As we mourn the loss of heroes such as Chris Kyle and countless others, I’m drawn to the thought of what exactly the term hero means. What is it that drives individuals to stand up and put their lives on the line?
In all of the years I spent in the military and providing security for those who could not protect themselves, I have come across some extraordinary people with wide ranges of skill sets. However, I have found that there is a difference between having skill and the will to use it. The skills that I’m referring to are only used in uncomfortable and compromising situations, at times when life is at stake. The will to stand up and put your life on the line to protect others. I was a rescue swimmer in the US Navy and our motto was “So Others May Live”. At the time I never put much thought into those four words. As I progressed in my personal protection career, that motto resonated with me. I found myself in many compromising situations through the years and was always aware of my responsibility to protect others from harm. Not only did I have the skill but I had the will.
Everyone has their own motivation to do what they do. I took a moment and thought about what motivated me and what drew me to the line of work that I am in. My childhood came to mind. It was filled with violence, chaos, and abuse. I had a younger brother who was mentally challenged and by age seven I was not only his brother but protector. From stealing food at a 7eleven to feed us, fighting off other kids that wished to do him harm, teaching him to walk, or begging an abusive parent to beat me instead I look back at those times as building blocks to the person I am today. I guess I could have felt sorry for myself and blamed the world for my horrible situation. However, I chose to do the opposite. I realize now that my will to protect comes from within, it’s part of me.
I challenge you to look within and find that inner motivation. Translate it into whatever you do. I guarantee it will make you better professionally and as a human being.