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Mission for the Ordinary Man or Woman

“You need a mission in order to fulfill your Life Purpose. If you don’t have a mission to accomplish, your Life Purpose lies dormant.”
— from the book, Keep Your Eyes On The Prizehttp//eyes-prize.com


Absolutely. I think people sometimes have trouble finding a mission. Of course there are those that do have extraordinary missions, and we could name quite a few without thinking. However, what about mission for the ordinary man or woman?

Sometimes it is enough to let the mission find us. What presents itself now as something, that with enough passion and effort, could become a mission focus? I remember when I gave up (temporarily, but still 12 long years) my career as a training specialist in order to take care of my son who was ill. It felt like the bottom had dropped out of my exciting world and landed me in a pit of toilet scrubbing and laundry as the highlight. I knew I had done the right thing for my son, but I needed more to stay ‘alive’ inside. Before I decided to go into ‘explore my talents’ mode, which ultimately led me through many art forms, creative writing and finally dressmaking and design to the launch of a small business, I was faced with only housework. I had a big old Victorian house, so plenty of that to occupy my days.

So if this is what is… can it be a mission?

I found the best and most highly paid private cleaner in the area, and she came for an interview. I recruited and selected her. Then I explained. “I’m not going to pay you to clean my house,” I said. “I’m going to pay you to teach ME to clean it professionally.” And she did. My mission was clear… I would become the most efficient, fastest house cleaner that even exceeded her standards. And I did. It was a fun time, even to the point of still paying her to take me on her other jobs with her and working as a team.

Purpose of this exercise?

To live with purpose… to never let life be humdrum or mediocre. To this day, if I press a shirt, I set the timer to beat my record.

In the end of course, after about 6 months, I needed to explore and expand my little world of cleaning and childcare. Over the twelve years away from my absolute passion – my career – I discovered many things about myself. I learned many new skills and even found I had a talent for painting full size wall murals for children, which then became in high demand locally. I also became a couture designer and dressmaker of wedding gowns. Who knew, that my ‘pit’ would become a mission for creating a ‘fairy’ wonderland for women for the most important day of their lives?

Whatever is in front of us today… can be the starting point of living with purpose and passion and allowing a mission to present itself. The real mission for me of course, was to devote myself to my son for all those years. But that was not going to be a bag of chips, soap operas the sofa and a box of toys in the corner kind of deal… no way… no sir. Where would be the mission in that?


Today my mission is coaching, mentoring, training and organizational development for nonprofits. Gosh what I would have missed about both myself and others if I had not lived for mission at all times, through all circumstances. My life has been so rich with experience.

So this one quote, from the book “Keep your eyes on the Prize“, although I’ve written too much as usual in my excitement… this one post would have me jumping up and saying, “TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY!” Never let a minute of life slip by without living it with passion and purpose and run with that mission, no matter how small as if it might be the last one you are given.

THAT is living!


By Deborah Schonfeld

Deborah Schonfeld is currently the Director of Training & Development for the Indiana Department of Revenue. During her 30 year career specializing in leadership training, personal and organizational development, Deborah has trained a diverse audience, from company executives to at risk youth mentoring, working in both the UK and the US.

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