Commentary by Lt. Col. Sean Scott
50th Space Wing director of staff
I think deep down we all have something in common. At one point in our lives we chose service and distinguished ourselves from 99 percent of the American population. Whether we were running from something or to something, we were drawn toward the military lifestyle. Each of us had our own set of reasons to follow this pursuit. The idea of living beyond ourselves was uncomfortable, but at the same time, exciting. Our lives were forever changed as we were taught guideposts for our service: integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.
As we mature and continue to grow professionally and personally, we need to develop new reasons to excel at work and at home. If we don’t continue to challenge ourselves our old reasons become just that: old. They lose their ability to motivate us. Although very important to the foundation of our Air Force culture, the drive of the three core values may not be enough to sustain the hunger and desire we all felt on the first day. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years, and before you know it, so much time has passed and your priorities have changed.
How do you find a reason and motivation to pursue a task that is no longer at the top of your priority list? Whether it’s added pressures on your time, finances, physical and educational goals or additional duties, we usually wind up with the frustrating thought of “something’s got to give.” This is the time when you find out whether you will fall back on your integrity and be the person who is committed to those ultimate core values or you give up, throw in the towel and decide it is someone else’s problem. Throughout various stages of your life you will need to dig deep to fine new reasons to motivate yourself and hopefully those around you. Don’t give up and don’t be afraid of a challenge.
Challenge yourself to do extraordinary things physically, mentally and spiritually. Something ordinary to you or me may be above and beyond someone else’s expectations. We are all capable of amazing bodies of work, but sometimes we just need a little push to get started and headed in the right direction on a long dreamed-about accomplishment. But “wanting” to do it is not enough. Reasons provide you more than just mind over matter, they integrate mind with matter. Wants are easily replaced by new wants and even failure, whereas reasons are developed from what makes each of us unique and forged from life lessons.
Reasons make you care. The Air Force has vehicles in place to make us better wingmen, more proficient at our jobs and a better support structure to our families, but it can’t make you care. Whether you care or not is on you and your reasons. It comes back around to your personal integrity and the person you ultimately want to be.
What is your reason? The decision is yours.