Gratitude a very different place from which to face challenges

  • Published
  • By Anthony Braswell
  • Aerospace Sustainment Directorate
I have been reflecting over the past few months on the economic times in which we find ourselves as individuals and as a nation. I wonder how we are dealing with the stress that it places in our lives and in our families.

While I was mulling over my own challenges, I realized how truly grateful I was for all that I have and more specifically a great job and to be a member of this great organization we call Team Hill. I realized that the evidence of our gratitude may be the very mind-set that will, in fact, help all of us to meet our challenges.

As an avid sports fan, being part of a team is very important to me and provides perspective in many aspects of my life. In today's sports world, the lack of gratitude is very apparent, but that was not always true.

I really like the sentiments of Bobby Hull, the hockey great who once said, "Every professional athlete owes a debt of gratitude to the fans and management, and pays an installment every time he plays. He should never miss a payment."

Great teams pay the price with hard work and dedication and play hard in spite of challenges they face individually or as a team.

Team Hill is no different in that regard. When we look back on the heritage of those who have come before us or reflect on who it is we support, I hope we can do our very best under the constraints that are placed on us. When faced with distinct challenges, those who have an attitude of gratitude find it easier to weather the storms than those who don't.

A favorite saying in our family comes from an unknown author, "The choice to be grateful is the choice to be happy." We have the choice on how we will react to our uncertain circumstances.

I used to work in an organization that had a motto over the door as you entered the building that read, "What are you going to do today to win the war?" and then as we departed the building on the other side of the door going out it read, "What did you do today to win the war?"

So every day we show our gratitude not only in our attitudes and our choices but in the way we approach every day.

So with the storms of uncertainty swirling around us, we have to decide how we want to live. We have to decide how we will react when faced with these challenges. I am convinced that being grateful will change the way we approach life in general but specifically our jobs and we will see possibilities that we otherwise might sequester because our minds are closed to those possibilities.

John Milton stated, "Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change how we experience life and the world."

Gratitude allows us to have the epiphanies that will permit us to make changes to improve the quality of life here at work and at home. We have to stop and smell the roses, don't we? We need to be great Wingmen. I hope we can stop and admire the work of those around us and express our appreciation for all they do.

I hope we can be grateful that we work for the greatest organization in the world. Remember, smaller budgets and having less resources to do our jobs will be a reality in these economic times, but we have the choice -- not to do more with less -- but to do our very best with what we have! Nothing more! Nothing less!