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Enjoy your present

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- As we come to the end of another busy year, many people might take time to reflect back on their lives during the past year and start thinking about what their resolutions will be for the New Year.

As you look back, you may think about the challenges you have faced and obstacles you have overcome. You might also reflect on the goals you have met and accomplishments you have achieved. Our past is full of events, both good and bad, that shape who we are.  While it is important to reminisce and learn from our experiences, it is not beneficial to live in the past. If you made some poor decisions, or have regrets about things you have done, remember there is no way to go back and change them. Learn from them, but don't let your past continue to affect your life today or impact where you could be in the future.

The same can be said about focusing too much on the future. It is important to have aspirations and plans for tomorrow, but you should avoid living in the future. Remember the first step to reaching those future goals is working hard today. For example, someone may struggle with fitness and weight issues, but they keep pushing off working out until tomorrow; or a person may want to earn a college degree, yet they keep putting off taking classes until next semester. 

Life in the military can be very structured at times, but with the increased missions and operations tempo it can also become very unpredictable. Live in the present, you never know what tomorrow will bring. Like the old saying goes, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."

During this time of year, enjoy the time you have with your family and friends. Build strong lasting relationships and bonds. Work toward your goals, but don't worry about what the future may bring. Tomorrow will always come, so enjoy your present.    

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment," Buddha