Perspective and Goals in Simple Things

Perspective and Goals in Simple Things

Family, Perspective, Priorities, Relaxation, Vector
Often, even the simplest and most tedious of tasks provide much-needed relief from 'the grind' of modern life, and provide us with a moment to reflect on what matters.  They also present us with opportunities to stretch ourselves in the same moment. My wife and I recently found one such task in a dusty field in the middle of nowhere. We were returning from a short trip to the Teton Valley on the West side of the Teton Range in Eastern Idaho/Western Wyoming recently, a valley full of lush fields, amazing vistas, beautiful skylines, and abundant wildlife.  I had given a small presentation to an unnamed board, and we were in a hurry to get home to kids, family chores, and sleep…
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Establishing a Personal Baseline

Armed Service, Excellence, Individual Greatness, Leadership, Military Affairs, Personal Value
I arrived, along with nearly fourteen-hundred of my new classmates, in Colorado Springs during the first week of July 1985 for Basic Cadet Training at the United States Air Force Academy.  My parents dropped me off earlier that morning at Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia, and to say that I was apprehensive was like saying I thought Christie Brinkley was kind of cute.  I was borderline scared.  My dad had been a cadet in the Air Force Academy’s first graduating class, and had shared with me a glimpse of what to expect.  I was not looking forward to it at all.  It was hard to say goodbye to my family, but what filled my mind were the…
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Unexpected Heroism from a celebrity Hero–Eddie Rickenbacker

Freedom, Friendship, History, Individual Greatness, Leadership, Military Affairs, Personal Value, Veterans
Eddie Rickenbacker was America's Ace of Aces with 26 kills during World War I.  Despite his initial rejection into flight school because of his 8th grade education, Eddie eventually became the leading ace, Medal of Honor winner, darling of the Allied media, and commander of the 94th "Hat in the Ring" Squadron.  The world knows him for such heroics, but they were just expressions of who he really was--a quiet, every day over-achiever who never took himself too seriously or forgot his roots. Losing his father at 13, Eddie Rickenbacker instantly became the man of the house.  The third of 9 children, but the one who felt the responsibility most for his family, Eddie dropped out of…
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Stripping Away the Titles–True Greatness

Excellence, Leadership, Personal Value, Veterans
Throughout his life, my dad has held many titles.  General, Fighter Pilot, Senior Vice President, President, Elder, Chairman, Instructor.  The list goes on and on.  His resume over the years looks almost like something made up to boost someone's ego and secure a high-paying job.  The consumate type A, he was ever-willing to do what was required for the mission at hand, to take charge, and to serve where needed.  His 'to do' list has always been longer than the day, and his ability to prioritize and tackle that list resulted in a successful career at many levels. Now, my dad is about to turn 82 (Happy Birthday Dad).  A stroke-like accident almost 5 years ago nearly killed him, and robbed…
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Dream Big–Then Act Bigger

Excellence, Individual Greatness, Leadership, Military Affairs, Personal Value, Uncategorized, Veterans
Lt Gen Marshall S. "Pat" Carter, US Army Dreams and goals are the foundation of all great things.  Without them, and the visionary leaders in government, industry, the military, education, and virtually every endeavor, we would all still be sitting in caves fighting over the next kill.  Often, however, leaders' lives don't turn out how they intended, but still hold great worth.  One such life was that of Army Lieutenant General Marshall S. Carter. Raised the son of the West Point Dean of Natural Philosophy during nearly the first third of the Twentieth Century, Marshall, or Pat as he was called, followed in his father's footsteps and attended West Point with the Class of '31, graduating during a sleepy time of American activity in the world.  General Carter attended MIT…
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The Problematic and Necessary Nature of Killing

Armed Service, Military Affairs, Personal Value, PTSD, Veterans
Credit Photo to the National Museum of the USAF When my dad was in Vietnam, he loved his fighter squadron.  He thought highly of his squadron mates, had great respect for most every single one of them personally and professionally.  He loved the competition to be the best, to 'do the mission' at your highest level, and  learn from each other.  The mission of a fighter pilot, put in PC terms, is to protect friendly personnel from enemy attack, to protect our freedoms, homeland, and national interests.  And those are all true.  But the technical aspects of the job often involve killing another human being before they kill you, or before they kill or maim one of your brothers in arms.  You are trained to kill, and to be very…
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