What is your mission?

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
Although the 62nd Airlift Wing Airman Resilience Center is known for resiliency courses, another aspect of the center is that we do outreach throughout the community, where we meet some amazing folks. Some of these folks have decided they'd like to come and share their visions on the importance of a resilient culture.

Recently I had the privilege to host a morning professional development seminar featuring motivational speaker Melannie Cunningham at the base theatre, Aug. 20, 2013.

Throughout her career, Cunningham has been inspiring audiences nationally and internationally as a motivational speaker sharing personal stories and life lessons about resiliency and living life to the fullest. During our recent seminar, she spoke of a resilience-based approach to professional development, based upon the principle that all people have the ability to overcome adversity and succeed in spite of their life circumstances.

Cunningham spoke on how resilience is a strength-based construct, meaning it focuses on providing developmental support and gaining opportunities that promote success, and eliminating the factors that promote failure. "What is your Mission?" was the title of her talk.

Many of the things that Cunningham spoke of align with what is taught in the Airman Resilience Center about comprehensive Airmen fitness and resilience. She shared about values, having a personal mission statement and setting goals - all of which are very similar to the Airman Resilience Center's training on strengthening a set of beliefs or values that sustain an individual's sense of well-being and purpose.

We all understand that military members face a range of challenges, including high operation tempos, deployments, recurrent changes and the requirement to maintain high personal and professional standards of conduct. I believe hearing a message from someone that is not a military member brought a lot of awareness to not only the professional development aspect, but more importantly, one's personal development.

"Resilience is a process," said Cunningham. "It is not a character trait. It can be learned by anyone, but learning it does take time and effort."

Here at the Airman Resilience Center, we understand that resilience is not another program but a culture for caring about Airmen for life. We intend to continue to host motivational speakers like Cunningham and provide the highest standards of resiliency training possible.

The lesson after hearing such an inspiring message by Cunningham is to not only embrace where we are in our lives, but to know that being resilient will allow for greater things to come our way.