Anyone who equates success with having a positive impact on others – the greater good as some might say – can trace their journey back to that ‘aha’ moment that set the wheels in motion on the right path and at the right speed. That moment of clarity when it just clicks – when you realize that this is what I need to do for me, my family, my community and the greater good.
Some people may experience that aha moment later in life — when they have already achieved a level of success. I just happened to find it at a rather early age. At an age when most people are trying to figure out the world and their place in it. I was fortunate that life circumstances, which some might call negative, put me in a position where I had to see my place and my road to better my circumstances. I’m better off for them, and so are the people around me.
To that point, the greater good has been my passion and my mission – in all parts of life. But, I have learned that you can’t be part of something good, something bigger, if you can’t bring your fullest self to the table. I’ve come to realize that what’s good for others is good for me, and vice versa, and I have taken that mindset everywhere I have gone.
That’s exactly why I made one of my life’s best decisions, right out of high school, to join the military. What better training ground for the mind, body and soul that the US Armed Forces – and serving my country, to boot? I quickly learned that to be part of something great like the Army, I needed to be at my absolute best and make an impact.
While the military was, and is always team-first, I wanted to be the best player on the team – the player others went to for support, the player who figured things out, the player who fixed things, the player who got things done. Yes, there were accolades, promotions and medals, but how did I measure success – by making those around me better soldiers, friends and better people.