I travel around the country speaking about Quantum Wealth — that is wealth that is created within you at the very core of your being that then radiates out in to the world and manifests itself all around you. And a question that I asked myself most of my adult life and one that I now get asked at least once a week is, “What causes some people to live an extraordinary life, a life on their terms, and the vast majority of people to live, at best, a mediocre life?”
While I have to say there are many things that contribute to success, there is one underlying factor that is the initial and ultimate cause of anyone’s success — however they define success — and being able to live a life on his or her own terms.
While MVP to most means “most valuable person or player,” I also use MVP in a different way. I use it as an acronym for Mission, Vision, & Purpose. Every successful person I have had the privilege to meet and/or work with — and I have had the good fortune to work for and with many — have a Mission, a Vision, and a Purpose for their life. Even if they are not aware of it — without exception!
First of all, let’s clearly define the difference between all three, as many people use them interchangeably, but they are all distinctly different.
Mission: For many people their only experience of a mission statement is a plaque in their office or reception area that no one can remember! That is not a real mission statement.
A real mission statement is a living, breathing part of your everyday life. It can be your life legacy, or the legacy you want your business to leave behind. Your mission is about how you want to leave the world a better place, how you want to positively impact the lives of others.
Vision: Athletes cannot perform any physical feat without first seeing themselves accomplishing it — they must see it first. Many people say, “I will believe it when I see it.” The truth is, you will see it when you believe it. Â The mind cannot tell the difference between something vividly imagined and the real thing!
Mark Twain once said, “I have had some terrible experiences in my life, some of which actually happened!” Everything on the face of the earth began as an image in the mind of someone. Everything begins with the end in mind.
Purpose: We all seek a meaning to our life. Purpose gives our life meaning. We have seen people who live their life to retire. Then when they retire, their life has no meaning and they die! Purpose gives us life!
That is why the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren is one of the bestselling books of all time! Our purpose is to serve others. The question is how? That is the mission. What it looks like is the vision. The purpose is the why? Why is this important to you and others? How will this positively impact your life and the lives of others? This must involve you and others. It’s not about money — money is a result, not a cause.
When I created my MVP, I knew it would involve my speaking. I love to speak and share the wisdom I have been privileged to be exposed to.
For a long time no one particularly wanted to listen! I wasn’t making any money. My father was concerned. He would tell me to go and find a job that I could make some money at. This went on for years. I would say, “I don’t want to do anything else Dad. I don’t care about the money, and if one day I do make money, then this will all be a part of the story.” He would say, “It’s going to be a long story!”
He was of course being a good father who had my best interests at heart. I just knew I had to follow my own heart; I had to follow my passion, and now I get to tell the story.
My hope is that your story is not as long as mine before you reap the rewards of following your passion. My hope is that you will take a small amount of time and create your very own MVP.
Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to; all they need is one reason why they can.
- Willis Whitney
If for a moment you think of your life like a train journey. Let’s say your train at this moment is in the station. You are looking to get your train out of the station and moving toward your destination. What is your destination? What is your destiny?
Is it freedom? The freedom to do what you love to do, spend more time with the people you love, and be able to give back to those less fortunate? I have met hundreds of thousands of people, and what I have found is that for the vast majority this is what it comes down to.
The track for your train is your POA — your plan of action. The renowned Zig Ziglar once said, “People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan!” While even the best-laid plans always seem to change, they give us a launching pad and a direction. The plan may change, but without a sense of direction, it is very difficult to get anywhere!
What part of the train journey takes the most effort and energy? Getting out of the station, right? Now think about this: If the train had to use the same amount of energy that it takes to get it out of the station for the entire journey, what would happen?
The train would run out of fuel. The train cannot carry enough fuel to run at such high intensity. You cannot work your way to freedom; you will burn out. Ever had that experience? You must use the same principle the train uses. As it moves down the track after getting out of the station, the train begins to build something — what is it? That’s right: momentum.
You must do the same thing. How do you create momentum? You share your MVP with others who are going to want to help you create your MVP. Why? Because they either see that they can contribute and/or it is a way for them to accomplish their own MVP. Your MVP will become your MO, modus operandi, and more than that, it will become another form of MO, your magnificent obsession.
It will get you up early and to bed late; it will awaken your soul, your spirit; time will almost cease to exist; you will feel alive in ways you have never felt before.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Phil Knight, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs all had an MVP, and they all lived or are living a life that most of us would say caused them to be most valuable people or players in life, would you agree?
Walt Disney has always been one of my heroes. He not only wanted to create the happiest place on earth at Disneyland and Disney World, he wanted that happiness to expand out into our communities and across the world. “It’s a small world after all,” isn’t it?
The story goes that Walt went to 308 banks before he found a bank that was willing to loan him the money to turn those orange groves in Anaheim into Disneyland.
Imagine trying to convince a bank manager to lend you the money to build a theme park around a mouse! How many would you have gone to before giving up? 10? 20? 50?
What drove him to 308 banks? Don’t say his car! No, it was his MVP, wasn’t it? He could see it so clearly in his mind, it was not a question of if; it was only a question of when.
By the time they opened Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Walt had passed away. It was Roy Disney who was there at the opening ceremony. At one point a reporter shouted out to Roy, “Hey Roy, it’s a bittersweet day today, isn’t it? I mean here we are opening Disney World, and Walt isn’t here to see it.” Roy Disney looked out at the reporter and said: “Walt saw it. That is why you are seeing it here today!”
It was Walt’s MVP. There are still things in Walt’s MVP that Disney has yet to create. Walt Disney’s MVP has positively impacted millions of people from all over the world and will continue to do so for generations to come.
Now if Walt Disney can create a theme park around a mouse, do you think that perhaps it may be possible for you to live your own MVP life? I believe it is. So I challenge you to create your own MVP: Mission, Vision, Purpose. Live an MVP life, and be an MVP, a most valuable person to the world!
Take a few minutes tonight to sit quietly and ask yourself, “Why am I here? What is my mission in this life?” See it in your imagination, see the vision in rich, vivid detail, and ask yourself, “Why is this important to me and to others?” Have fun with this. Your MVP will change and grow and take on a life force of it own and will become your magnificent obsession!