Monthly Challenge for October

Theme: The Importance of the Assignment.   

This month, the challenge is to continue to build upon passion, promises, and promotion. With this challenge, I am stressing the importance of homework. Long ago, an old man told me; “The best homework is rarely assigned.” This message has resonated within over three decades as I’ve sought to learn more, reinforce skills, and advance my knowledge on various levels.

The message of homework rings out even more today as I compartmentalize many of the concepts and captured lessons into segments that I use in profound ways. I’m equally fortunate to pass along the importance of assignments through various mentoring opportunities with entities at APSU and within my community.

Focus: Be moved by meaningful messages.  

As I analyze the next step, I’m mindful of the narrative because of the impact of the meaning. Young men I’m currently mentoring are equally mentoring me because of their messages of maturity, acceptance, and order.  Through engagement, I’m see a part of my youthhood within them. As I assess their direction and the self-assurance, I tend to have faith in their hunger but I strive to get them to value the wisdom that has manifested with my age. Nonetheless, I’m mindful to not be absorbed too much by yesterday.

Myself included, the challenge is to determine what is missing and when it is found, know how to properly utilize it.        

Make it personal:

Sometimes, taking the task to a personal level can causes one to gain greater achievement in a timelier manner. Personally, it enables me to hear the leaders of yesterday as they challenge me to analyze my approach, activities, and consequences. Psychologically, it stirs my consciousness to learn more of myself by believing in, and promoting cultural exploration of my environments and social order.

I’m driven to give more of me as I reach out to others, to feed them, just as they feed me. Some of this energy is redirected in my writings as indicated with the below observation from my time as a Green Beret.

“One of the unique attributes of a career Special Forces Soldier is being an asset in the unconventional warfare arena. In various formats, I served as a skilled advisors, one dipped with language and culture expertise pertinent to the operational environment. I started each undertaking with eagerness, and sometimes I finished on high ground. At other times, I found myself in the valley. I tended to view situations as an amazing opportunity. Instead of frowning, I grew accustomed to the challenges and truths. I planned extensively, but remain flexible enough to work outside the process. Beyond being taken aback when writing book, I actually reflect with appreciation for what I’ve learned about me, my mixed personalities, and what makes me tick at the current stage in my life.”      

Create a Win:

List goal, then the impact.

Afterward, state the impact upon the impact in regards to what this may have done for you and the intended audience as well as any secondary audience.

This approach tends to help place value upon our work because at the end of the day, we seek to educate, inspire, uplift, and / or influence. That’s winning.  

Growth Resources:

H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. By Brad Lomenick and Mark Burnett.

Here, Lomenick organizes twenty habits into three distinct filters he calls “the 3 Hs”.

• Humble: Who am I?

• Hungry: Where do I want to go?

• Hustle: How will I get there?


In traversing the roads of life, I’ve managed to create unique ways to deal with, and sometimes transform, unforgettable images and experiences. I’ve learned to convert the good as well as the misery into beautiful gems that speaks to me. I tend to carefully select words to complement a positive form of interaction. Through meditation, prayer, and reflective moments, I deal with situations through quietness. In quietness, I grow. ~ Joe Shakeenab