We’re at the time of year when reflections and predictions dominate our media—looking back at what happened in the prior year and predicting what we might see in the new year. I do the same for my business, spending some time identifying how well I showed up for my clients and how I can improve, upon it, for each situation going forward. This year while engaging in this exercise and simultaneously learning of thousands of layoffs in the tech industry, I was reminded of a passage from my book, Make Your Move. I’ll excerpt it in quotes below.
Read to the end, and let’s see if we can identify a simple change you might consider in 2023.
“Military service instills a deep sense of ownership and responsibility for the United States. We carry this sense of higher purpose throughout our lives, even after retirement. All military members who have completed deployments to other countries can relate to the sensations associated with returning home to US soil (or waters). For most, the anticipation of returning home from overseas brings about strong feelings of anticipation and excitement.”
Each service, and community or branch within each service, has traditions associated with return to homeport or home base. Fireboat tugs, draping the bow of a ship with a lei made by the families, and bands on the pier are just a few examples common in the Navy.
For ships returning from sea, it’s common to top off on fuel alongside an oiler before coming into port the next day. Therefore, it’s generally believed refueling at sea is easier and involves less risk of a spill than refueling in port. When ships refuel from an oiler, they steam alongside each other just over 100 feet apart at a speed of about 13 knots. During this time, they are connected by fuel hoses and quickly transfer hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel. Upon completion of refueling, the newly refueled ship will “breakaway” from the receiving ship.
It’s common practice for the commander to allow their crew to choose a “breakaway” song to blast from the ship’s topside sound system as it returns to a top speed approaching the home port. Throughout my service years, I recognized this transition as the final stretch on the light list for each journey. This was always a powerful moment for me.
The breakaway song
I vividly recall the breakaway song at the culmination of a six-month deployment. It wasn’t Jimmy Buffett. Our ship voted to play Motley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home” as the breakaway song that day. Although, I recall that I didn’t know it off the top of my head, but it was the song they chose.
Even for a Parrothead, the power of that song is universal. “Home Sweet Home” perfectly captures the effort put forth to prepare for deployment and the tenacity required to persist and succeed. Not only that, but the song also captured how the final return home doesn’t just happen for any of us. It takes a lot of work, preparation, and testing throughout. To this day, if I hear Motley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” it takes me back to that specific feeling of having completed a successful deployment and the imminent return to home.
In the early days following a return from deployment, beyond the return to my family, I was always struck with intense recognition of how abundant, different, and downright lucky we are to live in the US. We have freedom of choice, freedom of movement, and freedom of decision like no other country. As we mature, the overwhelming sensation at the sheer choice we live with and often take for granted every day begins to fade. I think this is because we need to simplify and compartmentalize to make sense of our daily lives in a complex world.
I encourage you to close your eyes and reflect on your own “Home Sweet Home” experience. Allow yourself, once again, to internalize the promise and the hope—The incredible satisfaction that comes from personal and team accomplishments in service to a higher cause.
Taking time to reflect
After reflecting on that for a minute or two, look around at your present professional circumstances. Ask yourself some questions: Are you where you should be? Are you accepting something less than you deserve just because it’s within reach? Are you applying yourself the way you did on deployment? What’s next on your light list? How will your life look different one, three, or five years down the road?
For too many of us, the answer is, “It won’t,” don’t let that happen to you.
As you survey your professional environment for the coming year, I encourage you to strive for the fulfillment you deserve while pursuing your own professional dreams. This concept might be well recognized by former military members, but it doesn’t have to be limited to only that audience.
If you’re a veteran, I encourage you to read the rest of Make Your Move and listen to the Make Your Move podcast the book inspired. If you’d like to be a guest on my podcast, I’m accepting connections now for my 2023 episodes. Sharing elements of your story can help you by verbalizing what’s working for you and what you may want to tighten up. It also helps others coming along behind you in the long line of service. Reach back and lend someone else a hand by sharing your own lessons learned. If this interests you, send me an email at [email protected].
Applying this concept specifically to your business:
- What conditions may you be living with that could change if you applied a course correction?
- Are you missing opportunities that others seem to attain readily?
- Did you miss your revenue or sales target in 2022 while most of the economy continues to post record sales and profits?
One of my favorite questions to ask executives during the delivery of Sentient Strategy ® is, “How much sleep did you get last night?” The responses vary widely and often serve as an early warning of something that’s not right—but that could be corrected with minor adjustments.
As the book excerpt describes, we live in a land of unlimited abundance and choice. If you don’t feel that positive sensation about your work or business, make 2023 the year you do something about it.
For those new to federal sales or feeling uncertain about how things are going, it might be time to check out Capitol CurrencySM. This simple tool can change your trajectory for less than the cost of a trip to a trade show. I’ve suggested three proven and useful tools; the Make Your Move book, the Make Your Move podcast, and Capitol Currency. Are you ready to reach for them?