These poor bastards. They’ve got us right where we want ‘em. We can shoot in every direction now. – Chesty Puller
Chesty Puller remains one of the most legendary Marines in a Marine Corps filled with them. The above quote, from a biography of Puller by Burke Davis, was from a time when Puller and his men found themselves surrounded by people hell bent on killing them. Rather than whine about being surrounded by the enemy, Puller turned the problem over 180 degrees and declared this a splendid opportunity to kill the enemy because they were really easy to find.
This is life in a nutshell. Every one of us has times when life is not going exactly as we expect it. It may not involve being surrounded by the enemy, but there are always challenges to overcome and mountains to climb in life.
So much of our life is dependent on our attitude. To a degree I’ve found astonishing, us humans tend to get out of life what we expect. Those who expect great things, and put the work in to get them, sometimes get great things. At the very least they have the satisfactions of having become the best they were capable of becoming, one of life’s great prizes.
Similarly, those who expect very little out of life tend to get very little out of life.
Chesty Puller is a great example of a life well lived: he was meant to be a United States Marine, so he became a United States Marine. He did it well, too, almost universally revered by those who served under him. Tough but fair, he demanded the very best out of both his men and himself. The above quote might well be the ultimate example of turning a bad situation over into something good. It is something all of us can do on a daily basis.