Thoughts for the Day - "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome"

Posted at 12:17 pm on 06/12/2014 by Dave Greene RN, CCWC

​June 12, 2014 8:24am



Good Morning,

Don't we all feel like were climbing a huge mountain sometimes.   I know I sure do when things don't seem to be going my way or unannounced challenges enter my life.  The big question for both you and me is how we are going to respond during these times?

As some of you may have read on this site, I spent some time in the military with a good bunch of guys.  They were leathernecks, devil dogs, some may even call them jarheads, but they were resilient men who proudly held the title of United States Marines.  My experience with that organization formed much of my thinking about success and failure.  The Marine Corps had a motto that we lived by that was a commentary on how Marines are expected to deal with failure and challenges, "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome".

One of my many stories to illustrate this concept was when we hiked into the mountains of Northern California.  In a matter of three days we covered more than 15 miles, and ascended from 2,000 to more than 8,000 feet with a ton of gear on our backs.  It was a grueling hike that took it's toll on many.  One friend of who became one of the many proved to emulate our motto of on that trip.

It started a few weeks prior to this exercise when he had purchased some new boots.  Much like each of us who were the ground pounders, he tried to find a pair of boots that were comfortable and would hold of to the riggers of field.  During those prior weeks he ran in the boots, went to the field in the mud, and generally did everything he could to ensure these boots would protect and sustain his feet.  

Sadly, this wasn't the case on our winter wonderland hike.  His boots became cold, and lack pliability.  Due to this they rubbed his feet the wrong way, and created horrible blisters.  When we were half-way through the hike he came and got me to check his feet because he was in a ton of pain.  We quickly pulled them off, and all I saw were blood soaked socks.  The entire bottoms of his feet were covered with open blisters.  I quickly dressed his wounds, and was going to put him in the hummer when he stood up and starting walking away.  This trip was a right of passage for him, a chance to prove to himself he could overcome obstacles, and deal with painful challenges.  It was his opportunity to live the Corp's motto and be successful.

I'm surely not condoning abusing any of our bodies, but making the point that in life you and I sometimes face seemingly unbearable challenges.  Like my friend, we too can "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome" when we believe in our cause and in ourselves.  Thank you for letting me share, and ramble a bit.

So, how are you going to "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome" in your life today?  Whatever it may be, you can do it by believing in yourself, and figuring out how to beat that challenge.  Here's a couple quotes for your day:


“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“if you set your goals ridiculously high and its a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success”
James Cameron

Have a great Day!


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