What Does Success Look Like to You? — Eric J. Hannon

What Does Success Look Like to You? — Eric J. Hannon

Eric J. Hannon was born on 4 December 1991 in the middle of a snowstorm in Worcester, Massachusetts. Eric attended school and athletics in Auburn and was a member of the 2004 Auburn all-star state finalists in baseball and state champions in track and field.

Eric attended Bay Path Regional Vocational Technical High School and studied engineering and machinery. During his freshman year he competed in skills with the senior class taking first overall. Throughout his high school career he was actively involved in athletics and played varsity ball during his freshman and sophomore years.

Eric returned to Auburn Senior High School at the beginning of his junior year due to the shoulder injury and began competing in track and field. He set several personal and team records and goals and led his team to two state championships.

At seventeen, Eric Hannon Enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. After graduation he left his small town for basic training in Cape May, New Jersey. The eight-week intense training consisted of drilling, obstacle courses, swimming, PT, and general Coast Guard knowledge. Eric Hannon also participated in the manual of arms with fellow shipmates and was taught Pride. Poise. Perfection nomenclature and ceremonial drill. Eric managed to graduate top of his class X-Ray 183, beating out a shipmate who became a successful Doctor in her practice.

After Basic training, Eric left Training Center Cape May for Training Center YorkTown, Virginia, where he spent the next year expanding his mechanical knowledge. During this time, he volunteered in the ceremonial drill team and several volunteer services, including natural disaster relief. When a local town was hit by a series of Tornados, the Coast Guard was called in to help provide medical and evacuation services. 

After the storm, the team returned to aid those who stayed in a clean-up effort and help local entities clean up any areas that could be at risk. Eric was specially trained in medical aid and stayed to support locals who had been affected.  It was a rough few weeks, and Eric recalls trying to resuscitate a newborn.

“It makes you step back and take off any rose-colored glasses you may have because life can change in an instant.” Eric Hannon spent the next six years traveling around the United States, training with the Joint task force and the D.O.G.  He traveled from Kuwait to Baharan, Cuba providing waterside security for ports of interest, oil plants, and vital trade routes. He spent time in Liberia teaching at the time newly established Liberian Coast Maintenance and Engineering of the boats. After leaving active duty in 2016, he spent time in the reserves but received a bad break to the left side of his skull and  a rotator cuff tear the following year.

From 2016 to the present, Eric had several jobs in the manufacturing world, from engineering to material coordination and everything in between, “The time I spent after leaving active duty was spent realizing that nothing I do will ever be like my time in the military”. Hannon noted that he had to refocus on how he looked at work because what he had been doing was drastically different than how people are in the real world. After several years and bad jobs, he finally just fell into a position that just worked. Eric Hannon now works for a private manufacturing and engineering company that provides resources and equipment to larger companies to help them drive their business to the next level. Eric Hannon did return to central mass after a few years and now lives in a private neighborhood.

How have you achieved success? 

I set goals, short and long term and pecked away at them with everything I could. Don’t forget to live life though. Success comes to those who work at it but if you forget to live while doing it. It means nothing at the end.

What obstacles have you overcome in the process? 

Honestly? I failed a lot. I volunteered for everything and even when I got it wrong I still learned something and sometimes that’s all it takes is getting it wrong to perfect your next approach. I also learned from everyone, even if it was something simple. Like screwing in a light bulb, if someone asked hey do you know how to do this I’d say I’d love for you to show me? Even if it’s something simple like that and I knew how to do it, I get to see it from someone else’s perspective and maybe it’s better then the way I know and that made me a more useful person.

Some obstacles I faced. I for sure put them in my own way, I dated and allowed into my life the incorrect people and that set me back on my path. I had to hit rock bottom to finally turn it around. Sometimes the best way to get past these things is to apologize and take the damage done by others or yourself little by little, healing in every aspect self, finances, relationships etc. they come with time and patience.

What drives you to succeed? 

I have seen life from both sides. I’ve had more money then I knew what to do with and I’ve had absolutely none and was worried if I was going to make it to the next paycheck or if I had enough money to fuel my car up to get to work. I think what really drives me is that I don’t ever want to be in that position again, I’m very careful with who I allow into my life and for the most part I only rely on myself. If something goes wrong it’s something I can control for the most part. So what drives me for sure is I don’t want to fail again.

How has your definition of success changed over the years? 

When I was younger success wasn’t really something I thought about it was do I have enough money to do X,Y,Z yes great. Success to me now is, okay if in five years I’ll be living in my new house that I built. Success to me now is having I set up the pieces to be ready when I am.

What has success meant to you? 

Simple, peace of mind. Setting yourself up allows you to focus on the important stuff and just be at peace.

Do you have advice for others on how to be successful? 

Learn everything you can. Languages, culture, music, finances. The more you’re aware of the better off you will be and remember that you are your best asset. If you can’t do it don’t rely on someone’s word to do it for you. Always have your piece one step ahead of everyone and do the work yourself.