Did you notice that our Ever-Better newsletter does not focus on PTSD, our mission does not mention it, and our programs aren’t oriented on it?
It’s true. Nearly all veterans’ organizations target PTSD, homelessness, disabilities, and other life- and health-threatening challenges from military service, especially in combat. These services and associated advocacy are vital to caring for those who’ve suffered grievous harm in service to our country or struggle afterward.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.Calvin Coolidge
Following last week’s newsletter, a reader wrote that he was skeptical that finding and acting on your purpose was a cure for PTSD. He’s right. It’s not designed to be one.
A clear and compelling purpose gives you a growth mindset and a belief that your future is worth creating. It’s no cure for PTSD or other challenges, but it will help you get on an upward trajectory and stay on it.
The Saber Six Foundation is different because we support thriving veterans and families who want an ever-better future. People with a growth mindset tend not to spiral into crisis.
Of course, we have connections to help struggling people get the support they need. We can help them reach new heights afterward. Those who’ve successfully addressed post-traumatic stress, for example, need tools to create a better future, or they risk lapsing back into drift.
The line between struggling and thriving can be thin and porous.
We all have dreams. But to make dreams come to reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.Jesse Owens
Many veterans (me included) deal with post-combat stress, a term Dr. Shauna Springer uses to describe the mental health effects of prolonged stress. A particular experience didn’t shatter your life, but you still deal with the aftermath of long periods in combat or other highly intense situations. For me, that includes sleepless nights reviewing decisions, reliving specific experiences, and dealing with emotional triggers.
Mid-life crisis is another challenge affecting many veterans who served in the post-9/11 wars. Several studies describe that many people experience a U-shaped happiness curve, with your twenties and sixties at the top of the curve and the bottom at age 47. Each person encounters mid-life in their own way; many examine their jobs, relationships, and achievements and question if they are heading in the right direction.
Some veterans wonder if their best days are behind them. You see the same effect with many retiring athletes, child movie or TV stars who grow out of their roles, and others facing a significant transition.
Even without a debilitating disorder, people experiencing post-combat or post-traumatic stress who are going through mid-life challenges and believe their best days are in the past can drift into depression. That’s the gateway into all sorts of problems: broken relationships, addiction, self-harm, and potentially suicide.
Giving people a road map and tools for purpose, belonging, and well-being is a way we can help determined veterans soar to new heights in each chapter of their lives and reduce the risk of spiraling downward.
Helping people thrive into an ever-better future might be unusual for a nonprofit. We believe that veterans who’ve volunteered to put their lives on the line for America deserve every opportunity to reach the highest star as they define it. Many Americans believe in you, too, which is why they support our cause.
I am grateful to the reader who asked this excellent question.
If you are ready to help yourself or others stay on the determination curve, here are some steps you can take.
- Subscribe to this newsletter for more practical action steps on the ever-better path.
- Take the 22-Day Trigger Mastery Challenge to seize control of your responses to emotional triggers.
- Watch for our Ever-Better Growth program coming in 2024. You’ll get videos and actions that help you master each step of Purpose, Belonging, and Well-being.
I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way, and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles en route to whatever you want to accomplish.Chuck Norris