This post has taken nearly 4,000 miles to write. I started writing in my office, then wrote more sitting at Heathrow airport, having packed my things and said my goodbyes. Finally I finished writing at 30,000 feet above sea level, then posted this when I arrived in New York. Quite a journey for one post.

I’ll be blogging my progress at Web 2.0 Expo on the Chinwag blog as I follow the Digital Mission around New York (find the events on upcoming and photos on flickr). The digital mission has great sponsors in UK Trade and InvestmentSun Startup Essentials andWinston and Straw, enabling the Chinwag team to pull together an impressive agenda for the companies involved. There will be lots to learn.

Mission is an interesting topic, often misunderstood. Organizations have missions (see Vision, Mission and Purpose from a few months back), and people can have missions too. Mission is about achieving something, creating change (getting a message out is a means to an end).

Linking the US and the UK has been part of my mission for nearly 15 years, as I hopped backwards and forwards over the Atlantic. I love working across different countries and markets, exploring the cultures. That practice has given me the opportunity to discover many things, both about myself and the countries.

Between the mission and thinking about social media best practice recently, I have been mulling the combination of the two in my head. Someone read me a definition of ‘practice’ from a children’s dictionary, it went something like this:

“Practice is doing things, rather that thinking about them or standing around talking about them.”

Very poignant. There is an amazing propulsion that comes from combining a solid mission, with diligent practice. Mission focusses effort. Practice helps use get better. Either one, without the other, leads to a dissipation. There is little point having a vision and mission if you don’t get out and do something about it. On the other hand, heading out and doing random things doesn’t give a narrow enough focus to get better at doing a few key things, by repeating them. As exciting as doing something new everyday is, it does give much scope for excellence.

I’m off to practice…