Are You Drilling the One Fundamental for Success?
2 minutes to read
When you joined the military you didn’t have all the skills you needed for success. You may have had to learn to march, fire a rifle on target, or build stamina. Whatever the challenge, you drilled it. Sooner or later you had a breakthrough. You adjusted to military life, advanced in rank, and achieved success. Civilian life works the same way.
Same Process Different Mission
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Since the military clearly defines its mission, you knew exactly what you had to do. And your drill instructor gave you consistent feedback so you could improve. Every service branch embodies the three fundamentals for achieving success:
- Deliberate Practice
Two weeks ago you read about the importance of purpose. Your service branch indoctrinated your purpose. It made you a soldier, Marine, sailor, airman, or coastguardsman. What good would all the drilling have done without a coherent idea of the kind of warfighter your service branch needed? It may not have seemed so at the time. But basic training implanted purpose in your life.
To transition to civilian life, you need to adjust or redefine your purpose.
Once you know who you’ll be, you can tackle what you want to accomplish. Like with purpose, you need to swap your military mission for one in civilian life.
All the work you do reintegrating into civilian life will be worthless until you know what to drill. You can’t break through a barrier if you don’t know where to head.
Break Through in Small Steps
Once you know what you want, you can determine which skills you lack for getting it. If you’re changing fields, you may need a degree or certificate. But you never had to job-hunt in the military. So you need some of the job-hunting and life navigation abilities civilians learn naturally. Once you identify which ones, you can drill them to reach mastery.
Every civilian who gained exceptional success used a process called deliberate practice. It has five elements:
- Designed to improve a small aspect of performance.
- Repeated at high volume.
- Constantly engaged mentally while practicing.
- Stretched beyond enjoyment.
- Consistently received corrective feedback.
They look identical to the military, don’t they? Apply them the way your drill instructors did during basic training.
Let’s say you don’t feel confident during a meeting to discuss a job. Use deliberate practice to master this skill. Begin by breaking it down into small pieces:
- Addressing the receptionist on arrival.
- Meeting the hiring manager.
- The first 30 to 120 seconds.
- Responding to the five most common questions.
- Asking relevant questions that show your professional expertise and interest.
And so on…
Work with a more experienced fellow veteran, a mentor, or a coach. Drill deliberate practice until you can perform with confidence. Now you have the formula to break through to the life you want.
How can you apply deliberate practice to improve your transition?
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