Special Operations development is a different process for everyone. Every applicant and candidate that I have ever evaluated has needed development in different ways. Some candidates are initial failures only to be eventual successes. What is the difference between those that walk away with a PAST failure, and those that fail only to later succeed? I believe it is their ability to be adaptive. They capture successes and failures of their peers through observation and self-reflection. They continually self-evaluate, minimizing their faults while maintaining humility, and the upmost awareness.
I expect to see this New Year spark a change in lifestyle, behavior, goals and mindset of most everyone around me. New Year’s has that effect on people, December 31stthey tell themselves how much they want something, and they work towards it for a few short weeks or months. The numbers published by Forbes in 2018 say that, 40% of Americans make resolutions; with less than 8% actualizing those resolutions. Special Operations applicants and New Year’s resolutioners fall into similar categories, they want something. Many of our applicants have never heard of Air Force Special Operations until after they have begun the process of entering the Air Force. This brief exposure sparked a want, and like New Year’s if they don’t gain momentum, or feel progress many will lose their will. Many will walk away and move on without ever having reached their goal/resolution.
I’m here to tell you that wanting isn’t enough, don’t become a resolution candidate. Instead of telling yourself how much you want something, tell yourself that you must do something. I didn’t want to take my dog for a walk in the Portland rain this morning, I had plenty of excuses I could rely on. Instead I got soaked in 34-degree windy rainy weather, because I must walk my dog and he doesn’t care about my excuses. As your developer, I am the dog, I don’t care about your excuses; I just want results. The only way an applicant will be able to provide the results is to just do the work, no matter what the excuse. I hear applicants tell me all the time “I wantto pass the PAST”. The less common proclamation is that “I mustpass the PAST”. The difference between these two statements is that the first one identifies the PAST as the end goal. The second statement identifies the PAST as a hurdle to a much larger ambition.
Is this going to be the “New Year, New You”? Why not instead let it be a different day, same goals type mentality? Continually find ways to improve one’s self mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. All those that read this posting have areas of their life that need improvement. I know this because no one is perfect, everyone has room for growth. Attack your weaknesses until they look like successes. Exceeding the standard will always be the standard. The lifestyle of an Operator is predicated on personal discipline. A disciplined routine will lead to success and eliminate potential failures. The more we can resist distractions the more successes we will cultivate. What are your distractions? What limits your success? Where do you invest your time? More often than not candidates tell me they want to save lives and help people. So, ask yourself, what did you do today to save a life?
“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.” - Seneca