The selflessness and the risk that young men and women go through every day when they enlist, to protect you, is something that is worth admiring.
As someone who has been a part of the United States Marine Corps, I know what we had to go through to ensure that we are the best at what we do. The best at protecting our country.
Other than the training I received necessary for my deployment, I also learned how precious life is and that I should enjoy every moment.
I won’t go into details about how you can disarm someone with three simple steps, however I will give you guys a list of the 10 kick ass life lessons the military taught me.
So let’s begin!
1. Learn The Basics
When someone enlists into the Marines, they undergo a 10-week basic training program. While people may think that young men and women learn everything they need to know about being a US Marine during the program, they are wrong.
The first 10 weeks are just an introduction to what kind of life you can expect.
You learn how to make your bed, you go through basic drills and you learn the importance of teamwork.
It is not until you are an official member of the United States Marine Corps that you will be sent to your first duty station where you will learn more and more.
Gentlemen, the same applies to your everyday life. Whenever you try to better your life in some way, you first need to learn and understand the basics.
It is only when you have mastered the basic knowledge, the 101s, that you can move on to bigger and better things.
I have met many men who thought they knew the basics or that they knew everything, but they haven't even mastered the basics!
Unless you understand and know the basics, you can never move on to the next step.
Always remember that.
2. Work Hard And Be Proud Of It
No matter what your position in a company is, you should always be proud of it. Especially if you worked hard for it.
During the graduation ceremony that I watched, all of the young men and women who were about to become Marines were asked a question by their Commanding Officer. They all answered proudly with one accord.
The young men and women, although the lowest rank in the Marines, all looked proud to be standing where they were because they knew how much hard work, effort and time they put in to get where they were.
That drive is what you should focus on as well. Put in the time, put in the effort and put in the work that is necessary to get to whatever position you want, but always be proud of where you are right now.
This has been one of the most helpful life lessons that the military taught me.
3. No “I” In Team
Every time there's a group of people involved, you need to realize that you need to work as a team.
What is good for the entire group will likely be good for you as well.
If you are just starting your journey to becoming a better person than you were the day before, don't think that you can achieve all of it by yourself.
There are people with more experience than you and who have been in the game for a longer time than you, so don't be afraid to ask for opinions or guidance.
The power of teamwork is a life lesson that the military taught me that has stood the test of time, and will continue to stand forever.
4. The Power Of Uniform
If you have been following us for some time, then you already know how much we stress the power of a uniform. For every man, it will be different depending on what message you are trying to send.
In the Marine Corps, we all had to wear uniforms. We were all in great shape and some of us had our uniforms altered to fit us perfectly.
For those of us whose uniforms had been altered, we were always looked at differently than those who were sloppy and didn't care about how their uniform was altered.
What we realized and they didn't is that the better you look in your uniform, the more trustworthy you are.
No matter the uniform you choose to wear, you should always make sure that it fits you properly and that it reflects who you are.
There's power in the way you dress gentlemen, so find that uniform and wear it proudly.
5. Details Matter
When you look at a general's uniform, you will notice the medals and ribbons on his chest.
These medals and ribbons each represent a different thing and they are put in the exact spot that they are meant to be put in. Each of them had to be earned in one way or another.
If in the military, you are spotted wearing medals that you did not earn then there could be serious consequences, from being kicked out, all the way to being put in jail for falsely presenting yourself.
In civilian life, the same can be applied. You always want to look at the details that you are wearing, that they are put in the right place and that they send the message that you want to send.
It doesn't matter whether it's a watch, a bracelet, a necklace or a pocket square, make sure to pay attention to the details and to use them as a tool to spread your message.
The same applies to your work. If you pay attention to the details that others don't, you will be remembered as a more effective worker who gives it his all to the company.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
In order to be as close to perfect as possible, you need to practice. This doesn't only include sports, but every aspect of your life.
If you choose to start dressing better, you can't expect to nail it overnight.
You need to practice putting on your clothes, wearing it the way that it is meant to be worn and looking at yourself in the mirror to see what you can improve on.
The key to perfection is practice.
If you decide to bring in a new accessory into your wardrobe, or a new piece of clothing, the best way to get used to it is to put it on at home and practice wearing it.
Walk around the house in it – see how it feels. Then walk to your nearest grocery store or run some errands.
Before you know it, you will wear it outside without thinking twice about it.
Practice is key, gentlemen, to mastering any skill and being more productive.
7. Follow The Dress Code
Another important thing that I always remind you of is the importance of following the dress code.
Obviously, in the military there is a strict dress code that must be followed at all times, otherwise, you put yourself at risk of being disciplined.
This rule has become a life lesson that the military taught me but I now use every single day to up my style.
In everyday life, you may be told that there is no dress code, but that is not the case.
You always need to look at what others are wearing and mimic the overall atmosphere regarding clothing. If you work in a grocery store, obviously you won't wear a suit, but you can always pick an accessory that will make you stand out from the others.
Make sure you remember that there is always a dress code and make sure you follow it.
8. Social Ranks
In the military, ranks are pretty clear. You have lieutenants, captains, majors and so on.
The lower ranks always salute the higher ranks when they pass by them.
In the civilian world, social ranks may not be so obvious, but they still exist.
How many times have you seen a man, dressed to the standards of success, get the extra benefits?
Understand that with the way you dress and the way you present yourself, people will make quick judgments about you and they will act accordingly.
9. Dress Appropriately
Following on from the previous point, you always need to dress appropriately for your social standing.
If you are a high ranking general in the military, you will always wear your stripes when you are in the base, so that the men and women that you pass by know who you are, even without personally knowing you.
If you forget to wear your stripes then those who don't know you will not know what your status is.
The same applies to everyday life. If you are a CEO of a multi-million dollar company, you need to dress the part.
People will not take you seriously if you don't present yourself in the way that you need to, especially in the business world.
The point here is that appearance and clothing matters and you need to take full advantage of that.
10. People Remember Your Character
One of the most important lessons that I learned in the military is that people will remember you for many things that you don't see as important.
For me, I was surprised when people remembered some events that made them have an opinion about who I am as a man – things I didn't even remember.
In today's world especially, people are more than ever being judged based on their character.
Our ability to handle life's challenges is a measure of our strength of character.
The importance of your character is a key life lesson that the military taught me which has gone on to impact all areas of my life, with amazing results!
So if you are a good guy, with good leadership skills who takes care of his team and genuinely cares about the well being of others, guess what, people will remember that and in a lot of cases that means more than the actual results.
However, we are not saying that you should ignore the results and be nice to everybody, but understand that the better you lead your team and the better person you are to each individual in your team, the more they will work in order to show you an appreciation for your leadership.
Summary: 10 Kick Ass Life Lessons The Military Taught Me
So let's review these awesome life lessons:
- Learn The Basics
- Work Hard And Be Proud Of It
- No “I” In The Team
- The Power Of Uniform
- Details Matter
- Practice Makes Perfect
- Follow The Dress Code
- Social Ranks
- Dress Appropriately
- People Remember Your Character
Now get out there, gentlemen, and show the world that you don't need to be a Marine to be an amazing man.
Learn from my time in the military, and be willing to stand up for what is right, be it protecting the country or protecting those you care about.