Real Talk

A weekly show discussing, with brutal honesty, the realities of the journey of self-improvement & achieving success.

May 28, 2021

Real Talk Episode #7: Don’t Be Ashamed of Who You Are

Hello my fellow Chamingers. Some updates. Real Talk Episode #7 released today! This is a very personal episode for the host – Fabian Chagoya because he shares about having an identity crisis after realizing what was one of the things holding him back from his full potential. Make sure to listen and read the transcript to our latest episode of this Real Talk discussing why you should always be proud of who you are and if you are not happy, what are you going to do about it. Identify, acknowledge and take small steps to start changing your life!

Also, we just recorded our very first episode of Industry Darksides while live-streaming it! Another exciting milestone, since it is a series that we will be discussing the realities of different jobs and what actually goes on behind the scenes.

Additionally, we have released multiple new DAILY CC episodes – our vlog that showcases the behind-the-scenes of Chaminger and what it takes to build a brand and podcast from zero! Watch here!

Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else continue their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!

Real Talk Episode #6: Reframing your Mindset Part 2
Real Talk Episode #6: Reframing your Mindset Part 2

And read along – the transcript:

Fabian: Hey everybody. My name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And I’m Alejandro Chagoya.

Fabian: And we’re the hosts of Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and getting to know oneself in which we discuss the harsh truths related to finding success. 

So Alejandro, how you doing today?

Alejandro: I’m doing well, Fabian, yourself?

Fabian: Excellent.

Alejandro: Good to hear.

Fabian: It’s always exciting to be able to record these episodes with you and have our weekly talk. So let’s get right into it, the small talk segment. How has it felt for you doing a weekly recording?

Alejandro: You know, it’s a really interesting experience. In some small way, it’s actually something I kind of look forward to. On the one hand, I feel always like, you know, I have to always meet the standard of having a good talk here, between us. But on the other hand, it’s also some, uh, in a way kind of enjoyable just to talk, to catch up.

And then sometimes we end up reflecting on a lot of interesting experiences that we had. Especially in ways that I think neither of us had previously considered. So I think in some way that’s actually rather valuable.

Fabian: Exactly. A few things that I want to say about that. One. Before I get into what you said. For the viewers, obviously you can see some different video format and lighting quality. I’ve addressed this in our daily CC vlog, but experimenting. Same thing with Alejandro, I know he modifies things every episode. 

It’s a journey, it’s progression. And it’s one of the things that I want to really call upon to everyone to focus on if you’re just listening to these episodes. Really realize that sometimes we don’t have everything figured out day one and that’s okay. You keep making improvement changes. And then you look back on where you were 30 days ago, 60 days ago, two years ago, whatever it was.

And you realize how far you’ve come, how much you’ve learned. I mean, there’s so much just with all this recording and lighting and sound and things that we have figured out, Alejandro, and this is only our fourth time doing this. I can’t even imagine where we’re going to be when we’re at like episode 20 or something like that. So, that for me is really exciting. 

Number two, agreed. It’s been such a joy having this opportunity. We didn’t, we were always close, but once we moved apart, we didn’t really stay in touch as much. So this is an opportunity for us to also have a catch-up. Yeah, we’re not necessarily talking about, Oh, what’s happening today in your daily life, but it gives us that opportunity, in a way. We’re really talking about other things like the more meaningful things, the Real Talk, hense the episode. 

So it’s been great. I love this. I definitely look forward to hearing about what’s going on with you and your perspective and my perspective. And I mean, we kind of knew a lot about each other, but I feel like this is where we really get to hear and see a hundred percent what’s going on.

What are your thoughts of that?

Alejandro: Very true, because as we discussed in previous episodes, there’s always the face that we present to the world. That face might depend on according to who we are speaking to, how our relationship with that person. But in a sense then, who we are as a person is still going to be entirely different. Well, maybe not entirely different, but there are going to be certain core aspects that you might not necessarily share with everyone. 

As we’ve also said that sometimes even who we are with ourselves, we’re not entirely honest with who we are. That, uh, certain things we have to face, certain things we maybe think of ourselves that aren’t maybe reflective of the reality. So I think it’s a very big and important opportunity to really reassess these things.

Fabian: Glad to hear that Alejandro. So two things based on that, one, have you felt that imposter syndrome has kicked in? So obviously this is something that you’re not used to doing. It’s not your job. It’s not part of your daily job duties. Yes, you speak to a lot of people working at the consulate, but now really it’s about your voice. It’s about your communication skills. It’s about retelling stories. It’s about reflecting. It’s about sharing valuable information about your past and that’s a very different skill set than maybe you were used to doing. So that piece imposter syndrome. And two, have you felt like one you’ve become more comfortable with this and two that your skills have improved.

Alejandro: All right. Let’s address the first point there about imposter syndrome. Yes, imposter syndrome is definitely a very close friend of mine for the longest time. I certainly felt it, long time in the past, throughout my life regarding our talks that we’ve been doing. Uh, yes, to some extent I can certainly admit that there was always this concern that I had a certain expectation to live up to. That we’d have proper material to discuss, because as viewers might not be aware, Fabian does provide me with a general outlook of what we want to discuss, but much of what we’re talking about isn’t 100% improvised.

Fabian: Hey, pat yourself on the back for that. 

Do you know how rare and difficult that is? I haven’t really mentioned this because I wanted to say it for this kind of moment. Most podcasts or shows or stuff like that are so scripted to the point that they have complete outline of what they’re going to say. And there’s days in advance of preparation, or for example, in sales meetings, most of my coworkers would prepare for a week and know exactly what they were going to say. Or you have a presentation that they’ve practiced 20 times before delivering it. The fact that you can come up with the stuff on the fly is kudos to your skillset, to your honesty, and also the real talk. And that was the whole point of it. The reason why I do that is because I want to make sure that it’s real, but I just want to let you know that that is something you should be proud of because most people would not be able to do that.

Alejandro: I appreciate that a lot, Fabian. Thank you so much. So getting back to my train of thought

I always try to present myself very eloquent, very informed. So, I always want to make sure I meet that standard as much for myself as for you and your viewers, because they deserve to have a proper conversation here with us, an expression of ideas. Sometimes you might see me stumble over my words a bit and get lost in thought. And maybe how I express myself might not always come across in the best manner, but it’s certainly something I’m working on.

I do agree on the second point that I feel like I’ve certainly grown a lot more comfortable engaging in this. I think it’s been a very, very good learning opportunity for me in that way. I mean, certainly it’s not entirely my area of expertise, but I mean more and more for even in work. For example, just the other day, I had to face a bunch of, um, Uh, well, not customers, well, the people who come to visit us there, we had technical issues that delayed for like half an hour. They’re like who should go up and talk to them? It’s like  Alejandro, Alejandro’s the one I should do it. Because I don’t know, I’m like the very personable, very diplomatic face amongst my colleagues. As I discussed afterwards with another coworker, it’s like, yeah, they would eat the rest of us alive. You were obviously the best choice to send forward.

 Fabian: How do you feel about that? That you were kind of like chosen, that they were like, yes, him and that you almost volunteered and that you described yourself as diplomatic. There’s a lot that needs to be discussed about that sentence, but what do you feel about that?

Alejandro: Sure. On one hand, it’s quite a responsibility. I mean, nothing, uh, World-changing compared to maybe some other instances that might exist out there in the world. I mean, apparently the boss checked in with everybody and that was sort of the consensus and he then reached out to me there to face with the crowd on that.

I’m always very willing to go forward and undertake these tasks, um, asked of me. And I mean, on some level, I guess as much as it was a responsibility, it’s certainly also a bit of an honor that the boss also effectively recognized that I would be the best suited for the job here, essentially.

I guess in some way, there’s a bit of pride in that. Especially considering, as we’ve mentioned, not long ago about imposter syndrome. There’s this recognition as well as personal feeling of recognition within myself that certainly I’m suited to handling this task

Fabian: Well, a few things than that, and this is going to be a confidence booster for you. I want you to realize that, for example, in my last company, a medical software company, the people who would do what you did would be either myself, so the representative for three states territory. I was the face of the company for those three states, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. And then later Utah and Wyoming. Or it would be a vice president, or the  president of marketing, or the CEO. 

Those are the people that would address the customers. Doesn’t matter what the customer is, our customers would be addressed by that person. The person that knows the answer, that knows how to get them to feel heard, appreciated and explain the situation in such a way that they accept it. So, I just want you to realize that these are literally the top dogs of a 2000 employee company, or myself, or people that have a similar role as me, that would do it. And you’re doing that exact same thing. I just want you to realize that. Do you see how important and how monumental that is? Your customers come to you. They chose you. 

Think about it in a very primal nature. Go back to the wilderness, the Sahara, the Amazon jungle. And there was like a, a tribe of people and who they chose to represent themselves to deal with strangers that approached them. They chose you, man. That’s how you need to think about it. Like biologically human race wise, if you cut out all  the technology and the fanciness and the developments, they chose you as their representative.

And there’s something to be said about that. I think you need to realize that, and these are the things like I would put in my resume. Or I would use in an interview that like, Oh, Hey, this problem happened. When we had technical difficulties, my boss and my coworkers came to me to not only deliver the message, but smooth it over. That is such a powerful statement and such kudos and credit to not only your ability, your reliability, your trustworthiness, your speaking ability, et cetera, et cetera.

If I were you, I would hone in on that. I’m just trying to make you realize that there’s so many things that you probably do on a daily basis, that you have never rewired yourself to see in a new light. So think about that for a second,

Alejandro: Indeed, indeed.. Oh yeah, no, no kidding

Fabian:  I just wanted to congratulate you in that, that’s impressive, that’s awesome. Let’s move on because otherwise we can spend all episode talking about that. So Alejandro, tell me how the journaling, the positive self-affirmations, the self-reflection has been going. Have you done it? Have you not? Has it been good? Tell me more.

Alejandro: Self reflection, yes. Journaling, uh, I’ll admit, I really need to do it more. I don’t know, sometimes I feel like I put it off because in some ways that’s a way of having to face, uh, to get down on paper and face a lot of these truths. I sometimes I wonder if that’s also, what’s putting me off. That I’m hesitant to-

Fabian: We are doing a lot of that during these real talks. So, I’m not even, I used to journal time. One other thing that I do that I recommend not only to you, but also the viewers is text yourself.  I don’t know how it works in maybe in a Samsung, but in my iPhone, I can text myself. Literally my most texted person is myself. So notes, reminders, uh, things that I want to do, the way I felt for a certain thing, like if a moment happened.  

There’s apps like on the iPhone for notes and stuff like that, but I don’t check those as much. I will check my texts as much. So I’m, I texted myself those things. So then sometimes I journal now through that rather than writing it down. 

I will say that yes, we do a lot of self-reflecting during this episode, but I would just recommend to write down. Even if you don’t journal about the day, or how you felt, or why you felt that way. But if you ever feel really weird, or different, or good, you should write things down. That’s a moment to do so. And if you feel like you don’t want to face it, that’s something you need to focus on because that is exactly the thing that you need to identify, acknowledge, and you need to crush. If you’ve are like, Ooh, I don’t want to face that yet. That’s something that you need to pay attention to. You don’t have to face it right away, but you need to face it eventually.

Alejandro: I do certainly do a number of self-reflections. Since the youngest age, I was always having conversations basically with myself there. Always tending to be in my head and musing, thinking. So, I mean, maybe I don’t necessarily write down what there are certainly a lot of things that I basically end up discussing with myself.

Unfortunately much of that has been, in the past, a lot of the negative self-talk. Which is certainly something I’m am trying to work on, especially as we’ve, we’re engaging here with all this self-improving. And certainly I do read and, and watch videos related to similar topics like we’ve been discussing. So those all get me thinking. So maybe I have to just go ahead and take that final step of then writing stuff down.

One positive thing since we were obviously wanting to focus on that, the other day at work, for example, just had to be a witness for a birth certificate. So we had to do an electronic signature. Now I tend to be fairly meticulous on how I do it and make sure it comes out fine and neat. And obviously, you know, on those electronic pads, not the easiest thing to do a signature. I did it and I remember the lady there was one of the people was being attended to saw and like, Oh, you have a really nice signature.

And I personally never gave it too much thought, but I’m like, Oh, well, thank you. It was a bit of an unexpected compliment, especially since I don’t think my penmanship is all that great; it doesn’t get all that much practice nowadays. As I’m sure many people can attest, but yeah, I thought that was something positive.

Another thing that happened was, um, like we discussed the passions that we had, for example, baking. I tried a new recipe for ginger snaps and I’m like, ah, I’ll bring in some, my colleagues there, to share with them. And it was a really big hit. And especially since it was the first time I tried it out. So I was really pleased with that. And rather pleased that everybody really enjoyed it. So, yeah, that was something nice. I think.

Fabian: I love the fact that someone complimented you on something that you’re not normally used to. It’s weird, for example, when Stephani compliments me on something, it’s amazing, but it’s not the same as like, like someone who just met me complimented me. And I’m like, that makes no sense. They don’t know me even 1% of the level she does. But it’s like, someone else saw that in you, that doesn’t know you, doesn’t see you every day. Does that mean more or matter more? No, it doesn’t. But for some reason we naturally, instinctively think it does because they don’t know us. So if they think that, it must be genuine. No, on the contrary, they’re just basing it off so little information. 

I want to talk about that more in this episode and down the road, we’re going to touch on that piece, but you do have to listen to that. Sometimes it’s funny how, when someone tells you something different, you’re like, Whoa, I never thought about that. It goes to show you how powerful your self narrative is in blocking good things about yourself. 

So I’m glad that that kind of opened your eyes to that. And I will say this man, if someone tells you your baking’s good or your cooking’s good, pay attention to it. Because at the end of the day, we’re very primal. Even though we try to act like we’re not, we love food, we love eating. So someone says this tastes good, pay attention to that. That’s, that’s very genuine.

But let’s move on because otherwise we will be here all day, which there’s nothing wrong with that. 

So I want to talk about not being ashamed of who you are and your interests. And there’s a specific thing that I want to mention, but before we get into that, I want to talk about something that kind of came up, spur of the moment before we started recording this episode, which is the discussion about glasses and bad eyesight.

 I want to tell a brief story to people, I used to have glasses as well.

I had to unofficially wear glasses since essentially the fourth grade. But it was so minor, the prescription, that I didn’t really have to until eighth, ninth grade where my eyesight got to a point where it’s like, you probably need to use it for your school activities, especially if you’re further back in the classroom. I wasn’t happy with it, I didn’t like it. I mean, it was also during that time period at school and in human history, where people kind of frown upon glasses. Like, you got made fun of if you wore glasses, you were the four-eyed monster.

Alejandro: Right. Bullying was a lot more, um, uh, was different back then. Let’s just say that.

Fabian: Yep. You definitely didn’t have people buying glasses to look fashionable in the early 2000’s.

Alejandro: Oh, that’s right.

Fabian: It’s one of the things that I’m definitely trying to convey with the Chaminger brand. It’s, you know, if there’s something that is making you uncomfortable, unhappy, insecure. What are you going to do about it? Are you just going to be okay with living it every single day? Or are you going to try to change it? Even if it’s one step, one foot in front of the other, you know what I mean?

Alejandro: The other,

Fabian: Exactly. You got to make a movement to make a change. And for me, I accepted my glasses look. As I got older, it came to a point where I pretty much needed it full-time. I couldn’t really see faces if people were like, you know, two meters away, it was blurry. Yeah, you’re functional because you can see blobs and shapes. You’re not going to crash into things, because we could still see. But, we couldn’t see detail and is that a really living, when you just can see blobs and blurriness? No. So you start wearing your glasses full time. You accept who you are, you get accustomed to your new image. 

But truly, it wasn’t something that I wanted to be. It wasn’t who I felt I was. So I was never truly happy with it and satisfied with it, but I became comfortable with it. And that’s really important, accepting your situation and your reality is something that I need to mention to everyone. Yes, I got LASIK eventually, but I was okay with it. I didn’t need it. I did not need it, because I accepted who I was and what I had and what my reality was. So I’m kind of curious before I get into the LASIK conversation, how you can relate to that, Alejandro.

Alejandro: I think we had very similar, uh, journey regarding glasses. I was obviously a few years older than Fabian. Uh, so let’s see, I would have gotten glasses, would have been, actually was around the same time. Like I said, I was a few years older than he was. Likewise, I was certainly hesitant to use them too much. Initially since these were, in both our cases, prescriptions for myopia. So we were mainly just for distance, we just use them periodically as needed. And that went on for a number of years until we had to renew our prescription. 

At one point, a number of years later, we were at the ophthalmologist and I remember he told both of us why aren’t we always wearing our glasses. And we were like, well, the previous doctor didn’t say we had to. And he’s like, your vision is so poor. You should be wearing it all the time. I just degenerate over the years, yeah, unfortunately. 

That was certainly something that took  getting used to. I certainly remember for example, taking pictures back in college and removing my glasses for the photo. I mean, sure, you can say even today you might notice there’s a bit of glare from the lighting here for my glasses. Uh, but yeah, it was something that took getting used to for me. I didn’t feel as part of my identity, so I didn’t use it unless I really needed to.

I think one interesting example of that, of acceptance, is if we look at the Miis from Nintendo. I remember on the Wii, my Mii was, was as I am right now. And then, I think later on, I think it was on the 3DS by that point, I finally embraced the glasses look and my Mii character had the glasses all the time then.

So it was certainly a journey of acceptance. I mean, there was all the sort of the stigmas back in that era. Originally, and then having to move on from that and accept it for the practicality and just you are who you are and you live like that. I know in my case, I was supposedly with my astigmatism, I’m not an ideal candidate for say a LASIK operation or something similar. I know Fabian was a strong advocate of maybe looking into it on another time and maybe there’s room for that. I was certainly thinking maybe about looking to contacts, might try that out as well. Although both of us, a bit of reservations regarding a negative experience my dad had with it where he popped them in. And I think he scratched his eye like, Oh, I can’t see. And that really put us off permanently for that for the longest time.

Fabian: Yeah, let’s talk about that. What if the people who had glasses were seen by the human race like everyone else, especially in schools, as the cool kids. The people that you want to be like, everyone wants to wear glasses because then you’re a smart person. You’re the wise guy. You are the leader. I guarantee you people would probably be like trying to stab their eyes, trying to find ways to have to wear glasses. Because let’s say you could only wear glasses if you had bad eyesight. I promise you, people would find ways to ruin their eyesight to wear glasses. But because of that-

Alejandro: Wasn’t that why they kind of adopted the lensless glasses? 

Fabian: Exactly. But it’s crazy to think that just because society at like mid 1990s, early two thousands was like glasses bad. It became this thing and it really influenced us. I remember whenever I put them on like, Ooh. People don’t know me with glasses, like you’re the weirdo with glasses. And I’m like, that’s so sad that I thought that way at that time. And I wish I could go back and punch myself. Like, why? You need this because it’s for health reasons to see well. what if they couldn’t hear well? And we laughed at them for not being able to hear well? It was just one of those things that you look back, it’s horrible, but I cared too much what people thought at the time. 

But the funny thing is that once I had to wear them all the time, it became part of my identity and became part of my look. But like I said, I did it reluctantly and it wasn’t something I was comfortable with. And you get used to it, you can get used to anything. Humans are very good at adapting, believe it or not. As much as humans try to resist, right now during COVID and to adapting to the digital world and this new world that we live in, but we can adapt pretty quickly and adjust. So I had already adapted to this and who I was. But, I felt a lot more comfortable when I wasn’t wearing glasses. That’s who I had originally recognized myself as, and branded myself as and now all of a sudden I’m this glasses dude. 

But there were certain benefits to it, people literally did think I was smarter just because I wore glasses. And you can betcha, I used that for sales. It was crazy, I would walk in with my glasses and people thought this guy knows his shit. I’m like, okay, I’ll take it. I really don’t, but I’ll take it. That’s just humans, you know? 

The great Thanksgiving of 2019, I had this huge self-reflection period. Where I spent basically a full week alone. And just really thinking about who I am, what I do, my problems, my issues, my strengths, my weaknesses. One of the things that I realized and identified it as something that I was uncomfortable with was my glasses, my eyesight, and my look with glasses and I accepted it, but I accepted it begrudgingly. So I identified it, I acknowledged it, and then what can you do about it? You either have to accept it or you change it. And this is something for all issues that anyone has in life. Like any problem you have with yourself or thing that is holding you back, this is how you need to view it.

So I acknowledged it and I’m like, well, what can I do about it? I could get LASIK and I did it, I explored it and I did it. And I remember the doctor was trying to sell me super hard on it and all this stuff. Like, they hardcore sell you on it. And I’m like, I’m good. And they’re like, Whoa, you’re already ready? And I’m like, yeah. They’re like, most people have so many doubts and have to come back 10 times and all this stuff. And I’m like, I’m ready, just make sure it’s good. 

They give you some medication and you’re calm and they basically drug you up a little bit so you’re not worried. I mean, it is weird to have something drilling on your eye almost, but it’s pretty harmless, cause you don’t feel anything. And then all of a sudden you see better and I’m like, Whoa! Yeah, it sucks for the first month because you have to do a lot of eye drops and you have to be on top of stuff, but it’s so amazing not being restricted anymore by something. If I lose my glasses or if I step on them or if I wake up, I need put, like, having that freedom was such a big thing.

There was also like this dark side to it. When I first got it, and this is not a bad thing, but I had people that I didn’t listen to, but I hate them for saying this. I told people that I was planning to get LASIK or that I schedule it a month out. I had this big sales conference for my company and I had LASIK scheduled for the beginning of November. Like it was a month out. I wanted to get it right away, but I had to wait. I wanted to get it before the conference to surprise people, the great reveal. That’s kind of my thing, just like the Chaminger brand, but I couldn’t.

So I told them, I’m going to go get LASIK after this conference. And then, I had female coworkers and stuff like that, be like, why are you getting LASIK? You look so good with glasses. And I was like, are you fucking kidding me right now? Like, I’m telling you this is something that I really want, it’s been restrictive. And then they’re almost saying don’t do it, we appreciate your appearance with glasses. So almost discouraging you from doing what you’re doing. They thought that they were complimenting me, but really what they were doing was fucking with my head.

If you think about that, like that’s so messed up. If right now, you told me, Hey, I want LASIK, I want to be free from this restriction and this limitation. And then all of a sudden I’m like, no dude, that’s who you are, you look so great with it, you seem smarter with it, all this stuff. Why would someone do that to you? Especially when you’ve already convinced yourself, and now they’re trying to almost convince you not to. 

When I first got LASIK and the first few weeks after, it was weird, because it was almost like an identity crisis. For anyone, who’s getting LASIK, you’re going to go through this, but it’s, it’s worth it. It’s an identity crisis because I had worn them for maybe like, I don’t know, 9, 10 years now, full-time. Now you don’t have that anymore. So your brain has recognized you with glasses, that’s who you are, that’s how it identifies itself. And now you lose that. It’s like, well, who are you? What are you? People said you look good with glasses, do you look good without? 

Alejandro: See? What I told you about the existential identity.

Fabian: Yup. It’s kind of crazy, everything changes, you accept it, you feel more confident, you gain into it, you build into it, you buy into it. And now if I wore glasses, I’m like, who is this alien? So it’s a progression, and I would say that was probably the hardest part of LASIK, re-establishing your identity. But, I got rid of this restriction, this thing that I wasn’t happy about that I just accepted.

Let’s say you just, for some reason, cannot kick a soccer ball. That was your weakness as a human and you accepted it. And then you underwent a training that taught you how to do it. All of a sudden it’s like, Whoa, I’m a different person. But if you can get rid of something that you’ve accepted, that you never liked, I would highly recommend that you figure that out. Because it is a game-changer. Long-term,  in the top three things, or maybe top two, maybe even top one, of most life-changing things that I’ve done. I finally felt more like myself, who I really was deep down. And that’s crazy, I mean, it was just glasses. It’s not that big of a deal, but because I begrudgingly accepted it, and then I was fine with it, but because I begrudgingly accepted it, getting rid of it was such a huge life-changing confidence booster. So I’ll leave that for you guys. I’m not telling you I’m going to get LASIK, but if you’ve got glasses be grudgingly and you thought that you weren’t happy with it, consider it down the road. I mean, it’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. What are your thoughts on all of that and let’s move on.

Alejandro: I think you bring up some very interesting points about how we see ourselves and how others see us. And I mean, everyone can have their opinion of how we think other people look. Like you said, maybe they had good intentions, that they said they accepted you for who you were, but maybe in them other hand, that was how they saw you and the change, that image of what they had of you, might alter it. But in the end of the day, what matters is how you feel about it. 

And it reminded me so much of conversations I had with a very dear friend of mine, who she was also very concerned, for example, about a the level of makeup that she would use. About the clothes she would wear, compared, for example, with her sister. And I said, no, you look fine just the way you are. Obviously my opinion doesn’t, shouldn’t matter for anything because what matters at the end of the day is yours. But I think you look good as you are. And as for your style, maybe your sister is, say more Marilyn Monroe, but you are more like Audrey Hepburn and that’s more your style. Just because there’s a difference doesn’t mean you don’t look good. 

So I think, that’s what it really comes down to. That, while maybe, like you said these colleagues of yours had good intentions, but at the end of the day, that was how they saw you and what mattered more was how you saw yourself. And I think that was an important thing to embrace, as you said.

Fabian: Well, I think that’s a perfect summary for that piece, the way you view yourself is the key. 

Hey guys. Thanks for tuning in to Real Talk. This concludes this part. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we loved making it. Please leave a comment mentioning what parts resonated with you and made you self reflect or view things differently. Please review or follow our podcast too. It helps us so much.

As always, don’t forget to follow us on all our social medias to get the full experience of #BecomingXceptional. Remember, stay amazing and tune in next week to hear what happens next on this session of Real Talk. Chaminger out.

May 18, 2021

Real Talk Episode #6 released & New Clubhouse Giveaway

Hola my fellow Chamingers. A few announcements. Real Talk Episode #6 released today! We are also doing a new Clubhouse + Amazon Giveaway. Make sure to listen and read the transcript to our latest episode of this Real Talk discussing the realities of having to move to Jamaica from Colorado as a kid. Having to learn how to start over from zero teaches you perspective and humility as long as you can properly reframe your mindset!

***GIVEAWAY ALERT! We are celebrating 1 month of our podcast being live with another giveaway. This is a very special one because we are also going to be discussing a few major announcements to our brand and podcast. We are giving away clubhouse invites and $75 worth of Amazon gift cards. Don’t miss it! Check it out HERE

Additionally, we have released multiple new DAILY CC episodes – our vlog that showcases the behind-the-scenes of Chaminger and what it takes to build a brand and podcast from zero! Watch here!

Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else continue their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!

Listen to Real Talk Episode #6 released today!

Real Talk Episode #6: Reframing your Mindset Part 2
Real Talk Episode #6: Reframing your Mindset Part 2

And read along – the transcript:

Fabian: Hola Amigos. My name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And I am Alejandro Chagoya. 

Fabian: And we’re the hosts of Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and getting to know oneself in which we discuss the harsh truths related to finding success. 

Welcome back to Real Talk by Chaminger. Thank you for joining us as we continue our previous discussion on the journey to Becoming Xceptional, since this is a multi-part episode. If you’ve not watched a previous segment, we highly recommend it for context, but feel free to continue and experience the valuable message delivered in this episode, regardless.

We appreciate you. We hope you enjoy today’s Real Talk.

I want to hear, like, maybe give us one or two examples of a situation that happened, like outside of school that it was like, Oh my goodness, what is this? Um, did you have any of those moments?

Alejandro: Just as a general overview, uh, for example, we had the whole issue of Colorism. Which was an interesting concept for me at the time, I wasn’t overly familiar with that. We had the discrimination between the Jamaican people themselves between how, how dark or light skin their color was which was certainly quite a revelation for me at the time. And apparently even newspapers favoring people, or slandering them basically, by coloring their skin tone either lighter or darker, just rather shocking for me.

I mean, one thing that was also different was that we were living in a gated community. And I think that was also one way, that we had that sort of separation between the culture shock. That in one hand, we basically huddled together as a family in our home and then outside was everything else. And I think that really marked the sort of stark contrast, in a way. I mean, it sounds kind of bad in the putting it like that, but that was, in a sense, the reality. 

Of course, we got to learn a lot more about the people and the culture. Like Fabian, for example, wound up being on his school soccer team, we’ll get more into that in a little bit. We definitely made some friendships and got to know people and what have you, but there were certainly a lot of learning experience to go with the culture.

Fabian: I think you said a lot. The color issue alone. I mean, it’s crazy to think because obviously we can’t relate because yeah, we’re more olive skin tone than white, but still we are considered-

Alejandro: you are more, so, I mean, I’m fairly pale here.

Fabian: Nothing a good vacation can’t fix, but it was crazy to think that, to be frank, like I view it as you guys are all dark. I don’t really see a color difference, but to them, it was like they saw white as chalk versus black as the night sky. And when you think about that, it’s kind of mind blowing that people just each view themselves and each other so differently based on their own experiences and what they were exposed to.

Looking back at it, you just see it. Oh my God. Like these guys lived a completely different world than we did. They were worried about who was dark Brown versus who was black. And that’s crazy to think about. When there’s so much other stuff going on. I mean, just the year before that, we had 9/11 and the U.S. was completely changing their airport security. Then we go to Jamaica and you could just sneak anything in there and no one cared because it was just a different world.

But the gated community piece really resonates with me because it really was like, you leave this gate, you’re going out into the real world. You stay in here and you’re safe, you’re protected, you can be with your family, can do your own thing. It really was that way. And I can relate and we’ll get into it more. But, I walked to school half the time with my mom. So you’re walking to school, maybe a mile or two. You walk half a mile and you start seeing broken down homes and people just have their chairs out in front and they’re just literally smoking weed and it’s 8:00 AM and they’re just out there, they have nothing else. They have pet goats, they have pet chickens and that’s their life. They don’t even have a job. And you see that as a kid. And you’re just like, okay, interesting, very interesting. 

I guess one of the things that I’m interested to hear for you is, that always resonates with me, is just things that impacted me as a kid. One of those activities was going to the movies. So do you have any stories that relate to that? Because I feel like it was very different in Jamaica compared to what we were used to.

Alejandro: Ah yes, there were certainly some interesting things that came up there. For example, one of the first times we went to the movies, we go there and we’re sitting in the theater. Before the start of the movie, an announcement comes on and on the screen as well. And it says, everyone please stand and prepare to sing our glorious national Anthem. I’m like, what’s going on here? So then they start a recording of the national Anthem starts playing and everyone stands and sings. And that was a very unique experience for me. I had never experienced the like since. 

I mean, it’s good to be patriotic, there’s no harm in that. Versus say nationalism, but let’s not get into that obviously. But yeah that was certainly quite an interesting experience to see that they had this this patriotism to them. And it was also interesting to learn, for example, as we would see later that they were also very deeply religious, spiritual people.

Fabian: For sure. I mean, it was crazy to think that they were singing the national Anthem at the movie theater. I just think about like going to every movie here in the U.S. and if we would sing the national Anthem before every movie, but to be fair, in school, we grew up with saying the pledge of allegiance every day. So like, how different is it? And like there’s similarities. 

But the thing that always blew my mind was that Jamaica, this culture where kids were almost less monitored and restricted. Everyone kind of just did their own thing because it was almost like the wild West, but it really was just on an Island. You would go to like these places that you needed to have more money. So like a mall or a movie theater. And there were these insane restrictions. I remember “The Lord of The Rings” came out. Tell us about that.

Alejandro: Oh, yeah, the previous year, in 2001, “The Fellowship of The Ring” came out, the first of “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy. So we were excited, come the next December when we were in Jamaica, to go see “The Two Towers”, the sequel. 

We arrived to the cinema and suddenly it turns out that like, Oh, you’re not 16 years old. Sorry. But, you can’t, you can’t see the movie. It’s like, wait, what? So pretty much they had a certain age restrictions that were more stringent than what we’d had been accustomed to. Even with parental accompaniment, you could not go see the film. So we were absolutely stunned and quite disappointed. So we had to head home and we couldn’t see the movie until a fair bit later.

Fabian: All that blood, that ork blood, can’t have that.

Alejandro: All that ork blood. And to be fair, to be fair. I remember reading a critic review, at the time, of the movie saying it was a great film and also lamenting that there’d be for sure a number of people who would also be upset. Precisely about Jamaica’s curious age restriction on the matter. And it wasn’t just this film. There were also some other movies as well. There was one other instance. I remember, I think it was, uh, “Catch Me If You Can”, if I remember correctly. We also went to go see that and we were also denied. You’re like, Oh, once again, once again, Jamaica.

Fabian: That’s insane to think about. That this place, that you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s kind of like, Hey, no one, no one’s going to tell, no one’s going to see. Just let it happen, what’s the worst that can happen? But no, they were so strict about that because it was almost like the more “elite”, well off families could go to those things. And the other people really couldn’t. They just wouldn’t go to the movie theaters, like the locals, the poor people. So those like rich Chinese families and stuff like that, they wanted their kids not to be exposed to those things. So they’re like good, good restrictions. And you’re like, no.

So it’s just interesting to see, but I think this kind of really.

Alejandro: Just as a quick aside though, that you brought up the rich Chinese families. For our viewers, we should point out that there was actually a significant influx of Chinese immigrants. And Fabian was a friend of a family of some of them from his school. So I just, I just thought I should point that out.

Fabian: Yup. Yup. It reminds me, well, let’s talk about the school experience. I mean, it was super unique and interesting. Curious to hear your experiences versus mine. But, I went to this school that there was an entrance exam, we talked to the principal and all these things. And I had the opportunity, purely because of age, not because of intelligence, even though I’m sure I would have based on that, the opportunity to skip a year. And I took it in a heartbeat. I mean, that’s always who I was. I hated school. I never was a fan. I wanted to minimize the amount of time doing that. And I’m like, yes, saving a year.

Alejandro: Now I understand that you were an overachiever for time as well.

Fabian: Yup. I mean, you can hate school and still be an overachiever. Like I wanted to be the best at it, but I didn’t want to do it. I much preferred staying home and doing my own thing. 

So I got the opportunity to skip a year. But it was also interesting because now you’re at this Catholic school that you go to church at least once a week, sometimes I think two. There was also religious class that you were graded at, testing you on the Bible and all this stuff. And you also were the only white guy. There was two white people, including myself, in this entire school and he was in the same grade, but in another classroom. So it literally was, like, you’re walking through there and you’re like this alien. Everyone stops, I mean, eventually people got used to you, but at the beginning, people stopped as you’re walking by. It’s like, Oh, Oh, hello. Who’s that? So it’s just super interesting to see that. 

I don’t remember if we arrived the first day of school or not, because that was one of the problems of my dad’s job. That sometimes we, by the time we made it to a new country and were properly transitioned there, the school had already been going on for a few weeks or months. Every country has different timeframes. Like in the U.S., historically you would end like maybe like in the beginning of June or the end of May and you would start sometime in end of August, when other places you would maybe end like in the middle of July and start in the middle of September. So, I don’t remember if it had already had started or not. But I do remember that the first day I got there, my teacher, Mr. Ashley. Best teacher in the world, he’ll tell you that if you asked him, he’s like, Hey everybody welcome our new student from the United States of America. It was almost like this moment where everyone was clapping, like the hero comes back from destroying the aliens and everyone’s super excited I’m from America. And then he’s like, okay, how about you pick some songs for us to sing for devotion. And I’m like, like, do I need to pick like, Backstreet, Brittany Spears songs?

I’m like first, I don’t know what the devotion is. I don’t know what song we were talking about. And then eventually I convinced him that someone else should do it. And then I’m like, Oh crap, everyone stands up and they all start clapping. And it’s all religious songs. I’m like, Oh my goodness, what is happening? 

So that was kind of my foray into the Jamaican school. And I do want to talk about what the sixth grade meant for me, but I want to hear your initial impressions and experiences of being like one of the few white guys and how that school experience was. I mean, if I recall correctly, you went to a male-only school.

Alejandro: That’s correct. Yes. Walmer’s boys school was where I went to, apparently fairly prestigious school in Jamaica. It was very, a very interesting experience, besides of course the fact that I was just going to be surrounded by male students, as opposed to as it was in the United States, both girls and boys. It was certainly quite an experience on so many levels.

Wow, it’s like, where to start… One interesting thing was obviously as we said, Jamaica as British colony, British influences. So right off the start, we are sorted into houses. Very much like, for those familiar with “Harry Potter”, that’s exactly how it was. Obviously that would come into play more in terms of the sports day, which was a really big deal.

When we were in Colorado, we were the top of our class. As we said, in our previous talk, we were at the top of our game when we wrapped up. And we were A+ students pretty much. I think both my sister and I got like a special award because we were the top of our year and A in everything. 

When we moved there and went to their school, I only found out this later on, but apparently, they didn’t actually believe it was possible that I could score as high, highly as I did. So, how they had it set up was that they would divide the classes into different letters, according to Walmer’s name, was the founder of the school. And it would be based on your grades. So I was basically put into some sort of intermediate class initially. After some months, they wound up changing me to a different class. But yes, initially, I was with a certain group of students as a result of that, because they simply didn’t believe it was possible to score as highly as I did.

There were then some other elements, obviously. One thing about Jamaica is that they have a certain, um, how should we put this, dialect, we could call it, I think. Hopefully I’m using the word right, called Patois, which is a mix of several different languages. Depending on, uh, both, you could say that the education level of the speaker as well as how I guess they, they chose to present themselves. It would affect how, how you’d be able to interact and understand the people.

So sometimes you be talking to people, to some classmates for example, in my case with school, obviously. I know my parents had some complications understanding some people. But yes, in school they were a couple of classmates of mine that I had trouble understanding. And I remember turning to another classmate who spoke a little, you could say a little more proper English, I guess. I mean, that sounds bad. I’m sorry, but that’s kind of how it was. And he basically had to interpret for me at times, at least initially, and afterwards I started becoming more accustomed to, to how some of them spoke. 

I remember once even one classmate said that, depending on who he would talk to, that it would impact how he would, to what degree he would speak. Like with a fellow Jamaican, he might engage in Patois, whereas opposed to like someone like me, he would talk in more proper English, “proper” of course.

One thing that stood out for me, I don’t think was necessarily the case with you, was that then trying to connect with my fellow students. So there were a couple who spoke slightly more proper English than there were a couple, I remember two classmates. One who was, I think, a Canadian Jamaican and another who was Jamaican American, I guess. One of his parents was from New York originally. That’s, that’s I was a way for me to connect a little bit more to something that was slightly more, more familiar, more relatable. Afterwards from there, I was able to, um, come to learn and appreciate more of the Jamaican culture. But I think that was a helpful sort of a stepping point initially. 

But yes, also same with me with devotions, for example, again. From the start, I’m like, Oh, wow, we’re starting off here and they want to start singing and I’m like I don’t know any of these songs. I’m going to try to more or less lip sync or something. And then one of the people then said, Hey, we noticed you don’t seem to know the songs. Are there any songs you want to have us sing? It’s like, wow, I don’t know these songs. I mean, I didn’t say it at the time, but this wasn’t simply part of our religious tradition, the singing and the songs that they have. I came to learn a lot of songs, just like Fabian did, but there was certainly quite an experience. 

As for the skin color issue. Yeah, there were certainly some exchange students. There was, I remember one former classmate, in the first class I was in, that was of, of British origin was also white.  One interesting, funny story about that actually, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Because of our skin color and coming from the United States, they naturally assumed that we were well off, we were rich essentially. And I was hard-pressed to try to convince them otherwise, which left me in a very awkward position. My dad, as he worked at the diplomatic section of the Mexican embassy in Kingston, Jamaica working for the ambassador there. And so he sent once the embassy’s limo driver to come pick me up and I’m like, wow. Wow, wow. Wow. This is, this is not helping my case at all, at all. 

And also regarding the racial issue and funnily enough, the Chinese thing you brought up. I think I mentioned this to you once before, but I remember once talking to a classmate, who I kind of considered to be a friend, and then all of a sudden he stops and says, he laughs and he says, you know, you look exactly like Jackie Chan. And I’m like what, okay. This was completely unexpected. I didn’t say anything, but I’m like, I’m going to take this as a compliment. This is mind blowing for me. I remember the year before, “Fellowship of The Ring” comes out. Apparently some classmates think I look like Elijah Woods, so I’m, I get the nickname Frodo. And now I have this new friend here saying I look like Jackie Chan. So that’s interesting.

 It does remind me that apparently the guard at our gated community thought our dad was Chinese. And so he, he referred to him as the Chinese console, which was certainly something interesting to say the least.

Fabian: You just shared so many crazy stories, hilarious moments, and it just goes to show you  people live almost like in this little bubble. And then there’s this extra bubble that’s floating outside of their safe zone. And they’re like, well, what is this? And what did they know? They know Bruce Lee, they know the Kung Fu movies and they’re like, they know the rich Chinese, and that’s what they associate with. And it goes to show you that how much is all based on people’s previous experiences, knowledges and biases. Like that’s what, how they judged us and lived.

Alejandro: Right. And speaking of biases,  I just remembered one other point I was going to add, was funnily enough, as they thought we were going to be the rich people, but when we were moving there, I knew we were going to basically a prep school as it was, a private, private school. So I was thinking that I was going to come across these snooty snobby sort of, well-to-do family, uh, uh, students from rich families in Jamaica. And it turns out they thought the same of us. So it’s kind of hilarious in retrospect, both sides had that preconceived notion.

Fabian: What did you think going from Mexico, U.S. Basically, Mexico is always like a 1.5 world country, they’re in the middle of like second world and first world, to be honest. And then you go to the U.S., which is a first world country, and then now you’re moving to Jamaica, which truthfully is a third world country. Even though we lived more like in a second level. As in, we had all the amenities, you know, water, food, all that stuff, electricity, internet, even if it was dial up, or whatever it was. Comment for another time, technology and the changing of that.

But curious to see how it was for you going from those things where, you know, in Colorado, we were considered okay. Above average, but we weren’t considered millionaires or super rich or snobby. And yes, my dad did get a promotion and a better position, but then you move to Jamaica and all of a sudden we are considered gods. We’re considered part of the elite, we’re considered in the same bubble as like those rich Chinese business owners that are millionaires. How was that experience? What are some of those takeaways that you had from all these crazy judgements and culture shocks of Jamaica?

Alejandro: Yes. I mean, yeah, I think it was certainly a time to sort of also reassess ourselves. Like you said, the perception of us being the elite versus our perception of ourselves as a sort of being your middle-class American family. 

I remember that in one of the, um, I think it was the Independence Day celebration that our dad was overseeing. I’m pretty sure we had an appearance from the Prime Minister of Jamaica at the time. I’m pretty sure I shook hands with then Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, if I’m, not mistaken. So I mean, that just shows, like you said, the sort of circle that we were surrounded with. We were engaging with diplomats at these social events, that we had to interact with. Certainly a learning experience having to also deal with hosting and whatnot. These sort of obligations that you had, as a result. Which  I wasn’t particularly keen on, I’ll be frank. 

Fabian: Well, there’s a lot to be said about Jamaica, as evidence from all these stories. There was a lot of craziness and uniqueness. I do want to share a brief thing that kind of really summarizes how different it was. 

Since I skipped a grade, I was in sixth grade and sixth grade is the most important year in Jamaica. It’s the end of elementary school. 

Alejandro: Ohhh, that’s right. 

Fabian: And you have to take a statewide exam called GSAT. Which they probably stole from SATs, but this GSAT determined which middle school or really high school, cause they kind of combined them into one, you were qualified or able to go to. So the better your grades on this exam, the better access you had. So you chose like three to four schools that you preferred and if you had good grades, basically every school had like a range. So they were like, we only accept students from 75 to 100. Or this school accepts students that get 25% on their SATs or GSAT, sorry, and so forth. So basically what this meant was if you failed this exam, and this is how they presented it to you as well, the teachers, if you failed this, your life is going to be essentially ruined because now you’re going to be only in schools that only have failures.

And to me, that’s shocked me because I’m like you’re creating a self fulfilling prophecy. If you surround yourself with only druggies and violent people and dumb people, you’re going to be dumber, more violent, and more prone to doing drugs. So I’m like, what are you guys doing? But at the same time, there’s something to be said about separating all the problematic people away from the others.

I mean, there’s a lot that can be discussed about that and we don’t have the time to get into it today, but it just blew my mind that this year had such importance in this country, it meant everything. The entire school year was basically just prepping for this exam. Like I remember all Christmas break and between Christmas and March, I think you took the exam in April, every day in school, we just took a practice exam or two. 

And it got to the point where there was repeated questions on these exams. They had practice exams, the website, or they have books written and you could recognize it. They just change the numbers, but you kind of could tell. So they were like, well, what’s the percentage of this. Or, Hey, if this volcano did this and this and this, what would happen? Like you, you kind of knew what you were getting into and I could, it was multiple choice, so I could almost choose the answer without even reading the question. And that’s almost bad, but I mean, that’s just was the culture. 

There also was, every year they chose a random subject. So some years it was math. Some years it was science, some years it was geography and Jamaican history. Which was a big part of the exam, learning which Jamaican athlete won the bronze medal at the Olympics in the 1970s or whatever, because it was such a big deal for them. They would test you on 9th or 10th grade science or math and you never were exposed to these or learn these things. 

The year that I took it the test that was the ninth grade level was science. So they literally were like, okay guys, this year we’re doing ninth grade science. You’re like we’re in 6th grade, why are we doing ninth grade science? Like, it literally makes no sense, but it is what it is. And it’s a mind blowing thing. It’s just how the country was. It was very outdated. It was probably based on some British tradition or exam and that’s how they lived their life.

My parents were super nervous about it, but I think I was the 15th best student in the entire country or whatever, something like that, on the exam. And that’s really crazy because not only did I skip a year, but I did put in a lot of work. But it also, I didn’t really study a lot and it really started showing me who I was already at that time. I remember my mom will always tell the story that the day of the exam, everyone else is like reading a book hours before, in front of the classroom or in the big areas, like the basketball courts with their parents. And everyone’s like crying and worried. And I just looked at my mom, I’m like, you know, I probably should have studied a little more. Because I think I, other than what we did during class, but I mean, we’d practiced for months.

I maybe studied for like a week, literally. These people, like would pay tutors and everything and do it every day. And it was just crazy, but it made me realize that I was so confident at that time. Like I knew my stuff. I was confident. I knew I was good. And there’s something to be said about that.

And then that’s kind of where I really wanted to finish today’s episode is two things. One, is the question of uniqueness versus weirdness. We were so unique, we were weird for the locals, but did you embrace that? Kind of like, I feel like I really did. I just honed in on it at that point. It was still pretty fresh in all our moves. Like it was still early on in our moving career of our life. And I didn’t desperately try to fit in, I was still myself. I did respect the culture and I learned about it, but I didn’t really change who I was deep down. And I feel like that was great. I was very confident. I was me and it was, it was awesome. But kind of curious to hear your piece on that. Did you feel like you were unique? Do you feel like you desperately tried to fit in or did you feel like you would lost confidence because you were the weirdo?

Alejandro: I mean, certainly there was no avoiding that I was definitely going to be unique because of a number of life circumstances and appearance as well. On one hand, yes. I certainly was always myself. I had always my strong beliefs and convictions and I feel like as a result of that in my determination, hard work ethic, that I won the respect of a lot of my peers. Even some people that I first initially clashed with, then we ended up becoming friends. I remember one such classmate in particular. Over a book report, actually it was, we ended up finding some commonalities. 

I do recall that there was some, to some extent, I think there was this idea of not wanting to stick out too much in one way. I remember that I think the teachers were trying to, uh, one of them was sort of complimenting me, as an example. As opposed to other members of the class. I think I remember commenting to a friend of mine that I think it was a little uncomfortable about it because I didn’t like having it called to attention that I was standing out in that way, compared to the others. That, I don’t know, that making them look bad in comparison. I think that that made me feel a bit uncomfortable. On one hand, of course I always wanted to, I was at the time, very much an overachiever and wanted to be the best I could, but at the same time, I also felt uncomfortable sort of putting the others in that position.

Fabian: That’s super interesting. You had this internal turmoil about, Hey, I enjoy this. I’m an overachiever. It’s good to get that acknowledgement. But at the same time, I don’t want to feel that way. So I’m curious because this was such a critical part of your identity and who you are and your confidence. You were tying so much to your self worth and your level of confidence to your success at school. So having these, I mean, you were surrounded by people that you probably were doing a lot better because you had different curriculum and you had teachers telling you that you’re doing well. Was that a confidence boost? Or did you almost like not want to be singled out? I know you had mentioned that a little bit. Or did it almost, was problematic because you already were so singled out because of your appearances and language and background that you were like, no, I don’t want that.

Alejandro: Certainly. Uh, I think there were really mixed feelings about it. I definitely appreciated the validation. As we have made the point in previous episodes that I put a lot of emphasis on excelling in school and that was my source of validation of who I was as a person. And yes, I guess with that contrast there, like you were saying. That was certainly something very interesting, especially now that I think about it. I mean, that put me in quite the quandary as I saw it. I mean, I don’t know if it was necessarily because I was concerned about bullying or anything on the matter. I know I certainly clashed with some people, though I did handle it rather tactfully. 

And then there was a funny story.    We were playing soccer and I accidentally did a sliding tackle and took down one of my bullies as a result, because of the muddy terrain. Everyone was really impressed because they’re like, Oh wow, look at Alejandro. He took down this giant of a guy with a sliding tackle. One time he was complaining about, I think some art class thing and my drawing. And I’m like, well, why are you wasting your time watching me do my art here if it’s so bad. I mean, you’re wasting your life doing this, you should have better things to do. I remember I had another classmate, a friend of mine, congratulate me on that one. 

Yes,  our American influence definitely stood out there with our English. I mean, there was the same language, but there was also these differences there with the accent. And it was really put in stark relief, just engaging with my classmates, with the people there. And of course, I really came to respect a lot of people, my teachers, my peers. There were many capable and intelligent people, let’s not forget that.

Fabian: Well, let’s go from there. Let’s start transitioning.  Obviously Jamaica was a lot and we could talk about it for days and years. I mean, there was so much, it was such a big adventure and part of our lives, but I want to talk about the lessons, and if you had realized them when you were there.

So for example, for me, I would say Jamaica taught me change and adaptability. And that’s something that is going to be a common reoccurring theme throughout every single move and every single place, because every place taught me that and forced me to do that in different ways. Skipping a grade and learning to embrace this exam and being so religious and living in this sheltered gated community and only having family and et cetera, et cetera.

All those things taught a lot, but having to change and adapt and be a chameleon, yet fit in, but also, still be you in your own ways was huge. But at the same time, it was now looking back at it, Jamaica really not only humbled me, but what started the biggest turning point in me becoming a lot more cultured.

It was around this point where our family started traveling more internationally as well to other places other than Mexico and Germany. We had the opportunity to go to London and down the road, we went to Prague and things like that. We went to so many different countries and got to experience different life styles. 

Living there is when you really get the feel for the country and the culture and just seeing how different they lived and that we could live live there. Yeah, we lived in our own little bubble, but it was never to the extreme that a lot of the diplomat and military kids do. Where they live in their own mansion, they go to the 5,000 a quarter school, where they only go to school with other diplomat kids and military kids where you’re living basically in the U.S., you know, In your own bubble. And we got to actually experience the culture, the locals, and live with them and embrace it. And I feel like that gave me so much, it humbled me to an extent. 

 While yes, I’ve always, and I still can gladly admit this, I’ve always had like this bougieness and eliteness to me and appreciation to quality and niceness and fanciness. It made me really like, I’m so glad I was exposed to that because it gave me like this respect for other cultures, other skin colors. From that point forward, I was confident that I never could ever be racist because you know what? I got to live with those people for a full year, a little over a year. You realize that, at the end of the day, they’re the same people. They’re just very different and they grew up differently. 

So I would say, the lessons that I had from Jamaica were, it really started this change and adaptability to a next level because while Colorado and Mexico did that to me, this was so different and that humbleness and starting this major level or level up of being cultured.

So curious to see and hear your takeaways of the lessons. And then we will conclude with what’s coming up next.

Alejandro: Absolutely. Yes. Wow. I mean, once again, I completely agree. It was really our first exposure to a completely different culture and it was really something to learn, to have to adapt there. I mean, in Colorado, in Denver, at the school I was at previously, it was a brand new school, had state of the art tech at the time. And then like, Oh, go to Jamaica. I’m at this prestigious school, but at the same time, it’s we have this, um, all this wooden furniture here, there’s no air conditioning in my classroom. I’m doing assignments and exams while sweat is dripping down my body. I’m wearing this military style, khaki uniform. We are adapting to the language, to the culture. There’s so many different elements, all male school. 

But like you said, this was such an incredible opportunity. I mean, especially once I had the chance to fully immerse myself in this. Honestly looking back, part of me actually regrets that I didn’t do more to try to appreciate the experience. To get more invested, say watch the local news more, as opposed to international news that we were doing.  This was really something and not many people have that chance to experience it. And I think it really made quite a difference in learning to adapt to so many different variables that were at play and we had to move on and move forward. 

Fabian: Well, I love that. I love that. So overall, you would say it was a positive experience. And if your one takeaway was that it  forced you to adapt.

Alejandro: It did it really did.

Fabian: And it’s something that so many people need to hear today. Sometimes you just need that push, push come to shove. When today, for most Americans and people around the world, it’s the pandemic. It’s forcing people to change how they live and change everything that they think about the world and forcing them to adapt.

And luckily we had that experience because of having to live in very different situations and environments. And I feel like, yeah, this was still a challenging 12 or 14 months at this point pretty much, but it’s been, it was a lot easier for me than I know for a lot of people. And I would say a lot of that is in part to not only our life experience, but going to places like Jamaica.

Well, with that said, Alejandro. That was kind of a very in-depth look into Jamaica and that experience and the benefits and the negatives as well, of living in such a place. But overall, it was a very unique scenario. So what happened at this point? Like how long were we there? And what’s the cliffhanger for the audience?

Alejandro: Right, right, right. So it was interesting because normally with these diplomat postings, you’re there for maybe like say three or four years, usually. Give or take, depending on circumstances. As we established previously, Mexico was previously cut short because of my health reasons. So my dad requested a transfer to Littleton, Colorado. And then Jamaica curiously enough, we were only stationed there for one year. We will get more into the reasons why probably later on. But yeah, it was rather unexpected. I remember we were planning on going on vacation and then suddenly my dad comes, as you will become all too familiar with, and suddenly says, Hey, you know what, we’re moving again. It’s like, wait, what? We just moved here and you’ll never guess where we’re going to. 

What’s interesting is that, when we were in Jamaica, there was a set curriculum for obviously the classes and one class that we had in my school was Spanish. So my relatively basic elementary Spanish, made me a superstar. I was in high demand to tell people out, and of course the Spanish teacher had high expectations of me. And I mean, I was riding that high of course, you can imagine. And I was thinking, Oh yeah, I’ve, I’ve got this, I’ve got this, which would eventually come back to haunt me very, very soon.

Fabian: That’s a perfect transition and you guys will find out next episode where we went. I will say the language piece is key because just to let you guys really think about this for a few days and hours, how would you feel if you never really knew what your first language was? Because whenever you moved somewhere else, you could kind of change what your first language is. You’re in Jamaica and all of a sudden it’s like, you’re an expert at Spanish, were you really? You didn’t really have a lot of Spanish schooling to be honest with you. And when you did, you had it at the very basic years, like the rest was just you had your parents’ exposure.

I mean, I just can relate to now, like how many friends in the U.S. that have a Spanish parent and their Spanglish and their Spanish grammar is atrocious. Really? Like they go somewhere, then they have to take Spanish classes, they would do terrible. So it was such an interesting  perspective on it. We were viewed as we were Spanish experts and it was almost like our first language, but was it really? 

Imagine if wherever you moved, you moved from this other country, to this new place, and now people expect you to be a god, just because of your background. That’s an interesting thing. When now you have to almost live up to expectations.

Alejandro: I agree.

Fabian: So with that said, I feel like this was an excellent episode, Alejandro. We should continue to self-reflect. I think all these conversations just bring back a lot of memories, a lot of positives, more so than negatives, which is the truth. Our life was amazing. It was an opportunity, it was an experience that most people would never have. The truth is that if I could do it again now would. Obviously some things I would love to change, but overall it made us stronger. It made us better. And there’s a lot here, guys, to unpack. I hope you guys loved it and appreciated it.

And with that said, please let us know what you guys think about everything you’ve heard. But really curious to hear your opinion on how would you have handled moving to a Caribbean Island, or some secluded place where you are literally the odd man out. 

Think about if you went to a new school in a different state and everyone was the color red, like their skin was red, and you were blue. How would you feel? Would that make you want to fit in, would that make you want to change who you are, or would you feel confident because you were blue and you were better than everyone else? Let me know. 

Well, Alejandro, thank you so much for joining me today. Guys, thanks so much for watching and tuning in. We will see you guys next time at Real Talk.

May 11, 2021

Real Talk: Reframing your Mindset Part 1 released!

We are excited to have just released our fifth episode and Part 1 of Real Talk: Reframing your Mindset today. We have been growing steadily and are enjoying hearing your feedback regarding the Chaminger message. It seems things are resonating, but people are feeling a bit shy to admit that they may need to go on this journey to gain self-awareness and self-esteem. We do want to remind people that we have an email or you can contact us privately on all social medias. We read and respond to all inquiries, stories and will always keep your anonymity. Just remember, the first step is acknowledging and identifying the need…let us help you overcome the fear of embracing the journey to #BecomingXceptional.

Look forward to the launch of our new series – Social Wisdom this Wednesday May 12th. You do not want to miss this show, where we explore the benefits of learning from others and their life experiences.

Additionally, we have released multiple new DAILY CC episodes – our vlog that showcases the behind-the-scenes of Chaminger and what it takes to build a brand and podcast from zero! Watch here!

Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else continue their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!

Listen to Real Talk: Reframing your Mindset Part 1

Real Talk Episode #5: Reframing your Mindset Part 1
Real Talk Episode #5: Reframing your Mindset Part 1

And read along – the transcript:

Fabian: Hola Amigos. My name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And I am Alejandro Chagoya. 

Fabian: And we’re the hosts of Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and getting to know oneself in which we discuss the harsh truths related to finding success. 

Alejandro, so obviously every episode things are changing, things are progressing. We’re now on our third talk and I would love for you to be sitting on this chair right in front of me or across from me and talking to that microphone over there. But the world doesn’t have that right now.

Alejandro: That’s right, that’s right. It’s too bad, but we make the most of it as it is.  The world is changing and we need to adapt. And frankly, I think based on our life experiences, we’re kind of ideally suited to that.

Fabian: Yes, we are. So before we get into that, cause that’s definitely gonna be one of the topics that we talk about today. How do you think this whole Real Talk thing is going? I mean, it’s something that is not, I would say it doesn’t come natural to you especially. It’s also something so different than what I’ve been doing. There’s some natural soft skills that lend themselves to this sort of thing, but this is a new experience for both of us, more so you. So curious to hear your thoughts on the whole progression of this journey.

Alejandro:  It really is rather fascinating. Looking back on it, I’d say probably in the first recording, our first talk, there’s probably a bit more awkwardness. Now that we’ve been practicing going through this a few times, I think we’re getting out the kinks and I feel like  the words just are flowing a little easier.  Just  a more natural conversation is ongoing, I’d say.

And I think that’s just really a reflection of what we’re aiming for here with this Real Talk. Just a talk between two brothers here, engaging in some honest, sincere conversation on a diversity of topics.

Fabian: Absolutely. I think that is such a perfect summary of how it’s been going and I feel exactly the same way. I also feel like it’s been a great opportunity for us to even connect at a deeper level.  Yes, we have had a relationship, we’ve had a friendship, we’ve had a brotherhood, but how many times do you ever have these kind of deep conversations with someone? It’s rare, so I’ve loved it.

Alejandro: Oh, I agree.

Fabian: Alejandro, let’s get into the, not so fun part of Real Talk, which is kind of like the check-in. How have things been going? Have you been journaling? Have you been self-reflecting? Have you been writing positive self affirmations? How has all that been progressing?

Alejandro: I have been doing a fair bit of self-reflecting. One thing that we discussed in our last session, was the issue about  self-worth. And I was also watching and listening to some videos regarding that, and just taking some time to think. Why exactly do I feel that I don’t have a sense of worth. For example, I was thinking back, one thing that  came to mind during this reflection, I had these aspirations to be noble and heroic. Like some of my childhood heroes of like,  Luke Skywalker, Optimus prime. Then later, I’d say even Jesus to some extent from our background, obviously serving as, inspiration for the kind of person I wanted to be. Maybe St. Francis of Assisi and Saint Nicholas later on as well. 

One thing that always resonated strongly with me was, uh, like with fairytales and historically the concept of chivalry of Knights. It was always something that motivated me to be the best person that I could be. But at the same time, there was this sort of negative aspect, this idea of death before dishonor. That I couldn’t do anything that would disgrace me or my family, my country. And so that kind of tied into the whole fear of failure and that I felt that if I failed, I was basically letting everyone down, including myself and that was completely unacceptable. As a result, came about this idea that it would be preferable to die than to just, uh, fail. If you have that mentality then failure is not an option and you can never accept. Thinking back about it now, that was an incredibly toxic sort of, uh, viewpoint.

There’s a lot of historical connections, you could say, around the world about the sole concept of honor. But I mean, just, it was obviously something problematic and I was kind of troubled to really think about that just the other day. Then I was trying then to think about the positive aspects like we were just talking about with the self-affirmations. And thinking, okay, well, what are my strengths? What are positive aspects about me?  I mean, I think about them, but then I’m kind of quick to dismiss them, to set them aside. Oh, I, so I have these traits, but they don’t really matter. And I think part of the thing we were talking about was try to reassess oneself, try then to sell yourself. Not only to other people, but I guess in a way to yourself.

Fabian: That was excellent that you shared so much because that’s the whole point of the exercise. It’s really just to start getting almost, like some people would call it, the juices flowing, but it’s really to start viewing yourself from a different perspective. You start realizing that you had this one narrative about yourself all these years, months, decades, whatever it was.  You thought yourself in such a way and viewed yourself in such a light and then all of a sudden it’s like a curtain was removed or lifted and then all of a sudden the light changed and you’re like, wait a second, hold on. 

And I feel like that is so valuable to see and experience, because for example, you said that why were you so harsh on yourself? Why did you have to burden all the responsibility? And you know, why, if you had a failure, did that mean that the entire family had an issue? And I almost wanted to jump in right there. And I was like, were you raised by Asian parents? Sounded like a situation where you’re like-

Alejandro: No, I mean, I always, I between chivalry and like Japanese Bushido, there’s some overlap. So certainly I think there, I kind of adopted that. I guess you could say.

Fabian: Well, I love it. I mean, those are great things to strive for. They’re great morals, they’re great codes and ethics to live by. There’s nothing wrong with them, but there’s also realizing that we live in a different era and a different world and adapting to it and just embracing it.

 There’s definitely a lot that could be said from everything you shared, but I love the fact that you just shared it because that is the most important step of this.  Just embracing and acknowledging and identifying the things that are going on in your life or the things that have happened in your past. Because until you do that, you can never move on, overcome, or accept. So I commend you for starting that process. How did it feel? I know you talked about it a little bit, but I just want you to reiterate on it, like writing positive self-affirmations about yourself. 

This is something you had never done much before or ever, right? So, how did that piece feel, writing those things? Was it  almost like, yeah right, I’m not really these things. Or did you write things that you hoped you want to be, or did you just write things that you thought I might be? Tell us a little bit more about that.

Alejandro: I would say it started off feeling like, okay, well, this is what people say about me, that these are positive traits. At first, it’s like, okay, well, and you’re kind of just going through the motions.  Then as you go along, you’re like thinking, you know, there’s something to this here, this is true.

Then you’re starting to feel a little better slowly, slowly about yourself. You know,  there are some good things about me and maybe I should take them more to heart. I shouldn’t really dwell on this notion that I’m not good enough for myself or for other people, I don’t live up to these aspirations that I have for myself. That I’ve kind of settled in a mediocrity, as I see it at times. 

One thing that I know I’m very good at actually is that I always trying to encourage other people and boost them up, but I can’t seem to do the same for myself and that’s really something I need to work on.

Fabian: I think there’s a lot to be said there. You said you can easily boost other people up and that’s because you can see the good in people and that’s a skillset, it really is.  You were able to analyze, pause and be like, Oh, Hey, you have this, you have this, you might have some flaws, but these are the good things in you. And you tell them because you know it’s going to impact them in a positive light. Fact. 

So when you talk to yourself, do you talk to see yourself as if you were talking to one of these coworkers, to a friend, to a family, to a stranger? Or do you talk to yourself as if you know yourself, you’re talking to yourself as Alejandro and you’re giving yourself the harshest criticism ever, which one? Stranger or the known person? 

Alejandro: It is definitely the latter, the known person. Hmm.

Fabian: Exactly, that’s what most people do. You have to talk to yourself as if you’re your number one fan. If you’re the most loyal fan boy to whatever it is, like how many people actually do that? Right.

Alejandro: That’s true. Sadly. True. Yeah.

Fabian: Anytime someone gives you a compliment, no matter what it is, yo man, like you got nice shoes, you got a nice shirt, you got whatever.  Write that down in your positive self-affirmations. You write that down because you might not necessarily believe it, but someone else did. When you write it down, what happens is you start thinking about it. Why did someone say that? Why would someone say that? What were their intentions? Did they have intentions? Do I actually do that?

Self-reflecting journaling, writing the positive self-affirmations, never stopped doing that, keep doing that. It’s the start, it’s basically brainwashing your own mind to believe those things about yourself. You know, you are amazing, you are good, you’re strong, you’re better than you think you are and it’s constantly thinking that.  Anytime someone compliments you, write it down, think about it, believe it, really believe it.

But let’s talk about finding your passion. So the reason why this was such a good transition was because believing these things about yourself is key. So I want to talk about this because I feel like it’s something that most people struggle with when they try to find their passion. They’re like what can I do? I found this one job, I’m good at it, this is it. I found my peak. Like, there’s nothing else I could possibly do. I will never be as good at anything else. That’s not true. You have to learn how to interview and you have to learn how to resume. So I recommend that everyone should pause, like maybe once a year and just write a refresh resume. And what I mean by that is it’s really just self reflecting to find your strengths. 

At your current job, did you have any projects that you saved, that all your coworkers just dropped the ball and you were the reason that they succeeded or things like that? And then you started realizing, Oh, wait, I did this, I accomplished this, I was the reason this happened and all of a sudden your confidence starts building. You start thinking about, what else? Maybe 10 years ago, I worked this job and I did this. Maybe five years ago, I worked this other job and I did this. Or I’ve been at the same company for seven years and I’ve done so many things and I’ve gotten a promotion every year. You start reflecting and looking back and all of a sudden things start changing. 

Let’s just say, um, your entire team, I’ll just relate it to like a sales job. My entire team was always demotivated sales, whenever they would work a certain location in Seattle. Whenever they worked with me, we always had, let’s say, 300% more sales than when anyone else worked there. So I was literally the reason why people were having more success because I was telling them, Hey, yeah, this place sucks, but you get one sale here. Now you get another 10 anywhere else, you’re making money.

Reframing their mindset and you start putting that as an accomplishment, it changes things. And you all of a sudden start realizing your strengths, your benefits, your Whoa, that was me. Other people felt the same way about me. And that is why I say it’s so strong to self-reflect and almost like rewrite your resume every so often, even if it’s just mentally, because you start realizing that you are way better at so many things than you think. 

Then you take those pieces that you accomplished on your resume, and you learn how to talk about them in your interview. Because as long as you can talk about anything that’s in your resume, plus more in your interview, you could literally even make up shit and people will believe it. It’s just, you have to be able to talk about it with conviction.  At the end of the day, I wouldn’t recommend making it up, but it’s just really reframing-

Alejandro: Oh, of course not. No, we certainly would never recommend that.

Fabian: It’s reframing how you see your work experience. You know, like, Hey, I was the reason why everyone on my team became punctual or whatever. So curious to hear your thoughts on the resume part and then we’ll talk about the interview piece.

Alejandro: I agree. I think you raise an excellent point with the resume. Like you said, we tend to often, um, not take into consideration a lot of the skills that we have. Of course, the harder stuff, as well as the soft skills, things that we think we don’t give enough credence, enough importance to that are actually rather quite valuable.

The whole changing, maybe the atmosphere of the work environment and making people more productive, encouraging them to be more punctual. So these are all, very important points. And like you said, taking the time to reflect on that for your resume because otherwise, you’re very likely to just leave it as a sort of stagnant document that you update every so often. By taking the time to update it, not only are you updating it for a more pragmatic purpose, but also for a personal one as well. You’re, you’re taking a stock in inventory of yourself and basically reassessing how you’re going about.  Then you can see how you’ve improved, what you can change, what you can focus on to maybe improve upon, to develop. So I think that’s actually a very solid point that you made here.

Fabian: It was one of the things that I preach about this, but it just happened recently to me.  When I left my last job, I did that and I’m like. It gave me such a confidence boost,  I went from like, let’s say  80% confidence. It was insane because I’m like, Oh my God, I accomplished this. I was put into this absurd scenario in my job that I had no right being.  People that have 30 years of experience don’t have the balls to do this and I was thrown into that. And I not only surpassed it and I sold like a University in Colorado something that I had no rights selling them, without any support. And like, you’re like, Whoa, I’m apparently pretty good at my stuff. 

When you pause and self reflect like that, you can kind of see yourself almost in a more unbiased light, because it’s facts. Especially when you start writing it down and you have to be concise and just be like, Hey, this is who I am.

So that goes to where I was saying, like learning how to interview. An interview is just selling yourself. People use interview, but if you could just replace the word interview with, Hey, we’re going to bring you into a 30 minute or 45 minute or one hour talk where you just have to sell yourself. That’s what it really should be called, cause that’s what it is. It’s selling yourself. Like if I asked you to sell Star Wars, if I asked you to sell a book, if I asked you to sell your suit, your headset, your computer, whatever you have. You might be able to do it, you might not, but you have to sell yourself. That’s what an interview is. 

So it’s why I tell everyone that they should dabble a little bit in sales and learning public speaking and body language, because you do that and you have such a leg up on everyone else.  

Everything in life at the end of the day is a transaction. It’s a negotiation, it’s a sale. Like even, almost just crossing the street and I just walk straight ahead. People have to move out of my way, I don’t move. You know, like that’s just, stuff like that is already even a sale and a negotiation.  It’s just the way you walk, the way you look, the way you’re marching ahead. Like there’s so much that goes into every single interaction and it’s kind of crazy. It can lead you down a dark path, which I wouldn’t recommend for most people to go down right away. But at the end of the day, if you really want to learn about public speaking and humans and everything, read a few sales books or just Google some articles about basic sales skills or stuff like that. You’re going to be impressed with what you learn. 

So that’s why I wanted to talk about that because you do that resume experience or exercise, and you start self-reflecting on yourself. And now you have to take those moments, those experiences and you have to apply them to a resume, or sorry to an interview. How do you sell yourself? Like how do you make yourself sound good? How do you believe it? You really have to believe it and you start repeating it. Especially, let’s say, if you had a few not so good interviews. By your fifth, sixth, seventh, you have the same story, you’ve refined it, you’ve come up with who you are.

Like for example, most interviewers suck. Their boss just said, Hey, you have to interview someone. So what are they going to do? They’re going to just be like, Hey man, where are you from? What do you do? What’s your story?  And that’s how they interview. They don’t know better. So what do you do? You start telling your stories. So getting good at telling your story, which is one of the things that we’re doing and analyzing right now, is so critical. Getting to the key moment, sharing the things that peak their interest. If you know that they’re a company that sells a certain product. Or this guy maybe you already had his name, you could research him on LinkedIn or Facebook or whatever and it says that he’s a fan of this football team. You’re like, Hey, you know, and I just so happened to be at the Super Bowl last year and this and this and this, and then now, whatever.

Or for example, you just throw out certain things that your boss can connect with. Like when I got my last sales job, University of Washington, Mexican-German, grandma from Oaxaca. All those things gave me so many more opportunities to connect. Obviously he hit every single one of them, which is literally a miracle, but you think about stuff like that and you’re like, Whoa. 

Sharing those things are selling yourself. And if I was in your scenario and looking for a new job now, I’d be like, I’ve lived in six countries. I moved every two to three years. I am an expert at change and adaptability. I am good at learning new languages and picking up new skills and all these things. And all of a sudden people are like, oh my goodness. We want people that can learn quickly, that can adapt quickly, that can change quickly. That if we want all of a sudden sell a new product or change our entire business focus, you could learn and you could do it without any problem, because you’ve done it before.

You’re like, all my coworkers looked up to me. I trained my coworkers, I did this, I covered for my boss, I saved my boss. All of a sudden it’s like, you’re altruistic. You see what I mean? You learn how to storytell, you learn all these things. And as you can tell, cause I’m talking very quickly, I’m very passionate about this because it’s literally sales, but it’s selling yourself. It’s knowing how to present all the facts about you. Which is why I say journal because you start writing these things and you’re like, how do I spin this one sentence about me into a sale?  If I was a product, how would I sell myself to someone who wanted to buy it?

What are your thoughts about all that?

Alejandro: I mean, you really know your stuff, Fab. Uh,  this is all so true. I mean, like you said, it’s really just a transaction of selling yourself to the best of your ability. To convince that you are the right person for the job.

It’s really such an important skill. And the fact that it also has this personal application here of bolstering yourself, essentially. To feel good about yourself, about your accomplishments and not to be down in the dumps. That’s really invaluable if you really think about it.

I mean, maybe it sounds corny, but these are all the things that, that come to mind and just from our talk and I think this has a lot of worth.

Fabian: I do appreciate you saying those kinds of words. It’s something I’m so passionate about, obviously selling and sales. It was one of the best things that happened to me. It brought me to this almost dark spot as well. Like I need to do self-improvement to get better, to convince people, to be believable. But it makes you grow so fast because you start doing so much self-reflection, if you want to be good.  

I want to talk about doing all the self-reflection and finding your passion also leads to the discussion about what are your interests and what are your passions? What are the things that you’re into? And one of those things that I know that we both are, but I can just recently relate to, is that fantasy and sci-fi had an explosion recently. But back in the day, it was kind of like up and coming.

Just today, I finished the second season of Star Wars, The Mandalorian. And it was a pleasure, it was an absolute joy being able to watch that and have that experience.  I mean, Star Wars has had it up and up and downs, but it’s one of the OGs. It’s one of the originals from back in the day.  It’s kind of cool to see the progression and all that stuff, but it has also created this environment of expectation, fan service, newcomers and how easily accessible it is. Access, the question of access. And also the question of crazy fans.  Luckily, I mean, I was in a family that our parents were into it, you and my sister were extremely into it and I was pretty into it. But it got to a point where  I was never at the same level you guys were. 

I know there’s people that are like obsessed over Oh, this comic book said this and this book said this and Oh my God, this is not true to this, um, commercial in this third world country that they aired. And I’m like, I don’t care about that stuff. 

For example, when I was introducing Stephani to it, I told her don’t necessarily pay attention to all the names. Just pay attention to the overall plots. And as you get more familiarized with it, you can focus on the names and the specifics. There was a line that I made fun of watching with her and was like, Hey, go visit this Jedi in the forest planet of Corvus to meet with the Jedi, Ahsoka Tano and in the city of Aktor in and the darkness of Choloo or something like that, it was like four crazy names. And if you think about that sentence anywhere else, you’d be like, what? I have no idea what’s happening, but it’s a fantasy world, a sci-fi world, and it’s cool to see. 

But overall I loved the experience. It was great for a newcomer and it was one of my passions. What I’m interested in. It was one of the things that reminded me a lot of my childhood, which was the key. I know I said a lot of things right now. But it’s the key that I want to talk about is, it really brought back a lot of nostalgia as well. And nostalgia is powerful, nostalgia is so powerful and I’m like, Oh, it felt good to see that.

So I’m kind of curious to hear all your thoughts on that. If you’ve seen it, how you felt about like the topic about newcomers, fan boys, fan service, fantasy, how hard it’s to get into and nostalgia, let me know.

Alejandro: Sure thing. Right. So starting right off the bat there with that line you mentioned, I mean, I personally always have really appreciated verisimilitude, basically the whole world building aspect of something that seems seamlessly integrated with the world. So, I mean, we have all these names and that, for maybe a newcomer, might seem a little daunting to get involved into. But like you said, for someone who’s then a little more invested and has come to appreciate it a little more then you can feel like you can connect to it. That it’s a real world thing, uh, real-world in a sense that it fits with the setting. Not that it’s something that doesn’t mesh. If it sticks out like a sore thumb, because it feels like it wouldn’t work in the setting that it’s in. Then obviously  it removes you from the work that you’re watching, you’re reading, you’re experiencing. And I think that’s something that’s really important to having a proper enjoyment of it. 

As for newcomers, I also watched and really enjoyed “The Mandalorian”. I felt it wasn’t incredibly friendly to newcomers. In that, uh, we are basically being reintegrated into the Star Wars setting there. Uh, with a Space Western, as it is, the series. And which, in a way, ties back to it to Star Wars as all time roots.

I mean, Star Wars at its core, is a space opera, a space fantasy, or science fantasy, but very much focuses more on that space Western aspect. And obviously we’re not going to deal really with spoilers here. But yes, I really enjoyed it. 

I felt like one serious problem Star Wars has always had, is that there is this tendency to sort of rehash and retread a lot of pre-existing things. And there’s this desperate need to try to go into new territory. And I felt like “The Mandalorian” was a solid middle ground of taking a lot of the old concepts and story ideas and bringing new blood into it. Fresh, fresh ideas and moving onward from what we had, taking the new and the old, and making something wonderful. And I think that’s really something important. Because like you said, there’s this problem often that we go back to nostalgia and we focus on things that we enjoyed, but sometimes then we don’t really capture the essence of it. We get a sort of bare bones, a caricature, a mimicry of what it was to try to recapture that feeling, but it then falls shorts. And I think we, we managed to break new ground and I think that was really important.

 As you were saying that nostalgia is really powerful. For example, just breaking slightly from topic, in my studies there, in my degree, we talked briefly about politics and politics as marketing and how they tied together. And one concept that was brought up was about the love mark. Which was basically of making an emotional connection with something so that you become so invested in it that you would pursue it to whatever end. Because that was basically part of your identity. 

For people like you and me, for example, I know that things like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Disney, Nintendo have their imprint on me, I can fully acknowledge that. There’s a very strong pull of that nostalgia, that love mark. You wants to then, uh, get invested in it. But then of course, then there’s the counterpart that you maybe dwell too much in a nostalgia. And you also wanted to have room to grow, to move on from that.

Fabian: So you almost feel like nostalgia, while it has its benefits, especially in the marketing sense. Cause there’s people that are so attached to it, like they need it, they chase it like if their life depends on it. But it also comes to a point where it doesn’t let people grow, it doesn’t let people expand. And it almost is a mockery because it’s like, Hey guys, we know you don’t need us to improve. 

Let’s say, let’s just talk in sales sense. Okay, we have this product that we’re going to bring back, let’s just talk beanie babies. Beanie babies are back and they’re exactly the same as they were 25, 20 years ago, no improvements. There’s going to be a lot of people that buy them purely for the nostalgia aspect alone, but could they have been improved with the modern day technologies and things of today? It still embraced that, the nostalgia aspect, but be a better version of what they were 20 years ago. Do you feel like there’s that line where so many companies and people, in general, just rely on nostalgia almost as a crutch rather than using it as a tool. What are your thoughts of that?

Alejandro: Oh, definitely. Yes. I definitely feel that there’s this tendency of two extremes. On one hand, like you said, we go to the full throwback. It’s like, Oh, we know you love this, so we’re going to basically just repackage it in a new form. Or as-is, because if you don’t, you’re basically committing some sort of heresy and it’s not the same anymore, so that’s a failure. Or you got the complete opposites, like we have to diverge, we need to create something new, this was how it was in the past. So now we have to kill the past and we need to move forward to something completely different to give a whole new experience.

Fabian: It’s so interesting hearing your take on it because I feel like these are things that are in all aspects of life. They’re in business, personal life, sales, series.  Nostalgia is such a thing, but I just find it so fascinating to hear that you called them like these love marks things, where like you chase after them, you need them, you want them. 

I think those are a key thing that you need to look into when you start really doing a deep dive into yourself of finding your passion. Or what are the things you really appreciate, because these things had an impact and influence on you. And they cannot be ignored. You don’t need to be, like, a Lord of the Rings scholar and study the New Zealand geography and topography. But you need to be like, this was something that I grew up with, that I appreciated, that I love. I need to at least take it into consideration whenever I make a decision, because it had a significant impact on my life.

So obviously our small talk segment became long talk, but there was a lot of great conversation and so many important pieces to really focus on there. And I’m sure so many of you can relate. We definitely want to hear if any of that resonated with you. Do you guys appreciate that segment? Do you want us to get more into just the Real Talk piece faster? Let us know.

Becoming an expert on you. It’s such an important, critical piece. And I know in our last episode we were talking about where we moved next. But before that, I wanted to touch upon the topic of where or what would you consider is home? And when I say that, there’s the issue of what other people define as home, versus what we would define as home as traveling nomads. I want to hear your take on that.

Alejandro: One thing that obviously stands out is the fact that you’re always moving means that you’re not, you don’t have a constant home. As we’ve already discussed previously, the issue of other diplomat and military families would also feel similarly, that you’re always moving there’s no constant home. So one thing that was our forever constant was family. So home was where family was. What can I really say more to that, to add to that? That’s really the crux of the matter. Wherever family was, we were home and we bonded very tightly together. That was something that kept us going throughout all the changes, all the hardships. We were our constant support for each other, through all the difficulties that we faced. And we got really close.

Fabian: That’s a great summary of it. I mean, I think there’s like some quotes that you could probably find online that say that home is where love is or home is where family is. But it really hits the nail on the head when you lived our life of traveling so much. I think there’s a lot to be said about that part, when you travel so much, when you move so much. 

What is your hometown? And technically, I guess you could say it’s where you’re born. Which would be Seattle, Washington for all of us, but like really? Spoilers eventually moved back there, but until then, I would have never considered it my hometown. I couldn’t even remember it because I moved when I was three months old. So how are you supposed to be able to share that piece? How is that your hometown? I didn’t have a hometown. People would ask me, where are you from? I’m like, Oh, I’m from the U.S. And they’re like, well, no, no, no, no. Where were you born? Where did you live in? I’m like, well, I mean, it’s a long story.

Alejandro: I know, right? That’s the thing, whenever I got asked the same question, I’m like, that’s a really difficult question for me. I’m going to have to give you basically a summary of my life story to answer that question.

Fabian: But that’s so cool to say, you have a unique answer to one of the most common questions. It’s almost like any interview, well, where are you from? Or that kind of question. You have a unique answer to that. Have you ever thought about it that way?

Alejandro: That is an excellent point. I hadn’t really considered it from that aspect, but yes, that’s very true. It is very true, indeed.

Fabian: I just think about like celebrity interviews. A reporter comes up to you and is like, where are you from, sir? What’s your name and where are you from? You’re like, well, my name is Fabian Chagoya and I’m from… Well, let’s talk about that. 

I will say that not having a home, other than family, which was great. I mean, we were so close. We knew everything about each other, but there was also some things we didn’t know about each other. But it was hard because at the end of the day. Especially as we start transitioning into these next places that Alejandro will reveal soon, they’re not necessarily the most nice first world places. You start getting even more attached, but you can really even hide anything if you wanted. So it’s just, what you see is what you get. 

And what that means is though, with anything, you need to kind of sometimes almost take a break from something to appreciate it and we didn’t really have that. So we were just constantly always exposed to each other. And while we were in school, we had other friend groups and people, but let’s be real, we didn’t really hang out with them a lot because our parents didn’t want it, bad influences, not so safe countries, et cetera, et cetera. So it almost becomes a point where our family was everything. It’s what we knew, it’s what we learned. You’re reinforcing habits like it’s a self fulfilling prophecy, you’re surrounding yourself only with that circle. 

So we’re all becoming almost like the same person. Yet, at the same time, I almost feel like I didn’t even want to try really befriending people to an extreme. It was like, well, what’s the point? Even though I might’ve never verbally said that, deep down, I knew that my body and psychology was thinking that. It’s like, dude, why are you going to spend time on this random person if one year from now, you’re probably not going to see them again? What is the point? 

Maintaining relationships and friendships. I mean, I’m sure many of you can relate. I can just, as a sales guy and especially now during the pandemic where it’s harder, because proximity is such a key component of relationships and friendships. You lose that aspect and now you have to put in the extra effort. You realize, Oh wait, it takes work. Imagine if we put in the effort to maintain every single relationship from every single friendship that we had growing up in six different countries. Yeah, literally impossible. I can’t even do that, people that live 30 miles away from where I live now, in the same state. 

Curious to hear your thoughts on that piece about the home, because I feel like that also affected my opinion of home. Yeah, it was family, but it was family almost out of necessity.

Alejandro: Right, right. No, It truly is remarkable. I mean, what you just said now are basically the exact same thoughts that I had. I think it just really shows how similar we grew up. Exactly like you were saying, that the whole environment shaping our mindset and all these experiences. I agree, absolutely agree. Basically, it was pretty much the exact same thoughts I had on the matter.

Fabian: So Alejandro, let’s talk about the story again. Let’s get back to that, because I feel like there’s some deep realizations that have been discovered going down that journey. And I know we left people hanging and some people might know, but a lot of people don’t. So where to after Colorado?

Alejandro: All right then, so are you ready for this? What some people can’t believe is that Jamaica has a new bobsled team! Woo! We went to Jamaica. Can you believe it? Yeah. Oh, wow. That was something all right. I remember like you said, dad coming in saying, Hey, you know, we’re moving again and we’re moving to Jamaica. It’s like, wow. Okay. I remember at the time thinking, I think maybe we watched “Cool Runnings” a few too many times. Uh, yeah, it was odd, we did watch it in a couple of times while we were there in Denver, so that was kind of interesting. 

But it was definitely going to be a very, brand new experience because we’d been in the United States and Mexico, but culturally, these were places that were familiar to us and Jamaica was a brand new place. We were heading to the Caribbean. It was a completely, entirely different culture. And it was really going to be our first experience with a fairly dramatic bit of culture shock. Already compared to what we’d already experienced between the United States, Mexico, Germany. This was a brand new experience for the entire family, not just one part of the family. Like, Oh, we’re learning Spanish so it’s going to be an uphill struggle for us. No, this is going to be an entirely new experience for everyone in the family.

Fabian: I’m just curious, before you start going into the depths about Jamaica, because I think there’s a lot to be said about the culture shock. About the fact that you’re moving from mainland U.S., midwest, to the Caribbean. That alone. Luckily, same language. But, how much did you know about Jamaica going into that? I know that’s not something we really talked about a lot, but I know when I tell the story, it was the World Cup earlier that year, or maybe the year before, I forget. I had watched all the teams that played and Jamaica was in that World Cup. I think they were in the same group as Mexico or Germany.

And you see the team and let’s be real. And this is truly not racist, but the entire team is black and I’m just like, Oh my, that’s different. Like, especially in Denver, Colorado at that time. Colorado, I mean, still to this date is not very diverse and back then, it was even worse. You just had your Mexicans and you had your white people and it was pretty much that. There was obviously one or two maybe exceptions, but it was pretty white. 

Now you’re moving to the Caribbean where all of a sudden everyone has a different skin color and all these things. All I knew from Jamaica was really the Disney movie of the Jamaican bobsleds and the World Cup. Everyone that played soccer, they played just like the English British team. Which they went to the wings and they crossed it in, that’s how they played. And that was my knowledge going into this move. So I’m kind of curious what you knew, what your expectations were. Did you have any, or did you just go into it open-minded?

Alejandro: I mean, on one hand, I’m sure there was some semblance of being open-minded about it. Obviously it was going to be a new experience. But I, I do admit I was woefully ignorant overall about Jamaica at the time. 

 I remember, we arrived late at night at the airport and there was, they came and disinfected the entire plane. Which sounds oddly um, reminiscent of current times. We did buy a guide book, at the time. That we were studying up  to learn a bit about the culture and the people and a bit about Jamaica as a country. So we learned a fair bit, but it was obviously a lot to learn. And one thing is of course reading and another is experiencing certainly.

Which by the way, since Jamaica was a former British colony. So there was a lot of British aspects to the country. Which includes, for example, driving on the left side, as opposed to the right side. Which of course would be an interesting challenge for our parents and driving, definitely something to get used to. So there was that.

Obviously we had the heat was certainly remarkable. As you can imagine, the Midwest climate versus the Caribbean, and it was hot all the time. I remember we basically, when returning home from school and work, we would have to have the air condition up and that we found that to just make it tolerable. Wouldn’t you agree, Fabian?

Fabian: Absolutely. I mean, I think just that alone, that story about just arriving and people are coming they’re spraying stuff the airport is small, in comparison to Denver International Airport. The steering wheel is on the right versus the left. It’s super humid. All those pieces alone are already insane. And then you just have water surrounding you, different home styles, all those things alone already. Like, Whoa, what up culture shock. 

I want to hear, like, maybe give us one or two examples of a situation that happened, like outside of school that it was like, Oh my goodness, what is this? 

Hey guys. Thanks for tuning in to Real Talk. This concludes this part. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we loved making it. Please leave a comment mentioning what parts resonated with you and made you self reflect or view things differently. Please review or follow our podcast too. It helps us so much.

As always, don’t forget to follow us on all our social medias to get the full experience of #BecomingXceptional. Remember, stay amazing and tune in next week to hear what happens next on this session of Real Talk. Chaminger out.

May 4, 2021

Part 2 of Real Talk: Finding your Passion released today. Check out our bloopers!

We are excited to have just released our fourth episode and Part 2 of Real Talk: Finding your Passion today. Second week of us following our release schedule is complete and it feels REALLY GOOD. Obviously still look forward to our livestreams this Thursday and Friday, but we are celebrating each milestone as it happens. Once again, everyone who has been supporting us and checking us out, we appreciate you and could not do it without you! Please like, subscribe and follow us on all our social media as well. Everything helps. Overall though, we are very satisfied with our growth, but there is room for more which is why we are doing a giveaway. Check it out HERE.


Being aware of how your upbringing can shape who you become as an adult and understanding how it could also lead to you discovering a lifelong passion. It may have been a certain childhood experience, someone that left an impression on you, a trauma, and so forth. No matter the circumstance, it’s important to find the lesson. Identify it, analyze it, and view it in a positive light. 

Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else start their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!

Check out our Blooper series today. New episode this Wednesday! Come laugh at our behind-the-scenes.

Listen to Part 2 of Real Talk: Finding your Passion

Real Talk Episode #4: Finding your Passion Part 2
Real Talk Episode #4: Finding your Passion Part 2

And read along – the transcript:

Fabian: Hey guys, my name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And I’m Alejandro Chagoya. 

Fabian: And we’re the hosts of Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and getting to know oneself in which we discuss the harsh truths related to finding success.

Welcome back to Real Talk by Chaminger. Thank you for joining us as we continue our previous discussion on the journey to Becoming Xceptional, since this is a multi-part episode. If you’ve not watched a previous segment, we highly recommend it for context, but feel free to continue and experience the valuable message delivered in this episode, regardless.

We appreciate you. We hope you enjoy today’s Real Talk.

Alejandro: As you may recall, our father worked in the Mexican foreign service. As part of a role as a diplomat, you do have to rotate to different locations based on needs of the service, based on your skill. They obviously don’t want you to develop too many roots in a single place, because after all you are representing your country as a diplomat. You are not to be entirely focused on the interests of one place. 

So we would, uh, following from Miami, move to Mexico City.  This proved to be a very challenging move for us.  Obviously,  we’re was still very young at the time.  While the first move from Seattle to Miami had some minor trauma, you could say. There’s still stories about me pointing to the sky and say I want to go back to our big house, because I think that two stories in our home in Magnolia, which is suburb of Seattle. As opposed to, uh,  our home in Miami, which is more of a bungalow style, stretched out. Which is actually bigger than the other location, but besides the point. 

While we were in Miami, before we left, we were still in second grade, my sister and I; my brother had yet to start school. We had just barely taken an intro to Spanish course. At one point in that year, they separated the class into those who spoke Spanish would go into one classroom and they would be instructed in Spanish. Those who did not speak Spanish would be moved to a different classroom and would have more of a basic Spanish lesson given to them. 

So we then went from a very rudimentary start to moving to Mexico City and we didn’t speak a lick, well, maybe not lick of Spanish necessarily.  We had that little basic foundation, but it wasn’t enough to have a proper schooling.

 As anyone could tell you, this is going to pose a problem if you have this significant language barrier. How are you supposed to learn in school if it’s mainly going to be in Spanish? I mean, yes, we did end up going to a bilingual school. It was mainly in Spanish and then there was one class that would be taught English. Which was English language for those who will be learning English for the first time.

The students there were, to their credit and the teachers, helpful in trying to help us overcome this significant barrier. But even still, it was a very challenging time for me. This was back in, uh, 1997. 96- 97 and then from 97- 98, the two years we were there in Mexico. It was quite challenging the first year. By the second, we’d already gotten much better.

Fabian: Well, hold on for a second. What was challenging about that first year? Anything that comes to mind that you’re like, Whoa, like that really was such a problem.

Alejandro: Right. I’d say it was just extremely stressful, having to learn a language from almost nothing and to have every class be conducted in that. So it’s not that you’re just learning Spanish grammar and language. You’re learning math in Spanish, you’re learning history and Spanish, you’re learning all these things in Spanish.  The only class you have in English is English.

Not to mention, of course, there was this move. Which as I said, we’d been in Miami for five years; this was a long time. I was uprooted then at a very young age and I had to learn to adapt to a new environment, new culture, new everything from what I had grown used to. And as a result, I felt that I had to adapt in a very strong way. 

One way that it manifests, I should say, is that I sort of closed myself off more from people. That I became more distant, more reserved. And I think on some level it was sort of like a fear of loss, that if you got too close to people, like friends, then that well, that you’d lose them. That was temporary. I think this was sort of like a defense mechanism that I ended up employing as a young child, not overly consciously, but I did. 

As a result, I know that I ended up drifting to a more serious outlook.  That’s sort of remained to this day, a little changed and more relaxed as Fabian has said. But, definitely I felt that move was a pivotal change in my outlook and my demeanor

Fabian: So you’re telling me that you moving to Mexico, experiencing major loss for the first time. So I assume you started building up habits, routine, a friend group, uh, you know, complacency almost, in Florida. You knew what to expect, you knew what was coming, you knew what shows you were going to watch, you knew the language, you knew, uh, everything and then you moved to Mexico.

 Do you feel like a lot of these like defense mechanisms actually stemmed from, what you were saying, is like this fear of perfectionism, this fear of trying something new, this almost sense of unworthiness that you were already talking about? And now you move to Mexico and school was like this key to everything about your identity and your self worth and your confidence. And now you’re there and it’s like, Hey, you got to learn in another language and that makes it 50 million times more difficult and it takes a while to ramp up and get there.

So now it’s like, Hey, you’re not there. All of a sudden you’re not as good, other people might be better. I mean, of course they’re gonna be better at speaking the language. So it’s like, Oh, Hey, where’s my worthiness? Do you feel like all that happened because of the move and that all those things were actually effects of it? Or am I putting more to it than it actually is?

Alejandro: Well on one hand, I think you might be giving a little too much credit. I think you have actually brought up an interesting thought I hadn’t really considered on the matter about the unworthiness. 

One thing I did forget to mention earlier was that when we moved, because it would be a challenge academically,  my parents came to my sister and I and they said, Hey, because of this challenge, we think maybe it would be a good idea for you to repeat second grade. And you know, I never thought of it that way. I mean, at the time I thought, okay, it makes sense; so we went with it. But for someone, uh, academically-minded as I was, I could certainly see, now that you brought it up, that maybe that did have some sort of impact on my mind there.  

Maybe the expectation would be higher.  Oh I’ve already done this, some of this stuff already, and I should know more than the other kids. I was then kind of older. I was kind of used to them being one of the older kids for the longest time as a result of this change.

So in some ways maybe I was a little wiser than some of them later on in life, but that’s moving to another point. But yeah, I think it’s an interesting thing. I never considered it until now, but maybe that did play some small role in it.

Fabian: I would say it plays a lot larger role than you’re saying. And the only reason why I can say that is because I know that I had gone to, to school in Mexico for the first time. I was in this kindergarten and I didn’t know Spanish either. And I just found a way to survive, but I quickly realized that the first school that my parents put me in was quite mediocre. To be honest, it was terrible. It was horrible. But it was something that my dad didn’t know better, my mom didn’t know better. They had just moved there. They kind of relied on word of mouth from family, friends. I mean, you kind of trust what other people say. They were talking from their experiences 10, 15, 20 years ago. 

I mean, let’s think about where the world was 20 years ago to where it is today. Right? Any advice you give 20 years ago, doesn’t matter anymore, because it’s a completely different world. I mean, all we have to think about is Coronavirus. Any advice you gave in the business world, for example, last year is irrelevant today. 

They took their words, I went into this weird kindergarten, I didn’t learn anything. I did get some Spanish exposure, but it was honestly terrible. And you know looking back, I really didn’t know what was going on. And I was a crazy kid and we’ll get, can get more into those stories. All I know is I volunteered to do a play in Spanish for the Three Kings and Christmas, and I didn’t even know really Spanish, but some how I volunteered and did it. Maybe that’s proof as to why I do what I do today, but it was already a sign. 

But the long story short is that we changed from that school to another school. And this was a private school, it was a much more elite school. There was like entrance exam and they have to interview you with the principal and all this stuff. 

And I went there and obviously it was already a few months in, so I had to do a lot of catch-up work and I have to learn a language and that place was elite, their curriculum was very advanced. So kind of what I was going at is so yes, you did repeat a year, but it’s a completely different school system, it’s a completely different expectation.

My finding is, and we’ll keep going back to this as we talk about the rest of our story and as we traveled the world, but this second school, the second kindergarten was the elite. Like the stuff that I was learning there was like if I was in third grade compared to this kindergarten around the block.

So I’m curious to hear how like that was. Yes, you did repeat a year, which is crazy, but were you learning the same things? I mean, it’s hard to remember now, but I feel like you, from the sounds of it again, you were always such, so harsh on yourself. You probably were judging yourself unfairly because one, learning it in a different language.

Like if right now you asked me to learn, um, sales or public speaking in German, that’d be a lot more challenging for me, and I know some German, than it is in English. Like it’s not even comparable, but you were trying to compare it, because again, that’s all you knew. So, do you feel like there’s a piece of that? That yes, you did repeat a year, but you went into it with these unrealistic expectations and demands for yourself.

Alejandro: Yeah. Yeah. I think I do recall. There were some times where I was upset that I wasn’t living up to my expectation. I do remember once crying about some bad grade I got. And I was just completely down on myself, trash talking myself. I don’t know how, I think I suspect it was one of our parents mentioned it to the teacher and the teacher even mentioned it to the class. And it’s like, look at this guy here, he’s doing good. And he barely, he’s still learning the language and he was trashing himself. So I expect that you should be doing better too. And that I had nothing to feel bad about. 

That’s a good point there. I hadn’t even remembered that until you brought it up just now, but I think that, that is actually very interesting point.

Fabian: Well I’m glad that you agree that is an interesting point. The piece that I want to really focus on is, again, going back to the theme of the show. Is viewing it differently, viewing it from another perspective, hearing it from almost like a third party. Like this is your first time really learning Spanish on a completely different level.

It’s like Americans can relate, you learn Spanish or French or German in school- you’re just learning grammar. Go to the actual country or watch a show without subtitles, good luck kiddos. Right?  They’re going to get destroyed. It’s not even fair and they took it for years. 

So now you moved there. All you were exposed to really was English and some brief Spanish from my dad and my aunts and grandparents. But it’s completely different when you actually are completely immersed in it. 

 My question to you is: if you had to view it now and think like, what were the benefits that you got from that? Do you feel like it taught you the ability to adapt? Do you feel like it made you realize that, Hey, like don’t sweat the small stuff? Or the contrary, did it make you fear the unknown? Did it make you more hesitant to try new things? 

For example, I view it as that is such an insane experience. You had something that most people will never have in their lives. Being thrown into the deep end of the pool and having to swim literally by yourself and figure it out and figure it out you did.  I’m curious to hear what you feel like the good pieces of that were. 

I mean, I was just kindergarten and I learned the language. I learned so much more because the curriculum is so advanced and deep down, it really taught me adaptability at such a young age. Yes. It made me more reserved as well, but it gave me, it hardened my shell. 

So I’m kind of curious to see, now that you can think back about it. Were there any like lessons or valuable experiences that you got from that?

Alejandro: Oh, yes, yes, certainly. I agree with you. The language skills, to this day, have served me well and the curriculum was indeed more advanced over there. I learned a lot that I would end up touching upon later on. We did move back to the U.S. some years later and I felt like my time in Mexico  had actually given me a leg up, from what I had learned. Not to mention just the very strict level of education that they were working with. I felt like it made a better student as well. 

Because of the nature of the move and everything, we had to adapt, I had to grow as a person. So I certainly would agree that those were positive aspects there. That I had to improve upon myself to carry forward to meet the challenge.

Fabian: Did you think about any of the positives at that time? Let’s be real. Did you? Or was it mostly a negative mindset. Uh! I lost my friends now I have to wear a uniform to school every day. They’re super strict. I’m not the best student necessarily right away. Is that kind of how you viewed it as a child?

Alejandro: Yeah. I remember the story that my mom said how I once said we were learning, I think about the Mexican constitution and rights. And I said, as a kid, we don’t have any rights, we just have obligations

Fabian: Whoa

Alejandro: I mean, yes and no. I remember referring that period of years, I mentioned from 96 to 98, as a sort of like my lost years for the longest time.

But I do recognize, there were a lot of things that definitely benefited me, no doubt. But I just said it was a trial by fire. Just because of the challenge to overcome so much in that short time. Like you said, thrown into the deep end. So there was a lot of, uh, emotional turmoil you could say. I can’t deny that there were a lot of positives to come from it.

Fabian: It’s hard to realize that at that time. That’s really the goal of this. Yes, we’re recounting the story and we’re doing a much more deeper analysis than most people do. But when you realize that, like, Whoa, yeah, there was some bad times and it was rough and I worked my butt off and I suffered and et cetera, et cetera.

But, you know, there’s benefits. We got to live in another country, we got to experience even let’s think about the culture, like learn the traditions. We were there with our Mexican side of the family, we got to form a relationship with them, we got to have different foods. Yes. Our mom always stayed true to the culture and the tradition and made very traditional Mexican and German foods no matter where we were at, but now we were constantly exposed to that. 

Just different ways of buying things. We didn’t have access to the same stores; especially because you couldn’t do online shopping at that time. So it really was a culture shock as well. And as a kid, when you wanted your newest toys and the gadgets and the advertisements are different, and the TV shows are different. There’s all these other aspects of it that I feel like when you really look at it, you’re like, Whoa. It gave you so much more perspective that most children, especially in the U.S. never get. And let’s be real, the majority, if they do get it, they get it when they’re in college, because daddy paid for his little princess to go on a mission trip to Honduras. But she’s staying in a five-star resort while she’s going to build a house, you know? Like that’s their exposure. Sorry guys. I’m not trying to be like rude here, but that’s their exposure of a third world country. And there is some truth that that is still a great experience. It’s not the same as living it. What are your thoughts on that?

Alejandro: We were immersed in the culture, unlike someone who just had a, a passing reference to it really.  Like you said, the trip to, to help out some people then to pat yourself on the back and then go home is very different than living there. Among the people, interacting with them daily, being exposed to the culture.

And I mean, I said they were lost years. But there were certainly a lot of fond memories. Like you said, we were finally able to connect properly with family there that we weren’t able to speak the language. There are actually a number of shows and things from that time that I’m still a super fan of to this day. Even, uh, like one of the Mexican Spanish dub of some shows, as a result. 

I cannot stress how much one really benefited just this moving around. Yes, there’s the challenge of adapting to new places. But I mean, just being exposed to so many new things is really a gift that not many people have. And it does really change your outlook and how you view things.

Fabian: That’s the very summarized version of Mexico. It was an interesting time. It forced all of us to learn a lot, to grow a lot, but it also gave us new perspective. And growing up, Mexico or Germany were kind of the vacation spots that we would go to that we’d alternate. 

So when we were living there, we didn’t really have to travel to Mexico anymore. So it opened up new opportunities, or to visit more so our German side of the family. But like usual my dad wasn’t going to be stuck in one place for long. So where did we go next Alejandro? 

Alejandro: Right. Interesting story because it relates to my health issue at the time, I did have asthma at a young age. It disappeared over the years, which is something that does happen for some asthmatics. But as a result of the pollution in Mexico city, it was bad for my lungs, as you can imagine. So my dad did request a transfer for health reasons for his son, being me. So we ended up moving to Denver, to Colorado or specifically, Littleton. 

Fabian: What up Colorado?

Alejandro: That’s right.

We really enjoyed our time in Colorado, four years it wound up being and school was great. As I said before, our time in Mexico, I think, really made us better students. We learned quite a lot. So I think that was quite a boon for us while we were there. And we were, all of us, overachievers academically and then as well as in some extracurriculars.

 I remember my brother played a starring role in the Scottish play after the lead had to dropout, because of an accident. Which probably may have been invoked from the curse. I was also in the Shakespeare bowl myself that year, as I recall. 

Fabian: I just want to pause and say that he’s definitely jumping around, but that happens when we’re talking. Uh, I was the lead in the play Macbeth because I don’t think most people will understand what the Scottish play means. I played Macbeth in the, it was the Shakespeare event that they hosted in downtown Colorado, in Denver. I mean, as proof in Mexico, I like doing plays apparently and being the lead role. So I guess public speaking was always in my blood and DNA. Anyway, continue Alejandro 

Alejandro: Yeah. I feel like the, the years we were there, we were very close as a family. We went together to a lot of places, getting to know Colorado. We really bonded I feel, as a family in those years there. 

Unfortunately the timing in Colorado was marked by some tragedy in 1999, I believe it was. Where we were living was relatively close to the Columbine high school that had the infamous shooting.  I recall very vividly being at recess in elementary school at the time and suddenly we were all called in and we’re basically under, under a pseudo lockdown. There weren’t really any measures at the time in place for that.  

I remember my mother telling us this afterwards, how she was at the store and everyone’s looking at the TVs and wondering what’s going on. It was something truly, truly horrific and certainly changed how things were being seen at the time. A lot of changes, of course, to the school system as well, as I’m sure you know all too well, Fab.

Fabian: Well, before we talk about how everything else was changed and affected. I think one of the things that I want you to start working on is when you tell stories and when you are sharing these experiences, I want you to share how you felt. The things that impacted you, how you change, how that. Because it’s something that a lot of people do, they kind of do it in a very overview, uh, way of telling it. 

 It’s almost like we were raised in such a way, like this is just in general the world, to not share our perspective, or our mindset, or our view on something, because it’s almost like bragging or selfish. But I think there’s a lot right now when we’re doing Real Talk to gain from that. 

So for example, I can relate that I remember I don’t know exactly where I was when I got the news, but I know I was at school as well. And they pulled us aside and, you know, they’re talking to us about it. And to be real with you, I didn’t really understand the impact of it right away. I think afterwards, when I started talking to friends and hearing the news in the next days,  I remember I definitely was worried that some people would just like break in through our back door. And like hop over our fence and come in with guns or stuff like that, because we were so close to where the school was. But I mean, that’s just kind of where my head went. 

But I wasn’t truly like afraid of anything at school. I think the other people being so  affected by it, because most people in my class and the teachers were terrified. They were acting like if hell had just arrived at their doorstep; it was insane to see everyone else. I was just kind of like, should I be more afraid? So that was kind of how I took it. I was curious to hear how you felt in that moment, if you really remember.

 Alejandro: I don’t remember too well, but I think I wasn’t too dissimilar, honestly. I don’t think I recall being that afraid myself. I guess I did feel some degree of sadness for the people who lost their life. But I guess in some way, there was also that disconnect as well, because it’s, in a way, kind of surreal that we had something like this, some traumatic event happening so close by. 

Oftentimes you hear these things on the news and they’re distant, but this time this was something up close and personal that was, was horrific and real and near. Sometimes it’s hard to sort of reconcile these facts, that this is happening. And I think that’s probably where I was with that. That it was some sort of surreal experience that some, some terrible thing that  happened there.

Fabian: Do you feel like it impacted you? Like it changed the way you view things or reacted to things? Because I will say on my end, I really don’t think so. There’s a few events that a lot of people would be like, Oh my Go. Like for most Americans, they would say 9/11, it changed my life. And  maybe it’s because of how we lived and travel and all this stuff, but even though we were so close to Columbine, and it was a very sad and dramatic event, I will say that it didn’t really change who I was. It didn’t make me fearful, it didn’t make me worried. It just made me, I guess, more aware, it opened my eyes to even a little bit more of stuff, but curious how you feel about that.

Alejandro: I agree actually. I don’t think that Columbine, as tragic as it was, I don’t think it really, uh, changed how I was as a person. I think I do agree with you that 9/11 was the one that really had a dramatic impact on my life. That I still vividly recall our mother waking us up in the morning. I was in middle school at the time, uh, seventh grade. She told us that, uh, a plane had hit one of the world trade centers. 

I come down to breakfast, we’re watching the news. I’m there watching live TV wondering what was the reason for this crash. And then suddenly I see out of the corner of my eye, across the screen, come the second plane and hits the trade center. And I’m like, wow, I’m watching this live, this thing happening. Then going to school, everyone there in homeroom watching, wrapped attention to the TV. Then going to the next class, again, watching as people are jumping out of the building. Then hearing the news later on in the day of how one of the towers collapsed.

 It radically changed the school curriculum. We devoted a lot of focus, especially in history and world events, regarding this. And I feel like it really shaped the course of my life in becoming a lot more focused on what was happening in the world, of taking an interest in these things. I would definitely say that the reason I have the degree I have, is in no small part because of the events of that day.

Fabian: Well, that is quite a bold statement, but I love that you said that. To think that an event that’s completely out of control, out of your control, shaped your path, your interests, your passions  so much. And that’s crazy to think about and I’m sure it happened to a lot of people. 

I know that all these events definitely changed things. I mean, it changed how the schools reacted. I just remember all the lockdowns and the drills that never happened before already after Columbine, but then you have 9/11, too. It just kept compounding and no one- there was almost like this new sense of fear. And I think it’s very fascinating to me how each event impacts someone differently, because for me, it didn’t really impact my interest in news. I mean, we were always very culturally aware because of my dad’s work and overhearing the things that he talked about.

For me, that event changed- it inconvenienced me, in a way, because we traveled so much. So it completely modified the situations at airports. And we would travel at least once a year, if not more. And now all of a sudden it’s like every single person is being questioned. And now you joked around with friends, insensitively, but there was even movies that joked about it, too. It was like, don’t you say the word bomb. You know, it was like, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb; I forget what movie had that, but it completely changed the world. 

But for me it wasn’t really to that serious level, it was just more so like, how did it affect me personally? I knew the world around me had changed, but I just viewed it still, almost selfishly. And I think that’s almost a part of age difference. Obviously, I was younger than you. I was maybe eight, nine, 10. I forget how old I was at that point. 10, I was turning 10 so it was very different for me versus you’re now already a teenager and you start to view the world differently, a little more seriously.  

I find that absolutely fascinating that something like that could alter your interest and path. But I think that’s super interesting because there is so much there and it’s very sad that an event like that happened.  

It really goes to show you how every era is defined by certain things. And our Denver experience was really defined by, we got close to our family, we really got to learn and master the English language. Which I think I want you to share a little bit more about. We got to experience so many new and different things. 

But I feel like even though we had these dark moments, Columbine, um, 9/11, I feel like this was really an opportunity where, despite all that, we thrived. This was the first time where all of us had this success. And we had mastered the English language, despite coming in as “foreigners”. Which, uh, we can tell the story about when we first got to Kaiser Elementary School, we were put into an ESL class purely because of our last name, Chagoya.  I mean, put that out on social media today and that school is going to go under. The fact that they didn’t even test to see if we could speak English. 

Alejandro: It’s worth noting, it wasn’t the school itself. It was actually the school district that sent somebody to interview, not just us, but a number of other students. So we had someone with an Asian last name, a Hispanic last name; we had a number of other students. And I should point out that every one of those students were among the top of their class. And especially in English. So just, just to take that into consideration here.

Fabian: So let’s talk about that piece though. And then I want you to kind of summarize Colorado and then we’ll move on. There’s a lot that can be talked about, it was great experience. Four years, very memorable part of our lives.  

I just think it’s interesting that you said that foreigners were kind of put in a different bucket and category yet, they all were doing the best. There’s something to be said about having a chip on your shoulder and being underestimated and having to prove yourself.  We came in and we came in guns blazing and then there’s proof in the pudding.  We kicked ass while we were there and we succeeded and excelled in so many different environments and participated in so many different things . I just remember being like the best soccer player at school, because  U.S. soccer was not even a thing at that time in schools, like at an elementary school. So stuff like that was really cool. 

Kind of curious to hear your takeaways from the four years in Colorado, the benefits, the cons, lessons, and anything else that you wanted to share. Then we can transition to what happened next and that’ll be our cliffhanger for the episode.

Alejandro: I agree with you, I feel like we definitely flourished in Colorado.  I felt that I  really had grown quite a bit. I had a friend group that I liked. I don’t want to say I was popular per se, but I felt like  I had accomplished quite a bit.  I was settling quite nicely, which of course would be cut off then  with yet another move afterwards which always did have a rather abrupt way of transitioning.  

At this point we were also getting, I should say at least, I was starting to get used to this. It was reality of our life; it’s like, eh okay, yet another move.  Always being conscious that long-term plans might have to be reassessed because of the nature of that lifestyle that we had. Often there was, with that caveat, yes, we’ll do this, but just in case this thing might come up that  might stop it from happening. So that was always something I think that was conscious in my mind. Maybe that might also have been, in some ways, a limiting belief now that I think about it; that might’ve been a con in a way.

I definitely feel like there was a lot that allowed us to grow both, uh, as students, as people. And I feel that it was a really good time for us.

We came from Mexico. There was always that concern that would our English not be up to par, but I especially proved myself more than capable. English was one of my best classes.  I think, especially for myself at that point, I had reached my academic high point. Which would make things a little later a little interesting, as I put it before when things didn’t turn out quite so well.

I would also like to add one other point that I think holds a lot of relevance for us here, regarding 9/11. That after the events of that day, I remember thinking to myself, when would it be okay to be happy again? When would it be okay to smile? I remember that if something came up and say, I found something funny and I laughed, or I smiled. Then the feeling just brought back the memories of what had happened. I’m like, well it doesn’t feel right to be happy right now. There’s this horrible tragedy that happened. I shouldn’t, I have no reason to be happy if there was so much suffering. 

I think this is important lesson I learned, even as a youngster at the time, a teenager. Tragedy happens all the time and we can’t let it dominate us. We have to move on, you have to move forward. In a way, we essentially move on by being happy, by celebrating these good things in life, because there’s so many horrible things out there. By celebrating the good, by defending it, by protecting it, by doing what is right, we are actually doing a service towards all those who may have lost their lives, who have suffered by progressing for. We have to always try to improve in that way. And I think that’s a valuable lesson that I learned as a result.

Fabian:  I love that you said that. It’s fascinating to think that you already were thinking those thoughts as a kid still, you were so young. I mean, I feel like the recurring theme with you in all these episodes, but you were putting this harshness on you. And I mean, why can’t you be happy because everything around you is going to hell? It’s something that is crazy to think about, but you know so many people think that. It’s an important lesson that those things don’t necessarily  have to be mutually exclusive. Just because something bad happened around you doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy, it doesn’t mean that you are dismissing it or disrespecting it. It just means that you’re living your life and it’s already been impacted, but you got to live it still. And I think that’s something that everyone can listen to and learn from. 

But I find it super interesting that you had this lesson, but at the same time, in the last episode, we talked about your issues of moving on and dwelling. So it goes to show you that it’s not so black and white. That there’s, uh, pieces where you learned that and that you did it and then there’s other things that you couldn’t move on. And you still dwelled and you weren’t able to smile and just be, like, okay. That’s super interesting to me that for some things you could and some things you couldn’t. And it goes to show you that there’s a lot of complexity to every single person and every single situation. 

With that said, it sounds to me like overall, we could define Colorado was a great experience. It was an opportunity for us to really get to know ourselves pretty well. We identified, more so now than ever, with the American culture, with the English language, with this group of people. We were happy, we were thriving, things looked amazing. We could still go to Mexico, we could go to Germany, we could practice our language. Everything was going well. And then a major thing happened. My dad comes to us, I remember he invited us to our kitchen to sit down and be like, Hey, we’re gonna have to move again. And that’s when everything changed. 

And we’re going to stop here because you will find out next episode where we move to and all that came to that. I would be very curious to hear about you Alejandro, but for me, I was excited. But also because it was a new place and new opportunity to do things and figure out a new home and get new furniture and have new experiences. But at the same time, it was like, wait, this is, this is home. This really was home.

And I think, I think that’s going to be one of the themes for next episode. How, how, how, how do you define home? What is home for you? And that’s what we’re going to talk about next episode. So, um, any closing thoughts before we say goodbye to our audience?

Alejandro: Any closing thoughts? These conversations are really just so fascinating, if you really think about it. I mean on one hand you could say, Oh, I’m just talking about my life. What could be so interesting about that, but really these experiences just, uh, not everyone has them. And there are a lot of things that I’m grateful for, especially reflecting upon it now. That we’ve been able to exposed to different cultures, which I think will definitely come up in our next episode. So stay tuned on that. 

And I feel like, I mean so much about the self-reflection here. These are a lot of things that are that I’ve thought about, we’ve discussed, but I mean, like you said, we haven’t really done this deep dive before to this extent.

Then starting to see some of these things in a new light, from a new perspective. And I mean, we’ve talked, but have we really had this real talk like we’re really having now? That’s the thing, that’s the thing. And this is a learning experience as much for you viewers, as it is for us. About, about ourselves here, we haven’t discussed a lot of these things and this is a really interesting and exciting opportunity here that I’m, I’m glad you’re, you’re a part of.

Fabian: Perfect. Well, I appreciate you Alejandro. Thanks for being open. Thanks for sharing your experiences, telling your story. Always super insightful, enlightening, emotional, but at the end of the day, it’s powerful to hear these experiences.  I’m excited that you, the viewers, get to learn about this and hear this with us. Because as my brother said, this is not something that you will just sit down  and talk about when you’re having lunch or dinner.  I mean why not? You should, but it’s just, it’s not how we were raised is not how human culture really is. You don’t have these deep conversations most of the time.

And we’re looking to change that. We’re looking to get people to get to this authenticity, to get comfortable with being vulnerable. So at the end of the day, yeah, it’s kind of scary at first. It feels a little weird. You feel like, Oh, should I say that? But then once you do, it’s rewarding. You start thinking about stuff and you realize that even those not so good times and not so good moments, for example 9/11, had some positive changes in your life. It changed your course, it changed your mindset. 

And that’s really a good takeaway, it really summarizes this episode for me. Is that even in the dark times, in the negatives that there could be a change of path.  This happened, it sucked, but it opened a new road for you. And that, that is powerful. 

So with that said, it’s been a pleasure having you guys.  Please subscribe, follow us, keep commenting. Tell us what you like, what has been going well, what hasn’t.  We love your feedback. We appreciate it because at the end of the day, this is Real Talk. So we dish it out, we got to take it. And with that, we’ll see you guys next time.  I would love to hear some of your guesses on what was the next place that we moved to. Right Alejandro?

Alejandro: That’s right. Should prove interesting.

Fabian: See you guys!

April 27, 2021

Real Talk: Finding your Passion just released!

We are excited to have just released our third episode of Real Talk: Finding your Passion. Things have been progressing nicely after the launch and everyone who has been supporting us and checking us out, we appreciate you and could not do it without you!

Ever wondered what it took to find your passion? Getting to know yourself and learning what are the things that light a fire within you are two of the key things to becoming self-aware and starting down the path of self-improvement.

Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else start their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!

Check out our Daily Chaminger Check in VLOG series today. We are celebrating one week of behind-the-scenes.

Listen to Real Talk: Finding your Passion

Real Talk Episode #3: Finding your Passion Part 1
Real Talk Episode #3: Finding your Passion Part 1

And read along – the transcript:

Fabian: Hey guys, my name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And I’m Alejandro Chagoya. 

Fabian: And we’re the hosts of Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and getting to know oneself, in which we discuss the harsh truths related to finding success.

So let’s transition to the small talk segment. Here we are: our second talk, our third episode, how do you think the first full talk went?   

Alejandro: I think all things considered, it went fairly well. Obviously there are growing pains with any sort of endeavor anyone undertakes. And as the viewers will see if they check out our behind the scene videos, there’ll be definitely some funny moments that will be worth watching. I think all things considered, it was definitely a good start. Always room for improvement, but I think we had a good start there.

Fabian: Agreed. It was interesting to see how once we started talking and having our back and forth, all of a sudden things just started flowing naturally. The conversation was great, things were going.  That is something that just made me realize, this is exactly what I was going for. This true, brutal honesty, but fully transparent and great conversation. And the chemistry’s there obviously we’re the bros, so…

Alejandro: That’s right.

Fabian: I’m curious, after our first episode, have you tried journaling? Have you tried doing the process of self-reflecting more about things?  What you thought and how everything and anything that’s been going on in your life?

Alejandro: Self-relection, yes. I have done quite a bit of that over the last week or so. I will admit, I haven’t gotten to the journaling I meant to do. But yes, there’s always  room for improvement, like I said at the start. Both for, for the talk as well as for oneself. Obviously  good intentions don’t make a reality, but you have to always have a starting point. I’m a very firm believer in baby steps. So even if you haven’t made full progress, as long as you’re working towards a goal, that is already a big step in the right direction.

Fabian: I’m proud of you, Alejandro. First of all, the fact that you were able to admit that you hadn’t started the journaling process yet is something that I think most people need to take to heart. Because so many people, when they would have been asked that question, would have been like, Oh yup, definitely did it. How’s it going? Good. And that’s it. They wouldn’t have gone into details on anything, but it was just like this, Oh, Hey, I want to say what the other person wants to hear. And then it defeats the whole point of the exercise. So first of all, thank you for saying that. 

Second of all. That’s awesome that you have been doing more self-reflection and I will warn you that there is a, as I’ve been saying it a lot, a dark side to it. It’s almost like a curse. Once you start the process of thinking a lot about things: your past, the lessons, what went well, what didn’t and start analyzing situations that happened in your life. It almost is like everything that happens, you start looking at it like that and sometimes it’s just good to take it face value. But curious to know what went well there, what didn’t and if you feel like there was any takeaways and none is also a valid answer right now.

Alejandro: I can say there, there were certainly some positives. I mean, from our talk, there were a lot of things that I’d been thinking about already in the past that I did start to look at it in a slightly different light. Which I think was certainly a positive thing to do.

Of course as you said, when you go down that path, you do run the risk of then, uh, ruminating and just sort of dwelling then on a lot of negativity as well. The thing being of course, you have to face it; and in almost a Nietzschean sense. I mean, if you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you. You have to be able to confront these things, the mistakes of your past. A lot of things that might cause you a lot of pain, but then you have to also then find the way to move forward from that.

Fabian: Precisely you said it so well. 

We did talk about, in the first episode, the piece of not dwelling and being able to move on. I think it’s interesting that you still have a little bit of a struggle there, but I think most people do. Our crazy lifestyle and our story really helped me go almost to the extreme. Where I can just move on like this and some people are kind of scared of me when they see how fast I can move on. But it’s interesting that you mentioned that. 

It’s important to not only reminisce about the past and self-reflect, and kind of try to analyze it and figure out and face it head on. You know, identify it, analyze it, but then view it in a positive light. Remember the good things that came from it and if you don’t do that, it will take you to a dark place.  Once you overcome it, the benefits will be shown.

Alejandro: Good advice, bro.

Fabian: It’s a work in progress, always. 

So before we continue about the segment of real talk and becoming an expert on you, I wanted to take a moment to discuss the piece of finding your passion. I think this is something that you can’t just figure out overnight. You can’t just figure it out one week to the next, but it’s something that a lot of people need to be paying attention to. You start figuring it out by asking yourself questions and start paying attention to your daily habits. 

I’m going to tell a brief story, and then I want to hear your thoughts on that. And then I will gladly share kind of some of my passions as well. But I think one of the biggest problems in today’s society is that most people are doing things that they don’t actually love. They’re doing things for the paycheck, they’re doing things for the appearances, they’re doing things to impress people that they don’t care about because they’re so worried what they think. Once you start realizing who you are, what you like and you start doing that, it’s a game-changer, literally is life changing.

Let me tell you a brief story about a moment that really made me realize what it meant to find your passion. So, one of my first real self encountered jobs, let’s put it that way, was my experience at a timeshare sales slash marketing job. Where my whole spiel was to sell the idea of travel and get people to vacation more.

Which was literally our life. We traveled the world, we vacationed every summer to different places; usually Mexico, and Germany, but sometimes other countries. So I loved it. I didn’t even realize it, I didn’t appreciate it as much growing up. But then as I got older, I started realizing like, Oh wait, this is pretty cool.

I had that experience of doing that and I love talking to people about it. My opening line half the time was, Hey, do you guys like to travel? And they’re like, yeah, of course. They would stop and then I would bring them over, you just wave them over and you start talking to them and you do your pitch.

So I started realizing there was a lot of other people that just took that job just for kind of like a paycheck. And this one guy always resonated with me and he was not the best. He was good at talking to people, but his problem was is that he wasn’t passionate about the job or the theme or the topic, or however you want to put it. We were in Washington, downtown, by the Seattle Center, the Space Needle. You know, people would be there on vacation or be talking about their next trip, or talking about what stuff they should do in Seattle. And he would give like the spiel that you have to practice. He wasn’t really passionate about it. He didn’t really believe in it. So they didn’t really believe in him cause he didn’t have a lot of conviction behind his words. So then, the moment they said, no, he turned off his job mode, sales mode. And he’s like, well, let me give you some recommendations of what else you should do.

And then all of a sudden it’s like this fire lit up. You could tell, like, they paid attention to every word he said. You know why? Because of what he talked about was what clubs they should go to, what bars they should go to and what electronic dance music places they should go to. That was his thing. And I remember, I always told him, like, why don’t you just become like a club promoter, dude? Why are you doing this job? When he was so passionate about it. He could talk about all the newest DJs and the music and all this stuff. But you ask him about the job and travel and countries and places that you should go to, he couldn’t even go two sentences without getting bored. That’s when I was like, dude, you are doing the wrong job. And of course he got fired because he wasn’t doing his job at all.  

It really resonated with me as a prime example of someone that’s doing something that they’re not passionate about, purely for the paycheck. And if he would have done what he was truly passionate about, it would have almost been like an unlock.

He would have been free to talk about the thing that he loves talking about, and now you get paid to do it. Yes, that’s a fine line where it’s like, Ooh, sometimes you don’t want to necessarily make a job out of the thing you love, because you can almost like spoil it. But at the same time, if you really do, it shouldn’t, it doesn’t feel like work.

And I mean, that’s what this whole project is, the Chaminger brand and the Real Talk and the other shows. It doesn’t feel like work, it just feels like talking about my passions and what I’m into.  

All I know is I need to avoid everything that has to do with art and drawing. Because I can’t, stick figures are my Picassos. But get me to talking about sales, get me talking about travel, get me talking about self-improvement, exactly what I’m doing right now, and I can talk your ear off for the next three hours. I love good, challenging story, narrative-focused video games or even TV shows, but let’s talk about video games. Like it was almost like a challenge, a way of self-improvement, a focus. Those are the things that I really like, but then there’s also soccer. That’s something that our dad really instilled in us and I got to experience growing up, so I enjoy that.  Those are some of my passions and those are the things that I need to be focused on. I love parties. I love socialization. And those are all the things that I can get to do and talk about with this. But that’s me. 

Now I want to focus on you and it’s something that not a lot of people think about. Like what are the things that really interest me? What are the things that I can talk about? What could I do a full presentation? What could I do a thesis about without any preparation, any notes? If someone asked me at a networking party, Hey, what do you like? Or what are you into? Or what’s this? I can talk about it for two, three hours without any problem. That, that’s something that we need to focus on. But I want you to start thinking about it because that is how maybe you find- you do another job down the road, or maybe you just make an, uh, more hobbies related to that. Doing the things you love and really going all in is the secret.

Alejandro: Finding my passions. Well, there were a number of things that I’ve been passionate about. For example, hobby-wise, I’m proud of my singing. I’ve even had some amount of training back in the day, both in school as well as then later on in college, I took a voice training course. So I’m no pro, but I do think I sing fairly well. And it’s certainly a hobby I’m rather passionate about still. 

Fabian: So, what you’re telling me is we got the next DJ Khaled over here. Just kidding. He is really good though.


Alejandro: I’m also very passionate about, I mean, one thing I think might be interesting about the journaling might be to retake my writing. I used to, to love so much to write. I had, in my youth, this plan to be a novelist. I don’t know if maybe I have necessarily patience for, for the writing process, but I was always very passionate about that. And I think that would be something fun to retake again. I haven’t really been invested in that of late, but I think that would be something I would enjoy doing again. 

Um, baking and cooking has actually been something that I’ve devoted quite a bit of time to, a number of years ago now.  First it was as a family living together, with Fabian and our sister, we lived in an apartment together for some years and I, uh, wound up practicing my skills there.   I’m no, again, no pro, but I, I’m pretty good and I get some rave reviews from some of the stuff I make, so I think that’s good. 

On another level, uh, I mean, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science, specialized in international relations. I’ve long been interested in matters of history, of international relations, politics. These are certainly areas that I continue, to date, to try to keep well informed about.  We may end up discussing something depending on the course of this show. I think it’s important to be well-informed and these are certainly areas I feel very strongly about and dedicate quite a bit of time and interest to.

Fabian: I think those are all things that, if I had to describe you, or like some of the things that you were into in the past. Obviously it’s hard to- people’s interests change and sometimes you find something new that just really clicks with you and resonates with you. 

For example, I can relate with your cooking thing.  Obviously you were the chef back in the day and he was good. He did make some great food and especially like his cookies and his brownies, they were dangerous. It was one of those things that recently, obviously now taking more of the home life and the family life, I’ve been cooking a lot more and not necessarily baking, but I’ve enjoyed it.  It was a way to connect with my culture, with my Mexican background, my German background and I’ve loved that. It’s something that I didn’t really do before. And when I was living downtown and you know, the bachelor lifestyle, I was just ordering food delivery. But now I’ve started cooking a lot more and I like it. 

So things can change, but I would say those were things that always represented you. You were interested in cooking, you were good at writing, you were an excellent singer and those are key things. And I think we’re going to stop there for now, but those are something that I think you should think about, you should journal about and you should be talking about. You should be sharing that. I mean, for example, if you were doing the Chaminger brand, you could literally have your own segment or show talking about recommendations on how to sing better or songs for your voice tone or writing tips or pitfalls to avoid when writing or how to stay motivated or et cetera, et cetera. Right? You can get into these things and you know, you’ve done it so you can talk about it too. That’s the best thing. 

So that’s kind of like, I just want you to start thinking about that because those are things, those are kind of some of your passions and there’s a lot more, and there’s so much more we can uncover.  Once you start thinking about it like that, you’re like, huh, interesting, I really do enjoy those things. And what if every Friday we worked together and there was a cooking show or something like that. Right? All of the sudden, like talking about cultural foods or maybe we try something for the first time. That sounds kind of cool. Right?

Alejandro: Yeah, it could be cool. Yeah, it could it a fun segment I think. That’s not a bad idea.

Fabian: Those are the things that I want you to think about and that’s kind of going to be like the homework assignment. Write those down and be like, Hey, I was good at those stuff, I used to be really passionate about those things. Where could I take these? Could I use them in some other form?

Thanks for sharing. Appreciate the vulnerability, appreciate the honesty. It’s always awesome talking about things you’re into and we could spend hours doing so. And we will over the course of this uh, show.  

With that said, it is Real Talk time. It is time to continue slowly becoming an expert on you.

On our last episode, we kind of ended discussing the idea of trying and lessons and perfectionism and all that piece.  I want to get deeper into that and hear your thoughts on that.  I’d asked you what is the worst that could happen if you just try. So curious to hear your thoughts and let’s go from there.

Alejandro: The worst that can happen if you try.  What makes this a really interesting question, if you really think about it, is that on its face, you would think what’s the harm in trying after all. From a logical standpoint, you try. Either you succeed or you fail.  If you succeed, well then you can carry on. And if you don’t, then it didn’t work out. Either you change what you do, or you try something else, or harbor, depending on the circumstances. Now the real issue of course, that comes into play, is the emotional factor. If you feel like, like if you fail then that the stakes are a lot higher than  just that. That it may be reflects poorly on you as a person for whatever reason. For your role in society, for how you interact with the people close to you.

Maybe you have a dream, a passion and maybe the fact  that you fail might make you feel like  your passion was “worthless”. That the path you’re on isn’t going to lead you to anything and  what was the point then  of having tried?  I think that’s really the crux of the matter  that one grapples with here. With what’s the worst that could happen because we’ve got these competing views, competing interests.  On one hand, you can try. And there really is no harm in it, but if you view failure as something horribly negative, then that’s going to color everything regarding your attempt to do it.

Fabian: That’s a powerful answer. There’s a lot of truth to that. While yes, you’re like, there is nothing that can go wrong with you know, trying, but then the emotional impact. At the end of the day, the human brain is so powerful and we can make a skyscraper out of a little mole hill and that’s exactly the problem, right?

Like, okay, so you’re playing soccer and you failed to score a penalty and it was just practice. But for you, that was the biggest thing, because your whole identity was: I am the best penalty taker ever. And that “failure” hit you so much harder than someone else, so I understand that. 

But at the same time, my questions to you are, well, I guess I have one question and then I have a story. My question is don’t you feel like there is almost like a piece of insecurity there? Are you worried that someone is going to judge you if you fail? Or you feel like, Oh, everyone thinks that I’m a failure so therefore I am, because I did this. Let’s be real. If you were playing soccer by yourself and you shot 5,000 penalties and you only scored one, but you’re the only person who saw it, are you going to be harsh yourself? Or are you only being harsh on yourself because you’re comparing yourself to other people and what are they going to think and what did they expect? So that’s the question, but I just really briefly want to share the story and then we’ll go back to the question, is it an insecurity question? 

Um, at my last sales job, at one of our conferences, there was a speaker- I need to check her name. She talked about handling fear in a separate way. And I remember I did send you some of her content a long time ago, Alejandro, but it was basically-

Alejandro: Remind me what it is and I’ll be sure to have a refresher course on that.

Fabian: Will do. Her question was: don’t view it as what’s the worst that can happen, ask yourself what is the best thing that could happen when doing something?

So after doing some digging, her name was actually Michelle Poler and she did come to one of our conferences and she spoke about fear and overcoming self-doubt. And it really resonated with me at the time, because I was in my process of doing my self improvement journey. So I was like, yes, yes. Finally, someone that gets it!

 I was looking around the room that I was in and she started the conference or whatever you want to call it, her keynote. Um, She just started, like there was some music and then they introduced her and then she just came in like dancing into the stage.

And I remember I looked around and like all the random reps, sales reps are very insecure. Holy shit are they insecure! And like some of the marketing people. And they were like, who is this weirdo? Who’s this weirdo? Who is this weirdo? And she’s like everyone stand up and dance and like pretty much no one did.  

Then she did her talk and it was really about  overcoming your fears and changing your perspective of what’s the worst that can happen to what’s the best thing that can happen. And how she went on this journey of a hundred days trying something new and things that she was afraid of. So for example, you know, sky diving, um, white river rafting, rock climbing, being in a container with like spiders or centipedes or whatever, like things that she was absolutely terrified about.

Her biggest fear was public speaking. And now she is a speaker that gets paid a lot of money traveling around the world doing that. Like that was her like hundredth thing, a hundred days of doing and that was her last one. It was like doing a TEDx Talk and she was like, trembling.

Alejandro: I think I might remember that.

Fabian: Yep. So highly recommended everyone to check it out, but it definitely resonated with me.  At the end she finishes, we’re like, okay everyone, well, what’s the worst that can happen? Just have fun, dance.  The amount of people that were dancing and like got up from their chairs after, at the end, was astronomically different.

And I’m like, Oh my God, you guys. I mean, I’m glad that it resonated with them, but the fact that just a 30 minute or 45 minute talk is enough to get them to have the balls to do it. I’m just like, Ugh, but that’s literal proof of the insecurity that is in every single person. And they were judging her, you know? They were afraid to look like fools.

So that’s just something that always resonated with me is changing that perspective, being more positive about it.  What is the best thing that could happen? You know?  What if I quit my job and I apply for this position that I, most people think that I’m unqualified for and yet I actually land the job?

Let’s talk about my medical software sales job. I had applied and I had only three years of true sales experience and most people that were doing it, had like 10 plus. And, you know, I con- the person that was interviewing me was half Mexican, half German. His grandma was from Oaxaca. He went to the University of Washington.  And within two minutes, or maybe three of the first phone interview, he said, you’re already moving on to the next stage. I guarantee if you saw that ad  on indeed or something that said you need 10 years of a sales experience and five years of medical  sales experience. Yet here I am. And I was already moving on to the next stage, just  because I tried. Obviously my resume was pretty strong and I made a convincing case, but you never know. Right? Like that was literally the best case scenario. 

What’s the worst case scenario? The guy is like, you are extremely under-qualified and then you try again. It’s one of those things that just completely changes your world once you realize that really it’s not that bad.

If you can put up with other people negatively judging you for even a second. Like, okay. Karaoke. I’m a big fan of karaoke now, but when I first started doing it, I wasn’t.  Like you could just go up there and you sing. And you know what, I’m good at singing a few songs, but I’m not the best at all of them because my singing style is to basically imitate and match the singer. I’m really good at keeping the exact same tone of whoever is singing.  If it’s a tone that I just can’t reach, then I’m going to sound pretty off key.  Finding your song and having the confidence to do that took a while. But once you realize, you do it and like, whatever, like let’s say there was 10 drunk couples over there. Guess what? You’re probably never going to see them again. But you know, there could be a lot of good that comes from it. Maybe you just had fun. So it’s just rewiring, again, your brain and how to view these scenarios and try new things and experiment and not being afraid of that failure. 

And that’s where I go to the question of, is it really an insecurity thing? I know for myself that’s what it was before. I felt like if I try something and I fail, well, how’s that going to make me look. So I’m curious to hear your thoughts on that.

Alejandro: I absolutely agree that it is a concern about insecurity. 

I was struck by the comment you made about your representatives with the talk that, um, your guest speaker made. I was strongly reminded  of many years ago, back when I was in elementary school.  This one, uh, boy who was a friend of mine, he’d brought  these, uh, he was making  these balloon hats or whatever as it were. And I had this sort of serious image to me of respectability. So I was hesitant to, uh, to, to don this fairly silly looking thing. Even though I was, was a good friend of his. But at the time, I remember I hesitated about doing that, because of that sort of, uh, insecurity of how I would appear doing so.

And now, for quite some time, I’ve embraced being a lot more open about a lot of these things. Many people still think I’m serious, but I still have a far more silly, goofy side, even you could say relaxed.  

For example, uh, I remember I was helping a coworker move and, uh, you wouldn’t think it, but then I ended up playing with his son. They had this, uh, Mario and Yoshi figurines, and I was imitating the voices of the characters and we were playing around. I think my coworker even made a joke to his wife about there being two kids playing around there, being me and his young son. But yeah, things like that, uh, are stuff that we should move past. 

And one, reminds me actually a very good quote by CS Lewis. About how, when he was grown, he gave up on, on childish things, including the fear of appearing childish.  Many think that, Oh, these things are childish and then we should discard them, but really once you’re grown, you can then appreciate all the things. Appreciate things you liked maybe without the fear of being held back by how you’ll be perceived.

If we tie that back then to this, uh, fear of trying, I definitely agree that it is an insecurity. For example, my case, I have very high standards for a lot of things that, as I said, I suffered and to a slightly lesser extent now, but definitely in the past my perfectionism. So if it didn’t meet the high standard that I had for myself, I felt then now what was the point of maybe doing it? If I wasn’t, it didn’t come out perfect, then I would never do it, I wouldn’t take it on. I felt like if I didn’t meet that standard,  in an attempt to do so, that I was settling for mediocrity. So that’s how I envisioned it. 

And I, at some extent, I guess maybe it still affects me to this day.  I would say that  really is a limiting belief in that way. You shouldn’t let the, how was the phrase? Just being forced that you shouldn’t let the desire for perfect prevent you from achieving the good. I’m sure we can look up the exact quote later, but something to that effect.

Fabian: I can resonate with everything you said. The piece about you talking about, Oh, I did this, or I had that experience when I was a kid in elementary school. I mean, let’s be real, man, that’s going to happen to most people. If you have figured it out in elementary school, you are ahead of the game. And basically the only way you could have figured it out in elementary school is if your parents raised you that way. And the problem is that the culture, the world didn’t really work that way, let’s just put it that way, back then. The world was very insecure and it was all about, you know, um, what was the phrase keeping up with the Joneses?

So back then it really was about keeping up with the Joneses; it was all about appearances. You know, you got to live the American dream. You gotta get the house. Your kids had to be raised well. They have to go to college. They have to be a doctor. They have to be a lawyer. What does the neighbor going to think? What are my aunts, my uncles, my grandparents, et cetera, going to think? That was really the world we lived in. And it still is the world we live in, but I feel like the internet, exposure to so much more, people being able to travel more, this excess amount of knowledge that is now available to us has kind of changed the world.

All of a sudden you realize it’s like, wait a minute. None of this actually really matters. And that’s one of the big things that I want to get across with all these talks is that once you just realize that you can think a different way, it changes the world. 

Once I realized that I didn’t have to care what someone thought that doesn’t know me at all, that doesn’t know anything about me or the stuff that I’ve gone through. It’s like, Whoa, all of a sudden you feel free. And that’s real. I mean, it takes a lot to get there and we’re going to be doing a work in progress to get there.  

 I really appreciate the things that you said and the stories you said, they all kind of relate to that. So that’s something that we will continually revisit as we do more of these shows and episodes. 

There’s one more piece that I wanted to touch upon that relates to the first episode before we continue your story and the background of your travels and how we got to where we are today. And it was the piece about worthiness. That was a very heavy piece, but it was a really important part that you talked about.  I want to share a statement and I want to hear your thoughts on it.

Do you feel that people were born thinking that they’re not worthy or good enough? Cause I would argue that when we were kids, when we were whatever age it is when things changed, we were not born thinking that we’re not good at X, Y, or Z.  We were not born thinking we’re overweight. We were not born thinking that we’re ugly. We were not born thinking that our voice is weird or any of those stuff. Someone or something, in the past, it usually was TV advertisements or magazines or friends or parents or uncles, or, um, neighbors, someone planted that thought in our head. And now that thought is floating inside there. And then, I mean, the fact is though, you start thinking about it, you’re like, Oh wait, Oh, maybe that is the case. And that’s when problems arise. 

So curious about your thoughts on one where we born thinking these negative stuff about ourselves and two, if not, will you say that someone put it in there?

Alejandro: Yes Fabian, you raise a very important point. I definitely do not think that it’s a priority sort of deal that I definitely do think that it is a learned experience based on a number of factors. We’re exposed to just so much from an early age on. From the media we consume, from our cultural influences, the people we interact with, maybe religion, other values that are inculcated within us.

There’s just so many things. So many factors that come to play. That you really wouldn’t think about, but all these things influence how we think, how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive others and how we perceive so many things in our lives. 

For example, we could say the color, the color pink is seen as, in modern society, a feminine color. But historically it was in, Roman times for example, viewed as a masculine color because of its association with the color red and blood and the focus on, on warfare, on conflict. So you can see evolving views on that matter. 

Fabian: So it sounds like to me, you’re saying that our environment, our surroundings, the people we hang out with, the people we listen to subconsciously and consciously truly influence the way we view ourselves. Would you say that’s accurate?

Alejandro: I agree. It is absolutely accurate.

Fabian: So with that statement then, would you argue or would you say that our negative thoughts about ourselves are actually because of other people and things?

Alejandro: Yes. That’s why it’s so important to look at all the media we consume, for example. We have all these images of what is the, like you said, with the Joneses is what is the ideal image of American society? The white picket fence, the family, the kids, the dog. We have the ideal body shape for both men and women, that you have to be paired up with a spouse.

There’s so many things out there that influence how they want people to think. And whether we are conscious about it or not, these things are influencing us in very subtle fashions. And consequently, even if we’re not aware of it, these things will influence how we act, how we think and in a very insidious fashion. Then that might cause us a lot of self harm because of these negative views than we might end up, um, reading within ourselves. 

Fabian: Well, it’s really interesting that it sounds to me like you are agreeing that a lot of the negative self narrative that we create comes from the things that we consume, the people surround ourselves with, the environment we are at, all those variables come into play. So then my question to you is, and we can do a deeper dive down the road, but I want to hear your initial reaction action to this question.

Where do you think your feeling of unworthiness at six, seven, eight, five years old came from then, if what you’re saying is that?

Alejandro: In our previous discussion, I had brought up the fact that I was sickly and I had come to this, uh, idea. Well, my, I know that my parents were- our parents were frustrated by it.  It was an issue that concerns any good parent, that they want to make sure that their kids are healthy.

 I certainly perceived some of that frustration as well. Certainly you can’t help, but notice these things as kids; they are very perceptive, regardless of what one might think. And I was no exception. I felt very guilty about my situation, as I had said before.

And I certainly feel like that was, uh, played a significant role in that, that feeling of unworthiness. That I had this problem. And I know that then moving on, in school, I put a lot of emphasis on learning then, on doing well. That basically was my way to validate myself and my self-worth.

Getting good grades, getting sort of achievements, little recognitions, you know, the little diploma things that they gave you in school back in the day, uh, was something that, that validated me. That, uh, it meant that I was doing things right. 

We will obviously get to this probably in greater depth in other episodes once we, we move on into later parts in our life. But, there came a time when things became more complicated in school and I wasn’t doing as well. So to me, that reflected badly on me, because if my worth was so intricately tied to doing well. The fact that I wasn’t, for whatever reason, uh, meant that I was failing. And if I was a failure, then I saw it as I was failing as a person and that was unacceptable to me. 

This is an interesting thing that I actually learned about back in college. Was about this concept of the existential identity. That we have this certain image that we have of ourselves and if something comes up that goes completely against that narrative, that threatens our very sense of being. And so we have to either eradicate it, we have to find some way to change it, to oppose it, to move on. Anything that we can do to try to change. Now, granted, this was a concept that was brought up in a class about uh, uh, Israel and Palestine. And this was some concept developed by some, some Nazi, so we’ll take it with a grain of salt, of course. 

The idea there is still very interesting, that we have this idea that we have about ourselves. And if something goes against that, then we feel threatened as a person because that  represents who we are.

Fabian: Well Alejandro, I definitely want to continue talking about the idea of our identity and something that completely changes our view on ourselves. Because at the end of the day, we really do start seeing ourselves in a certain way. Other people start reinforcing that view and it’s almost like this self-fulfilling prophecy. So if something happens that changes that, that is super interesting, but also can be quite harmful. 

I feel like there’s a lot of very valuable stories that we can discuss, analyze and get lessons from that relate to all the things that we just talked about when we continue the story of how we got here. I know in our last episode we were talking about Florida, we were talking about kindergarten, we were talking about storms, we were talking about adjusting to this new lifestyle. So how about we start there? What happened?  Was there anything else that was relevant or meaningful that happened in Florida that you’d love to share?

Alejandro: Sure. Sure. As I said, there was certainly a personality change that was ongoing between Florida and  we’ll see later on, I’ll bring that up again in a moment. One interesting facet there was since we lived in Miami, we were relatively close to Orlando. So we did have the opportunity to go to places like Disney World, Epcot center, which was our personal favorite.  We obviously enjoyed it a lot as kids and as a family.  One thing that stood out, that you were so kind to remind me about just now, was how as a kid, I was this very open youngster. I would go up to people and I would say, Oh, look, this is  X’s, um, castle here. I’d go up to people if I saw them smoking in a restaurant, I’d say, you know, smoking’s bad for your health. I remember getting once this really respectful answer.

Well I don’t remember, my mom reminds me that this happened, I should point out. But yes, they were very respectful and said, Hey, you know, this just something I do or I can’t help it, but they were very respectful towards me as a child in, in responding to me. So that was certainly something to how I was as a child. And that was something that to some extent did change when we would move to our next location. 

Fabian: Hey guys. Thanks for tuning in to Real Talk. This concludes this part. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we loved making it. Please leave a comment mentioning what parts resonated with you and made you self reflect or view things differently. Please review or follow our podcast too. It helps us so much.

As always, don’t forget to follow us on all our social medias to get the full experience of #BecomingXceptional. Remember, stay amazing and tune in next week to hear what happens next on this session of Real Talk. Chaminger out.

April 25, 2021

Real Talk Episode #2 Part 2 – just released!

We are excited to celebrate the continuation of our official podcast launch with Real Talk Episode#1 Part 2! This is a continuation of the first episode of our 2nd series of Chaminger Becoming Xceptional. Are you ready to have the real talk with yourself? It is time to listen to someone else start their self-reflection journey and see if you can relate or do the same things.

April 25, 2021

Podcast Launch! Real Talk Episode #1 Part 1

We are excited to celebrate the continuation of our official podcast launch – Real Talk; the first episode of our 2nd series of Chaminger Becoming Xceptional. This is a series that I highly recommend everyone to watch to understand the benefits of self-reflection and having honest conversations with ourselves and others. Check out the audio and transcript of our entire episode below. We appreciate you for starting the journey to #BecomingXceptional with us!

April 20, 2021

Real Talk Trailer released!

Hello everybody! How are we today?! Here at Chaminger we have another exciting announcement. We have just released our trailer for a very special series of our podcast show: Chaminger: Becoming Xceptional – Real Talk. We have the audio, video and written version available for your consumption pleasure. What can you expect?

Real talk is all about the journey of self-improvement & getting to know oneself in which we discuss the harsh truths related to becoming successful. Become an expert on you while understanding the impact of your past you were not even aware of; and discover the process of overcoming your own insecurities. Be you; be free; #stayamazing. Join us in the journey of self-reflection, we will be doing it with you!

Official Launch for our podcast: Saturday, April 24th, 2021! Save the date. This is one journey you can’t miss!


Real Talk Trailer
Real Talk Trailer


Fabian: Hey, what’s up everybody. My name is Fabian Chagoya.

Alejandro: And this is Alejandro Chagoya  

Fabian: And this is Real Talk, a show all about the journey of self-improvement and discovering yourself and the harsh truths associated with that and finding success.

We are so focused on the image and we’re so focused on how we want to portray ourselves that there is this lack of authenticity. Because of that, there’s this fear of being honest, of telling people what they need to hear.

Alejandro: You make this  false image of what you think people expect you to be, as opposed to being true to yourself is, uh, doing oneself really a great disservice.

Fabian: Don’t conform into who you think you need to be, rather embrace who you really are and get to know yourself.

There’s so much more to you, there’s so much more to me, there’s so much more to every single person, but so many people are afraid to show that, afraid to be who they really are.  One of the biggest things to becoming successful, becoming happier,  and having just a lot easier life, more confidence is just embracing those things that make you who you are.

I’m just really confident in myself, I know who I am and I’m happy and I wanted to pass that along to everyone else.

Do you feel that people were born thinking that they’re not worthy or good enough? Cause I would argue that we were not born thinking that we’re not good at X, Y, or Z

Alejandro: There’s just so many things. So many factors that come into play. That you really wouldn’t think about, but all these things influence how we think, how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive others and how we perceive so many things in our lives.

Fabian: It’s important to not only reminisce about the past and self-reflect and kind of try to analyze it.  Identify it, analyze it, but then view it in a positive light. Remember the good things that came from it.

It’s a work in progress, always. 

Even in the dark times, in the negatives that there could be a change of path.  This happened, it sucked, but it opened a new road for you. And that, that is powerful. 

 It is time to continue slowly becoming an expert on you.