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
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.
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