Don’t Stop and Settle, You Are More!

With strong ambitions for the future, Matthew Villegas feels life is full of goals to keep tackling


By GidonPico from Pixabay

“I want to do it all. I want to learn a lot of stuff,” Villegas said. “Live it out, man! Life is too short.”

Matthew Villegas, 24, grew up in a very strict Hispanic household that embedded in his mind that hard work and doing the best for himself can go a long way when going through the trials of life.

“Things can become inconsistent after a while because stuff happens and sometimes your plans don’t end up working out, but it doesn’t mean your plan has to stop,” he added.

Looking back, Villegas’s upbringing was challenging due to dealing with bad people in the neighborhood and abiding by his parents’ strict rules. In order to make sure that he kept his parents happy, he tried various sports like baseball, basketball and football. This led to him meeting new friends in the community and staying out of trouble for the remainder of his childhood.

“Obviously, when you’re a kid, you don’t know what’s going on, that’s what you have parents for,” he said. “To give you the right guidance and make sure you get on the right path and not end up behind bars.”

Villegas proceeded to keep himself busy with school, and tried out different things he enjoyed doing. One key interest he had, which started at the age of 14, was DJing.

Whether for small parties or just for friends to vibe out and have a good time, Villegas began to realize that his fondness for music would grow into a passion that turned into a part-time occupation.

However, after only three years of being a DJ, producing music became the better alternative, which gave him the opportunity to sell the beats he made.

Nicholas Torres, a friend of Villegas, recalls the times he went to a few of those parties, and said that he sees more than just a musical side to him.

“When we went to parties back in the good old days, Matt would be the life of the party, literally,” Torres said. “Without the music, the parties would just be stale and boring, but aside from that I always knew that he could do more than just making music.”

The music era of his life would continue on after high school, but it would eventually come to a halt when he decided to join the Army.

In March 2018, Villegas signed up and underwent training for the multiple jobs that he was assigned to, like armed security, patrolling around an airbase, hauling hazmat material in trucks and filling up the planes and helicopters in the airfield.

Serving in the military taught Villegas core values that aid him in life.

“Try to do the right thing, definitely, if you feel that something is wrong you shouldn’t do it,” he said. “Challenge yourself, don’t just stay in one place, spread your wings and occupy yourself with different skill sets that you can apply in your life.”

The time spent in the military has shown Villegas that there is a right way to do things or a wrong way. During his second year of service, he remembers two separate incidents that got a couple of soldiers discharged for “the most ridiculous reasons.”

“So, we were at a shooting range in a small town in South Korea where we did some training exercises and there are these big mountains,” he said. “On the other side of those mountains is the North Korean border and some guy snapped and started shooting live rounds over the border. Eventually, the bullets will dip and if it hits someone, that’s a war thing going on.”

“Then there was this other guy that got kicked out for animal cruelty since he shot and killed a coyote that walked on another range I was in,” Villegas said. “I don’t know what goes through their head but it’s pretty stupid, to be honest.”

Taking into account the reality of disobeying orders, Villegas worked hard to do his job correctly and not to veer off course for any reason that might jeopardize his career. Doing honest work is a key principle that he employs for himself, and he encouraged friends he met in the military to do the same thing.

Villegas finished his contract with the Army and has now transitioned into the National Guard, for which he has a three-year contract.

“I still want to keep that momentum going for the military,” he said. “You can’t do one thing, you got to keep going, that’s why I’m glad I joined the National Guard.”

As the military remains a primary focus, other plans for his future range from opening up a paintball field in Texas to getting licensed as a personal trainer for fitness. In addition, he is set on going back to school for a master’s degree.
Villegas credits his inspiration of doing multiple things from Jonny Kim, an ex-Navy SEAL, astronaut and doctor.

“If I can do more, then I’ll challenge myself to do more, you shouldn’t really want to stop at one thing and settle for that,” he said, quoting Kim.

What helps Villegas keep his mental and physical shape is having a routine set in place. Waking up as early as 6 a.m. to work out, complete errands or anything else that comes to his mind is his preferred way to knock out tasks. This is something he advocates for on a daily basis, which has the benefits of getting things done early and staying fit.

The best advice he gives to anyone that asks is to become a “go-getter” and be versatile in any aspect of their life. For him, passing on bits of knowledge certainly comes with the satisfaction that he is making a difference in someone’s life or his own.