Know Who You Are, Know What You Love

Imagine you had access to a genie. This genie could grant just one wish. In this imaginary situation, the genie would only be able to grant wishes based in reality—so no flying, or growing 10 inches taller, or anything like that. If I had just one wish, and I could guarantee that it would come true, I would wish that my two sons would identify what they truly could not live without early on in life. Like, right now. At 7 and 4 years old.

I asked them recently, because I personally never had the guts to really pursue my passion until I was 36. My dream was to play college football. I always loved all things health, nutrition, training, sports, and anything related. If you asked me what I wanted to do with myself when I was in high school, I would reply something like, “I don’t know, I guess I’d own a gym or something.” I have helped hundreds of friends over the past several decades (a lot of them probably didn’t know what they were getting themselves into when they asked me for help or advice) for free. I’ve donated countless hours of my time to just answer questions and help in any way I can. “Why?” Because I love it. Someone with more courage—someone willing to take risks—would have gone for it earlier in life.

I never really considered going my own way. I came from a home where my father had dropped out of high school and my mother didn’t do more than a semester or two in community college because she had bills to pay. Luckily, by the time I was in middle school, and after a bankruptcy, my parents really dug themselves out of a financial hole and I was even able to go to a private high school. But they drilled it into my head (as did everyone else around me) that I needed to get a degree and go work for someone. Unfortunately, as good intentioned as they were, they were also wrong.

At 36, I made the most money I had ever made, but I was living an unfulfilled life because I spent 8 hours of every day working at my J-O-B. It paid extremely well, I was taken care of, and I had great benefits. I felt guilty for feeling ungrateful for such a seemingly great situation, but I was simply working many hours doing something I did not love and did not believe in.

Pursuing your passion at 36, when you have a mortgage, 4 mouths to feed, and all of the other realities, is not optimal. It takes years and nothing is promised. It’s something you should probably be doing at 18, or 22. For that reason, I wanted my boys to KNOW WHO THEY ARE, and KNOW WHAT THEY LOVE. I’ve been saying this for a while now. I don’t want to hear anyone ask my boys “what they want to do when they grow up”. I don’t care about those things. That way of thinking is wrong. I want them to think about what they can’t live without. What drives them? I will be relentless in helping them discover what this is. I will not spare any expense and I will dedicate as much of my time as needed. Of all the things I’ve learned in my short time on earth, I’ve come to realize that there is nothing worse than an unfulfilled life. We are all put here with gifts, and passions. To deny ourselves of those passions, and to deny others of those gifts leads to an incomplete life. And we only get one. My mission is to make sure my boys don’t experience that. I knew in my heart what I had to do. Regardless of how long it took, I wanted to make my passion my paycheck. I wanted to be the one to control my destiny.

What we do every day—the podcasts, the content, the research, the interaction with strangers, coworkers and friends—we do it because we have a mission. Our mission is not much different than many of our friends’ missions. We have close friends like Matt & Megha at Keto Connect, Robert Sikes aka Keto Savage, and a few others who we speak to often. I challenge anyone to show me a community as cohesive as ours. We want to bring as many people into the fold as possible, and help them understand that the current approach to health and healthcare is obsolete. The ironic thing is that the wave of the future is to actually return to the past. We have to undo decades of deception, misinformed policies and bad advice from the people we’re supposed to trust the most to guide us and help us stay healthy. We want to prevent unnecessary chronic diseases, and unnecessary deaths—like the ones in our own families, who just didn’t know. It’s so frustrating that my wife and I have both cried about it. That may be hard to understand for some, but we believe in it that strongly.

So, what’s the point? There are a few. The first is to you and your children. Know who you are, and know what you love. If I were to ask you, “Who are you? What can you not live without?” Would you be able to tell me that you’re spending enough time doing that? It’s hard. We want to rationalize the fact that “we have bills to pay” or “that’s just not realistic.” Isn’t it? To me it is. I myself was a victim of the fear that I tell my boys every day to avoid, but I’m working through it. Secondly, this is a call to action. If your lifestyle and your work are not aligned with who you are and what you love, fix that.

Danny Vega