I recently met up with an old friend and it didn’t take long before we found ourselves giving thanks for the opportunity to see each other. Catching up and realizing how much we enjoyed each other’s company was awesome.
Something we discussed was the realization that every day is a gift; a treat we’ve been given. Recognizing that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed is a concept I and (I think) 99% of the world doesn’t really grasp…To breathe, smile, laugh, soak up some sun, enjoy a nice sunset; these are life’s real treasures. There will always be situations where the 'easy way' out is becoming cynical or coping with less than healthy outlets. As a Cadet at the Air Force Academy, I was guilty of having a less than ideal attitude, being unnecessarily selfish, or not giving my best effort when there was absolutely no excuse for it. As I reflect on how I handled many of the stressful situations during those four years, I realize that the attitude I had during the tough times was ultimately a consequence of a poor perspective.
What can we do to make the most of the gifts we’ve been given? Everybody’s circumstances are different, but I think everyone has it in them to be a friend, a helping hand, a pleasant and respectful teammate, a good wingman, and to (at the very least) have the right attitude/intention. It doesn’t take any skill, luck, or unique circumstance to have a positive attitude, to lend a listening ear, or to simply just be there for the people you care about.
Spending quality time with my family and friends this weekend helped keep things in perspective. We need more people to be there for each other, who will call us out when we need to improve, and who want to work together towards a better future. What we need are more friends - real friends. When you’re a sincere friend, the people around you will quickly realize that there’s no ‘hidden agenda’ or ‘scheme’ you may be up to. There is only a desire to make the circumstance and the world we live in better.
When we find ourselves slipping into a mental state that isn’t conducive to being the best version of ourselves, let’s take a step back and put things into perspective. Nothing in life is guaranteed, might as well smile and give your best! Whenever the tough times hit, always ask the question, ‘Is what I’m about to do going to help me or going to hurt me?’ And more importantly, ‘Is what I’m doing helping others or is it hurting others?’