by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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I loved this commercial series, Dos Equis beer company hit the nail on the head with “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign that they put together. The outrageous and outlandish tales that were associated with this one person were very funny and at times a little provocative. I like the one to the right, suggesting that he rode a bull until it fell asleep. Hilarious.
But, it does bring up a point for discussion, and one that comes up in social context quite a bit. When you meet someone for the first time, what do you have to say about yourself and the life you’ve led? Do you have anything interesting to say about your path to today? Yes, everyone has a history in their own life, but I am talking about something that is of real interest that will make people want to listen to more about you? Here’s an example, I watch Jeopardy quite a bit (yes, I have “old person tendencies”) and the host interviews the contestants, I am surprised at how lame some of the things that someone writes about themselves for the host to ask about. Maybe the more intellectually driven people who end up on Jeopardy lead less adventurous lives, I don’t know. But it is almost laughable and a little sad that someone’s claim to fame is that they have knitted over 40 sweaters.
Everyone has a different measuring stick for their lives, I get it. And my point is not to make fun of others, but to point out that you NEED TO do things you find interesting and exciting for two reasons:
–you need to pursue things that challenge you and get you out of your comfort zone
–you will want to have things to talk about on a first date, in a job interview, and in case you ever end up on Jeopardy.
I am not sharing these things to brag, but rather give an example of the things I have pursued or taken advantage of in my life:
  • I was a Top 20 Professional Racquetball Player
  • I have held the head of a 420 pound tranquilized black bear in my lap during a field survey with the New Jersey Fish and Game Dept.
  • I have caught passes from NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb
  • I went to a rainforest resort in Costa Rica
  • I have self published five different books
  • I do volunteer speaking for MADD, sharing the story of my head on collision with a wrong way drunk driver.
  • I was the Head Coach of a Women’s Collegiate National Championship Team
As I continue to work towards more and more Public Speaking gigs, I add to the brief list above. If you want the more rounded out version of this list, click here and see the rest.
So my question is…
What is your story going to be?
For most people, it isn’t one story that defines them, it is an accumulation of stories that add up to the sum total of who they are. But the point is, are you going to sit back and wait for life to come to you? Do you feel comfortable just going through the motions and waiting for things to happen?
I didn’t. I don’t believe that ANY of the things I listed above, or the longer list on my website would have happened if I waited for them. I went after what I wanted, and I achieved the things I set out to do. Once that happened, I set new goals and worked hard to achieve them as well. In my opinion, that is how it is done. Sitting back and waiting for the world to bend in your favor is not going to yield the results you want. Yes, you are going to take some hits, you are going to fail on occasion…that is part of the journey.
In some cases, it is the thing that matters most in the journey, the lesson(s) contained within the failures that will have the most impact on you. One example of this for me was the only year I had a real shot at winning the Racquetball State Championships, I choked in the finals. It was devastating at the time, but I learned a lot of important lessons from that failure, things that still help me to this day. It’s part of the journey, and the sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you are to take action and change your life.
Regret is one of the worst things you encounter later in life. I have tried to make sure I remove as much of this as possible by taking action, by saying yes, by jumping in and figuring things out along the way. You can do it too; start small and build your risk tolerance as you go. The bumps and bruises will pale in comparison to the view from the top of the mountain. I promise you…
I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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