Level the Pursuit

Choosing your Path with Dr Eric Speight

December 23, 2020 Level the Pursuit Season 2 Episode 2
Level the Pursuit
Choosing your Path with Dr Eric Speight
Show Notes Transcript

Our upbringing, our experiences, and our assessments of the leaders around us can all influence our definition of success, and the path we choose to pursue it. Today, we talk to Dr Eric Speight, a successful occupational therapist and Air Force officer about his experiences and the choices he made to reach his achievements. Dr Speight shares his insight and his focus areas for becoming a better leader as he serves his country and his community.

LTP:

In the race to success, we're not all starting from the same place. Level the Pursuit seeks to fill in the gaps and provide accessible bite sized leadership lessons for anyone looking to improve their skills and prepare for the next step, whatever that might be. Today, we have a huge treat, we're joined by Dr. Eric Speight, who's an occupational therapist specializing in hand therapy for the Air Force. That may not sound that exciting, but Speight's job is to keep our pararescuemen and our combat rescue officers in tip top fighting shape, and he does a great job of it. Today, we're going to talk about his decisions growing up, getting his education moving forward, and how he got to where he is today. And he has some advice for how you can get there, too. This week, think a little bit about the decisions you've made over the last five or 10 years. Are you on the right track? And if you're not how can we get there. So Eric, thank you so much for being here with me today. It's such a pleasure to have you.

Dr Eric Speight:

Thank you so much for having me. So that's it. It's a honor and privilege to be on your podcast.

LTP:

I'm so excited to have you here. It's gonna be so cool. Okay, so we are going to talk today a little bit about your journey in leadership and kind of some of the things you've encountered and how you your personal leadership philosophy, and how you look at approaching finding success. However, you might define that.

Dr Eric Speight:

That sounds good.

LTP:

Okay. Well, let's, let's start with kind of way back. You know, we've talked a little bit about how you grew up in the past. And so how did your childhood influence how you look at success now? Did it? Did it help you to define what success looks like? Or how you know, when you get there, or did it push you in a, in a direction for how you decided to pursue that,

Dr Eric Speight:

I want to say that my childhood was everything to build, you know, who I am, as a person and my definition of success. My childhood, as you know, we talked before, I grew up poor. So a lot of times success is having a lot of money and not being in a situation that you're in. But then as you mature, and go through certain things, successes, defined a whole lot differently. So my definition of success in my 20s was far different than my 30s. And so it's totally define how I view success, you know, versus when I was younger, it was like having cars, having houses and that sort of thing. But as you get older, it's just a habit, my family safe, we have everything we need and everything we want. We're successful. We don't, you know, we don't want or need for anything at this particular point. So we're successful as far as that goes. So definitely, that is a reflection upon, you know, how I grew up and what things I wanted to not have continue from that standpoint.

LTP:

So when, when I was a kid, I joke about this, when I was a kid, to me, being rich, I thought was having lots of different flavors of beverages in there. Because all we really had was like milk and water. And so if you come to my house, I have sodas, I have Jarritos,, I have four different kinds of beer. Like I always have beverages, because to me, that's luxury. Is there anything like that for you were when you were a kid, you're like, I'm gonna have this.

Dr Eric Speight:

Yes, that I mean, having just having stuff there and having things when guests come in, just to be able to offer. But then the other part is funny. Me and my wife had talked about this was, I definitely looked at success as being able to shop at Whole Foods. If you can shop at Whole Foods, you're successful.

LTP:

And not look at the price of the cheese.

Dr Eric Speight:

Not looking at the prices, this is go there and be like, Okay, I'm getting this. I'm getting this, I'm getting that. So then it gets to a point was like, you know, this is ridiculous. I can find this somewhere else. But yeah, that was definitely having certain things in the refrigerator at all times or in a cabinet and being able to go to Whole Foods.

LTP:

I bet Whole Food is so happy to hear this

Dr Eric Speight:

or, or it's by other name "whole check"..

LTP:

So, you know, you have a lot of education. And Was that something that was emphasized growing up or how did you decide to pursue the education that you have I mean, there's there's not a lot of people in our country choose to go from being poor to being doctors and I and I empathize. I you know, I'm in the same same boat and I don't know that I did. Did you have somebody's telling you like that you have that potential and pushing you to go and get all that education.

Dr Eric Speight:

I'm not really I mean, I knew I wanted to at least get a bachelor's degree, I really didn't have any ambition beyond that. And so what kind of pushed me so I enlisted right out of high school, because I didn't have the money to go to college right away. So one of my, you know, being a private and you know, the lowest person, I saw this, of the girl that was in my unit, she was like, going to school all the time. It's like her free time, was it? That's all she did. And I saw, like, she was getting promoted. And it was like, wow, I mean, we came in at the same time, and she had already excelled me to ranks already, because she was doing these things is like, Oh, you know, education leads to success in this way. And I saw other areas, and I saw, what was the difference between the 24 year old Lieutenant, and me as a 24, year old E-4 was this person had a degree. And so it was like, all these different things, showed me that some levels of success was based on your education, this person didn't, you know, wasn't any better or any smarter than me, they just happen to go get this education, and it provided them a baseline for an opportunities that you probably wouldn't have gotten otherwise. So yeah, that was one of the things that kind of like, pushed me in a sense. And then, as I started to get into it, it was kind of like, it became addictive. I just, I enjoy learning. And that just became a habit as is like, people's like, okay, when are you going to stop, but it's like, it just became a habit to learn. And I still have a thirst for learning new things and doing different things. So it's hard to kind of turn it off. And I know, my wife was like, This is it, you're not getting any more, you're done. So that, you know, I have to, you know, channel my energy stuff and things, but it just became a thirst for learning more so than it was some gold I had early on.

LTP:

I love that. That's amazing. So did you have a relationship with this young Private? also did did you guys talk about education? Which, or did you just see that happening? Besides which did you get mentorship from her directly, or just indirectly?

Dr Eric Speight:

Indirectly. We were, we came in together, and I knew her. We didn't have any type of, like, real personal relationship, but I just knew was, like, always see her, like, we get off for work. And like us, you know, young, you know, military people was like, Hey, we're gonna go, you know, party and do all these different things. But this person's like, Hey, you see her put on her clothes. And she goes, she's going to class. And it's kind of like, oh, She don't She don't do anything fun. She was about to work. And as I said, like, she got promoted early to the first rank. And then the next one, of course, you know, everything is that do it based on merit. And, I mean, she was not just, she just didn't have her education. She did other things, too. So she was just above her work. So you know, just watching. I'm always a watcher of other people, when, especially when they're successful, what are they doing? That's making them successful? So, you know, take all tidbits, you know, you don't have to tell me directly, I can see, okay, this is what you're doing. And if it's something that I can do, then I'm going to try it too. And then you just never know, what takes how things are gonna take form for you. So it's just like that took going in. And, you know, again, talking to other people just seeing that, you know, that mattered in some form of fashion. And then understanding too, that this is something no one can never take from you. No one can ever. You said it doesn't make you smarter. It doesn't make you better than anyone else. It's just one I just have a thirst for learning and into it did provide me opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

LTP:

That's awesome. So you said something that I think is really interesting, and I hadn't thought about it before, but it really resonated, that she didn't mentor you directly. But you watch and you watch what was the people around you to see who was successful, and how they did it and why it worked, and maybe why it didn't sometimes. So how often in your life have you have you used that technique? Or in How many times have you had actual mentor like when do you say are having actual mentors? Or did you rely on kind of watching what's around you for a long time?

Dr Eric Speight:

I'm always a watcher, I'm always watching. To this day, I watch and learn from different people. Good and bad. So indirectly. So going back to that same time period, I had an NCO who was sitting, balancing her checkbook one day, and I just happened to glance over his shoulder and saw the numbers and was like, wow, like, you have that much money. And she was like, "Yes, and you can too. You need to save your money". And you need to do this and do that. And she like, told me, this is what you need to do. You know, a lot of you young guys, you know, spend your money and do all these things. But you need to save you need to do this and do that. Like, oh, so I went back and I took her advice. And I started saving and before and I was stationed in Korea at the time. So, before I left Korea, I set a goal and before I left Korea, you know, I had like, you know, for eetu, I left there, I was an E-2 or E-3, I think I was, I left there with, like, $3,000 in my, you know, savings account, which was huge for me. And it's just like, okay, saving, okay, that's something because I didn't learn that usually, I grew up and didn't have money. So it was like you spent it when you had I mean, cuz that's all you had. Then this fast forward to being an officer, I had this new flight commander. And he came in. And though, the way he was a whirlwind, in a sense, he changed everything the way things were. And to me, he was a micromanager. Like, he like every detail matters. And it's like, if you didn't give him something that he wanted, he would come and he was like, really, really. And he never asked us any questions is he just moved the way that he moved. So to me, like I said, it was like, kind of like micromanagement, but then I understood, it's like, hey, this guy is responsible. He's the one that holds a responsibility for anything that happens here. So it's, it's his baby, if it breaks, so why not? Like, if he's the one who's responsible, and he's the one that's making the decision, I'll just go do. But I would ask him questions like, why did you do this? or Why did you do that? And it makes sense. He was like, when I asked a question as to why are we doing things this way? And everyone's answer was, because that's how we've always done it, then there's no reason for us to do it. So let's fix it and do it the right way. Or we won't do it at all. That makes sense. So then we fast forward on and then he like a bunch of us Oh, like we had, it was like four of the officers that was underneath this commander. And we were all like filling the brunt of his kind of micromanagement always like, like every single thing. Like where's this? Where's this? Where's this? So I was like, You know what, I'm going to over deliver. So I would just over communicate with him. I would go in his office, knock on his door. Hey, sir. Just following up with you on set sets and such. This is where it is. And then any questions for me? Nope. Okay. Then I go to my desk. It's just following up on our verbal conversation. This is where things are, I'll have an update for you by tomorrow. And I just kept doing that. So what happened was, he stopped asking me. So the funny thing is one of my other counterparts, he was like, he came in my office one day frantic was like, Man is, you know, is Col D still doing this for you. If he is he still like, and I was like, No, he hasn't done that to me for months. He's like, he's still doing it to me. Like, what if he stopped doing it for you? I was like, I kind of figured him out. You know, he is big on communication. So I over communicated with him. And he doesn't ask me questions anymore. He knows that I'm going to just go do so that's kind of how things changed.

LTP:

That's, it's great advice. I mean, it's so part of it is just communication in general, but part of it is learning to read your boss and make sure you're, you're helping them with what they need. When did you start actually using mentors? Like when did you find your first no kidding, this person is my mentor?

Dr Eric Speight:

So my first official mentor was as a lieutenant. We had this professional development where and this series that they did you know, for officers, and we had this retired colonel, who came in and gave us a brief on op RS and understanding how all of that meant And how to write them and stuff like that. And she said, Hey, if you ever have any questions, she worked in our met group. So she said, if you ever have any questions about these kind of things, you know, please, you know, come on down, and you know, come see me, this is my office, whatever. So I'm like, I'm gonna go, Oh, so I just took it upon myself to go talk to her. And she gave me so much advice, like I, you know, gave her my personal PR and all of these different things and what asked her about certain things that were coming up, and she's like, Oh, you have you, you know, heard of the CGOC, you need to be in the CGOC. So I found myself, like, once a week going to talk to her, then every day, I check in with her. And she just became kind of like my unofficial mentor. And that's just kind of how that developed. And then I started to learn from others, again, kind of indirectly from other people just taking little things that they did how they wore their uniform, like, our Wing Commander, whenever we had a commanders call. This guy was like, his uniform was crisp all the time. Just, I mean, like, tailored

LTP:

Squared away?

Dr Eric Speight:

totally, every single from his his cover to his boots, everything was always squared away. And I'm like, Okay, he's an O-6. He's in charge of all and this is how he looks. And this is where I want to be. So let me follow what he's doing. And just so happened, I got some time with them. And I actually told him that I watched him from afar. I watched how he came around and talk to people how he was like, so personal. I saw him at the gate checking ID cards one day. It's like, so he and he always talked about this, being a servant leader. And that sort of thing is like, Huh, what is that research what a servant leader is. So there's like, all these different things, that when I picked up some, if I ever get a chance to kind of like talk to people, when I'll always go back to them. And, you know, say, Hey, I learned I learned this from you, and go back. And before he left, this is a funny story. before he left, he always said, keep in contact in a time. So I ran into a close friend. And he actually, we were talking about him because we both knew him. I said, Hey, do you know someone? So sounds good. Oh, yeah, I knew him. I was like, man, he was a great leader. I went all these things from before he left. He actually told me, Hey, keep in contact anytime you ever need anything. He said, Have you ever reached back to him? I was like, Nah, I'm like, he's a he's a two star general. Now. I was like, Oh, he's a two star. You know, he's like, he's unreachable. That kind of thing. There's no way. He's like, no, if he said it, he meant it. So you should like reach out to him. So I was like, Hmm, I think I'm gonna do that. So I sent them an email last week, sir. Just wanted to reach out and say, you know, hello, I thought about you was talking about talking with a colleague about you, and just wanted to say, hey, a lot of the things that I learned while watching you, I still do to this day, and I just wanted to continue to give you credit for that. So listen, thank you for everything. So he sent me an email back and said, Hey, Eric, so great to hear from you. I see you got your doctorate in 2020. I'm so proud of you. I was like, I never told him.

LTP:

He looked you up.

Dr Eric Speight:

He looked me up. Um, so just again, I'm learning again. He's constantly teaching without teaching. So that's just something that

LTP:

That is awesome. Yeah, so I'm about three or four episodes ago, I did one on mentorship. And one of the things I said was, Hey, you know, if you've had a mentor, reach out to them and say, Hey, and see what's up. And so I did it, too. I texted one of my first mentors in the military. And just wanted to say, you know, thank you for being a good leader, you are a great example to me, I really appreciated you. And she texted me back and said, You have no idea the impact you made on me. You were such a great follower. I felt so supported by having you on my team like, and I had no idea. I felt like a dumb captain. Like I it didn't occur to me that the fact that I had so much respect for this, this woman, this amazing leader, it was just really cool for her like it didn't occur to me as a follower that I was having a positive impact it was it was a neat feeling. So I'm sure that you made him feel that way too. Because you know, someone that takes time with their appearance or those little things you take time for people never notice the things that are important to you. They notice the different things. So you know, if he was squared away with his uniform, he took the time for that. So you know, you know that resonated with him that someone knows necause that's the kind of stuff people don't really talk about. So, you know, you you've attained, as you said, a ton of success you are, you know, a successful military officer, you are a doctor, you have a happy family. But there's no way you got from where you started to where you are without having some hurdles. What are some things that you overcame? That, you know, you feel formed, how you think about things, or that were just really, even as you look back important failures or important hurdles that you had to get over?

Dr Eric Speight:

I think the biggest and I still work on this to this day is communication. Just being able to be okay with conflict. Sometimes, well, earlier, you know, I would always avoid, you know, certain confrontational situations. And it would, over time, just continue to, like, bother me, like, Man, I wish I had said this, or I wish I had stood up for myself in this regard. And, or I wish I had said this, but I kind of just like somebody asked, and I just kind of avoiding Well, no, it's okay, whatever. So I found that as I stood up more in common, said more and just voice my opinion, sometimes, it's like, oh, that's, it's always great, especially when a lot of times, like you're in a meeting and somebody says something, and you're like, "God, you should just do..." you know, you don't say anything? And then somebody else says it. And it's like, oh, that's a great idea. Let's do this. Like, that was my idea. Oh, you know, I should have spoke up and said this, you know, so I think that that was something that I had to get over being okay with having a voice.

LTP:

Do you think that that is your personality? Do you think it's cultural? Like, why do you think, do you think it is your personality? Why do you feel like you was, was that how you always were growing up? Were you away from conflict? Or did getting into professional situations breed that?

Dr Eric Speight:

It was, I would call it an evolution. It was I think, part of my, it was part of my personality that developed it wasn't something that I always did. So it was, it's been an evolution. Definitely. Not has always been a part of, I mean, going all the way back to high school. I was on a football team. And I remember a situation where so are my senior year. We were in the playoffs. And I was the QB one for the entire week, had many Well, I had a few people that were looking at me for possible college scholarships. And me and the coach, the head coach didn't get along. Although the coaches we were great, but we just didn't get along at all. He just didn't not like me. So what he did was, like, everyone knew that I was starting, I was running ball, I ran the offense all week. And then we get to the game. And he switched right before the office takes the field. He switches me with the second stream quarterback. And everybody is shocked. Like, and we lose the game. And I cried like a baby but I never said anything. And so the coach at the end of the game, like he called up because this last game when we're done. Now, last game senior year, recruiters are there to watch me play. And I didn't play one down. And it was like heart wrenching, and then he slightly apologizes to me at the end of the game. And it's like, I wanted to say so much. But I didn't. And I, I should have demanded answers as to why this happened to me, like you just to me high school, see, you know, I'm thinking this is my only chance out of the situation that I have and you ruined it for me. So, and I didn't I didn't say anything and I always regret it not saying something. So that's again, evolution. You keep having things happening over time. How are you going to change Be the change you want to see? So you just do things differently.

LTP:

Well, you so you are a tall, athletic, you know, you're a big guy, you know, you have a deep voice, you have a commanding presence, you know, I am as a tall, loud woman, you, you know, you have this, when you have a physical presence, you can see people react to that. And so that can be difficult to engage in conflict and relate when people start to shrink, you're like, Okay, now what do I do? And then it's, it can be easier not to engage at all, because people can't handle what you're bringing to the table. have you encountered that?

Unknown:

Oh, all the time. So it's been more of a recent recognition that I've had about, like my presence. Because of even the state of the world, there's certain things that are when you first see me, my stature, my voice, my appearance, it can be intimidating for a lot of people. And at first, I'm kind of like, that's their own insecurities. They have to deal with that, um, it's not my problem, that they're intimidated by something I say, or something I do. But in certain situations, I have to be mindful of that and carry myself differently, or change how I might say something. So I'm more conscious of that, as I you know, rise, but at first it was kind of like, Hey, I'm a young, you know, like my rank and that sort of stuff. But i've started to change my voice but as I move up, especially become a field grade officer, come into the feel great ranks is kind of like, Hey, you got to kind of watch what you say, because doesn't matter if you're right or not. It's how you look. And how it was said, is going to, people may view it a little differently. So yeah, I've had to change my voice. Based upon the situation so many times, instead of just being myself being able to be funny at times be sarcastic, I'm very sarcastic. So using changing my sarcasm, because somebody may be man, his sarcasm is serious and he's, you know, doing this and because of his rank and stature, being sarcastic is not viewed upon gracefully by people beneath you. So, or underneath you rank-wise in structure. So, Yeah, I've had to change how I do things with certain people a lot. And I'm not always successful with that either. So I make a ton of mistakes when it comes to that. And sometimes I catch it. And sometimes my wife catches it and tells me because I'll repeat the story to her. Like, why did you say it that way? And why did you say that? Did you say it that way? So yeah, I have to always seek feedback on those situations, because I know I'm, I probably did it the wrong way most times. Dude, I found in command-- sarcasm, which is my favorite form of humor. Sarcasm is really a small group humor for me, that's just a general rule. In a big group, when you can't, when you don't know everybody well enough to have that type of relationship is just safer not to because it sounds really negative. If someone doesn't know you, it sounds really it can sound ugly and sound negative. So for me, sarcasm is reserved for my, my circle, because I'm in a mixed group. You just don't know how people are going to interpret it. So I had to learn that one the hard ways.

Dr Eric Speight:

I'm writing that one down. reserved for a small group.

LTP:

I'm telling you, because you know how I actually saw it. So I didn't realize it for me. I saw one of my fellow officers who I had respect for and I thought he was a good dude. And I thought that he was I thought it was really funny. But when we were in big meetings, and he would use sarcasm, it sounded so negative. And a lot of times it was because it was talking about big systemic changes that we were dealing with that were very frustrating to people. But the sarcasm actually really broke down morale and sounded very, you know, this this high ranking person saying these very negative things, which in a small group would have been fine, but the impact to some of the junior people's like, wow, okay, I need to I need to be cognizant of that myself, because I'm sure I do that. And I don't want my people to feel that way. So it was it was a pretty big deal. So with all the stuff you've done you I mean, you've had a lot of successes, but I'm sure you've had some failures, is there anything any point that you would go back to and make a different decision or something you look back on and you wish you had done differently as far as the outcome to where you are now.

Dr Eric Speight:

It's funny because I think that I ended up where I was supposed to be. Um, but I would have gotten here a lot sooner. If I had did And the one thing I can kind of go back to is, I knew when I separated from the military, you know, from my enlisted time, I knew I wanted to come back in someday and become an officer. I knew I wanted to go to school already. So I had started school. So I get right before I separated, I got a call from a local detachment commander of the ROTC unit. And she said to me, and I remember planning clear as day like it happened today, I need nccos, like you to come into my attachment, your experience, and that would bring so much. And you can come in, and we'll get you an ROTC scholarship and all these other kind of things. And you can come back in, and I was like, man, I want to, I want to explore the civilian thing for a while, you know, I wanted to grow my beard and not have to do PT, and that sort of stuff. And

LTP:

you mean, do someone else's PT, cuz I know you were still working out.

Dr Eric Speight:

I'm still Yeah, I'm still working out. But not that way. I just wanted to kind of do my own thing. And it was probably one of the dumbest decisions I probably think I ever made. Because at one, I would have been retired by now, too. I would have financially, because I did have my GI Bill and everything financially. If I had did that, getting the scholarship and still having my GI Bill, I wouldn't have had to work as hard as I did. So I choose, I chose the most difficult path. And it took the longest time. Because I, I really didn't have a plan, I kind of just thought everything would just fall in line, because that was one of the things that you know, coming in, and you kind of have this confidence that you can kind of do anything. But I wasn't totally confident and I didn't have a plan. So that was kind of that's the kind of the fork in the road that I wish I could go back and change because that things would have been so different. If I had done that.

LTP:

Yeah, I could see that. I still think sometimes the difficult path gives you the best lessons, though. So I think you know, you might not have turned out as awesome as you as you did. Have your wonderful wife have your fat, your you know, all the goodness you have. So that's what I tell myself because I took the long way a few times. So if you could go back to 17 year old Eric, or to someone now who's 17 and trying to figure out what they want to do. What would you tell them to, to focus on? Or how would you steer them to try to find their way to success?

Dr Eric Speight:

One have a plan. But then I wish I could go back even further. Because I think that for me, I don't think I was prepared as much as I should have been. So if I could go back, I would go back even three or four more years to like the freshmen, Eric and talk to him. And hey, you need to take these first three years of high school seriously, take these don't most, the easiest courses, take the hardest courses, they're going to prepare you for what's ahead of you. And but if I only could go to the 17 year old me, I would say don't always choose the easiest path. Make sure that because you choose the easier path. When you get somewhere that's difficult, you don't really know how to navigate it. So don't always go the easy route. Make sure that you get mentors, hey, these are the kind of people that you need to have in your life. These are the kind of the people who are going to tell you the truth and not what you want to hear. They're going to tell you what you need to hear and listen to that advice. don't shove it away. Not surrounding yourself around people who think like you, sometimes you need people who have diversity of thought that's gonna always, you know, challenge you and move you to a different, you know, different plateau. So I think that those are some things right off the bat that I would probably tell myself at that younger age, because I think that the people usually surround the people, surround yourself with people who think and act like you. And there's no diversity of thought whatsoever. You all think alike. You all do the same things. You don't Excel or push each other. So think having people around me to push me I had some pretty Decent friends, but everybody had their we were all on the same page to some degree. So having smarter friends, you know, we always looked at the nerdy people a certain way. But a lot of those people who were nerds in high school are very successful today. So, so hey, I would have had more of those kind of friends instead of looking at them, hey, you're stupid spend so much time studying and doing all this stuff? Hey, I'm a C student, and I'm doing pretty well.

LTP:

So where is Eric Speight g ing to be in 10

Dr Eric Speight:

Retire, one Well, I'm definitely going t start a nonprofit, I want t actually just what we're talkin about reach those that are a that, who feel like they don' have anyone for them, wh probably need that push, or jus this little bit of information For two years, I've settled o those senator in this dip her in New Mexico, Senato Heinrichs, Academy Review Board so we interview all of th candidates for his Academ nomination. And it wasn't unti sitting on this board that found that you have you eve heard of the Merchant Marin Academy. So the one thing that didn't know about the Merchan Marine Academy is the fact tha if you go to that Academy, yo have the choice o commissioning, and all of th other branches, did not kno that until I sat on this panel But and I know that there's lot of other people and a lot o the the kids that I interview or the nominees congressiona nomination didn't know tha either. They had one choice, yo had one said, Hey, I only wan to go to the US Militar Academy. That's it was like Well, what happens because th he only has one nomination. An most of the time that nominatio goes to the person that had th highest GPA and the highest tes scores. So if your scores what's your plan B, oh, well I'll probably go to this or tha or try for this. Because or tr again, next year or whatever well, not many, select th Merchant Marine Academy, becaus they think that they have to g into Merchant Marines, it' like, no, if you graduate fro here, you can still go an become an army officer, which i what your ultimate goal is, o an Air Force officer, if yo decide or, you know, a nava officer, whatever you decide. S it's having that kind o information, bringing a bunch o minds together and going back t those schools in thos neighborhoods where people don' have access to information lik this. And giving the opportunities that they wouldn' have normally known about i definitely something I want t do. And I would love to do i back in my hometown. That woul be like, the icing on the cak to be able to go back there an find the young me that was ther that just needs a push or som advice. So that's where I wan to do

LTP:

I love it. Have you started creating the plan? Have you created your 10 year plan to g t there?

Dr Eric Speight:

Somewhat, me and my wife are actually talking about it, because she's actually like looking at punching here. So she'll punch before I do. So we'll probably get something started here in the next few years of just getting the groundwork of it together. Because it takes I don't want to just wait until that time for like, okay, let's start. And then it takes another two, three years to get it going. But the plan right now is to start the nonprofit. And once the nonprofit get started, then kind of going towards finding the border directors and getting money to kind of get people together and that sort of stuff. So I kind of have the first five years prior to that kind of planned out. So it's just a matter of just pushing the button and getting started.

LTP:

That's amazing. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with and what kind of successes you have. Thank you. So Eric, that brings us to our end. Thank you so much for spending the time with me. This was great. And I think that I learned a lot. Hopefully the people listening learned a lot, because that was really fantastic. Do you have any final thoughts you want to share before we wrap up? Thank you again. This was awesome to be a part of and hope that the information in this was valuable to someone. And, again, I can't thank you enough for having me as your guest. thank you. It was my pleasure. So that's been our talk with Dr. Eric Speight. It has been grea to have him here. There are a lot of different ways to get to hat we define as success. And re lly no one can define it for you So you get to decide when you get there. There are a lot of pl ces in our lives where our paths can diverge or take us n a different direction. S it doesn't make it wrong. It ust might mean that you took the long way around. This week, look back at your last five or 10 years. Are there any decisions that you would have liked to do differently? If there are, is there something you can do now to get yourself back on track? If not, then you're in great shape. Keep moving forward, make sure your goals are on track. And then look at the next 10 years to make sure whatever it is you want to accomplish, you've got a plan. Thanks again for joining Level the Pursuit. While we can't choose where we start, We can choose our dreams and how we pursue them. Remember, success is a team sport and there's room for all of us to achieve our goals. So be a good leader. Be a good follower. And do something great