Whether out in the trenches planning long-term strategies or just rolling with the punches, it didn't take long for me to realize that the only constant in life is change. Resisting change is not an option; at best, you'll stagnate. At worst, your inflexibility can lead to tragic results.
This truth is as relevant in your personal life as it is out on the battlefield. Swarming an enemy can be incredibly effective -- until your opponent adapts, or decides to counter-swarm unexpectedly. Any strategy that had been working reliably can be suddenly rendered ineffective without much warning.
While a warrior is capable of powering through many obstacles, a mark of a great one is knowing when it's time to change and evolve.
This is the scenario I encountered when it became abundantly clear that it was time for a personal change. There came a point when I knew it was time to leave military life to scale new mountains and climb to new heights.
Living the warrior ideals of liberty and justice can take unexpected turns and forms. Some might not understand or agree with the shift I made, but therein lies another warrior trait: the ability to stand firm in what you know to be right and true for yourself. The situation at hand may call for a change that others won't understand, but you must stay in line with your own personal journey to succeed long-term.
A lifelong commitment to protect and serve can take many forms, especially as life moves forward. After 12 years as an Army Ranger and Delta Operator, it was time for me to leave military life and tackle brand new challenges in the private sector.
What it came down to is that a part of me was hungry for more action in a different context.
A series of conversations with trusted peers and superiors I respect greatly helped to cement the decision. I had done all I'd come to do in military and government oriented service; I gave it my all, and now it was time for a new playing field.
It wasn't necessarily a seamless transition. I'll admit that a part of me believed I could finally let my guard down a bit and coast for a while. However, I quickly learned that the core values and lifestyle of a warrior mindset would serve me well in the private sector, too.
Enemies and challenges on the battlefield tend to be pretty overt and clear-cut. In private security, physical challenges are combined with more nuanced ones like navigating internal politics and behind-the-scenes drama. I quickly found that private security required the same level of vigilance as I needed while serving the government.
I had to be as relentless in the private sector as I was as a Ranger. Having flexibility in your gear is paramount, too, whether in a combat or professional setting. Imagine my surprise when in some of my business meetings with private individuals, many of them were all kitted out in the same gear I was. Some had even better (and more expensive) gear than my government-issued pieces.
From the battlefield to the boardroom, you're always making an impression. Like it or not, people make subconscious decisions about you based on the look in your eye and the clothes on your back. Different scenarios call for specific types of gear to help meet each challenge in an optimal manner.
The range of proper gear in private security can be as diverse as a three-piece suit to a t-shirt, and everything in between. The value in having a few go-to brands of gear that you know you can count on should not be underestimated.
As I navigated new challenges and pitfalls, I never had to worry about my gear because I have found what brands work for me and I continue to research and educate myself on high quality brands that will serve me well.
Ultimately, your warrior skills, training, and mentality are transferable to any area of life -- you just have to be open to the parallels. Stay flexible and roll with the changes. Having the ability to pivot and adapt has served me well, and I'm here to tell you that absolutely anyone can build this ability within themselves.
Life is precious -- not just for what it is now, but for what it is evolving into and what it could be. Making the most of this natural progression is the essence of the warrior's heart and is crucial to the hero's story arc. A true warrior is always tuned into their own personal good as well as the universal good. By constantly adjusting and reorienting to stay aligned with the highest, best path, the warrior can thrive in any situation.
As you face your own changes and evolve to adapt, your go-to gear can prove to be as important as any weapon. Make sure your gear of choice helps you to stay protected and flexible as you navigate your next hurdle, obstacle, or chapter in life.