Exploring Family Influence and Defining “Success” Some people say that being the youngest sibling, they often receive the short of the stick. In many cases that may be true, but for me, I believe I have learned so much from my other family members before me. Particularly I have been shown the value of dollar and how hard work always leads to success. Growing up as youngest child I quickly realized what the meaning of work really was.
My father was a general contractor, building multiple houses at the same time and that meant there was always work to be done. At the age of ten I was the youngest employee my father had. My job was to clean up the mess that the carpenters left behind on each job site. This mostly entailed sweeping and vacuuming up saw dust and throwing the scrap wood into the dumpster. At the time I thought this was the best job a person could ever have because I got to throw pieces of wood out of a window three stories up.
A few years later I got promoted to installing insulation in attics. I thought it was a promotion because I got to climb around way up in the rafters and no one else did. For me the meaning of work was completely understood at a very young age, but more importantly my father engrained into my head the phrase,” if you are going to do something, do it right. ” He showed me that cutting corners, buying cheap materials, or in general not doing the job the right way would always come back to bite you.
Observing my brother from our late teens till now, he has lead by example, proving to me that hard work does in fact pay off. It started in high school, I was the cool athlete and he was the not so cool, smart kid. He finished being third in his class for grade point average, then continued onto college and graduated magna cum laude and finally went to PA school and graduated the top of his class. Now all of that hard work has paid off because he loves his job and he’s making an astounding amount of money.
It took me up until my sophomore year in college to realize that I could work harder than I was and put up a better grade point average. Success can mean different things to different people. To me success is two-fold; it has to do with my personal achievements and how it has affected others around me. When I picture myself being “successful” that means I have accomplished everything that I want out of life.
It doesn’t mean money, although money does help, but more importantly it means that I have a well-kept home, I have raised my children with good moral and ethical values, I have a wife that I love and I show her on a daily basis how much she means to me, and I work hard for everything that I own. I used to think being successful was all about the money, and glam, and materialistic things because that is how our society as a whole functions. It must be a maturity thing because as I get older, the more I think the simpler life is more of a “success” than being in the spot light.
If I could paint a picture of what I think I would want to be as a successful man it would be having a stable, good paying job that could afford my family the lifestyle that I want them to live, while at the same time, allowing me to go to my sons tee-ball games or my daughters girl scout meetings. I also want to have the ability to spend time and money on my wife, because she would be my number one, before myself and even my children. If I could do all that before I die, I would consider myself a successful man.