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After I went through my third academic review board in Supply Corps School (read last week’s email) a crusty LCDR pulled me a side and we had a talk.

I had confused it with a discussion, it was just him talking to me 😉

He politely (kind of) asked me what my problem was, why I was having issues and why I couldn’t get my act together. 

Mind you, the review board started with the Officer in Charge saying “Congratulations, nobody has ever been to three of these before” 

She wasn’t actually congratulating me……..

I gave the LCDR a sob story about my ex girlfriend and how distraught I was.  (I ended up marrying a way better option anyway)

He paused, looked me square in the eyes and said “Is someone going to die in this scenario?”  

I replied “Of course not”

Then he gave me a piece of advice I have never forgotten.   He said “Save your stress for something that matters.  Your going to need it on a random Tuesday evening for something that you couldn’t ever plan for and won’t expect.  It will probably involve someone dying.”  

I just sat there as those words hammered my brain.  At that age and time in my life there was a very low probability of me grasping what he was telling me…but for some reason I did. 

While I can agree that the scenario presented is somewhat extreme, that doesn’t make it untrue.  

Tim Ferris has a softer way of explaining it in his book “The Four Hour Work Week”.  He says there is an interesting thing that happens when you stop responding to fires or “emergencies”. 

Suddenly they stop happening…….

Let that sink in for a minute.  How often to we let outside influences or the “emergencies” of others or things we have no control over seep into our daily lives and derail us?  Almost daily or even hourly.  

Here’s a tip, nothing happens if you don’t respond to that email in the next five minutes.  

There is no such thing as an emergency text or email…..If it’s an emergency they will call or kick your door down.

We often set unreal expectations on ourselves that nobody else even cares about or would ever expect of us.  

This week give yourself a break.  Don’t respond to the email or text immediately.  That “emergency” can be fixed later or by someone else.  

Don’t let the outside “fires” derail you from what is important in your life.  Your health, your family and your friends.  Everything else can wait a little while.

I never got to thank that LCDR and don’t remember his name.  He gave me a pretty powerful piece of perspective that has gotten me through some crazy times. 

The only way to thank him is to give it to you.

“Save your stress for something that matters.”