Getting psyched up for the ORI

  • Published
  • By Col. Philip A. Sweet
  • 934th Aeromedical Staging Squadron commander
While at a martial arts camp in the remote woods of northernmost Wisconsin, I reflected on the wonders of man and nature. Doing this made me think of the writings of Joseph Campbell, author of "The Power of Myth".

Campbell, an American mythologist, writer and lecturer was known for his comparative works in mythology and religion and often used the phrase "Follow your bliss." One of the chapters in his book, which was also made into a six-part PBS series in the 1980s, was "The Hero's Journey."

As we prepare for the ORI, three of his quotes seem very pertinent:

"You are the Hero of your own Story."
Give your story the best you can, this story will define you. You will persevere and strengthen the mission, but above all, your story is self-affirmation, it is "you."

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."
It has often been said that things worth having are worth fighting for. I think this is true of our goals for the ORI. It might just be the fear of "starting" to "strive" toward the ultimate goal. However, once you set forth across that threshold, the task becomes easier and you continue on without hesitation or self-doubt.

"When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness."
You take dedication with you when you work selflessly with others, it will reveal who you really are. Living by our Air Force core value of service before self applies here as well, just replace the word service with "others".

These quotes can be applied to many of our situations in the military from the new Air Force member heading off to basic training to the seasoned vet getting ready to deploy. I think these sentiments lend themselves to the arduous task ahead as we prepare for the ORI. As the author Campbell states, the results of the hero are that they are individuals striving with dedication to others. And that type of thinking will ensure our ORI success!