A little extra in the ordinary, makes one extra-ordinary

  • Published
  • By Maj. James Blackman
  • 56th Component Maintenance Squadron
"One thousand minor miracles every day" is a saying I have often heard and even used a few times to try and explain just what it is that we do on a regular basis here at Luke Air Force Base and really just about any military base.

What is done daily -- on the flightline, maintenance and operations activities, maintenance back shops, fuel trucks, parts processed, training, ammo and weapons, countless meetings and slideshows, security, personnel paperwork, money, contracts, food, services, medical, facilities and airspace -- is vital to fulfillment of the mission. All of these things and more must be working, and, not only that, they must be working in choreographed concert together for just one F-16 at Luke to take to the sky.

All these minor miracles can begin to take on an ordinary mundane routine, a "not exciting anymore" feeling, if we do not regularly take some time to remind ourselves and those around us that what we do may appear ordinary after months and years of doing it every day, but it is truly far from ordinary.

So take a minute right now, and reflect back on why you volunteered to join the military in the first place; what was it about serving your country that appealed to you? Reflect on the oath you took and what that oath means to you, your family and your country?Remembering the reasons why can help us see our seemingly routine tasks in a whole different light; it gives those tasks a higher purpose.

Now, take another minute and look around you right now. Look at the team you are part of and the men and women who depend on you and those that depend on what you do every day. What you do is not ordinary, and what I'm suggesting is that it is far from ordinary to those who are depending on you to get it right.

No matter what your duties are, many are depending on you to do your "ordinary" duty with excellence -- the kind of excellence that comes a little easier if we don't think of these duties as ordinary but rather know and understand that the team or the customer is depending on these ordinary duties, making them critically important to someone.

This kind of excellence takes effort and time to do what is necessary to make it right. This is why acknowledging the purpose behind your daily work and recognizing those who depend on you can make it a little easier to make that extra effort to be excellent; and in so doing, your extra added into the ordinary, will have the effect of making you extraordinary.