Not long ago I read an article on the mantras -- powerful catch phrases that help you focus when times get tough. “Mantra,” the Runner’s World story says, “literally means ‘instrument for thinking.’” People who use them tend to run faster and farther hitting running goals they otherwise didn’t think possible.
I love mantras because they help me kick negative thinking in the butt. If I’m in the middle of hard exercise I tell myself “piece of cake.” This serves two purposes: it reminds me that exercise is only as hard as I believe it to be, and it makes me think about actual cake. (Because cake always tastes better when you exercise really hard for it ... plus who doesn't like thinking about cake?!).
I also have a military life mantra. This one is plastered on one of those wooden signs you can buy from a vendor at the PX. It hangs in my kitchen where I can see it while I sit and eat yet another meal without my husband. It says “Army Wife – Courage, Strength, Sacrifice.”
While that saying may be incredibly cheesy, the sign has helped me get through many a bad military life moment. When times get tough and military life really, really sucks it reminds me of what I am. I am courageous. I am strong. I take pride in my sacrifice.
Sometimes I don’t feel those things – sometimes I don’t feel strong or courageous. And sometimes I hate the sacrifice. But that’s really just the hard moments talking. Deep down I am what that mantra says – and my sign reminds me of it. And it makes this military life a little bit easier to swallow.
Do you have a military life mantra? If not, try coming up with one and share it below. Maybe your new mantra can be someone else’s power phrase, too.