The Sunday Preach:
Know yourself, Know your enemy...
If you look yourself in the mirror and say: "I'm ok with being mediocre today, just the same as I was yesterday" then this Preach will only scratch the surface of a deeper problem. We must always remain a student of our profession and look to refine our actions against our enemy.
A good student knows that not everything they see, read or taught in a class will have a direct impact on their lives or careers. One needs to be an understanding that tactical applications of what we see, read and hear will be impacted by factors that sometimes are beyond your immediate control (staffing, apparatus and building stock).
"The fire service has a philosophy of what we like to call “rigid flexibility.” We must hold on to our core values on one hand while realizing that change is inevitable on the other. While we must not be too quick to jump on every new idea and fad, we must see if it would work for our department. Just because a tool or policy works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. Try it out. If it works, by all means adopt it. Professionals in any trade recognize there is always room for improvement." (Introduction)
The study of YOU however is one that can constructed and viewed in many dimensions. Firstly, a realistic self assessment with an internal assessment by yourself, then an external one by your peers... be it a formal evaluation or an informal peer review, look to make yourself better today than yesterday...
The study of your ENEMY can also be reviewed is several dimensions. Reading, watching video, listening to mentors, peers, and the senior members all have merit. Case studies, review of your building challenges, white board exercises and hands on training in acquired buildings round out the knowledge base.
100 battles, 10,000 battles or your next battle. You aren't as good as your last fire, you are only as good as your NEXT fire, and the one after that, and the one after that...
In order to limit the "fear" of that next job, know yourself and know your enemy!