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What are you doing to make things better?

PATRICK AFB, Fla. -- It's easy to complain about things, personally or professionally that aren't going right. Who doesn't enjoy a good gripe session with your co-workers about how the commander "just doesn't get it" or sometimes think a decision/tasker/policy is the dumbest thing ever? Recognizing how things should change for the better is half the battle, but what are you doing about it?

When you see something that doesn't make sense or isn't going the way it should, you have three courses of action: ignore it, complain about it, or improve it. The first two options are equally effective; they have no chance of actuating change. Unless you want to continue facing the same frustration (or let others suffer in the same way), you need to take action to improve it.

In your personal life, take advantage of the base and community organizations that are available to you. Fighting with your spouse about money? The A&FRC can assist you with relationship or financial counseling. Unable to get the medical referral that you need? Your chain of command or the patient advocate can help you. Trouble passing the 1.5 mile run? See the HAWC or your Unit Fitness Monitors. Issues like this don't get better by themselves; you've got to DO something.

At work, we've all been exposed to processes or policies that just don't make sense. Don't take "that's just the way we always do it" as an answer. Dig into the requirement that's driving that process and you may be surprised. By asking the right questions, you may find you have more flexibility than you thought.

Some things can be improved just by getting involved. Wish your unit had more camaraderie? Help organize the next BBQ or squadron softball game (LCSS Os won 11-10). Or just grab a few of your co-workers and head to the Marina on a Friday afternoon. That's the kind of recurring meeting that can really catch on.

If you are willing to voice your complaints, be willing to work to find their solutions. Change starts with you!