Completing the Mission

Life consists of countless small missions and hopefully some Big, Hairy Audacious ones, too.  Whether big or small, there is one common denominator — the human factor.  People are susceptible to distractions that cause them to lose focus on the mission.  Sometimes the distractions are real, sometimes they are figments of the imagination.  But, the fact is, human beings are “focus challenged.”  I suspect there’s a little ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in all of us.

What distracts you from completing your mission?  What can you do about it?  There are useful tips for enhancing focus, such as developing a personal mission statement.

“… develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed.  It focuses
on what you want to be (character) and to do (contributions and achievements)
and on the values or principles upon which being and doing are based.”

— Stephen Covey, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, p. 106

Great advice!  But, as valuable as a mission statement is, I’m sure Stephen Covey would agree that it is only the beginning.  The ability to get focused, stay focused, and restore focus when we lose it requires a comprehensive, on-going  program of preparation.  Such programs are often called “personal development” or “professional development” or “leadership development.”  The point is, if consistent and strategic physical conditioning prepares us for our physical challenges, doesn’t it make sense that intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development is at least as important?  I wonder how you are conditioning yourself to become stronger and more effective in dealing with the challenges of your mission.

Here’s my invitation to you.  Watch this cool video I discovered about staying focused on the mission.  It’s a humorous and powerful presentation that will have you ROFL.  When you’re back on your feet, think of ways you can develop yourself to deflect distractions and complete your mission.  Maybe its learning to prioritize, reading a personal growth book, or devoting time each week to reflect on your life’s purpose.  It probably means more, like engaging in a leadership development program or hiring a business coach.  Whatever you decide, strike while the iron is hot.  Get started right away and start enjoying the satisfaction of completing the mission.

I Believe

Faith: “Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.”

“Everybody should believe in something — I believe I’ll have another drink.”
-– Norm (character in the sitcom “Cheers”)

Whether it’s religion, politics, science, sports, or cold beverages, we all cling to certain beliefs. Whether we consciously think about it or not, every action we take is based on a deep and complex web of beliefs built on top of more beliefs. All of this is true whether we ‘believe it or not.’ Here’s a simple example:

When I pull up to a gas pump, put my credit card into the slot and start filling my gas tank, I do so with the belief that gasoline will come out at the rate and grade promised by the sign. I also take this action based on the belief that gas will help get me to my intended destination. Suppose my belief was that the pump would deliver lemonade instead of gasoline. Such a belief would lead me to a different action – I would fill my 5-gallon picnic jug instead of my gas tank. If I believed the pump to be incapable of providing what I need, I wouldn’t even start.

“What I admire in Columbus is not his having discovered a world but his having gone to search for it on the faith of an opinion.” -– A. Robert Turgot, economist

“A little faith will bring your soul to heaven; a great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” -– Charles Spurgeon

“Anything’s possible. You can be told you have a 90% chance or a 50% chance or a 1% chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight.” -– Lance Armstrong, cyclist

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you’re right.” -– Henry Ford

“I believe that every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity, an obligation, every possession, a duty.” -– John D. Rockefeller

“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart. Live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” -– Dale Carnegie

“One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests.” -– John Stuart Mill, quoted in the Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch

“Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.” -– Dr. Maxwell Maltz

“There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.” -– Alfred Korzybski (1879 – 1950)

“I would rather work with five people who really believe in what they are doing rather than 500 who can’t see the point.” -– Patrick Dixon, futurist

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.“ -– Martin Luther King Jr., quoting the Declaration of Independence, August 28, 1963

Beliefs Set to Music

I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows,
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night a candle glows.
I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come to show the way.
I believe, Oh, I believe.

I believe above the storm the smallest prayer, will still be heard.
I believe that someone in that great somewhere hears every word
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry, or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why I believe.

— Lyrics to: “I Believe” by Erwin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman

Beliefs in the Form of a Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN.

— Apostles’ Creed

If you are inspired by these quotes as I was, take a few minutes to make a list of your beliefs.

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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