life in military skills and lessons learned
There is no end of learning to achieve career goals. Learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military can be useful for a person at any age

Learning Lessons, Skills and Competencies from Life in Military

(Last Updated On: April 27, 2019)

is a way of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

There is no end of learning to achieve career goals. Learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military can be useful for a person at any age. or time. The core point to consider is the intention. It is true, with strong will power, any person can learn life lessons from the army. No doubt, lessons learned from military service can change one’s life. This article is going to talk about learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military, and how to achieve them all.

1. Managing Chaos

Contradictions are common part of a professional as well as personal life. Where there is no chaos, there is no innovation. In fact, creativity and innovation breed out of chaos and problem. We can’t ignore existence of chaos. It is told, contradictions are good in the team when it’s used positively. A good idea comes through a lot of chaos and disagreement among the team.

Managing chaos effectively and efficiently bring professional success. We can’t live in chaos, it breaks down peace and harmony of life- says life lessons from the army. A successful team bonding breaks up due to chaotic approaches. It is a million dollar success to deal with chaos successfully, lessons learned from military service.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”- Albert Einstein

Not every person causes chaos. You will find very few who lead a chaotic environment. Some others just stay in the streamline, the rest disagrees upon the issue, or shows indifference. But, resolving a chaos permanently is a great achievement life in a military leader. By resolving a chaos, organizational growth can be ensured, according to life lessons from the army.

How to handle chaos

  • Stay neutral
  • Be positive
  • Listen
  • Identify root cause
  • Take time
  • Talk less
  • Find out common interests
  • Have patience
  • Don’t take personally
  • Visualize end results

2. Mission-Driven

Mission is a long term set goal that drives a person to the end results. Setting achievable mission and reaching it is a trait of successful person. Achieving mission signifies determination and focus to objective. There should be self motivated drive to achieve anyone’s mission successfully.

Driver is the ingredient, trigger, power or catalyst that stimulate a person achieving something. People with mission driven is resilient and committed. It is a kind of self motivation that inspires a person to have a meaning of life- lessons learned from military service.

“Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground”- Theodore Roosevelt

It is a sign for the winner. A mission driven personality reach to his destination anyhow, as per the life lessons from the army. A person like this is a great inspiration for others. As a leader he sets examples to others. He is far better than a doer than 10/20 average level people. He fights barriers. A person like this is very logical to it’s every action to achieve a target.

How to be mission driven

  • Set your mission
  • Be self motivated
  • Celebrate success
  • Stay focused
  • Visualize big picture
  • Be positive
  • Don’t be distracted
  • Give a pause
  • Sleep and eat
  • Stop procrastination
  • Set priority
  • Learn to say no
  • Don’t indulge multitasking

3. Limited Resources

Most of the people can perform task when you give give them adequate or more than enough resources they require on way of accomplishing a any goal. It is much easier to anyone. There is no actual credit on caliber or leadership of a person when he finishes his assignment amidst a resourceful environment.

The credit goes to them who can do a job under pressure, and obviously from the desert of resources. Lack of resources indicates various things, like, lack of money, market share, man power, logistics, or even training and time. A real leader is he who reaches his goal despite of scarcity of resources as much as a person may need on an average. Life in military explains that.

“Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up” – Thomas Alva Edison

Finishing mission with limited resources is a way of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military. By doing a task with as limited resources as you can deploy, you save resources of your office, business or personal life. When you are a doer with frugal utilities, you will grow your value among your network. Use less logistics, less manpower, or less money, here lies your difference and exclusiveness with others.

However, don’t try to be so much frugal that actually ends with nothing and you have to start afresh, causing much wastage of resources.

How to work with limited resources

  • Stay focused
  • Capitalize strengths
  • Develop productivity
  • Don’t experiment
  • Segment your tasks
  • Improvise
  • Set perfect action plan
  • Make schedule
  • Don’t be distracted
  • Don’t rush
  • Think twice before action
  • Know your limitation

4. Multi-Tasking

Time and resources are limited. If you want to do more work in a limited time, you have to undergo multitasking. Since you do multi tasks on a stipulated time, you can accomplish more works in number, or volume than others. And when it’s your regular practice, you can be a successful executor.

It is true, multitasking hampers creativity, time and focus, it has many benefits too. Researchers found that multitasking may reduce productivity by up to 40% varying from person to person. Some exclusive leaders can perform well while multitasking, its the lessons learned from military service. Few people can manage their brains to redirect to several tasks at a time.

“If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be” – Maya Angelou

However, in case a person is profoundly proficient at several tasks, it is likely to quickly transfer attention among the tasks and accomplish the tasks efficiently. Managing multi tasking is a way of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

How to manage multitasking

  • Meditate
  • Set priority
  • Focus on the most important task
  • Do tasks alternatively
  • Delegate
  • Make a checklist
  • Pay attention
  • Practice time management
  • Sleep, take some rest
  • Avoid distractions
  • Make it a habit
  • Breakdown tasks
  • Expense more time
  • Keep task lists at visible place

5. Perform under pressure

A real leader is a performer who can accomplish his job under pressure. It is really hard to perform well under pressure, but, some people can minimize impact of pressure upon his performance. There will have one or more constraints which may be beyond your control and interrupt job, it is one of life lessons from the army.

The constraints that a person recover in life in military might be- disagreement among team members, insufficient resources, time constraints, difficulty of task, inadequate knowledge needed to finish the task, sudden changes, tight deadlines, demands from boss, employee performance issues, or unforeseen problems, etc.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” -William James

Because stress can’t be avoided, it’s obvious to learn how to find outcome and deal with it in a healthy and productive method. Performing under stress is a way of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

How to perform the best under pressure

  • Focus on key point
  • Meditate
  • Be serious
  • Try Eisenhower Model
  • Accept mistakes
  • Seek support
  • Smile
  • Improve continuously
  • Enjoy work
  • Focus on present
  • Break your tasks down
  • Set priority
  • Stay positive
  • Be active
  • Take breadth
  • Identify crunch time
  • Change perspective
  • Search pattern from past
  • Take pressure to grow up
  • Be ready for unexpected
  • Keep a routine

6. Managing Risks

Risk is a part of professional and personal life. We take many risks throughout life intentionally or unintentionally. Risk is a step that is taken to achieve specific objective that has a 50/50 chances to success. Taking risk is a vital thing in any personal or professional life.

Not all persons are equal in risk taking. Risk taking is a personal trait, a gut that enables a person to think about of box. Risk always takes place out of comfort zone. Wisely taking risk is a significant step to one’s growth, its lessons learned from military service. Risk takers are desperate in their endeavors, set well thought action plan and achieve these.

When you are a poised risk taker, you like to embrace challenges. And do whatever you need to achieve. A risk taker is quite different that those who loves to stay in the comfort zone. He has the self motivation, courage and drive to influence others and control the situation. He makes his way as he needs, or, adjust with the situation to maximize his output in a adverse situation.

“If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten” – Tony Robbins

A risk taker can manage situations. He knows difference between risk and rash. He also understands, all rash, unplanned, and impossible decisions are not well thought risk, as they are aware of outcome achieved and resources used. Managing risks is a way of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

Related: Enhance emotional intelligence skills in workplace

How to take a well thought risk

  • Visualize outcome
  • Calculate resources
  • Test feasibility
  • Keep your backup plan
  • Be positive
  • Absorb stress
  • Chalk down action plan
  • Write down options
  • Stay focused
  • Seek help from team

7. Thick Skin

People having a thick skin can actually control their emotions and sensitivities in such a way so that they can absorb any situation positively. The term thick skin, however, refers to metaphor, means being endurable, flexible and accommodating with any situation.

When you are sensitive, you are likely to vulnerable to any adverse situation in your personal and professional life. Having thick skin is a learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military. Your emotions trigger to quit your mission in the midway in case you face any harsh situation. Having a thick skin is good in that sense, that allows you to bear rude attitude or hostility from anyone or anything.

“When you go in search of honey, you must expect to be stung by bees”- Joseph Joubert

Think, during the sales, a client rudely behaved with you. He hurt you personally. What will you do? Will you take your revenge by fighting back? Or, will you take revenge by winning your purpose, ignoring any personal attack? Persons with thick skin and having resilience are more successful to deal with difficult customers, compared to any other- lessons learned from military service.

How to develop a thick skin in office

  • Don’t take personally
  • Give pause
  • Listen more, speak less
  • Smile
  • Enhance tolerance
  • Learn to absorb
  • Meditate
  • Visualize outcomes
  • Say sorry & thank you
  • Be polite and humble
  • Don’t talk loudly
  • Be silent
  • Divert your mind

8. Build a Tribe

A leader is not a leader when he doesn’t have followers. It is not necessary to lead a team always, but it is necessary to be an influential team member. To be an efficient team member, need to be a contributor. Be helpful to your team members. Create your value on the team.

You need to sacrifice yourself with your supportive thoughts, and actions. Your business team should be committed to each other. When you will have a tribe, your strengths will be multiplied. Your tribe will come up with creative, innovative ways to maximize your brand image. They keep you in marketing.

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you” – Jim Rohn

It is not necessary all the time that your tribe to be your team members. Your tribe will be promoting you. There is a simple proverb, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips”. Your tribes take steps in networking you with their influential circle.

How to find your tribe

  • Be likable
  • Develop networking
  • Contribute to tribes
  • Celebrate success
  • Give credit
  • Be positive
  • Set your standard
  • Practice your set culture
  • Create bonding
  • Listen
  • Communicate

9. Contribute

Contribution is the visible and positive return a person does for others, mostly voluntarily, inspired by self motivation, or internal force. A person who contributes to others, is likable to all. Contribution enhances confidence, mental peace and credibility. It gives more mental strengths to do more. Contribution is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

There are many ways to contribute. As a professional, first of all, you have to have your passion towards your job. When you tie up passion and work, your contribution will be found great. You can be a good team player who holds the team bonding. Do multitasking to multiply your contribution.

“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional” – Walter Disney

Show your dedication, loyalty, self motivation and determination to the organization. Meeting deadline by working under pressure in need is a proven contribution.

There are many such examples in case of business and personal life as well. Overall, it is a good feeling to help others. People will feel good about you. Moreover, when you contribute to others, they will replicate it to help others in need too. It is a reciprocal process.

Ways to contribute more effectively

  • Visualize the end results
  • Do more than expectation
  • Understand your clear roles
  • Start from peanut
  • Be Collaborative
  • Give credit
  • Be the first
  • Communicate
  • Do what you say
  • Be generous
  • Use less resources
  • Donate

10. Learning other cultures

Continuous learning is a way of development. Some people learn faster, whereas the other learn comparatively later. There are many things in personal and corporate lives that are necessary to learn, but those are most ill-fated who never learn. The most valuable part to learning is the willingness.

“You will never know the moon or stars, unless you breathe in their solar system and inspect it from many diverse vantage points as possible.”
– Shannon L. Alder

Learning other cultures has many benefits. Culture encompass social norms, behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, languages, arts, drama, music, foods, faith, religion, rituals, customs and values of societies.

Rules and norms in different cultures are different. In way of personal and professional life, we come across different people from different cultures, environment and societies. Grasping other cultures is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

Therefore, it is important to know about different affairs that varies from culture to culture. When you are able to deal with people from different cultures, you actually obtain your objectives successfully.
You will have command and superiority over all. For example, knowing a second language will give you great benefits to deal with people from that language.

How to learn other cultures

  • Be curious
  • Find your passion
  • Be knowledgeable
  • Mix with people
  • Exchange and share
  • Grow up networking
  • Travel
  • Watch movies
  • Read novel
  • Know historical chronology

11. Adaptation to changes

Change is a natural phenomenon in life. There is continuous change everywhere. Some changes take place sooner, some gradually. A person with military mentality always be prepared for the imminent and unpredictable changes. Adaptation to changes means to comply with my change, accept it as it comes.

The first thing is to accept changes. Some people are reluctant to accept any change. On the contrary, some people are flexible to changes. They welcome it. These people with military mentality overcome fear of losing position and rigidness to break tradition.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
– Leo Tolstoy

Accepting change is not bad at all. In fact, all development, progress and innovation have disrupted through the changes time to time.

Preparedness for change drives a person to enhance knowledge, skills and competency so that she can keep pace with the change. Adaptation to change is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

How to adapt changes

  • Show willingness
  • Be a part of change
  • Show flexibility
  • Be positive
  • Learn new things
  • Adjust with new role
  • Take responsibility
  • Grow confidence
  • Learn quickly
  • Have patience

12. survivability

In the military term, survivability is the resilience. This is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military. It means, the ability or capacity of anything that complete its goal on a estimated time frame. Survivability is the courage enables a person to withstand dangers, threats, darkness, attacks, disasters and collapse.

Survivability is so magnanimous a term, that encompass the existence and vitality of a person. It covers someone’s biological life from the root to other relevant areas, like, social, professional and spiritual life, among others.

“Close some doors today. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere”- Paulo Coelho

Survivability is the endurance and flexibility you demonstrate to adjust with your surroundings. Environment will not be appeared as always. Sometimes you will confront failure, disasters, dangers or depression. Stand still against them, wherever it comes, in personal or professional lives. When you will be able to live today, you can fight tomorrow. Love yourself.

How to survive office politics

  • Be positive
  • Take risks cautiously
  • Don’t challenge a super power
  • Avoid gossiping
  • Build network
  • Be a fighter
  • Help others
  • Know company culture
  • Take opportunities
  • Grow your stamina
  • Listen and observe
  • Handle conflicts diplomatically
  • Develop self reliance
  • Do self promotion
  • Keep relationship with all
  • Focus your goal

13. Freedom

Freedom is the sovereignty of soul, body and life that stimulate a person to do anything rational, legal and ethical that she likes to do. This is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

Independence is the spirit of mind that gives anyone courage to do anything reasonable without barriers or objections from others. It is the believe in your mind, that makes you reasonable and logical in your, every thought, intention and action in life.

As an entrepreneur, you can continue you business independently. Freedom is the good thing in business. You can expand or customize your business in whatever ways you wish. You can invest in your way, employ human resources and collaborate to anyone you wish.

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”
– Abraham Lincoln

However, in case of job in a company, you may have some constraints that you must follow. The fact is how much freedom you feel in mind in your office environment. It is researched that, people with freedom perform better. In short, when you can work independently, with freedom you are more confident.

Related: Creative ways to find and relate passion in career

Overall, the spirit of independence is the core value in your life, that enable you the feelings of independence. Strong values are the freedom of choice in every aspect of life.

How to work independently

  • Be confident
  • Develop skills
  • Contribute
  • Build networking
  • Be reliable
  • Develop good relationship
  • Harness your strengths
  • Recover weaknesses
  • Know what to do
  • Take initiative
  • Be a good finisher
  • Grow trust
  • Don’t wait for instructions

14. Strategy

An strategy is a well thought, pre-decided action plan that is divided into sub-tasks, outlined with why, when, how, and who, in line of the long term goal that lead to growth. Setting a great strategy and achieving it is the best way to improvement. A person military spirit has his set strategies, and the action plan to achieving them.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” – Winston Churchill

An strategy includes, identifying strengths and weaknesses, setting proper planning, developing skills and knowledge to equip developmental process, allocate resources and know the external and internal factors that affect impact of performance.

By adopting an exclusive strategic plan, companies can have resourceful insights on business trends, customer segments, and product and service orientation the trigger the long term organizational success. This is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

When you will have your strategies, you should be able to nurture and improved communication, meditative thinking, consistency in performance, culture innovation and creativity, customers retention through focus, find out opportunities and threats, conflicts resolution, achieve competitive advantage, readiness to change, allocate resources to to right place and propositions, and see the big picture through border development goal.

How to develop a stunning strategy

  • Know your ultimate goal
  • Use resources wisely
  • Segmentize into subtasks
  • Be flexible
  • Calculate risks
  • Be flexible to change
  • Be innovative
  • Develop the best team
  • Skip unnecessary or less necessary tasks
  • Stay focused

15. Health

Health is wealth- is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military. When you are healthy in body and mind, it is probably the best gift of the Almighty. Good food, sound sleep and regular exercise make a man healthy wealthy and wise. When you have a good health and sound mind, you can concentrate to other works of your life very attentively and nicely.

There are many good food for your soul too. Some says, mental health and peace is far more vital than physical health. According to a source, 40% of the time the typical worker takes leave each year is due to mental health-related matters. However I should say, a good health is not the only criterion for a winner. There are many other factors to make you happy and prosperous.

“Top 15 Things Money Can’t Buy
Time. Happiness. Inner Peace. Integrity. Love. Character. Manners. Health. Respect. Morals. Trust. Patience. Class. Common sense. Dignity.”
– Roy T. Bennett

Statistics shows that, obesity cost the U.S. 21% of total healthcare costs – $344 billion annually in US (2018). Another research found that, 28.0% of Americans, which is 80.2 million people in number, aged six and more are not physically active. See how important is to pay attention to your health care.

When you will have good health, you can pay more attention to your job. Good health is related to higher productivity and lower absenteeism. Your good health contributes to your focus and taking stress in many situations.

How to keep good health

  • Eat balanced diet
  • Sleep well
  • Take enough rest in between work
  • Walk regularly/ exercise
  • Lead a tension free life
  • Meditate
  • Travel
  • Laugh and do fun
  • Listen music,
  • Read books you like

16. Preparation

Every aspect of life need preparation. It is a basic personal skill for the human being. You can’t expect maximum output unless you pay a good effort and good preparation is an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

As a student, you can expect a good result only when you take a good preparation for the exam and career. A interviewee gets the job when she will have a good preparation to convince the interviewers. Your well prepared project proposal get noticed in the bid. A good presentation receives appreciation when you take good rehearsal before it. There are millions of such examples around us.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Preparation is the factor that differentiate a good and bad output. Let’s think about a movie, we watch it in 2 hours, which the team produces over a long time, more than a year. Hope you get the point of preparation and its importance.

Related: How could you convert your failure to success?

How to take good preparation

  • Practice, rehearse
  • Don’t wait for last moment
  • Pay attention
  • Subdivide your task, or resources
  • Check past situation
  • Grow competitive mentality
  • Don’t take stress
  • Practice time management
  • Take break
  • Organize yourself
  • Visualize the final day
  • Sleep well
  • Take good food and enough water

17. Paranoia

In the simplest form, paranoia is the fear and anxiety of mind that lead to inferiority complexities. It is the worriness, and suspicion that breed negativity of mental state. National Institute of Mental Health found that 18.1% of American adults suffer from a clinical anxiety disorder, where social anxieties were found on top. 60% women are more likely than men to have an anxiety disorder for a lifetime.

Related: 11 Habits to help dominate by 2020 as a leader

People with military spirit deal with paranoia very cautiously. As a leadership personality, you should not allow to resort this bad state in your mind as learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

“Bitter people are not interested in what you say, but what you hide.”
– Shannon L. Alder

Paranoia has no benefits other than creating disaster in your life. It is enough to spoil relationship, undermine confidence, and decrease creativity as well as productivity of life, business or office. Being a paranoid, you turn yourself alone at the end. You lack confidence. People around you discard you from their network.

“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin…” [Al Qur’an: Chapter 49, Verse 12]

When a person is paranoid, he perhaps undergo limitless anxiety on one or more issues like, he fears to take new challenges, speak in public, interact with power authority, be drastically nervous, suffer from the sense of perfectionism, and nurture sense of inferiority complexities, emotions and sensitivities.

How to overcome paranoia

  • Consult a psychologist
  • Grow self confidence
  • Avoid negative people
  • Build relationship
  • Keep yourself busy
  • Realize- nothing is perfect
  • Talk to yourself
  • Feel- you are not alone with fear
  • Be positive
  • Stop backbiting
  • Anticipate good
  • Meditate

18. Work Ethics

Skills learned in the army complies work ethics. It is a quality with huge importance for a businessman or professional. Work ethics is a crucial example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military. Learn how to improve work ethics in office or business.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan”
– Margaret Thatcher

19. Discipline

Discipline is the rule of life that brings order and develop system on every action. Discipline is the leadership habit that is to be cultured over the time. It is a practice that lead to a better life. You will find many people around you who attribute achievements to discipline.

Without discipline, life turns to chaos. The whole universe runs in a discipline. The earth moves round the sun in a disciplined way. A disciplined person remains focused in his goal. They are honored by others for their systematic life. Discipline in life keeps a person healthy and happy.

Disciplined people are usually self motivated and active by nature. They sacrifice many pleasures of life to uphold discipline. They are by born doer with involvement and better performance. Due to proper time management, they have much time to do more. Disciplined leader stays tension free as an example of learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military.

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough”- Mario Andretti

How to enhance discipline in life

  • Set priorities
  • Build self control
  • Know your weaknesses and strengths
  • Keep a schedule
  • Accept mistakes to rectify
  • Learn to say no
  • Lead a simple life
  • Take rest
  • Avoid distractions
  • Start little
  • Identify your goal
  • Use technology
  • Pray

20. Leadership

Leadership is a personal trait of a person that enlists a series of good qualities. It is the most crucial and influential issue of someone’s businesses and professional lives, skills learned in the army.

Everyone is not a leader. Being a leader is not an easy thing. Learn 15 inspirational traits for charismatic leaders.

A leader appreciate people and communicate. She measures result that leads accountability. A person who is intended to learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military involves her team to grow ownership. She asks questions to her team to engagement. She explains her expectation and align the action plan.

“Perfect is the enemy of good.”
– Voltaire

A leader clarify values and set examples. She envisions future where she empower others. She takes risks, goes for innovation and search for opportunities. A person who is intended to learning lessons, skills and competencies from life in military is collaborative, and recognizes contribution from others. She is humble, receptive, active agent, gives credits. She connect daily work with great goal. Skills a person learned in the army focuses to people and motivates others.

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Ahemed Shamim Ansary

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