Nearly every military movie has a leader yell “charge” at the decisive point of a major battle. The “charge” is usually the determining factor of who will leave the battlefield victorious and who will meet their maker.
The charge involves the risk of advancing into the unknown. Leaders go down in history as a hero or a failure based on the success of this charge.
Do you look at life as a major battle? Every day I analyze my personal battles and ask myself, “will I take charge of my life or will I let it be controlled by others? Will I control my circumstances or let them control me?” Charging ahead in battle is what Soldiers are trained to do. Every personal battle is no different no matter how small.
Everyone faces times of uncertainty, and these times can be terrifying. However, experience continually shows these times to be life’s moments of opportunity.
Upon graduation from college, I was looking for my first teaching position. I had no idea where I would be living or moving my family. But, being open to change and charging ahead offered more learning and personal development opportunities than I thought possible. I met some of my greatest friends and faced some of the most difficult challenges. The charge had transformed and molded my character.
Despite my excitement about new opportunities when I enlisted in the National Guard, I had serious doubts about whether I was strong enough to become an American Soldier. Was I physically strong enough? Did I possess the mental toughness? Is Officer School just too much?
My Officer School Class Motto is, “Strong Through The Forge!” This motto helps me remember that we are forged by the decisions we make and how we react to different situations. It helps me continue the charge to overcome obstacles and drive forward under difficult circumstances. By embracing uncertainty and charging into the unknown, I have taken areas I once saw weaknesses and transformed them into strengths.
By charging beyond my comfort zone, I opened myself to new opportunities that would have otherwise remained hidden. One of my favorite quotes comes from Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee nation. She related the following insight in a 2010 interview: “The cow runs away from the storm while the buffalo charges directly toward it — and gets through it quicker. Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment. I become the buffalo.”
Stated simply, I’ve learned to “Be The Buffalo” and charge ahead into the storm. Life is unpredictable, but by embracing uncertainty and facing the unknown head-on we can open up new worlds of experience that will forever change our course and our destiny.
[reminder]How has a “CHARGE” changed your life?[/reminder]