As we celebrate all military personnel who have lost their lives securing our freedom this memorial day, I want to take a moment to learn from their lives. As entrepreneurs, real estate investors and leaders, we can easily lose sight of the way the things that really matter. We can learn these values not only from the institution of the military in general, but from the individuals fighting for us.

Your time is measurable. If there is one thing the military has ironed out (at least from my outside perspective), it’s the maximizing of time. Everything is scheduled. Timing is practiced to become quicker. As entrepreneurs and leaders, learning how to make things more efficient is especially important. And beyond that, they know that they need to make the most of their time at home. When we think of how many hours we spend mindlessly watching TV or on our phones in terms of the entirety of our lives, it can quickly become alarming. The dreams you have are worth pursuing. Your kids are worth spending time with.

Family is more than blood. An amazing thing about military members is the bonding they experience. So often you hear men and women in the military refer to each other as brothers and sisters: family. It’s a beautiful thing to open your life up that deeply to others. We can’t take our whole family with us wherever we go. And if we feel called to work in a state or even a country apart from our family, then what do you do? Like Mark 10:29-30, when we leave our family behind we have an opportunity to build an even bigger family. If you treat your friends and coworkers with an openness to deep friendship, then you will find that you have family spread throughout the world.

Life is bigger than just me. Every person who has served in the military has entered something much bigger than their own world. Just as every policeman, fireman, teacher, doctor, and nurse are working for a bigger cause, so are our military. We can get so caught up in our own little worlds. Even though we don’t intend to, we can get caught up acting as though we are the center of the universe. But it’s important to understand and remember where you are in the course of history. Be responsible to the levity of the thousands of people who have lived, worked and died to bring you the life you are living. If you aren’t called to a career that offers you such a direct connection to a bigger vision, then partner financially or through volunteer time to something that does. Or create your own vision!

It’s okay to stop and process. No matter your story with processing emotions, it’s never okay to shove your feelings off completely. As leaders, we want to look strong. As entrepreneurs, we are moving quickly. Some of us grew up in homes that didn’t allow emotionality. Whatever the reason behind not dealing with your feelings, it’s time to change. While we need to keep moving on the field and sometimes need to put our emotions on hold, it’s important to circle back around and process. If you let things go on quietly for too long, you will find yourself snapping or spiraling someday. It’s okay to be vulnerable with the right people. It’s okay to be weak. It’s okay to stop and breathe for a minute.

Some things are worth fighting for. Some things in this world are just worth fighting for. Especially when we think of the very reason our nation was founded: freedom. We can’t forget the reasons why these men and women have sacrificed their lives. It’s for us, our security and our freedom. They believed in a bigger vision and gave their lives for that vision. Look around your life and see the things that are worth fighting for. Stand up for ethical decisions in your workplace. Choose to fight for your marriage. Don’t be afraid to stand alone for what’s right. In time, others will come behind you.

Hoping you and your family are having quality time today!

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