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Are you positive?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Command Chief

Winston Churchill said, "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."  You could be in the worst circumstances in the world, but if you have a positive attitude, it can still be a good day.  You may not have any control over your circumstances, but you are the only one who can control your attitude.


I will admit that the circumstances of a deployment to Kandahar aren't the best in the world.  I know there are worse places to be, but I'm also well aware that there are better places to be.  But we are here and we each have a mission to do.

What kind of attitude are you going to face each day with?  


What do you think when you wake up to start your day?  Do you dread another day just sitting around waiting for something to break so you can fix it?  Do you look forward to the end of the day because it's another day closer to leaving?  Or do you look forward to the opportunities that a new day brings?  Do you approach the day wondering what new tasks and new challenges are waiting for you?  Are you eager to learn new things and somehow make a difference?


Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz said, "Ability is what you're capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it."


Even as a chief master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, I have to make conscious decisions about my attitude throughout the day.  I could wake up and dread going to the gym because I know I will see people wearing their uniform incorrectly or see people driving through the Mods where they are not supposed to drive.  I could think about how long it will be until I see my family again and be depressed.  I could get frustrated when things I have asked for don't get done.  Or I could wake up with the attitude that it's going to be a fantastic day, and I'm going to make a difference somehow.  I can look forward to talking to fantastic Airmen about their lives and their ambitions.  I can find ways to improve processes, conditions and work areas.  I can choose to be positive.


From the youngest Airman to the most senior officer, the type of day you have today depends on your attitude.  Even when the work is hard or other people are annoying or you are being told to do things that make absolutely no sense to you, you can have a positive attitude.  If you have fallen into a habit of having a negative attitude, I encourage you to think about all that is going right in your world.  There are people who care about you.  You have a job at a time when there are many unemployed people in the world.  You have your health.  You will eat today.  You will have a roof over your head when you sleep.  You are alive.


And if that's not enough, I am positive that there is one chief master sergeant  in the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing who is very proud of what you do and very grateful you are here.