Life is not a game. But as analogies go it is a good one. Life may not be a win or lose proposition, but it for sure can come down to a life well-lived – or not. A life where one reaches for their greatest potential or one where potential and opportunities are squandered away.
In life always bet on yourself – believe in yourself. Sounds easy. But many people are held back by a fear of making mistakes. Instead, do the work to make the best decisions you can, and go forward. Mistakes are part of life.
When I was deployed in Baghdad in late 2006 and 2007 as the leader of a quick reaction force of Iraqi police, I had some tough decisions to make. We very rarely knew in advance when or where our missions would be. We just had to be ready to roll 24/7. In the maze-like city there was a significant threat from insurgents’ improvised explosive devices (IEDs), also known as roadside bombs.
So, as a part of my daily routine, I would have my intelligence officer extract every single IED report that was given for Baghdad, and I would pour over the reports. This process would take over an hour and sometimes up to four hours. Where were the IEDs and what kind were they? Which side of the road are they usually on? What time of day do they usually use them?
Then when we got the mission, I had to decide the best route to take – I had to believe in myself and the hard work I put in to keep my team safe. Even when I made mistakes and we paid the price, I had to keep betting on myself and making the calls.
Below is a picture of my “IED track map” where I would plot all the IEDs in Baghdad over a one-month period.
Which way are you gonna go, leader? Place your bet. Your people, your tribe, your family have all placed their bets on – YOU.
Did you do everything you could to prepare yourself and your team for this day?
TOGETHER WE TRANSFORM