Monday, July 19, 2010

Combat Vs the Copy Machine

I love used bookstores…mmm….it isn’t that the store is used, you understand, it’s the books…well, forget it, you probably understood the first time.

Anyway, one of the prizes I found recently was the “Leader’s Manual for Combat Stress Control.” It’s a manual, created by the Army in the mid-80s, that helps officers understand how to help their soldiers and themselves deal with the pressures of combat situations.

If you skim it you see almost exactly the same advice and terminology you’d see when reading about dealing with stress in the workplace; which, obviously, for the military, that's what combat is.

Now, let’s be honest…in no way, shape or form am I connecting what our heroes do on a daily basis with the fact that your boss is a jerk and comes into the office with a litany of problems every day.

However, the advice is the pretty much the same: Take care of your physical needs (especially rest), keep your eyes open for threats (the situations that can cause you harm), and understand yourself well enough to know how you can come back to a point of balance after a stressful encounter.

Good advice can come from a lot of different sources. Looking to areas of interest that don’t seem to have an immediate connection to how you live your life can offer tips, tactics and strategies for creatively dealing with challenges. Some engineers have found the answers to structural challenges by learning about how music is created; physicians have solved dilemmas by focusing on sports strategies.

Look to something that seems to have no connection to what you do. You’ll find a fresh perspective.

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