This week, I learned a big lesson, there seems to be a lot of areas of one’s life these days that can distract us from our true vision and purpose.
Whether you are in business, or you work, or maybe you’re a stay at home mom or dad…you need to have a vision, mission in the work you do.
I have discussed having a mission and vision in past articles, but I cannot emphasize enough how important they are to have. Especially in this mile a minute world, where tragedy happens (once again this week, in Britain), or political initiatives don’t get voted on or the challenges being thrown our way just with life alone. It could be the upset driver we encountered on the way home from work, or we upset a friend or colleague, or they have upset us maybe…
The bottom line is that the distractions of just living day-to-day are coming at us fast and furiously.
How can we cope?
How can we navigate our lives, work or businesses when waters get choppy and yes when we are anxious about it and perhaps in our fear?
For starters…create your mission and vision around your life, work and business. You can do a vision and mission for all aspects of your life. For example, if you’re having a dinner party with friends, your mission for that is that the party will be fun, engaging, with great food, laughter, conversations and fun! Then hold that as your mission and “Focus” on it, live it, be it and your mission will come true!
“The Key to ultimate success is your ability to Focus” David Cohen
The key here is to “Focus” once you have developed an idea of what you want to have happen in the more immediate time frame (your mission) or for your future (your vision), then the next vital thing is to hold the “Focus”!
Author of the book “Focus” the Hidden Driver of Excellence, Daniel Goleman and the key figure in the Emotional Intelligence movement and work shares examples of two people who has extreme focus…one was Steve Jobs, Goleman states, that “Steve Jobs was a longtime Zen practitioner – meditation is one way to strengthen the brain’s attention circuitry. He brought a single-minded focus to shaping Apple’s winning business strategy. One of his strengths was in paring away distractions – as when he winnowed Apple’s product line down to a handful of products with just a few variations, a controversial decision at the time, but a remarkably winning strategy in the long run.”
Goleman also adds that another great example of having focus is a woman, perhaps you haven’t heard of…”Susan Butcher, is a champion! She is the woman who four times won the Iditarod race, a two-week competition with dog sleds over 1,100-plus miles of Arctic ice and snow. Her training regimen for herself and her dogs took prolonged focus throughout the entire year, and her personal focus during the race was extraordinary.”
In this day and age of technology, and our attention spans shrinking to 9 seconds…you need to take time to hold your vision and mission each day and hold the focus!
Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them. Jack Canfield
“The whole world is a very narrow bridge, the important thing is not to be afraid” …Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav.
This quote and song sung at prayer services in the Reform Judaism movement to me emphasizes life’s challenges and how important it is to keep our vision in view and to walk with faith in our hearts!
For the rest of this week’s article, I am going to do 2 things…one is have you create your own vision and mission…and the second is to share a few ideas to help you keep your Focus!
Let’s dive in and write your vision and mission statements!
Do this if you work, or have a business or just want to improve your family or social life!
Share your vision and mission with others, if they love it, they will be on board with what you are committed to being, doing, having!
To write a vision statement, you need to distill your vision into a usable form. Use the following formula to shape your vision statement:
Five years from now, (my company name) will have accomplished what big goal(s)?___________________ for whom and how will they benefit?_______________________.
Using this formula to write a vision statement will force you to choose what you consider to be the most important accomplishment of your business and give you a time frame to accomplish it.
Here is an example for you to use to help you write your vision statement…
“Within the next five years, The Women’s Center will have helped create a safer, more harmonious community by helping women acquire the education, skills and resources necessary to build self-sufficient prosperous lives.”
“Within the next five years, Metromanage.com will become a leading provider of management software to North American small businesses by providing customizable, user-friendly software scaled to small business needs.”
A vision is a strong force in anyone’s life, but a vision, is essential in business.
It is a target upon which a leader focuses their resources and energy.
The continual presence of a vision helps to motivate against forces of resistance; failure, emotional hardships (negative feedback) and physical hardships (issues in the company).
Now let’s write your Mission:
Your mission is more about the “here and now” of your life, work or business…it defines the present state or purpose of an organization
Answers three questions about why an organization exists:
WHAT does it do?
WHO does it do it for?
What is the outcome that your customer gets from you being in business?
An example of a a mission statement is…
“We sell fashionable, affordable women’s shoes…for women who love shoes and want to feel confident, beautiful and sexy in them”!
“Or we sell healthy nutritious food for those seeking a balanced diet and are need to watch their calories, sugar levels and yet still desire flavour, creativity and selection…our vegetarian cuisine gives our customers all of the pleasure of mouth watering eats, without the guilt”!
If you break down these mission statements it states, what you do, who you do it for and what the outcome is!
Take time to write you mission!
How can you hold the focus once you have your vision and mission?
Here are 6 actions you can take to keep your focus, goals and dreams alive!
- Put your vision and mission statements on cue cards and post them up in your home, the fridge, your car, or office, but look at them every day!
- Get into visualizing what it is you want every day…even for 10 minutes…you can do this in bed at night or in the morning, or on the transit ride into work or to a client’s meeting or even when you are having coffee at Starbucks or Timmies!
- Disconnect from all devices for an 2 hours a day! Especially at meal times, just be with yourself, friends or family and turn off all distractions!
- Set aside thinking and reflection time. “Good thinking. It’s the one thing all successful people have in common. People who achieve their dreams understand the critical relationship between their level of thinking and their level of progress – and know that when thinking is limited so is potential.”- Author, Leadership Expert-John C. Maxwell
- Meditate…beyond a little visualization, carve out 10-30 minutes to meditate and be still, quiet…go within for your answers…you might be surprised how the subconscious mind can work in your favour!
- Lastly, have an accountability partner, buddy or mastermind team that you can share your goals, vision and mission with and schedule weekly or monthly calls to ensure you are keeping on track.
I hope this article helps and that you realize how having a vision and mission are vital to your success…but having “Focus” to what it is you want is critical to “Ultimate Success”
I leave you with a video, that re-emphasizes this messaging…I like this message and video…it is short, sweet and bang on!
Make it a great week!
David is an author, business coach and facilitator, he works with the City of Toronto, heading up an entrepreneur training program with inner city youth and adults, he is also the former host/producer and creator of the Small Business Big Ideas Show, a radio show heard weekly for over 9 years. He has 2 books, one called Bust Out Ignite your inner entrepreneur and the other is called The Weekly 3- 3 rock solid ideas to business and life success!
David has taught thousands over the years in both the non-profit and for profit sectors and has coached hundreds of start-ups to make those important first steps. He specializes in teaching the 8 Keys to Success, How I got to Kiss the Stanley Cup and his new keynote called “A breakthrough-through the glass”- how to overcome the fear, plus he leads workshops in sales, marketing, market research, business plans, target marketing and customer service programs.