"Must be nice to have your life [sneer]......I wish I could.... [fill in the blank, with scorn]....but some people have to work for a living [biting sarcasm]...."
The easy road is to resent those that have what you want. Or at least more of what you wish you had. Actually it's more of a cop out than an easy road. But a cop out most of us take (usually unconsciously), which in turn leads to nothing good.
Envy, anger, denial, self-loathing and defeatism are but a few of the common and predictable human emotions most likely to arise by default when confronted with that rare person living a fully actualized, aspirational life. A rewarding life where work and play are merged. A life that from the outside makes everything appear smooth, easy and obstacle free.
You know the kind of guy I'm talking about right? Guys with names like Elon, Biz and LeBron. How annoying!
I get it. But I also understand that annoyance is just a mild form of resentment. And resentment is an emotional luxury I personally can't afford. Because it inevitably leads me to a place of deep suffering. Meanwhile, the object of my deep resentment remains blissfully unaware of my inner turmoil, continuing that envious life of authentic expression unperturbed and none the wiser. All the more maddening!
So begins the downward shame spiral.
Now let's try a different tactic. Instead of foisting negative energy outward upon this unassuming third person, let's instead turn that powerful forefinger around -- the one that loves to point and judge. Instead, let's look within with honesty. Let's accept where we are and invest in the plausibility of a positive new, forward moving trajectory. Let's take action based on belief in your own personal potential and deservedness. And let's embrace the process of unlocking and expressing your best, most authentic self to the fullest of your abilities.
Yeah I know. Easier said than done.
This is where today's guest comes in. Not because he's going to give you some version of "10 Steps To Live Your Dream Life" (for the record I can't stand articles that involve numerical lists, but I digress). But rather because sometimes a good old fashioned inspirational story well told is just about the most powerful thing imaginable when it comes to catalyzing positive change. A seismic shift in how we contemplate our lives, behave and interact with our environment and others that can lead us on new trajectories that permanently change our lives for the better.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's fun to have well known people on the podcast. I know that I will get more downloads and rise up the iTunes charts when I host a celebrated guest with a huge following. That's cool, but that's not really what this mission is all about.
The real joy is introducing you guys to someone you have never heard of. Someone you might otherwise never encounter your entire life. From an uninformed perspective just an average person we can all relate to, navigating life on life's terms. Struggling with the same things we all grapple with -- finances, health, personal satisfaction, relationships, you name it.
But someone I find special. And inspiring.
Daren fits the bill.
When he arrived at UCLA from Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2008 as a young scholarship athlete, everything seemed to be falling into place for Daren. Just another step closer in the unfoldment of his dream: becoming a professional soccer player. But Daren's vision ended abruptly when he suffered a career-ending injury. Adding insult to this injury? It occurred before he ever played a single college game.
Most people would have crumbled. But instead of falling apart, resorting to anger, resentment and self-defeatism, Daren took stock of his life, channeled his latent ambition, and quickly set about pursuing a new dream. A way to continue his love for soccer by pursuing a career in professional athlete representation. I'm not saying it was easy, but shortly after he graduated from UCLA, Daren fulfilled his dream by becoming a "young turk" sports agent at Wasserman Media Group -- one of the world's most prestigious sports agencies.
Today Daren scours the country looking for emerging professional soccer talent. And when he isn't working, he's running. A veteran of many a marathon, Daren completed his first ultra earlier this month at The North Face 50 in Sterling, Virginia.
We talk about it all. College and professional soccer (oh so apropos given that we're in the midst of World Cup right now), the agent's perspective on what distinguishes a good athletic prospect from superstar potential, what it takes to identify, pursue and achieve your dreams, and how Daren rediscovered athletic satisfaction through running.
Oh yeah, he's also plant-based. Don't think we don't talk about that, because we totally do. And all sorts of other cool stuff too.
In any event, Daren is a great guy with a compelling, inspirational message. One of the good guys.
It was a pleasure getting to know him better and I am so happy to share his story with you. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
Peace + Plants,
Daren Flitcroft on Twitter: @darenflitcroft
Daren Flitcroft on Instagram: @darenflitcroft
Vidaplanta on Twitter: @vida_planta
Vidaplanta on Instagram: @vida_planta
Wasserman Media Group: wmgllc.com
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