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Passing on a few of life’s important lessons

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Mark E. Barber
  • 315th Airlift Wing Command Chief
It is no secret that I like quotes. In the past, I have used them at our wing’s Newcomer Orientation, with recruits from the Developmental and Training Flights, and even at our Commander’s Call.

Among one of my seldom used, but favorite quotes is attributed to entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash, who said, “Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.” While not entirely true, bumble bees do seem to defy known laws of aviation with their powerful lift and incredible feats of maneuverability. Aerodynamically speaking, a bumble bee should not be able to gets its chubby little body off the ground given its small wings and what we know about lift, drag, weight, and thrust. The bumble bee, of course, flies anyway because it’s unaware of the scientific facts and doesn’t care what people think anyways.

While reflecting on my Air Force career and contemplating what I wanted to say in my last commentary, the above quote comes to mind as it implies that you should “never give up on your dreams despite what others are saying.”

Do you want to become an officer through the Deserving Airman Commissioning Program or reach the pinnacle of your enlisted career as a Chief Master Sergeant? If so, what’s holding you back? Is it the little inner voice in your head that reminds you of your inadequacies, mistakes, and failures? If so, you’re not alone. Whether you choose to listen to or silence the negativity of the inner voice will largely determine your successes in life.

Hence, are you actively working towards your goal or have you giving up all hope of your dream?

Here’s another quote to drive that point home, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right,” said Henry Ford. This quote illustrates the self-fulfilling prophecy, a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it is already true.

In other words, if you do not believe in yourself, then you will surely fail.

Likewise, here is a quote I use quite often, “Control your own destiny or someone else will,” said by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. The meaning of the quote is to simply take charge of your own life and career; otherwise, others will do it for you and you may not like the path they have chosen for you.

To summarize, “what you will allow is what will continue.”

So how does a person overcome these barriers to resistance, fear, and/or lack of self-confidence? It happens only when we decide to change our mindset! Said another way, it will occur when the reality of what we believe we CAN do, exceeds the reality of what we believe we cannot do—then, and only then, will we see the results we are hoping for begin to manifest. Lastly, be forever mindful in the eternal words of Albert Einstein who said, “You never fail until you stop trying.” Since there’s no quitters amongst us, I therefore ask you again, “What’s holding you back?”