7 Habits CoveyGuy Kawasaki is a heretic. He doesn't believe in the sacred cow of the productivity movement, the all-important mission statement. I think he's onto something.

In the late 1980s, right after I read the brand new, soon-to-be bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,I set out to create a personal mission statement. After much labor and analysis, I completed an utter work of motivational art. I typeset it, printed it out, kept it in my day planner, and reviewed it weekly. It was brilliant and inspiring — but I can't begin to tell you what it said.

A few years later, when we read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, we tried to craft a family mission statement. We gathered the family together to talk about the future and the kind of family culture we wanted to create. It didn't go so well. It was a bit of a struggle to get a seven-year-old, a four-year-old, and a one-year-old on board with:

Our challenge is to proactively and synergistically foster an empowering growth environment that nurtures each individual to attain his or her emerging potential by exploring paradigms — internally and externally — that elevate and compliment while encouraging growth and excellence in all areas of focus and influence.

Sometimes the mission statement is just a big wad of overkill. So here's what Guy and I suggest:

Resist the urge to get engulfed in overwrought corporate culture. Instead, create a personal mantra! Find just a handful of words that packs a powerful punch for you and gets you off to a running start. I'll share mine in the next couple of days. Today, you share yours!

What's your mantra? How did you find it? How does it help you in creating an amazing life?