Commentary

December 21, 2012

‘Bust through blues’ with positive attitude

Tags:
Maj. Evelyn Schumer
Commander’s Action Group deputy director


U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) — At the end of each day, I ask myself: Is the universe a happier and better place because of my existence?

I’m sure we’ve all had an experience like the one I had last week. I was waiting in line at the grocery store behind someone who was extremely rude to the cashier. When it was finally my turn to checkout, the cashier was in a crummy mood and started taking it out on me.

I had a choice: I could allow the rude cashier to upset me and be rude back, or I could choose to suppress my rising blood pressure, put on my best smile, and show the cashier some compassion for having to put up with rude customers.

So, with the sweetest smile I could muster, I said, “I’m sorry you have to put up with customers like that. I hope your day gets better.”

With that simple statement, which took less effort than it would have to be rude back, the cashier was back to her cordial, friendly self.

In moments like these we all can make a difference and make our environment a more positive place. As an instructor at the Academy, I saw how easily and quickly the negativity of one cynical person could spread throughout an entire classroom. It seems, from my experience, that it takes less effort to merely go along with the attitude of those around you than to take responsibility for your own attitude.

If your goal is to make your environment pleasant, you will inevitably find yourself treating those around you with respect and compassion — which will set into motion a chain reaction of kindness and compliments.

When you treat people well, they will want to be around you because you reinforce their happiness. When you treat someone with respect and kindness, it boosts your own happiness as well. Try it: Give someone a genuine compliment and watch how they light up. Also, note the positive feelings you experience by being kind to someone else. The recipient of the praise feels more confident, is a bit happier, and is now more open to compliment someone else. The chain reaction has begun.

I use the compliment chain-reaction to help myself bust through the blues of a rough day. I’ve seen the power of compliments from the boss throughout my career: One positive comment can do so much for a worker’s confidence and attitude.

A positive demeanor can only make you more effective as a leader.I see proof of this everyday working in Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould’s office. Simply by popping his head into the office and saying, “Hey, guys, that went well,” he puts huge grins on all our faces and leads to high-fives being exchanged around the office. The boost spurs us to work harder for that next compliment.

People often gravitate toward a positive attitude and shun negativity. Leaders have the opportunity and duty to be role models and strengthen the resiliency of their troops.

Being happy and positive may take more effort on some days, but you can make being happy a habit. Something as small as how you interact with a complete stranger can set into motion a chain reaction of negativity or positivity.

We are masters of our own actions and emotions. We can make the universe a happier and better place.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
12AF_pict

AFSOUTH medics arrive in Belize to facilitate obstetrics course

Three International Health Specialists and three non-governmental organization personnel supporting the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) arrived in Belize to facilitate the Global Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Instruc...
 
 

355th FSS invites D-M to join intramurals

The 355th Force Support Squadron would like to invite all Active Duty and Department of Defense personnel to join the intramural sports program. The intramural sports program is an organized sports competition designed to meet the needs of all personnel beginning at the lowest levels. Active duty personnel have priority in all programs as determined...
 
 

55th Electronic Combat Group

The 55th Electronic Combat Group provides combat-ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, crews, maintenance and operational support to combatant commanders. The group also plans and executes information operations, including information warfare and electronic attack, in support of theater campaign plans.
 

 

DUI in Arizona: You can’t afford it

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. –  Arizona has some of the toughest drunken driving laws in the United States. The average overall cost of a DUI in the state of Arizona is around $10,000. Crazy, right? Ten thousand dollars may seem hard to swallow at first, but first time offenders often find themselves paying considerable unforeseen...
 
 

Is being good, good enough?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you...
 
 

‘Final Rule’ offers broader mental health care coverage

WASHINGTON – TRICARE military health plan beneficiaries will now have access to both TRICARE-certified mental health counselors and supervised mental health counselors, a Defense Health Agency official said here today. In an interview with DoD News, Dr. John Davison, DHA’s behavioral health branch chief, said the so-called “Final Rule,” published yesterday, will go into effect...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin