Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why Go Back in the Army?

Two days ago, I had a two-hour psych evaluation.  My wife and I have to get the evaluation to be sure we are not crazy before we adopt our next child.

The psychologist was very interested in why I would go back in the Army after almost 25 years.

I talked to her about some of the reasons I had, but one reason became more clear to me in Chapter 2 of a book titled The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith.  If you are the type of person who cares about time management, you may recognize Smith as one of the founders of Franklin-Covey and the Franklin Planner System.

My wife carries a Franklin planner and is a strong advocate of the system.  I am a disorganized mess and working through the book in hopes of becoming organized.

So, did I join the Army to be more organized?  No.

But in the book on Pages 63-4 is a list based on a national survey in which people were asked to list the things that had the highest priority in their lives.

Here it is:


In a survey carried out in the United States in 1992, the following
values were most commonly mentioned:
  1. Spouse
  2. Financial security
  3. Personal health & fitness
  4. Children and family
  5. Spirituality/ Religion
  6. Sense of accomplishment
  7. Integrity and honesty
  8. Occupational satisfaction
  9. Love for others/Service
10. Education and learning
11. Self-respect
12. Taking responsibility
13. Exercising leadership
14. Inner harmony
15. Independence
16. Intelligence and wisdom
17. Understanding

18. Quality of life
19. Happiness/Positive attitude
20. Pleasure
21. Self-control
22. Ambition
23. Being capable
24. Imagination and creativity
25. Forgiveness
26. Generosity
27. Equality
28. Friendship

29. Beauty
30. Courage

When I thought about going back in the military, I knew without being able to completely say why that the military had a better grasp of reality that the civilian world.  For many reasons, soldiers call civilian life "The Real World."  But I don't think so.  The list shows why.

Look at the bottom of the list:
23. Being capable


28. Friendship

30. Courage

A "real world" in which competence, friendship, and courage are bottom-of-the-list, optional extras is not the kind of life I want to live.  

The psychologist was very professional and said affirming things about all my life choices, but I am going to guess she likes the Franklin survey list the way it is.   

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