Is it Tradition or a Rut?

Last Strike Eagle sortie.

This pic is from my last flight in the F-15E Strike Eagle, my “fini flight”.

The picture is more than evidence of my kids spraying me down with water and my wife pouring freezing-cold champagne down my back. This is part of a ritual promoting camaraderie, reflection, and celebration. This is tradition.

The military is full of tradition, ceremony, pomp, and pageantry, but it is often difficult to distinguish where tradition ends and “the rut” begins. In business, leaders and decision-makers might find themselves explaining efforts as, “This is the way we’ve always done it”. Don’t fall into the trap of using tradition as an excuse when the reason is a rut.

Your personal life is no different.

Take inventory of your daily comings and goings, and you may begin to see patterns emerge—patterns that aren’t promoting growth and development. The rut could manifest as binge-watching show after show, working the same job you are not satisfied with, general malaise and mediocrity, or any number of activities that do not lead you to a place of development and improvement.

Take inventory, recognize potential improvement areas, and separate tradition from the rut. Break the mold. Shatter the norm. Consider new ways to identify and solve the same problems while keeping the vestige of the “old school” way of doing things.

Dive head-first into the growth mindset, set goals, and begin working to reach them, but still go to the beach every summer with your family if that’s your tradition.

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