Self Improvement / Healthy Living

Military Focus: Lessons from the operating room

u.s. medical tanks“It is better to do one thing 100%, than it is to do a hundred things 1%.” – Mr. Gilrein (My 7th grade health teacher)

I was an operating room technician for six years, and when watching a surgeon conduct surgery, there’s no doubt what’s on his mind: Surgery.  Too often it seems that people have a million things going, and instead of doing one thing, they almost do a thousand things.  But to accomplish anything in life, a person needs to be focused.

Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering pasta.  Then right before the pasta comes, you change your mind and order miso soup.  Then right before the miso soup comes, you change your mind and order smoked salmon.  Meanwhile, you keep changing your order, and you’re sitting there for an hour complaining that you’re starving and the service is horrible because it’s taking forever to get your food.

This is what happens when we don’t focus.  We change our minds, we focus on too many things, and we don’t end up getting what we want, or we end up doubting ourselves.  “I should have ordered the tuna, or the steak,” etc.

A person needs to have laser beam focus.  Think of a magnifying glass and imagine how, if left in the sunlight, a magnifying glass can focus the rays of the sun and start a fire.  A person’s focus needs to be like that laser beam, and focused on only one target.  If you go outside, on a sunny day, and hold a magnifying glass up and aim it at a leaf, if you wait long enough, the leaf will burst into flames.  But if you only do it for a few minutes, and then become bored and move the magnifying glass away, then nothing will happen, you will have just wasted your times.  We need to be able to focus until we can light the world, and our ideas on fire.

When I started to write my first book, I decided to be focused on just that.  Instead of getting a part time job, I decided to use the money I saved from my deployment and give myself the freedom to write and follow my dream. And since I wasn’t working and had no money coming in, I was on a very low budget, there were many weeks and months, where I was on such a tight budget that peanut-butter and jelly was breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  But almost a year later, to the date, of me deciding to focus on a memoir of my time in Iraq, I had a book deal, and I became the youngest war veteran author in the entire United States.

So the main thing I learned from being in the Operating Room, and from writing my first book, is that to save lives, and to accomplish great things, it’s best to focus on only one thing at a time.


Related Posts:

What the Military Teaches About Self-Discipline.

How to Build Your Self-Discipline.

I will Never Accept Defeat.  I Will Never Quit.

Military Time Management: CARVER System.

Target VS Mission: Smaller Goals VS Larger Goals.