I’m in the process of joining the Army National Guard with the intention of commissioning as an Infantry Officer.
I have a job which is laid back, had a sweet beard, I coach my son’s baseball team, run this blog, and life couldn’t be better with both my wife and kids.
So Why Join?
This question is one which I’ve asked myself a thousand times. As I walked into the recruiter’s office and shook his hand I remember thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?‘ to which my only response was, I have to.
I could list a hundred reasons as to what benefits the National Guard would bring such as:
- Camaraderie & Pride brought on by being back ‘in the brotherhood’
- Extra Pay each month
- Making myself more marketable being a Commissioned Officer (I was enlisted for 8 years on active, Officer has a ring to it)
None of the examples above really explain why I’m joining. Describing that is as difficult as describing why I love sex, buffalo wings, or how gravity works.
There is an itch in my soul which can only be scratched by tackling this challenge.
This blog doesn’t scratch that itch.
My family doesn’t scratch that itch.
Growing the beard, writing, and cruising in the Jeep is great, but it doesn’t scratch that itch.
When you hear men talk of how they had to answer the call it always seems like some cheesy line from a war movie. Yet when you live it and feel it, there’s no better description.
I have to answer, I cannot expect more from my fellow man than I’m willing to give myself.
At 30 years old with an injury from my time on active duty, an injury which almost dashed my dreams, I am still capable and so long as I have life inside of me I’m going to pursue this goal.
Service to my country and my fellow man is my mission.
Protecting my family, my society, and my nation is my mission. There is nobody else on this planet whom I would trust to do a better job than myself. There is nobody who I believe will try as hard or serve as honorably as myself.
I look around and see so few men who would care for their troops before themselves. I see so few who understand what it means to ‘lead from the front‘.
On active duty I was an engineer in the Navy. I deployed twice and certainly ‘did my time‘ but my boots never touched the ground, I have never faced the moment where I had to decide to run towards or away from a firefight.
This is why I chose Infantry.
I am not using the skill sets I learn from the National Guard in a civilian capacity. I’m choosing to go straight trigger puller because it is something I’ve never done and something I want to do.
That’s Enough About Me
How do you scratch that itch in your soul? How do you align who you are with what you do?
I shared my personal experience above to act as a conversation starter in your head.
Now you see the inner workings of my mind, you see that you aren’t alone with that sense of something missing. You also saw that pursuit of personal goals may be at the detriment to the kosher life you’re living now.
Rarely does pursuit of your mission make your life easier.
You may think you want to be a video game designer, you may have watched all of the YouTube videos, read all of the books, and spoken with hundreds of designers on Reddit but until you take action inside the field of your mission, you know nothing.
You can read a hundreds books on throwing a fastball and watch the YouTube videos but again, until you step on a mound and throw that ball, you’ve made zero progress.
Don’t spend your life reading and telling yourself that you’d be good at something.
Instead, immerse in it and at some point you’ll either quit because it isn’t what you thought it would be or you’ll keep getting back up and try again and again, improving each time.
It’s at this point that a little objective self-assessment is required.
You may be terrible at what you view your mission to be. If that’s the case, I’d shift gears towards something which you’re both confident as well as competent doing.
I feel that a part of my mission as a man is to help my fellow men. If I could make great YouTube videos, but I couldn’t write for shit then TFA would be a VLOG and not a blog.
I can write and I enjoy it, so this is my medium of choice. It is no fluke nor is this due to chance.
I practiced, I wrote, and I took feedback from the guys on TRP and MRP.
I continued to hone my craft then and I still continue to hone my craft now. In every essay written I am trying something new, even now I’m working to create better flow, to paint a clearer picture.
How can you do that?
How can you take what it is you love and make it something you actually do? Instead of thinking you’re great at writing, recording, rapping, or acting go out and actually doing those things.
It’s the only way you’ll scratch the itch.
You have to stop passively watching others find themselves while you are forced to keep up with the facade of who you believe you are and who you want others to believe you are.
If you have no idea what it is you care about as you’ve become entirely apathetic to everything life has to offer, then I suggest you check out 31 Days to Masculinity as it is designed to help you rediscover who you are as a man, to develop that sense of authentic living, and to pursue each day with genuine desire as opposed to the conformist programming society has instilled which leads to an apathetic life of death.
Closing Bullet Points
- Find out what it is that you care about. What keeps you up at night, what stirs a fire in your heart, what can get you talking for hours on end?
- How do you align what you’re doing with that part of who you are?
- Enter the arena; start doing and after a few months, objectively assess whether it’s what you thought it would be and if you’re as good as you thought you would be.
- Continue and improve or move to the next thing that you give a shit about. The process from step 3 should help you improve the next go-round.
- Do not forget that this is not about saving the world or helping others; your mission is solely for you. If it benefits others, great; but this is entirely about you scratching that itch.
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