Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What are some military tips/tricks/hacks that are useful in civilian life? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
From my own experience and understanding of my father who was an Army Officer and my studies at a Military College, here is a list of some tips I have applied or observed to be very effective in many ordinary civil situations.
- Discipline in your life, as a person, father, husband, professional, will take you very far and to great places.
- Hardships and bad seniors or bad times are there not to demean you but to build your character. Those who quit whining about these ‘facts of life’ early survive and thrive better.
- Team work sometimes can overcome even the strangest and over-demanding jobs i.e. in situations you are not even fully-equipped or capable enough to handle the task. Invest your time, trust and heart into making and working in teams.
- Single mindedness is not such a bad thing, after all. With the world going insane with one after other viral campaign, new technologies, gadgets and Justin Bieber’s new song, it helps to have a focus in life in what you want to be, do and achieve and then put all your efforts in achieving that.
- Communication is the key for getting some jobs done, promotions, having a healthy and happy life at home and being at peace with yourself.
- Borrowing from ‘Man on Fire’ but not only true from Military’s perspective but equally true for almost every civilian: ‘There is no such thing as tough. There is trained and untrained.’ You would easily find this relatable and true in most sports. When a trained and untrained athlete are working at the same heart rate (beats per minute) the trained athlete will have a much higher cardiac output than an untrained one.
- Accept responsibility of the mistakes you made whether you are in a junior role or senior or equal like business partner or life partner. This will not only build your self-confidence contrary to what you may think otherwise but also help you make better decisions and choices.
- Take initiative (without losing sight of your own bigger goals and objectives. see 4) People who take initiative show great leadership qualities, exude positivity and their ‘can do‘ approach become inspiring for others to learn from them.
- ‘Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.’ Yes, military training and lifestyle teaches you that as well with well-rounded routines, activities, course-types and academic and combat skills (though some people would always contest this)
- Learn to plan well, of not just the things you know but also the unknowns (contingency plans, Plan B etc.) And with this, learn to distinguish between tactical and strategic approach towards life’s many situations. Once a good plan is in motion of acting upon, the reality on which it was based might just change because of externalities so be ready with alternatives, adaptability and flexibility.