Overcoming Life's Hurdles Published Jan. 22, 2013 By CMSgt. Walter Escoe 127WG Ground Safety SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- When the road is rough, the strong get tough. Life is full of hurdles, natural and manmade, and your success is gauged by your ability to clear the hurdles. Once a hurdle is cleared each additional hurdle becomes easier to overcome. Most, however; will not clear the first hurdle. And subsequently you stop trying to clear them at all, after a failed attempt. What keeps us in the race after hitting a hurdle is what we do after your initial collision. We all at some point in time hit a hurdle. Do you have a plan to continue the race when the going gets tough; when you encounter your hurdle? Have you heard the expression "Nobody promised you a rose garden?" Well, that's true. Life can be as enjoyable as the fragrance of a dozen roses or as painful as the prickling thorns that lie beneath the rose petals. Therefore you have to take the good with the bad; each has learning curve examine all learning curves not just the negative curves in situations. We repeat prior mistakes only because we didn't learn from past mistakes. Learn from your mistakes but most importantly learn from others' mistakes. When you clear a hurdle the confidence level is high, you are mentally alert, you're examining what occurred and you put that behavior in motion as you anticipate you're next hurdle. However when you hit a hurdle the opposite effect could occur; you lose confidence, get discouraged and give up your race. I'm suggesting to you from a personal experience not to give up the race. It's not the position you finish in, in your race that makes you a winner; it's finishing your race that creates the winner. We all want to be successful in one way or another; we all have our beliefs about what we think it takes to become successful. There a book by Kevin Ngo; author of "Myths of Success" this book addresses common myths of success and how they could prevent our growth. Being a young Airman is a challenge. You must expect things to change. Working smart not hard is the way to go. There were lots of things I had to learn along the way; one of them was to dispel myths. What is a myth? Webster's dictionary defines myth as any fictitious story or unscientific account, theory, and/or belief. You are in control of your own fate, take charge. It takes perseverance, tenacity and visualization to make it to the finish line but you all can make it. I was once a young Airman wandering around this base trying to figure out where I fit in. After numerous hurdles, prickling thorns and an occasional smell of the rose fragrance, I found what I was looking in Ground Safety career field. The road was rough and sometimes I was running in the dark trying to clear hurdles with no light at the end of the tunnel, but I finished my race. Follow "The Enlisted Force Structure" Air Force Instruction 36-2618. There are no myths to this book; follow it's guidance wholeheartedly and success as an Airman shall certainly follow. "Myths of Success" is food for thought and a suggested read item by the Chief as you run your race. Keep your heads up expect failure as well as success they both have positive attributes. Have a solid plan that's revisable when some parts don't fix you or your situation. And I will see you at the finish line.