Commentary by Lt. Col. Scott Angerman
22nd Space Operations Squadron
The inspection is almost upon us or haven’t you heard? There’s a lot of activity going on across the 50th Space Wing and Team Schriever members have been working long hours, as we push ourselves in our final preparations for the Compliance Unit Inspection. It’s understandable for tensions and stress levels to rise. Extra hours, attention to detail, compliance focus, 101 completion and readiness checks are all needed to ensure peak performance when the inspectors arrive.
Our outstanding wing deserves our best effort. But, in the midst of the run and gun and all the pressure to perform, remember to step outside inspection preparation mode and take time to thank those around you. Thank them for three good reasons:
1. Saying thank you is the right thing to do. We all need help in our lives and everyone likes to be recognized for their contributions. No one succeeds alone. I don’t know about you, but I feel very appreciative of those around me who I live, work with and depend on. A huge thank you goes to my family and the heroes at 22nd Space Operations Squadron! A simple thank you sincerely offered and accepted is not just acts of politeness, but personal connections critical to successful relationships. Say thank you often.
2. Giving thanks is good for you. There is research out there that says an attitude of gratitude can result in greater personal satisfaction and happiness in your life. Studies have reported that gratitude is associated with improved emotional and physical well being. One might even say resiliency. In one study, participants who consciously focused on being grateful during a period of time:
• Felt better about their lives
• Were more optimistic
• Were more energetic
• Were more enthusiastic
• Were more determined
• Were more interested
• Were more joyful
• Exercised more
• Had fewer illnesses
• Got more sleep
• Were more likely to have helped someone else
Appreciation promotes an outward focus to the world around us and can foster a positive perspective. As Melody Beattie, the author of the book “Gratitude” puts it, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
3. It’s the season. No, not inspection season. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is an appropriate time to think about those people and things that make our lives meaningful and rewarding. Also, we should recognize those to whom we owe a debt of gratitude: our forefathers, families, friends and our nation’s men and women deployed overseas.
Going into the Thanksgiving Day weekend, let’s all have a safety focus and take care of our wingmen and our families. Make sure your people have a place to share a meal and some football. If travelling by car during the holiday weekend, please make sure you are well rested, and you and your passengers are buckled up. Remember, Thanksgiving is one of the worst holiday weekends for drunk drivers. Be extra aware of any drivers who may be driving erratically and of course, have a plan when celebrating.
Finally, at this time of the year I’m especially thankful we live in a free society – in a nation free to pursue our hopes/dreams, free to express ourselves, free to worship, and free to practice democratic ideals in safety and security. As a grateful American, I’m thankful Schriever space professionals are on duty 24/7 protecting and enabling our values and way of life. It takes team contributions across this base to support and generate the space effects our country has come to rely on. Your demonstrated skill, dedication, motivation, service and sacrifice are impressive to experience and humbling to be a part of. Thank you for all you do.