Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein 

For most people in the U.S., success means the attainment of fame, wealth or power. For many years of my life that was  the way I too, looked at it. For me, success was where I lived; the kind of house I had; the clothes I wore; and the car I drove. 

Thirteen years ago, a great thing happened in my life. Immediately, I began to see success in a whole new light when on August 17, 2004 my daughter, Tayla, was born. Her birth had a profound effect on my life and steered me on my journey to becoming the man I am today.

At the time, we lived in Florida during a bad hurricane season. Hurricane Charley lasted from August 9-15. It reached 150 mph winds making it the strongest U.S. Category 4 hurricane since 1992. This ferocious storm badly damaged our home. No electricity or running water. The heat was unbearable. My wife and I, covered in mosquito bites, had to use the swimming pool full of tree branches and dirt, to bathe and cool down. The gas stations were closed and the grocery shops were out of basic supplies like bread, milk, canned food, batteries and matches. What made things worse was that my wife was nine months pregnant and ready to pop. Our life had drastically changed in a matter of days from one of ease and luxury, to one of hardship and discomfort.

All hell broke loose when my daughter announced her imminent arrival. We rushed to the hospital overflowing with birthing moms. The hurricane dropped the barometric pressure causing pregnant women in their last trimester to go into labor. We will be forever grateful to wonderful volunteer nurses from nearby states for their compassion and service to help with the barrage of patients. They were miles away from their own families; sleeping in sleeping bags on the cold gym floor!

Once we were settled in our hospital room, life as we know it was restored. The hospital had a generator, so hence hot food, lighting, air conditioning, flushing toilets…. Aaah, the simple things in life are never so important, as when you have been without them for a few days.

Twenty-two hours later, in the quiet after the storm, I was holding my perfect little baby girl in my arms. My wife sleeping soundly. All the turmoil of the last few days slipped away. At that moment I saw the world through different eyes, with a clarity I will never forget. My vision for my little girl changed the way I looked at life forever. 

It was never about the home she would own or the car she would drive, but about the wonderful person she would become and the good she would do. I realized then that success is not about material or external things. Many of us define success as if it were a goal; an ending point, when we would have all that we ever dreamed of. But in reality, success is more of a journey than a destination. The true definition of success is becoming the best person you are capable of being. Each one of us has unlimited potential, and it is the pursuit of that potential that equates to true success.

It’s been 11 years since I started TheHomeMag in Orange County and 8 years in San Diego. This period has been filled with trials and tribulations, hardships and hard work, but it has also been filled with growth, development, progress and YES, success. 

I could burst with pride as I write this letter. I have an awesome team that has grown along-side me. My team and I have faced many challenges, especially with the economic fluctuations over the past few years. Tough times never last, but tough people do. As John Wooden stated, “Success comes from Knowing that you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” 

When a team evolves and comes together to work towards a common vision, success becomes a reality. Congratulations, Team. I salute you! I am so proud of what we have achieved together, both as a business and as individuals. Let’s celebrate our 11-year Anniversary! 

Best of Luck on your journey and may you find your SUCCESS!

— Ralph