Commentary

February 6, 2014

Making today count

Commentary by Lt. Col. David Woodley
71st Operations Support Squadron commander

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — There are a lot of changes happening within the Air Force today as well as the continued debates in our government concerning the future of all military personnel.

With debates on military benefits that range from medical care to retirement pay, and with the looming force reduction boards, it would be easy for all of us to lose focus on today and instead think about the future and maybe the mistakes we made in the past.

Now more than ever we need to refocus on today and making it count.

There are two main reasons it is difficult to focus on today. Reliving the past and overthinking the future.

We have all made mistakes in the past. Maybe it was making a bad play in a game, having a rough day in training, the check ride that did not go well or failing at a test in school.

Bad days will happen. Some people will over exaggerate what happened in the past making the mistake seem worse. Then when the next day comes, instead of focusing on the new day people will start thinking and reliving the past. This causes them to be unfocused and to continue to falter. The key is to remember that the past is the past and cannot be changed. Today is a new day.

Worrying about the future and the unknown make it extremely difficult to make today count. Worrying about future events that you cannot control can cause many problems.

Some people cannot sleep or eat; others will be afraid of making a decision or hesitate when making an important call. This leads people to the future outcome that they worried about in the first place fulfilling their own prophecy.

The future has not yet been written. Today is happening now.

Two things will help you make today count. First, make sure you have the proper positive attitude each day. When you wake up in the morning you need to say to yourself that you will make this day count.

When you walk into work with a positive attitude you will not be worried about yesterday or tomorrow; you will focus on today.

Second, each day you need discipline and focus to follow through on your goals for that day. After a hard day of work we may not want to go to the gym or put some extra time in making sure that a performance report or feedback is ready to go. Without discipline and focus it is very easy not to fulfill our goals or commitments leading to a more challenging tomorrow.

It is not easy to avoid worrying about the future or reliving the past. But with the challenges we face every day, with so much not under our control, we need to focus on today and make it count.

My kids like to quote Master Oogway from the movie, “Kung Fu Panda” — “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.”

Start now and make today count.




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

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