Pre-frame your day

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Chaplain (Capt.) Timothy Dahl (Air Force photograph)
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How do we get people to a point of resiliency prior to a negative event happening? Is there anything that someone can do proactively to ready themselves?

I hear people talk about it all the time. Usually, they say that they engage in some physical activity. While that hits the Physical pillar, there are three other pillars in which to find relief!

I encourage you to “pre-frame” your day so that you enter into it from a position of strength and confidence. It sets up your attitude prior to negative interactions.

It begins with a morning routine. I recommend doing it before you begin your work day … whenever that may be. Try to set a time when you won’t be disturbed.

I organize the first 15-20 minutes of my day into four blocks of: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

It’s a way that I pray. But, what if you don’t? I believe that you can still use a version of it to pre-frame your day.

Adoration has to do with what you love. What do you love and why do you love it? What is it about that person that draws you to them? What about your job do you love? What makes you feel lucky about doing what you do or being with whoever you are with?

You begin to set your attitude for the day. General Colin Powell said that “Optimism is a force multiplier.” Your attitude counts!

Next, I Confess my sins. Those are a lot of churchy words that will turn some people off. What I’m talking about is ownership. I own my mistakes, my mess-ups, my train wrecks and those “burning dumpster fire” kind of events that are completely my fault.

The problem is that I lie to myself. Sure, I may “make a mistake,” but I can easily blame someone else for it. “I wasn’t provided the right tools, enough time, the WHATEVER” it is that’s the “real” reason for the mistake. Sin is something I own. It allows for deep reflection into those areas that I desperately need to change in my life.

If I don’t do the hard work of reflection, then it will come back to bite me. If I live in ignorance of my own failings, I hurt myself and others. In the military, those same failings could cost someone dearly.

Now, I want us to enter into a time of Thanksgiving. This is a “count your blessings” moment. Thankfulness gets us out of ourselves and see the worth in the people and things around us. It’s another means by which we set our attitude for the day to come.

Finally, we enter into Supplication. It is another churchy word that simply means to make “the ask.” We are thinking about the needs of others. It takes us out of ourselves and focuses on others.

What do the Airmen under your supervision have going on in their lives? What stressors do the people above you face? Did you know that Airman just lost a loved one? How about that Airman who has volunteered to work every holiday? Is there something going on? Better yet, how can you be an answer to their need?

We use this time to think about what we love, reflect upon areas to improve, be thankful for people of significance and reflect upon the needs of others in our spheres of influence. It preemptively sets our attitude to meet the day. It reminds us of our purpose and meaning.  We meet potentially harmful events with our minds set, and our attitudes adjusted to face them. We work out of peace of mind, and not out of fear. We are ready.
 
 
 

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