Looking ahead as '08 begins, I was reminded of the advice about choosing our battles wisely. Don't waste your energy fighting where you can't win, but focus on where you can affect the most change. That begins with an evaluation of ourselves. Unfortunately, we usually stress over situations completely out of our control. Why is that? Perhaps it is more convenient to blame anything and anybody except ourselves. A friend remarked, "you can't change the Army, but you can change yourself." This was an observation about the frustrations of not being able to change bureaucracies. Our all-too-finite supply of adrenaline should therefore be spent where positive results can be expected, on ourselves.
Looking back, it is easy to see where I spent way too much anxiety over mountains that weren't going to move, people that weren't going to behave the way I expected, and conditions that were never going to be perfect. To continue to expect another result without altering my input would be insanity. If I would spend as much energy improving self, as on being critical and frustrated over situations beyond my control, I would do well.
Could it be that nothing will change until I first learn how to confront the obstacles set before me? The key is not in changing them, but in first changing me. The Army is not my problem. The problem and its solution is me.