Chaplain’s thoughts …

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You are what you do every day

I once heard a great leader say, “You are what you do every day.” As he unpacked that phrase, I was immediately convicted of several things.

First off, I was convicted how true that statement is. I realized that a number of my self-perceptions of areas of strength in my life were not backed up or lived out in my daily actions or habits. I perceived myself as someone hungry for growth and learning new things; yet when I looked at my spare time, there was far too much time spent on the couch watching TV. I perceived myself as someone who is fairly disciplined; yet when I looked at my daily habits I realized there hadn’t been any significant change in my time management, diet, sleep habits, etc. since joining the Air Force.

My perception of myself was that I was a developing leader and a strong chaplain, yet when I took the time to make a log of how I spent my time throughout the day, my actions didn’t line up with my self-perception nearly as much as I would have liked. For me that phrase motivated me deeply and gave me a new perspective on accountability.

I’ve heard it said that it’s easy to see what someone values … look at their bank log. If you spend money on it, you must value it. I would encourage you to look at how you spend your time. Do your daily actions add up to who you want to be? To who you perceive yourself to be? If you say, “I’m a good wife/husband” and, “I’m a good mom/dad,” but you’re not investing time in your family, actions speak louder than words.

I also think that phrase can be a great catalyst spiritually. I like to ask Airmen two questions I think help frame resiliency, “Where do you find hope?” and, “What’s your foundation?” A lot of the Airmen I ask those questions of get frustrated, because they don’t know where to begin; they don’t know how to seek growth spiritually. I would argue, if you want to grow spiritually, do something every day that will force you to wrestle with the big questions of life, plug into a local faith community, make an appointment with a chaplain; we love those conversations.

I think most people in the Air Force hate writing bullets, but the more you do it, the better you get. I hope you’ll take the time this fall to look at your actions. Is what you do every day the kind of person you want to be? May God bless you and keep you.