Dom Ernest Gomez

I want to understand what drives Filipinos to survive, live and thrive everyday. I realized that each individual has his/her own definition of success that guides him/her in pursuit of a good life.

So I sent out a survey to find out what success is to these individuals and to learn about their experiences that shaped their life story.

I interviewed my younger brother Dom Ernest Gomez.

Dom Ernest Gomez

Physical Therapist

Dom Ernest Gomez
Dom Ernest Gomez

Define Success

I define success as having the ability and means do what you want to do and provide for your loved ones at the same time. I also see success as achieving what you sought to do, whether it be your long term goal or your daily goal.

How do you measure success?

I measure success by my experiences. For example, I am upgrading my 3D printer with some parts; it may take me a few hours or a few days to figure out its kinks and errors, but eventually I will either make it work or not. When it works the way I want it to work, I am successful. If I give up on it and just say F*** it, I may not be successful in a sense that I have a broken 3D printer for a while, but I just learned a little bit of coding and more about electronics.

In the PT world, you may measure your success through how many patients get better through your treatments and interventions. Some may get better and a lot may not; but maybe you measure success through what you’ve learned through the experience.

What did important people tell you about success?

While in school, I found a lot of important people have told me that to be successful you have to have good grades and pass classes. I honestly do not think I had good grades or passed all of my classes; that just didn’t seem important to me. I know my classmates spent their days locked up in a room to study 8-12 hours per day.

At different intervals in my education I always thought I was a bad student because I wasn’t able to focus or study as much as my classmates did. My grammar and writing sucked. I was more interested in experiencing different things in life and learning seemingly unimportant and unrelated subjects to what I was studying. For example, I learned how to juggle while trying to study for my biology class. I learned how to fly instead of studying for my Geriatrics class for PT school.

Just like my life, my room, and my thoughts; this answer seems very disorganized and I don’t think it makes a lot of sense. Anyways, what really stands out to me now is what my current boss at my first Physical Therapy job told me. He told me to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and you will be successful.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Cebu City, Philippines. Where I was raised has always been a mystery to me and my definition of it is unclear. I think most of my defining moments as a person would problably be in Manteca, California.

What was your upbringing like?

I was brought up with a good and supportive family; maybe too supportive which caused me to want to venture out a bit more and try to gain experiences on my own.

As far back as you can remember, what was your very first experience of feeling successful?

I think I remember feeling really successful during maybe 5th or 6th grade. I was in this math class where my teacher recognized me for coming up with a different solution to get to the same answer. I remember not paying attention to what he was writing on the board and just going through the equation myself. He recognized this when he checked my work and tried to get me to go in a higher level math class. I don’t remember what came of it, but I thought I was super successful because I felt I was wrongfully held back in 2nd grade because I couldn’t read very well.

What is your most defining personality or trait? (i.e., introvert, extrovert, easygoing, organized, natural leader, etc.)

I think I am an introverted extrovert, easy going, and scatterbrained.

What qualities do you believe contributed to your success?

My curiosity.

What is your occupation/career?

Physical Therapist

What made you choose that occupation/career?

My passion for helping others and my love of human movement.

In one sentence, what do you do for work?

I optimize peoples’ function to help them to do what they want to do physically.

Where did you attend school/college/training?

University of Pittsburgh

Who are your inspirations?

Will Smith and John Legend

Favorite success quote:

“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must possess if we are to face the future as finishers.” –Henry David Thoreau

What is your advice for others who want to succeed in life?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; make lots of them and learn from them.


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