Another pushup? Doing the Impossible!

Greetings Leaders!

I am pragmatic. Sometimes, things or situations are impossible. However, there are times when “impossible” is an excuse. When I was bit younger going through the US Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS), things sometimes got rough. The drill sergeants knew how to get everything out of us, and more. The drop out rate (Drop On Request – DOR) was somewhere about 50%.

I remember sitting in a room during our first day, hot sweaty and tired. Our Drill Instructor told us to look around the room because in 16 weeks, less than half of us would remain.

All of us passed the initial screening. Most of us were in good physical shape and had enough smarts to be selected for a pretty rigorous program. During the next 16 weeks though, the sergeant’s prediction slowly came true. At some point, some candidates just said… enough. They “felt” like it was impossible for them to continue. It may have the grueling schedule. Getting up at 5:30 every day and beginning the day with some strenuous exercise. Perhaps it was the intense grilling we got from our instructors. There were lots of academic, physical and mental challenges.

On the other front, there were the personal challenges. Some did not like being out of touch with their families (we could only make phone calls on Saturdays and couldn’t see family or friends for what seemed like an eternity). For others it was too difficult to adjust to a military culture where orders were meant to be obeyed.

Despite all of this, some of us made it through the training. Were we better than those that had DOR’d? No. There were a lot of capable men who dropped out. So how did many of us get through? By not letting the impossible get the better of us.

My point… if you are using the world “impossible” to describe your situation, ask yourself if it truly is a reason, or just an excuse. You can at times do the impossible, you just have to stop making excuses.

All the best!
All the time!
JT