Joshua is a former Navy Corpsman, full-time dad to 3 beautiful kiddos, and a musician. He is also studying Entrepreneurship & Business Management online at Arizona State University. Here is his story!
What is the current role/passion/project you find yourself in and where can our readers find you?
I’m at an interesting stage of life. I’ve left active military service and now play mister mom to my three kids. I’m also a full time online student at ASU. I had also been working on a couple of other business ventures but have since put those to the side to focus on these more important aspects of my life.
A personal project and passion I have is creating music; instrumental beats and lyrics. I am working on putting together my first complete album.
How did you come to be where you are now?
Take us on a journey. Consider starting around age 16, and walking us through your path to your current position/project. Help us gain an understanding of how you arrived where you now are.
My story really started in the beginning of 2002, around the time I turned 12. I was living in Hong Kong at the time and had been heavily impacted by the 9/11 attacks. For months I had internalized what had occurred and watched as our fleets came in and out of harbor on their way to make a difference. I determined that was what I was going to do with my life, serve in the military. For years I was fixated on that end.
I sort of lost track of my goal for a couple years when I went to college. Leaving home for the first time was an exciting new adventure and I experimented with several different variations of myself and who I wanted to be. But after a slump in motivation I realized I had forgotten my goal. I enlisted in the Navy in 2009 and was slated to be a machinist mate working on large ship engines. I felt rejuvenated and back on track.
I need to insert here that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and at the time of my enlistment was 19 years old; the age most young men of the faith apply to serve two year missions for the church. I faced a lot of backlash and pressure to change my mind. And so I did. My date to report to bootcamp came and went while I was in the missionary training center.
Fast forward two years and I married my faithful wife. Shortly after I enlisted in the Navy again, this time as a Corpsman (Medic) with the intention of working with the marines. I loved the training. I enjoyed the military environment and was motivated to do big things. For the first two years I was on fire, advanced in rank, learned so much from so many amazing people, and had my eyes fixed on a full career. Then my third year I suffered the first of a series of traumatic events that eventually led to my decision to not reenlist and seek for different shores.
And Here I am now, crafting my plans for the future, and hopefully having a positive effect on yours.
What are your goals/hopes/plans for the future?
I take one day at a time most days, to be honest. But I am excited about watching my kids grow and the exciting discoveries they are making. I’m also excited about the possibility of finishing my degree in business and helping run a successful business.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
My self-care routine is inconsistent and sporadic at best, if I’m being completely honest. But I find great satisfaction in helping others develop their own.
Lately I’ve been practicing something called Body-Mindfulness. It’s similar to meditating and focuses more on radical acceptance and allowing emotions, feelings, memories, and pain to flow naturally through your body. This, combined with something I like to call the “I Like that, Life,” energizes the practitioner with positive energy that is contagious to those around them.
“I Like That, Life,” focuses on reframing the life you live so you see things in a positive light where it would be easy to be negative, especially in the way you deal with other people. Two examples. 1. For yourself, you miss the bus to work and instead of being upset you reframe the situation and focus on how grateful you are that you are usually on time and look for other ways to turn the situation into a positive one, like meeting someone new and interesting. 2. Your significant other eats the last piece of chocolate and then gives you a big kiss. Instead of being irritated that they eat your last piece of chocolate (and you probably are) you ignore that fact and instead say, “I like that you love to give me chocolate kisses.” The important facet here is sincerity. You must be completely sincere in your “I like that” or else it backfires, and you must ignore the irritating fact and internally radically accept it. What this does is creates positive energy in yourself and in your relationship.
What habits or skills are you hoping to develop in the future?
This is a fun way of taking money out of the equation and getting to the bottom of what’s actually fun/interesting/important to you.
Being completely Honest, I would be a traveling musician and performer. I love creating and playing music for myself and sharing that experience with others. I also love traveling and experiencing different places and environments in the world. today, If I’m at a party or some event, I will likely be the DJ busy crafting the perfect playlist to get the mood just right. I also do create some of my own instrumentals and have recently started experimenting with lyrics. And I do travel from time to time.
If you could tell your younger self one piece of life advice, what would it be?
If I could go back to my 12 year old self I would tell him not to be so narrow minded; develop a wide range of talents. Don’t be afraid of music, get out and try the things you want to like martial arts, ballet, and rugby. Have a little self-discipline and live your life now; don’t just day dream of the heroic and courageous future you’re not even sure you’ll have.
I’m not sure he would listen, but knowing what I know now, the life I had dreamed of was nothing more than a glamorized dream. The reality is much gritier, damaging, and harsher than anything I could have ever dreamed of. I also would have done more things I was afraid of doing cause I thought it would take away from my focus or that I would be judged. Then again, sometimes you have to experience things to fully comprehend them.
When life gets hard, what do you do?
Without going into too much detail, all I can say is that the vast majority of people have no idea just how fortunate their lives are or what real adversity is and what is like to reach a true breaking point. I’ve had a number of experiences that have helped me realize just how sweet and precious life and freedom really is. I’ve survived and will bear the scars, physical, mental, and emotional forever. And yet I know others who have fared worse than me, and sometimes not at all; I feel fortunate. It’s important to remember to count your blessings and stay positive. My children and family keep me motivated. When life gets hard I kiss my wife, turn on good music, and practice radical acceptance and positive thinking.
It’s easy to get weighed down with all the things you have to do, the stress of just trying to live life. But sometimes we just need to not take ourselves too seriously and just enjoy living. Just go out for a walk and take in where you live or go somewhere new and have an adventure. Life’s too short to spend our whole lives with our heads down digging trenches. Lift up your head and see the beauty around you.
What does growth mean to you?
Active growth to me is the process of developing yourself until you crush up against that internal barrier or wall that you’ve got to either break through or climb over, and then making that happen. Then you’ve grown and it’s time to grow on to the next one.
What piece of advice or request do you have for our readers before you leave?
There’s too much darkness, too much selfishness, too much negativity in this world. Be positive, be intentional, be generous, be kind. If we as a human race want to see a real end to prejudice, injustice, and discrimination we’ve got to treat each other as we would hope to be treated and then forgive others when they don’t treat us the same way. When you forgive and treat others with respect it creates an upward spiral effect that is opposite the effect we are seeing in our world right now. The change starts with you. Be that change. Grow. Vöxtur.