Imagine being so hard on yourself that even at the moment of suicide you feel the need to practice, so that you don't fail at that as well and just embarrass yourself one more time.
That was Darren Jacklin in a nutshell in 1989, at 19 years old, when he took a few test runs in his car aimed at a brick wall going 80 mph. Fortunately, he wasn't good at that either and ended up finding his life's calling at the moment he was reaching out for death.
At that moment of failure, Jacklin let go of a childhood that never measured up to an exacting father's torment and turned inward instead. What he found was a new way of looking at everything, and now he's working at spreading the word.
"Time will either promote you or expose you," says Jacklin, who said that when he walked away from the attempted suicide, he had a deep conversation with himself. He learned how to open his heart and decided to trust people knowing that time would take care of the rest. He let go of needing to control.
Jacklin has since become the newest bright star on the stage being touted by other big names in the field, such as Dr. Brenda Wade for his open heart and simple message about an easier way to live.
There is a certain element to being human that seems to hardwire us to seek out other people's approval. We want others to think we're reasonably good looking, somewhat successful and maybe even friendly.
But take that to an extreme and, suddenly, we're crushed or elated depending on who happens to be standing in front of us that morning. It's a tough way to get through life.
The way out, though, is always just within reach the moment we become willing to surrender how it's going to get done, or what it has to look like and become comfortable, even happy, with the journey.
That's Jacklin's message, and his goal is to use his life to be of service and impact 100 million lives a month. "We're on track," says Jacklin, "through radio, media, personal coaching and the web site at www.askdarrenjacklin.com. It's in the millions and growing."
At the web site, Jacklin intones people to throw any question at him about how to change their lives for the better, and he'll find them an answer. He's willing to work with anybody. However, this isn't going to be about imagining what you want without changing your attitude or moving your feet.
"People have to connect to their true authentic self," says Jacklin, by first changing the way they look at things. Sure, people approach him all the time with a list that includes a fancy car and a big house, but after working with him for awhile they get down to what was underneath all of that.
Beneath the outward flash is a desperate need to feel like we're enough just as we show up in any given day.
Jacklin's dream is that the millions of people who hear his message will turn around and do the same thing for others, creating a ripple affect across the planet. Then, we'll stop measuring ourselves by what we own, which has gotten harder these days anyway, and see the intrinsic value that was there all along.
From that starting point, an inner peace is possible and that's the real prize after all. That's what Darren Jacklin walked away with from the crash that was supposed to end his torment. It did accomplish that goal, just not the way he expected, and in a much grander fashion. More adventures to follow.
Martha Randolph Carr is the author of the novel, "The Sitting Sisters." Her column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc., newspaper syndicate. She can be found on Twitter at MarthaRandolph, or e-mail at Martha@caglecartoons.com, or visit www.martharandolphcarr.com.