Dave, I agree, I don't think you do understand what Matt was talking about (and not because you're from the Isle of Skye–I've been there, nice place, a bit off the beaten track for me though).
First off, Matt doesn't claim to be a a "fine art" photographer or any sort of professional photographer...his day job (if you don't know what he does) is to teach and write about Photoshop & Lightroom. He does use his photography in his books and lectures (as do I) but as far as I know, Matt isn't hanging his work in a gallery or selling it as a normal course of his work. He's much more of an amateur in the truest sense of the work...he loves photography.
His "mission statement" could be translated as his photographic goals for the coming year. You got anything against setting goals? Matt is trying to set a series of goals for his photography and he calls it a mission statement. So what? He's making a statement that his mission this year is to take beautiful pictures of beautiful places...those are his goals. Good for him.
If you don't understand the concept of trying to verbalize a set of goals to try to accomplish, and then working toward achieving those goals, I'm kinda wondering about how you go about deciding what to do with your life...
Matt's mission is to take an extra step when traveling, to find and shoot beautiful pictures of beautiful places...which beats the heck out of sitting in a hotel ordering room service and emptying the minibar and watching pay per view movies. Been there, done that, it's pretty boring...
Jeesh, I don't know what's in the air today. Somebody was jumping all over Alain Briot's series on Color Harmonies in Photography LuLa article and now Matt's taking crap for writing about his mission statement.
BTW, I watched most all of the video he linked and he and Scott made some good points (just a bit slow about getting them out though). There are indeed steps one can take to improve themselves in their photographic efforts. Matt only wrote about the one that means the most to himself. Ya gotta watch the video to see the others :~)
I am certainly not trying to lock horns with you on this subject or anyone else, please believe me. I am also not trying to rubbish or belittle what Matt is doing, I have great respect for Matt and used to follow Matt and Scott on PSTV for many years before giving up about 2 years ago for the same reasons as you mentioned, all I am saying is that I just do not understand the concept, it is an anathema to me. Okay, this might be a good methodology for Matt and others, but all I am trying to say, is that if you are truly passionate about your photography (which is perhaps what is now happening to Matt and this is simply his way of verbalising it), then everything else becomes secondary.
I don't need to verbalise ideas via a mission statement telling me that I should go out more and shoot more, because I am already driven enough to go out shooting every second I have available to me and this also happens to be how I decide what to do with my life - in other words, I do not have think or analyse what I should be doing as I am already doing it.
Yes Jeff I know you have been to Skye (I have just finished reading your 'Digital Negative' book which my good wife bought me for Christmas – which I highly recommend) which includes your stitched pano of Eilean Donan Castle, which is about 15 minutes from my house, beautiful isn't it? - you know next time you should call in to see us and we could take a few wee drams together and talk about photography and I'll also give you a tour of the island and show you all the best photographic locations
BTW, I am more than happy to admit I could be wrong on this, as this might indeed be a good methodology for some people, but for me it just does not compute, as I think it should be your passion for photography that is driving you and telling you what to do, not an itemised list.