I hope you have been able to enjoy the fall weather. This weekend I did just that as I walked outdoors. I was reminded of my first Navy football game after moving to Annapolis, MD. I sat next to a Freshman Navy Cadet and a Navy Veteran was seated behind me. What a gift that turned out to be.Here are some of the key takeaways that guide me still today.
Know Your Why
- The Navy Vet leaned over and asked the Cadet what made you join the Navy? To which the Cadet replied: to be of service, to protect my country, to protect my family, and to make a difference.
Build a Community and Your Confidence
- The Vet smiled, and he said great, that higher sense of purpose will serve you well, and help you push through anything that gets in your way and keep you focused on your goal.
- The Cadet said, once you made the decision to join, how did you know you could do it?
- The Vet smiled and said, I didn't, I trusted that those around me would help me find all that I needed within me, for me to be highly successful in the Navy.
Handling Fear and Taking Action
- Others can see things in you that perhaps you can't see yet. And as the Vet put it, his community was there to support, nurture, poke, and kick me in the backside, to get me into action, to show me that I could actually do what I was there to do.
- The Cadet asked, how did you move through your moments of fear and doubt?
- The Vet responded, in the Navy, you work strategically, and you work hard, and you practice. You do drill after drill after drill after drill, so that when you were in that moment, and you had to be an action, it was in your muscles. It was a reflex.
- He said, you simply have to take the first step. Not taking action wasn't an option for us, people were depending on us, we had to show up and do it, even when we didn't know we could.
- Feel the fear and do it anyway – for it is in taking the step you will find deeper resources within yourself than you knew existed.
As we are closing in on the end of 2023 how might the wisdom of this Navy Veteran be of value to you as you evaluate this past year and plan out what you want next?