TLCL Podcasts - The Low Carb Leader | 014 Patience, Persistence, Perseverance: A Conversation with Daniel Hayes, boxing ambassador from Trinidad & Tobago and Middleweight Champion

 

 

Patience, persistence, and perseverance are key factors in pursuing – and being successful – with your passion. In today’s podcast, we will be talking to Daniel Hayes, an actor, model, and accomplished athlete who has persevered in his pursuit of his passion for acting and sports. He is a middleweight champion and top-ranking prospect who represented Trinidad & Tobago in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Daniel discovered his love for sports at a very young age. He has played and excelled in a wide variety of sports such as soccer, baseball, football, track and field, basketball, and swimming. At the age of 16, he was already a highly-recruited athlete who was invited to play for several NCAA Division 1 and 2 schools, before deciding on Thompson Rivers University where he had also been offered an athletic scholarship.

Daniel’s upbringing and story is quite interesting. His self-discipline and focus has paved the way to a successful athletic career and these traits have also helped him overcome the mental strain caused by recovering from a physical injury. In today’s podcast, he will share tips on how to improve focus and self-discipline and self-realizations that have allowed him to overcome challenges.

“I’ve learned to take the good with the bad and learn from each and every experience.”

On Today’s Episode of the Aspiring New Leader:

  • Daniel shares his self-realizations and how he handles the mental and emotional strain that comes with recovering from physical injuries, especially when you are so close to achieving your goal.
  • He explains that self-discipline and focus ceases to become a problem when you know what you’re doing and you know what you’re there for.
  • Daniel talks about his daily morning and evening routine and diet. He stresses on the importance of having a consistent routine, even if you’re not training, in developing focus and self-discipline.
  • He shares the importance of keeping a positive mindset and self-affirmation in dealing with injuries or setbacks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Set goals for yourself.  Write down your goals and keep a progression chart to monitor your achievements.
  • Maintain a routine. As an athlete, it’s very important for Daniel to maintain a regular routine when it comes to training, exercise and eating right.  He recommends this for developing focus and self-discipline.
  • Be accountable to yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else and you know when you’re just lying to yourself or simply making excuses.  Holding yourself accountable for your goals helps you develop the conviction to achieve them.

 

Daniel’s Tips for Aspiring New Leaders:

  • Lead by example.  Maintaining the right habits and mindset will help you in being a good leader.

Mentioned Links:

Reach out to Daniel Hayes:

 

Subscribe & Review The Aspiring New Leader Podcast!

Thank you for joining us on this week’s episode of The Aspiring New Leader Podcast! Were happy you joined us and hope the information, interviews, tools, and tips we share have helped you learn new, creative ways to improve your leadership skills.

If you found the content in this episode inspirational or helpful, please help us reach even more aspiring new leaders by subscribing to the show on iTunes or Stitcher, leaving your honest feedback, and sharing it with your friends. Be sure to check out our website at NewToLeadership.com to download your free PDF on ways to help you improve your sleep habits as well as other helpful guides to help you lead a better life, business, and career.

Read Podcast Transcript

Patience, Persistence, Perseverance: A Conversation with Daniel Hayes, Trinidad & Tobago’s Boxing Ambassador and Middleweight Champion

DAN:
Welcome to The Aspiring New Leader podcast, the podcast focused solely on leadership, education and development for those of you new to leadership or those of you considering a leadership career. I’m your host, Dan Perryman, and you have joined us for Episode 14. In today’s episode we are interviewing Daniel Hayes. Daniel is a middleweight champion, a top-ranked boxing prospect, and he was Trinidad and Tobago’s boxing ambassador for the most recent Summer Olympics.

Growing up Daniel played a wide variety of sports, ranging from soccer, basketball, football, track and field, baseball and swimming. At just eight years old he started playing basketball and continued playing throughout college. At 16 he was already a certified lifeguard and a highly-recruited athlete in multiple sports. In his senior year of high school he was recruited to play basketball for several NCAA Division I and II schools. Daniel, however, decided to attend Thompson River University where he and his childhood best friend were offered athletic scholarships. College proved to be quite a defining time for Daniel. He discovered his love and passion for acting and switched his major to theater. Daniel was no stranger to the camera. He had been a published print model since the age of 17. It wasn’t long after this when he landed a well-known television commercial with Nike.

Daniel’s upbringing and story is quite interesting. He has spent his entire life involved in sports, and over the last three years he has been preparing for the Summer Olympics that were held this last year, but due to an injury at the last moment he could not attend the Olympics. His story in participating in numerous different athletics is extremely inspiring. We hope you enjoy the interview with Daniel Hayes.

So Daniel, do you want to tell us about yourself?

Daniel Hayes’ Background

HAYES:
All right, so pretty much – how would I even start that story? So a lot of my heritage is from the Caribbean and South America, and I grew up pretty much a little bit of everywhere, just being a lifelong athlete. I went to college in British Columbia, Canada. I bounced around in high school, and especially with a sport like boxing that takes you so many different places, and mixed martial arts. So I like to consider myself not the typical citizen of the world, but one of those people that grew up a little bit of everywhere. And I took things from every different culture and whatnot. And I guess that’s almost reflective of me as an athlete just because I’ve played so many different sports, even at a high level, that I wouldn’t even identify one strength necessarily. I’d say that my strength is just having a broad spectrum of everything.

DAN:
So kind of take us through the different sports from your youth on and which ones you found the most interesting and why you stayed with some and why you moved away from others.

HAYES:
Well, I could say like off-the-cuff, playing baseball was something that lasted with me pretty much up until the end of junior high, and the reason for that being is just, as you were asking sports that kind of faded off, just because for me there was just too much standing still. I like – like I love sports like soccer. I love doing cross-country, football, basketball, where you were constantly running, you were constantly – there was always something that you constantly had to be doing physically as opposed to baseball where I believe I was a shortstop, and then I moved around a little bit, and then there would be times where I’m catching myself daydreaming. And I’d be like you know, this just can’t be right just daydreaming and you’re playing a sport.

For me I really enjoyed, as a kid growing up for sure, soccer. I really enjoyed that a lot. And some of my fondest memories even still to this day in competing is basketball just because when you’re competing with your classmates and your teammates and just whatnot, you know you have such a competitive rivalry and some of the most pressure-filled situations even though it was in an organized sport. It was just like on the playground with your friends because you’re playing for pride.

DAN:
So where did you grow up then?

HAYES:
Okay, so I spent a good amount of time in Toronto, Canada. Trinidad, as well. Toronto, Canada was more for my, a little bit of high school, and my college was in Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s in Canada as well, but that’s on the western side. And then between there I would go to Trinidad training, Ontario, California for training. So it was all like really a little bit of everywhere.

DAN:
Are you a dual citizen?

HAYES:
Actually yeah, I’m a green card holder in the US, and I have my Trinidadian and Canadian citizenship.

DAN:
Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

JACOB:
So what took you to all these different locations?

The Journey from College to Professional Sports

HAYES:
Sport. So getting – when I was making that decision for college obviously, you know, you have a couple offers on the table, and the reason why I decided to go to that one particular college was a childhood best friend of mine and his brother were recruited to go to that same school. So actually that’s a funny story. So we’re sitting in the house in the summertime, and you know just three friends hanging out, and so my best friend, his brother was getting recruited to the school that we ended up going to in British Columbia. He was saying that the coach needed two other players to scrimmage with him because he was coming to visit and he wanted to see him play.

So we all went to the basketball gym, and we ended up playing. And when we had finished the coach took us out for dinner. I remember this. It was Red Lobster, and he was paying so I ate my good fair share. And what happened is he then offered us all – he said you know would you guys ever consider it? If you are I can give you an athletic scholarship. My good friend at that time was going to go to Pensacola, Florida. I was going to go to Rio Grande, Ohio. That was the college I was leaning to. And his brother was going to go to this school.

So I remember the next day we were just sitting in his room and I was like, man, I’m going to miss you. Like I’m just thinking of like he’s going to make his own other teammates now, and he’s going to have his, you know, that whole thing. And I’m going to be there. So I was like well, what if we all, you know, just went together and we just all went on this journey together? And that’s pretty much how it happened. We put in the call. The next thing you know we signed our letter of intents. We did all the paperwork and were on a plane headed over there, and for the first time. We didn’t even do a school visit. It was just a leap of faith really, but it really changed my life.

DAN:
So what sport did you have a scholarship to?

HAYES:
Basketball.

DAN:
Basketball. So now take us kind of through this – so you’re playing basketball. We’re going to end up boxing and MMA is where we’re going to get to, but how did that evolve?

HAYES:
So pretty much from there, from basketball we always used to— at least me just I was so cool with all the different sports teams. Sometimes when just like the soccer team would be practicing or just if it wasn’t an official practice I would just be like hey, man, I’ll play defense, and you know I was still – it’s not like I hadn’t played before. I had played in high school. But that doesn’t really count. But I mean I still had like a little bit of experience, but I was definitely athletic enough. So I always used to practice with them. I used to practice with the football team.

And then when our coach got fired, that kind of was really the first time I’ve ever had to deal with the realization that college sports is really more of a business. And I know we know this, obviously, but it was the first time I had to experience that from an athlete’s point of view. And that’s where you realize a new coach comes in, and that coach doesn’t want to inherit the team because he’s giving out scholarships and has to justify to the athletic director on why there is these scholarships being given out. So pretty much in that coaching regime change I then picked up football where I was a free safety, and that’s where I was able to resume playing.

From college, when I got out I was like man, okay I used my four years of eligibility. What next? And you see all your teammates and your former teammates, and you see everybody starting to either play professional, which I was trying to do, or they just start to fade into the abyss, I guess, right? And for me, I just had such a competitive drive in me, and I knew I wasn’t done. I had so much left in the tank. And like come on, you’re 21, 22 years old. And at that point I had always cross-trained with boxing in the off-season, and it took me into a boxing gym. That really turned over into mixed martial arts because that seemed to be the more trendy thing to do at the time, and now still is. But I didn’t really like getting kicked in the knee too much just because of, you know, coming from a sport like basketball, or football or soccer, that type of athlete you really cherish your legs, and you’re really sensitive to knee or ankle injuries. So I didn’t really like that fact too much. So it was my uncle that persuaded me to just focus on boxing, and that led to being on the National Team in Trinidad and fighting over there and my Olympic journey and to where we are today as a professional boxer.

The Challenges of Training in Trinidad and Coping with Injury

DAN:
So you became a boxer for Trinidad. Talk about being on the team and your journey through that.

HAYES:
It was really not only with life; that was really a realization on how good we have it here in the US, meaning, you know, especially coming from the college level where everything is so sport science-based with recovery and nutrition and, you know, you have everything like laid out right in front of you, and it’s just for you to seize that opportunity. And then going to Trinidad where you see you have a lot of guys that are coming from poverty, and you know the facilities aren’t the best, and you know, it’s a Third World country. So it was really – some of the things that I take for granted here, especially living in a place like Los Angeles, that I really find when I go to Trinidad and just training, like I remember at the National Training Center how they have it in Trinidad. You have every sport.

So for here it would be similar to what we have in San Diego at the Olympic Training Center or in Colorado. So you have all the sports. The only thing that sucks is all the funding goes to the track athletes and the soccer athletes. So for boxing where the gym is for training it would be underneath the soccer stadium, and that sounds like great and good except in Trinidad it’s probably 90 to 100 degrees with humidity every day. So we would train in the evening in the boxing portion of it. So that means that the upstairs of the soccer stadium has been like an oven, and it’s just pretty much roasting the boxing part. So that was something to, you know, just adjustment with that and, you know, simple stuff like where we get to train. Even in college like everything was air-conditioned or climate control. You don’t have that luxury training over there or just with some of the stuff, with some of the bags, just everything. It was such a – not a culture shock because obviously I have been very familiar with it – it was definitely a culture shock when it came to athletics.

DAN:
What motivated you to be on that team?

HAYES:
I would say drive just because I like new challenges, and that was the sport that I was competing in, and I wanted to compete. So for me I was picked for Trinidad. However, with my labrum and just slew of other injuries I wasn’t able to fulfill that goal.

JACOB:
So mentally, with those injuries and not being able to fulfill that goal, how did you battle through that?

HAYES:
That was still something I’m dealing with until today. However, as they say, time heals all wounds. It was tough. It was tough to just see that something you had been training for for multiple years, even though I had done it in different sports, but I mean still training and for the past three years that had been my mental focus of just doing that and even especially in 2015 where you’re just so tunnel vision, and you’re really not paying attention to anything else. You become so obsessed with achieving that goal.

For me when all that and I decided to shut it down, or my body just needed to heal before this leads to something much worse, for me it was really a self-realization of all the things on how life can just be passing you by when you have those blinders on. So it has still been a process. However, one thing I’ve learned, and especially in my professional career I’ve learned to take the good with the bad and to always try to learn from each and every experience. So that’s something I am doing. And right now I’m talking to you with a broken hand. That’s something that I’ve really had to reinforce again in going through with this broken hand.

JACOB:
You know we watch boxing, or we watch MMA. Mentally what’s it like to take a punch?

HAYES:
It’s much – it looks much worse than what it is, to be honest with you. It’s like obviously you have your vast array of different punches that you receive. However, if it’s like a simple jab, to be honest with you when your adrenaline is going, at first of course it’s going to feel very foreign. It feels very unnatural. But once you’re a little seasoned in it you learn to take a – not take a punch willingly take the punch, but if it happens it happens, and there’s a – the majority of them you could just kind of just brush off. But it all depends on who’s administering the punches, as well.

The Olympic Journey and Personal Growth

DAN:
Daniel, talk about the self-discipline it took to prepare for that, for the Olympic journey, because I’m sure your training schedule was very difficult every single day. You were talking about the environment down there. Talk through that a little bit. How difficult was it to stay focused day after day?

HAYES:
I wouldn’t say focus was a problem just because you know what you’re there for, and that’s pretty much the environment they create where that’s all you can do. So there’s no real other distractions. However, how this was really self-realization process for me is because I had always competed at a high level in team sports. And in doing this, this was the first time where I really felt alone, where I really felt like I don’t have my teammate beside me; I don’t have my brothers beside me. And that for me was a growth process where I, you know, just in going through that a lot of times in team sports there’s times where you can lean on your teammate or just even traveling on the road, just going from hotel to hotel, or from stadium to stadium, or however it is. You always have your teammates. There’s that camaraderie.

And especially when I was down there that was the biggest thing that I had struggled with where I had to achieve peak performance and for the first time I did not have my teammates or coaches or even the trainers that I work with here in Los Angeles. I didn’t have the luxury of that. So I really had to dig down deep and see what I am like at the bare-bones and find a way from there.

So for me that whole process – it was very difficult because on top of that, too, when you are training for peak performance you’re used to eating certain foods. Example, let’s say kale salad, for example, which is not available in Trinidad at all, or just like finding healthy alternatives. You know if you’re used to having certain things when you’re training and to achieve those results, that’s kind of what’s ingrained in you. So with Trinidad I had to really learn to pretty much make it up on the fly and just adjust on the fly. And that’s, for me, it was really more of an individual growth process for me.

DAN:
We talk a lot about morning and evening routines. Did you have a certain morning routine every day that you went through, and what did you typically do at night to prepare for bed? Did you do the same thing every day, or did it differ? I’m curious.

HAYES:
Pretty much what I tried to do is replicate everything I do over here as makeshift, so meaning I would start the day with a cup of coffee, and I would also have lemon water with apple cider vinegar, which I had over there. And I would make sure I would drink probably a liter of lemon water, so freshly squeezed lemon water with apple cider vinegar. So that’s usually my morning routine. On top of that I would like to – so I would go down to the gym, and I would do intervals on the bike, so this way I’m just getting the blood moving, opening up my lungs, get my heart moving and also get a sweat going. So that was something that I tried to replicate over there, and that was the example of how I replicated that over there.

For me I’m all about routine so even now with my day-to-day life before I go to bed I would have, if I’m drinking coffee the next morning I would have a coffee. I would have my protein shake with greens, dextrose powder and branched-chain amino acids, some glutamine in there. I would have that already made. I would have my lemon water with apple cider vinegar. I’d have all of that so in the morning it’s literally just it could be you don’t even have to think. You just get up, and you just do it. So I notice for me my biggest strength is my routine. So whenever I travel, or when I was there, I just tried to replicate it as much as I could.

DAN:
If you don’t follow your routine do you feel off?

HAYES:
Definitely. Oh my God, yeah. Like right now dealing with – this has been the biggest learning thing for me is dealing with a broken hand now where I don’t have my left hand is – I’m not able to do certain things in my routine or as effectively. So I don’t even feel like me at times just because it feels like almost a loss of identity.

DAN:
We talked about that on our other call. You can almost become depressed getting out of your routine, and you’re used to working out all the time. And we talked about it. I’ve done a couple physique shows, and you’ve done some, and mentally you really have to stay focused because you’re so focused on working out and your nutrition, and you stay on point for so long, and then whatever reason forces you to get off of it, whether you get injured or your show is over. It does take a lot of mental focus not to kind of get a little bit depressed, and especially with an injury when you’re in the prime of your career and you break your hand. That probably is pretty difficult.

HAYES:
Yeah, I think on Friday of last week was my worst, and I think the nurses could tell even going to the doctor’s office just because I was – mentally I was a mess, and that was the first time I ever had to undergo surgery, so I was still kind of shaken up from going through the surgery. I know, guys, suck it up; it was just surgery. But for me it was – because remember I had fought the week before, so you’re literally going from the strongest – and for me that was the strongest I had ever felt mentally and physically – to all of a sudden where you can’t even put on a jacket yourself. So it was that real roller coaster, and that’s where last Friday I really felt that, but I was lucky where I had teammates that were reaching out to me, former teammates, some that have ruptured their Achilles tendon and given me words of encouragement and just explaining the process that they went through. So that really helped me. So I’ve really maintained a positive mindset, and I will continue to maintain a positive mindset up until I do recover. And my self-affirmation on this whole process has been don’t worry, I’m going to be back. And I will be back, and I will be better.

Setting and Achieving Goals

JACOB:
So talking about being back and being better, what are your goals as you come back?

HAYES:
First and foremost is to get 100% recovered. After that just some other goals, just random ones that I put on there is I’m going to run a marathon in 2017. I’m going to compete again in bodybuilding in 2017. Obviously I’m going to take care of boxing, but I’ve got to see where my hand is on that. I’m also opening up a fitness studio, so that’s going to be in the first quarter of 2017. And just on top of that I’m going to like little stuff, like personal goals, I want to learn how to cook. I know that is something that I really kind of put off for a little while just because you know kind of as an athlete you are, you know, the meals are provided, or there is a chef or whatever. But I want to learn to do some stuff on my own, too, so that’s a little small goal, as well, for me.

DAN:
A lot of our listeners are probably your age. You’re about 26, is that right?

HAYES:
27.

DAN:
27. So they’re about the same age, and as you go through your story about the discipline around your sports and the mental focus, you know a lot of this can be applied to people working, as well. So what would be some advice from you about somebody in leadership that could help them, so maybe a few tips about how do you stay focused? How do you not get in the dumps when your job doesn’t go the way you thought it might? So what are your thoughts there?

HAYES:
A cool thing which I recently just learned is in Harvard Business School, in the first year, the freshman year, it’s served that 80% of freshman that wrote down their goals, both short- and long-term, were 50% more successful in achieving them than freshman that didn’t write down their goals throughout their academic career in Harvard. So just in taking that I also started to implement that, as well. So what I mean is how you could take that into the workforce or however you want to implement it in achieving the goal is just the power of writing it down and holding yourself accountable because it’s different when you’re holding yourself accountable. I get it when you are being held accountable by somebody else, but when you are holding yourself accountable you know whether you’re bullshitting yourself or not. You know whether you’re lying to yourself or not. And you know whether you’re making excuses or not. So I believe, and that’s something I would truly recommend just with anybody is the importance of just setting different goals in whatever that is. If it’s to make, let’s say, $60K this year or $70K this year, or if it’s to lose weight, or whatever it is, just write down your goals.

But also make a progression chart, meaning this is your two-month goal, this is your one-month goal, this is your weekly goal. What habits can you create that’s going to help you achieve that goal? So let’s say if it was weight loss you could break it down to the simplest step where if it’s weight loss I just want to drink a gallon of water a day for a week, and this way you build momentum. And before you know it, once you’ve built enough momentum those are going to become habits. Then those habits are going to become rituals. And once they’re rituals, that’s going to be ingrained in your DNA and the type of person you are. And that’s going to help achieve your goals on top of that.

JACOB:
I think you nailed it there. I mean, we talked about – talked about it earlier in a podcast, habit-forming and accountability. You’re a pretty disciplined, competitive guy, so I don’t think you’re going to have any problem with the accountability, but what kind of tips do you have for those that do have problems holding themselves accountable? Is there anything you do for yourself?

HAYES:
For me actually one thing I do is – so I know I’m my own toughest critic, and I believe we all are in some sense. I try to make sure I throw that out into the universe. So, example, I was saying I wanted to compete in the first part of 2017, or whenever my body allows. I try to, with close friends, family, or just even throwing it out in the universe because it’s funny how that will also hold you accountable, too, because you don’t want to be, “Oh, well, this and this didn’t happen,” so I try to have, let’s say, friends, family, teammates whatever, that also hold me accountable as well. At the end of the day we all know if it’s a goal that you’re really not passionate about achieving you’re going to find every way not to achieve it. So I think that’s something that has to come from within. However, I think anything can be achieved if you use baby steps and baby building blocks.

DAN:
Yeah, I think you need to have the a passion around it though, as well, because I’m thinking about like the physique shows, that you definitely have to have a why because that’s really not that much fun preparing for that. Poor Jacob, he has to put up with the last three weeks where I’m eating 1200 calories a day and I can’t even think, and you really have to be dedicated and kind of think about your why before it gets really hard. Otherwise you’re going to give up, I think.

HAYES:
You’re totally right. And with fitness I gotta say in everything that I’ve trained for and competed for, aside from physically, just because like there’s obviously more physically exhausting things, but it’s the mental aspect of having to diet and dial in that much, the requirement for fitness or bodybuilding, where it’s 24 hours a day of discipline. At least in sports like yeah, okay, sure, you know you have to eat healthy and whatnot, but when you’re starting to restrict your calories and also your water intake, too, and just everything, that’s like a real, real like 24 hours, seven-day-a-week grind.

DAN:
Yeah, one of the hardest parts about the physique is I would wake up, especially in the last three weeks you’re starving, and I would wake up at 3:00 in the morning starving and know that it’s like four hours before I had the pleasure of drinking two ounces of protein shake or something. That was the hardest part is just – and it was day after day.

HAYES:
Totally. Oh my gosh. And then for me I’ve always had a problem with muscle spasms. So example, like I drink two or three gallons of water a day, and for sure when I’m training, boxing-related, I would drink a gallon of water, but I would have to put pink Himalayan salt in there, and the reason for that being is just because when I’m sweating so much and just my body type with muscle I’m prone to getting muscle cramps. So especially when you start taking away water for me, and then now you’re asking me to pose and activate these muscles, oh man; some of the worst muscle spasm that I’ve ever had was going through that process.

What the Future Holds

DAN:
Where are you at right now in your fitness journey? You talked about opening up a fitness studio. And then you have some aspirations of acting, correct?

HAYES:
Yeah, yeah.

DAN:
Talk about that a little bit.

HAYES:
So with all this that’s happened in the past year it’s really gone on the back burner for me just because if I’m in Trinidad for a training camp and then I’m getting a call for an audition, you know, it’s just – it wasn’t fitting at the time. So I pretty much took a break up until September. So where I am right now is obviously I have aspirations to becoming an action star and being on the big screen as the next Dwayne Johnson. However, I know that that takes time, and that takes opportunity, and that takes a lot of hard work. So for the time being with this injury it has forced me to look at things in entertainment as well, too, but my main goal I would say for the first part of 2017 is in opening up this fitness studio, which was supposed to be the last part of 2016. We did have a little bit of problems with one of the investors as far as securing an investment. That has been – that situation has been taken care of, so in the first part of 2017, I’m guessing March. It will be a boxing fitness studio. We’re looking at West Hollywood. We have everything in place. So it’s really going to be all about the location and securing it all.
DAN:
That’s cool. Jacob’s over here in the corner shadowboxing. He’s going to go watch a marathon of Rocky movies when he gets home.

JACOB:
Which that shadowboxing is about as much exercise as I’ve gotten in the last week, so they may have to pause to call the paramedics.

DAN:
Yeah, he’s over there sweating.

HAYES:
That’s more than me, so I’m very envious right now.

Advice for Prospective Leaders

DAN:
In closing, what would be some final thoughts you would have for somebody that’s new in leadership, or a younger leader, or even somebody who is entering into sport? Any final thoughts?

HAYES:
The biggest thing I would say with leaders is, as you were saying, is question your why. Everything will fall into place with your why. For me as a leader, or just in anybody, everybody chooses to lead. Sometimes yeah, sure, you’re thrown into the situation where you are leading. But if it is a situation that you want to lead, and that is your why, then what you want to do is hold yourself accountable. And that’s what’s going to be setting the example. Because I believe in leading by example, and that’s something that obviously not all the time we can do, but you can always set a good example. And I believe that for any young leader or leaders just in taking that, in leading by example, that would also reflect in your actions, in your words, in everything, because as a leader you pretty much have a vision of what you want to be leading. So if you have that vision of what you want to be leading and you’re reflecting that on yourself, too, that’s not only going to make you a better person; that’s going to also rub off on everybody around. Now obviously you have your cases where that’s not such, but that’s – in being a leader I would say the best thing and what I have found to be the most effective is leading by example and answering that inner monologue and holding that – holding yourself accountable to the people that you’re leading.

JACOB:
Before we wrap up, Daniel, I just want to commend you on your perspective and how well you’ve planned out your life to this point. I don’t think listeners realize really what’s behind and how much time you’ve reflected on the steps that you’ve been through and how it has changed you and how you’ve adapted to certain situations. So that perspective at the young age that you are or for any leader is key in any situation.
HAYES:
Thank you. I guess in sport you have so many different leaders. Every year is a different leader, or leadership changes throughout the year. So I guess that’s an advantage just because you see it all the time, and I know what works well for me, but that was just I guess going through so many different perspectives. But thank you for the kind words.

JACOB:
You’re welcome.

DAN:
So most importantly I’m looking at your picture here on Skype, and do you have the six pack all year long, or does that go away?

HAYES:
No, definitely, that’s not – that wasn’t gearing up for a photo shoot. Actually that photo, probably, right there on Skype is right after a fight maybe, and then we did the photos after. That’s my biggest foundation, and that’s what’s helped me as an athlete is fitness. I love fitness, and that’s why opening up a fitness studio I have all the passion in the world. And I’ve only realized this through breaking my arm in this, what, it’s been three weeks since it’s been broken? I mean breaking my hand. So I love fitness, and I’ve always loved fitness probably since I was a little kid. Eating healthy, just working out, pushing yourself. I know it sounds so corny and so cheesy, but that’s for me what my foundation is. And that’s why I guess being injured, it’s totally thrown that whole thing off where I’ve lost that self-identity I guess it would be. But I definitely love it, so that’s why I 365 days a year I always, not pride myself in being in shape, I just – that’s just a result of my passion.

Finding Inspiration

DAN:
What are some books, movies, music, anything that inspires you?

HAYES:
As far as music-wise, to be honest with you if it’s something that I’m looking to pick me up, or if it’s pre-fight or something, or just any pre-performance, let’s say pre-performance, it would honestly be a motivational speech or like some epic movie music that you listen to in those battle scenes or something like that. I know that sounds so weird, but for me that’s what gets me going because I connect a lot with that sort of feeling, with that emotion. And if it’s a motivational speech I listen to a lot of Ray Lewis’s stuff. So if it’s anything like that I connect a lot with it.

As far as let’s say movies, I don’t have any, and I’m being totally honest. I don’t have a movie that – just because I barely watch movies because I can’t sit still for more than an hour. So it all depends really. As far as a great book to read, it’s called Rafa by Rafael Nadal, and that talks about his mental journey that it took for him to dethrone Roger Federer. And it talks about the mental IQ he had to achieve and he had to fine tune before he was able to do that and how he had faulty mental processing prior and that’s why he was getting beat.

DAN:
That’s great. We’ll put that link in the show notes. All right. Well, Daniel, thank you very much. It’s been an honor interviewing you and a pleasure, and you have a great story, and you inspire us around motivation, and fitness, and dedication. You’ve accomplished quite a bit in your 27 years. Congratulations on everything you’re doing.

HAYES:
Thank you. I really appreciate it, but I’ve got so much more I’ve got to achieve.

DAN:
We look forward to watching you accomplish all your goals.

HAYES:
Thanks, man. Appreciate it.

JACOB:
We’ll bring you back on after you star in your first movie.

HAYES:
Done.

DAN:
Yeah, remember us when you’re –

HAYES:
Jacob has a deal.

DAN:
All right. Well thank you very much, Daniel.

HAYES:
Okay, perfect. Thanks, guys.

JACOB:
Thanks.

DAN:
Thank you for joining us on the show today. We hope you enjoyed the interview with Daniel Hayes as much as we did. If you enjoyed the podcast please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Also visit us at thelowcarbleader.com where you can find links to our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn page. Until next time, take care and keep learning.

0 Comments