Rise Resilient

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration, Wellness | No Comments

As a budding college graduate in the Spring of 2010 I had one goal in mind, to join the US Military and serve my country for 20 years. After being accepted by the Army Officer Candidate program, I flew down to Ft. Benning, GA for three months of basic training followed by six more months of Officer Candidate School to earn commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. My dream was to be an infantry officer and serve on the front lines. After graduating Basic Training, I watched my dream die in one fell swoop. During a 5 mile run my knee locked up, I fell and tore my MCL.

The next few weeks were a whirlwind; one second I’m on my way to earning my commission and taking the next step toward my 20-year career, the next I’m chaptered out of the Army and flying home with my head in my hands. All my hard work seemed to be for nothing. I had to explain to friends and family, many of whom had thrown me a huge going away party just 6 months prior, that I was back, and I was back for good. I was embarrassed, I had no goals, and I was depressed. Without my wife and her love, I may have spiraled down into an unascendable pit. Luckily she lent me enough strength to help me find new goals (i.e. VetMed). However, the pain of the failure was still strong. I couldn’t read war novels; I couldn’t watch powerful movies involving soldiers; courageous stories I loved now put a bitter taste in my mouth.

Flash-forward to June (2017), I attended the Veterinary Leadership Experience. My group-mates and the facilitators at VLE shared their stories of resiliency. They lent me their strength to finally be able to talk about my failure, about my regrets, about watching my dream die…Talking about something gives you strength over the embarrassment; announcing it to a group gives you power over it completely and allows you to move on, and now this post will finalize my life rising out of the ashes of that shattered dream. Without my wife, my friends, and the amazing people at VLE, I may still shudder when I think of my past. Now I stand proud about my future; resilient.

Who in your life gives you strength to be resilient? How do you move on from the inevitable failures in our profession and use them to fuel your fire? Your experiences may help others, like me, move on from their hardships so we’d love to hear your thoughts! #resiliency #poweroverfailure #risefromtheashes #VLEalum

Fun on the Field

By | Wellness | No Comments

One of the foundational premises of the activity night called Fun on the Field is “It is OK to play”. In fact, it is downright healthy.  And here is a little data for all you scientists to support my assertion.

Socio-emotional areas:

  • Expressing more confidence (Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)
  • Developing conflict-resolution skills (Gray, 2011)
  • Cultivating social skills such as flexibil­ity, empathy, and the ability to be aware of one’s self (Burdette &Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)

Cognitive areas:

  • Increasing problem-solving capabili­ties (Kleiber & Barnett-Morris, 1993; Burdette & Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)
  • Deepening critical-thinking skills (Hurwitz, 2002)
  • Increasing curiosity (Burdette & Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007)

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Lead With Your Strengths

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration, Wellness

Let’s all just take a little breather for a second.

We’re in a rat-race. There’s no doubt about that. And if you’re reading this, chances are you know that some self-management is pretty critical to maintaining that work-life balance we all covet so much.

Part of the reason that striking that balance is difficult is that we are all, quite literally, trying to do everything at once. We’re marketing. We are strategizing. We’re making decisions. We’re beating our competitors. We’re caring for our client
our colleague’s, and our family’s emotions. And on top of that…medical decisions at the drop of a hat.

We are literally trying to do it all. And it has to stop.

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The Wisdom of Adversity

By | In Practice, Wellness
I frequently ponder which has been my better teacher, success or failure. For me the scale usually tips towards failure. On the surface this looks like a cup-half-empty instead of a cup-half-full way of looking at life. However, I’ve come to see failure as a gift although it usually doesn’t feel that way, at least initially. Failure is part of the struggle we all have to achieve our purpose as leaders or as human beings.

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