First Steps by Phil Johndrow, National Director of Strategic Military and Veteran Alliances
There are many things that we do in life and when you look back and think about the experience, the first step was the hardest. For example, when I joined the army after finishing high school, it was an extremely hard step. I was uncertain of what I actually wanted to do, and I remember thinking of all the reasons why I should not take the oath and make the commitment.
I think back now of just how great the decision was, and it truly changed my life forever. You discover later on in life that some of the most hardest decisions made become the most rewarding. Think about all those first steps, and about those decisions that seemed so tough then now look so simple. We have seen the rewards and can see now how those experiences have shaped us into who we are today.
I’m not saying, of course, that everything about life is not an experience that may be easy, sometimes it’s hard, and they can be some of the toughest times. However, they have such a deep impact on us they become part of who we are now. The problem is we don’t have a crystal ball and cannot see the future, or how our decisions will work out.
We have to make the difficult first step, and then we have see how the decision turns out. I know that is, for me, was one of the hardest steps as far as taking my first step into education. I was in Iraq as a senior enlisted advisor for the Multinational Division Baghdad, and I was asked by a fellow senior enlisted advisor, was I going to go to college?
And I thought with the formation of 110,000 soldiers, being deployed in Iraq, and having all this responsibility on me it was going to be too much. So I went and I asked some of my general officers what they thought. I was thinking each one of my commanders would say, this is not a good time for you to go to college, you can do it later,
we understand the commitment, but it’s not a good time. But to my surprise each one of them said, it was a great idea for me to go to college. It would help me decompress, pull back from the rigours of combat, study and learn something better, develop my critical thinking skills, and then be able to look at a problem from a different aspect and be able to solve it.
So when it becomes to you taking that first step towards your education, I hope you’ll be brave and take that first step with boldness, acknowledge the fear, and embrace the excitement. Keep matching forward because what may seem like a tough decision now will be one of the most rewarding experiences.
The first step takes courage, the first step inside a cold pool takes guts. There are voices telling you not to jump in, not to go ahead, to maintain the status quo, to let it be. Only when the first step is taken you realize that it’s not that bad. You’re now confident, you want to take another step, see what lies beyond, fear gives way to curiosity and forging ahead seems easier.
Taking that first step towards your education is not a tax on the present, but an investment into your future. So go ahead, take that first step. It will take you to places you never imagined, and you’ll see all the rewards as you reach your true potential in life. We here at Trident, are here to help you to take that first step and venture on your journey together.
You don’t have to go it alone. We’ll be at it not only for the first step, but for the whole entire journey, and when you graduate and walk across that stage, we will be right there with you standing proud. Believing in yourself is your first step to success. Remember, the first step is the best step in a journey towards the destination.
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