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Do I have a winning attitude?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Lavender
  • 90th Forces Support Squadron
Do I have a winning attitude? This is a question we must ask ourselves on a continual basis. I especially think we need to ask ourselves this question as we enter the workforce as young adults and throughout our life. Specifically, what is your attitude toward your leadership, Air Force standards and your job? A winning attitude is one that exhibits the desire, commitment, determination, focus and willingness to better one's self; to become the best one can be.

Do you have passion, or better yet, what is your desire? A desire or passion is the energy that gives us the motivation needed to reach our true potential. It's a force that drives us 24 hours a day, seven days a week to achieve success. This desire will help us to develop a mental toughness to remain focused under austere circumstances and achieve our goals. It is everlasting and never subsides. A winning attitude does not negate losing, but to the contrary. A winning attitude dictates that even in defeat, one can find victory.

Do you believe in our leadership, Air Force Global Strike Command and our Air Force as a whole, the job you perform on a daily basis, or your ability to achieve success? I think for most, if not all of us, the answer is yes. The Air Force is a volunteer service; in other words, we all chose to be here of our own free will. If your answer is no to either question, then I believe you need to reflect and determine exactly why you are here.

You may also need to ask yourself a few questions. "What truly is the reason for my disbelief? Is my attitude affecting my ability to acclimate to military service? Do the people I associate with on and off the job display or have positive attitudes?" Sometimes the company you keep can negatively affect you or change your attitude for the worst. You must have the courage to take control of your life and surround yourself with people who constantly embrace positive goals and display positive attitudes.

A winning attitude will drive you to develop a strategy or game plan for your life. This is the road map you will use to accomplish your goals. It will help you stay focused and avoid the detours of life that can negatively affect you or someone else. Having a winning attitude will also positively impact your values. You will determine your feelings about things such as patriotism, pride, love, freedom, excellence, ownership and tolerance. These are values in society; the moral, ethical and fundamental judgments we as individuals deem important. It is impossible to passionately believe in something that has no value to us.

A winning attitude is nothing if you don't have the energy to take action and accomplish your goals. Great success can be derived from the physical, spiritual and mental energy that allows and compels us to accomplish the most with what we have to work with. Physical energy comes from the strength of the body itself and is fueled by our intake of nourishment. You should have a regular exercise program comprised of strength and cardiovascular training at least three times a week. It's also important to have good eating habits and put aside the junk food. Our spiritual and intellectual energy evolves from our environment. We must continually assess our own personal environment to maximize the energy we can use to accomplish our goals.

So, have you answered the question, "Do I have a winning attitude? I encourage you to change your attitude if your answer is no. Remember, your attitude will affect the altitude of your success.

I personally believe that Charles R. Swindoll, an American writer and clergyman got it right when he said:

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past; we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. And, so it is with you; we are in charge of our attitudes."