Measuring Your Life
Running Thoughts #92
Hi, I'm Scott, and this is my often weekly newsletter about life, learning, and whatever else runs through my head.
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Question of the Week:
What if you measured life by activities or events instead of time?
This week provided a stark reminder of how fast life flies by.
I received a generic and innocuous military email that shocked me with official notice that I've officially served 20 years in the Army. Reminiscing in time, I was reminded of "The Tail End" by Tim Urban which provides a sobering reminder of the finite time we have left.
Fortunately, Ship30 continues to provide me with an outlet for a quick daily exploration of some of these ideas. With that, these are the essays that I published on Twitter this week (also available via my LinkedIn):
Essay of the Week
Bank error in your favor, collect $200.
That's the thought that crossed my mind when I opened a generic and automated-looking military email. It had one attachment to a simple chart. Entirely unexciting except for the fact that it indicated I'd just completed my 20th year of "good" Army service in December.
I knew that wasn't right.
I had a few changes in status when I left active duty 16 years ago which meant one year wouldn't count toward retirement.
For curiosity's sake, I replied back to the generic group inbox and names I'd never heard of in the cc lines. A short time later, I got an email back. All these years, I'd misinterpreted the data.
It wasn't an error.
I officially reached 20 years in the Army and Army Reserve.
I still have two years until my final contract is complete. Another 20 until I see a retirement check, but I made it. One day, I'll reflect more deeply on the entire experience.
On this bright, sunshiny day though, here are five quick lessons the Army has taught me:
It's all about the people. They're the reason I made it this far and, as a leader, they are my motivation.
The best and fastest way to bring people together is to work through hard, difficult challenges.
Leaders are not born, they're made. The military prioritizes development and it shows, especially compared to the outside world.
It's amazing what can be accomplished when failure is not an option. Adapt. Overcome. Find a way.
Time flies and nothing lasts forever. I take pride in running by the kids, but I woke up one day as the old guy in the room.
It never felt like this milestone moment would come. I'm overjoyed at being this close to the next chapter, but it's also bittersweet. Fortunately, I know I leave the service in the same capable hands that have guided me these two decades.
As the Army keeps rolling along.
From The Water Cooler:
"Learning to excel at both gluttony and privation is, I believe, an underrated discipline. Moderation is fear of discomfort disguised as a virtue."
News is, by definition, something that doesn’t last. It exists for only a moment before it changes. As news has become easier to distribute and cheaper to produce, the quality has decreased and the quantity has increased, making it nearly impossible to find the signal in the noise.
Photo of the Week:
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