Operational Underway

by | May 31, 2023 | Essays, Latest Essays

To be a markedly better, more effective man, learn to live “operational underway.”

This foundational CONQUER CULTURE guiding principle of living provides the underpinnings of a more satisfying and engaged life. In essence, operational underway is akin to an alpha command (issued to yourself) to continue moving and progressing in life while simultaneously making an effort to solve the problem in front of you.

In the Navy, if a ship has an essential, non-working element that affects its seaworthiness – but the crew also needs to provide support for an operation – the Admiral might decide to send a crew to trouble-shoot the problem while steaming towards the objective – however that might be possible. This is “operational underway.” In this example, the ship’s problem that needs solving is a metaphor for any problem we might face in life, and the Admiral’s order to continue steaming towards the objective reflects the idea that we cannot allow adversity to slow our forward progress in life.

During operations where the enemy has engaged our troops, the mantra “shoot, move, communicate” is often utilized – and if additional adversity emerges, the troops make quick adjustments but continue moving towards the objective often in a posture that defines what operational underway really embodies. In short, when we encounter a challenge in life, we need to keep moving forward and effort to solve the problem while we simultaneously continue to attack our ultimate objective.

Too many times in life, we allow adversity or setbacks to shut down our forward progress. We sit and toil over the potential effects of adversity that we cannot fully control – and allow our progress in life to altogether stall. This often looks like “surrender in slow motion” to those who are not involved in our turmoil and watch from an objective perspective. We must avoid this scenario to live life fully and with meaning and purpose.

Operational underway signals that we have some control over our situation with full control of how we respond – and it keeps us in a decisive mindset while we are taking action. The cycle feeds itself in a positive and powerful way. While others look on and wonder how we are able to power through adversity and maintain our forward trajectory, we benefit from the virtuous cycle that we have created. We do what is necessary in the moment, no matter how small, while we also make strides towards our larger objective.

We assume a stance in life that is deeply informed by our operational underway approach to life. Our one and only unfettered freedom is the power to choose how to respond to the challenges of life; yet we often choose to sit motionless and wait for better circumstances to materialize – yet they rarely ever do. How much time and opportunity are wasted with the effects of the paralyzing fear and uncertainty of what might happen – when we could be moving forward in our lives? Much I suspect.

To really understand the impact paralyzing fear (that stymies our progress) can hold in our lives, consider that man’s essential purpose is to build and battle.

Men build tall and wide structures, scalable technologies, critical infrastructure, ingenious tools, bridges and throughways, codes, roads, rockets, signal towers, reputations, relationships, families, and brotherhoods to name just a few. Men are made to build. Most of our modern day conveniences, medicines, technologies and support systems are the result of men building – there’s something inherently good in this predilection that seems to be “built” into men.

Men are also made to battle. We are designed to seek out the kind of adversity that stands between us and something significant or of vital importance. We are made to push against something – to struggle against adversity before claiming victory. Men battle in many ways – not just a physical battle – but a battle against an opposing force, whatever that might be.

Enlightened men see their role – or essential purpose – in their communities as building and battling for what they know to be good and moral. To simply build or battle for its own sake is unproductive, but to make an effort driven by the need to be useful through the building and battling for the community around us produces ripples in the waters of life that emanate well beyond our lifetimes.

In this realization, much depends on the men of CONQUER CULTURE adopting a stance of “operational underway.” Don’t be distracted by the temporary inconveniences and detours of life, you have an essential purpose to live out. So get busy doing that.

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