Attitude is everything

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Craig Pearson
  • 81st Comptroller Squadron/ Wing Staff Agency
Life brings many types of change and how you deal with these changes makes all the difference. Keeping a positive attitude is not always an easy measure to accomplish. As the world's greatest Air Force we are getting smaller and doing more with less. Many of our members that have been in military for some time may only remember their early years with vast numbers of personnel we used to have to complete all tasks. We are faced today with times where change presents a unique challenge to our force. In remaining the world's greatest Air Force, we are going to become leaner; we still will have to be able to apply our many diversified talents at a high caliber.

In the recent days just as an example, a spot light has yet again been placed on our nuclear program, but this time in the term of tested integrity. Highlighting some very important errors; but our newly appointed Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, has a positive outlook as she works through the wickets in understanding their mission, attitude and hopefully what led to these mishaps. It appears that the atmosphere being fostered for those individuals was one that demanded perfection, but at what cost? As the Secretary did her investigation for a report she owed the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary James noted a short list of concerns that she plans to address during her tenure. Amongst many areas of concern, attitude is one we are all familiar with. With help from Susan Young, the president of Get in Front Communications, here are seven simple tips to keep in mind next time you are faced with a challenge in your work center or just your daily avocations; the point of your attitude and how it being positive or negative pay huge dividends.

Take responsibility for your attitude. How many times have you put the blame of your attitude on someone else? Have you been brutally honest with yourself? This point is one that I'm sure all can relate too.

Recognize warning signs like negative thoughts and pessimism. Here Young points out that our minds are programmable, she says that we should plant that seed of optimism and hope, not weeds of pessimism and doubt. Push through that negativity at work; remember you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness.

Use positive affirmations. Tell yourself every day that you are an outstanding person capable of achieving your goals. Replace your old mental soundtrack of criticism and negativity that plays in your head 24/7. Use a new soundtrack of positive reinforcement.

Make mental movies. For this point, keep your mental movie simple and one that is positive. Depending on the next task at work that you may have coming up or the next big move for you and your family; put it in a positive manner and replay it back to yourself. Even if it is promotion testing, see it through with a positive ending; as Young noted, "you are the director, producer, writer, and make it a winner!"

Write down your goals. This is one that we should all be far too familiar with; as an upcoming supervisor, I was taught to write down three of my short-term and three long-term goals. This was normally performed during a feedback session, so that I could stay on track with my targeted personal and professional goals; also my supervisor could assist in keeping me motivated to accomplish them. An important point to remember is that the results of ones goals may vary from person to person, depending on what stage of their career they are in.

Put your head down and focus. This point is easier said than done. Young makes the comment, "Successful people do not focus on negative water cooler gossip, complainers and time wasters." Instead keep your focus on the mission, know that distractions that have the potential of popping up. Your level of commitment is what will pull you through in completing said mission.

Surround yourself with successful people. In the military we are constantly surrounded by both military and civilian personnel. We meet many different people as we travel around the world. For many, this may be a saying that your parents used while growing up. It is definitely one that still holds true today, as Young stated, "think about the people you admire and what kinds of characteristics, traits and values they have." The underlining message in this commentary is to remain positive, but keep in mind that not everyone will display their positivity in the same manner.

Having a positive attitude is infectious in so many ways, being a good wingman, a good supervisor, a good team member, as you all come together and execute the mission. Do not discount our core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do, when faced with your next challenge no matter the task. As we deal with change in our Air Force, with the reduction in personnel; to remain the world's greatest Air Force we have to continue to adapt, keep a positive attitude, and in doing that we can use steps like these seven from Young or those similar in scope to help us attain that goal.