"I was asked by Irreverent Warriors to write an article on how I manage the Des Moines, Iowa Silkie Hike. I am not doing anything special when it comes to managing the hike. I am not trying to gain self-publicity or notoriety by supporting the Irreverent Warrior mission and vision. I just want to better the world that we live in and make the lives better for all veterans who come home.
I realize that each silkie hike coordinator probably agrees with me and wants the same results mentioned above. Every coordinator doesn’t want to be a part of a failed hike or to be labeled a failure because Americans will not stand for losing; PERIOD! However, every coordinator must wonder how each hike is more successful than the other? How do the other hikes attract more people, how do the other hikes move in a timely fashion, and how do the other hikes get more publicity?
It’s not who you know, who you reach out to, or how you manage your hike. It’s how you manage your lifestyle. I am sure some of you just rolled your eyes and probably said, “What the ^&*! Is this AF zoomie talking about?” I will answer that question by stating I am talking about focusing on the present. Have you ever heard of the phrase plant, cultivate, and harvest? (Iowa terminology) You plant by saying I am going to put on a silkie hike. You harvest by having the silkie hike. You spend hours, and hours, and hours, cultivating (planning) the process. No new news to report here right?
Let’s go back 4 months ago when my life was a complete mess. Before my life was a rollercoaster ride….successful then bottom out, successful then bottom out, and so on. My job freaking sucked, my wife and I had conversations about divorce, my kids were becoming more distant and I had no meaning to anything. Have you ever had that type of feeling or roller coaster ride? Ever wonder why your friends are successful and you just keep getting by in life? Since I have read the book, “The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen” I now can honestly say that my life has turned for the better. I am now on a ride that is ongoing upward. How did I do it? I accomplish my goals by doing the little things every day of the week.
I refocused my attention on the little things that I never accomplished before by performing these tasks: more positive rhetoric, read 10 pages a day of a quality self-improving book, manage my checking account on a daily basis, tell someone how much they mean to me and why every day of the week utilizing Facebook (it freaks people out and I laugh), and I spend ½ an hour focusing on the Silkie Hike. I also spent a ½ an hour everyday studying my job before I had an interview. Needless to say, I knocked the interview out of the park and I am currently employed with Bellevue University.
You’re probably saying to yourself that’s not enough time. Well, so far I have invested 11 weeks with Irreverent Warriors. That equates to 38.5 total hours to the cause. By the time the hike hits Des Moines, Iowa, I will have invested 91 total hours to the cause. My newly formed team doesn’t know this, but they will have spent 56 hours on planning and staging the hike. This tally will probably increase because of meetings, interviews, and blog posts on the hike site. Nether the less, the total time will probably average out ½ an hour per day. Have you ever tried to spend ½ an hour a day focused on the hike? Have you ever focused a ½ hour on anything? It’s not easy to do! Especially when you have limited resources and or it’s a Sunday afternoon and football is kicking off, your kids want to go and play, you have a hangover because Donny O’Malley made you drink last night or whatever you do.
Have you ever ran 3 miles, came home, looked in the mirror and didn’t see any change? Well what if you just exercised for 15 minutes a day and within 3 months looked in the mirror? I bet you would see and notice a difference in your physique. My fellow veterans, (it’s an election year!) I am talking about compound interest. The little things you accomplish every day of the week will compound over time to make you a better, leader, follower, mother, father, public figure, and a better person. Think about it. It’s easy to do but then again, but then again, it’s so easy not to do!"