A unique thing that only we have. The hard part can be figuring that what it is.

I don’t know that we will ever figure it out fully, this side of heaven.

The important thing is to be vigilantly looking every day. To focus on uncovering the “thing” God has put us here for. The Architect of the world has given us a “Blueprint” for building the life He designed for us. It is up to us to study that print and build our lives accordingly.

In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus tells about a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. The king sent his servants to tell those who had been invited that the feast was ready. The people who had been invited were too busy and went on about their lives.

So, the king invited other less admirable people, as per the world’s standards. When the king came to greet the guests, one was not dressed for the wedding. The king asked the man why. The man said nothing. The king had him thrown out.

This seems a little harsh. 

The custom of the day was that when people came to a wedding, they were given wedding clothes. So, it wasn’t like the man didn’t have everything he needed. He just chose not to use them. On top of that, he ignored the king.

This man wanted to enjoy all the benefits of the wedding feast with out putting on the clothes. Too many of us approach life in this same way. We’ve been invited to the feast and given everything we need to come and enjoy it. But we ignore the King and the wedding clothes that He’s given us.

We want the benefits without doing the work.

Take time to read and study Life’s Blueprint. Discuss the plans with the Architect. Determine what your purpose is and build the life God has designed for you.

How Do I Get from Here to There?

With a Clear Understanding of Your Life’s GPS

A friend and I were recently discussing the sense of out-of-control overwhelm that we were both experiencing. There are so many important, valuable, worthwhile things to do. How will I ever get them all done?

My to-do-list is so long there’s not enough time to read it…let alone do it.

I’m tired of being stuck in this rut and am looking for a way out. Some of the things on our lists were classes and trainings. These should be something to help, but too often just becomes another thing on the list.

Most of us want a clearer direction, but don’t know what that is.

I’ve been thinking about this since our discussion…not to mention studying about it. As I was researching ways to better achieve goals it became clear that there isn’t any real difference in any of them. Sure, there are small nuanced differences but they’re really all the same.

Sometimes the same thing we heard several times before resonates with us this time. Who knows why? It may be the presenter, or the form of presentation, or maybe it’s just timing, who knows? An example of this recently is when I was going through Mark Shinnerer’s, Vision Building course and his comparison of a GPS to a life plan. There really are a lot of similarities in life planning and a GPS.

One thing that’s critical to achieving goals is in prioritization.

This is one of the places I struggle most. When looking at that huge long list of all those important, valuable, worthwhile things to do. Where do I start? This is where accomplishment gets lost. Too much time spent trying to decide.

Here are some GPS similarities:

When going from here to there, using a Global Positioning System, we put in the destination we want to go, and it gives us optional routes to get there. When planning to go from here to there in life’s journey we need to use a Goal Prioritization System. This system will help us determine the path we will take to reach our purpose destination.

  • Determine where you want to go before you start – Knowing where you want to go will make the trip more productive. This doesn’t mean that you can’t change the destination later, but it takes away from forward progress.
  • Choose which of the routes you’re going to take – There are options of shorter and more direct or longer and more scenic. There’s no right or wrong, just choose one and get started. As you are on your way you can change your mind and the GPS will reroute you.
  • Unexpected things out of your control happen – You may encounter road work or a flat tire. These things require some adjustment to your schedule and/or possibly your route. Remember these things happening are out of your control, but how you react to them isn’t.
  • Unplanned things that are in your control – When in route you may encounter scenic stops. You can choose whether to take the time to slow down and smell the roses. You might also come across someone who has had trouble. Stopping or not is also a choice you get to make.

Once you have a clear vision of your destination it’s up to you to get in gear and step on the gas, otherwise you will just sit there thinking about what might have been.

If you don’t move forward you will never reach your destination.

What Does It Mean to Have Clarity?

Really, I Just Want to Know!

What is “the thing” that I’m supposed to be doing? How do I know if that’s “the thing”? Maybe I should be doing “that other thing” instead? Where should I go from here? How do I know if that’s the right way? Am I the only one who feels this lost? What’s wrong with me?

So many questions, this is making my head hurt!

When I was growing up, I knew exactly what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I was going to farm with my Dad, just like he was farming with his. This was a great plan and it was going well until those plans got changed. When I was in my early thirties my Dad died, at fifty, of cancer.

We were farming together, he owned some of the equipment and I, using borrowed money, owned some. The problem at this point was, I couldn’t afford to buy his part so…I got out of farming.

In addition to farming I had been doing construction for most of the previous ten years as well. I liked doing it, was good at it, so this seemed like the logical thing to do, and it was.  

As life went on, I again began to give up on dreams, those unachievable fantasies. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t ever going to achieve anything more than mediocrity. It’s not that life wasn’t good; it was just…unfulfilled.

Then God got my attention with a board upside my head.

I survived an accident and was still alive…God wasn’t done with me yet. It was at this point I began dreaming again and believing anything was possible. I had new dreams and plans. I was excited about the possibilities…but now seven years later, I’m still trying to figure out how to turn those dreams into reality. Maybe there isn’t anything more.

I better be careful; God may do something to get my attention again.

Over the past seven years I’ve been searching for clarity and direction. I’ve prayed, read, studied, researched, listened, watched, multiple different things from a lot of different people. All good advice and very inspiring. Why is nothing changing? What am I doing wrong?

It’s been said that a rut is just a grave with both ends kicked out and here I am stuck in a rut of my own making. Walking back and forth looking for a way out isn’t working; it’s just making the rut deeper.

If I want to get out of this rut, I need to stop doing the same things hoping for different results.

God has big plans for us, and He will move mountains to create opportunities for us to achieve them. It’s up to us to move ourselves. I believe it’s Satan that causes us to stop short of those big God plans. It’s much better for him if we don’t achieve those successes. He’s the one who plants the doubt and fear. Telling us that we don’t have what it takes to do that big thing…who are we kidding.

Over the last seven years I knew my purpose and what I was supposed to be doing. This website and these weekly solutions are all part of that. At the same time, I felt as though I was just pretending…It really wasn’t going to happen. Look at the small number of follower’s that I have. No one cares about what I have to say.

Stop this, you’re being ridiculous.

In an effort to get different results, over the last few months I’ve done some “different”, some really big “different”. Big commitments of both time and money. Doing things that are way outside of my comfort zone. One of these things was joining Ray Edward’s Kingdom Builder mastermind group. This involves a weekly virtual meeting with a group of twelve specifically chosen people from around the country.

We’re just getting started and in our second meeting this past week, I was feeling overwhelmed. Once again, I asked myself, who am I kidding? I don’t belong in this group. I don’t have what it takes. These people are much better at what they’re doing than I am. I can’t afford this.

It’s happening again…Satan just shut up!

After the meeting…and wallowing a little…I remembered something that Ray said during a podcast, “Clarity starts with making a decision”. Most of us are waiting for clarity to be a simple light bulb moment. We expect it to be a bright shining mansion in the distance with a perfectly clear and straight path to get there and a chauffeur driven limousine to take us. This isn’t the way it works; clarity happens after we decide and do.

In Ray’s podcast, 7 Steps to Getting Clarity he pointed out things that if we decide and do, clarity will follow:

  1. Calling – Our purpose, the thing we are called to do.
  2. Commitment – We need to be all in.
  3. Credibility – Others see our ability in the area.
  4. Congruent – It’s something we love doing, it comes naturally.
  5. Connection – We naturally connect with those we serve.
  6. Competence – We have God given skills in this area.
  7. Consistency – We keep doing it regularly and don’t quit.

As part of my daily journaling I read Proverbs 3:5-6 every morning. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all that you do, and He will show you which path to take.”, New Living Translation.

The day after the meeting last week when I read this, for the first time I realized something that confirmed what Ray was saying. It doesn’t say, trust in the Lord, seek His will and He’ll give you everything that you dreamed. It says trust in Him, seek His will in all that I DO, and He’ll show me the path.

He will show me the path…He’s not going to DO He’s going to SHOW. It’s up to me to DO. It’s good to pray, read, study, research, listen and watch, but none of this is going to DO me any good if I don’t DO something.

Clarity’s not in here…it’s out there. If I want it, I have to decide and then go get it.

Salt Makes Things Better and Light Shows the Way

We’re All Called to be Saltshakers and Flashlights

We’ve been put here to fulfill a purpose that is specific to us. Some figure out what that purpose is quicker than others. Often people aren’t even aware they have a specific purpose that is exclusive to them and them alone.

Everyone of us is different and the same.

There are different kinds of salt. All of which make things better, whether it’s flavoring food, melting ice, cleaning stains, soothing insect bites or stopping a grease fire. The salt is different and the same. The important thing to remember is that, regardless of its purpose, there is nothing gained if it’s not used. We all have skills and talents that when used make things better.

We all have different skills and talents, but we won’t make things better if we don’t use them. We’re like the salt.

Just like the salt, there are different forms of light. There is electric light, candles, lanterns and flashlights to name a few. All of them allow us to see in the dark. It’s amazing how much light a single candle puts out. The light is different and the same. Light doesn’t do anyone any good if it’s kept hidden. No matter how small, we all have a light that needs to be used to help light the way.

We need to let our light shine and help others to see to find their way through the dark. We’re like the light.

In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth and the light to the world. If we don’t use our salt (skills and talents) it will become good for nothing. If we don’t shine our light it leaves both us and those around us lost in the dark.

No matter what our unique purpose is, we make things better and brighter when we share.

Go out and spread some salt and shine your light.

Finding the Balance of Confidence and Fear

Balanced scale

 

 

Don’t Let Fear Be the Boss

 

 

While at a school dance a young woman found herself in an awkward situation. Across the room she spotted a young man whom she was attracted to. While talking about him with her girlfriends, she knew exactly what she was going to say. Once she finally mustered up the courage, she went up to him to introduce herself. It was at this point that she became totally tongue tied and everything she wanted to say refused to cooperate. We’ve all found ourselves in similar situations, but it doesn’t have to be this way.


God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7

 

An example of being on the other side of the confidence scale is the business card of Chen Guangbiao, a wealthy Chinese businessman who tried to buy the New York Times in 2014. It’s uncertain where all the titles he claims came from, but there certainly doesn’t appear to be any lack of confidence.

 


Being overconfident isn’t a good plan either. It comes across as arrogant and overbearing and usually pushes other people away. If you are good at what you do others will see that without you tooting your own horn.


If you understand your purpose you can be confident without patting yourself on the back.


A young man was out walking around late one night, when he spotted a police car heading his way. Even though he wasn’t doing anything but walking around, he took off running. The police officers saw him run and pursued. The young man went down an alley and hid behind a dumpster burying himself under some trash. The police officers saw him and shinned the spotlight on him. Scarred for his life the young man stepped out covered in trash and said he hadn’t done anything wrong. The police officer said, “I’m not here to punish you; I’m here to protect you.


We often find ourselves covered in trash saying that we didn’t do anything wrong.


It’s difficult balancing confidence and fear. Self-awareness and understanding are where balance starts. Once we know who we are and what we do, we can move toward balance. Sometimes we need some guidance and inspiration to get us moving though.


Earlier this week I listened to a Ray Edwards podcast, in which he introduced me to the amazing Jennifer Allwood. If you want some motivation, just listen to this podcast. Jennifer’s book, Fear is Not the Boss of You, How to Get Out of Your Head and Live the Life You Were Made For, will be released in April. You can count on me getting a copy.

 

 

How To Find Your Purpose And Live It

 

 

 

 

It’s Not as Hard as It First Appears

 

It seems that too much of the time we feel lost, with no clear path or understanding of what we’re supposed to be doing. We just drift through life without any idea of where we’re going or how we’re going to get there.


We’ve all been put here for a specific God given purpose. The process of figuring it out is a part of the purpose. We will never completely understand it fully here on earth, but the constant seeking of our purpose moves us closer to finding it.


To accomplish our purpose, we’ve been given skills, and talents that fit specifically with that purpose. Our job is to discern what those abilities are and then to use them in the right ways, not the wrong ones.


Arthur Berry was reportedly the greatest jewel thief in American history. He robbed from the relatives of kings and wealthy businessmen. Early in his life he decided that doing “normal business” was not in his nature. At the age of fifteen he became an active robber.


He was always well dressed and well-spoken. Informal clothes and his good manners presented him the opportunity to walk into any lawn party and mix it up with guests. This would allow him to case the home and know the important information needed for later.


“There are many occasions when the residents woke up. He simply told them to stay calm, hand over the jewels and avoid being hurt. Moreover, he said people seldom resisted this request. For instance, in the Livermore’s bedroom, Barry woke up Mrs. And Mr. Livermore by flashing light in her eyes. She was frightened and asked, “Who is it?” He answered, ‘Good evening’ J. L. just don’t move, phone lines are cut. Just hand over the jewelry and let us go. Barry emptied the dressing table securing $95’000 worth of gems. He noticed the lady is sitting in her nightgown. So, Barry put the bathrobe on her shoulders and lighted a cigarette for her to receive her only comments “You are a real devil”. He warned them not to make any outcry and escaped. But before leaving he returned the $15,000 worth little pinky ring gifted by her husband, at her request.”


The second time Arthur Barry was arrested he spent 17 years behind bars. When released he kept his word of not going back to his “job”. He was honorably employed in his hometown at $50 a week. People knew his past and still, they elected him commander of a local Veteran’s Organization because of his honesty of purpose.


It was said by experts that with his genius he “could have been a successful businessman, Wall Street baron or could have done anything that he had concentrated upon.”


“The ultimate and legendary thief had been robbing himself all along…”


All too often we spend our time and energy on things that are counterproductive to our God given purpose. We rob ourselves by not living our lives to the fullest.

 


God has given us the map for finding our purpose, the Bible. It’s all in there we just have to pick it up and look.

 

What Will People Say About Me at My Funeral?

 

How I Spend My Time Today Will Have an Effect on That

 

It seems there isn’t enough time to get everything done. I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly looking around for more. I think to myself, “If I just had a few more minutes, I could get this one more thing done.”


The problem with time isn’t how much there is, it’s what we spend it on.


We spend time as though it will last forever. Not so. We each have a limited amount here on earth and we need to be more intentional about how we spend it. Time isn’t like money, we can make more money, but we can’t make any more time. When it’s gone, it’s gone. We can’t ever get it back.


Are we being good stewards of the time we’ve been given?

 

In Max Lucado’s book, “The Eye of the Storm” he tells a story about two paddleboats leaving Memphis headed to New Orleans. “As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail’s pace of the other.


Words were exchanged. Challenges were made. And the race began. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South.


One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising young sailor took some of the ship’s cargo and tossed it into the ovens. When the sailors saw that the supplies burned as well as the coal, they fueled their boat with the material they had been assigned to transport. They ended up winning the race but burned their cargo. Their cargo was gone, and they couldn’t get it back.


They lost sight of their purpose along the way and in the end had wasted their trip. Don’t waste your trip by getting caught up in the unintentional rat race of life and in the end, not achieve your purpose.


To live the most productive life we need to “begin with the end in mind”. We need to look at the end of our lives, our funerals, and imagine what people will say about us. In Michael Hyatt’s blog post, “What Will They Say When You Are Dead?”, he lays out a plan for this.

It is common to race through life getting caught up in the unimportant peripheral tasks that don’t contribute directly to what our purpose is. You’ve heard it said that “time is money”. What is the real value of your time? Are you spending your time wisely?


Time is a commodity that can only be spent. You can’t add to it, only subtract.


Are you spending your time wisely?