How do you reinvent yourself? How do you forge a new identity from the ashes of the old one? What do you do to find power and peace? These questions and more are answered in this episode, as Dolores Hirschmann sits down for a conversation with ex-NFL Running Back and entrepreneur, Prince Daniels Jr. Prince describes his transition from football player to father and businessman. We also get his opinion on what it takes to balance power and peace in life.
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A Conversation With Prince Daniels Jr.: Learning To Balance Power And Peace
I am excited about our conversation with Prince. I say ours because yes, I’m the host of this show, but I get so many questions and feedback from our past interviews that I always want to integrate your comments into our conversations. What am I looking forward to in this conversation with Prince? Prince Daniels is a former NFL running back and high-performance mentor who works with high achievers and athletes to unlock their peak performance. He’s the author of Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace. He is also the Founder of Game Beyond The Game, an ecosystem helping athletes find their purpose and vision in life beyond the game.
I’ve known Prince for a while and one of the things I know about him is how he was able to redefine and redesign who is from pro-athlete as an NFL player to dad and husband and business owner. I want to ask him, how did he do it? How did he shift from all-consuming identity of an athlete? You might be feeling this way if you are an athlete or if you have dedicated many years of your life to one activity. For whatever reason, whether it’s injury, which was the case for Prince, change of lifestyle, you are moving on or retiring from that career, it could be even your role as a top executive. If you have spent many years in one career and you’re about to jump into a new adventure, just so you know, there is a gap of identity that you’re going to experience. I look forward to exploring with Prince Daniels how he navigated his redesign of identity so that he can become the full experience of who he is.
I am excited to have a conversation with you, Prince. Welcome.
Thank you for having me, Dolores. This is incredible. I’m looking forward to this.
I am excited to have you here. Also, walk our readers on your journey through clarity. We were just chatting before we started and we’re catching up. We’re friends and you were saying that you’re in a good place. You’re in a good moment of your life. There’s a lot of flow in your life, but it was not always that way. How did you get to now?
My first answers would be through persistence, action and flexibility. There were many things that you go through, growing pains. You get knocked down, you have to get back up. Sometimes those moments of clarity, those moments of growth, are painful. As you stay consistent, you get an opportunity to break through some of the mindsets that are mental roadblocks that you run into. For me, it was more so having faith. What I mean by that is believing. Believing that you have the ability to be able to push through adversity, to be able to push through challenges. I made it to the NFL. Also, I had to push through some adversity when I was in college. I started college as a walk-on. I got accepted to a school. I was a highly recruited athlete when I was younger in high school. From there, I walked on college, joined the football team, became the starter and got drafted to the NFL. After that, I had to reinvent myself out after playing in the NFL. For the most part, I stay consistent and motivated from within.
We’ll talk about the work that you do. One of the things that I hear a lot, and it’s part of your story, Prince. Is that you were very clear from a young age of your path, the athlete path. There wasn’t a lot of confusion. Most teenagers, most seventeen-year-olds, are in a very confusing space of their lives at 17, 18, 20. As they go to college, yours was clear. You were going full-on on the athlete path. I feel like it’s a whole life that you were experiencing. You can talk about why in the context of it or not, but all of a sudden, you no longer were pursuing the athlete path. Talk to me about that.
We are all athletes in this game of life.
What I’ve realized through my growing pains is that being an athlete is a part of your life. We are all athletes in this game of life. Being an athlete was a part of me. It wasn’t my identity. After football was over and being that particular athlete, I had to find a new path for myself to figure out who I was as a human being. You mentioned athlete, but I also wanted to know who I was from my body, my mind and my spirit. I’m here and I’m existing, but I don’t know anything about this individual. Other people know more about me than myself. Why not spend time with myself and figure out who I am and what makes me incredible, what inspires me to get up and what makes me move every day and motivates me? That is when I went on this pursuit of finding my internal happiness and finding the love that I have for the things that I believe in. I want to see flourish in my life and all around the world.
This is a story of many people in different walks of life, that their growth or their pain in some examples. Their journey becomes their path and it becomes the way they service. You have transformed your process of moving on from the athlete identity to the actual Prince identity. We all have the layers and people that you are inside. I believe that each one of us is layers and layers of different people that we come out and play in different circumstances. The loving father, the loving partner and husband that you are, those are different levels of who you are inside of you.
That permission for exploring each one of them and putting all of them back into your body and say, “I am all those things.” You’ve gone through that journey of taking all of your Princes outside, making sure that they are what you want them to be, putting them back in and showing up in the world with that smile that you have. You also recognized your journey. You did it the way you could do it with the resources you had and it’s a struggle for many. Talk to me about that. Why is it that it’s a struggle for many and what are you doing about it?
It’s a struggle for many because I think a lot of times, we don’t have a clear vision about ourselves. In order for you to see yourself do something, you have to visualize yourself doing it. I spoke about this not too long ago, about your EV versus your TV. Your EV is your envision. Being able to envision what you want on life. Your TV is a television, something that’s telling you a vision of what you think you should be. You have to understand when you want to see success from yourself. You have to envision it and let that become the thing that you focus your energy on. When you can see yourself, when you can hear yourself, feel yourself, you become that. You live that into your reality.
For me, that is what I had to learn how to do to get past my roadblocks. I teach people that helping them get past the roadblocks, about being able to have a stronger vision of what they want to do, of what they want to be. This is a short life. While we’re here, you work on the things that you want to see enrich your life, impact your life each and every day, whether that’s your mind, your body and your spirit. You do that by focusing on those small things and envisioning yourself with your body being fit, with your mind being strong and your spirit being jovial and infectious and contagious and inspiring people to become the best version of themselves.
You wrote the book, Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete. I like the concept of balancing power and peace. How can we find peace when all we know is a push of power?
You find your true power through your peace. Whenever you can become at peace with everything in life, then you find power. There’s no attachment. That allows for you to not be too up with your emotions and not be too down with your emotions, just somewhere in the middle. You see things for what they are. When you start putting things into perspective for your life, then you start to see how it takes off. You start to see how clarity becomes as clear as opening your eyes under beautiful water. You can still see.
Let me break this metaphor down, Prince. You could have said, “Opening your eyes and seeing clearly.” Instead, you said, “Opening your eyes in clear water.” What I’m interpreting is this idea of it doesn’t matter what’s around you, what context, pandemic, loss or difficulties around you. You could be inside of water of crisis. When you can find your inner peace in whatever body of water you’re submerged in, with your inner peace, you can still open your eyes and see through the water.
That’s where you find your power. We are familiar with power each and every day. We know that we power through things in life. We power here and we power there, but too much power can be very destructive. Too much peace can be very submissive and passive. When you find the balance between the two, it’s an ebb and flow type of situation. It’s flexibility. You give and you receive and take and so forth. Once you find that balance, then you find a rhythm. Now that you have a balance in the rhythm, you have a flow. That is the balance between your power and your peace and how you find your power within your piece.
One last example. Let’s say you’re in a business meeting. The person that’s the most quiet in the business meeting and unassuming is the most powerful one. The reason why is because everyone is talking. When this one person or individual decides to speak, everyone listens and gives them their attention. The reason why is because there was no energy being exerted in an input or an opinion. When it was time for that person to seize that opportunity or that moment to speak, everyone turned their attention to them and wanting to hear exactly what they said because they were silent for so long. Within your piece, when you find wholeness within yourself, you come from a place of silence. That’s very powerful. Now you have all the energy from everyone else, and they understand that you have the power for that moment. That’s how you find your power in your piece.
I love that it’s in the quiet of your insight that everything truly happens.
Your actions speak louder than your words.
With this whole journey, you have launched a company, Game Beyond the Game. You run this company with your wife.
Yes, I do.
Too much power can be very destructive, and too much peace can be very submissive and passive.
How is that? Talk to me about that. I tried that. It didn’t really work for me.
It’s awesome. Just like anybody, we always bump heads, but we always come to an agreement of, “We’re in a relationship.” As with any relationship, you always have to work on the relationship, no matter what. Have an understanding of not taking anything personal but understanding that we both have a collective goal and we want to be here together. In order for that to happen, we have to make sure that our foundation is very solid. When it comes to our family and when it comes to decision-making and being on the same page, it’s an ebb and flow relationship and it’s good. I’m proud of my wife. Not only does she helps out with my business, but she’s also a businesswoman herself. She likes to dip and dabble. On the daytime, she’s the doctor.
She’s a very busy lady and a mom.
A great one at that. It’s natural and organic. That’s the best way to describe how this relationship is. I know it’s not for everybody. Everybody is strong-willed and very passionate about what they do. The thing is, we have that thorough understanding. We’re in it for the long haul. I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else.
As you think of Game Beyond the Game and the context of the role it plays in your life. In general, what is your definition of success?
My definition of success changes all the time. For now, it’s a mindset definition of success. I ask people all the time, “If success is a mindset, then how are you setting your mind?” Meaning, how are you setting the bar in your mind? What expectations do you want from yourself? What are you looking out from when it comes to yourself? How do you want to see yourself? It goes back to that vision, as what I was saying. Envision yourself being what you feel and know that you’re capable of. Once you dream it, once you visualize it, once you see it, you become it and you live into it.
I want to know who do you work with at Game Beyond the Game? I always say, “Who do you want to be a hero to?” I know a lot of people always say, “I can work with anybody,” but you really want to work with your people. There’s plenty of other providers serving other people. Who are your people, the ones you want to be a hero to?
The people that show up. The problem that I solve for people in businesses is helping them become the best versions of themselves, helping them get out of their own way, unlike their peak performance. I do that by helping people’s mind, body, and spirit be prepared for that moment of peak performance when it arises. I give them a choice and the tool to be ready, as opposed to trying to get ready. When that moment of opportunity shows up for them, when their peak performance arises, I make sure that their mind, their body, their spirit, their emotions, and their energy are in alignment. It’s prepared for what may come. That’s the work that I do. That’s the work that I’m about and my team is about. Those are the people that I enjoy helping. The people that are helping themselves, they’ve plateaued.
They want more. The high achievers, the elite athletes.
When they know that there’s something inside of them, but they don’t know how to get it out, I’m that person who’s like, “Here you go.”
Do you do mostly private coaching or group? How does it work?
I do group coaching. Game beyond the Game is what the platform is called. I have a six-week masterclass called Unlock your Peak Performance. We help these individuals within the course of six weeks to unlock their peak performance, get out of their own way and have the right foundation so they can take off and be a rocket and go to the moon if they may wish. The sky has never been the limit unless we said it unless we create the limits.
What are you most proud of?
After myself, it’s my kids. I’ll say this with all humbleness, but what for faith and belief that I’m most proud of myself. The reason why is I have spent a significant amount of time with myself. I mentioned about practicing mindfulness and meditation. When I spend time with myself, I become more and more happier for the things that I’m doing. My heart, the person that I am, the person that shows up and give my all and use my internal spirit, my end spirit to inspire others. That’s what I’m most proud of. Myself, my kids, my family, my wife, all of the above.
When we don’t live into our big ideas, then we’re not living life.
Readers, I want you to pause for a moment and take in what Prince said. Prince, what you did for all of us, if you gave us permission, to see and love ourselves first. Acknowledge and be proud of who we are and who we’ve become. The truth is, until we are able to love ourselves well, if we don’t do that, it’s really hard to love others well as well. I don’t know if you noticed you were doing that. I’m telling everybody who maybe is not paying attention, pay attention. I haven’t had that many guests in my show who gives us permission to love ourselves first. Thank you for that gift.
You’re welcome. Thank you for acknowledging that.
What is your favorite book and why?
My favorite book is my book, Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace. The reason why is because I put my heart and soul into it. I know everyone puts their heart and soul into books. Some people, sometimes they write books just to write books. Some people put their heart and soul into it. I put my heart and soul into it. I wrote the book within mind and within heart that it will make an impact on people. Getting them to using this tool and practicing this exercise to allow them to open themselves up to all the possibilities that are in this world. Earth is big, but it’s small to the sun and we are small to Earth. When we don’t live into our big ideas, we’re not living life. That is why that’s one of my favorite books.
Where can people find your book and you and get to work with you?
You can find me on my website at www.PrinceDanielsJr.com. You can find all of my social media handles on that as well. If you are instinctive and you want to seize the moment, you can go to my Instagram page @PrinceADJR. I have a podcast called The Prince Daniels Jr. Show where I’m constantly dropping jewels and sharing a little bit about me and my upbringing and my stories, all of the things, the trials and tribulations that I’ve been able to endure and persevere. I have a six-week masterclass called Unlocking your Peak Performance. You can find more information on my website. I am here, I’m showing up and I’m excited. I’m just being Prince.
Thank you so much. Prince, it has been an honor and a pleasure to host you. I follow you. I admire you. I know your wife and your girls. I am proud of you as much as you are proud of yourself. Thank you for showing up and giving us some time.
Thank you. Have a wonderful day and thank you for this opportunity.
I’m proud of you as well.
I had the best time with Prince. I know I liked him, but I really like him now. He talked about the process of writing his book, Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace, but he also talked so much about that journey of personal identity, moving from pro-athlete to businessman, father, husband and lover of life that he is now. In our conversation, we do talk about the struggle because it wasn’t easy. He needed to pause and tap into communities and mentors to find his footing once he retired from full-time football-playing after an injury.
One of the things I love about Prince that he shared in our conversation was the importance of being present, of being aware of ourselves and in the moment that we are and honoring that wherever you are, whatever you’re doing right now is exactly what you should be doing and where you should be. I would say, if you’re in that place of transition from focusing in one career to moving into a new type of business or career, then you want to read this episode because it will give you insights into how to transition and build a life full of you. Here at Masters In Clarity, we help our clients clear where are the gaps and how to navigate it. That’s what we do day in and day out. We do gaps in messaging, in strategy, in scalable business models. Prince brings the conversation around the gap of personal identity as we shift into a new experience of our life.
- Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace
- Game Beyond The Game
- Unlock your Peak Performance
- @PrinceADJR – Instagram
- The Prince Daniels Jr. Show – Apple Podcasts
About Prince Daniels Jr.
Some call him half-human, half monk, Prince Daniels Jr. is a former NFL Running back and high-performance mentor who works with high achievers and athletes to unlock their peak performance. He is the author of Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace and the creator of the Unlocking your Peak Performance masterclass. Prince is also the founder of Game Beyond the Game, an ecosystem helping athletes find their purpose and vision in life beyond the game.