Whether we realize it or not, most of us are on a quest to find meaning. We begin to realize it as we get older. The things we care about begin to change. We no longer care to be in the middle of everything that goes on. We no longer care about the latest and greatest. We just want depth. We want substance. We want things with meaning and things that matter. And we want to experience those things with other people.[Read more…] about How to Find Meaning in a Digital World
In the military, a mission is a smaller subset of a larger overall purpose. While the purpose in Iraq may have been to overthrow Saddam, defeat the Iraqi army, and rid individual areas of insurgents so that a democratic government could be instituted and thrive, that plan was carried out via thousands of coordinated missions. So, in the process of finding our next mission, we must be ever mindful of the larger purpose, calling, or vision for our lives, so that we can ensure that each particular mission contributes to that purpose. Don’t get hung up on particular terminology here, just understand the difference between the overarching plan/goal/vision/purpose/mission and the smaller missions that are used to achieve the larger one. For ease of use, I’m going to refer to the overarching plan/goal/vision/mission as one’s “purpose” and the smaller ones as the “mission”. But these aren’t gospel, so feel free to think of them in your own way. [Read more…] about Identifying Your Next Mission, Part I: Bringing Back Physicality
One of the hardest things for military members in the transition to civilian life is a loss of mission. For years, they’ve had a clear purpose in life and, from day to day, were given missions to accomplish where their role was specified and valuable. They often spent days, weeks, and months training for their missions. They knew what they had to do, spent hours training themselves to do it perfectly, then went out with their teams and executed the mission. Sometimes missions changed mid-stream, some turned out to be less than they were expected to be, some were much more, some were accomplished, some were not, some involved tremendous courage and skill, some involved failure and an opportunity to learn, some were great victories, some were tragic. But through it all, the men knew their place and their role, and having a mission gave them a great sense of security and purpose. It gave meaning to their lives. [Read more…] about Your Next Mission
Almost nothing changes a man’s life like becoming a father. Not marriage. Not a new job. Not individual achievements and accomplishments. All of those things impact us and change our lives, but they don’t compare to becoming a father. Until that moment, our lives are centered on pursuing our own interests. But then we meet that little one: that little boy that we’d always dreamed of having or that little girl that instantly melts our heart. In that moment, men walk through a door from which we can never return. Our hearts have been captured, never to be the same again.
As a result, our focus in life changes. Our previous goals and interests suddenly become smaller, less important. Life now becomes about caring for and supporting that child that owns our heart. It’s both beautiful and dangerous. [Read more…] about The Best Fathers
There is but one certainty in life and it’s that we will die. The life that we live on this earth is a story that has a beginning and an end. Absent committing suicide, we have no more control over when the end comes than when the beginning came. There’s an interesting little exchange in The Dark Knight where the Joker taunts a police chief about killing his officers:
“You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?” [Read more…] about On Death: How to Remove Death’s Sting