Improvise, Adapt and Overcome: Life Lessons We Can Learn From the Marines

The United States Marines are about as tough as they come, but you don’t need to wear the Marine Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem to learn some valuable lessons from the Corps. Marines are taught to be able to overcome any obstacle, which serves them well in the chaos of combat. This concept is encapsulated in the Marine slogan “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome”, which is a mindset that allows Marines to deal with any physical, mental, or spiritual hardship. Let’s look at some ways that we can apply the Marine mindset of adaptation to our civilian lives.

Train Your Brain

You don’t need to go to war to train your brain to fight against disappointments and difficulties. As we all know, life is unpredictable, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities for disappointment to creep into your psyche if you let it. A practical way for you to re-train your thinking is by countering negative thoughts with positive ones the moment they creep into your mind. Marines practice things like marching, cleaning their weapons, and putting on their uniforms over and over until they become rote habit. You can do the same with your thought processes.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you do things the exact same way you’ve always done them, you can expect the same results you’ve always gotten. One of the things that makes the Marines the premier fighting force in the world is their ability to practice the chaos of war in their everyday lives. Life is unpredictable, and expecting things to stay the same is foolish. Get comfortable with discomfort by trying new things and challenging your mind and body in different ways. Start thinking ahead about how you will react to a situation going south before it happens.

Faith Can Move Mountains

Life is tough, and it’s especially tough when you’re going it alone. That’s why faith is such an important aspect of the Marine Corps experience. Their motto, “Semper Fidelis”, means “Always Faithful,” and it’s the Marines’ faith in each other that can get them through the toughest of situations. You might not have a group of combat veterans to put your faith in, but you have friends and family who can help you fight through difficulties and adapt to changes.

I’m Jessica Cox, and I learned to adapt to life’s difficulties by staying consistently focused and maintaining a positive and upbeat attitude. Being born without arms did not stop me from living the life I wanted: on the contrary, it made me a stronger person. Today, I enjoy spending my time and energy helping others to do the same. If you’d like me to inspire the attendees at your upcoming meeting, conference, or religious gathering, please contact me.