Attitude makes all the difference

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Steven Hatchner
  • 341st Maintenance Operations Squadron
Today might seem like any other day, but it doesn't have to be. The holidays are over and a new year means a fresh start. If you are like most Americans, you made resolutions that you fully intend to keep. That is ... once you get started. Getting started is the key. Whether your resolutions involved finances, health, love or work, one thing is true ... you need the right attitude to get your plan off the ground. The only way to set your plan in motion is to set your mood. What makes you happy? Happiness is free, has no calories and it pays off, not to mention your smile will make everyone around you smile (or curious about what you're up to). 

In case you'd like to know the effects of your attitude and how it affects your level of happiness, log on to and click on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's link. You will find his series on happiness that covers laughter camps, smiling and their health benefits. Dr. Gupta's clinical research provides evidence to support the work of Daniel Goleman, author of Working with Emotional Intelligence. Emotional intelligence is managing your moods maturely. Surprisingly, Goleman found that a person's IQ accounts for only 20 to 25 percent of how well they perform in their careers, whereas emotional intelligence makes up the other 75 percent. If your emotional intelligence has that big of an influence on your career performance, then imagine its influence in all other areas  of your life. 

I share this research with you because happiness is a relative term and only you can determine if you want to be happy or not. Personally, I employ the "glass-halffull" approach and it seems to work. I look at the positive things in any given situation and more times than not the negative things become less evident. Although we can't ignore the negative influences in our lives, if you concentrate solely on the negative, your on life will be negative. For instance, many of you might view Great Falls, and Montana as a whole, as a "boring" place ... the night life is slow, the shopping is limited, it's too cold, there is nothing to do, etc. Although this may be true in some respects, look at it from a different perspective, with a different attitude. 

Take a look at what this "Big Sky" area offers ... some of the best outdoor activities in the country (fishing, hunting, skiing, hiking, camping, rafting, sight seeing, etc) as well as several other things for those who may not be outdoorsy (Montana State Fair, rodeos, events at the Civic Center, Lewis and Clark interpretive center, volunteer for your favorite organization, etc.). 

So get out there and experience what this town has to offer ... or drive 50 miles in any direction. Take a good look around you. What do you see? What I see is a beautiful place, with great people, surrounded by unlimited activities for you to enjoy ... take a chance, you might be surprised how much fun you can have. 

I'll leave you with a final thought ... "if you are not having fun, then you are doing something wrong."