Commentary

August 29, 2014

Balance, key to successful AF life

Chief Master Sgt. ANDRE PARKER
56th Medical Group

I believe proper balance is the key to a successful life in the Air Force.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that it takes a concentrated effort to maintain balance between a professional life as an Air Force member and personal or family life. Both require constant learning, adjustments, development and attention. It’s easy to give 100 percent to one area and neglect the other if you’re not careful. We never want to be a success in public and a failure in private.

The truth is both your professional and personal lives are extremely important. We were created by God to be brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. On the other hand, we raised our right hand to become Airmen; therefore we should be equally committed.

At the end of the day, we must be able to fulfill both our professional and personal obligations. The fact remains that there will always be work to do, but you cannot recapture or redo those special family or personal moments in life as easy.

I came up in an era when the Air Force was at its peak in manning, almost 600,000-strong, and the workload was dispersed among the Airmen. I dreamed of the day when I would become a senior NCO and would have time to do all the things I wanted to do because my workload would be lighter, and I could then begin to delegate responsibilities. Boy was I wrong.

As I progressed in rank, I realized I had less time to do things, more responsibilities and a much greater demand on my time, personally and professionally. The point is, if you don’t create a balance early in your career, it will be even harder to do so in your later years as you progress up the ranks. You could possibly miss out on some of the greatest moments in life. This applies to officers, enlisted and civilians.

This balancing act won’t happen automatically. You have to be intentional. That’s why I remind myself to never forget the basics and always finish strong in whatever I commit to.

When it comes to our personal lives, we must invest just as much time and energy as we do our professional careers.

Maintaining physical fitness, eating right and doing things you enjoy that relax, refresh, and encourage you are well worth the time invested. Taking time to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, and attend your kid’s sporting and school events, practices and graduations is priceless. Take time to make good memories. One of the most important resources we have today is time, but unfortunately, it’s the one we don’t have enough of.

So if you haven’t already, start today at creating that balance in your life. Take the time and make it happen. You, your family and your co-workers will really benefit from your efforts.




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