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!
We celebrated our launch with a successful livestream party. Check out the recordings here:
Listen to our podcast launch: Real Talk Episode #1 Part 1
And read along – the transcript of Real Talk Episode #1 P1:
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.
So Alejandro, what do you think about this? We’re finally doing it.
Alejandro: I’m more than happy to be here with you Fab. I remember this was this incredible passion project that you were telling me about last year and that conviction that you presented with, to me, just really made your case. And I’m more than happy to be here with you now as a part of this.
Fabian: I am so glad you are here. It was one of the things that it surprised myself talking about it to you, sharing my passion, my desire to do this. To record a show where we have a brotherly talk, where we just really are vulnerable and share our thoughts and our feelings, and kind of talk about our past and our lessons.
And as I was brainstorming it, it just really connected to me because I knew all the things that I had overcome. And the amount of self reflection, self analysis that I had to do over the past few years and months, that really got me to where I am right now. Where 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 because I know that. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it, what are the few things that made you or brought you to where you are today. When I could pinpoint it to, these things that I changed about myself or that I figured out about myself, and then here we are. That’s when I knew that I had to give that to other people. That’s kind of where we are today, but here we are with our first episode of Real Talk. And it’s something that most people in the world, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about it, I feel like there’s this aura of fakeness that envelops most people and most things today, in the world. I mean, what do you think about that?
Alejandro: Oh, I definitely agree. Truth be told, no one is necessarily the exact person they are with everyone, that’s just the nature of one’s relationship with different people. You present yourself in a different way with, with family, with friends, with coworkers, that might just, just be the- not necessarily just an image you presenting to people, but just, just how you, you get associated with how you get along. But yes, I do certainly agree that it’s, moving past that point, then people often times crafts certain image there they’re very image-conscious and yes, one’s reputation obviously in society is a crucial component of everything in their life. But I definitely agree that, that this, uh, the sense that, that you make this false image of what you expect people, what you think people expect you to be as opposed to being true to yourself is, uh, doing oneself really a great disservice. I know that at least with myself, for example, I, with people I’ve spoken to, they’ve often found that, that my candor and honesty that I don’t want to say that I necessarily have my heart on my sleeve, but, they find it a lot rather refreshing just how I engage with them that I’m not like someone with a seemingly hidden agenda, or so it would seem anyway.
Fabian: Yeah, I can relate, I can relate. I mean, I think there’s a lot to unpack there. Honestly, I almost feel like, and that’s the end of Real Talk because my brother just got to the point. It’s kind of sad, but it’s kind of true to think that this world that we live in right now. 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. And because of that, there’s this fear of being honest of telling people what they need to hear. I can tell you that I’ve quote, unquote, ruined certain friendships or relationships with people over the fact that just communicated a harsh truth, things that they needed to hear, but they were not prepared to hear. They were living in their own fantasy world, no one has ever told them what they were doing wrong or what they could improve and it’s not like you were attacking who they are as a person, you’re just saying, Hey, you should be aware of this, you should try this.
So let’s talk authenticity, is the major driving factor behind why I started this show with you, Alejandro; Real Talk. Moving to Colorado, I found very quickly that my idea of what it was, was not true to reality. Coming from Washington, coming from having lived in so many different countries and traveling so much, the people that were here and the people that moved here either were the worst liars in the world, or everyone moved here for the exact same reason, which was to hike, ski and drink beers while petting their golden retriever while driving in your Subaru. Like, it was literally to a T you could get four of those five correct out of every, like eight out of 10 people were that. And that’s a problem; you shouldn’t be able to define people you’ve never met to that extent. Wouldn’t you say?
Alejandro: Oh, yes, I would certainly agree. As we were discussing earlier, this whole idea of, of having a crafted image and, and sort of conforming to that, because as much, I mean, sure one can talk about individual tastes, but like you said, it’s a little dubious that everyone just so happens to like all the exact same things. And yes, a friend group and whatnot will come together with their shared interests. But no, I think that you really address a serious issue. That these people maybe want to cultivate a certain image, to adopt a certain lifestyle that they think will be beneficial for them. Maybe not so much for themself, but maybe for the role that they can assume then as a result in society. And, uh, how should we put this? One should really try to be ideally true to oneself that they, um, one shouldn’t necessarily discard their own individual tastes and interests just because they know Oh, that this is what’s expected of me.
Fabian: Exactly. And that is really one of the biggest themes of this show, is trying to get people to realize exactly what you just said. That don’t conform into who you think you need to be, rather embrace who you really are and get to know yourself. And that’s the key. Like, it’s actually a lot more difficult than most people think. It’s like, do you really know yourself? Do you really know what you like? Do you really know who you are and why you do the things you do? And those are one of the things that we’re definitely going to touch on throughout our talks, throughout our weekly episodes of this. And that is going to reveal something that I think a lot of people here at Colorado need to listen to is just because you move here and you want to fit in doesn’t mean you have to throw away who you really are. You can love those things, you can try those things, but is that the Fabian Chagoya from before? I am all for rebranding yourself and trying new things, but I’m a strong believer in at the end of the day, authenticity is the key.
One of the big things is I didn’t have the success and the mindset clarity and the happiness that I had and the authenticity that I have now, even just a few years ago. And this has been a long journey and work and effort. I want people to realize that you and I had very similar backgrounds.
So the idea behind Real Talk was finding a format for us, the bros, to really not only talk about our issues, our past, our successes and our goals, our improvement desires, but just being vulnerable. And I think it’s a lot easier being vulnerable with someone that you know, and that you’ve lived with for so long. I mean, can you relate to that?
Alejandro: Yes. Yes, certainly can. When you have that closeness, you have this certain bond and ours certainly, we’ll probably get into detail in a little bit. But ours was a fire forged bond there between a number of challenges we had to face in our lives together as much, in large part because of our dad’s profession in the Mexican foreign service.
Fabian: It’s one of those things that is kind of the goal of this, was to have that honesty, to have the vulnerability, have that transparency and have that with everyone. I think once you realize that you can actually share that with a lot of people and you’re not going to get hurt. The worst thing you’re going to get is some people might think you’re a weirdo because they’re like, they’ve never had anyone be real with them and ever not even their parents. Then they, they’re just going to get scared, but at the end of the day, do you want to be friends with someone that’s like that?
Alejandro: No, this, this fake facade that someone could put up to is no, I don’t want to make any friends with that sort of person. Because they’ll probably be, uh, this this mask covering up, this backstabbing person. Then you can maybe go into someone saying, oh, I’m this, this person who says it, how it is, so to speak. But no, one thing is saying things how it is, and then not those having manners, that’s an important distinction you have to make.
This, this whole idea of this fake image that someone’s presenting here is not one that I would want to associate. If I want to know someone, I want to know who they really are. And that’s something that really resonates strongly for me especially. That the idea that I would feel comfortable letting people in and letting them know who I really am as a person, because I know that many people who don’t know me, for example, might think that I’m this closed off, uh, maybe cold, reserved sort of person. Then they get to know me a little better and then they know, Oh, you’re not some, how should we put it, standoffish sort of person. You’re actually really warm and, and caring and you really look out for the people that are important for you, that you’re really compassionate.
Fabian: I can resonate 100% with what you’re saying about how you don’t want to connect with someone from the beginning on basically a lie, on a fakeness, on a false reality. And two, there’s a lot more that is behind this wall than most people think. And that’s something that we are really going to touch upon, you and me, because I know because of our backgrounds, we had some major walls. Like people think the great wall of China was thick, they don’t know our walls. Especially because I was this, I am, the sales guy, this outspoken, very strong social skills guy, but what most people realize very quickly is that there’s maybe like five people that actually know me, in my life. And I can make new friends like this. They don’t know anything; I control exactly what they know. Most people know me maybe 10%. That’s kind of scary. That’s kind of scary when you think about it. Like, they think they know me, they make judgements based on what they think they know and they don’t, and that is when things get interesting.
And that’s kind of the root of Real Talk, because like you said, 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.
One of those things is just changing how you view yourself and view those quirks, your background. And that’s something we’re going to get into a lot and we’re going to keep talking about every episode, but, uh, really before we get into like sharing a story and doing a deep dive, I just wanted to do a brief breakdown of our format of how we’re going to talk about this week by week.
So this was kind of our small talk segment, where we chat about how things are going in our personal life, how things are going in current events, a brief recap of last week, or how things are progressing. We’re going to do a check in to see how our improvement goals are going and so forth.
But really after that is when we’re going to get into the meat and potatoes of things. The goal of Real Talk is becoming an expert on you. Really getting to know yourself, finding your passion. Being vulnerable and seeing which areas you can work on and which areas you should work on and identifying those things. If there’s issues, squashing them, and if they’re not issues and they’re strengths, you know, letting them blossom. That’s really the goal. And we’re going to be doing that by sharing vulnerable stories, but really vulnerable is just being honest these happen. They’re not maybe the best stories to share about you and I or about other people, but they are the truth. We’re going to analyze those stories. We’re going to find a way of changing how we view them, because that’s something that most people don’t do. Like the past makes us who we are, but we’ve never really paused to see oh wait, was it necessarily as bad as I thought it was? I mean, maybe I learned something from that. Once you start having that mindset and you can constantly do that, things start clicking. So we’re going to be looking for the lesson, but really what we’re going to always be tying it back to is the notion of the Chaminger Xperience, which you’ll hear more about in our other podcasts and shows, but it really is how to get to this point of success and improvement, and just confidence and happiness and it really comes down to identifying the issue, creating a goal, believing in yourself and whatever that is. #ABI, always be improving no matter how small it is and then challenging yourself and doing it.
And if you follow that process slowly, slowly, slowly, over time, things are going to change and are going to improve. So that’s really the goal and then at the end, we’re going to just debrief and talk about what we found out, how we feel. And if this works as it should, most people are going to see that just by naturally talking to people that listen to you, that are positive. You’re going to start changing your mindset, you’re going to start changing your beliefs. It’s almost literally brainwashing. What you put in your ears in your head and how you hear yourself and think about yourself, changes a lot. So the goal is that after weeks of doing this, we can look, myself and you and our audience, look at ourselves and be like, wow, look at us 10 weeks ago, who we were back then and who we are now, has there been progress? Cause there should be. And even if it’s just, you know, quantify it as much as you want, but I’m 5% happier, I feel so much less stressed, that’s already a win. And that’s the goal of this, really get people to that point. Because right now the Coronavirus pandemic has forced people into this: I need to change, I need to adapt, I need to fight this new beast, I need to completely live a different lifestyle. And for most people that are not you and me, that’s the hardest thing possible to change how you live. So I think let’s start at that point. I think that’s a great entry point to kind of sharing a story of who we were and how we got to the point that we are so good at adapting.
Alejandro: All right, my story. So, let’s start from the very beginning. I was born with my twin sister in Seattle, Washington, Swedish Hospital. It’s a very interesting story because , to go into the background , I have to go always to this very beginning here.
So my dad met my mom at my aunt and uncle’s wedding in Mexico City. My aunt is German, as is my mother, of course. And my dad’s best friend was getting married to her, he’s Mexican. So my dad Mexican, my mother German, they met at the wedding. They were like, Oh, you both, uh, are learning English. Why don’t you talk with each other? So that’s how they met. And wouldn’t you know it, they got married, they had kids. And, my dad was working in the Mexican foreign service and he was stationed in his first position in Seattle, Washington, where we were born.
Fabian: Can I pause you right there for a second?
Alejandro: No absolutely.
Fabian: Can I just say that that’s such a cool thing that it goes to show you that you can never really predict where you meet someone that can completely change your life. Obviously like my dad meeting my mom, through whatever means, obviously it’s like through her sister and his friend or whatever it is right? In a wedding or it could have been a party, it could have been anything else. But because of that, that literally is the reason why we are here today. When you go back that far and you like do the domino pieces, you’re like, Oh, that caused this and this caused that. That’s when you start realizing and take a moment to pause and like, my past really defines me. And like the little decisions change so much. So, I mean, I just wanted to point that out because that’s such a cool thing that even I love, but continue he’s in Seattle, Washington. And is he now with my mom?
Alejandro: Yes. He is with our mom. In Seattle, we, um, my twin sister and I, were born premature, two weeks. So we were in, uh, in an incubator. At that time, it was a little worrisome. Especially, I’m told that at the time, there was lot of concern about twin fatalities, especially in cases of premature babies.
But, fortunately, we survived and we are still alive and kicking today. And so, and then a couple of years later, my brother, Fabian, was born. Uh, We had a nice childhood there in Seattle and then after a few years there, uh, the nature of my father’s profession, meant that he would have to relocate. Uh, basically anyone in any diplomatic of any country has to have occasional rotations of where they would be stationed.
They are never specifically set in one specific spot for too long, because obviously, they are meant to represent their, their country from where they’re from and in the country that is hosting them at that time. Then that entails different assignments every so often as is required of them.
Anyway, he then, um, had to move to Miami, Florida. Which only happened because my dad broke his leg playing soccer, and he was originally meant to go to Texas. That was altered as a result of the, of that injury. So, yes, we ended up going to Miami, Florida we were there a few years. We were, I had a good time there.
Fabian: So Miami, our dad only moved there because his leg broke playing soccer, which is again, and once again, insane. We were going to live in Texas, in a border town and we would have been so different as people if we would have, if I would have grown up as a little baby there, if you, especially because you were in some of your major formative years.
Tell me about Miami. Tell me about like, how old were you and what really happened there? And do you feel like that kind of started changing who you were as a person?
Alejandro: Yes. Miami let’s see. Well, early on, we arrived, we would have been about four years olds, uh, Diana and I; you would have been just a few months old when we first arrived in Miami. I know that sometime after we’d arrived, we did experience hurricane Andrew, which was for those who aren’t aware, it was an incredibly destructive hurricane, back in the early nineties. We were fortunate that we were not, didn’t receive the brunt of the storm.
It was the first hurricane my parents ever experienced. I know that my mom memorably mentions how she was noticing the neighbors were reacting. She was like, you know, honey, maybe we should go to the store and get some things. Don’t you think? I’m like, yes. So that’s so fortunately, yes, we were okay. And then from there we, started school and my sister and I, Fabian was still too young. we had a very-
Fabian: Hold on.
Isn’t that crazy? That you’ve never experienced hurricanes before and it’s our first time as a family experiencing this, because where my dad was from, my mom was from, they didn’t even exist. You just didn’t get hit by those kinds of storms. So it’s like, how do you deal with something? And I think that the reason why I pause here, because that’s going to be one of our major themes of our conversation, dude. There’s so many things that we experienced growing up that we just never had that experience because it was a first.
I mean, there’s a lot to be said about that. There’s a lot to unpack and we’re gonna have to talk about it on another episode, but doing things for the first time, it’s kind of scary. But after you do it once you’re like, Oh, I guess it really wasn’t that bad. That was kind of like the theme of our family.
I mean, we’ll get into more as we hear more of how you’re sharing our background and from your perspective, but this is the first time our family is experiencing a major tropical storm. It’s like, what do, what if, what happens? What are you supposed to do? Like who knows? And I can’t even imagine back then, you didn’t have the internet.
So you can’t just Google, Hey, tropical storm tips. Right? Like now it’s so easy. But back then, it was like, what do we do? And so to think that just looking at your surroundings and what other people are doing was almost validating and kind of guiding force. That’s actually kinda scary, because I know for a fact, sorry to any of my neighbors but some of the neighbors that I’ve had growing up, or even just recently are fools and , should I listen and do what they do? Probably not. And to think that that was what my parents had to use as a basis. I think there’s just a lot to unpack there, but continue. And I’d be curious to hear what you think.
Alejandro: I do agree now, that is an excellent point to think about that. There was a certainly a degree of trust there with that my parents had. And to be fair, I don’t remember too well, uh, our neighbors at the time, but I know that my mother did have a decent relationship with the neighbor next door. And I think that, that did help, that bond. Well, maybe a bond might be a stretch, but regardless there was some trust in that, that’s obviously helped I think, in that case.
And moving on anyway. Uh, yes , the school. Yes. Uh, now that , I almost forgot about it, but now that you mentioned about the first time and all this stuff, there was a very interesting bit of culture shock for my parents and for us because, uh, very interesting circumstances. We had visited Germany as a family, a while back. And we had actually gotten special permission from the mayor of the small town that my mother was originally from, Westheim, which is located in Bavaria in the South, that we could go to the kindergarten there. And now kindergarten in Germany is very different from the kindergarten in the United States.
Uh, almost more like a preschool, daycare sort of thing really. Where children interact and then they grow and learn. So we had an enjoyable, month-long experience, I think it was, if I recall correctly.
Fabian: That’s just crazy to think that that experience, you going to school just for a brief period in a foreign country compared like whatever it was, it was Germany, wasn’t where we were living. Basically defined the rest of our lives, spoiler alert, but seriously, it’s like, Hey, you’re going to live in a and go to school in a foreign place for a short period of time. Next. It kind of set the tone.
Alejandro: Yeah, actually, it did now that you mention it. And it also reminds me now that, I completely forgot to mention that, just because of our home life, my birth language, one could say my mother tongue, is technically German. Yeah, because we were home with our mother so that’s what we were speaking. And there was even a point, I remember, the famous story of how my father called us on the phone and we answered to him in German and he was like, Oh no, I can’t understand my kids. It sounds funny, but that does sound a bit concerning if you really think about it.
Obviously growing up in the United States and exposed to people and media, we picked up that, the English language enough so that, uh, German was, was completely forgotten. So by the time we make it to Germany, when we were attending kindergarten, we had to basically relearn the whole language. I remember that, that some, some of the kids said Hey, we’ve got some weird students there at the kindergarten; they speak Chinese.
Fabian: Oh my goodness, right? That’s crazy to think that, I mean, obviously they weren’t ever used to that. Especially at that time, people didn’t really travel as much. So it was like, Whoa, who are these people? What is this?
Alejandro: Exactly. Yeah. This is just for context, this would have been the early nineties.
Fabian: Do you feel like you remember anything of that, like that kindergarten experience? Are there memories or is it just kind of like hearsay and videos and pictures?
Alejandro: Uh, I would say I do remember some events, yes. I’m sure that some of the old video footage that our parents took probably has blended into my mind from that. But I do recall we had a memorable Christmas production because we were actually there during Christmas time.
So I do recall, we had, for example, this one bit. Although before that, there was this one German tradition of going out with your lantern and with the kids and singing a song. But afterwards, during Christmas time, we actually did a sort of play, a nativity play, basically.
And I recall that my sister and I were in the role of angels and we had a song to sing. So we had to learn the song and there were also I remember the bit about, uh, the Roman soldiers as well and marching. They also had their song number as well. I remember I was, at the time, I was more partial to the soldier song, but the angel one was nice of course.
Fabian: I think there’s a lot to unpack there.
Alejandro: There might be, there might be yes. The already at a young age, you could be on to something there, yes. The associations: the manly soldier and the more demure, but respectable angel. Yeah. We could see that. The, these associations, that’s a very good point you bring up
Fabian: So you had this German production, you had this German kindergarten, now you leave this kindergarten and you go to the United States, to Florida. And now you’re doing kindergarten there. How was that? Was there like an adjustment period? Was there, was it easy or did you come in being like, well, I’m the foreign German kid what’s up guys? Or did you go in being like, how was it?
Alejandro: So yes, coming in, we were in for a rude awakening, I’ll be honest. Uh, So with my parents, especially my mother coming in with the German kindergarten in mind, we came in vastly under prepared for what they expected children coming in to have. Just because our birthday’s in December, we had to wait. Just how the education system works in the United States until next year, once we had turned five to be enrolled. But coming in, we didn’t really have a mastery of the alphabet, of how to write or anything. I mean, we knew some things, but we really were clueless.
So I’m sure that didn’t, uh, win us a lot of good graces from our kindergarten teachers. Who quite honestly, we found to be rather cruel and condescending to us and to a lot of other children admittedly. Which is a very unfortunate experience because you’re transitioning here to the school system. We never went through preschool, which might’ve made a difference. I understand for a lot of people, for a lot of children, it has and continues to do so.
Fabian: Well, let’s pause here for a second. I think you are, you’re hitting a topic that I am very passionate about. That really brings a lot to light that I think so many people need to sit down and however it is that they self-reflect, it’s something we’ll talk about a lot more in every episode, but if it’s journaling, if it’s just, taking alcohol or whatever it is for you to sit down and just listen to music and write down things and think about your past and what happened, but that’s horrible to think about. You know, when you’re a kid, you’re so impressionable. Those are some of the most important, normative years of your life. They influence you and affect you so much growing up. And even today, still. I’m not a therapist, but I can tell you this for a fact.
And to think that your first experience with the U.S. and kindergarten, really, because the German one, it wasn’t really the truth of what it is. You’re essentially, you’re being judged and criticized as a kid. That your first experience when the whole point of going is to learn. And I mean, that already starts you off on a bad foot.
And again, there can be a lot to be said about it maybe wasn’t just you guys and maybe it was every student as well, but to me it sounds like those teachers were really bad. Which sucks, because I feel like teachers, again this is just my 3 cents, are criminally underpaid. They should be paid way better, but they need to be filtered a lot better. The requirements to become a teacher should be like 20 times as difficult, because they have such an impact on society and our kids. You would think that we would make sure to vet them. I just think of like doctors and how long the process is to vet them. Even the dumbest doctor is still pretty good. And the quality of teachers is not like the worst teachers are horrible and the best teachers are gods and that shouldn’t be that dramatic.
But I just wanted to highlight that because I feel like that is something that is not really discussed and it’s a major cause of childhood trauma. Which, traumas and childhood issues are a big issue why so many of us have confidence and problems that we are not even aware of, but I just found that really interesting that your teachers treated you guys like that. I mean, I know I heard bits and pieces, but that’s horrible to think that they expected you to know things when their whole job is to teach.
It’s like when you get hired at a job and they knew that they were going to have to train you, like it’s a new product that you’ve never learned before. And then they’re like, well, why don’t you know this? I’m like, well, how could I? Right?
So it’s kind of like what came first, the chicken or the egg? What came first, the student or kindergarten? It’s your first experience at school. So that’s just my take on that. But I think there’s a lot to really analyze there, Alejandro
Alejandro: It really is. I know for a fact that just how I had to interact with my teacher then afterwards. I remember coming across her, because we lived in Miami a few years and I certainly remember there was this lingering fear, even meeting her some grade levels higher up, that if I passed her by and being extremely respectful and trying to be on my utmost best behavior.
Fabian: Let me say something to you that I know is not in your DNA, but I think you need to start doing it. I’m a strong believer, I’m very passionate about letting the poison out. You gotta get the poison out. You got to talk it out, which is kind of what we’re doing. But if you’re comfortable, I think you should do this: what was her name? And be like, Hey screw you! You know? Like, that’s not cool. And it could be your words. I would put them in a much more eloquent, not, way. But, I think you should do that because that’s not cool.
The fact that you were afraid of her and that you felt like you almost had to, like, adjust your behavior. That’s something that, again, we’ll talk about it more, but the moment you start adjusting your behavior around a particular person, that’s when you’re like, wait a minute. I’m telling you, I am unapologetically myself now 99.9% of the time with everyone. And that’s hard to get to, but I know, like, there was a few people in the past where I’m like, Ooh! Yeah, no, not with that person. That’s when you realize who the problem is and what you need to start cutting out.
But what was her name? And what’s your statement to her?
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.
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