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.


 
 

 

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward for base inspections

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward known as the Air Force Inspection System – those three things sum up what members of the Desert Lightning Team should take away from last week’s Unit Effectiveness Inspection. The Air Combat Command Inspector General Team conducted the 355th Fighter Wing’s Capstone event, known as a UEI,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Reel)

The last bite

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Shake, take, salute and pose for a photo–Tyndall’s 2014 March Enlisted Promotion Ceremony was carrying on as usual. I raised my camera, waited for the grip and grin moment and then...
 
 

When keeping it real goes wrong

It’s Tuesday, and after a long day at work I’m reminded that I have an intramural league basketball game tonight. After arriving home and quickly changing I make my way back to the base gym to avoid the scrutiny of my coach and team mates.  As I begin to search through the maze of a...
 

 
email-pic

The impact of a simple email

It’s been a long day. I’m tired, worn out. It seems like the emails just won’t stop. Review this, update that, and the ever dreaded tasking that was due yesterday. One after another they attack my sanity, chipping away a ...
 
 

Leadership stresses importance of keeping families informed

The Air Force’s on-going force shaping initiatives affect more than our Airmen–they also affect our families.  The concerns and questions Air Force families differ from those of a service member. Family members have few opportunities to engage with commanders and experts and large auditorium briefings and pages of personnel documents are not always the most...
 
 
computer-hands

Think before you act: It only takes a second for your actions to go viral

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean … wrote something inappropriate … behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I’m sure y...
 




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