We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniel Joo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniel, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My concept of balance has changed over time. I am beginning to understand that there is no such thing as balance, but the importance of having and executing priorities. I stopped trying to be good at everything and focused on doing things I am passionate about. I equate this to big brand companies such as Nike. Whenever I think of Nike, they are great in producing shoes and sports apparel because they focused all their time and efforts in being the best at that. I have never seen Nike attempt to make cheeseburgers, fries, or desserts because it does not fit into their goals. Nike’s success comes from focusing on their priorities rather than trying to be balanced. Ironically, when I chose to have priorities instead of attempting to be balanced, I had more time and energy to develop myself and spend time with my family. When I dropped the idea of balance, I was able to have a clearer vision of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to accomplish. I look at my priorities as a battle plan because I am going to war against myself every day. This war ensures that I do not become lazy, complacent, and distracted, but instead become diligent, productive, and focused. Doing this, I had more peace and serenity in my life. I no longer felt obligated to do or say yes to things that did not fit into my priorities. Since I am saying no to more things, this naturally filters out people who do not share the same values as I do. Again, this frees up more time to focus on myself, family, and those who are like minded. Sometimes, I feel like balance can be used as a guilt trip to lure people into mediocrity. I see more people spreading themselves out too thin and not being productive in their work. There is no direction and passion to what they do. I found myself in the same boat because I tried to be balanced. When I made the bold choice to have a singular focus instead of a broad one, I gained freedom. However, freedom comes with a great cost. Like Jocko Willink said, “Discipline equals Freedom.” There are no truer words. I came to a grave conclusion that if I want to be free, I must be a slave to discipline… painful, painful discipline. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where many people quit. This is where people complain they need to be more balanced. Discipline separates the good from the great, superstars from legends. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I no longer value being balanced because priorities and discipline are better tools in shaping my character and future.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love acting. I enjoy the process of breaking down a script and creating a character. It is a great thrill performing on stage and in front of the camera. Truthfully, I’m nothing special. I’m just a regular guy who wants to entertain and inspire people. The one thing I do take pride in, is that I love the grind! The grind of working on my craft, taking care of my body, and achieving excellence in everything I do. I got to where I am by making the choice that I wanted to be an actor. The hardest part about my journey was making and sticking to my choice. The challenge for me is to stay consistent and not give up. I do understand that this challenge will be with me for the rest of my life. Therefore, I must have the courage and discipline to believe in myself to keep going forward no matter how many times life knocks me down. The biggest lesson given to me is that no one can believe in myself more than I do. I must have an unshakeable faith backed by a strong work ethic to accomplish my goals. My life really changed when I decided to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life. I want the world to know that life is fulfilling and meaningful when a person decides to be accountable for themselves.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I love the beach. One of my newfound favorite places to go is the Harbor Cove in Ventura. It is a beautiful beach and it is also dog friendly too. I had a blast there with my family and it will be our consistent place to go. My favorite place to eat is a restaurant called Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen in Frazier Park. It is a journey and half to get there, but it is one of the best places I have ever eaten at. Everything is hand made and they have vegan options too. The servers and chef are the best in the business and the food is absolutely delicious. Writing about it here won’t do it justice, just go and try it out for yourself!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My true shout out that I would like to give is to the big G-O-D. During these challenging times, I have grown closer to God. I am realizing the importance of spirituality and true application of love and forgiveness in my life. Also, God has made it apparent that I do not and will not know everything there is to know about life. Then it got me thinking, “What do I really know?” I don’t know anything. What have I learned? Nothing. Everything that I “know” or “learned” has been revealed to me by God. There is nothing I have accomplished by myself. There is a whole world beyond the physical that I can’t see. By this revelation, the greatest gift God has given me, is the gift of humility. Also, recognizing the immense blessings God has given me in the form of my family, friends, talents, health, and opportunities. None of these I have gained by myself. I am truly lucky to have God bless me every day and in every way. I wanted to take this moment and use this platform to recognize God because He is the real secret to my success in everything I do.
Cover: Adam Gomez Top Left: Austin Uku, Adam Gomez, Hao Wang Top Right: Valentin Biguine Bottom Left: Derek Quick Bottom Right: Bejo Dohmen, Bryan Navarro, and Mike Bingaman