How to Crush Your Own Resistance
2 minutes to read
Cold weather has come to Germany. Temperatures often drop to the low 30s. The application of tissue after tissue to my runny nose has made it look like Rudolph’s. So while on a trip to Heidelberg last week with my redeployers, I decided to get some soft cotton handkerchiefs…
A Small Quest with Big Implications
Heidelberg has at least two claims to fame. One of the oldest universities in the world calls it home. And it has the Philosophenweg, the Philosophers’ Way. For four centuries, professors and students have climbed this path, contemplating life’s great questions. Spectacular views of the Nektar River punctuate the first twenty-five minutes walking up steep steps.
Another two hours of walking consumed all my tissues. But I figured it would be easy to find handkerchiefs. One of the redeployers was tagging along with me. He wanted Cuban cigars. So we visited a tobacconist first. His need for high-end smokes filled, we set out to find handkerchiefs.
Europe is more old-world than America. So we assumed every men’s store would have them. To be sure, we picked one with an upscale name. The clerk didn't know what we were talking about. My friend had one so he showed her what we wanted. She shrugged her shoulders.
The clerk in the next shop responded the same way. Then we went into a shop with a Canadian clerk. He spoke English. Nonetheless, he laughed when we told him what we wanted. It turns out European men no longer carry handkerchiefs. He suggested we try TK Maxx, the European version of TJ Maxx. More shrugs of incomprehension.
I was ready to give up and order them online. But my companion urged me on. To him, we had embarked on a quest. We couldn't stop until we’d met our goal.
You Cannot Transition Alone
We kept walking. Several blocks farther on we saw a department store. Sure enough, on the third floor, we found them, high quality and priced right. As I sit here writing, I wish I had remembered to put one in my pocket before leaving my room.
It’s easy to give up too early. You convince yourself that something isn't actually that important. In a perfect world, your self-discipline never falters. In reality, you’re human.
You can have clarity about your purpose and mission. Goals can align with your image for your life. And still, when the going gets tough, you can flounder.
In the hunt for handkerchiefs, a buddy will suffice. For your transition to civilian life, you need a crusader. The person needs to know you and your mission and goals. He should appreciate the struggle. Even better, he has been through it himself. When inner resolve wanes, this person can steel you to keep going.
Choose this person with care. He can be the impetus to stick to your goal for the few more steps necessary to reach success. She may be your spouse or a colleague who’s already reintegrated to civilian life. He may be a sibling or a coach. What counts is his commitment to see you through hard times.
Create your support element now.
Who can be the person who keeps you going when you falter?
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