Be Positive

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jethro Sadorra, 422nd Civil Engineer Squadron commander

There are innumerable aspects of our personal and professional lives that we cannot control. The baseball-sized hailstorm that destroyed the car you bought with your enlistment bonus…you could not control. How about the time your flight plans changed because the pilot did not show up? Again, you had no control. Or when the Atlanta Falcons blew a 21-3 lead at the half against the New England Patriots in the 2017 Super Bowl? You guessed it, no control.  Years ago, I learned the concept of “Spheres of Influence and Control.” This term has been used in astrodynamics and international relations, but the concept I’m referring to is simpler. Imagine a period – the dot – on a Word document using font size 12. Next, imagine that same dot inside the sphere of a baseball. Finally, imagine those two things engulfed by our galaxy. I specifically used these objects for scale. The period represents what you CAN control and influence. What is outside of the period, but inside the baseball are things you CAN influence. Everything outside of the baseball is what you CANNOT control or influence.

How did you react to those three scenarios? Were you angry, devastated, stressed, or betrayed by the city of Atlanta (I’m not even from there!)? I do not blame you. Those are natural reactions, and you have every right to feel as you do. But, did it do you any good? Did your car magically repair itself or the airline pilot materialize into the cockpit? In these situations, let’s say the answer is no. The point is let’s focus on something that we can control – our reactions.  I’m sure a quote exists out there stating that negative reactions are futile. So, there has to be a quote that supports the opposite: being positive is the way to go!

One’s attitude is influenced by many things, but there is only one factor that dictates it – YOU. Rather than focusing on the “could have” and “should have,” why not confront the situation with positivity. Positive energy begets positive energy. I do not need to cite any published articles from Harvard Press or the New England Journal of Medicine. I have seen it in action and you have, too! We have experienced it in team sports, staff meetings, Change of Commands, and Annual Awards Banquets. Heck, you felt it that time you were the catalyst at the wedding reception and had everyone on the dance floor with “Shout” playing in the background.

Let us close the loop on the Super Bowl analogy. Tom Brady, considered the greatest quarterback of all time, did not care for the Falcon’s offense or the point deficit in the Super Bowl. Frankly speaking, the Patriots’ defense was the part of the team that influenced Atlanta’s scoring. If one gets lost deep in the annals of YouTube, there are plenty of videos showcasing Tom Brady’s energized and positive vibes throughout the whole game. That positive energy motivated the offense as the Patriots scored 31 points and the defense held the opposing team to one touchdown after a lopsided first half. We all saw the game unfold…the Patriots win, and Tom Brady gets his 5th ring. Not bad for a 199th draft pick who focused on what he could control and influence by reacting positively to all the naysayers.