Jeff Depatie jump course

“A keen sense of versatility”: having a strong ability to adapt to different situations, tasks, or roles with ease and effectiveness. This person is highly flexible, can handle a variety of challenges, and can switch between different activities or responsibilities skillfully. This trait is valuable in dynamic environments where conditions change frequently, and being versatile allows one to respond promptly and appropriately to new circumstances.

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I thought that to pass JTF2 selection, I needed to be the best shooter, the strongest soldier, the most enduring, the best, the most, the greatest. The reality was that the scope of being an operator was so massive, that there was no way one person could master all of it, or come even close. I learned the greatest thing I could do was to be good enough to have a high level of flexibility and switch between hard and soft skills as fluidly and efficiently as possible.

The relentless pursuit of specialization doesn’t make a lot of sense to me these days. A specialist runs the danger of experiencing burnout, narrow perspectives, and a lack of adaptability.

One could argue that corporations and powerful economic entities have an interest in promoting specialization to maintain control over the labor force, reducing the likelihood of workers gaining broader skill sets that could lead to independence or entrepreneurial ventures… one could argue.

Psyop or not, being remarkably versatile isn’t as sexy as being a master, but I’d rather surround myself with polymaths than specialists. While mastering one thing has its merits, a balanced approach that values both depth and breadth is often more sustainable and rewarding. Plus it makes for better stories.

Here’s what I learned in the unit.

Instead of striving for mastery in a singular direction, focus on honing principles that provide a flexible framework.

Principles serve as fundamental guidelines that direct our actions and decisions. Unlike rigid drills or routines, principles provide a flexible framework that can adapt to various situations. They are akin to the “if this, then that” approach, helping us navigate complexities with a clear sense of purpose.

The top principle to consider is understanding your overarching, best possible mission success. In the context of life, what is your raison d’être—your life’s work and purpose?

This principle becomes your focal point, guiding all other actions and decisions. When we align our daily activities with this core principle, we create a different form of consistency that is both meaningful and sustainable.

  1. Identify your core principles: Determine what matters most to you. What are your non-negotiables? What drives you? These principles will act as your compass.
  2. Set focal points, not singular directions: You don’t need to limit yourself to one narrow path. Instead, aim for a broader focal point—an ideal that encompasses your diverse interests and goals.
  3. Gather yourself in short increments: Break your tasks and goals into smaller, focused increments. Short bursts of concentrated effort can lead to significant progress without overwhelming you.
  4. Minimize distractions: Create an environment that supports focus. Limit exposure to unnecessary information and set boundaries to protect your time and energy.
  5. After Action Reviews (AAR): Consistently revisit your principles and focal points. Reflect on your progress and make adjustments as needed to stay aligned with your core purpose.

One last thing on consistency.

Efficient consistency doesn’t mean rigid adherence to routines. It’s about staying true to your principles and allowing them to guide your actions consistently. This approach enables you to remain adaptable and resilient in the face of change, maintaining a clear sense of direction even when the path is not linear – because it’s never linear.

Honing principles over drills requires a shift in mindset. It’s about focusing not just on the minutiae of daily routines but on the broader ideals that guide your life. By understanding and committing to your core principles, you can navigate the complexities of modern life with more clarity and purpose.

Gather yourself in short increments, focus where you can, remain conscientiously flexible, and let your principles lead the way. This will help you find that sweet spot between depth and breadth, achieving a dynamic and adaptable approach to personal and professional growth.


Jeff Depatie

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