“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.” ~W. Clement Stone
I love it when I encounter a quote that has stood the test of time. We have a fascination with celebrity in our era that makes us look with distain upon anything that is “so last season”. What will the Kardasians do next? Will that scamp Justin Beiber grow a goatee? Can he? Who cares?
W. Clement Stone (from our quote above) was an icon who was inspired by another icon, Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill was himself inspired by yet other icons, men like Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie. Hill arguably wrote the greatest self-help book of the modern age (Think and Grow Rich) and Stone created a $100 million insurance empire out of a hundred bucks. There is nothing seasonal or temporary here. Something else is going on.
No One Dreams about Insurance
I don’t know about you but I can’t imagine anything less sexy than insurance. Yet Stone experienced such a passion about it that he changed the face of business. You may not realize it but he lived right into the 21st century, passing away after achieving 100 years of age. His devotion to a mission played no small part in giving him a reason for living.
Anyone who has ever made a big splash had something bigger than themselves in mind. They intended for more than just to be rich or respected or famous. There comes a point when making the next dollar just isn’t compelling anymore. Why become a billionaire when millionaires get by just fine? Why put up with the headaches of running your own business when you could just punch someone else’s clock? Why indeed.
The Power Behind What Drives You
Why is a very powerful question. If you really get down to your why, you will find the source of your strength. If you ask why often enough and go deep enough, you will discover what really moves you. When you can clarify and codify that discovery, you have a mission.
A mission that is truly your own is different than a mission inspired by others. Stone didn’t want to write books because he loved Napoleon Hill’s book. (Although he did go on to write a few books, even coauthoring with Hill.) Rather, he wanted to take it in a new direction. Hill had the same experience: he didn’t start an automobile company or create a string of steel mills as a result of his interviews with exceptional industrialists, he spun a journalism career into becoming a famous author and speaker.
The Missions that Will Define This Century
In past ages, defining missions brought the Word to those who needed it, they founded new countries with new forms of government, and they put a man on the moon. But this century I believe the most active and attractive force with be life-sustaining entrepreneurship.
Business in general and small business in particular has a new power to change the world. Businesses that didn’t exist 20 years ago are now the largest companies in the world. Companies with less than ten employees are often household names these days. It means that you yourself can have access to making an impact in a way that was not possible as recently as a few decades ago. We have spiraled up to a new plane of existence and we must live into it.
It Turns Out the Meek Do Inherit the Earth After All
Mission is not about egotism. In fact, humility is required to give yourself over to something greater than yourself. But in so doing you afford yourself the opportunity to be far greater than was otherwise possible. Your mission allows you to be its creator. Then you set it free to take on a life of its own. You can walk with it all the way or you can watch it grow beyond you. The choice is yours.
Stone and Hill are gone. So are Carnegie and Ford. But their impact on our world remains. Their achievements remain in our consciousness. It was mission that gave life to their dreams.
So figure out your dream by asking “Why?” Add your passion and drive. Apply the laws of physics, economics and human nature to your energized dream until it comes into reality. When you do, you will have a mission. That mission might change the world. But one thing is for sure, that mission will change you.
You know how many small business owners have lots of ambitions but can’t seem to get clear enough to make them real? Kenneth Vogt teaches them how to transform their ambitions into a big mission and then into reality at VeraClaritas.com.