Attitude Determines Quality Of Life

June 28, 2009 § Leave a comment

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Last night I returned from my 5-day military in-camp reserve training. It has been a good three years since I’ve finished my mandatory 2.5 years of service in the army, and reserve training rekindled many old friendships and new lessons. Many of these friends were now in their final year of college, or have already stepped into new jobs.

Being a noncommissioned officer in the Battalion Headquarters Intelligence branch gives me a unique point of view from which to pick up lessons of life. I haven’t had much time to have a concise think-through as immediate duties during the 5 days, so this is a great chance for me to reflect.

Throughout our 5 days of congested weapons, fitness and battle-plan training, commanders faced a lack of supplies and transport options. This combined with the fact that many of us being rusty, three years since we left the army, made matters difficult. Troopers waited for hours for transport. Equipment waiting for transport didn’t arrive, and had to be hand-carried back to camp. In these trying circumstances, the noncommissioned officer’s role is to solve given problems with his or her expertise.

An interesting circumstance in the Battalion Headquarters I have observed, is that us noncommissioned officers have the tendency to “slack off”- because they no longer lead riflemen and are instead specialists in specific roles, they forget their credo and training as a noncommissioned officer. I myself am guilty sometimes, giving in to the easy way out.

Bunks often in disarray, blankets unfolded, dusty floors, the odd empty soda can on the chair. I can only imagine that the soldier whose living quarters are maintained like that has his or her own room or office space just like that.

Some fared badly at basic physical proficiency tests too. Possibly an indicator of one’s attitude towards health and fitness.

Probably the most appalling is that sometimes noncommissioned officers expect the heaven and earth to be moved for them to solve problems they are facing, and some even complain about them. Im wondering if they view their challenges at work and life the same. They might have forgotten how and why were given their chevrons.

Though we are no longer active soldiers, and reserve-battalion training is simply a duty we fulfill to the country every year, the way we work through the 1-2 weeks of reservist training speaks volumes about one’s attitude toward life.

Its been said that “how you do anything is how you do everything.”

We are all creatures of habit, and there are two paths in life that we can take. The first is taken by those who wish to passionately enjoy their journeys in life, have a vision of what is possible and who they want to become, which keeps them focused and busy. The second is path is taken up by the “sleepwalkers” of life. Life looks the same to them forwards and backwards. Often blaming external circumstances for situations they are unhappy with, life seems nothing more than a hamster wheel, and some even prefer it that way.

It is important to note that both sets of people have actually made a conscious choice to be where they are. The people of the first group strive to become better everyday, to do more, and to have an impact on the world and others. They want to achieve something grand even if it means getting roughed up and knocked about in their journey.

It doesn’t matter if you want to be the best rifleman, a good sister or brother, an excellent office executive, CEO or a Commanding Officer. What really matters is how you do what you do. Because “how you do everything” is exactly how your life will turn out.

I think this lesson I learned is especially poignant, being a twentysomething, this is the point of my life where habits are formed, and habits matter.


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