Positive attitude makes a difference

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Scott Fox
  • 12th Missile Squadron
Sitting down to think about what I should write in this article, I found myself asking what I could possibly write that might make a difference in someone's daily life? Next, I asked myself what I thought actually does make a difference, and I found a great answer in a quote by long time college football coach. Coach Lou Holtz once said, "Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." 

In the Air Force, no matter what our specialty might be, we spend a lot of time training to increase our "ability" and ensure we are capable of doing our jobs. In the Air Force, there are also a lot of different "motivating" factors. Whether personal motivation or motivation inspired by the situation, our co-workers or our supervisors, we ultimately end up doing our individual jobs. The real key to success, the factor that determines how successful we are in those jobs, is absolutely attitude. 

Just think about those individuals who work around and with you. While we have all seen those in our organizations who seem to just barely get by, we have also seen those who really step up and lead. Think of that one person you know that you can always ask when something just has to get done right now and it has to get done right. What kind of attitude does that person have? I'm going to guess that person is one of the most positive people in your unit! They don't usually complain. They avoid cutting corners or taking short cuts. They are the one you send your new Airmen to in order to learn how things are "done right." 

I'm also going to guess that their co-workers don't mind working with them - they might even find themselves spending off-duty time together, too. Their positive attitude is contagious and by spreading that positive attitude, they improve their entire team. Attitude really makes a difference when it comes to getting the mission done. That's the power of a positive attitude. 

Are these successes associated with a positive attitude limited to the workplace? Not at all! Coach Holtz's framework for success ... ability, motivation and attitude ... is just as applicable off-duty as it is on-duty. No matter what you find yourself doing, a positive attitude is definitely going to be a factor you want to have on your side. 

Do you have a positive attitude? If you do, great, keep it up! People are probably noticing you and I'm sure you are driving your unit to success and making a difference. If you don't, why not try it and see where it leads? You can make a difference too!