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Chasing Dreams with Aimee J.
15 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
Ep 262: Time to Rest
You can’t just be hustling all the time, you also need to take time to rest. We’ve been glorifying the hustle culture for far too long that taking a break seems unacceptable. In this episode, Aimee tackles a topic that we don’t normally discuss - taking a break. For the longest time, we’ve been taught that hustling is the only way to achieve our dreams. We didn’t realize that too much hustle leads to burnout and not becoming the best version of ourselves. There should be no shame in taking a break, it’s also a form of self-care. You spark more creative juices if you realize that your true power lies in having a rest. THE IMPORTANCE OF REST The hustle culture has been around for years but now we see a positive shift. People are more accepting of the thought that rest is needed if we want to function better. As Aimee mentioned, we’re slowly learning that “hustling isn’t always the answer.” This comes from a personal experience as Aimee also learned the value of having rest. Rest helps bring your energy level back up. If you’re consistently working without taking a break, it can be detrimental to your health. You might experience fatigue and burnout and this leads to not feeling motivated to go to work or do something you’ve always been passionate about. You need to understand that your energy depletes if you’re too obsessed with work, and you need to restore this energy. Taking breaks helps you become more productive and stronger in the long run. TWEET "Hustling isn't always the answer." #chasingdream QUOTE "Rest helps bring your energy level back to come back stronger." WHAT WE NEED TO TEACH THE NEXT GENERATION ABOUT REST We’ve been taught working long hours indicates the highest quality of work but we come to realize that this is not effective. It blocks productivity and drains creativity. We need to teach the next generation that rest is a significant part of work, regardless of the industry you’re in. Pulling all-nighters is not going to help all the time. It only teaches you to ineffectively manage your time. The power is in the rest. If you’re someone who takes pride in not having a vacation, you better evaluate what you’re doing in life. Take a step back and figure out why you’re not having a well-deserved break. Even schools are now acknowledging the importance of taking breaks for the mental health of students. We talked about this in https://aimeej21.com/chasing-dreams/episode261/ (Episode 261). It’s the same thing for adults at work. They are at risk of experiencing burnout if they don’t allow themselves to take a break. TWEET "The power is in the rest." #chasingdreams "You might do yourself more harm than good if you don't take a break." #chasingdreams QUOTE "Teach the next generation not to work in long batches of time." "It's so important that we find some way to take rest." "You can burn out at work if you don't allow breaks to be taken. CREATIVE BURNOUT - WHAT IS IT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT AN INDIVIDUAL Creative burnout is something that artists experience. We talk about taking a break but when you do take a rest, you also feel guilty for doing so. Creatives and even professionals may be in a constant struggle whether to take a break or not. If you feel confused, understand that taking a break is necessary. You may not realize that you’re already in the burnout stage and keep on pushing through but one day you just don’t want to do your work anymore. You may think that you’re doing your best but in reality, you just continue with work and do not give 100% percent to it. In Aimee’s case as a podcaster, she’s been taught that consistency is key. They have to consistently publish new episodes since this signals podcasting success. But there’s proof that creatives who took a break may lose listeners but they can also gain more. Other shows take hiatus or a planned break, and they come back stronger. We need to get rid of following a
17 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
Ep 261: Aimee J – It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
We’re halfway through the year, it seems that days went by so fast. Some of us feel like not having enough time to process everything we’re going through. Some days we feel okay, others not so much. But you have to remember, it’s okay to not be okay. In this episode, we have another inspiring discussion about it’s okay to not be okay. Aimee shares that for the past couple of months, she’s not feeling good. A lot of things happened, she lost some loved ones and this puts her in a space where she felt not okay. During these days, Aimee didn’t feel like herself. She didn’t feel motivated, excited, or happy to do the things that normally give her joy. These may be the result of creative burnout and unfortunate life events. Aimee shares her story and journey towards acceptance that there will be days that we don’t feel okay, and we’re allowed to experience and learn from this. WE DON’T TALK ABOUT NOT BEING OKAY Have you noticed that we don’t talk about not being okay? It seems like a prohibited topic in our society. According to an https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/having-sex-wanting-intimacy/202202/5-reasons-people-don-t-talk-about-what-they-need-talk-about (article published by Psychology Today), there are various reasons why people are not encouraged to talk about what they need to express. No one wants to talk about the hardships in life. We fear that this may only cause stress to the listener and additional anxiety to ourselves. But we have to accept that some days are not roses and butterflies. We also have days when it’s enough to survive and make it until the end of the day. The good thing is that millennials and Generation Xs are setting a good example that it’s okay to talk about our bad days. This act inspires the younger generation to acknowledge and accept not feeling okay. They see this as the norm and might continue doing it for future generations. TWEET "Some days, it's not roses. Some days it's just molasses." #chasingdreams IT’S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY It’s normal to not feel okay, to realize that not everything goes according to our plans. We all go through this phase and some may experience not being okay for the most part of the year. Some people may think that they are not allowed to not feel okay because other humans depend on them. The classic example of this is being a parent. Parents think that it’s against the law to feel worried, out of place, confused, and so much more. because their kids look up to them. This brings up too much pressure to feel okay despite having a raging fire inside that signals they don’t feel good. When parents do this, they build a notion that it’s undesirable to not have everything handled. And children may carry this belief until adulthood. They may think that not being okay means there is something wrong with me. What we stand for today impacts the future. Our goal is to bring more awareness to mental suffering so that the kids of tomorrow feel encouraged and supported with their struggles. The suicide rates for young people (teens and young adults) are the highest according to the https://connect.uclahealth.org/2022/03/15/suicide-rate-highest-among-teens-and-young-adults/ (article from UCLA Health). This may involve various factors, but it’s also related to not feeling okay and not having the courage or the willingness to talk about it. We need to take the initiative to show people that it’s completely fine to not feel good all the time. This way we normalize the conversation with our kids, friends, and family about mental health. This also causes a ripple effect so when a certain member of our family is having mental health struggles, he/she knows that you can help. TWEET "It's okay to not be okay." #chasing dreams QUOTE "We all go through a period where we're not okay. "Even the protectors need to be taken care of." THE NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH DAYS Wouldn’t it be better if we have additional days...
47 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
Ep 260: Tim Tortora – How To Make It In Hollywood
For some, getting into the entertainment industry is like having that impossible dream that’s never going to happen. And the perpetual question everybody’s asking - how to make it in Hollywood? In this episode, Tim Tortora tells how he conquered Hollywood and made a living out of it. He shares some of the biggest lessons that only the industry can impart and why building a connection is the number one factor for success in this arena. WHAT DID YOUNG TIM WANT TO BE WHEN HE GREW UP? With both parents having their own businesses, it’s somewhat expected for Tim to follow their path. But it was during a drive around studios that young Tim realized what he wanted to do in life. Although the subtle implication was he was going to take over the family’s business as he grows older, Tim vividly remembers telling his dad, “I don’t want to do what you do, I want to work in Hollywood.” As an undergraduate, he had a job in a recording studio as a tape operator. He eventually had a degree in advertising, and he just never stopped pursuing his passion. Tim was always adamant about creating his own path and always wanted to do the things he was interested in. He thought that being a musician was for him and as he got close to realizing this dream, Tim saw that there were a lot of guys better than him. In his words, “they were more passionate than me, they played with soul.” He added, “I could play well, but I couldn’t play with soul flawlessly.” Tim added that the guys who were good at playing music practiced for 6 hours a day. This was just not possible for him as he said, “there are a million other things I’d rather do in 6 hours than sit there and practice drums.” He had the presence of mind to realize that he had a lot of interests, and he needed to pursue them. TWEETS "I'm not interested in your path, I want to go find my own." #chasingdreams "I had the presence of mind at a young age to realize that I had a lot of interests and I needed to pursue them." #chasingdreams QUOTES "I wanted to pursue what I thought was interesting and what I dreamed of doing which was being a musician." "I just had the presence of mind knowing that I'm not going to be happy following my dad's or my mom's path.” "I could play well, but I couldn't play with soul flawlessly. THE VALUE OF HAVING PRESENCE OF MIND Since he spent most of his college career working in a recording studio, Tim saw firsthand band members who were broke, driving cars in bad conditions thus he was no stranger to the struggle. He thought to himself, “I don’t want to be that guy, I don’t want to be struggling for art.” His interesting journey of applying for work started when he sent out a cover letter with two typographical errors on it. Although he was not accepted because of this mistake, he corrected them and sent out another cover letter. Tim got a job in Columbia Pictures and worked for an ad agency, this is how his 35-year career (and counting) in movies started. Upon dipping his toes in Hollywood waters, Tim knew that having the same presence of mind will help him figure out his next steps. He realized that staying in an advertising job may let him earn a lot of money, but it’s definitely going to be miserable. He coined this situation as being in a “golden handcuff.” He adds, “it’s a lot of money, it’s great, but it’s not something that’s going to feed my soul.” Tim wanted to get closer to the actual creation of content. He quit his job and became a personal assistant for a television show. Tim climbed up the ranks and eventually achieved his goal of being a production executive. He did this by the time he was 30 years old. By having the presence of mind and following what he thought was best for him, Tim is living his best life with no regrets. He did the work as fast as he could at the highest level that he could and excelled in tasks that were given to him. TWEETS "Don't worry about the money you're making, who...
38 minutes | May 19, 2022
Ep 259: Carolyn Yates – Give Yourself Permission To Put Yourself First
The time used to invest in yourself reflects on the quality of relationships you engage in. In this episode, Carolyn Yates shares her expertise and advice for people struggling with their mental health. Our mental health condition is often affected by a lot of factors; the people around us, social media, and personal pressures but the best way to deal with this is to prioritize self-care. WHAT DID YOUNG CAROLYN WANT TO BE WHEN SHE GREW UP? Carolyn wasn’t sure what she wanted to be when she grew up. But as a young kid, she’s always been fascinated with how people think and behave. She explored a few different routes, but eventually, she became a psychology major in college. Through this, her interest in the human personality further developed. Then she finished her grad school and became a therapist. Although her journey started out with not being sure about what to be when she becomes older, there was a specific interest she kept in her heart that lead her to who she is today. Carolyn’s advice for people who are afraid of making a pivot in their lives, “be open-minded to different ideas.” When she graduated in 2008, she entered the workforce but unfortunately, the economy collapsed. Our situations may seem like adversity initially, but they can become a blessing in the end. Because of the economic crisis, she decided to go back to school and explored new ways of life. TWEETS “Be open-minded to different ideas.” #chasingdreams QUOTES "Things that feel like adversity in your path may ultimately be blessings in the long term." GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF Most of us are raised to believe that we always have to put the needs of others first. This notion is deeply embedded in our culture that we think that by putting ourselves first, we are committing a crime. This thinking made some of us resentful toward life. There’s lingering guilt of not being able to do what we’ve always wanted to because we put others first. When Carolyn was asked if it’s possible for us to take care of ourselves first, she answered, “it’s about giving yourself the permission to take care of yourself.” She adds, “to have a bit of time for yourself means you can show up in better ways.” There may be a lot of guilt involved in doing this, but this is actually not a bad thing. Some people may label this as being selfish but Carolyn reframes this. She makes people understand that spending time on yourself is always a worthy investment. When you prioritize yourself, you also get to evaluate how you are towards others and how you treat yourself. It allows you to be more patient and present. TWEETS "Take time for yourself." #chasingdreams QUOTES “To have a little bit of time for yourself means you can show up in better ways.” WAYS TO PERFORM SELF-CARE Your self-care methods don’t have to be grand and expensive. When people think of self-care, they equate it with going on splendid vacations, spas, or shopping. These can be forms of self-care, but they can also be meditating, going for a walk, enjoying nature, journaling, exercising, or nourishing your body with a healthy meal. https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729 (Self-care) can be the simple things you do that give you joy, help you calm down, and re-center. It doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s not always a one-size-fits-all, so you have to explore what self-care methods work for you. As you engage in self-care, you see the world from a different perspective. You become more in tune with your thoughts, and emotions and begin to understand what it is that you need. You learn that you can be capable of achieving things if you nurture yourself first. TWEETS "Take some time to go outside, there's something about it that's calming and soothing." #chasingdreams QUOTES “Self-care is a way to manage stress.” WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH The
11 minutes | May 4, 2022
Ep 258: Aimee J – Let’s Talk Mental Health
Mental health is not something we openly talk about and yet it greatly impacts how we live our lives. A lot of us perceive mental health as an essential topic we should be talking about. However, we all know that it’s difficult to take action when we suffer from mental health issues. In this episode, in celebration of Mental Health Awareness month, Aimee tackles a topic close to her heart and something she supports fully - mental health. Through this episode, Aimee shares how she handles mental stress and recommendations for people undergoing the same experience. It’s not easy to discuss mental health struggles, but Aimee believes that how we handle it in the present times influences the next generation. When we normalize these conversations, we also create safe spaces where people can freely talk and look for help regarding their conditions. THE NEED TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH We may not recognize it, but there is a rising need to talk about mental health. As Aimee stated, “we millennials should understand what we’re doing and how we treat mental health is impacting the generation next.” This is the right time for us to take a stand and find the help that we need. However, with this thought, it’s also important to recognize that finding help is a challenge in itself. Aimee adds, “what we need to do most importantly is acknowledge that we need help for mental health.” TWEET "What we're doing and how we treat mental health is impacting the generation next." #chasingdreams "What we need to do most importantly is acknowledge that we need help for mental health." #chasingdreams QUOTE "Finding help is also a challenge and one that is also being worked on." THE IMPORTANCE OF TALKING TO A THERAPIST Aimee is a big advocate of talking to therapists, in fact, Aimee shares that she has a wonderful therapist. “She understands what I’m going through.” Her advice for people with mental health struggles is, “find the right therapist for you.” Being able to find someone who understands what you’re going through is very helpful because you can easily relay your message. Once you find the right therapist, stick with it. This is not to say that you should see the therapist every week, figure out the number of sessions that you need. Although going to a therapist has always been labeled as taboo, we should be breaking this stigma so more and more people are encouraged to find the help they need. Aimee says, “a therapist is a third party who doesn't necessarily have a vested interest in the decisions you make.” The best thing about having a therapist is that they root for you, they want what’s best for you, but they allow you to make the choices. Therapists see you and what you’re going through from a different perspective. They give valuable and reasonable advice that you can do to make changes in your life. TWEET "Therapists want what's best for you, but they allow you to make that choice." #chasingdreams "A therapist is an outside, objective person who can give you feedback." #chasingdreams QUOTE "It's a normal thing to get help, to talk to someone that is not your family." "A therapist is a third party who doesn't necessarily have a vested interest in the decisions you make." PANDEMIC SIDE EFFECTS ON MENTAL HEALTH The pandemic has had unfortunate side effects on people, especially on mental health. A lot of professionals from different industries were affected including medical frontliners, first responders, teachers, employees, and even business owners. Their mental health was affected because of the immense stress and pressure that was placed upon them. Some of them have been forced to do things that they’re not comfortable doing. While some of them have risked and are continuously risking their lives for others. In the last few years, we have seen an increase in suicide and depression. Therefore, as a community, we should make sure that they are getting the help that they deserve and this...
23 minutes | Apr 13, 2022
Ep 257: Aimee J – You Can Do Hard Things
We tend to think that life is hard, and it is but what we fail to realize is that we’re capable of improving our lives, we have the power to pivot and deal with hard things. In this episode, Aimee explores something that she’s always been afraid to do - speak to her listeners directly. She shares her thoughts and insights about various topics and this episode, it’s about the hard things in life and why we should be empowered to handle them. Life is not always going to be a smooth ride, there will be bumps ahead but when you choose to look at it positively, you’re bound to enjoy and appreciate it more. THE DANGERS OF COMPARISONITIS We’ve all heard the term midlife crisis, society expects us to undergo a dilemma as we enter a certain age. But for Aimee, it’s better to call it “comparisonitis.” We live through the dangers of constantly comparing our lives with others, but this can be cured with time and good practice. Comparisonitis normally happens when we don’t feel secure with our lives or when we’re not happy with what’s going on. It’s easy to succumb to this phenomenon if we consistently engage in social media and compare other's “perfect” life with ours. What makes this worse is being surrounded by people who are judging you of where you are in life, this pressure leads us to believe that we are failing but in reality, everyone goes through hard things, but it’s not always broadcasted on social media. We have to take realize that we can do something about it. WHY OUR LIVES ARE BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA We have to realize that we can do something about comparisonitis. This begins with the acknowledgment that what we see on social media has been perfectly curated, it’s not always a 100% accurate depiction of other’s real life. All we see is the end result, we don’t see the struggles and work they put in to get to where they are. You also have to kick the notion that you are failing just because your life is different from others. You have to accept that life is full of hard things, you may think that you’re a failure because you don’t have it easy, but that’s just how life is. Moreover, you are here because you can do hard things. You need to have your own success scale, so you’re not measuring success through the scale of others. What other people think of as success may not be what you deem as success. Figure out what you want and what you need in life to categorize your success scale. Life is hard, but you’re here, don’t waste your time comparing your life to others. Think about what makes you feel successful and do it. TWEET "You have to kick the notion that you are failing at life." #chasingdreams "You can do hard things." #chasingdreams "Don't use someone else's scale to measure your success, you have to come up with that scale." #chasingdreams "It is hard to be here, but you did it." #chasingdreams QUOTE "Just because something is difficult or hard doesn't mean you're failing at life." "You are here because you can do hard things." "What other people deem success may not be what you deem success." "Don't judge your life based on someone else's scale and criteria." LIFE IS A JOURNEY NOT A DESTINATION We have to keep in mind that life is a journey, it’s not a destination or a goal. Aimee has said this a couple of times, but it sure is worth repeating, “it’s all about the dream chase not the dream end goal and result. The ups and downs that we experience stay with us, they become core memories that eventually help us navigate life. We often look for shortcuts, but the problem with this is we miss out on the growth from working to get to our dreams. Just like in the butterfly analogy, butterflies have to go through the tough time of developing their wings while in the cocoon. This struggle helps them become strong and prepares them to take off. The same can be said for us humans, the difficulties we go through prepares us to course through...
44 minutes | Mar 30, 2022
Ep 256: Drew & Sylvia Nixon – Know You and Walk in it!
Tap into yourself, figure out who you really are, and embrace that. In this episode, Sylvia and Drew Nixon, share the value of knowing who you really are and walking in your purpose. Life can get too noisy that we often miss the very thing that we would like to do, but we are given the opportunity to recognize our strength and learn the process of chasing our dreams. WHAT YOUNG DREW AND SYLVIA WANTED TO BE It’s always an interesting question when someone asks us what our dreams are when we were younger. Some of us may have varying dreams like Drew or one specific dream that will stay all throughout like Sylvia. Young Sylvia always knew she wanted to be an actress or a talk show host. She was even considered to be most likely to have a talk show like Oprah in her senior yearbook. Life eventually took a different turn for Sylvia but deep in her heart, she still has that dream. While for Drew, he was (on his own terms) “all over the place but not indecisive” when it comes to his dreams. He’s done a lot of different things thus his background is so colorful. Although he’s always believed that he can do anything, Sylvia has taught him how to hone a specific skill and know who he really is. It helped build his knowledge and his character. Now, Drew tells their daughter Chloe that he appreciates every single thing he ventured out when he was younger because it gave him the back-end knowledge and strategies in situations that demanded it. DREW & SYLVIA’S JOURNEY TO WHERE THEY ARE NOW When Sylvia was 19 years old she moved to New Jersey in the hopes that her dream of becoming an actress or a talk show host will come to pass. She’s always had the confidence that when she shows up, everything will change. There wasn’t a single negative thought in Sylvia’s mind during that time. She didn’t think that it was a very competitive world where it was difficult to get in. Sylvia knew that her dream was very natural for her and she just showed up. All she was thinking was that somebody was going to sign her up for projects. But as Sylvia mentioned, “it didn’t happen that way.” She came from a small town went to a big city with big dreams and big goals. It sure was a chasing dream moment, but Sylvia added, “it was a chasing dream moment without structure and planning.” This grandiose event in her life served as an eye-opener. Sylvia realized that she didn’t have to give up on her dreams, she just needed to go in a different direction. She started learning the ropes of the corporate sector and came back to Florida. Although not everything happened according to how she wanted it to be, it brought her acceptance that “without that dream coming to pass, it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen.” While Drew looks at life from a faith-based standpoint. For him, every encounter he had with life happened for a reason. He uses the turbulence analogy whenever we go through a crisis. Drew states that “turbulence is a constant reminder that there’s a movement happening and that there’s a destination you’re going to get to.” He embraces all the turbulence that he experiences and believes in the power of pivoting. Sylvia equates turbulence to new beginnings in our lives. The best example is when someone starts with a new job, she advises, “give yourself the grace to learn and to go through the process.” A pivot is a learning curve and we don’t always learn instantly, there has to be a process. We go through different seasons in our lives and when we know that a big change is imminent, we have to give ourselves time to comprehend the whole process. The process may feel uncomfortable but it’s necessary. Don’t be scared of the change because it allows you to go to a destination where you can cruise and roll with everything that comes your way. We’ve become so acquainted with movies or societal expectations that we’re led to believe that change is easy but in reality, it’s not. We...
29 minutes | Mar 16, 2022
Ep 255: Don’t Take For Granted There Is A Next Time
We always believe that we have time to do things. We focus too much on the future that we forget to enjoy the present. In this episode, Aimee shares a personal experience with loss, grief, and the learnings she got from losing two people close to her heart. It is during the dark moments in our lives we realize that life shouldn't be taken for granted, and we need to make the most of it. THE PERSONAL EFFECTS OF WORLD-CHANGING EVENTS A few months ago, a friend of Aimee's passed away suddenly. This event threw her off, not even sure how, when, or what is happening. Then, another family member has passed around two and a half weeks ago. These personal and out-of-the-body experiences have brought her to a point of reflection. It felt weird because as she was getting updates from a family member fighting for her life in the hospital, everybody else was going about their normal, daily routines. With these situations, Aimee had a taste of reality that our lives can end instantly, and yet we still manage to take a lot of things for granted. She didn’t see these events coming, and her life has made a 180 degrees turn. But the thing is, we humans don’t dwell on the idea of death so when it happens, we and our family members are taken aback. This devastating event can be disastrous to our families, but we need to start thinking about how to make the most of our lives and not take things for granted. TAKING FOR GRANTED THAT THERE IS A NEXT TIME During the eulogy for their beloved family member, Aimee’s sister mentioned a compelling statement, “We mistakenly thought we had all the time in the world. We took for granted that there would be a next time.” Hearing this at a time when you just lost someone dear to you hits hard. We always think that we’ll always have time for the things that we’re putting off. You may know someone so dedicated to working and yet has no plans of enjoying the fruits of his labor until retirement. Instead of looking for a job that satisfies our soul, we stick to one that’s just okay because we believe that we have time for that in the future. Our mindset is always at having time to do the things we want in the future and not at this moment, at the present. As cliché as it may sound, we really don’t know what tomorrow will bring that’s why we need to enjoy our lives now. We’ll never know if we’re going to be as healthy as we are now than tomorrow. Don’t wait until you're old and regretful to try new things, to take the vacation you’ve been wanting, or to live the kind of life you’ve always wanted to live. TWEET “We don't know what tomorrow will bring.” #chasingdreams "If there's a trip you want to take, do it now when you can enjoy it." #chasingdreams QUOTE “We mistakenly thought we had all the time in the world. We took for granted that there would be a next time.” “We think that there will be a time for the things that we're putting off.” “I'm not saying it's easy, but I'm saying it's possible.” AIMEE’S TIPS FOR DREAM CHASERS With the sudden death of two loved ones, Aimee has had deep reflections that can help prepare for this distressing event. She gives a couple of tips to dream chasers. The first one is having a will. This is one way of giving your family peace at the time of a sudden demise. Depending on the state you’re in, there will be different rules and regulations on how a will is constructed. Also, find a lawyer that’s going to make the will legally binding and update it from time to time. You may meet different people or be under different circumstances and your will may need to be updated. This is a great recommendation, especially for people who have children since their last wishes have been defined. By having your will ready, you’re preventing family members from the problem of going through a difficult process. Indeed, it makes life easier because everything is filled out, and they just have to carry out your wishes. The second piece...
48 minutes | Mar 2, 2022
Ep 254: Daree Allen Nieves – Follow Your Multi-Passions
Chasing our dreams will demand persistence to learn and explore various options and oftentimes, it will call for multi-passion experiences. My good friend Daree Allen Nieves is back on Chasing Dreams. She was on episode 77 and now she’s here to tell us about her multi-passions. Daree has been doing a wide variety of things in her life and she encourages people to do the same. She shares how it helped her relationships, perspectives, and life in general. ONE THING THAT CHANGED IN DAREE’S LIFE & SHE’S HAPPY ABOUT Looking back on the five years since Daree has graced the Chasing Dreams podcast, she’s asked about one thing that has changed in her life that she has no complaints about. In a heartbeat, Daree answered, “I am allowing myself to do things or not do them and be okay with it.” She used to have a perfectionist mindset where everything she does should be excellent. Although this is perfectly okay, Daree realized that she’s become so rigid and there’s no more room for flexibility and enjoyment. One of Daree’s life examples is her podcasting journey. There was just too much pressure of releasing an episode. She needed to be committed to the hustle and prove to everybody else that she is indeed working hard. Until she came to a point in her life where she became at peace in not being too hard on herself, that she’s not going to beat herself up for not going through all the hassle to finish something. However, Daree’s actions are not an indication that she’s lost accountability. What she expresses is giving herself the freedom to loosen the chains of perfectionism and you don’t have to bombard yourself with information and sensory overload. Daree added, “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you necessarily should.” You don’t have to keep up with everybody else. This means that you need to evaluate what you need to prioritize and focus on it. QUOTES “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. You don't have to do all the things.” THE OUTCOMES OF THE HUSTLE CULTURE Glorifying the hustle culture has affected people’s mental health. We become so pressured about doing all things at once and doing them perfectly. People call themselves failures if they’re not able to follow the same exact path that others used to reach success. With the hustle culture, people wear themselves out to make sure they get everything accomplished. Others may say that an individual is not hustling because of having a day job. As Aimee stated, “my day job allows me to take care of my family, have insurance, and have these passions.” For someone who does a lot of things in her life, Daree declares that certain people in life will make you feel that “you’re not a legit entrepreneur unless you do it full-time.” She recognizes all the struggles and challenges that full-time entrepreneurs go through to ensure their business is successful. But for her, it’s important to go outside the business and learn new skills. She does this by broadening her horizons and committing to knowledge that can help her in future endeavors. WHY WE NEED TO BE MULTI-PASSIONATE In the two decades that Daree has stayed with her job, she wasn’t just working. She also became busy learning new skills such as podcasting, voice-over, writing a book, getting certified as a life coach, speaking engagements, and lots of other things. These skills became exceptional highlights when it came to looking for another job. It allowed her to showcase that she’s not a one-trick pony; too skilled in only one area yet doesn’t have anything else to offer. Daree acknowledges that it’s fine to not have all these side hustles, if a person wants to continue with his ways of making money, it’s perfectly okay. What she advises us is that there is beauty in trying new things and deciding whether it’s for you or not. If you’re starting as an entrepreneur, the first advice you will get is “focus on one...
31 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
Ep 253: Challenge Societal Norms & Stereotypes
Can you believe that in this day and age of technological advancements and intense social awareness, there are still norms and stereotypes that don’t serve us well? In this episode, Aimee shares with us why she didn’t come back straight away. She did a lot of experimenting and along came her realizations about life. She was a victim of societal norms and stereotypes and through this episode, she hopes to create a difference and call for a challenge so that other people will not experience the same. BEING A VICTIM OF SOCIETAL NORMS & STEREOTYPES Aimee mentioned that she was a victim of societal norms and stereotypes, and she added that “a lot of us are, and we don’t realize it until later on in life.” We may realize that we’ve always wanted to do something but are afraid that we’ll disappoint other people or our parents. There are also instances where we don’t want to do something but out of pressure, we engage in it. We are led to believe that we want something but if we look within, we want to do something else. We have what we call unconscious push or nudging that we get from people surrounding us. These people can be our parents or family members who don’t have bad intentions. They suggest paths that we should take out of their love and care. This unconscious nudging is a product of societal norms and stereotypes. Out of their good intentions, they think that a particular career or life path will make us happy. But the thing is, do they really know what will make us happy? Do we even know what will make us happy? THE STORY OF OORBEE ROY Oorbee Roy is a 47-year-old skateboarder who started skateboarding in her 40s. She’s an Indian mom of two living in Toronto, Canada. Oorbee is a social media sensation known as Aunty Skates. The reason why she started skateboarding in her 40s was that it wasn’t seen as an acceptable thing to do for an Indian girl or woman. By the time Oorbee turned 40, she developed the courage to brush aside what other people will think. She’s now creating a movement that shows people what happens when we start defying stereotypes. Oorbee is on various social media platforms encouraging people to follow their dreams. What Oorbee is doing is inspiring people that there’s no need to wait for the perfect time to pursue your passion. She wants us to save time and focus on the things that will make us happy and will give us a sense of purpose. TWEET “We are where we are, it is what is, now, what do we do?”#chasingdreams “The if's will twist you up and prevent you from moving forward.”#chasingdreams QUOTE “The thing about societal norms and stereotypes is it's everywhere and in almost everything.” THE GLOBAL PRESSURE OF HAVING IT ALL TOGETHER BY 30 The world, media, and the pressure from people make us think that we should our lives together when we reach 30. It’s like saying that we have to follow a rigid model of how we should live our lives. The typical scenario of we have to go to college, get a degree, get a job, get married and have kids. If you achieve all these things by the age of 30, you’ve hit a bonus point. People make these as indicators of true success. But the plan stops there, what happens after you get married or have kids? This framework makes us believe that our lives stop the moment we acquire all this, and we’re stuck in waiting time till death. Around the early 1900s people think that this is the only formula for happiness, no one even bothers to ask what makes us happy. The sad reality is, we have accepted this norm and nobody dared to challenge it. Aimee mentioned that she and her sisters have been getting pressured to get married by the age of 21. She added, “as I was young, I truly believe in arrange marriage system, it worked for my parents, my grandparents, and I’ve seen so many happy and healthy marriages from them.” For Aimee, arrange marriage is like blind dating when you’re ready to get...
50 minutes | Feb 2, 2022
Ep 252: Finding Our Outer Voice With JAM & Philly
Are you prepared to break through stereotypes and traditions to chase your dreams? We welcome the second season of Chasing Dreams with two guests who can give us a new perspective on how we pursue our goals. In this episode, I get to chat with the duo from JAM & Philly, James, and Philly Mathew. We’re family, and I’ve seen the struggles, how they follow their passion, and their journey to becoming successful music artists and record label owners. YOUNG JAM & PHILLY Growing up in a typical Indian household, Philly mentioned that his dream was to become a doctor or an engineer. He was so obsessed with building Lego robotics and programming that he thought he would eventually go into this career field in the future. While JAM is not sure whether he had a dream job or not, but one thing is certain, he always had a passion for making things and organizing people. He was a member of clubs. He and his friends made a treehouse together. JAM always knew that he loved gathering people around an idea. Both of their parents have strong encouragement for the arts. They took the time to and made sure that JAM & Philly learned how to play the piano and their dad being a guitarist and singer also wanted his kids to do the same. In their younger years, the brothers developed their love for music and the bonus is they had supportive parents who always wanted them to appreciate the art. JAM & PHILLY’S JOURNEY TOWARDS THEIR MUSIC CAREER JAM & Philly’s journey in their music careers is not what we usually label as typical for South Asian families who have migrated to the United States. India may be filled with beautiful music and sounds but pursuing music as a professional career is not considered normal for migrant families. The reason why they were able to break these stereotypes is that their parents did what they had to do. They went to the United States and took the risk that they couldn't go back home. Although their parents never thought that JAM & Philly are serious about pursuing music as their career, they were still very supportive of it. Ever since they were kids, their parents paved the way, so they developed a passion for music, they gave them what they couldn’t give to themselves. Their love for music is not something that was recently developed, their parents opened doors, so they can learn and appreciate the art. JAM & Philly credit their parents for providing support and encouragement from the beginning. As they have heard, not all parents in their community are supportive of their kids' passion for music. PERSPECTIVE AND MINDSET We are often told that we can’t do two things at a time, we need to prioritize one thing over the other, and we consider this true in our career fields. We can’t be great at one thing if we don’t give 100% focus on it. But Philly proves this otherwise, albeit being a college student, he knows to himself that he’s giving 100% to their record label, music, and his studies. He mentions “I always say that I’m a full-time artist, record label manager-executive and also a full-time student. I don’t like splitting the job. I think I’m doing it honestly, 100% of the time.” Even if he’s not in class, Philly works on the label and the music. This comes from his personal perspective and mindset. He didn’t have to sacrifice one over the other. He knew that he could commit to doing both. When JAM was in college, owning a music label or becoming a professional music artist was never in his future perspective until the viral video was published. JAM knew that he was there because he was enjoying the impact of the work, but he didn’t find the creativity and the passion. He felt that he was good enough, but it wasn’t completely fulfilling. HOW THE VIRAL VIDEO CHANGED THEIR LIVES When JAM was in college, he had the desire to run for student body president. He’s always been engaged about diversity and inclusion on their campus, made a lot
13 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
Ep 251: Aimee J. – Guess Who’s Back!
After a few months off and hearing the asks, we're bringing Chasing Dreams back in 2022. Figured sharing the news on my birthday would be appropriate. Make sure you're subscribed so you can see when we return with Season 2!
40 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Ep 250: All Good Things…
We’ve reached the last episode of Chasing Dreams. 250 amazing episodes. 250 stories. So many lessons learned. When I started this podcast, I never imagined getting to 250 episodes. I thought 50 episodes would be good. Then I thought a hundred would be okay. But I was blessed with amazing guests, listeners, and a team to keep going. Today, we reach the final episode of Chasing Dreams. In saying goodbye, I wanted to share with you this journey, how I got here, where I’m going and my fellow dream chasers and guests’ top five pieces of advice. ENDLESS GRATITUDE I definitely can’t end this podcast without saying a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this journey possible. Thank you to all the amazing guests who were so honest in sharing their stories. When I started this podcast, I probably had around 13 names on the list and they were all my friends. They were people who were doing something amazing with their life because they were happy for themselves. They were living their life fully. But the podcast continuously grew and more and more amazing guests graciously joined me to share their journey and lessons they’ve learned along the way. They definitely inspired me and in each episode, I learned so much. So to my guests, thank you so much. Thank you for sharing your time, your journey, your honesty and your difficult stories, and for sharing the lessons you learned along the way. And of course, this podcast would not have lasted this long without the listeners. I want to thank you guys for always tuning in, learning from our guests, and hopefully inspiring you to chase your own dreams. I’d also like to thank my team. The support teams that I’ve had throughout the journey are amazing - Pro Podcast Solutions, Team Podcast, Carry Greene and Team, Leon Flitton and Your Podcast Concierge Team. Thank you so much for the audio editing, show notes, and everything you’ve done. You helped ease the workload and it allowed me to keep going. Last but not least, I have to thank God for giving me the courage to do this. Thank You for giving me the courage to take that step to do something uncommon for Indians and women. He has blessed me in so many ways and I am eternally grateful. MY PODCASTING JOURNEY How often do you come across people who are happy with what they’re doing in their lives? Before I started this podcast, I knew a handful of these people. I also knew a lot of people who were miserable with their life and had no passion in what they were doing. I started the Chasing Dreams Podcast in hopes of inspiring others to follow their dreams and keep the passion burning because life’s too short to live otherwise. I wanted to speak with people who were truly happy in life. It didn’t necessarily have to be because they were making a lot of money or because of their job title, but because they were doing something that made a difference and put a smile on their face. I started with a list of 13 people who were my friends and family to guest on the podcast. It was a good number to start with. But then as I continued, there were some months that I ran low on guests to have on the show. I sometimes ran low on happy people to talk to. But by God’s grace, I would always find someone to talk to and have on the show who was willing to share their story. This podcast was such a blessing. It wasn’t something that I was always confident about or knew where it was going. But I knew that I wanted to try. I knew I wanted to share this message with people and show others that there are a lot of people who are genuinely happy in life. The podcast began on September 21, 2015 and here we are now on June 23, 2021 on our last episode. These few years were amazing and it did more than I thought it could. The past 250 episodes of Chasing Dreams Podcast have taught me so much. I learned so much from each guest and have been inspired by their stories....
52 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Ep 249: Julie Hall – Leading with Self Compassion
How can you better prepare yourself to chase your dreams? As we enter the penultimate episode of Chasing Dreams, I try to make sure that I’m bringing you the best guests I can. In this episode, I get to chat with experienced licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Connecticut, Julie Hall - who also happens to be my cousin. I know her well and wasn’t wrong with bringing her on the second to the last episode of the show to share her knowledge and expertise. YOUNG JULIE As a young girl, Julie’s dad was a mechanical engineer. He would do a lot of drawing which inspired her to become an architect. But life happened and her path changed. She went to college for engineering but pretty quickly knew that this path wasn’t where she wanted to land. So after college, she got a job in corporate as a programmer. She then moved into product management on the web side. Working in different sectors in corporate, having experience in government, non-profits, and start-up, Julie has had vast experience when it comes to working with different types of people in different types of companies. This was her path for more than ten years. During her marriage, she and her husband were having a difficult time getting pregnant. And during one of her regular check-ups with her doctor, this doctor slips her a card for a therapist. Being in shock and not knowing how to feel, Julie felt so offended. They were already dealing with issues of her physical body, but she felt the doctor wanted to tell her that there was also something wrong with her mentally. But, despite what she felt, Julie took the card and made an appointment with the therapist. During this session, she had a cleansing experience. She came out of the session and felt so powerful. She didn’t know that an experience like that existed. That for her, started the journey for her in her career as a therapist. Through that process, she really decided that she wanted to be on the other side and help people the best way she could. After a few years, she began her private practice as a therapist and Julie cannot be any happier with the path she took. JULIE’S JOURNEY Julie Hall is an experienced licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Connecticut. She specialises in supporting individuals, families and couples navigating issues of self-worth, life transitions and/or trauma. Julie draws upon compassion and curiosity to foster a safe environment for clients to explore their lived experiences. She desires for her clients to feel seen, known and valued. Julie also explores family systems with clients as a tool in self understanding, strength and empowerment to ultimately foster healthy growth and change. TWEET “When we don’t see ourselves in therapy (or as therapists), we don’t think it’s for us.“ #chasingdreams WHY MENTAL HEALTH AND THERAPY ISN’T TALKED ABOUT ENOUGH Although we as a society have achieved a lot when it comes to talking about and raising awareness around mental health, the fact is that there are still hundreds of thousands of people who are afraid to talk about their own mental health struggles. As far as the immigrant experience, Julie shares her thoughts around mental health. There is this image of success, image of having the job, the family, and the house. When we start talking about the challenges we are experiencing, these challenges really impact the “image” that we want to uphold. We don’t talk about the tough things. But what it does is that it perpetuates the experience. It’s almost like you failed at something you didn’t know you were testing for. We have our five senses - sight, smell, taste, feel and hear. Then we have our sixth sense - the meaning-making sense. It’s how we make meaning of the world around us. THE BIG THINGS AFFECTING YOUNG PEOPLE TODAY Julie works primarily with teens, adults and families navigating identity issues, communication, conflict resolution, life transitions, poor
46 minutes | May 26, 2021
Ep 248: Tommy Breedlove – How to Build and Live a Legendary Life
We all have the power of choice. But some of us think otherwise. If you don’t believe you have a choice because of the stories that others have put in your mind, ask yourself what will you choose today to start unwiring that lie, so that you can live your life and not that story you’re telling yourself. In this episode of Chasing Dreams, we get to chat with the amazing Tommy Breedlove on how, through conscious actions and inner work, you can build and live a legendary life. Tommy Breedlove is a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author of the book, Legendary, and Atlanta-based business, relationship, and mindset coach who is a regularly featured keynote speaker at global events. He serves clients and audiences by empowering them to build and live Legendary Lives. He guides them to build a lasting legacy, work in their zone of brilliance, obtain financial confidence, and live with meaning and balance. YOUNG TOMMY Tommy grew up fairly humble on the south side of Carolina, where not many people from there are given the opportunity to go to college. As a young boy, Tommy’s dream was to drive a Coca Cola truck. He loved the product and knew the company was a good one. But as a young boy this dream wasn’t something he chased. His parents pushed Tommy into the college path. However, growing up in and around a lot of violence and abuse, Tommy became what he hated. At 18 years old, he committed a violent crime and was looking at seven years in prison. So all that hard work and that dream was literally lost in the blink of an eye. But luckily, it was dropped to a misdemeanor. Tommy spent his 19th birthday incarcerated as opposed to being in university. This was his first major wake up call and his first reset. He opened his eyes and saw that he was running in the wrong direction with the wrong people. He made a choice to redirect his life. But like everything in life, there are reasons for why things happen. While young Tommy was in jail, a 45 year old African-American decided to step over racial lines and mentor Tommy. One thing that was missing from his life before prison was good, solid mentorship. This man told Tommy that he wasn’t going to be part of the system. They spent several days and weeks learning from and teaching one another. Tommy was inspired. After serving his time, Tommy decided to start again and not waste his second chance. So he decided to work for a nuclear waste container factory and did community college at night. He went from a jail cell, to UGA, to being hired by Deloitte (one of the largest financial companies in the world), in three years. If you work hard on your inner game - your mind, physical, and spiritual health - all of these things will come to you. There’s nothing you can’t overcome. And in life, it’s all about the long-term game and the long-term commitment to ourselves. TWEET “Hurt people hurt people. I do believe that people can change and with intentional action, you can do or be whatever you want. And so no matter what mistakes you’ve made, you can always overcome it by taking intentional action.” @TommyBreedlove #chasingdreams FOLLOWING OTHERS’ DEFINITION OF SUCCESS After Tommy’s reset, he began working with Deloitte. His mindset was about working hard and being his best self. At the time, he thought if he just outworked and out-hustled everybody in that world and found money, power and success, he would then be happy. He worked his way up through other firms. But no matter how high up he was in the corporate ladder, he was still that abused and hurt little boy. This was mainly because he hadn’t done the inner work that was needed. This resulted in Tommy turning back into the darkness whenever the money, power, success, or next deal didn’t fulfil him. Tommy was wearing all of these masks at work - the guy with the shiny suit, the tough guy, the guy who didn’t need to ask for...
48 minutes | May 12, 2021
Ep. 247: Andrea Parker – Create A Life That You Are SO In Love With!
We all have our own unique potential in this world. It’s up to us to find it and live up to it. Because if we aren’t living life to its full potential, then we are missing out. Today’s guest is someone who shares so much value on how stepping out of your comfort zone is the best way to reach your full potential. Andrea Parker is a former police detective turned human potential coach. As an accredited International Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Andrea works with high-performing women, helping them to release the limiting beliefs that are holding them back from their greatness, and empowering them to live their most extraordinary lives. YOUNG ANDREA As a young child, Andrea loved asking questions, whether to herself or others. With her inquisitive mind, she knew she wanted to become either a teacher or a police officer. Innately, she loved teaching. The dream of becoming a police officer was because of her curious mind. Fast forward to the start of Andrea’s career in police college, she recounts not feeling that it was what she wanted to do. She felt like being where she was at the time was the furthest from what she imagined it to be. But she continued with her journey, finished college as class valedictorian, began working with the police force, and had been on for about a decade. However, there was always this nagging feeling in Andrea telling her that this wasn’t in alignment with her true self. She loved learning about people and the connection piece, but the overall environment was not what she had imagined. Not feeling connected to what she was doing and with her true self, this was the quickest way she learned what she did want in life. Today, she is a human potential coach and CEO of her own company, a place she wouldn’t have reached without first experiencing all that she went through. TWEET “At the time, I didn’t understand why I was in this career. But looking back now, that was probably the quickest way that I could have learned the things that I wanted to learn to be where I am today. So I’m so grateful I did it.” @AndreaPCoaching #chasingdreams ANDREA’S JOURNEY FROM DETECTIVE TO COACH A lot of what Andrea teaches and does as a human potential coach is all about living from your heart, and when you live from your heart it calls you out of your comfort zone. Policing pulled Andrea out of her comfort zone, similarly with coaching. She became a human potential coach because she saw the impact it had on her life mostly because she spent so much of her life not feeling connected with what she was doing. When it came to policing, she was thriving on paper - earning seven figures, she had successful loving relationships, and health. But inside, she felt she still wasn’t enough. This sparked her personal development journey. She took courses, seminars, podcasts to improve personally and professionally. With so much knowledge that she was absorbing, she felt like she was hitting a personal development plateau. She was doing all the things and experiencing some change, but at the same time she wasn’t. This is what Andrea called a “baseball bat from the universe.” Her wakeup call. This wakeup call was with her health. As a former athlete, Andrea valued her health most of all. She used to be a former competitive athlete and a former personal trainer. However, she noticed that she began experiencing extreme food sensitivities, extreme food allergies, and narcolepsy. It was to the point that she knew she needed to start doing something different. At that point, she began working with a coach who helped her tap into her subconscious. It was through doing this work that she started to realize that she had some limiting beliefs that were holding her back from truly thriving and pursuing the life she really wanted to live. From doing her own inner work, she was able to double her work, build her coaching business and get back her health.
46 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
246: Jewel Turner – Being The Light In A World Full Of Darkness
It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to. What do you answer to? This is Jewel’s favourite quote and the questions she asks her guests all the time. It makes you define yourself and not have anyone else define you. This time, I was able to ask her the same question. For Jewel, she answers to who God defines her. She answers to being worthy of belonging in the community and to the personification of her name - Jewel - a rare and precious person. JEWEL’S JOURNEY Jewel and I met sometime around September. We just hit it off at the first meeting. She has been around the world and lived life. It’s the humility she has and the care for others that emanates from her. Her podcast, Let’s Talk About This Offline, began last year during the COVID lockdown. Being an avid podcast listener, she kept thinking to herself that she could also be a podcaster because she had so much to say. Let’s Talk About This Offline came about because it was a phrase she always heard at work and the conversations she had offline were so much more interesting. These conversations made her think about the world around her more than the conversations she had online. This sparked the idea of creating a podcast of conversations with people about offline topics. These conversations help shine the light on differences for people and also find their commonalities. WE ARE ALL SIMILAR IN MANY WAYS Jewel’s podcast is a platform where she conveys that we all go through ages, stages, and seasons. We all go through different adversities and we build resilience because of these challenges. Through these hardships that we all go through, we each have our own fire in the belly that keeps us coming back for more. Through her podcast, she gives people a platform to share their stories which makes her listeners see that we truly are the same and we all want the same things. TWEET “Oftentimes, we forget that we are all human regardless of your race, gender, sexuality.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams QUOTE “It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” - W.C Fields YOUNG JEWEL As a little girl, young Jewel wanted to be a writer. She was an avid reader and loved other worlds, especially science fiction and fantasy because in those worlds you could create whenever you wanted and the rules were arbitrary. They didn’t matter because they weren’t the rules where she lived in. She loved reading because this gave her a way to travel in her head. She grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. Their home was open to everyone, where her family and friends would always gather on Sundays after church. During these gatherings, she was able to hear so many different kinds of conversations from all walks of life. It was an eye-opener for young Jewel to know that her world was bigger than her little home. It created a wanderlust in her that sparked her curiosity in other people and their experiences which made her embrace life and live it to its fullest. TWEET “If you take a step forward, people take ten steps towards you.” @jewelt73 #chasingdreams Balancing travel, work, and family Being a lover of life, Jewel lives it to the fullest. She embraces each and every moment and this spills over into her work. She and her husband travel around the world talking to all different types of people from all different backgrounds. Through her travels, the best advice she got from an older and wiser woman was, “A lot of people are going to tell you that you can have it all. You CAN have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.” Going into marriage and motherhood with that mindset, she was open to the idea that this season may not be for her to work outside the home. This may be the season in life where you’re going to take one for the team. There may be days that would be mundane and long, but that doesn’t mean it will be that way all the time. ...
43 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
245: Frank King – Let’s Talk Suicide Prevention
TRIGGER WARNING: Topics covered may elicit strong emotions. Suicide is a large and growing public health problem and it has been for a while. But with COVID-19, the numbers have seen a large spike. According to the World Health Organization, almost 800,000 people in the world die by suicide every year. “For each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Suicide and attempts have a huge ripple effect on families, friends, communities, and societies.” But there is something that we can all do to prevent this public health problem. Our guest for today is mental health comedian, Frank King. Frank was a writer for The Tonight Show for 20 years. He’s fought a lifetime battle with Major Depressive Disorder and Chronic Suicidality, turning that long dark journey of the soul into 6 TEDx Talks to help others. For Frank, suicide is not a new topic. Depression and suicide run in his family. He’s thought about killing himself more times than he can count. But with help, he was able to overcome this health problem and uses his life lessons to start the conversation giving people permission to give voice to their feelings and experiences surrounding depression and suicide. He believes that where there is humor there is hope, where there is laughter there is life, nobody dies laughing. The right person, at the right time, with the right information, can save a life. Mental health is an important topic and these are conversations we need to have more and more. Let’s start the conversation. FRANK’S JOURNEY Frank’s career began as an insurance agent. But a few years into his career, he felt that this was not his calling. He then ventured out as a comedian. He knew that he would not have anything to lose if this new career path didn't work out. But fortunately, it did. For 2,629 nights non-stop he and his then girlfriend hit the road moving from one comedy bar to another. From the “Comedy Condo” to the corporate side of comedy. A few years into his career, his business suddenly started facing bankruptcy, and that’s where he learned what the barrel of his gun tasted like. But, spoiler alert - he didn’t pull the trigger. Frank used his experiences to start the conversation about suicide and mental health. WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH COMEDY? Who would you rather listen to for 45 minutes about mental health? A clinician or a comedian? Mental health comedy is not joking about mental health and suicide but funny personal anecdotes. They call it comic relief for a reason. Frank’s love for speaking and comedy mixed with his yearning to teach others about the importance of mental health is how his career as a mental health comedian began. In January 1, 2018, he decided that he would be a suicide prevention speaker. With his family history in generational depression and suicide (from his grandmother, to his aunt, to his mother), he knew that the topic for his keynote picked him - suicide prevention. He then began speaking about suicide prevention and spreading the important message around it. WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT SUICIDE? “You can be surrounded by love but the mind can be a lonely place at times”. Suicide is on the rise in the United States, but people still don’t know quite how to talk about it. Although suicide awareness and mental health have come a long way, there is still so much stigma around them, which can make it difficult to talk about for those affected. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/06/more-americans-are-dying-from-suicide/562406/ (suicide has risen by 30 percent in the United States between 1999 and 2016). It can be hard to think about suicide — much less talk about it. Many people shy away from the subject. They fear they might say the wrong thing. Those who have never experienced suicidal thoughts may even find it impossible to understand. And suicide definitely
51 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
244: Maaden Eshete Jones – Healing Through Hospitality
March is Women’s History month. During this celebration, the media usually focuses on Oprah, Michelle Obama or other famous women in history. But today’s guest should also be one of the many women to be honoured this Women’s History Month In this episode of Chasing Dreams, we get to speak with Maaden Eshete Jones, the founder of Love, Maaden. Maaden is a wellness advocate, story teller, and lover of celebrations. She believes that community begets fearlessness, and that gathering around the table with others to share in real and vulnerable conversation is an act of self love. ABOUT MAADEN Madi, as she is known to her friends, holds a Master of Public Health with a focus in Social and Behavioural Health. The driving idea behind her company -- Love, Maaden -- is to provide women, particularly mothers, with the tools needed to understand and heal from life's inevitable challenges. She launched Love, Maaden as a means to encourage others to intentionally unplug and meet their people around a table. Madi is waging a war against fear, and encouraging a generation to overcome isolation and self-doubt in favour of community, joy, and gratitude. While she wears many hats, she identifies with family first. A wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister and Friend; she currently resides in Maryland with her husband, Louis, and their young daughter. YOUNG MAADEN Young Madi, like most kids, thought she would be a doctor or a talk show host. When asked what she wanted to be when she grows up, whatever profession she would answer, the one thing that she would add at the end of her answer is that she wanted to be a Mom. Oftentimes, we see our Moms as super women - juggling professional life, personal life, and so many other things in between. As women, we recognize that being a Mom is a job. Young Maaden always saw her mom as an influence in her life and someone she looked up to and wanted to be like. This is where her journey began. MAADEN’S CAREER JOURNEY Always a lover of science and healthcare, Maaden knew she wanted to be a scientist in the health industry. She knew she wanted to work in the health sector and help others with their health and overall well-being. However, in her student days, hard sciences were what was encouraged. The public health sector wasn’t something encouraged to young students. So how did Madi land on the path she is on now? At six years old, she remembered her sister being born prematurely. She accounts going back and forth to the hospital visiting her mom and her younger sister. This was the spark where she wanted to help moms and saw herself being a mom as well. She was always concerned with babies, moms, and families and this common thread continued on until her college days. Being fascinated with health and wellness, she took up and graduated with a Masters in Public Health. Her masteral thesis was around Maternal and Child Health. Once she got married, she experienced recurrent pregnancy loss. Putting these circumstances and events together, throughout her life, there was always this thread of being concerned with the issues that women faced and particularly for moms. As she worked her day job, she always had something on the side helping women and moms, including launching a women’s health non-profit that turned to a one-year project for holistic health. Helping other women and promoting women’s health and well-being was her calling and passion. A few years after working, Maaden took a break and had a successful pregnancy. She then came back with new and uplifted spirits, and that’s when she launched Love, Maaden. HOW LOVE, MAADEN CAME TO BE According to Madi, Love, Maaden is a marriage of social aspects of life, the science and the spiritual. It’s about getting together around the table, helping one another health, showing each other love and showing ourselves love. Love, Maaden is a culmination of all of the things that she learned in her...
49 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
Ep 243: Rochelle Gapere – One Happy Day at a Time
Are you a glass half-empty or half-full sort of person? What if there was another way to see it? That is, that the glass is refillable. No matter what you go through in life, you have the power to choose to fill and refill your life with what makes you happy. Filling your life with happiness starts from within. Today’s guest is the best-selling author of One Happy Thought at a Time: 30 Days to a Happier You - Rochelle Gapere. She teaches readers how to live a life that fulfills and engages them at every level. Through shared personal stories, anecdotes and life lessons, her book teaches readers how to become a happier version of themselves despite life's inevitable challenges. In her book, she shares life lessons that will empower readers to make happiness-enhancing decisions each day. Happiness looks different for everyone. For some it may be being at peace with who you are. For others, it may be having a secure network of friends and a family who accept you unconditionally. Others may find happiness with the freedom to pursue their life goals and wildest dreams. Regardless of your version of true happiness, living a happier and more fulfilling life is within reach. But the question is, how do we find more joy in our life? Like anything else, it takes practice to cultivate ongoing happiness. Happiness coach, Rochelle Gapere, shares with us her insights and knowledge on creating a life of happiness. YOUNG ROCHELLE Rochelle wanted to be an attorney ever since she was a child. She always liked talking a lot, and advocating on behalf of people, especially the underdog. During her early years in school, her classmates who were experiencing challenges or problems would approach her and she would fix it. She always had a passion for helping people and fighting for the underdog. Because of this passion, she knew that going into law school and becoming a lawyer made the most sense. LEARNING FROM THE JOURNEY What you think you want may be different from what you actually want in life. As a child, Rochelle’s dream was to become a lawyer. However, when Rochelle started law school, she realized it was not her real passion and she could not imagine herself doing this forever. But the thought of dropping out of law school did not occur to her because she had the mindset of finishing what she started. So she pushed on, finished law school, and became a lawyer. However, she soon realized that being an attorney is not all that it seems. TV and the media do not accurately portray legal life or the life of a lawyer. For Rochelle, going into law school was eye-opening. Her advice for her younger self and all other younger people chasing their dreams, is to explore what you are passionate about. Explore your interests and meet other people in your industry so that you will discover what it is you actually want to do versus what you think you want to do. That’s a huge difference. After law school, Rochelle had a few years of experience working in corporate law, but found that there was more out there for her. She knew big law was not for her. This is when she ventured into new spaces. Looking back, Rochelle says she doesn’t have any regrets with the choices she made because law has opened up so many doors for her. She believes that she had to go through all that she did in order to get to where she is now. TWEET: [bctt tweet="“Explore what you are passionate about. Explore your interests and meet other people in your industry so that you will discover what it is you actually want to do versus what you think you want to do. That’s a huge difference.” @rochellegapere #chasingdreams" username="aimeej21"] WHY BECOME A HAPPINESS COACH? Once Rochelle graduated from law school and started working, there was always a knowing sensation that being a lawyer was not her calling. She started an event marketing company which filled the void for a while. But each year,...
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