And for the last time in this challenge, Welcome back.
I had another great Monday, not without its challenges but nevertheless well-spent. As I officially wrap up “A NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER“, I know that at least a few of you, my dear readers, were able to pick up a lesson or two, from the daily experiences or thoughts I’ve shared. And for that, I’m thankful to God for this opportunity.
This final post is a work of fiction, a letter of admiration is written by a young recruit to his Commanding Officer. The unusual reply he gets reflects to a large extent what goes on deep-down in the minds of every great achiever. Enjoy!
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30th of November, 1979,
Saint George Regiment,
Oaks town, Oklahoma.
Dear Commanding Officer,
I write this out of utmost respect for you. In these few months of training, I have observed how much courage and strength you have displayed. Your persistence and commitment to excellence have inspired many young recruits like myself to press on, when quitting is the easiest thing to do. You are an exceptional Leader, who unlike many others has not only taught, but also shown us that serving our nation whole-heartedly is both fulfilling and gratifying. I want to be such an officer of high quality in the years to come.
O. W. Sanders.
Dear Young Recruit,
Thank you for your fine words of admiration. I however would not take much credit for the qualities you have seen and described in me. From my over 35 years of journeying along this path, I have a number of insights that will be useful to you. Many mighty men, more valiant than I, have fallen into states of misery and utter dejection because they were not aware of the bends and twists on this road. Your Physical endurance is only as good as your Mental resilience. You too will encounter some great difficulties as you rise among the ranks. You must however be determined to PRESS ON, because the tougher your OPPOSITIONS are, the sweeter the VICTORY is.
There are 5 twists to this Journey you must look out for:
1. The Valley of COMPLACENCY. Every new BATTLE requires new Energy. You must not be so carried away by the success of previous battles that you do not give your best effort to the next. Especially one that appears to be comparatively milder. Generals have Won Fierce Battles and Lost Mere Combats.
2. The Ambush of CRITICISM. Be on your GUARD always. One of the easiest ways to win a Battle before it even starts, is by setting up an Ambush. Do not fall victim of destructive criticisms, especially from within your own camp. Just like the enemy’s ambush, they are often so subtle that you do not realize it’s a trap until too late. As a leader, you are responsible for the methods you adopt, no matter what your personal doubts are, or what your subordinates think.
3. The Swamp of DEPRESSION. There will be some difficult and deadly terrains in this Journey. You will be tempted to turn back more than once. You may even lose some good soldiers along the way, there will be days of hunger and thirst, loneliness, sleeplessness and sickness, but you must be determined to continue your Journey. The depressing situations around you cannot be compared to the Victory ahead of you.
4. The Meadow of DISTRACTION. Along this road, you will see many things and hear many things, both rumors and truths. Some of these will arouse your desire for things like fine food and the comfort of friends and family. You must however remember that you have a single GOAL, to fulfill the Mission at hand. Your COMFORT-ZONE is often the place of your greatest temptation. Beware!
5. The Mountains of FEAR. Fear is common to all MEN, even to the bravest of Soldiers. Some fear Death, others fear Defeat, and a lot of things in between. You will always be SUBJECT to whatever you are afraid of. The best way to overcome your fear is to BELIEVE. Believe in God. Believe also in Yourself. Believe in those around you. Believe in the Course for which you fight. Believe that Death is not the END. Believe that Defeat is NOT fatal. For every mountain of fear you surmount, there will be many others to face. So do not give-up!
I hope these tips will help you to make many right decisions as you progress on this amazing journey, yielding you greater accomplishment and influence than I can ever boast of. And like the saying goes, ” Uneasy lies the head that wears the Crown”, to get your PRIZE, you have to pay the PRICE.
Lt. Colonel A.A. Richards.
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Thank you for reading!