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Choose to be Successful

When you decided to join the military, you chose to be successful. You chose to hold yourself to a higher standard and to take the road less traveled. Your military transition presents another opportunity for you to choose whether you will have maximum control over your own pathway to life’s success or not.

Let’s be clear about one thing—you have not been chosen by some cosmic alignment or identified in any way as someone extra special. While individually you are unique and special because you are a member of one of the world’s most respected clubs—U.S. military veterans—everyone, including nonveterans, will have the same opportunity to take control of their success at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, and this is where you can begin to separate yourself, the majority of people will not recognize this moment of opportunity when it comes; therefore, they will not get the same benefits that you will if you make the right choice. What separates you from them is that you are reading this book and opening your mind to the possibilities that await you.

The reason this missed opportunity is unfortunate for others is because this is one of the few egalitarian moments in life when individuals such as you will have the opportunity to experience near-perfect equality of opportunity for your own future.

Psychologists call this belief in self-empowerment an internal locus of control. Skeptics and doubters are those who prefer to live their lives among flocks of others like themselves, who tend to dress alike, look alike, talk alike, work alike, think alike, act alike, believe alike, and like as well as dislike alike.

These people want you to believe life has a kind of predestined pathway. They believe life is a linear path in which certain things are expected of you at certain times and certain things either come your way or they don’t. In other words, they want you to believe that you have no control over your life.

There are some people who believe life is full of unexpected randomness and troubles that will continually “pop up,” negating any preparations or plans we make. These people believe that the best we can do is manage these problems and obstacles and live with whatever the outcome may be.

We have examined and experienced the solutions for dealing with a wide range of issues that we are sure you have thought about or have been struggling with in your life: how to adjust to civilian life; which of your military experiences and skills will be helpful to you in looking for a job and building a career; how to overcome obstacles and problems with living and working in the civilian community; dealing with your fears, loneliness, and career aspirations; trying to cope with concerns about job search issues; worrying about how to meet people; managing your fear of public speaking; how to make new friends; and many, many other life issues that were not part of or were not prominent in your military life.

Most of these issues and problems you are thinking about don’t have to be faced alone. In fact, you should not face them alone. If Chesty Puller had a Sergeant Major to help him get through the day, what makes any one of us think we can handle life by ourselves? Do not be afraid or egotistical or too wrapped up in trying to prove you can be tough and resourceful to think you don’t need the help of other people. You do. Only a fool believes that he can succeed alone.

Personal networking is, without a doubt, the most effective technique and tool used by the most successful individuals in all walks of life, regardless of gender, religion, industry, or profession, and at every age, in every social situation, and in all geographic areas.

Your invitation to self-fulfilling empowerment will be automatic once you learn about the power of personal networking and then decide to embrace its techniques. This isn’t the tool of a secret society. Just about everybody has the opportunity to choose to learn the techniques and take up the tools of networking for success. However, experience and history have shown that only a few will take the path.

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