Consider the incentives

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- From day to day, incentives drive every action we make. What is the incentive for drinking a cup of coffee? Coffee helps keep you alert. What is the incentive for hunting? Hunting can be fun and provides food. What is the incentive for pulling a prank on your boss? To get a great laugh or to pay him/her back for that well planned April Fool's Day joke. (Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to prank your boss.)

Incentives continually mold our actions and our behavior.

Take a moment to think about your family. Think about your parents, spouse, siblings, children, cousins and even your close friends whom you consider to be family. Picture the people you love most in this world. Those family members you now see are your incentive. They are your incentive to stay healthy and to stay alive.

When I do any activity that is slightly dangerous, I envision my family and remind myself to be as safe as possible.

On Memorial Day, I went cliff jumping with a close friend of mine. My overwhelming incentive to jump was the pure rush of adrenaline and excitement. I was on top of a 25 to 35-foot cliff and ready to jump. At that moment, I thought of my mom scolding me for doing something similar when I was younger. That thought made me remember to check the water before jumping in. I'm lucky that I did.

There was a jagged rock six-feet under the water right where my friend and I were planning to jump. We changed locations and found a suitable place to partake in our adrenaline rush. We had a great time and no one was hurt due to my incentive to always think of my family before doing something dangerous.