As the saying goes ...

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Have you ever noticed that laughter and light heartedness are traits of leadership that we don't really put much focus on, yet they are so important to what we do?

Why? Well in Southwest Asia, we are in the heart of the origin of mankind, working more than 70 hours a week, some outside in 100 plus degree heat. But how do we keep our sanity? 

Let me offer a few sayings to hopefully add a smile to your day. I have to give credit to my father and to a former commander. They both had a saying to cover just about any situation. Here are a few of those gems with just a bit of thought behind each one:

"Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity." Did you ever know those people who just seem to be luckier than others? Some call it good living, some seemingly create there own luck. It's easy. Seek opportunities and always be ready and prepared to accept good fortune.

"If you don't like my apples, don't shake my tree." Let's apply this one to real life. Have you ever been asked for an opinion or recommendation and when you provided it, it was basically ignored? It happens all the time.

"Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered." This one really talks about greed, one of the seven deadly sins. And since I grew up in Iowa, there is a bit of literal fact in this saying as well. But the essence is that if you are a "pig," you want everything for yourself. As you grow, you then become a "hog" ready for slaughter where you will be diced up into smaller bites to feed others. Look at the Enron scandal. There are thousand of these stories in business and even our military leaders fail from time to time because they become too powerful.

"Wait until you get your feet under your own table." Yes, one for those who have children, especially teenagers back home. In most cases, people are always ready to make decisions, yet they don't have true decision authority. Commanders in the military definitely have "their own table" to sit at and make decisions.

"You don't have to run faster than the bear." We've all had those moments when the boss' hair is on fire and he is out for blood. You and your co-workers know that you'll be next, but you only have to outfox your co-worker in the hopes that the boss will see his or her errors first and not have enough time or energy to tackle your issues.

Well that's all I can share as duty calls and there are appointments to make. Keep smiling and remember, "Time flies when you're having fun." Or as the frog says (yes, frogs have saying too), "Time's fun when your having flies."