“I dream of children who dream big, pursue their ambitions, and live true to who they are, without pressure from society,” was the dream of Darren Pleasance, Leader and Adventurer, at TEDxBend 2016. Children are under enormous pressure to live up to the expectations of their parents and society, often at the expense of their own personal ambitions, he argues. “As parents, we have an opportunity, and an obligation, to help our children dream big, and have the confidence to pursue a path consistent with their dreams and to live a life true to who they are.”
Today, Pleasance continues to share his vision with parents and children and is delighted to learn that in addition to inspiring adults, children themselves have also been inspired with ideas to live a more fulfilled life themselves. His own children, (for better or worse he says), have become his “experiment” – his chance to live up to his own guidance and see the outcome. As a current managing director at Google, and formerly in management consulting, it’s easy to imagine that Pleasance might want to encourage his children in a similar direction. Instead, he says he’s tried to create opportunities for them to do what they are self-energized to do themselves.
Noticing his son’s childhood interest in photography, Pleasance tried to foster that desire, and help reasonably where he could – one freezing night even giving him a ride (on request) into the mountains to get a brilliant shot of the stars. Still in high school, his son recently produced videos for Bend Venture Conference and Seven Peaks Ventures’ event, Bonfire, and he and a friend have started their own media company, Benham Digital. But beyond these notable achievements, Pleasance feels the most important outcome of his son’s photography experience are the great people his son is meeting, the great story he’s making for himself, and the great sense of self-satisfaction he’s built.