Today is the day

  • Published
  • By Maj. Pedro Matos
  • 17th Training Group Detachment 1 commander
Have you ever heard a co-worker talking about his or her big plans to make the next higher grade? How about someone bragging about their last assignment? While planning for the future, setting goals is crucial to one's success.

Sometimes individuals spend so much time planning for their future that they forget to enjoy their present. Others just love to live in the shadow of their past. Too many times I've heard a fellow Airman say "my last assignment was the best assignment I have had in the Air Force". I always ask what was so special about that particular assignment. The answers are almost the same from every individual.

The most common answers are; "the location was great," "the people were great," "I had an awesome supervisor" or "the mission was superb." All are great answers. In fact, those are the exact answers I would give, had I been asked the same question.

Unfortunately, too often the answer I get follows with a "too bad I didn't enjoy it" or "I didn't appreciate my peers at the time" or typically "I wish I could go back and do it all over again."

We are all at fault for this. We are so into our daily mission, we just forget to take couple minutes and just look across our desk, outside our offices or enjoy the landscape that in most cases is outside our building.

It is the little things that count, and I can assure you that if you look for those things at your current installation or work section, you'll see a ton of positivisms around you and you will treasure where you are and who you are today.

Many years ago I had a fellow co-worker that openly said that he hated his current assignment. He'd spend years trying to curtail his assignment and volunteered for any TDY or deployment that came from our headquarters. He managed to PCS after three years at that particular location, and thought it was the best decision he could have done for his career.

Fast forward five years, the same person called me one day and our conversation centered on the "good old times" we had while stationed together. I couldn't believe what I was hearing from this guy! The same individual that openly told everyone that he hated his assignment and his job was telling me how much he misses his old job. When I asked him about his change of heart, he said it all came down to the quality of people we had assigned to our shop and the amazing leadership we had. I couldn't agree with him more. To me it was an awesome assignment.

My friend learned a very important lesson: no matter where you are stationed, what you do or the people you encounter make a world of difference in our daily lives. My recommendation to you is to not let your career pass you by without enjoying the moment.

Although it is good to plan ahead, take a moment and embrace who you are and what you do today. Enjoy where you are at with family and friends. From the lowest to the highest ranking Airmen, we all have successes and failures, we all have good days and not so good days (there's never a bad day in the Air Force). Learn from your mistakes and cherish your successes. Always remember, at any given time there are thousands of people that would love to be in our shoes.

After all, we are part of the most respected military in the world, and for that alone, we ought to be thrilled to be a part of the United States Air Force.