In the latest installment of ‘5 Minutes With…’ we’re getting to know John Lombardi.
John joined Greencastle in 2022 and has served as an intelligence officer in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for 13+ years.
If John’s dreams of a villa in the Tuscan countryside become reality, we’re calling dibs on being his first visitors!
What is your definition of success?
Two great quotes about success have resonated with me as I get older, one from Maya Angelou and another from John Wooden that both have the same general tone.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it” and “success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”
I love both quotes and try and integrate them into my daily life because they talk about contentment! Success, to me, is about being in a place in your life or in a particular journey where you’re content, and that contentment should be built upon knowing that you did your best.
What community organizations are you involved in?
Right now, none. Between being a Guardsman, having an infant at home, and going back to school I don’t have an extra minute of free time! However, before 2023 I was very active with various VSOs, in particular my local VFW Chapter. An accomplishment I’m very proud of is helping us achieve both All-State and All-National recognitions in 2022. I’m very much looking forward to getting back “into the fight” to support various VSOs as soon as I’m done with school.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Unfortunately, I can’t just pick one place, so I’m going to bend the rules and pick a few different places that check multiple blocks. My gut reaction was a villa in the Tuscan countryside, so let’s start there. I want the food, the sunsets, the culture. It just oozes relaxation and peace. I’ve also lived in the city and would love another opportunity to live in a big cosmopolitan city again – New York, LA, Paris, London – something like that. I love that there’s always something unique to do, with different foods and music and places to go. Finally, while I’m an East Coast kid at heart, I’d love to live somewhere in the Rockies like Wyoming or Montana. Waking up to the view of the mountains every day is just a dream.
Do you like to make plans ahead of time or do things more spontaneously?
I used to be incredibly spontaneous but now life just doesn’t lend itself to that spontaneity. When there’s a baby and a dog at home, with both my wife and I working full time, and a competing drill schedule, generally plans are only made with our joint calendars out in front of us to see when we have a few free minutes 6 weeks from now!
What is your favorite book and why?
I’m a huge fan of the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, with the first book The Gunslinger being my favorite of the bunch. The whole series is incredible in its own right, but The Gunslinger introduces you to this really dark and complicated character, builds this incredibly complex world, and just seamlessly integrates the reader into the story. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, and I can’t remember ever feeling as intertwined with a story or a lead character as I did the first time I read The Gunslinger.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t ignore your finances! Everyone will go through growing pains when they’re young(er) and learning things by trial and error is part of growing up. But if you’re bad with money and don’t pay close enough attention to things like debt, your “growing pains” can have long-term consequences and ramifications that hang around well after you’ve learned the right lessons. I’m glad I dug myself out of some uncomfortable holes, but I could have taken some steps to improve my financial wellbeing and improve my quality of life in my 20s and 30s.