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When this class began my personal definition of excellence would have either been success, morality or a combination of the two, throughout the course of this semester that has changed. I now believe excellence to be what I think Aristotle believed it to be, which is happiness. This happiness however is not the simple emotion that we experience when something goes our way, but an extremely heightened feeling of content. Content to the point where one loves everything about their life, from their family, to their job, to their social status in life. I believe that this happiness takes a very long time and a lot of hard work to achieve, however I think that everyone is capable of eventually achieving excellence through this happiness. This happiness is exactly what I now strive to achieve and it has become my major goal in life. I have somewhat of a plan to achieve this happiness and I am hopeful that my plan will work.
So far in my life I have not had the opportunity to do much in the way of excellence, nor have I personally had any life changing experiences that have set me on a life goal. However, some of the most important influences on my life are the experiences that my family members have gone through that I have personally observed, or have heard about from those involved. The most important set of these events being the decision my brother made at the end and directly after high school.
For the last two years of high school my brother, Leo, decided to put his schoolwork aside and began partying a rather excessive amount. This led to him having very low grades, which dropped his GPA greatly. When it came time for a college decision Leo hardly had the grades to into college but luckily he was accepted to the University of North Florida. Before my brother left for school my parents constantly asked him if this was what he really wanted to do and it always said that it was okay if he didn’t, but he always said yes. My brother lasted for two semesters in college before dropping out. This however did not happen before my parents spent thousands of dollars to help him with his academic career. These two years led to countless fights between my parents and my brother as well as between my mother and father, many nights of crying for my mom and thousands of dollars lost. My brother now is in debt because of unpaid school bills and his credit is very low. This also led to Leo and my mom not speaking or only speaking very unpleasantly for over six months. As I watched this entire situation play out it only helped to ensure my passion to go to school. Watching all of this happen between my family members greatly affected where I am today. Secondly, everything that my mom has told me about her life growing up has helped put me on the path that I am on today. My mom grew up rather poor and in a family that for the most part lacked any higher education. My mom’s family mostly consisted of military or police personnel and housewives with simple day jobs such as laundry workers. Despite all of this, after high school my mom worked multiple jobs and earned scholarships to pay her way through college, she graduated with a bachelors degree in physical therapy and began her very successful career in physical therapy. My mother is now the rehab director at the hospital where she works, making six figures. Because my mom grew up without money she was able to hold on to her roots and has always believed that family and come before money. She has instilled these values in me and I believe they make me a better person.
My biggest goal in life, as far as what can be measured, is to become a clinical psychiatrist. I think that being able to help people with their mental health problems will bring me great joy. I also hope to have a loving family that I can teach the importance of love and family to as my mom taught to me. The number one thing that keeps me on my path is my desire to make my family proud. Without my family I truly wouldn’t be anything and I want to show them all that they have done for me; and the best way that I know to do this is to become successful. My other biggest motivation in life is my girlfriend, Bonnie. Ever since we began our relationship almost everything that I have done has been in an effort to impress or make her happy. She is one of the strongest people I know and is definitely the hardest working. In everything that Bonnie does she always works to be the best, from academics to the art to athletics, she never fails to impress. Bonnie has helped to teach me the meaning of hard work and where it can get you. Personally I don’t think I am truly excellent at anything. I always strive to do my best and to be the best person that I can in anything that I do, however I believe that it takes time to be excellent at anything. I think that I certainly have the capacity to one day be excellent at something but I simply need more time to develop this excellence. As for my accomplishments, I don’t think that I have actually achieved anything that can be called an outstanding accomplishment. I guess that my greatest accomplishment would just be where I currently am in life. I’m proud that I was able to gain acceptance to a college with multiple scholarships and was also accepted into said college’s honors program. The person I look up to the most in my life is, with out a doubt, my mom. My mom has always been the most important figure in my life and I doubt anyone will ever take that place. She is the most loving, caring and selfless person that I have ever met. Without my mother I would have never been able to achieve anything that I have so far in my life. I strive to be like my mother in every way, as a parent, as a spouse, as a student and as a professional. In my opinion my mother has achieved the happiness and excellence that Aristotle speaks of.
In the long run my main objective in life is to achieve happiness. I plan to do this by eventually becoming a successful, clinical psychiatrist with my own private practice. I believe that by having a career where I can help people everyday and see actual results, I will quickly achieve true happiness. Throughout the semester I have been able to find my definition of the word excellence. Once I found this definition I was able to look how at how excellence is achieved and then apply those steps to my life. For me personally, I believe that in order to achieve excellence through happiness I will need a steady job where I can help people and a small but loving family. I know that this is something that will take many years and a lot of hard work to gain but I think that I am dedicated enough to persevere through the hard times. I see my biggest strength as my capacity to learn. Ever since I was a little kid I have always been able to pick things up very quickly and do them well, especially in subjects that interested me. I plan to use this ability throughout college and medical school to advance my career as a doctor. My greatest weakness I would say is my slight tendency to procrastinate. If I am able to fix this problem and discipline myself greater I think I can achieve my goals. So far this semester I have worked at this already and have been doing pretty well. Before I took this class I didn’t really have any kind of life philosophy, but now I think that has changed. To me hard work is one of the most important characteristics in life and I believe it can take me wherever I want to go. In the future I simply plan to continue working hard and striving for the best grades I can. I also wish to start getting more involved in order to advance my knowledge further. I believe that this will help to broaden my horizons as well as help me get into a strong medical school. I know that the next twelve years are going to be very long and hard but if I achieve the excellence that I wish to achieve I know that it will be worth it.
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