Brian Tracy is one of America’s leading authorities on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness. A dynamic and inspiring speaker, he addresses thousands of people each year on the subjects of personal and professional development, including the executives and staff of such firms as IBM, Arthur Andersen, McDonnell Douglas, and The Million Dollar Round Table. Prior to founding his own firm, Brian Tracy International, he had successful careers in sales and marketing, investments, real estate development, distribution, and management consulting. Tracy is the author of over forty books including the bestselling book Maximum Achievement.
1) Question: How should veterans ease or jump back into life?
Answer: First, give yourself a certain amount of time, between two and four weeks, to rest, recreate, decompress and generally settle back into civilian life. It is normal and natural to need a time to transition from an ordered military life into a completely free civilian lifestyle.
Second, accept that you are 100% responsible for who you are, what you do and everything you accomplish. It is up to you to begin making the decisions that will lead to a happy, healthy and fulfilled life in the months and years ahead;
Three: Take out a piece of paper and write down ten goals that you would like to accomplish in the coming year. Go over that list and ask yourself, “If I could only achieve one goal on this list, which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on my life?”
Four: Take a clean sheet of paper and make a list of everything that you could do, starting immediately, to make that one major goal a reality. Think on paper. The more action steps that you write down, the more focused you will be, and the more motivated to take action.
Five: Take action immediately. Do something. Do anything. Get up and get going. Resist the temptation to sleep in, watch television and take it easy. Remind yourself that, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”
2) Question: After they have jumped back in, what are the immediate steps that they should take toward success?
Answer: First, set a goal to get a job as quickly as you can. You may not be able to get the job that you want right away, but take any job that you think you might enjoy doing, and get started.
Set a goal to become excellent at what you do. Treat your job as if you were going to be doing that job for the next ten years. Decide to be in the top 10% of people at whatever you have decided to do.
Develop a learning plan for yourself. Begin reading, listening to audio programs, and attending seminars that will help you to be better and more productive in your work. Each time you learn and apply something new, you get a positive jolt of self-control, self-confidence and personal power.
Expect to be disappointed. Expect to fail occasionally. Life is a process of “two steps forward and one step back.” Nothing is easy, not for anyone. The most important quality you have as the result of your experience is your ability to bounce back from disappointment. It is your resilience. It is your ability to respond effectively to whatever happens to you without letting it get you down.
The most important thing is to take continuous action toward your goals. The busier you become the more positive you will feel, and the more in control of your life you will be.
3) Question: Many returning veterans suffer from some form of PTSD, depression, or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). How can a person go about reframing their thinking and beliefs and dealing with these symptoms?
Answer: Overseas deployment in a combat zone can be quite traumatic. It you feel negative or depressed for any reason, it is absolutely essential that you get immediate medical attention for your symptoms.
The medical specialists available to veterans today are some of the best in the world. They have enormous experience in dealing with returning service people. They can often pinpoint with great accuracy any problem or difficulty you have, and quickly suggest a solution or a treatment of some kind. Don’t try to figure it out by yourself.
Perhaps one of the most important things that you can do is to talk it out with other people. Sometimes, the release that you get from openly and honestly sharing your thoughts and feelings, and even your fears, will act as a great source of relief and peace. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside of you.
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