A Veteran’s Everyone’s Journey
As we navigate the waves of life, the concept of “transition” often becomes the focal point, especially for veterans. Whether it’s a shift from combat boots to loafers or from the regimented world of the military to the competitive environment of the corporate sector, the notion of change looms large. Yet, what we sometimes overlook is that the very fabric of life is woven from threads of impermanence.
In light of this, it’s worth recalling the wisdom of Socrates, who asserted that a “life worth living” is grounded not in ephemeral experiences, but in eternal virtues like Goodness. Living a good life isn’t just a philosophical exercise; it’s an act of introspection and conscious decision-making.
The Power of Self-Examination
Organizations like The Commit Foundation are pioneering this ethos, especially for veterans. They’re not just looking at how to help you get from Point A to Point B in your career; they’re encouraging you to delve into the core of who you are. It’s not about what you’re doing but how you’re doing it. Your military service instilled certain qualities and approaches in you—determination, integrity, teamwork. It’s not about shedding these virtues; it’s about adapting them to fit your new context.
The Band of Excellence: A Holistic View
So, what’s the ideal end-state? It’s not the fleeting joy of the moment or the next rung on the corporate ladder. What we’re really seeking is what could be referred to as the “band of excellence”—a sphere of life where we can find a balance that allows for peace, happiness, and growth. This band encompasses our personal, professional, and spiritual dimensions. Each one of these has its own rhythm, its own ups and downs, but the key is to keep them harmonized within this broader band of excellence.
When you focus on transitory aspects—say, a job title or a bank account balance—you’re setting yourself up for a rollercoaster of highs and lows. By instead concentrating on actions, self-reflection, and long-term responses to the things that really matter, you can stabilize your life within this band of excellence.
The Universality of Transience
This isn’t a principle exclusive to veterans; it’s a universal truth. Life, by its very nature, is ever-changing—the one sure thing about it. Each of us has our unique vision of what a “good life” looks like. It’s essential that we keep examining this vision and aligning our actions accordingly to stay within our band of excellence.
In a world that is always in flux, the wisdom of Socrates and the tools of self-examination can anchor us. It’s not about drastic changes or wholesale transformations; it’s about adapting and tweaking, about seeing how the qualities that served you well in one chapter of your life can also enrich the next. Ultimately, it’s about understanding that living the “good life” is a journey of constant adaptation within a consistent and peaceful band of excellence.
So, don’t get bogged down by the transitory nature of things; focus on the enduring virtues and the adaptive qualities that can keep you in that serene band. In doing so, not only will you navigate transitions more smoothly, but you’ll also make the whole journey—through every twist and turn—that much more fulfilling.
J.C. served in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer for 20 years, primarily in special operations and special missions units with more than 11 combat tours. Since retiring from the military, JC has brought his innovative and unconventional thoughts on education, leadership and resiliency into the private sector, consulting with Fortune 500 companies, the NFL, NBA, NCAA and professional sports teams including the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Hornets.
He holds a Masters Degree from the Naval War College and was a Senior Fellow in the Service Chief’s Fellowship at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
He has earned 3 Bronze Stars, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, a Joint Commendation Medal, and the Order of Saint Maurice. He is a Liberty Fellow, a part of The Aspen Institute and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.