Step up to the challenge

“You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.”
– Arthur Ashe

During a short visit aboard the USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier, I met Captain Duke, a twenty-three year old female Marine F-18 fighter pilot. She is fast talking and extremely articulate with a ruddy complexion, piercing eyes and an impressive command of the skills and rigors of a fighter pilot. When asked how the Marines taught her to land an F-18 Hornet on the deck of an aircraft carrier, she replied, “They didn’t. They taught me how to fly my plane; the first time I landed on a carrier was the first time I had ever seen an aircraft carrier.” Captain Duke had learned to fly her plane, but when it came to successfully landing on a moving ship that was being tossed around by open seas, she just had to go for it.

Do you have what it takes go for it? Are you confidently sharing your ideas with others, pursuing your goals and dreams, and embracing that which you have been training and preparing for? If not, what are you waiting for?

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Keep Your Wits and Get Your Wins

Are you worried about maintaining your success, keeping your job and staying on track to achieve your goals? No problem. Just do two things and you’ll be fine. First, be still. Second, keep moving. I call this the courage paradox.

Crisis and its ensnaring uncertainty can paralyze and overwhelm the best of us. If not challenged and resisted it will strip confidence, sap our strength and leave us wringing our hands in despair. However, if we courageously confront the crisis it can become the crucible that strengthens and elevates us. In my experience the best thing you can do when you feel your world is crumbling is to be still. Keep your wits. Harness your thoughts and do not let them run wild down the path of worst case and “chicken little” thinking. Think about what is true about you and your ability to rise to any challenge. You’ve done it before, you can do it again.

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