High Gear Training Systems

High Gear: 410-366-7100

Marines, Scouts and Comfort Based Decisions

My son is a Marine.  While home he went on a weekend hike with me and my scout troop up on the Appalachian Trail.  One night as we were setting up camp I overheard him talking to my patrol leaders about making  "comfort based decisions" vs. long term consequences. As I stood off to the side I heard him say, "A scout has got to get good at saying no to himself. Your success in life is in direct proportion to your ability to deny yourself for the greater cause of your mission."  One of the scouts raised his hand and asked, "What's our mission?"  My son replied,"Well, your mission this weekend is a successful hike on the Appalchian Trail."

These days I'm making too many comfort based decisions in my life. I don't seem to deny myself too much these days. That has to stop. I've got get back to the meticulous preparation before meetings that I at one time embraced.  I need to spend more time developing myself professionally than on the golf course.

The current financial/credit mess in our country has its origins in too many comfort based decisions. All of us have to got to get good at denying ourselves.  This somewhat spartan attitude can't help but affect our lives professionally and personally.

In our scout troop we always end our meetings with a prayer and an affirmation that we learned from West Point: "Help us do the harder right over the easier wrong." Easier said than done. Still, I 'm going to refocus myself and get good again at saying no to myself. I'll be better for it in the long run.

Thanks, son, for reminding me of that.


  1. Clark Lare says:

    Thanks for sharing. You and Mrs. Davis have obviously done well as parents!

  2. Al T says:

    John, please thank your son for his service and the insight !

  3. Jim S. says:

    Your son makes an interesting point for all of us. Success is
    really all about self discipline and doing the things we know we should do.

  4. Jimi Chappell says:

    I couldn't agree with your Marine son more (Please give him my thanks for his dedicated service! Because of people like him, I live free...). However it begs the question: What is our mission here?

    I believe our mission here is three-fold:
    1. To do all we can do follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and return to our Father in Heaven, worthy to live with him.
    2. To do all we can to bring others unto Christ, that they, too, might enjoy the blessings of eternal life...and, most importantly,...
    3. To be worthy parents and endow our children with the faith and knowledge to endure through the trials and tribulations of mortal existence, that will allow us to enjoy life everlasting together with our Father in Heaven.

    The most important mission we have is to raise righteous families who live by Christian values and stand unwavering in the face of whatever opposition might present itself for all that good and decent. This is the principal on which our country was founded and the principal that Jesus Christ demonstrated throughout His life, even unto death. All other successes pale in comparison if we have failed in this vital mission in our own homes.

    This Marine's message spoke clearly to me:
    Am I doing all I can to be that type of Christian, citizen, and father?
    Have I made my mission, as defined here, my first priority?
    Have I opted for the comfortable path, rather than the path less travelled that leads my family, my friends and associates and myself to life eternal?

    Thank you, Marine, for your sage advice to these young men and for giving me pause to re-evaluate who I am and what I make a priority in my life. Semper Fi!

  5. Tim B. says:

    Thanks John, and thanks to your son for his service and insight. The article reasonated with me on both a professioanl and personal level. It got me thinking and that is the first step in self-improvement. Provacative words, indeed.

  6. Mark D Dent says:

    While I strive to live my life in the way your son described, I think your article and the comments posted thus far don't describe the short term and long term gains from these types of goal setting. I find life is much more enjoyable and full if I feel as if I have done the right things. I try to make the most out of everyday and when I don't I have a hard time enjoying myself. By taking the road less traveled and doing what I know is the right thing to do and not the easiest, I find at the end of the task iI feel good about myself and my accomplishments. I find that if I feel I have put in the effort to reach my goal I enjoy the rewards that much more.

    For what every reason, I am doing more and more of the concept you wrote about and it has changed my life for the positive in amazing ways.


    • John says:


      Thanks for taking time to respond to my story. As you know, our life is a summation of our decisions. By focusing on doing the "right things," we certainly make our lives easier and a little more stress free. I, however, was born with a lazy streek right down the middle of my back and I have to fight it the moment I open my eyes (ie, I want to sleep a little longer.). It has been my observation that the best, the most successful people possess the most self discipline to "pay the price." You are absolutley right that accomplishing a goal is sweeter when we know we chose to ignore the potential detours, when we did manage to say no to ourselves.

  7. Derrick says:

    John this is great!!

  8. If you want to buy a car, you would have to receive the business loans. Moreover, my father usually uses a secured loan, which seems to be the most fast.

Leave a Reply

(will not be published)

Suggested Readings

These are books we recommend highly. Most are also available on CD, so if you prefer, turn your car into a rolling university.