January 20, 2018

Commitment to service is a winning habit

I had the pleasure and honor of presenting at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy a few years ago. After my program, I was treated to a tour of the campus by 2nd Class Cadet Victoria “Tory” Stevens. The Academy has a beautiful campus with a chapel, museum, quarters, and a deck within the collegiate equivalent of the administration building. They have some neat and moving traditions, including saluting the flag and the Coast Guard officers on the deck. There was a rotunda in the administration building and around it were the words of the cadet honor code, “He who reveres honor, honors duty.”

As Tory was showing me around campus, she occasionally would bend down and pick up a scrap of paper. This happened four or five times when curiosity got the better of me. I asked her if this was one of their traditions, part of the honors code, an expectation that cadets would pick up litter to keep the grounds clean. “No”, she told me, “it’s a habit of mine. I figure that if I pick up at least one piece of garbage every day, then there will be 365 less pieces of garbage in the world each year.”

Wow! What a great habit to have! What a wonderful example of a commitment to excellence. Are you not proud that this fine young woman is defending our country? She has developed a winning habit: a commitment to serving others. By the way, I recently learned from someone at the academy that Tory did graduate, served her initial two year commitment, and re-upped for a second tour. I know I am proud to have been in her presence even for just a short time.

This is a great example of how you can create winning habits in your life by doing the simple things well and consistently. When you have mastered the little things, then you will have confidence to take on the bigger things. As you experience success developing winning habits, you will find that you will have victories in work, school, and all aspects of your life. Winning will become a habit in itself for you and you will find joy in the things you are able to accomplish.

You are a winner just waiting to happen!

Dave – Building Leaders Through Service®

About the Author: Dave "Gonzo" Kelly (64 Posts)

Dave Kelly is the leading authority on student leadership and community service on college campuses today. As a professional trainer, motivator, and servant leader, Dave is an expert on all aspects of running and leading campus organizations and developing the character of a servant leader. Dave has 20+ years training leaders and advisors from student government associations, campus activities boards and campus clubs of every kind on organizational leadership and community service projects. He has trained students and advisors at more than 150 different colleges and universities and is the national coordinator for the APCA Serves! Initiative by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.

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