Mission Setting 2018 and Beyond


We’re well underway past the euphoria of the new year 2018.

That means you’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, goals and…are making healthy progress towards them.

Oh, wait, you’re not? Yes, you should feel bad if you haven’t made goals/resolutions or made any progress.


In fact, let’s be contrarian and do the opposite of the masses with the same-old resolutions (like ‘get in shape’, ‘be more positive’, or ‘get a girlfriend’).

Building a “Mission”

Instead, why not scare yourself a little and think up of an ongoing mission? Remember Star Trek? The mission was simple:

“To go where no one has gone before”. And this was an ongoing mission for the crew of the starship Enterprise:

Goals vs Missions

While having goals or resolutions can be beneficial, more harm can come from them if you fail to reach them or suck at making them. Besides, it can be a bore to make them. If you ‘google’ goals or resolutions, you’ll undoubtedly read tonnes of blog posts about making your goals “S.M.A.R.T.”

Maybe we can take ourselves 20,000 kilometers above by creating a mission for ourselves. It’s scary, exciting and best of all, it can be your guiding light that lasts you at least a few years.

Let’s say you’re an aspiring architect. You’ve travelled afar, seen cool buildings, stared in amazement at what has been erected. You think and dream: “Why not me?”

Or you’re in this funk of quiet desperation. You have a gig, or a job…yet inside yourself you are tearing up, thinking “is this it?!”

You need a mission. Unlike the ones you see on TV or the movies (think Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer or that Tomb Raider chick), your mission is long-lasting. It’s not capture-the-flag-and-you’re done. No, it’s something that should guide you in what you DO, day-in, month-in, and year-out.

So how do you start?

Ponder on these questions:

  1. What do you want? (E.g. money? Trophy spouse? Explore the world? Free time?)
  2. Who are YOU? (E.g. What are your strengths? Where do you go wrong? What habits do you want to adopt? How would your friends/colleagues/family describe you in 30 seconds?)
  3. What activities or accolades have you DREAMED about doing or achieving? (And what does mean – is it something you really want or is it something society-at-large says you should do)
  4. What are behaviors or goals that you “should” be doing? (Note – include items that typically do NOT reflect what you really want – e.g. “I should be married by now” or “I should strive to make partner at my firm”)
  5. From the list you created in 4), which ones make you cringe? Which ones light a fire under your butt?

You should aim to jot down 5 to 10 points for each of the above questions. Then, take a break. Do something else (like wash the dishes, watch TV, or whatever else). Come back to your answers later (even the next day).

Now, look for connections, recurring themes, revelations. From this, you can craft your own personal mission.

By way of example, here’s a simple ‘good vs bad’ for Socially Upward:

  • “To get 500 new readers to sociallyupward.com by April 30, 2018”.
    • COMMENT: Sure, this is a nice goal but it’s NOT a mission.
  • “To find new readers wherever I can and let them know how they too can live a socially upward lifestyle.”
    • COMMENT: This is decent and it’s a working draft of the mission statement for SociallyUpward.com

So now your turn:

Come up with your own mission. And feel free to write down your (draft) mission in the comments section below. We’re in this together!

Oh, and if you’re still hung up on New Year’s resolutions… the Asian Lunar New Year is coming up later in February!!

ToolKit to Keep you Socially Upward

sherlock holmes deduction toolkit
Be Like Sherlock Holmes and Deduce Your Way to Social Upward Greatness

You need a toolkit of sorts to keep you on track to socially upward greatness.

Some Context:

A contact reached out to me recently seeking some legal help to help her get some money back from a service provider. She was furious. She wanted justice. She felt ripped off. After a bit of email conversing to get her story, I laid out some of her options. More important, I let her know that she had to pay. I mean, good help isn’t free, right?

Her response…

Cricket chirps as a Tool Kit indicator

That led me to this toolkit of sorts – where you have to deduce other people’s actions and behaviour. Failing to do that, will drive you nuts. Why? Because you will waste time and energy when you could have recognized the warning signs upfront. Heed the warning signs, you save your valuable time and energy. Time and energy that you could use to build your socially upward life. 

Socially Upward Tool Kit – Indicators to Know About

1) Money

As the above story relates, money is a huge indicator. Are people willing to part with their money to do or back up what they SAY?

  • If you’re building a product or providing a service, have people shelled out cash for your product/service?
  • Where and how do people spend their money? Is it on booze, boobs and Netflix or is it on books and a gym membership?

2) Radio Silence

Oh, this indicator could also be called ‘crickets chirping’. What I am getting at is silence speaks volumes.

In fact as Ari Gold would say:

  • Ever texted a ‘love’ interest and got zero response? MOVE ON (don’t waste time going after someone who doesn’t want you!)
  • Do friends fail to get back to your invite? So be it. THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED. Have fun by yourself or find others.

3) Hypocrisy (aka Watch what people DO, not what they say)

People will never cease to shock me with their contradictions.

  • Going on a detox (e.g. no sugar, no salt) or a raw food diet…but SMOKE 3-4 cigarettes a day (Uh, I think smoking will take away any gains from a diet or detox
  • Talking a good game about how important their career is but bitch and moan about work-life balance or how the ‘patriarchy’ keeps you down instead of, you know, DOING THE WORK to advance!

So from this point about “Hypocrisy”, don’t take people’s words at face value. Obvious as that sounds, I am sure you have fallen for people’s sweet talk.


A) Think back to your recent dealings and experiences. Reflect on how “Money”, “Radio Silence” and “Hypocrisy” have factored in. Find the a-ha moment.

B) Don’t beat yourself up if you got fooled. Use the three indicators as your toolkit to reading people and avoiding needless wasted time and effort.

Got a story to share? Let us know in the comments section below!

From Socially Awkward to Socially UPWARD