Scott DeLuzio 00:00:00 Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And now let’s get on with the show. Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Scott Harris. Scott is a parachutist, an army veteran, a businessman, and a motivational speaker. He’s also the author of the book Leap Forward, which we’ll talk about a little bit later in this episode, but first I want to welcome you to the show, Scott.
Scott Harris 00:00:44 Well, thanks for having me, Scott.
Scott DeLuzio 00:00:46 Yeah, absolutely. So, why don’t you give us a little more details about yourself, your background, what led you to join the army and all that kind of stuff?
Scott Harris 00:00:57 Well, it’s kind of a different story. I was kind of a misanthrope and as a kid, I didn’t fit in really well and I didn’t do particularly well in public school. I dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and joined the army in 1975. And this was not a popular decision in 1975, at the tail end of the Vietnam war. Basically my parents who had to sign off on this insanity and most of my friends didn’t really know what the heck I was doing. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made my whole life. It changed my whole life and set me on a great path, but that’s how I got in the army. And while I was there, I learned a lot of independence.
Scott Harris 00:01:47 I learned a lot about myself and what I could do and things like that. And I started skydiving in the army, not as a paratrooper, but as a sport parachutist. I was stationed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea. There was a sports parachute club on the base. And back then, there were a lot of sports, parachute clubs at different military bases. And they were supported by the military in that they would supply aircraft for us. So basically I got to learn to skydive and make a whole bunch of jumps while I was in the military at almost no cost to me. I had to pay a minimal fee to belong to the club.
Scott DeLuzio 00:02:38 That sounds like a pretty great way to get into it if you’re looking at
Scott Harris 00:02:42 It was great for me. And it was great for a lot of us. I almost re-enlisted just to keep up with that, just to keep skydiving and, and maybe ultimately try out for the Golden Knights, the Army’s demo demonstration team, but I thought better of it. I had a great time in the military. I learned a lot of things about myself. It changed my life all for the better. I learned lessons that I still employ in my life today, some 57 years later, but I had enough. The two years that I signed up for was enough for me. And I decided to get on with my life after that. So I didn’t stay in, just a skydive. I certainly kept skydiving. Now. I mentioned skydiving, a prominent subject with me and it’s very prominent in my book, but it isn’t. I don’t feel like it’s something that most people necessarily need to do in order to benefit from what I have to say about facing challenges and that sort of thing.
Scott Harris 00:03:53 But it’s just where I learned to face extreme challenges. And I learned a lot about myself and how to control myself in intense situations. That’s a lot of what my book is about. It’s about how to face challenges, and how those lessons can apply to any challenge you face, even if it’s being afraid to speak in front of other people or a cook, talk to a girl, or anything like that. It’s all the same principle. You really have to just kind of buck up and do it and, and try to control yourself, try to keep from holding yourself back from performing at your best. But that’s where it kind of started for me after I got out of the army. I went to college. I hadn’t planned on it because I didn’t think I was cut out for it.
Scott Harris 00:04:45 And I hated school so much as a kid, but the truth is, college was great fun. I had a blast in school. It was completely different from public school because they didn’t treat me like a kid. I was there to do a job. I was there too and I had a purpose in being there and it actually became great fun. I could have stayed in school for the rest of my life, except I couldn’t see how I could make a living doing that and get all that expensive. I guess that’s what I think a lot of academics do. They just liked the academic life and they stayed in it and they became professors. And it’s the same thing. It’s the perennial student that becomes the professor. There’s a lot I can see how that’s a good thing, but it wasn’t really that wasn’t my path.
Scott Harris 00:05:36 I ended up getting a degree in engineering and, pursuing that, professionally. But once again, I changed what I was doing. Many times I went down a lot of different forks in the road. I put myself through college teaching skydiving and running my own business while I was going to school, which was a lot to take on. And, then I got out of school and I was an engineering officer in the Merchant Marine. And when times were bad, I would go back to teaching, skydiving and doing, and working as a pilot, while I was in college, I also got my commercial pilot’s license. I basically was a dual major. if you sense that there’s a theme of overachievement, you’d be right.
Scott Harris 00:06:30 or at least by some standard, I like to overachieve. I don’t really say I want to do more than anyone else. I just want to do what I want to do. I learned to love facing new challenges. That’s really what I learned from skydiving. That’s what I need. I need to have challenges to face all the time in life. I need something new. I need to be facing something that I know is hard for me to do but therein lies all my happiness is by overcoming things that are in front of me. And not reaching a final goal is of almost no value. That’s not what life is about. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a race to the finish line.
Scott Harris 00:07:24 It’s a journey and you have to enjoy the whole journey. People who go to work, doing things they’d hate. I don’t understand those people. I’ve never been capable of doing that. I couldn’t do a job. I hated for any period of time right now, sometimes that means you find joy in the accomplishment of doing something difficult. I mean, I did horrible labor jobs. I cleaned the toilets. I dug ditches and things like that, but I found joy in the accomplishment of a job well done, or, just working hard and sweating, but you have to be able to find satisfaction in some things like that because most jobs employ a certain amount of redundancy. That’s why you get paid to do it. But you have to find joy in it or you can’t do it. You can’t do anything. Well, if you’re not looking forward to it, if you’re not, if you don’t feel like you’re getting something out of it, you can’t just work for a paycheck. It’s just not enough. It’s not enough for anyone. If all you’re working for is a paycheck, you’re just going to be miserable. Because it’s not enough.
Scott DeLuzio 00:08:39 Right. For sure. And I know in my own life, my own professional life and, everything, some of the greatest joys that I’ve had came through things that I had to struggle through to accomplish some things that work we’re definitely more on the difficult side. So outside of doing a podcast professionally, I do like website development. When I first started doing that, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I started really because my father was starting a business and I asked him if I could help him with anything. And he asked me to build a website. I told him, I didn’t know how to do that. I never did it before. And he said, go buy a book and figure it out.
Scott DeLuzio 00:09:30 And so I did. And when I finished that first website, I was like, I am hooked because I started off with a blank screen there was nothing there. And this was back in the days before websites just built themselves. This was back when you actually had to do the code to make the website look the way you want it to look. It is amazing that I was able to go from a blank screen to now having something that functions and it works. And it looks halfway decent. I just really enjoyed that accomplishment, not just the fact that I was able to get that done, but the learning process that went into it and all the struggle that trial and error and everything that I went through, was just an amazing process. So, I definitely know what you’re talking about with that. It seems like it’s very similar, in regards to almost having to step out of your comfort zone and kind of take a risk at something that you’re trying to do. Right?
Scott Harris 00:10:34 Absolutely. There’s no risks, no pain, no gain, no risk, no accomplishment. If you’re just plotting along, you’re just treading water. And it’s funny that’s what people are most afraid of is that they’re not good enough that they’re going to fail and failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of success. If you’re never going to be a success at anything, until you fail multiple times, the road to success is paved with failure. It really is. It’s not paved with nothing but success. Even if you look at anybody, Bill Gates, any of those people, they struggled, they fell on their butt many times before they accomplished the success that they enjoyed. And the same is true of anyone.
Scott DeLuzio 00:11:38 You look at people who are seemingly overnight successes. Their name just pops up in the news or whatever. And that now all of a sudden, they’re this big icon and whatever the industry is. And you think to yourself, my gosh, how could I be like that? How could I get success overnight and end up like this kind of person? But what they don’t see are all the late nights that these people put into their work and all the failures that they’ve had leading up to where they are now. They don’t see all of that stuff. So like those people, it must make them cringe. When someone says you’re like an overnight success, you have no idea how many overnights I’ve taken to get to this point where I’m on this kind of success.
Scott Harris 00:12:29 It’d belittle their success to say it just happened. You didn’t really have any. You didn’t do anything. It just happened to you and it’s actually quite insulting to assume that somebody just fell into it. Because that really quite rarely happens. I mean, people win the lottery, but not very often.
Scott DeLuzio 00:12:52 But, can you really classify that as a success? Yes. You succeeded in winning.
Scott Harris 00:12:58 I guess. I mean, people win the lottery just as a kind of a statement of I mean, it happens, people just suddenly achieve some great financial success or something else or notoriety, but it’s pretty rare. Mostly it’s at the tail end of a lot of hard work.
Scott DeLuzio 00:13:21 Right. So let me ask because I want to get into kind of a little bit about your book and some of the lessons that you have in there. In your book, you talk about the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone and absolutely. How did you, in your own life, face some of those challenges that you came up with, and overcome some of the obstacles that were in your way?
Scott Harris 00:13:53 I’m going to go back a little and start when I started skydiving and it’s, but it’s a common theme. I mean, I did this my whole life. My father, he, and I basically reached the same philosophy towards life, through such radically different pathways. He has practiced transcendental meditation, his whole life. And what meditation is trying to teach you is to focus your mind on, so under your own control so that you can focus it on any particular challenge or any problem that you might have. And in my own pathway, I learned through skydiving to do the same thing, because basically when your foot leaves the door of the airplane, you’re not thinking about your bills or the argument you had with your wife or girlfriend, or how your job’s going.
Scott Harris 00:15:06 You are 100% in the moment you have to be, it forces you to be there. And by repeatedly doing this, I learned to focus all of my resources on any particular problem. And this has followed me throughout my lifetime. Now I kind of took it to extremes because I basically seek out new problems and new challenges to a rather strange level or at least atypical. But beside that, that lesson has never left me and I’ve refined it over time, but it’s the same thing. If you can learn to focus all of your resources on any particular problem, you can accomplish great things. Anyone can accomplish so much more than they really believe they’re themselves capable of. If they can really focus all of their ability, all of their mental resources on that particular problem and not be distracted by anything else, particularly not to be distracted by your own fear or your own anxiety or your own feelings, of incompetence or the fact that most people fail at stuff because they really don’t believe that they are qualified or they’re good enough. Everybody can accomplish so much more. If you can really put all of that crap out of your mind and focus all of your intent on the problem that’s right in front of you, it becomes a much smaller problem. And your success is that much sweeter.
Scott DeLuzio 00:17:01 It is. And you grow as a person to you once you’re able to achieve that one thing, that one goal that you’re laser-focused on, and you get that one thing done. Now, you have another tool in your tool belt. If it’s learning a new skill or something like that. And now that’s going to just help you along your journey with the next thing that you try to tackle, right?
Scott Harris 00:17:27 It’s like any muscle. If you can learn to focus all of your consciousness on one specific thing, even for a short period of time, then you can practice it, you get better at it, just like anything else playing the piano, anything you ever do. If you do it more, you’ll get better at it. And if you get really good at focusing all of your intent on a little problem, you’ll get better at it. And you’ll reach the point where you can focus at all on bigger problems and overcome bigger problems with ease and joyfully. You will reach a point like I have where it’s fun to take on new problems. It’s really the stuff of which life has really made is to take on new things and just, and overcome them.
Scott DeLuzio 00:18:20 Right. It’s really part of human nature to solve problems. I mean, we’ve been doing it since we were living in caves. This cave is cold and it’s not a good place to live, so let’s build something else. Let’s figure that out. All throughout human history, we’ve been solving problems, big and small. Just look at anybody’s life from the time that they’re born all the way through when they’ve grown up and they’re much older in life. When you’re young maybe it’s hard to ride a bike, right? And, when you learn to ride a bike, all of your energy, just like you were saying, all of your focus and attention is on figuring out how to ride that bike.
Scott DeLuzio 00:19:08 You’re not worried about the bully on the playground or what’s for dinner or any of it. You’re not worried about anything else. You’re worried about that one thing. But then once you get it, it’s easy and you can do it for the rest of your life. That’s why there’s that saying, oh, it’s just like riding a bike. You can pick it right back up and do it anytime. But then you add onto those skills and you build onto it throughout your life. And that’s a relatively small thing, something like riding a bike. Like you were saying, you can then start to tackle bigger things, and you get more confidence in yourself and you can do those big things down the line, as you get older and more confident in your own abilities. Right?
Scott Harris 00:19:53 Absolutely. I have a couple of chapters in my book about facing leadership challenges. It’s interesting. And it’s weird to most, any of us who’ve ever been in the military, but the truth is, that leadership isn’t something that’s taught. It’s not taught in school. There’s no real leadership classes. I mean, if you took a business class, there might be a six-week course in leadership, but that’s not you can’t, this is one of those things you can’t really learn from a book, right? you can get ideas from a book, but you have to practice things. You have to actually do stuff. But a lot of times in the business world and in any kind of operation people you have people who are contributors who contribute something, they are mechanics or whatever they do.
Scott Harris 00:20:47 And the better you get at it, the more responsibility that gets passed on to you until you reach a point where they say, well, you’re ready. We’re going to put you in charge of all these other contributors. Well, there wasn’t anything about working on a car that taught you how to manage six other guys working on cars or any other situation like that. And this happens to people all over, in every walk of life. If somebody who’s energetic and hardworking, they get moved ahead and they get moved ahead until they get put in charge of a bunch of other people who are doing the job that they were doing with no training. They don’t give them a six-month training program on how to be a manager.
Scott Harris 00:21:36 They didn’t say, okay, you’re in charge now. And instead of doing the job that they were really good at now. They’re doing something they have zero experience with and have no idea what to do. And though there’ve been studies and they always come up with the same answers that 60% of every new manager fails within the first year. They didn’t get that job because they weren’t hard workers. They got that job because they were great at what they did. And then they got stuck into something and they didn’t get any support or training, and they didn’t have any knowledge about how to handle it, how to work with how to support other people. Because everybody thinks of somebody who’s a boss or a manager as being the one in charge with all the answers. But the truth is, is the boss or the manager a support person?
Scott Harris 00:22:28 He’s there to support the people who are doing the work, right. And it’s a completely different skill set. And it’s not that I don’t believe those people who’ve been pushed into management. They aren’t capable of doing that job, but they need help. They at least need somebody to tell them that the fact that they don’t know what they’re doing is okay because they don’t. Because there wasn’t anything to prepare them for this new role. And it’s really kind of sad because it’s so important if you’re good at something to be able to duplicate your own efforts through others. The world is desperate for people who can take charge and manage others, you other skilled workers in all walks of life. And we haven’t figured this out, the American educational system hasn’t figured out how to do this. And business has been very slow to figure out how to assist people in changing their entire role in the work environment. And we want to help. And it really is a transition right from this huge it’s completely different
Scott DeLuzio 00:23:45 From that, that mindset of the worker who is building whatever it is, if they’re like a mechanic or if they’re even like plumbers and electricians that they could be the best plumber in the world. Then you put them into that management position where they’re now managing a series of other plumbers who are going out and doing the job that they used to be really good at. But now that’s not their job anymore. Now they’re managing people and that’s totally different.
Scott Harris 00:24:25 There’s nothing to with plumbing, I mean, it doesn’t really matter, no matter what you do eventually there’s people who work independently like you and me, but most people work in groups and there’s always somebody who needs to be in charge of that group just for organizational sake. And it’s largely promoted from within, somebody from that group is doing a really good job and they put them in charge. And they’re not prepared for it, and it’s really too bad.
Scott DeLuzio 00:25:06 I’d like to kind of move this conversation this direction. The military does a good job at teaching people how to lead people.
Scott Harris 00:25:25 And it’s like the only place.. And honestly, I know people in business whose first choice for any job opening is a veteran. I’ve brought others, I also have a commercial inspection company. And if I hire another property inspector, I’m only going to hire a veteran. I know they’re going to show up and they’re going to work. They’re going to do what you tell them to do, and they’re able to follow directions. And eventually, they’ll be able to work independently. I know all of that without ever meeting them. I know those three things. And, every veteran out there has those qualities. I mean, unless they got kicked out for some horrible thing, but, 90% of the people that get an honorable discharge from any branch in the military, they know how to show up.
Scott Harris 00:26:23 They know how to do whatever they need to do, and they can follow directions and they can work independently. They can think independently, they can make their own decisions about what they have to do to accomplish whatever goal is set before them. These are the most important things to know in life. I mean, without being a veteran, where do you learn things? You used to learn them from your parents, but it doesn’t seem that that’s the parenting style that’s going on anymore. And I, unfortunately, meet a lot of young people that really struggle with those issues. I, fortunately, do meet quite a few young people who do know how to do these things and I’ve learned it but, they’re the minority. It’s tough. I know lots of businesses that are rethinking their whole organization, just so they do not have to have employees to eliminate the need for employees, because it’s so difficult to get people who know those basic things. So have those core values and abilities that are pretty commonplace amongst veterans. You’re getting that right.
Scott Harris 00:27:45 Doing electrical work, but they’ll show up, they’ll do what they have to do. And they can, once given instruction, they can work independently.
Scott DeLuzio 00:27:56. And the nice thing about it is, we’ve established that veterans have these qualities to be good leaders and, and take on these bigger roles. But one of the things that you were talking about earlier, I want to bring that up too. When we step outside of our comfort zone, we do these challenging things, these bigger things. It helps us to find some happiness in our lives, right?
Scott Harris 00:28:29 Yes, joy in the world is to face any challenge without fear, without second-guessing yourself and pushing through it to whatever outcome the outcome is. Not as important as knowing that you can face things and not hold yourself back. That’s the greatest joy there is in the world. It really is.
Scott DeLuzio 00:28:54 And the reason why I bring that up and for people who listened to this podcast. They know a lot about what this podcast is about, hopefully, but for anyone who’s a new listener or whatever, this podcast is all about helping out veterans trying to figure out any of the things that they’re going through. We talked about all sorts of things, PTSD, employment-related issues transitioning out of the military, and all that kind of stuff. And it just seems like so many veterans are struggling and they’re having a hard time with things. But they don’t realize how many tools and resources are available to them. Just through their service, the stuff that they’ve already learned, how to lead troops, and how to manage the resources and logistics and other that they’ve already learned and they can apply a lot of that to other leadership positions in the civilian world.
Scott DeLuzio 00:29:59 And like you said, Or anywhere. and that can help them to create happiness, right? They don’t have to be depressed, and feel like they have no purpose or meaning in life when they are capable of going out and achieving all these great things. To me, it just seems like we should have more veterans getting involved in this and leading people. The way they were trained to lead and really help, not only help themselves to find a purpose and a meaning in life, and create that happiness. But quite frankly, I think it could actually help shift the way the country is heading and really create these great opportunities for businesses and people who are working for them to create a much better life for themselves, their communities, and everything like that. So that’s why I wanted to dig into this a little bit and find out more about what are some of the steps that people can take to really get outside of their comfort zone and face that fear that they might have a fear of failure, fear of the unknown, or whatever that they may have. What are some of the things that they can do to overcome some of that?
Scott Harris 00:31:28 Well, it’s interesting. I’m a chief pilot at a parachute center. Most of the people that work there and are real active skydivers are a little younger than I am. I’ve befriended a few of the younger veterans who faced a lot of the things in Afghanistan and other parts of the world like that in the last 20 years. And they do struggle, and I’ve been kind of blessed to be able to help some of these guys. So I’ve given some specific thought to face some of the problems that they’re facing. And it is tough, and there is no simple solution for PTSD or anything like that. But the whole thing about fitting into society. And it’s so difficult for a lot of these guys to feel like why am I here?
Scott Harris 00:32:28 Because they’re surrounded by a bunch of misanthropes, who’ve never done anything in their lives, and they feel like they’re outsiders. And it’s true. You’re an outlier. You’re not the same as the other 80% of the millennials who want to cry because they get a hangnail and don’t know how to show up to work on time. But the world is not quite as stupid as it might appear. If all you do is listen to the news media and check out Facebook. If you’re feeling like you’re not fitting in, the first thing you should probably do is not stay the hell off of Facebook, because if that’s your window into society, it’s going to be pretty stinted. But the truth is, if you need to find other people who are like-minded and understand that even people who aren’t veterans, people of presence, people who are doing things in this world will recognize your value.
Scott Harris 00:33:34 They will recognize, and they will recognize the fact that you are a person of substance, no matter what you are, a person of substance, you will show up. That’s the most important thing in life, just showing up. It’s commonplace for veterans to show up when they’re supposed to, but it’s not common in society. And it is recognized as a very important aspect of life. And it makes you just that one thing that makes you an incredibly valuable person. It makes you more valuable than the other 800 jerk-offs behind you, who don’t show up and show up every time reliably and everything else can be fixed. If you don’t know how to do a specific job, you can learn, especially if you show up and the ability to think on your two feet and make, make decisions, being able to make the right decisions to accomplish whatever goal is in front of you.
Scott Harris 00:34:44 Everybody learns this in the military, this is common stuff. This is base level, basic training crap, but the rest of the world doesn’t understand that. And it does make you feel like an outsider because things that you’re very core that it seems like the rest of the world doesn’t know. And I don’t appreciate it. And, and some of that, it’s true, but not all of it. I appreciate it. Even people who don’t understand this will appreciate the fact that you show up and you do what you say you’re going to do. I mean, these are universal truths that transcend any bullshit in the media or woke nonsense or anything that’s going on. One man shows up and does what he says he’s going to do is of greater value than anyone else. And throughout history, these are the people who make a difference in the world. And if you can do those two things, you will make a difference. You’re a valuable person, and you can find your way. And there’s lots of other vets out there who want to reach out and help.
Scott DeLuzio 00:36:04 And, it feels like you kind of need to get comfortable with failure. With trying things and not being successful right off the bat. Because like you said earlier, failure is a part of success. You kind of have to fail. You’re going back to that example. You have to fall off a bike before you learn how to ride. It’s not like you’re just going to hop on. And all of a sudden you’ve got the perfect balance, and you’re good to go. It’s not like you’re going to start a management job, managing people, and all of a sudden, just be good to go and, and just take it from there. You’re gonna have some mistakes. You’re going to screw things up every once in a while. I guess the point is you gotta learn from those mistakes and learn what to do, what not to do.
Scott Harris 00:37:00 Things go wrong. And if you get any experience, you have even, failure at the core of this is you have to accept. I mean, a lot of life is about acceptance. One of the biggest tricks in life is just accepting. What’s there and accepting other people. You can’t fix everything. You have to accept it the way it is and do the best you can with what you have. And for a veteran who feels out of place, you have to accept the fact that you’re not the same as everybody else. You probably will always feel a little out of place. When you go to a rodeo and they want all the veterans to stand up and you stand up because, and it’s a little embarrassing because all those people who are saluting you or cheering you, they don’t get it.. The only people who get it are the other guys that are standing up, who really just assume not.
Scott DeLuzio 00:38:09 And quite frankly, some of them probably just don’t.
Scott Harris 00:38:12 Because they just don’t want to draw attention to themselves. But you’re with your family, they know you’re a veteran and you kind of have to, and it’s not embarrassing because you’re ashamed of being a veteran. It’s embarrassing because these people who are thanking you for your service have not the slightest clue what they’re thanking you for. They don’t know what they did, they don’t know what it took for you. And they don’t understand what it gave you. My personal take on it, it’s always felt a little strange to me because people are almost apologetic when they want to thank me for my service a long time ago. They don’t understand this is the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed my whole life for the better.
Scott Harris 00:39:03 It made me who I am. And I like who I am and for. And what I would want to say to the other veterans is you have to accept the fact that you’re different. It’s okay. You’re different from a lot of these other people. You’re better than most of them in a lot of ways. It doesn’t mean you’re more important than they are. And it’s not some goofy thing like that, but you have skills that they don’t have. You have skills that if you learn to use in the civilian world, you can do better than they can. They can’t even begin to compete with you. And if anything, you should feel sorry for them, because they haven’t been given the gift of how to really connect with other people, how to trust somebody else, how to trust your buddies with your life. They don’t know what any of that means. It’s all just kind of an esoteric concept to them. The only thing they know about it is what they see in the movies. And that’s not reality.
Scott DeLuzio 00:40:09 No, exactly. When we have all these veterans who are unemployed, some of them are homeless, they have the ability in them. They’ve learned this stuff and it just kills me to see all these people who are struggling.
Scott Harris 00:40:32 Horrifying. It’s horrifying that we’re not supporting our veterans. It’s disgusting. Some of these guys need help. Some of the guys who are homeless and they have drug problems and things like that. They need help in other ways. But it does start with them. You have to accept that you’re different. And you’re always going to feel like an outlier that doesn’t, It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You just have to accept it, move on. And you have to forgive yourself for feeling bad or to feel negative about yourself. You have to forgive yourself and forget about that move. Look at what problems are in front of you and devote your attention to solving those problems towards moving forward. You have to accept that you’re different. and just give up on changing that because you can’t, you are different. And it’s a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. And all these people are so valuable. People with the values of a veteran are desperately needed by society today. It’s almost the only hope the average person isn’t doesn’t fill me with hope anymore.
Scott DeLuzio 00:41:51 I hear you with that. And when you have someone who’s different.. You have to look at that as a positive thing because you don’t get to achieve great success. You mentioned Bill Gates before There’s all these other comments. Other people who have achieved great things in their lives, you don’t achieve these great things by just being mediocre, by being average, by being like everybody else. You achieve these things by being different, by being extraordinary in a certain area of your life. And especially that tenacity and the ability to show up and just focus on that thing that you’re driving towards in accomplishing your goals if you just give up and quit on things, there’s no way you’re gonna move forward and succeed.
Scott DeLuzio 00:42:52 So, look at that bet being different as a positive thing. Who wants to be average, right? You don’t want to be average and just like everybody else, because if you want to be like everyone else, you’re going to get what everyone else has had all along. So look at it as a positive. Don’t think of this as a death sentence. Like, I’m different from everyone else. Well, what good? You should be different from everyone else because everyone else sucks. They’re not as good as what you can be.
Scott Harris 00:43:25 I think what a lot of these guys are struggling with. They feel lonely. Once you get out of the service, you’re now disconnected from all your teams, your buddies, The people you’re close to. That you can count on. And they get stuck in the civilian world. They don’t fit in. So they feel very isolated and it’s true. They are isolated, and it’s hard to learn to connect. And I see that. I see some of these younger guys really struggling with connecting to other people, other civilians. And in some ways they’re, they’re connecting on a superficial level because it’s all abbreviated because that’s how most people actually connect. It’s all very superficial, all Facebook friends. Well, those aren’t real friends. A real friend is the guy you can call to help you, cut up a tree that fell against your house. That’s a real friend. It’s not somebody who gives you their damn opinion about everything.
Scott DeLuzio 00:44:27 Yeah, exactly. Like a veteran who has this ability to be better than other people than, than in being, satisfied with being average? I think there’s no limit to what they can achieve. They can keep doing that. You’re doing in your life and what you’ve done. What you’ve talked about. You buy that next challenge and you tackle it and you focus on that. And when you focus on anything, any worthy goal that you’re doing you’ll eventually figure it out. You will eventually achieve whatever that goal is. You’ll finish that task, whatever the objective is, you’ll get to the end of that. And just like anything else that makes you better.
Scott DeLuzio 00:45:34 Those are building blocks that you can use to advance yourself in your career and your personal life whatever it is. One of the reasons why I wanted to have you on was to, get that message out to the veterans, I feel like, there’s enough people out there who don’t really see it that way. They don’t understand just how important what they have inside of them is in what they can achieve. I think that a little bit of encouragement can definitely help some people to find their way in and really just focus on whatever it is that their goal is, and achieve bigger and greater things than what they’ve been achieving all along.
Scott Harris 00:46:24 Well, they’ve all learned to do their best at something. They’ve all learned to go the absolute distance in any, It starts in basic training and all your military training. You’re taught to go to the absolute limits of what your performances, and if you can bring that mentality to any other problem, you can only be successful,
Scott DeLuzio 00:46:50 In the military, in basic training and in combat and other things that you might have training that you might be doing, you have other people there who are pushing you to do better. In basic training, chances are people who have gone through basic training. That’s probably one of the hardest things that they’ve done in their life up until that point. Right? So they need to have the drill sergeants there who are pushing them to do better, because without that, well, you know what? This is too hard for me. And I quit right. And
Scott Harris 00:47:28 Learn not to drill sergeants, trying to teach if you don’t really need him there. The purpose of the drill Sergeant is to eliminate his necessity. That’s his whole point. That’s what every leader in the military, that’s their whole purpose is to push you to the point where you don’t need them anymore. You can do your very best without anybody looking.
Scott DeLuzio 00:47:53 And it almost worked themselves out of a job, right. That’s what their whole point of being there is to get people. To push themselves harder and go further. In a way it’s almost like the training wheels, you have that person there and they’re there to push you. To get you on the right track. But then you take off those training wheels. Now you’re pushing yourself and you’re able to move yourself forward. I think that’s something that a lot of veterans just, I don’t know. They really understand that they have that ability still inside of them with anything that they do.
Scott Harris 00:48:33 I suppose that’s true. I think most of the guys that I talked to, they know that they can do more, they know they can do better. I think they feel broken because they feel unappreciated. They feel like they don’t fit. And they don’t think that anybody cares that they can do their best. They don’t care about that. And, and that’s, that’s actually more sad to me because the world cares. Everybody really does care if you, if you go out and accomplish things. I had a young fellow who was in the service for 10 years and he’s struggled. He’s a skydiving instructor, but he’s kind of struggled for about five years trying to figure out what to do. Eventually, he became an EMT and he excelled at this, having a really tough job in front of him and something to really Excel at all the time. And he really found his niche. He fits in, again, he was almost ready to take a contract military job or something like that to get back to what he knew. It’s really pleasant to see the growth that he’s made and gotten out of all that and found a place for himself in society without having to go backwards.
Scott DeLuzio 00:50:04 And that again has pushed himself out of that comfort zone and made him get into something that was difficult to get into. It was different.
Scott Harris 00:50:19 A lot of roadblocks, a lot of bureaucratic nonsense, a lot of classes and training and stuff, but the training, was fun actually for him, at least that’s what he said, but the rest of the bureaucracy and stuff, maybe not so much,
Scott DeLuzio 00:50:37 There’s going to be some roadblocks that stand in the way of anything worth achieving. If you let something like some bureaucracy or other things like that stand in your way, what can I tell you? You’re probably not going to achieve a whole lot without if you want small things like that to stand in your way. I think that’s a good example of someone who didn’t really know what direction they should be taking and, and took a chance to take a little bit of a risk, and found out that, Hey, I can do this. And I’ve achieved some great things. And I think that’s a great way to save lives.
Scott DeLuzio 00:51:27 Right. And, tell me that doesn’t have a purpose, right? When you get out of the military, you feel like you don’t have that. You feel like you don’t have a purpose sometimes. You’re out there saving lives on a daily basis. I mean, that couldn’t be more meaningful. I’m glad that you shared that story. And with that, I think that’s probably a good place to kind of wrap this up. I do want to give you the opportunity to let people know where they can go to get your book and find out more about you. And I know you do some speaking engagements and stuff like that. I wanna make sure you get a chance to kind of plug all that stuff at the end here, find your book, Leap Forward, and everything.
Scott Harris 00:52:18 Sure. Well, my book is called Leap Forward, and it is semi-autobiographical. It basically outlines a lot of the different experiences that I’ve had and the things that I’ve learned from those experiences that can be applied by anyone in other, or even similar, situations. It’s really all about facing, or embracing challenges to help you perform at your highest level and, and find the greatest joy that you can. And it, my book Leap Forward is available on Amazon Barnes and Noble, or I have a personal website, ScottKHarris.com, which also prints the book. And it’s a great place to connect with me if you want. You’re interested in a speaking engagement, to any group or to either virtually or in person. I also offer Leap Forward as an audiobook, recorded by me and that’s available on Audible or on Amazon. And I kind of feel that the audiobook is almost a better product. It’s kind of interesting because I’ve enjoyed books read by authors in the past because the author can stress the emotion behind the things that they’re trying to tell you more than the printed word can. And a lot of the things that I have to say I am pretty passionate about, and I think it comes across better in the audiobook,
Scott DeLuzio 00:54:02 So, I will have links to all of us in the show notes to your website, to your book, social media, and everything like that. I’ll have all of that in the show notes. So anyone who wants to check out the book and everything else to check out for a speaking engagement or anything, find the links there in the show notes on our website, Drive On Podcast.com. and we’ll have all of that there. So you can check it out. Again, Scott, I really appreciate you coming on the show and sharing your story. I think it’s, inspiration to some of the people who might be listening, give them some encouragement, to push themselves to achieve great things, and really that’s, I think what we all want for our veterans in the military community. So, thank you again for coming on and sharing this story.
Scott Harris 00:55:04 Thanks for having me.
Scott DeLuzio 00:55:06 Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website DriveOnPodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube Drive On Podcast.