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Chaplain's Corner: People remember when you quit; it becomes a "negative resume."

By Army Chaplain (Maj.) John Min | 673d MDG Chaplain | May 11, 2016


The "Chaplain's Corner" offers perspectives to enhance spiritual/religious resiliency in support of Air Force and Army Comprehensive Fitness programs.

Comments regarding specific beliefs, practices, or behaviors are strictly those of the author and do not convey  endorsement by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Army, the Air Force, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, or the 673d Air Base Wing.

Many people take the time to prepare a high-quality resume if they want the best job for their career. It is not easy to prepare, but there are many who are well-versed at resume preparing to whom we can go for assistance. I prepared a resume right before my seminary graduation more than two decades ago. My resume was prepared for my first ministry as a full-time pastor and missionary through my denomination. Of course, I did not write a negative resume to do the Lord's work; I made it positive with the assistance of strong prayer.

At the same time, God gave me an opportunity to apply for the Army chaplaincy. I asked a recruiter chaplain to assist me in writing the best resume and thus received an interview.  I thank God I did not quit while preparing my resume - that it did not become a "negative resume."

The book of Isaiah chapter 41, verses 9 and 10 tells us, "You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, "You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

When you feel like giving up, you are missing out on what God has to offer. There are so many things that demand our attention and while it may be good to leave behind unhealthy relationships, jobs, and habits, it's also important to keep fighting for what is good and right. Fight for your marriage, fight for your kids, fight for your health - do not give up or quit. Know that you are not alone, and know that we are in the hands of God - he will provide us with strength when we need it. Use the scriptures or "manual for our soul/spirit" and trust in strength from God for encouragement.

I would like to share few motivations when one wants to quit or create a negative resume. Here is what you need to do:

Know your goal
Start by writing down your major goal. Your major goal is the ultimate thing you would like to see happen. For example, "I want to make the honor roll," or "I want to get fit enough to make the cross-country team," or even, "I want to compete in the Olympics" are all major goals because they're the final thing the goal setter wants to see happen. It is okay to dream big. That is how people accomplish great things. You just have to remember that the bigger the goal, the more work it takes to get there.

Make it specific
It is easier to plan for and master a specific goal than a vague one. Let us say your goal is to get fit. That is pretty vague. Make it specific by defining what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and by when. This helps you make a plan
to reach your goal.

Make it realistic
People often abandon their goals because their expectations are unreasonable. Maybe they expect to get ripped abs in weeks rather than months, or to quit smoking easily after years of lighting up. Part of staying motivated is being realistic about what you can achieve within the timeframe you have planned.

Write it down
Put your specific goal in writing. Then write it down repeatedly. Research shows that writing down a goal is part of the mental process of committing to it. Write your goal down every day to keep you focused and remind you how much you want it.

Break it down
Making any change takes self-discipline. You need to pay constant attention so you don't get sidetracked. One way to make this easier is to break a big goal into small steps. For example, let us say you want to run a marathon. If it's February and the marathon is in August, that is a realistic timeframe to prepare. Start by planning to run two miles and work up gradually to the distance you need.

Check in with your goal
Now that you have broken your goal down into a series of mini-goals and daily tasks, check in every day. It helps to write down your small goals in the same way you wrote down your big goals. That way you can track what you need to do, check off tasks as you complete them, and enjoy knowing that you're moving toward your big goal.

Keep a stick-to-it attitude
Visualize yourself achieving your goal - a toned you in your prom dress scoring the winning soccer goal. Self-visualization helps you keep what you are trying to accomplish in mind. It helps you believe it is possible. You can also call up your mental picture when willpower and motivation are low. Positive self-talk also boosts your attitude and motivation. Tell yourself, "I deserve to make the honor roll because I've really been working hard" or "I feel great when I swim - I'm doing well with my exercise plan."

Share with a friend
Another boost is having supportive people around you. Find a running friend, a quit-smoking friend, or someone else with a similar goal so you can support each other. Having a goal buddy can make all the difference in times when you don't feel motivated - like getting up for that early-morning run.

It all comes down to good planning, realistic expectations, and a stick-to-it attitude. Just as I thanked God I did not quit while preparing my resume so long ago, I know you will be thankful that you did not give up on your goal.