The Grass is Green Where We Water It

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- "Man, I can't wait to get outta here. It's gonna be nice to get away from all this nonsense. I wish my boss was like..."

How many times do we say or think something along these lines? It's easy for us to have a "grass is greener on the other side" approach to life. Escape seems easy because it requires no effort. However, we eventually find ourselves engaged in the vicious cycle of repeating those same thoughts. The reality is, the grass is greener where we water it.

When we fall into the trap of believing things are better "over there," we become victims of defeatism. We simply hope things will get better instead of taking the bull by the horns and making them better.

Chief Master Sgt. Mark A. Bronson, 628th Air Base Wing command chief, recently told an Airman Leadership School class, "It isn't enough to hope; hope is not a strategy."

Simple, yet wise and profound words.

To extend the metaphor, if we stand in our yard where weeds have taken over, look at our neighbor's lush green lawn and think to ourselves, "If I had just bought that house, I would have that lawn," we have defeated ourselves. We haven't taken into account the dedication our neighbor has poured into his lawn--the endless hours of seeding, weeding and watering. We assume the lawn we admire is simply a matter of chance. In reality, much hard work and many sacrifices produced the end result.

Chief Bronson asked the students, "How do you set yourselves apart from your peers in your job?"

He went there! His thoughts were on the trajectory of empowering the Airmen to take matters into their own hands--to write their own success story. Instead of simply sitting around hoping things will one day be better, we must ask ourselves what we are going to do now to ensure our careers are successful.

Before anything is done, before anything can be accomplished, an attitude shift may be in order. Before something exists, the thought of it exists.

The Wright brothers did not wake up one cool North Carolina morning, head to their garage, start tinkering with spare parts and then step back and proclaim, "Look, an airplane!" Orville and Wilbur started with an idea, just like many other brilliant people who have excellent ideas every day. What set the Wrights apart was the motivation and the mindset to be successful. They refused to sit back and wait for someone else to do the improbable.

A positive attitude and resilience must exist for any idea to become reality. Picture the naysayers.

The Wright brothers were surely ridiculed leading up to their first attempt at flight and after it failed, the sentiment of doubt increased. However, they pressed on.

The second failure was met with more jeering, but the Wrights continued with more determination.

When the third attempt succeeded and the brothers repeated their success over 700 times, all of the critics were silenced. The "improbable" eventually turned into the greatest Air Force on the planet.

Their perception and success were determined by their attitude. Reality grounded them a couple times, but they refused to accept failure.

What do we want to achieve in our lives? Are we going to take our careers into our own hands or just hope success falls out of the sky and into our laps?

The United States is the greatest country in the history of humanity; how will we represent it?

Successful people take matters into their own hands, so get to work and start watering your grass!