Seeing new possibilities

KULIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Alaska -- If it looks as though each UTA brings new changes to the Wing, there's good reason for the feeling: It's true. While the wing is certainly not alone in these changing times, we are perhaps one of the most deeply affected units in the ANG. 

This is my first UTA serving as Vice Commander for the Wing. Next month we'll hold a change of command to install a new Mission Support Group Commander. Some of us are still looking for the "circle U.S." insignia to bring our Service Dress uniforms into compliance. When we logged onto our computers this morning, we may have seen new
programs installed or updated. All this taking place so broadly, so deeply and so
quickly can be disorienting and upsetting. 

People naturally resist changes instituted from the outside, especially when it's unexpected. This adds stress, and we certainly don't need more stress! So the happy news is that there are ways to respond to these changing times that will not only help us cope, but help us thrive. 

The world itself thrives on change, which is why there's so much of it. I'm sure you've heard "The only constant in the universe is change." So true. But after we've mastered a
skill, or grown accustomed to a habit, it takes effort to master new skills, and changing a habit typically is harder than building one in the first place. Most of us like what we
like and we'd prefer to keep on liking it as long as we can. Change is an issue for us. For those of us disoriented and probably upset, I have some suggestions. 

First, accept facts as facts. It is what it is. Wishing for the way it was works against us. We can't command ourselves to "like" the new thing, but we can command ourselves to recognize it. Accepting it intellectually allows us to perceive it as the reality it is. It's like this: Suppose I planned to go fishing but awoke the morning of my trip to discover the weather was absolutely foul. I don't "like" the change in the weather, but I can accept
it. It is what it is. This intellectual acceptance is the biggest step towards thriving in the new reality: a rainy day. 

Acceptance lets us view the possibilities newly presented by the change. By seeing new
possibilities, we can shape our response. Imagine this: I had planned to use the step-test for my annual fitness testing, but the new policy says I should run. Taking my own advice, I allow myself to feel disappointment, but I accept that the policy is what it is and look for new possibilities. I decide that testing this month is no longer a good idea, and I begin a sensible aerobic training regimen that includes running. Regular conditioning is a new habit that requires discipline, focus and effort. But a few months later, I can expect to be in better shape than I am now -- and I can pass the fit test in accordance with the new policy. This would be success! 

Change is a challenge, and everyone lives in a world that changes around them every day. It comes easier to some than to most, but those who decide to face changes by
seeing new possibilities will thrive. How can we do that? 

There's a very good reason the Air Force emphasizes that every airman is a "wingman." Everyone needs someone else looking out for their best interests. A wingman can help clarify how one can best meet the new environment and keep focused while adapting. Since the earliest philosophers recorded their thoughts, we have recognized that "two are better than one." Remember your wingman.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.