Are you a dad who’s ever been “in over your head?” How long has it been since you misjudged someone and their intentions? Both of these problems can be avoided by having a clear understanding of your situation.
Welcome to the first strategy in my new series 5 Soldier Tested Strategies for Success. Today I’ll share the foundational first strategy: SITUATION. Soldiers and leaders must clearly define their situation before any other strategies can be implemented. Keep reading to see how this first strategy sets you up for success.
Defining situation requires answering a few basic questions and establishing what is already known. First, define your core principles and priorities. Priorities are the manifestation of core principles.
What is most important? Defining priorities provides focus and an ideal for which to strive. Any decision, large or small, should be filtered through a priority list. For most of us, our priorities com from our experiences and our faith. We have our priorities, but often find it difficult to live up to them. If a decision doesn’t jive with our principles and priorities, we have a disconnect in our life.
Just as a rifleman aims for a target, principles and priorities are a target for our character. The ARMY Values list Soldiers’ priorities and principles. We use the acronym LDRSHIP to guide our actions. These ideals provide direction and focus when determining future actions in differing situations.
Below are examples of how I list my principles and priorities to drive decision making:
- God/Truth – Understanding the meaning of life and self-development.
- Order/Discipline – Planning my life and living up to the standards I set.
- Health/Wellness – I will be of no use to others if I am not well mentally and physically, .
- Marriage – My wife is second only to my faith and personal development. This relationship is vital for the remaining priorities.
- Kids/Parenting – My kids are the future. I have a responsibility to raise kind, loving, empathetic, and principled people.
- Financial Security – I must provide economically for my family.
- Passions/Career – Pursue what drives and motivates me. Hobbies and work.
- Family & Friends – Support the people I care about.
Some days I come close to hitting a bulls-eye. Other days I’m off track. I’m sure most people have experienced the same thing. The point is simple: continually refine your shot so you can get closer each day. Set a goal to BE 1% BETTER EACH DAY. It is completely achievable. Before you can make 1% progress, set your sights on the target and develop a clear understanding of the situations you will encounter.
ACTION ITEM: Write Your Priorities Down Right Now.
- Brainstorm what is most important in your life.
- Define WHY each item matters.
- Prioritize by listing priorities in order from highest to lowest importance.
- Make the conscious decision to filter your actions through this list.
Click here is SITUATION PART 2 where I define the basic questions that help create a broader picture of your situation.