People Like Us Do Things Like This

by EMILY ORTON

September is a month for momentum.  Kids are going back to school or returning to more structured homeschool days. Families are shifting their routines. It’s the perfect month for re-evaluating the way things are and focusing on how you want them to be.

 We enjoyed structured school days in Hawaii--prepping for our upcoming travels through Europe

We enjoyed structured school days in Hawaii--prepping for our upcoming travels through Europe

One way we’ve done that is by crafting personal and family mission statements.  You can make it as detailed or simple as you like. You can use words or graphics as suits your preferences.  

My personal statement is about a page and a half.  It’s kind of tedious and too long for me to remember, which means it’s hard to live by. It’s a good starting point, but I need to rewrite it.

Our family mission statement is more memorable.  We formatted it like David Letterman’s Top Ten list.  It’s called, Top 10 Reasons to be an Orton.  Each item on the list is something Ortons do—or strive to do.  It is the foundation for our family culture.  If there is one thing our family has in spades it’s culture—not the ballet and opera kind—the This-Is-Who-We-Are kind.

People like us do things like this.

 Our family culture is  -face first -trial & error -figure it out 

Our family culture is  -face first -trial & error -figure it out 

Seth Godin is one of my personal heroes.  He’s known as the “godfather of modern marketing.”  Seth boils branding or culture down to its essence:  “People like us do things like this.” The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves shape what people think of us—and more importantly—what we think of ourselves. Let’s tell stories we want to be true.

If you don’t have one—a mission statement, a story, or a culture—I dare you to make one this month. Don’t stress.  You can always revise it later.  If you want to share, we’d love to see them.  The Fezywig blog doesn’t take comments, but we love hearing from those of you who email us:  hello@fezywig.com

I’ll go first.

Top 10 Reasons to Be an Orton—Ortons:

10.  Discover solutions

  9. Laugh a lot

 8.  Take care of their bodies

 7.  Create and enjoy beauty

 6.  Give generously

 5.  Encourage others

 4.  Engage in adventures

 3.  Explore the world

 2.  Make and keep friends

 1.  Keep the faith

 It doesn't have to be fancy - just write it down

It doesn't have to be fancy - just write it down

We should probably update the list to reflect the gratitude we feel in and through everything.  When we do, I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, this is working for us.  People like us do things like this because we decided to and we wrote it down.

One more thing.  Ortons make music and we play this original song from our daughter, Karina, every September.  

If you think this post would encourage someone, please consider sharing.