Attitude and Effort


In a world where many things seem to be spinning out of our control there are two things we have complete control over, Attitude and Effort.

I tell a story of a Ragnar type race where one runner set out on his journey into the night. Far in the distance he could see a light from another runner. He made it a goal to try to catch this runner over the next 6 miles. As the runner continued he noticed he was gaining at a much quicker pace then anticipated. As he approached he realized the other runner had only one leg and very damaged body. On the shirt of the injured runner read “Wounded Warrior”. A conversation took place between the two runners and the injured warrior explained his battle wounds. Humbled by the story, the runner told the wounded warrior that he would stay by his side until the end of the race. The wounded warrior quickly replied “no, please do not, you see I am giving it 110% just to keep the pace I am running. If you stay with me you will not be giving it your all. If you want to honor me then you will give it 110% until the finish line.” The runner was inspired by the wounded warrior and set a personal record by giving 110% to the finish line.

The wounded warrior could easily have never participating in such a race. But this warrior had a positive attitude and produced an incredible effort to accomplish his goal. Although he was wounded, and struggled with every step, he controlled his overall attitude and conquered the demons trying to keep him down.

In today’s world of policing we face many challenges, some of are out of our control, and some we bring upon ourselves. Regardless, we have the ability to control the attitude with which we face those challenges, as well as our effort to overcome them. As superintendent of a great law enforcement organization I have the opportunity to see those who display a great attitude, and go out every day to make a difference. Some we read about in our weekly reports or through other means, but often these great acts go unnoticed. It is truly incredible to be able to see the great work being done by the men and women in Brown Shirts, and think of the many tragedies they prevent from occurring.

I am often humbled by those who find the good in every situation, and posses a work ethic that won’t tolerate disloyalty or disgrace. You know who these people are. They are the ones we are attracted to, because we feel good just being around them. I have a friend I ride bikes with. In all these years, in windy conditions, pouring rain, steep hills, and rides that will never end I have never heard him complain. But rather, I hear things such as “check out the strong head wind, means we get a better training day.” On days of pouring rain he says, “I have a deal with God, he provides the weather and I don’t complain.” When we come upon a 12% grade that seems to go on for miles, he will just smile and say, “right on, this is going to hurt” as he laughs all the way up the hill. Wouldn’t it be great to take challenges head on with a smile on your face, and always a great attitude.

Although we face greater challenges in law enforcement then ever before, there is no other profession I would rather be in, and nothing I would rather do. We have the chance each day to make a huge difference in the lives of others. I believe the public sees State Troopers as bright and shining heroes rushing in to save the day. They honor your service and sacrifice. Please never forget that what you do every day makes a difference, and we need you. Thank you for your positive can do attitude, and going out each day knowing you will save a life.