The expectation and pressure on today’s chief officer continues to rise and it’s doubtful that this will change in the future. More pressure, more work, more stress, more challenges … the list goes on and on.
— Fire Chief Les Karpluk (Ret.)
Tip #3 – Never Give Up
Challenging times, tough days, bad days, these are all a part of life. A chief officer or firefighter can maintain their motivation by following these steps.
It’s easy to give up when we face tough times. It takes real courage to NEVER GIVE UP. It’s very interesting how our brain works. If you believe that the challenge is going to win, then guess what? You got it. You have already given up and lost the battle.
Be determined to succeed regardless of the circumstances.
If you possess the mindset of “never giving up” then you are sending your subconscious messages that you are a fighter. And, being a firefighter means you are a fighter.
Setbacks occur, but you must never give up. Believe in yourself. This is absolutely critical for maintaining any motivation during tough times.
During his “Never Give In” speech to school students in 1941, Winston Churchill was asked how to be successful. Churchill replied, “People should never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
There is some truth to the old saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Be stubborn, be determined, and never, never, give up. Nobody said it was going to be easy and if it was easy anyone could do it.
Tip #2 – Identify The Real Priorities
Identify the “real priorities” and then go about setting up the schedule and breaking down the workload into small pieces.
If events come along to side track you (and they will), you will not be overcome or stressed because you have already taken proactive steps by prioritizing your workload.
Try this simple exercise for 14 days.
Identify your priorities for week #1. Categorize them as high, medium and low importance. It can take up to a week to identify your “real” priorities, so on Day 8 review the list and, if necessary, re-align the priorities.
Too many times we can get focused on the low priority items or the “nice to have” priority items. Before we know it, we have become sidetracked and lost our focus.
The idea here is to get into the habit of categorizing your high priorities and focusing on them.
Look at this step as a preventive measure that allows you to maintain your motivation even when you are experiencing heavy workloads or challenging times.
Maintaining motivation is much easier when priorities are categorized properly.
Tip #1 – Remember Your Family And Friends
Take the time to spend time with family and friends. Laugh, cry, talk, hug — do what you need to do to give and receive love.
Your family and friends can be your best support system and your best critic. They are there to pick you up when you need it and there to administer that needed kick in the butt when you “require it.”
Treasure your family – tell them you love them EVERY DAY.
Treasure your friends – tell them how much you appreciate their friendship EVERY DAY.
Remember at the end of the day you are not the profession and your friends and family will give you more love than the profession ever will. The fire service is bigger than all of us and we are only a minuscule part of it.
But, our family and friends are everything.
Article photo provided by Chief Gord Schreiner
Find all 10 of Chief Karpluk’s tips here: