Forgiveness comes faster than permission. – Navy saying

There is a humorous comparison regarding the difference between an Air Force Officer and a Naval Officer.

When faced with an uncertain task or if there is doubt about having the authority to carry out a task, an Air Force officer will look to “the books” to see where it explicitly states he is allowed to perform the action in question. If there is no clear and written permission, the Air Force officer will not do the task.

A Naval officer on the other hand will simply say, “Where is it written that I am forbidden from doing this?” If no written instruction forbidding the action is found then the Naval officer will perform the task.

Part of the reason for this mentality goes back to the times of old when wooden ships deployed from ports with nothing but written orders from King or Queen and it was up to the Captain to execute those orders without the benefit of radio communications or Internet chat.

To accomplish the mission the Captain had to be inventive, driven and be willing to take risks. You could not sit and say “Oh look a possible prize ship from our sworn enemies! I do not know if the King or Queen would approve of this specific action, so when I reach the next port I will send a letter and wait for their reply. If they give me permission then I will capture her.”

If you think snail mail is slow compared to e-mail today, how about 200 years ago by boat. Of course, if any Captain took this course of action he would MISS HIS OPPORTUNITY! This in turn created the culture of “forgiveness comes faster than permission.”

You can spend your whole life waiting for permission only to realize too late that it was YOU that had to grant yourself permission.

Remember, you are the Captain of YOUR LIFE, be bold and daring!

Very respectfully,
Eric Guttmann
The Self Reliance Manifesto

The Self Reliance Manifesto

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