Around this time of year, high school students everywhere think about the next stage in their lives. College, being an intern or picking up a trade it can get pretty confusing.
It’s a big decision, and at the ripe age of eighteen, most of us didn’t know what we wanted to eat let alone what career paths we should take.
I fell into that category. With no idea what to do, the only thing that I wanted was to move onto bigger and better things.
That’s the day I decided to join the Army, but little did I know that decision would change my life forever.
Joining the military molded me into the man that I am today, and here are the lessons that I learned that have changed my life and helped me become a better entrepreneur.
There’s only a couple things that are certain and this world and its death and taxes; everything else is up for grabs.
In the military, you can multiply this by 10. Nothing will ever stay the same for long which can be good or bad. Either way, you have to make due with the situation and learn to become a professional chameleon.
Whether it’s moving to a new area, working with different cultures, or working guard late into the night, you have to be able to take it in stride.
Life is the same; you’re never guaranteed anything and the moment you start relaxing will be the time when you wish you hadn’t.
Being flexible is the only way you can make anything work in this changing world.
Dealing with hard situations is pretty standard when it comes to soldiers. Performing under pressure in extreme circumstances is what the military prides themselves on. There will be obstacles and things you cannot predict, so you must prepare yourself to deal with these situations daily.
Honing your mind to stay calm when you should panic is difficult but necessary. After being in foreign environments with no control over the constant variables at play a business transaction will seem like a cakewalk.
Doing more with less is the military’s bread and butter. Most of the time you will be undermanned and underequipped, but you must accomplish the mission. Failure is not an option.
Finding workarounds and solutions on the fly is the only way to make things happen in such conditions; so channeling your inner Bear Grylls is a must.
How to lead
Being a leader is not an easy job. Making the right decision in rough scenarios can make or break a team. So by making the conscious effort to look out for the team and your objective is critical to every move you make.
Most great leaders follow the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. By doing this, you build a rapport with your people and a real sense of comradery that will help propel you towards your goals. Now you can’t always get it right, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
Doing the Unavoidable
Problems pop up in life left and right, but walking away from the situation doesn’t make it disappear.
In the military, you will have issues, and the solutions aren’t always pretty. So being able to suck it up and deal with them head-on is the only way they will be resolved.
Applying this to your personal life will help you manage problems without procrastinating.
Expressing your thoughts in a clear, concise manner that’s easily digestible is key to effective communication. The military trains you to speak to different cultures in varying situations to make you an expert communicator and part time orator.
Speaking to large groups of people efficiently is an art that you will become will versed after a short period. This skill is applicable in many areas of life and will make your next presentation a breeze.
Stand Up for Yourself
Being able to stick up for yourself is essential in all aspects of life. There will be situations where you will face criticism but standing your ground and explaining your actions will help people understand your thought process.
People will respect you, and it will build your credibility as time goes on.
Nothing ever goes according to plan and being able to smile at the end of the day is what it’s all about.
There will be plenty of times in your life where things come crashing down but being able to pick yourself up is the only way you’ll be able to get through it.
Discipline is a lost art in today’s society. From over indulging to underperforming you see it everywhere you go. The military hones your skills by paying attention to details and doing the little things that matter.
I never thought that standing in formation and waking up at 6:30 in the morning would do much more than frustrate me, but it instilled control and self-restraint that I use every day to regulate my actions.
Without discipline, you’ll be hard pressed to accomplish any dream or reach any goals of significant value.
Everyone knows that you can’t do it on your own, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. Being able to work as a team and move towards a common goal is critical for any substantial achievement.
There are a lot of moving parts and working together efficiently is critical for success.
You must be able to put aside your differences and multiply your efforts by helping each other move in right direction, as you reach your objectives.
The military has taught me many things that I still use to this day. Applying these principles to your life can help you manage your problems and help you reach your goals. I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned along the way and pray for the men and women in uniform giving the ultimate sacrifice each and every day.