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Chief's Corner - week of July 30

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- LOSING

As professionals, we don't often like to talk about losing.  Personally, I hate losing with a passion.  In every area of life, my desire is to be a winner.  You name it, I want to win, just ask my kids about our epic Madden tournaments (but that's another story).  However, I had to come to the realization that while winning should be the expectation, is not always possible.  Losing should be the exception and not the rule, but when exception becomes a reality, we must handle it with professionalism and grace.
 
Within our very own Airmen's creed, "I will never falter, and I will not fail" seems paradoxical.  It's not possible to never falter or fail.  So, what exactly does that mean? 
I submit the meaning has more to do with our way of life and mindset and less with absolute perfection.  There will be failure and loss but the idea of the pursuit of perfection is ideal and worth striving for.  It's in that pursuit that greatness will be discovered but we can't get there without experiencing loss. However, there is a major difference between having a loss and being a loser and that difference is in how we handle the loss.
 
Every successful person has endured loss and failure but that is because they have attempted more.  The unsuccessful person oftentimes is afraid of failure thus settling into a comfort zone and never stepping out on faith to make a real impact in this world.  Theodore Roosevelt said, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." What would you attempt to do if you knew you wouldn't fail?  What would you attempt to do if you knew you might fail, but you would learn and grow from that failure?
 
Our Air Force is experiencing major transformation in space and cyber and now is the time for Airmen to capitalize on their creativity and ingenuity to forge new paths ahead.  To be clear, the Air Force needs you to fail.  Or put another way, the Air Force needs you to not settle for status quo and take calculated risks to better accomplish our mission or better yet, to explore what that mission may look like several years from now.  In other words, think big and in doing so there will be inevitable failure, but remember failure is a mandatory stop on the road to success.
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