Think abou the positive aspects in life

  • Published
  • By Col. Steven Muhs
  • 460th Mission Support Group commander
How many times have you walked down a hall and overheard somebody say, "I hate this place," or "This place stinks," or some other phrase expressing their dislike for their current assignment? Maybe you have expressed this type of sentiment yourself. It's perfectly normal for everyone at one time or another to have these feelings, and even to express them aloud. This is especially true on a bad day when nothing seems to be going right. However, if those types of feelings turn from a once in a while occurrence to a daily habit, you have a problem.

I learned more than 20 years ago, when I was a cadet at the Air Force Academy, that hating a place and constantly complaining about it does no good. In fact, I spent the majority of my first year at the academy pretty much hating it. I was subjected to eating meals at attention, walking to classes at attention and being yelled at constantly by the upperclassmen. This was not my idea of fun. However, I wasn't alone in my lack of appreciation for the surroundings. The vast majority of my classmates shared my endearment for the place, and we spent a great deal of what little free time we had discussing how much we hated the place.

About halfway through my sophomore year it finally dawned on me - my moaning and groaning wasn't making things any better. In fact, it made things worse because I had developed a bad attitude. And that bad attitude was spilling over to the new freshmen I was entrusted to train. What I finally realized was that no matter how bad a place is, there is always something good about it. You just need to take the time to look for it. So I began to look for the good and focus my energies on the good things and not the bad. I never did fall in love with the academy, but my attitude improved, and things got better.

Think about it. How many times has constant complaining about a particular situation done any good? In fact, your complaining has probably made things worse, because it sent a signal to your boss and fellow workers that you are a malcontent.

We've all experienced individuals who have a positive attitude and seem to be enthusiastic no matter what the situation. Those are the type of people you enjoy being around and like to work with. A single individual with a positive attitude can be the catalyst to turn an entire work center around. We've also run into people with bad attitudes who are always complaining. They could win a million dollars in the lottery and complain about having to pay taxes on it. Most of us prefer to stay away from this type of person and have no desire to be a part of their team.

Attitude is everything, and the best thing about it is that you control it. A positive person will look for ways to solve a difficult problem, while a person with a bad attitude will find excuses why it can't be done. You make the decision whether or not you will be a positive influence. Nobody can force you to have a bad attitude. So the next time you have that urge to say, "I hate this place," think about it for a minute. Is it really that bad?