"Everyone can brighten a room. Some when they enter it and others when they leave."

7 Life Hacks from My Son’s Boot Camp

Military boot camp is an amazing experience, both for the young person going through it, and for the recruit’s loved ones. My son will be graduating from Navy boot camp at Great Lakes, IL in just 3 weeks; and I can’t wait to be introduced to the young man he has become.

Letters from Boot Camp
US military boot camps have just 6 1/2 weeks to 12 weeks to turn dozens of individuals into a well honed machine. Every parent of a new soldier that I’ve talked with are amazed at the positive transformation that happens to their child in such a short span of time.

Even if you or a loved one is not entering the military, here are 7 life hacks you can learn from boot camp:

1. Immerse yourself

Change happens quickly when you are in complete immersion. Massive growth happens when you are laser focused and are pushed beyond what you thought you were capable of. Whether you are learning a new language, a new skill, or are expanding your business; immersion is key. 

2. Let go

You can’t get to where you want to go when you are hanging on to where you are currently at. Letting go of beliefs, people, and environments that keep you in neutral is a hard but essential process for growth.

3. Structure accelerates your growth

Most creative people will tell you that they hate structure, and that they need complete freedom. An artist who is not limited by the size of the canvas is not creating art, they are just flinging paint.

4. Positive and negative feedback are crucial for continued growth.

Drill sergeants scream and push a new recruit to become what they want to be, a well disciplined soldier.  Everything you do is not awesome, and you do not deserve an award for just showing up. Congratulations to NFL player, James Harrison, for returning his son’s “participation trophies” because they didn’t earn them!
Great coaches and mentors will pull greatness out of you like nothing else…even if it means kicking your ass every once in a while. 

5. Communication is crucial

The only communication that someone has with a new recruit at boot camp is via hand written letters. No email, social media, or inbound phone calls. Just letters. When is the last time you wrote a letter?
When my son was preparing for boot camp, the recruiter urged us to write him as frequently as possible, and to remind him that we can’t wait to watch him graduate (instead of telling him how much we missed him). This keeps his eye on his goal instead of his current circumstances.
It doesn’t matter if I feel like writing, or if I even had anything to say; I force myself to create something every day and send it. Anyone who has written a book will tell you that the easiest part of writing is deciding to write a book. The true work happens when you are disciplined to create something every day.

6. Challenges build lifelong bonds

People going through boot camp forge lifelong friendships. Perhaps your “boot camp” is a business, health, or relationship challenge; do not go through it alone. Reach out to those around you and embrace the relationship.

7. Everything has a season

My son is graduating from boot camp in 3 weeks. He will then be moving on to the next chapter of his career. Boot camp is tough, and it serves an important purpose.
You may be going through a tough season right now, or an awesome season. Everything and everyone goes through seasons. When you realize that life will throw you ups and downs, you are able to respond instead of just react to the crisis of the moment.
What have you gone through that has shaped your life?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 at 10:53 am and is filed under motivation . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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