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Deliberate Development

Professional Development for the Military Leader

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Career Success

Daily Deliberation: 26 January 2019

We are taught that there is an American Dream or the noble quest to pursue happiness. We spend our lives seeking this happiness and searching for our true purpose. What does it mean to be happy? I have discovered happiness in some of the worst places and in the toughest situations. I have discovered unhappiness in beautiful places and during once-in-a-lifetime moments. Happiness is not a destination or a trophy, it is how we choose to feel at any given time. We can’t control the things that happen to us, but we have complete control over how we respond.┬áIf you want a life of happiness, then choose to be happy.

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Daily Deliberation: 25 January 2019


When I was a kid practicing martial arts, we had a belief that the person we would be competing against was out there working harder. When I was ready to quit or not going 100% in practice, I’d picture the other guy doing more and that would fire me up. In life, we need to adopt the same philosophy. We need to grab a book instead of our phones and surfing social media. When we feel like giving up on a troop; give him just one more try. We might not like it now, but it is always worth it in the end.

Daily Deliberation: 23 January 2019

We truly are our own best and worst competitors. When we try to measure ourselves against those who are much better than we are, it feels impossible and we give up. When we measure ourselves against those we are much better than, we give the minimal effort needed to succeed. However, if we compete against ourselves, we have greatest chance for true growth.

Lead the MLK Way

Today, as a nation, we honor one of the greatest leaders who has ever lived. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for his unique message in dealing with the hate that surrounded him. Yet, he overcame it and taught a nation to look past the color of one’s skin and live together. We are still not perfect at looking past what is on the outside, but we are making strides in that direction. In fact, now we hate each other due to religious and political beliefs much more than appearances. It would be great to have another leader rise to teach tolerance and love as was exemplified by Dr. King.

Today also marks what would have been my mother’s 74th birthday. She was a great leader in my life who taught me to look past not just the color of one’s skin, but past the way others looked in general. When I told her I was being teased because I didn’t have name brand stuff, she taught me to improvise and make it my own. She helped me to see who I was on the inside and to look past my own exterior.

Now, I think our generation can take it even further. Most of us do not interact with racists or belittle others for what brands they wear. Those are things of the past. However, we are now dividing ourselves over ideals and belief systems. We need to look inside at who we are like my mother taught and look at the values of others as Dr. King taught us. Only once we truly understand our own perspectives through the eyes of another can we grow together. We need leaders who are willing to see themselves through a different lens if we are going to move forward as a nation.

Daily Deliberation: 18 January 2019

Ha! I think this a lot. We live in a world where multi-tasking is thought to be a good thing. All we are doing is multiple tasks poorly. Our focus and efforts are so diluted, we are not actually making any progress. Instead close some tabs and focus on the most important thing first. Give it your all and then move on.

Daily Deliberation: 16 January 2019

We typically instigate all sorts of trouble that could be left alone. When we really listen to others speak to us harshly, it is often them venting about a situation and not us as individuals. However, when we fire back at them they interpret that as the first shot. Basically, be sure your being fired at before returning fire.

Daily Deliberation: 14 January 2019

When I see this I first wonder if those who worked with Einstein would agree. Then I think about whether or not I am treating everyone in the same way. More importantly, how am I treating others? Am I adding value to their lives or subtracting it?

Daily Deliberation: 12 January 2019

I hate when I do this. I do my best to surround myself with smart and interesting people and then I look for ways to enter the conversation instead of just going along with the ride.

2019: The Year of the Naysayer

Haters, folks with forever condescending remarks, you know… the naysayers. You’ve seen em’, you’ve met em’, you may even be one of these folks. Recently, I had a pretty serious conversation with someone who reached out for assistance. And it got me thinking of past years. Dangerous I know.

” You can’t do that”, “That’s not possible”, “This job isn’t good for you”, “You don’t deserve this, you’re too junior”, “You’re not in touch, you’re too old”, “You don’t have enough experience”, “No”, “It won’t work”, ‘Step in line”, “Shut up and color”, “It’s never been done”, “It hasn’t worked yet, what makes you think you can fix it”, “You don’t have what it takes”, “You’re not strong enough”, “Sorry, you can’t”, “You won’t make a difference”, “No one cares that much” and my favorite: “You don’t have what it takes, you can’t do it”.

During my time as an adult, I’ve heard all of these. To others, to me and to those that I support. I have just this small piece of advice to give, and it’s not from me, but from someone I trust.

Make a game plan. Set goals. Always try, even if the odds are not in your favor if you believe in it. Achieve goals and be true to yourself. What has worked for others may not work for you. And expectations levied upon you sometimes comes from the experience others have… experienced. However, advice from a naysayer is limited from their own perspective and successes, and it’s just that, advice. Make your own success. Set a new bar. Create new standards and use negativity as fuel for achieving your vision. Don’t burn bridges. Network. Seek assistance from everyone. Share everything you know. Take calculated risks! Innovation doesn’t come from the repeat of scenarios. You have to introduce new ideas and different angles to see a different picture. Believe in yourself.

But you have to have goals. So make a plan. And be true to yourself no matter what. Success is a mindset, start thinking you’re a winner and the end result will surprise you. The Naysayers won’t know what hit em’. Good luck!

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