“Exhaust yourself in the mission.” – Steve Gleason
As a retired USAF member, this quote speaks my language and fires me up. I stand on this statement as an absolute fact – Military members understand the concept of “the mission” better than any other organization in the world, because the men and women of the United States Armed Forces VOLUNTEER to serve their countries and die – for the sake of the mission. They pull “all-nighters,” travel to foreign lands, and spend years away from their families, among other hardships. I personally spent 25% of my career away from my wife and children to complete various missions. These services members know what 24/7/365 means. They know how to exhaust themselves to fulfill the mission and they live it out.
Steve Gleason played in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints for 8 years. He was diagnosed with ALS but didn’t let it stop him off the field creating “Team Gleason”. Steve believes it is his mission to show that ALS patients can not only live but thrive after this diagnosis. His mantra is “No White Flags.” He is not giving up on his mission to inspire ALS patients to fully live their lives and to find a cure. Watch his documentary, Gleason and A Football Life – Steve Gleason by NFL Films. He is going all out to raise awareness. I love Steve’s passion to live life on his terms not the “terms” of ALS. He is exhausting himself to fulfill his mission.
What I learned from Steve is the importance of having a flaming hot desire born from a definite purpose. What is your deepest desire? What is the one thing you were put on this planet for at this time in history? What is your purpose? See, when you have a purpose, I believe it helps with:
Energy – When you know what your mission is, you are energized to accomplish it. There is a reason for getting out of bed each day. Some people are so energized they skip meals and lose all track of time because they are in their sweet spot. When you have purpose, you are not looking at the clock to “Yabba Dabba Doo” it out the door yelling “Freedom” like Braveheart at 5:00 P.M because it’s the “time” on your hiring file you are supposed to leave. No! You are in the zone devoting your best to see the mission fulfilled.
Focused Effort – A mission also helps you focus your efforts. In an age where nearly everyone has some form of attention deficits, a mission helps focus your attention on the things necessary for mission accomplishment. Your calendar will become filled with tasks, meetings and actions revolving around your mission instead miscellaneous activities that don’t add value to you or worse – waste your time.
Since it’s your mission, you are invested in it. You will take what I call the WRING IT OUT mentality towards fulfilling your mission. The acronym WRING is my daily rule of five things I do to fulfill my purpose. It’s about getting every ounce of sweat, blood and tears from myself, aiming toward completing my mission of transforming lives. I will give my best effort, like a runner who is crawling across the finish line exhausted from giving it all but determined to finish, to achieve my mission.
Steve Gleason is living this out, exhausting himself for his mission. Now it’s your turn.