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It’s your choice to make

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Penny Joy Barnett
  • 6th Medical Group
In 1994 I was in San Antonio and heard a speech with the premise being all about the choices we choose to make. The lecturer's speech was in the form of humor, he was energetically walking from one side of the stage to the other, knocking out little anecdotes, telling funny stories about the choices we make through our daily life. With high energy, a definite passion for the subject, and a man with the confidence to back up the belief, I paid very close attention. One line in particular caught my attention. He said when you wake up in the morning, what do you choose to do? Are you happy, are you mad, are you frustrated ...what choice do you make? Why do you make the choices you make? Did you realize you had the ability to control your choices? Right at that moment, it felt as if he was having a one on one conversation with me, as if he read what was in my heart. He continued by telling us that we didn't have to be someone who is known as waking up on the wrong side of the bed, or someone who needs 10 cups of coffee just to get a smile. We could choose to wake with a good attitude, a happy heart, and share our smile with others.

So, the speech was over and I was walking back to the hotel, I realized it was time to make a choice, and I promised myself that from that day I would do my best to make good choices. This belief in myself has gotten me thru some tough days; it's amazing at what the power of 'Positive' can do for your spirit. Do I make good choices every time, I would have to say no, I sometimes let the negative seep in, I let the selfish piece take hold. But, when I realize I have veered off the path I promised myself to go down, I try very hard to make my next choice, a better choice.

As a First Sergeant, I have found this belief has gotten me far, and often I use this analogy when talking with the Airmen. It doesn't matter what rank, doesn't make what gender, race or service. This belief can be applied to every situation, as long as you believe you own the choice you make...because ownership of your choices is key. For the Airmen who have found themselves in rough times because of bad choices, I always encourage them to take a really good look at what they choose. I also let them know we all have a past, we all have a future ... how will you own the consequences to the choices of your past, and what choices will you make for your future,

As for me, I wake up every morning greeted by the sweet smiles of our daughters, because they made choices to wake in a great mood. I also wake to a husband who always puts his best foot forward, because he chooses to make the best of his days, and hopes his smile will help. I admit, this is a great jumpstart to my day of choices I will make. But just knowing today I get to make a choice if this will be a good day, a bad day or a so-so day, inspires my actions and adds purpose to endeavors. I own this choice, and alone I can influence how my day will go.

So, when you are faced with choices to make ...What choice will you make?