"So it goes." -Kurt Vonnegut

What Success Means to Me

"If you’re not building a future, it’s because you don’t believe there is a future." -Vee (Orange is the New Black)

Since I was a young boy, I was always at a disadvantage. Down every avenue and down every crevice of life, there were always substantial challenges everywhere I looked. However, that’s what they were, challenges.

It wasn’t always so clear to me. My challenges often felt like obstacles at certain points in my life. What’s the difference? Well, obstacles are roadblocks in life preventing travel down the path or origin, but challenges are the are the humps, the activation energy of a chemical reaction, that demands decisions and actions only which your best self can perform.

I’ve gone through many things: heartbreak, loss, overbearing burdens.. There are luxuries I have that other 24-year-olds can only dream of, but that is just my outer layer—my Iron Man suit. The core of who I am is what’s underneath, the man that makes the suit. Take it all away and I can rebuild everything I have from scratch. That’s what striving for success means to me, the capacity and the agency in this world to affect change—to act with significance in any and all circumstances. After all, the future I’m building is not only for me; it’s for my future wife, my future children, my future grandchildren, my family.

However, it’s not all selfless. What do I gain from this personally? Why do I believe in building a future? Knowing that I’m the progenitor of my future legacy, the one who has guided and protected it across generations, is my endgame. That is my ultimate success.