Develop a mission-focused mindset

Houston, we have a solution

Success is a product of many things, not least of which are preparation and action. How you envision a goal has tremendous bearing on how you approach it—and, ultimately, whether you achieve it in the capacity you set out to. That, in a nutshell, is the message of the book You are a Badass by Jen Sincero: a text I read late last year that resonated deeply with me. 

I’ll be the first to admit that, while I’m an action-oriented person, I tend to act with caution rather than unbridled intention. Often, I find myself changing course or deviating from the task at hand while I try to account for some erratic and ultimately uncontrollable variable. It’s an idea I’ve spent a lot of time ruminating on since I read Sincero’s book. That introspection has begun manifesting itself in the form of more purposeful, intentioned actions.

This piece is my interpretation of lessons learned from You are a Badass: my understanding of how a mission-focused approach begets better results—be it stronger business partnerships or clarity in day-to-day tasks.

Generating a liftoff sequence

For those who haven’t read the book (I recommend it), here’s the CliffsNotes version. 

Inherently, humans are really good at dreaming big… but pretty terrible at realizing lofty goals or a greater mission. We dream of walking on the moon, but don’t sign up for astronaut training. Often, it’s because we lack a mission-focused mindset. We can clearly see the many opportunities for failure, whereas success remains foggy and out-of-focus. 

You are a Badass offers actionable tips for overcoming the roadblocks that prevent us from achieving. There’s a baker’s half-dozen of them:

If you’re great at coming up with ideas but never seem to actualize those thoughts, you’re likely your own worst enemy—be it negative self-talk, insecurities, overconfidence, or an inability to see the liftoff from the launchpad. To achieve ignition, you need a plan. And, more importantly, you need to adopt and maintain a mission-focused mindset that empowers your efforts.  

Mission-critical thinking

What, exactly, is a mission-focused mindset? According to Jen Sincero, it’s what happens when you “stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.” That is to say, it’s what you get when you take the time to distill an idea, envision the path to fruition, and stay committed to realizing it. 

NASA was founded in July 1958, to explore beyond the limits of Earth’s atmosphere. Almost exactly 11 years later, the United States landed Apollo 11 on the moon—an incredible feat. Today, NASA continues to expand our understanding of the universe, often planning missions so complex and far into the future that the technology to achieve them doesn’t even exist yet! It’s a testament to mission-critical thinking: to chart the course to a goal that, at present, isn’t even tangible.  

This line of thinking isn’t reserved for astronauts and rocket scientists. NASA’s penchant for achievement is a mindset anyone can adopt, and it’s one I’ve learned to embrace since reading You are a Badass. 

For example, I’ve found tremendous value in approaching potential partnerships with a visualization of how I plan to deliver results. Staying mission-focused keeps those negative thoughts away, illuminates positive opportunities, and maximizes the potential of those opportunities. 

The same goes for facing client-specific challenges. It’s so easy to get lost in space trying to get every perspective—when in reality, you need to have the confidence to approach a new challenge, envision success, and stay focused. Plan. Act. Do. All, in service of the goals you envision and always with confidence. 

One small (purposeful) step

For me, a lot of the appeal of You are a Badass stems from how it’s written. Simple. Straightforward. Relatable. It bridges the gap between a NASA control room and everything that’s happening in your brain when a great new idea manifests. 

There are days I wonder how many great ideas I’ve shelved over the years due to lack of forethought, follow-through, or sureness. What great moonshot concepts would’ve achieved liftoff if I only approached them like a badass? There’s probably a fair few. But, on the same token, I’ve got more confidence than ever when it comes to manifesting my next idea—and the one after that, to infinity (and beyond). 

For most people, You are a Badass is a text meant to help them accumulate wealth by doing—and that’s great. As someone who’s already prone to “doing,” it was a call to action to pay more attention to tendencies I have and how they manifest the outcomes I want to see. It’s helping me to ensure that every little step I take in pursuit of success equates to one giant leap for JXM: our team and our partners. 

Want to get in my orbit and talk more about how to realize your organization’s lofty goals? Reach out to JXM and let’s start charting the course.