Ten qualities you need to work on if you really want to join the Armed Forces:
Guest Blog By Kavita Modi
We all see the uniformed men and women with appreciation and pride in our eyes, and no matter how much one claims to love the night sky, the stars on an officer’s shoulders seem to uproot the whole context of the night’s superiority. But guess what, these stars don’t come as easy as the night ones do. And not just in the forces, success in any field, a star distinction doesn’t come easy. Some people keep questioning whether they can be an officer or not, but the question is as vague as the induced motivation itself. Motivation, yes, is a huge impact in our lives, but when discipline wakes up, everything else vanishes. And this is the trait, that distinguishes an officer from the rest of the crowd. He doesn’t solely act with motivation, but also with a sense of responsibility in the most disciplined manner.
One failure and subsequent disappointments don’t come to discourage you, they might keep repeating themselves, but it’s all upon you.
Either you can work on yourself and change the game, or you can hope hard and remain the same.
Journal Writing or Recording
How is being an officer related to Diary writing or recording the daily activities and feelings? You might be thinking that, right? But if you keep in mind, your goal of being an army officer and attaining the OLQs profoundly, you can track your daily life with your goal. You can match your current status with the goals you have in your mind for yourself.
Make sure you focus on the positive head and write the things that you’ve done that day for inching yourself closer to your dream. It could be as simple as watching a training video that day, or learning the ranks and commands, or working out a lot, anything, however insignificant it might seem. When you’d start doing that every day, you’d soon get on the track and start doing the bigger things. Remember, life and you, are not contained in the big things, but in the most simple and little of things.
Carrying yourself on your own shoulders
This is a very basic thing, that we, as grown-ups should understand and practice. I remember meeting a young cadet once, whose father was in Army Educational Corps and he still used to do a part-time job in a Cafe, and he did so even after clearing his SSB and getting in the merit. Until his last day of joining the academy, he had been working. I was very young at that time but he had a very deep impact on me. ( I have a strange habit of chattering with everyone, including strangers about relevant and irrelevant things) He had told me how he always strives to be independent and not rely on anyone for his financial as well as emotional stability, and how he said we should be there for other people, but for that, we should learn to be there for ourselves too.
Stop complaining and whining about your problems and the things you can’t access or possess, and focus the energy, instead, on the things you can do. And the more you do it, the more faith you’d have in yourself. Our relationship with us is also similar to our relationship with others, the more we work on ourselves, the more confident we become about us. Success builds confidence, be it small or big.
Staying in the peak form physically
Being fit and healthy is more than just being attractive. When I was in Std 12, a lot of fellow students used to talk about getting healthy after boards and not trading the time for studies. Some children would even study in the Physical education class, and our teacher just had one thing to say, And I quote, ‘ Being physically fit is not just about your body, it is more about your head and belief. With every other kilometre that you can’t run, but still, go jogging and crawling make your mind believe that it can acquire and win everything in life’. Physical fitness begins with your mind and ends with your will and dedication. The more you push yourself, the stronger your head and your psyche get.
The quotes that you read or the motivational video that you watch has men who didn’t succeed because they read something significant or watched a motivational video, they succeeded because they pushed themselves every day, as a habit, even when they were out of their motivational fuel. The road to success is not as glamorous as it seems, it is rather monotonous and hugely demanding, and you, buddy, need to persevere every second.
Being inert to the unnecessary
According to the Buddhist teachings, all of us have a limited amount of energy but the distractions are magnanimous as well as magnificent. So, it’s totally upon us, where we want to invest our energy in and what we choose to abstain from. A rotten apple might not rot in the company of other rotten apples if it is kept at a significant distance. Similarly, you can choose how much you want to be affected by your surroundings. And even in adverse circumstances, you can decide to let every situation carve our the OLQs in you better and sharp. Don’t let things get to your head, get over them.
Understand your priorities, and don’t get on with what everyone else is saying, decide for yourself. Two people who have different relationships with me can say that I’m an introvert to one and an extrovert to another, or confident to one and shy to another. But this opinion simply doesn’t matter.
There is a tale of how a baby horse asked an ant and an elephant about the depth of a stream, and they both had given opposite opinions to him. To the ant, it was like an ocean but to the elephant, the stream was even unable to soak its stomach. None were wrong at their place, the ant was also correct with its perception and the elephant was correct too. But the horse needed neither the ant’s perception nor the elephant’s. All it needed was his own insight and experience.
Giving no excuse
There is one thing common to all those who are mediocre and are not succeeding. They have all worked enormously hard, they all are immensely passionate, deeply talented and want to change the whole world, but they still have a very significant obstacle in their lives. Either their parents won’t listen, or they cannot afford, or they just can’t clear an exam or whatever. You’d see them giving excuses at every instance like they couldn’t run because it was too sunny or windy. But, guess what? These people never make it to the top. Because their focus wasn’t their goal but the obstacles.
That’s why I’ve mentioned writing the positive things in what did you do today to inch yourself closer to your dreams. If you’d focus on the negative, the excuses, you’d never be able to sail far. I don’t know if our actions determine our fate or it is written beforehand, but I do know our actions inspire our future actions. A man who gives up once will always give up, and a man who tries will always try again. Take positive steps and your mind will ensure that you walk only on the positive lane.
Having the Courage
Courage is closely related to taking responsibility and being independent, yet it is quite different. Courage is the act that musters your mind to take steps in a certain direction. What is stupid to one can be courageous to another, and what is courageous to one can be offending to someone else. But you need to decide for yourself. You need to understand and accept honestly where you stand in life, and then you need to have the courage to change it. Even accepting your present requires courage. I see so many people talking negatively to themselves and demeaning others, but they never take a step ahead and try to change themselves.
The new era has come with a fashionable belief about attitude, about not changing, but the truth is, that this whole idea is messed up. We all need to change and improve for better, and no matter where we stand, there’s always scope for further improvement.
Courage is not standing amidst the crowd and saying I won’t change for you, it’s realizing and anticipating who is at fault here, and then working on changing that, be it our own selves. Courage is not about misbehaving when things aren’t going your way, courage is about analyzing the situation and turning your sails. Don’t change your destination, just find and create a different route.
Being helpful to all
There used to be a lady at my gym, who’d speak about cooperation and help in terms of business. If she was helpful to one, they ought to be helpful to her back or she would stop giving. While this is fine to an extent, but help should be given as such that you don’t expect it back. Business deals want something in return, charity and cooperation don’t. If you’ll keep getting heartbroken by such little things, how would you manage to protect the crowd that is involved in stone pelting at you? This is what our armed forces do, protecting and serving the ungrateful as much as they heed to the grateful.
Be capable of helping yourself and helping others, and don’t let an act of kindness be a burden upon your heart. Life is not a competition which can be won by the prettiest or the meanest man, but it is rather a journey that is built lush and valuable by giving and cooperating. Give back to the society, volunteer and if you can’t find any place, start at home. Help your parents in work or your maid in giving better education to her children. Remember, when someone is sinking deep, no twig is light enough.
Respecting everyone around you
All of us want respect, but ironically none of us is willing to give it to all. We respect people based on their social status and then get upset when someone above us chooses to disrespect us. A lot of us strive for gaining respect and recognition, but I wonder how many of us are willing to give it to others. A colleague had once told me how he had beaten his guard who was drunk at work, and my first query was, what gives him the right to hurt anyone physically? He and people like him are always willing to impose respect on everyone but in reality, gain nothing. Respect is a two-way road, it comes as much as we give it to others.
Ask a person who chooses to respect and appreciate everyone if others don’t like him or disrespect him for any reason, and he’d find none. Because, if he is regarding everyone politely and gently, with genuine respect and concern, the chances are that he is going to get back the same.
The very foundation of armed forces is built on respect, mutual respect. And this is not only commanded by those in charge, but also the people who are totally unaware of it.
Taking full responsibility for your life
How many of us blame one exam for the lack of attention towards other aspects of our lives? I have met a lot of people who are always worried about the things that are happening in their lives but are doing absolutely nothing to change it. They always have a reason, a situation or a person because of which they can’t do what they really want to do. But in the bigger picture, this is just an excuse and lack of courage and determination. There are endless stories about people who did things that seemed impossible to all, leave alone the doable things. If they could do it, why can’t you? Did they have three legs or mind?
Take responsibility about your life, your emotions, your body, and no, kindly do not accept your obese or underweight body with a quote that you like yourself as who you are, you don’t like yourself that way, you just are not willing to get out of your comfort zone. If we were really as accepting and content with ourselves as much we claim to be, the world would have been a vaguely different and impossible way.
Discipline over Motivation
And lastly, choose discipline over motivation, choose your routine over your mood, choose hard work over the fun time. You don’t need to knife out everything good that you want in your life, you just need to give everything proper space and time. And you really need to avoid getting leashed by emotions and get up and work anyway. This is the most important trait in any soldier, he chooses his duty over his emotions and desires.
Sometimes, you won’t want to run that extra stretch, but do it anyway,
On days, you won’t want to stay strong and face up the world, but do it anyway,
Sometimes, you really would want to whine and confide in someone, but stay strong anyway,
For if you don’t, someone else will, and that someone is always going to make you regret why you didn’t do it anyway.