Attitude check - It's what you make it

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery VanScoy
  • Air Force Financial Services Center functional manager
Air Force Financial Services Center "He's got an attitude problem!" No one wants to hear these comments about themselves. I think most people truly want to be happy and positive, and most don't set out each day to have a bad attitude. But, sometimes, it just happens.

Or, does it?

I have met lots of people on military installations and in local communities, and most are friendly; however, there is something about being stationed at a particular base or with a particular organization that seems to cause people to have bad attitudes. My problem with this reasoning is that a person's attitude is a choice.

Do circumstances dictate a person's attitude, or should a person control circumstances to the best of your ability and decide to have a positive attitude regardless of the situation?

It is so easy to complain about a job, a situation, a policy or an assignment and we can all fall into that trap. Once the complaining starts, its easy to jump on the band wagon to get the complaint heard, forgetting to focus on the positive parts of a job, a situation, a policy or an assignment.

I recently fell into that trap in a discussion I was having and afterwards, I felt kind of cruddy. Why should I let some minor issues cause me to be grouchy?

A few weeks ago, I was interviewing a couple of new Airmen and I asked them for some advice on what to say when I visited our tech training school. Airman Dalton and Airman Dunbar gave me some wise counsel. They advised me not to say, "It's not that bad;" instead say, "It's all what you make of it." Instead of complaining, we need to be positive and make the most of our situations. That was great advice.

We need to take our circumstances head-on. If a circumstance can be changed, then change it. If not, what good is it to complain? People don't like to hang out with a person who constantly complains. Here are a couple of tips to help maintain a positive attitude:

· When you wake up, decide to have a great day regardless of the situation. This may sound silly and over simplified, but it works. Control your emotions; don't let your emotions control you.
· If you can change or fix a situation, then do something about it.
· If you can't change your situation, press on with a positive outlook.
· Don't be pulled into a griping session. It is a trap that crushes the spirit and leaves anger inside.
· Keep things in perspective. Do I really need to get angry at every negative situation? Maintain composure in negative situations. Though the actions maybe rude, becoming mad and building up anger will make a person miserable and grouchy and have no effect on the situation.
· Surround yourself with positive people. Just like a group of complainers causes just more griping, a group that is positive, continues to build and encourage each other through difficult life circumstances.

So, step back, take a look at your attitude and assess your outlook on life. Life is way too short, so spend more time being positive and encouraging each other. The attitude you save just might be your own.