Balance is power

  • Published
  • By Major Damian O. Wilborne
  • 39th Contracting Squadron comander
I feel very fortunate to share one more topic with the masses prior to changing command this summer. As I wrote this article, I wanted to focus on a message that would be relative to any career field and rank. This lesson learned has been at the forefront of my life throughout my entire 14 year career but has been especially important as a squadron commander.

I'll explain, we all have an important role in what we do for the mission here for the U.S. Air Force. But have you ever truly stopped to think about how carry out our personal lives has a huge impact on our productivity as Airmen?

When I was a new Second Lieutenant, my squadron commander challenged me with the questions: "What is your center of gravity? What is the most important element in your life that everyone and everything centers around? Then figure out how to maintain that balance." Then he went on to inform me that it may not stay the same and would definitely not be easy to maintain because of the different demands throughout my career. But he challenged me to spend the proper amount of time to shape my own personal balance.

I'll elaborate with an example that some can relate to. For many, family is at the center of the picture. Other gravitating elements it could be the mission, mental health, fitness, hobbies, social well being, finances and spiritual soundness. No matter what your center and elements are, have you ever noticed that sometimes if one or more element gets too much or not enough emphasis, everything else suffers. There are two distinct times that stand out in any of our lives: when things are out of balance and when everything seems to be just about right. For some, if you spend more time spending money than saving and investing, it could cause problems within your marriage. For others, the operations tempo may be a challenge and may keep you away from going to your child's softball games or school performances. Then again for others, it may be that you could only workout two to three days instead of four to five days. That may lead to a lower or failing physical training score which ripples into a referral Enlisted Performance Review or Officer Performance Review. Your overall productivity at work may be impacted.

I can assure you that many people go an entire career finding ways to strike their own balance. I challenge you to take time to think about what's most important in your life and fight for it with every fiber in your body. Realize that depending on the day, your priorities will change. But ask yourself, "Is your overall balance thrown off? Are you neglecting your center of gravity?" Take the time to nurture your center of gravity and keep your life in order. It will pay you great dividends and satisfaction in the end.