Success in life...
Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:07 PM
Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:59 AM
Apparently, the overwhelming consensus here is that greatness in life has something to do with your chosen profession. I graduated from that school of thought almost 20 years ago after I retired from the Navy. Since that day, I have never allowed whatever I was doing to make a living define who I am as a person. Granted, we all have to work to pay the bills, feed the kids, whatever. But those are your chosen missions in life. They don't necessarily define who you are.
My greatness in life is characterized by the positive change I can affect in my community through involvement, whether it be volunteer work, fund-raising or whatever. I sit on the Board of Directors for my local SPCA chapter, I get phone calls to drive elderly people at nursing homes to their dialysis appointments when it snows, I help build Habitat homes and I sat on the town council of my home town beach community in San Diego years ago.
My wife and I have no kids and we're both beyond the age to even think about it, but we help raise money for the local Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and the local scouting organizations.
I've been around the world and I've been through every state in this country (except Minnesota and North Dakota). I've learned a lot and I've experienced even more. There comes a time when you realize it all means nothing unless you share it with someone else. You can go to school for years and years, gather all the degrees you want. But, in the end, unless you do something to change someone's life with what you've learned, it was a waste of your time. Every day is an education and if I don't learn something new each and every day of my life, I wasted time somewhere.
Effecting change takes hard work. When someone catches a "break" or gets "lucky," it usually comes as a result of someone else working hard to create change somehow, somewhere. You may just never see or recognize it.
Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:43 AM
As for me, I grew up in a relatively wealthy ocean-side town in southern Maine. I had two loving parents that were constantly involved in my life throughout my childhood and high school years. They took me to every sports practice, drove me to and from school, and taught me that hard work and dedication are two useful tools that could one day get me to where I wanted to me. Just prior to my senior year of high school, my mom came out and told my dad that she had been having an affair with another man. Not long after a thirty year marriage came crumbling down and a divorce followed. At 18, it was tough on me because I knew the reality of the situation. Instead of letting it bring me down to an all-time low mentally, I chose to live up my senior year of high school to the best of my ability. I won a state championship in lacrosse,made many memories with friends I will never forget, and was enrolled in my number one college choice for the following fall.
It took me some time to get acclimated to college life but I did alright. Once I declared as a political science major with a German minor, I just focussed on school during the week and getting the full college experience on the weekend. It was a happy mix between fun and hard work and I am grateful for both. You only live once and you can't get any time back on this earth. To my surprise, my senior year of college I met a girl that I honestly think I could spend the rest of my life with. We have currently been dating for 9 months, and it is showing no signs of slowing down even with me being in California. I was fortunate enough to know exactly what I wanted to do for a career once I got to college. Currently, I am pursuing my master's degree in homeland security and am the youngest in a class of 90 students.
In life, one must do what makes him/her happy. Live with no regrets. I try to be as spontaneous as possible and do new things even if said thing is out of my comfort zone. Take the initiative. When you set your mind to something, give 100% and do not take no for an answer. Sometimes the cards will fall your way and sometimes they will not. Every goal is attainable; one just needs to recognize this goal, and stop at nothing to achieve it no matter the odds. A combination of hard work, luck, relationships, and opportunities will all be crucial to achieving what you want in life.