Category Archives: Fighter Pilot

All podcast on the fighter pilot mindset

Words Matter

Words Matter a blog by Vince Miller of Mens Bible Studies

Words Matter When Opinions Divide

When we disagree with others, the words we use to state our convictions matters.

We live in a time of increasing polarization around issues that people care about deeply. It is painful to watch the news today as pundits, anchors, and commentators paint ugly caricatures of those with whom they disagree. On all sides of the political spectrum, there's demonization of the opposing party. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in our country as well as hate groups who cherish the color of their skin and hate those who are different from them. The veneer of civilization can be fragile.

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What Would Jesus Say To Us?
We are not exempt from participating in demeaning discussions of others. But here is what Jesus reminds us.

"The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

What Jesus is saying is that our words matter because they reflect the condition of our hearts. Demeaning words indicate a demeaning heart toward others. Dismissive words reflect a dismissive heart toward others. Ugly words reflect an ugly heart toward others. Consider Jesus's approach to those we dislike.

"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:35-36

Wow! Compare that heart response to what is happening in today's world.

How Can We Live With Conviction?
Jesus doesn't tell us to remain silent. He would want us to speak up. It is how we communicate our convictions that matter. We need not apologize for our convictions. But we should state our convictions with love and respect for those with whom we might disagree. We can disagree with their position while still respecting them in the process. Rather than an attitude of condemnation, Jesus tells us to be merciful as our Father is merciful. Even God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. So much more so we ought to be, no matter what our disagreements with their positions. Paul gives us an excellent principle for how we speak.

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Ephesians 4:29-32

Try it! You will not only like the result, but you will surprise others and gain a hearing that you otherwise would not have. Most of all, you will be more like Jesus.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Live Life Backwards

Live Life Backward a blog by Vince Miller

Live Life Backwards

Sometimes it's good to reverse engineer life or as I call it "live life backward." Often this way of thinking helps us to understand a process, realize how something is constructed, or discover how we arrived at a final result. But I believe even more it can help us to live and leave a godly legacy - which should be the goal of every man. So what does it look like to "think backward" about our life?

Legacy leadership is marked by how we're remembered and the impact we leave after life is done. When we take our last breath we'll each leave behind temporal things - golf clubs, cabins, boats, and even that retirement account we been investing in for years. That's because they are only temporal tools and enjoyments. While they hold value in the present, on the day you take your last breath they won't matter a lick. And this is evidence that legacy is less about temporal stuff. It requires us to determine what we want to be remembered for and then make conscious choices that will achieve that legacy. So how do we do this?

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First | Determine What's Important To You.
Begin by listing what matters when your legacy is complete: family; marriage; relationships; children; faith; and write them down. This is the kind of thing that is great for a journal which every man should have. Get one here.

Having identified the critical legacy items of your life, take some time to write a few sentences or a paragraph on each one that describes why these are important and how they will impact your legacy. Be specific. God has given you one life to live with limited time so the more precise you can be in each of these areas the easier it is to focus on the right duties now before then.

Second | Write A Plan For Each Area.
Our legacy is built one decision at a time, one day at a time, one year at a time. It is about consistently paying attention to the essential areas of life and building a legacy through healthy habits and supporting disciplines in that arena of life. Take marriage for example. If you want to leave a legacy of a healthy, committed, close and happy marriage, it is going to require attention to your spouse and your contribution to that relationship. You need a plan, and then you need to work that plan. This is why it is helpful to have an annual plan that takes each of these areas of life into account.

Make sure that you can measure your progress and activities in each area. Remember legacy is built one decision at a time, one day at a time, one year at a time. Annually, take some time to determine how you are doing in each area and what modifications you need to make.

Third | Be Accountable To The Plan.
Plans are just ideas, dreams, and visions unless they are combined with action and accountability. Remember that every time you give attention, availability, action, and accountability to your plan you're building a legacy. Without a plan and you will live "on accident" not "on purpose" and thus miss the point of living life backward. Work your plan and focus on the important issues and you will leave a powerful legacy that honors Jesus and leaves an example to those around you. To leave a legacy, you need to live life backward.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

Becoming A Man Who Battles Sin

King David The Battle a blog by Vince Miller of Resolute

Becoming A Man Who Battles Sin

We can either go to war or be defeated when it comes to sin. Let's battle!

It didn't take long for the results of the fall in the garden of Eden to manifest itself elsewhere. Take for instance the murder of Abel by Cain, both sons of the first father and mother (Adam and Eve). Prior to Cain murdering Abel, God had said this to him. "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it." Genesis 4:6-7

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War is not a metaphor for many things but it's definitely one for fighting sin. Sin is a constant battle: our human nature gravitates toward sin while our spiritual calling demands holiness. We battle gods of many kinds. For example, the god of money believing that our toys and possessions give human life meaning. We battle the god of sex and the pursuit of God's great gift outside of a committed marriage. Those are two powerful human influences and require supernatural effort.

Don't Be Passive In The Battle.
Passive soldiers get defeated, and a lot of men are getting defeated by fleshly desires. Why? They don't believe they have the strength to stand up and declare "No!" They are shamed by their past mistakes or they are just apathetic and believe their efforts will make no difference. But our effort makes a difference. When we engage the battle great things happen.

If you have watched modern day soldiers get suited up for battle, you know how much they prepare for the battle they face. They gear up with helmets; flack jackets; ammunition; boots; night vision goggles; earpieces and weaponry and all the additional gear that goes in the packs. It is pretty impressive. Yet, we go into our day with little thought about the battles we will fight that day or the defensive and offensive gear that we need spiritually in order to fight our battles. It is no wonder we are defeated by sin. This is because passivity never works when we come to battle.

Go Into Battle Prepared.
Each of us knows where we're most vulnerable. Don't go into a new day without a plan for how you will handle your vulnerabilities. Not to do so is stupidity. First, devise a plan each day on how you will prepare for your days battle with your sin. Second, engage the weapon of prayer during the day asking God to help you deter and battle your sinful tendencies. Third, build a band of brothers and be candid with them who can encourage you and hold you accountable. Fourth, study Ephesians 6 regarding the armor of God and dig in deep in making better preparation in your heart and mind.

Those who downplay sin get defeated by it and lose the battle. Those who take it seriously and prepare are ready for victory through the Spirit. Take sin lightly and you will pay a terrible price ultimately. Take it seriously and you will prevail, or better God through you. Remember: "sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.

The Fighter Pilot Mindset – Critical Tasks

SUMMARY: F/A-18 Pilot, Chris Koelzer has been teaching me the Fighter Pilot Mindset. Here is how he defines it. The FIGHTER PILOT MINDSET, selflessly commits to normalized excellence, willingly chooses to be accountable, habitually accomplishes critical tasks, and continuously improves by using quality tools. Over the next few lessons join us as we discover how we can build this mindset into our spiritual life. Today’s lesson tackles topics of habitually accomplishing mission critical tasks.

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BOOK: Tyranny of the Urgent, by Charles Hummel

TRANSCRIPT:

Over the next few lessons, I want to share with you teachings I have been learning from a good friend of mine Chris Koelzer. Chris is a former F/A-18 pilot and today teaches leadership at T-6 Victory which is a DFW/Twin Cities-based leadership program that uses flight experiences to teach civilians leadership lessons. Chris’ thoughts on the fighter pilot mindset are profound and compelling. And for a guy like me who has only dreamed of being a fighter pilot, I have had the fantastic opportunity to learn from him. Chris is a remarkable man who both loves God and lives life with excellence. For me, he is a representation of the Resolute man. Over the next few lessons, we are going to be looking at what T-6 Victory teaches about the Fighter Pilot Mindset. Here is their definition of the FPM. “The FIGHTER PILOT MINDSET, selflessly commits to Normalized Excellence, willingly chooses to be accountable, habitually accomplishes critical tasks, and continuously improves by using quality tools.” Their definition of this mindset is composed of four factors which I want to address. The topic today is accomplishing critical tasks. To understand the fighter pilot mindset, we must keep in mind that the fighter pilots lives in constantly changing environments because military operations are always human endeavors. Engagement with an opponent never happens in a static environment. Therefore the pilot must adapt to his conditions and the moves and countermoves of his opponent. While a pilot will impose his will on the target, the enemy will resist, and this countermove is completely unpredictable. Therefore he is required to be constantly thinking and rethinking. Also, while engaging with the opposition, the fighter pilot must also act within the boundaries of his mission. His objective is to respond to the force opposing him but to also operate in conjunction with his team and mission. His team and commanding unit are relying on him to accomplish his critical tasks so that a goal can be achieved together. This is next level thinking. Not only does he think about the opponents moves and countermoves but how his team relies on him to complete the tasks are mission critical. In this, they are also synchronizing and integrating their goal and work into the larger mission. So when I was flying with Chris, I saw all this come into play. On the ground, Chris walked me around the plane and checked every inch and moving part of the T-6. He then had me suit up for the mission as he explained the particular mission and elements of the mission he and three other pilots had prepared for over a month. Chris then explained to me my critical tasks for the mission, including how to use the parachute strapped to my back, what to do in an emergency, a brief understanding of the instrument panel, along with items around me I was allowed to touch and things I could not touch. In all, it took about one hour of prep time, but I could tell there were years of training, and weeks of preparation put into this moment and every mission that he flies. Throughout all this, Chris held a checklist in hand and one-by-one he checked the critical task off the list. Perhaps one of the memorable moments for me was while we were flying. Chris met up skillfully with three other men from three different cities in Minnesota. In the lead was a former US astronaut, guiding the formation. And they each met up in strategic locations, one by one falling into formation. Our mission was to simulate a dive bomb scenario on a Minnesota lake get-to-gather. We took numerous passes, dropping smoke on the lake party using four different formations. As awesome as this all was, the most memorable moment was watching Chris, and the other pilots glued to the leader and observing their intense focus, not only to their formation but also their surroundings. As a civilian, I was stirred by the complexity and focus required by a fighter pilot. And remember we were not flying a jet breaking the speed of sound battling against an opponent. What I learned during my time was how important it is to perform critical tasks and how they relate to flying a successful mission. I am not too sure that most leaders could handle a complex set of tasks like this, which is why the fighter pilot must be one of the best at habitually accomplishing critical tasks. It is not an effort to just check items off a list, but to understand why the task are important, how they connect to the team and freely perform the mission at hand in constantly changing environments. So how does all this apply to real life? Well, I think my key takeaway from flying with Chris on this day was how particularly challenging it is to perform critical tasks with excellence in life consistently. And why? Well because we live in a world full of distractions. For example, I cannot recount how many times I have launched a web-browser only to become so distracted and entertained by social media that I close the browser only to realize that I did not complete the task I set out to dostarted. How many of you have done this? I have… many times. This distraction illustrates how hard it is, in our world today to habitually accomplish critical tasks and maintain an FPM. For the Christian man, I believe this translates into our spiritual life. While we each may know that our spiritual life is the most important mission in life, we rarely fulfill spiritual tasks as if they are mission critical. We are distracted by human vices all the time that keep us from our primary mission. These distractions can be both external and internal to us. Distractions which include things like the following Being overly self-focused and concerned with self. This internal distraction is always tempting us. When we get lost in our issues, problems, and distractions, we can lose sight of God and our mission with him. Lust is another major distraction for men. And while we might be carried away into sexual temptation, our lust is not always sexual in nature. Our lust could be a desire for more of anything outside the boundaries of God’s Will. For example, hunger for power, influence, success, possessions, and prestige. Another distraction is entertainment. We are entertained everywhere, including sometimes in our churches. And if this is not enough, our phones have become the incessant entertainment device. And we all know the average guy will spend about two hours a day on his phone, which means he is getting a lot of entertainment. And I think we could build a list all day long of things that distract us. And sometimes they can be good things, just not what is best. All this talk of distractions reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. While we may know this story, let me read it again. It is from Luke 10:38-42 38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things,42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” This is a great story but I want you to notice one thing about this text. It was not that what Martha was doing was bad; we must recognize it was good to prepare a meal and be hospitable, as it was custom to greet travelers with certain accommodations in their culture. However, the distraction of preparing was taking priority over the critical task of the moment. What Martha is inferring in her desire to have Mary help is that she too wants to participate however the customs of the moment were taking precedence over the presence of Christ, and Martha wanted to draw Mary into this maybe for both their benefits. And Jesus helps us to see that these small distractions can lead to mission slippage from critical tasks that take priority. Mary lived on a mission and focused on Jesus and Martha had a different mission it was to work to please Jesus, and how we slip into the second mission and less important mission. The simple application of a message like this is to remove the distractions. Turn social media off, take a fast from television, close out the browser, shut off the text alerts, and get some focus. Order your priorities and stick to them, and remained focused habitually. And don’t give up. In our world, today there are too many distractions that enable us to lose focus on the one thing that should take preeminence in our life – Jesus Christ and his mission for us. Start your day with him and think about Him all day, and what he wants for and from you. Today I have a great short reading for you in the post on the website under this topic by Charles Hummel. If you have never read it then you need to read it today. It will turn your mindset upside down or maybe right side up. Just go to beresolute.org select the Ongoing Content tab, go to the series on the Fighter Pilot Mindset, and select this lesson. Members there are all kinds of great tools here that come with your membership.

The Fighter Pilot Mindset – Continuous Improvement

SUMMARY: A process of continuous improvement is never an accident. For the fighter pilot, it must be planned and given intentional attention. In today’s Resolute Podcast discover a process for leveraging continuous improvement and how in the spiritual life the direction of continuous spiritual improvement is different and paradoxical from the approach of the world.

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The Fighter Pilot Mindset – Normalized Excellence

SUMMARY: F/A-18 Pilot, Chris Koelzer has been teaching me the Fighter Pilot Mindset. Here is how he defines this. “The FIGHTER PILOT MINDSET, selflessly commits to Normalized Excellence, willingly chooses to be accountable, habitually accomplishes critical tasks, and continuously improves by using quality tools.” The Fighter Pilot Mindset is one of “normalized excellence,” which requires perfection in every behavior. But how does the military train for this type of excellence? In today’s Resolute Podcast, discover the secrets of the training of America’s finest fighter pilots that transfer into every man’s spiritual life.

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The Fighter Pilot Mindset – Ownership

SUMMARY: F/A-18 Pilot, Chris Koelzer has been teaching me the Fighter Pilot Mindset. Here is how he defines it. The FIGHTER PILOT MINDSET, selflessly commits to normalized excellence, willingly chooses to be accountable, habitually accomplishes critical tasks, and continuously improves by using quality tools. Over the next few lessons join us as we discover how we can build this mindset into our spiritual life. Today’s lesson tackles topics on ownership and accountability.

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