As thoughts turn to actions, Marines have one overriding thought pattern that weaves its way into everything. You can do it to.
Marines have an amazing capacity for creative thinking. I’m not talking about the arts and croissants crowd who drink espresso from little ceramic cups while discussing Keats. I’m talking about the type of creative thinking that gets a commander six or seven extra truck parts at midnight right before an inspection. This all stems from a Marine’s utter drive and dedication towards accomplishing the mission, even when faced with what appear to be impossible odds.
Historically, Marines have had to do without. We are the smallest branch of the service and we get an even smaller share of the DOD budget. This has forced us to achieve more with less. It is so strongly infused into our being that we just expect to get short changed and still come out on top. (Remember what I said before about assuming victory?) We never let a little adversity get in our way.
The drive to accomplish the mission has given birth to the phrase “improvise, adapt, and overcome.” (Made famous by Clint Eastwood in “Heartbreak Ridge”, it’s a saying that’s been around since well before the movie.) We now use this phrase to describe our actions when we surmount an unexpected obstacle. Some of our detractors would say this is just code language for “cheating” but I would respond by saying there’s no such thing as cheating in war. Accomplish the mission, achieve the desired end state, and don’t bother me with details. If you’re a Marine and you fail at some task, you’re usually counseled about your failure to improvise, adapt, and overcome. It’s just expected. (The down side to this phenomenon has become a corollary saying: “Why plan when we can react?” But that’s not important now.)
Since you are trying to correct your life by thinking and acting like a Marine, this is a phrase that you should adopt and implement. I said that we would start moving from thoughts to actions and this is the beginning lesson. When things look impossible, you just have to get a little more creative.