This morning I read, "TEN LIFE LESSONS THE ARMY HAS TAUGHT ME" in tomorrow's Washington Post.
The first of the ten is something I can easily relate to my life.
Always have a notepad, pen, watch, knife, and flashlight on hand.
Since my uniform here on the coast gets very close to shorts and tee shirt, I've taken to making sure that I have pens in all the places that I frequent.
That means each vehicle has a few pens since you never know when they will quit writing. There's a pen and pad in our front hall since that's the only place my cell phone reception is decent.
I would add on thing to the list, and it is only needed with age, reading glasses.
While I would agree with many of the others such as,
Make friends wherever you go...
I would emphasize in the comments to "Tell your Story" this one thought.
I was a sponge for knowledge...
You have to try to learn from others. Sometimes its hard especially when you are older or when you are used to being the boss, but understanding how to be taught something is really important. Being coddled isn't part of the process. Telling you that did something right when you are doing something wrong doesn't create a learning experience.
In spite of what many think these days, knowledge doesn't just come from getting hands on experience, it also comes from cracking the books.
I spent a lot of time in the last year going back to school and being tested on my knowledge. It was a stressful experience, but I appreciated every bit of knowledge that people are willing to share with me.
Some people are really good at sharing knowledge and others just don't want to be bothered. They will make you feel dumb for asking. Yet I have found that everyone who tries to tell you something is actually trying to help you.
Those who offer no advice or who are willing to let you make mistakes don't really care very much about you. Those who try to guide even if the advice is tough want you to succeed.
It takes time to show someone how to do something. With computers it is easy to fall into the trap of just fixing the problem without explaining what you have done.
When you do that, you have created a dependent relationship. When teach someone what to do to solve the problem, you have given someone their independence. They should be thankful for your efforts even if in learning they have had to acknowledge they didn't know as much as they thought.
I recently took up boating. It took lots of study, plenty of hard work, and some good teachers just to get started. One teacher was older than me and the other was younger than me, but they both had experience that I needed.
It's hard to leave your ego at home sometimes but as one of my wise teachers once said, it is a whole lot better to slow down and listen than it is to speed up and crash.
I have posted lots of slide shows and pictures of my coastal adventures at this site called Coastal NC Slide Shows and Pictures.