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Most of my adult life, both in and out of the Army, I dreaded Mondays. Whether you are a cubicle dweller or just released from a Friday final formation, that feeling of freedom on a Friday night is unmistakeable. By Sunday night after Games of Thrones, the creeping dread of Monday is coming full force. I found myself in a self-defeating circle a while back and found a way to sidestep this issue and embrace a new way of viewing Mondays: by making Monday your day to start out crushing your week.
I am not going to espouse a #CarpeDiem approach to life, but I did forget for awhile after leaving active duty that any day could be your last. I saw a great TED talk while eating my lunch at my desk on a Monday not hustling to make my life better. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk had a simple message for me that day: Live your life to do what you love, and if you aren't doing that, then starting moving on that direction.
So on that depressing cubicle lunch, I started moving in a direction where I could look forward to Monday. After all Monday is the first day of the work week where you can use all of the steam you built up over the weekend to plow through obstacles.
So, what? You hate your job? Use it to create a legacy.
In a Task & Purpose article, Paul Mooney told a story about how he used the job he hated to find what he loved. It’s okay to have a bullshit job when you get out of the military. It’s a job, if it helps you pay the bills and get you towards your life goal, then great. Start your side hustle, launch a business, network. Chances are you haven’t figured out what exactly you want to do, or your “dream job” of playing Xbox and drinking Wild Tigers probably won’t pay the bills.
My first job off active duty was not a great fit for me in a large way because I needed to mature as a civilian and shed some bad habits. Don’t put the strain on your family or your own psyche by being without a job while in transition or after leaving the military. When you find your next opportunity, be ready to jump on it. If you are in a position you hate with people you hate, self-reflect and see if it’s you or them. If it really is them, utilize the skills you learned hanging out with third-world security forces and make it a game, trying to influence and win the local population in your own insurgency.
Stop waiting for the weekend.
Pop culture, the malt liquor industry, and other crap out there tries to convince people that you need to be #TGIF basking in the freedom that the end of the work week presents. Many Fridays I’m on the road heading to my side gig as a National Guard helicopter pilot, it's way better than happy hour with Carl from HR. The idea of looking forward to the “freedom” of the weekend is a trap. Life in America presents so many opportunities that the weekend should be where you tee up your options for the week. I use it mostly to spend time with my family, read, and get ready to work on my side projects whether that be writing or serving in the guard. There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks on Friday with friends or colleagues; heck, it’s a great networking opportunity to capitalize on next week, but don’t make it the only thing you look forward to all week.
Remember: Discipline equals freedom.
Experienced Navy SEAL commander and best-selling writer Jocko Willink who ran SEAL operations in Ramadi during 2005 has a saying on his podcast: “Discipline equals freedom.” While this sounds like something a drill instructor might say to new recruits, it is true. Freedom of choice can be an overwhelming burden to many. Monday is a day to establish your routine and utilize a disciplined approach to tackle the week. Get up early, fight the urge to hit the snooze, get prepared for your day, maybe do a few push ups — chances are you could use it. Success is based on a mind set that you can develop each day with a little discipline.
Get by with a little external motivation.
Somedays I wake up and can’t shake the begrudging feeling of shuffling off to work. Thankfully, due the wonders of the internet, there is the ability of a non-stop flow of motivation. Find what works for you whether it be motivational videos from your favorite veteran entrepreneurs at Article 15 Clothing, or theme music from a movie hero montage. Be self-aware enough to know when you are stuck in a rut and use the tools out there to get you back on your feet ready to crush adversity.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departure that he planned to meet the families, a duty which he said "might be the toughest thing I have to do as president."
He was greeted by military staff at Dover Air Force Base after a short flight from Joint Base Andrews, but did not speak to reporters before entering his motorcade.
Flanked by military officials, Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan filed up a ramp leading onto a military transport aircraft, where a prayer was given to honor the memory of Scott Wirtz, a civilian Department of Defense employee from St. Louis.
Trump filed down the plank and saluted while six service members clad in fatigues and white gloves carried an American flag-draped casket carrying Wirtz to a waiting gray van.
The Dover base is a traditional hub for returning the remains of American troops abroad.
The United States believes the attack that killed the Americans was the work of Islamic State militants.
Trump announced last month that he planned to speedily withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, but has since said it does not need to go quickly as he tries to ensure safety of Kurdish allies in northern Syria who are at risk of attack from neighboring Turkey.
Trump told reporters on Saturday that his Syria policy has made progress but that some work remained in destroying Islamic State targets. He defended his plans for a withdrawal.
"It's moving along very well, but when I took over it was a total mess. But you do have to ask yourself, we're killing ISIS for Russia, for Iran, for Syria, for Iraq, for a lot of other places. At some point you want to bring our people back home," he said.
In addition to Wirtz, those who died during the Wednesday attack in Manbij, Syria, were Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent, 35, identified as being from upstate New York, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The Pentagon did not identify the fourth person killed, a contractor working for a private company. U.S. media identified her as Ghadir Taher, a 27-year-old employee of defense contractor Valiant Integrated Services.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler)
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.