A post about the value of learning from others…

For those of you who have never spent a day in the life of a United States soldier, let me ask you a simple question… Who do you think get’s it worse from the Drill Sergeants in basic training; the guy who knows nothing or the guy who knows it all?

The guy who knows it all hands down!  I have said it before and I will say it again; as humans, we are proud beings and often times, we allow that pride to impede our ability to grow and learn in life.  Most of us at some point in our lives, have convinced ourselves that we know it all only to find out later how much we really had to learn…

I know this because up until the day I joined the Army, this was 100% me!  I was the ultimate “know it all” but then something changed…

I went to basic training and realized how little I actually knew.  I realized how little I knew about life, about friendship, leadership, etc.

I quickly realized that I was outmatched.  I was humbled when I realized that I couldn’t bullshit my way through life anymore by acting like I knew more than those who tried to teach me.  I had a choice to make; either shut up and learn or fail.

Drill Sergeants feed on those who come to basic training with a chip on their shoulder.  If you enter basic training with a “know it all mindset” you will be eaten alive.  Arrogance has no place in military leadership or team dynamics and that is made very clear on day one…

Honestly, this lesson is why I found so much success down the road during my time in the Army because I changed my mindset completely.  I went from “I know it all” to “I know nothing” and that change in mindset has opened more doors for me in life than I could ever have imagined.  Why?  Because I became addicted to learning.  I admitted how little I knew but began seizing opportunities to learn.  I wanted to be the best soldier I could be so I opened my mind to learn from the best.

Life doesn’t have to be a sink or swim game.  Most of us are not born with what we need to succeed in life which means we must acquire it over time from other people and gain experience.  That is done by learning and being open to change.  Stay humble.  If you think you know it all you are in for a rude awakening.  Surround yourself with good people and seize the opportunities life present you to become better.

By: Timothy A. Natale


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