Reinvigoration: a necessity for today's Airmen

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- With chilly, grey weather and lots to do at work each day because of our Air Force's continued high operations tempo, it's easy to get stuck in a rut. The kind of rut that sucks the enjoyment out of what you do, and makes you feel somewhat robotic as you complete your daily tasks. 

While there are some things beyond our control, including the pace we must work and the resources - time, money and people - available to complete our jobs, there are some important items that are within our control, including our attitudes. Altering our attitudes a little will go a long way in getting us out of the ruts we may currently be in.
Did you know that in 1954 an article was published in Life Magazine, which suggested that a nation-wide reading problem among children was due to the fact that children were bored with the books at school? 

Imagine that! Children were actually having trouble reading because they were in a rut. It's suggested that young children had success in learning to read after being reinvigorated by the colorful images and story of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat. What if some of the challenges we're facing today could be eliminated altogether if we altered our attitudes slightly and took a little time to be reinvigorated? 

While our situation as Air Force professionals is certainly different than the reading dilemma of the 1950s, the need to be reinvigorated every now and again is timeless. 

So what can we do to be reinvigorated, you ask? Take some time this weekend to reflect on why you joined the Air Force in the first place. Whether it was two years ago or 20, what inspired you to cross into the blue? If necessary, sort through your photo albums to find the pictures taken the day you graduated from Basic Military Training or the day you commissioned and had those bright gold bars pinned to your shoulders. As you look back at those photos and recall those major events, I'm sure you'll remember the sense of pride you felt as you entered the greatest Air Force in the world. 

Also, think about the role you play in our wing's mission and consider how our mission fits into the greater mission of the Air Force. With an increasingly smaller force, you are not only a vital part of Team Dover, but also a key component of the entire Air Force. If you're a visual person, consider sketching our wing's mission in pictures and insert yourself accordingly. Whether you hang the illustration next to your desk at work, on your refrigerator at home or tuck it away in a drawer, take a look at it the next time you catch yourself slipping into a rut and just going through the motions. 

Life and work are much more meaningful when you understand your purpose and have clear understanding of why you do what you do. As you prepare to return to work Monday, pretend as though you're getting ready for your first day on the job at your very first assignment, and take with you the same excitement, pride and anticipation you took that first day. You never know what the day might have in store for you!