The Lessons I Learnt in the Army

lessons learnt

The lessons I learnt over my 7 year career in the Army and the Army reserves and how this can apply to you in your everyday life!

The lessons are:
• Priorities and move
• Keep going until you are told to stop
• Train hard, fight easy
• You are on time if you are early, you are late if you are on time.
• Move with a sense of urgency
• The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Let me elaborate on each of this lessons!

• Priorities and move- In the army, you always had something to do. From cleaning and servicing weapons. To ensuring your personal kit was squared away. Because of this, you needed to priorites the most important task first.
Often you would find yourself overthinking and getting caught up in what to do first!
It was imperative that you priorities each task and get to work. Otherwise you wouldn’t leave at 1600 hours (Army slang for 4pm)

I see this in people’s lives today. They have endless amounts of jobs to do but they get so caught up in which is the best one to start with, they end up doing nothing!
Often referred to as “Analysis Paralysis” you get stuck procrastinating on everything.
You must Priorities and move OR you will lose your most precious resource TIME!

• Keep going until you are told to stop- This is a mindset that was drilled into me as a young soldier. That you must keep going until you are told to stop. The reasoning behind it was, you never know when the situation may change and how that will affect you.
I often refer to the time I was pack marching with A Squadron in 2013. It was a simple 5 kilometer march with 30 kilogram packs.
However once we reached the 5km mark, we were told to continue! This broke all of our spirits. We only did another 200 meters before turning around. The officer in charge had done this to instill in us the mindset of Keep going until you are told to stop.

How often do you see this in your everyday life? Maybe you need to stay late to complete a project. How will you response to this? Will it break your spirit as you assumed you would be finished at 5pm?
Adopt this mindset and see how it will dramatically improve your outlook on life!

• Train hard, fight easy- This one was drilled into me daily as well. Through all the physical training (PT) we did.
Running in file (lines of 3 men across) down to the oval and performing countless heaves, push ups and squats. Then having to run all the way back after a grueling session!
All of this was to promote the idea of train hard here and the fight will be easy!

When I run sessions now, I keep this in the back of my mind and aim to make the training hard. So the fight (life) will be easier for my trainees!

• You’re on time if you’re early, your late if you’re on time- One thing that was stressed most while I was in the army was timings. If you had to be somewhere at 0600 hours. You better be there at 0550 hours! Otherwise there would be hell to pain.
I have carried this across to my everyday life and often arrive 20 to 30 minutes early to appointments and events.
Now being a Coach and working on timings so much I dislike nothing more than people being late! Mainly because it punishes the people who have done the right thing and turned up early.

So I always recommend being early, because you can never get in trouble for being too early but you can if you are late…!

• Move with a sense of urgency- Along with my dislike for late people, I also loath another… The slow walker! They are the bane of my existence. Always just around the corner waiting to slow me down!
Move damn it, I have places to be!

It was instilled into us as soldiers to move with a sense of urgency, EVERYWHERE. Often being yelled at if we were seen to be going to slow. Luckily I was already someone who walked fast. I aim to pass this habit on to team members I coach now, so they don’t cop the same heat I did as a young soldier!

• The standard you walk past is the standard you accept- Simply put, if you walk past something and do nothing, you accept that level as standard.
This goes to your desk at work to the office breakroom. If you are unhappy with that standard, you need to ensure it is upheld.
Ensuring that everyone know that there is a standard and this is what it is.

I was shown this through the standard the weapons need to be kept in. Spending hours upon hours, cleaning and re-cleaning weapons until they passed the microscope vision of the inspecting officer. Always able to find a speck of dirt in the smallest of cracks! Meaning I must again return until to clean until it had reach the standard required!

I hope this has been insightful and helped you look at your own health, fitness and general lifestyle with a new set of eyes.
As luck would have it, you don’t have an angry middle aged man yelling at your if your desk isn’t squared away, however, you can take pride in it yourself and lift your standards.
This will have a flow on effect to both your work and home lives. As well as everyone else feeling the pressure to lift their standards to yours!

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