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A Former Navy SEAL’s Guide To Giving Your Work More Purpose
Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.
It’s much easier said than done.
Working with purpose, whether it is the mental focus or the spiritual passion that guides you, is a powerful thing.
Of course, there’s a difference in working with purpose and working with busyness. When you work with purpose, you’re fulfilling your long-term needs; when you work to appear busy, you’re satisfying short-term needs — you know, those superficial behaviors that don’t really improve you or the business.
More so, if you’re working without purpose, then chances are others aren’t either, which means there’s a much greater challenge here: a misaligned organization. In these instances, it’s more often physical stress (i.e., emotion) that serves as the guiding purpose rather than personal meaning (i.e., spiritual).
If busyness is part of your daily schedule, ask yourself these four questions:
1. How do your actions align with company goals, team goals, and personal goals?
If the answer is, “I have no idea,” then try setting goals to make sure they do. Goal setting helps you in two ways: it helps you unearth the values and beliefs that drive you by identifying what’s really important to you; and it focuses your attention on a strategy to fulfill them. Once you identify what’s important to you and a plan to “get there,” you now have a foundation for self-directed motivation. Boom!
2. How do you imagine yourself engaging in activities that realize your goals?
If you can’t physically take part in something, use visualization to trick your mind into believing it’s real. When you visualize your actions, feelings, and responses to a potential situation that is yet to occur, you fool your mind into believing it has actually happened so that when that situation arises, your brain just goes through the motions again because it believes it has already been there. And let’s face it; some of our minds are easier to trick than others.
3. How do you focus to achieve your goals?
I don’t know about you, but when I see that little white email icon appear on my Outlook menu indicating new email has arrived, I have an immediate impulse to check it (only to find some silly offer from someone that I thought I unsubscribed from).
Of all the office distractions that arise out of nowhere, email is the most toxic, which is why focus is so important.
Specifically, you want to create cues that compel you to “be” and to “do.” Anything else is just a distraction. If you’re not being the person you want to be, or doing the things you want to do, then what you’re really focusing on is wasted effort. When you do tasks out of habit and fail to question their validity, it’s a clear absence of purpose, or lack of thought behind what you're doing. Justify why you do the things you do. Put some thought into how much value they bring and decide if they’re worth continuing.
And, if impulse or habit do get the better of you, ask yourself…
4. What activities don’t contribute to your goals?
As mentioned before, impulse control isn’t easy. It takes not only concerted effort but the skill of awareness to be cognizant of it and the will to remedy it. After all, being aware a challenge exists is no good without designing the action to overcome it.
To succeed in anything requires a clear purpose, and business is no different. Remember, there’s a difference between activity and achievement. The ability to focus and create consistency of purpose while adapting to change puts you at a competitive advantage.
NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.
The U.S. Air Force has issued new guidelines for active-duty, reserve and National Guard airmen who are considered non-deployable, and officials will immediately begin flagging those who have been unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months for separation consideration.
A new trailer for Netflix's Triple Frontier dropped last week, and it looks like a gritty mash-up of post-9/11 war dramas Zero Dark Thirty and Hurt Locker and crime thrillers Narcos and The Town.
The Distinguished Service Cross was made for guys like Sgt. Daniel Cowart, who literally tackled and "engaged...in hand to hand combat" a man wearing a suicide vest while he was on patrol in Iraq.
So it's no wonder he's having his Silver Star upgraded to the second-highest military award.
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.