Reframing Negative Experiences into Lifelong Lessons and Opportunity

Supportive, loving and always encouraging, it is my absolute pleasure to share David Gouin’s story with you. As you all will learn, Dave is no ordinary man. His work ethic goes beyond super hero status, and his love of others can be felt across the globe. When he shares and comments, he does so from his heart with his signature closing, “wishing you the best always”. Dave is also the epitome of personal development. He never ceases in his quest for growth. In his own words, “I am a simple man trying to do extraordinary things in life and one who hopes to make a difference in every life I touch.”

Turning Mistakes into Opportunity

“My life was extremely challenging growing up, as I became the man of the family at age 7. I have two younger brothers and my mother did a fantastic job of keeping our family together,” says Dave. This obstacle in youth created something greater as David grew and matured. These difficulties ultimately created a fire in Dave, one that is still present today. Due to the challenges he faced in early childhood and having to behave as the man of the house at a child’s age, he learned to strive not to meet the standard, but to exceed it! This led to a deep drive in David to be the best he could be. He excelled in everything “he set his sights on” including academics and sports. He made mistakes along the way…mistakes that offered growth in unexpected ways. He continued to struggle with challenges during his younger years, but he learned from his mistakes, and soon, turned his struggles into opportunity. Although he had a rough self-destructive patch in his early teen years, he managed to get his life back on track and enlisted in the United States Air Force as an Airman. “I refrained from serious relationships until 1991, when I met Virginia. We have been married for 20 years…and I have been committed to Virginia for 22 years. Virginia is the real source of our success. My piece to this success is my ability to financially provide for my family and extended families livelihoods. Having a loving family keeps my life balanced and enriched…such that I can do more for others. I learned from the past and used this wisdom to create what I consider a very bright future and am so grateful to God for all of our opportunities.” Dave says, “Virginia and I continue to actively support and make a difference with the people we touch…and we know in our hearts that we have done our best!”

Dave served in the United States Air Force for over 29 years and retired as a Chief Master Sergeant. If I listed all of his awards received during his service, there would be no room left for anything else! To know Dave better, I want to share what others in his company share about him. Major General Kip L. Self says, “Dave leaves nothing to chance and sees what is possible and does not have much tolerance for laziness or incompetence.” He goes on to say that there will forever be a void in the Air Force after Dave’s retirement, but “the saving grace is that Chief Gouin has touched and inspired so many of us along the way that we carry and deliver much of what he taught us to a very large audience.” Retired Master Sergeant, Steve Lovette, says he learned to exceed the standard from Chief Gouin. Lovette says, “He genuinely cares about everyone around him.” Marvin D. Krause, Senior Master Sergeant expressed it best when he said, “A great man, leader, and friend: It is an honor and privilege to have met and worked with the Chief and I will continue to cherish his friendship for the rest of our days on Earth.” The compliments go on and on, but I wanted to share these because these praises convey who Dave is, not only to the military, but to us all in the community.

How David Gouin used brain training for betterment!

Being a man of his word and completely committed to Virginia, when she was hired by the US Army as a program management/analyst position in Stuttgart, Germany, Dave followed. With time to pursue more academics after retirement, Dave thought he was craving more knowledge. Ironically, after starting another Master’s program, he found what he really longed for was “more on who and what Dave Gouin wanted to do in the second part of his life!” While searching, he came across a YouTube video on John Assaraf and John’s message resonated so deeply with Dave that he purchased Winning the Game of Money, even though it was well beyond his budget. He made the investment mostly because he saw the program as a higher level of learning. He says, “I didn’t expect any miracles or a higher paying job, etc. I looked at this program as an opportunity to improve in areas unseen to others. We don’t see and achieve things immediately…sometimes it takes time…be patient, and committed to do your part.” However, Dave did notice changes rather quickly. He attributes this to the program, but also to his seriousness as a student with a goal. Some of the changes Dave experienced were better sleeping habits almost overnight, decreased frustration levels, his love of others increased, and he felt more in touch with the Dalai Lama and God than ever before. He continues to listen to the brain training audios regularly and posts in the community daily. He is such a loving, supportive voice in the community and I wanted to know what he got out of participating regularly. “I get a chance to make a difference in a different way than I am accustomed to and this brings me great satisfaction. I also find myself appreciating the diversity of thoughts provided by community members, the tools and resources they share, their feedback relating to opportunities offered within the community. The community is a peaceful, loving place to visit…a place where members who want to maintain or include social contact in their self-development come to share, ask for help, et al…somewhat of a ‘Shangri La’ of sorts.” He is going to work through Having It All next.

Currently, Dave serves as the voice for 1,000 community retirees as the President of the Retiree Council and can be found leading, coaching, mentoring, volunteering for a myriad of community projects. He is a man of his word, and continues to make a difference in the lives of others.

Dave is not all hard work and no play. He and Virginia take day trips to a spa in Baden Baden, Germany, their favorite local getaway. They also like to take a few trips throughout the year to Heidelberg, Ramstein, and Berlin. They also welcomed the newest member to the family, Alexander Jacob, Virginia and Dave’s grandson. Jasper, their loving and faithful Persian cat of 14 years, continues to delight Dave and Virginia. What Dave would like to impart to everyone, and what he continues to embody is “Live your life with extraordinary conviction and be extraordinary in all you do. Don’t take anything for granted; be grateful for all that you have and ensure that you make a huge difference in the lives of others... because you can!”

By Kelly Stokes Brown