This week we look at self improvement. Learn the meaning of the concept, the philosophies surrounding it and why it is important. Then we’ll take a look at the practical aspects of it and find out some of the best ways to improve ourselves and why we need to. Along the way we’ll gain a new found appreciation for ourselves as individuals and allow the experience to shape how to interact with and treat others.
Speaker 1: 00:01 Insightful podcast by informative sites, a podcast network.
Speaker 2: 00:26 .
Speaker 3: 00:26 Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.
Speaker 2: 00:50
Speaker 4: 00:51 Welcome to insights into teams. This is episode 36 self improvement. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon and my brilliant and inspirational cohost, Madison Waylon. Hi, how you doing today, Maddie? So how was your week this week? Anything exciting?
Speaker 4: 01:14 It was just felt like a basically normal week except the fact of today where I had to do way more exercise than I wanted to. Okay. Well good for you. Yeah, exercise is good. I think we’ll be having a podcast on exercise coming up soon. Well, exercise, fitness, eating healthy Lord knows I could use it. So today we are talking about self improvement. Do you want to just get into it? Let’s just get into it. All right, let’s do it.
Speaker 4: 01:58 So self-improvement and we kind of have a very loose definition of it here, but I’ll explain a little bit more. So anything you do in an attempt to improve yourself is self improvement by definition. So volunteering at homeless shelters, going to college, learning to meditate, all of these things can lead to self-improvement. Often self-improvement and self-help are used interchangeably. So for the purpose of our discussion, we’re going to look at self improvement in two ways. One, we’re going to look at the philosophy, you know, the from a kind of a rule standpoint of what you can do from a philosophical standpoint and how to improve yourself. A lot of it’s motivational type stuff to improve yourself. And the second part of it, we will look at practical things that you can do, actual real world here, do this and it should help you be a better person. But as a whole from a self-improvement standpoint that idea of self improvement is kind of a holistic view of how to make yourself a better person. Like don’t chew gum on a podcast or something like that. Don’t be impolite to people, you know, things along those lines. So I would I would kinda character categorize just about anything you do that improve yourself as self-improvement, but there’s kind of a methodology that we’ll get to it as we move on.
Speaker 6: 03:46 And good thing before we move on. I am not chewing gum chewing. I ate pumpkin seeds earlier and you’re still chewing them. Oh my God. Those pieces are hard to swallow. They must be very good pumpkin seeds then. Oh my God. It’s just, they just taste like peanuts. Okay. That’s good to know. They don’t chew like peanuts though. Oh my.
Speaker 4: 04:08 So let’s get into it.
Speaker 5: 04:10 Yep.
Speaker 4: 04:15 So 10 commandments of self-improvement. These come to us today from the emotion machine, which is a brand new site that we we’re tapping into today. Awesome. Awesome. Huh. That’s a cool name. The emotion machine, huh?
Speaker 6: 04:32 Yeah.
Speaker 4: 04:34 So the first thing that they talk about here is you as an individual are responsible for how you live your life. So that’s kind of the first idea of self-improvement here. People who are on the self-improvement path understand that their thoughts and actions play a big role in what they get out of life. And I tell you all the time, if you are thinking negative thoughts, the negative things are going to happen to you, that type of thing. We shouldn’t just work hard they say, but work hard on the things that matter most to us. So a lot of times working hard, everyone tells y’all you need to be a hard worker, you need to be a hard worker. And I’ve never ascribed to the idea of hard work. I’ve always described to the idea of smart work. I don’t mind putting in the work if it’s something that’s going to have an impact or a benefit. What do you think about that?
Speaker 6: 05:36 I could definitely agree like in some things like if people say put some good work into it, some things might not matter later on and w some things might not matter later on. Like let’s just take for instance, score. This does matter. Like if you want to keep your grades, like, just think about it. If you put in the hard work and effort it’ll increase your score, your scores slash grades in, in school and will eventually set you up for success.
Speaker 4: 06:14 That’s a very good analogy there. Yeah. So the next thing that they do talk about is you need to define what you want before you can achieve it. We all need to set goals. Life is about setting goals and achieving those goals. Without goals, we don’t really have a plan on what we’re going to do with our energies and with our time. So they say many people go through life aimlessly without a clear destination in mind. Ultimately, however, we need to identify our goals, our values, and our priorities in life before we can achieve them. We shouldn’t just work hard. We work hard on things that matter most to us. Like right now, you know, you’re focusing on schoolwork. So what’s the most important thing that matters to you right now?
Speaker 6: 07:04 Well, I definitely don’t want to be failing any my classes. I know that for a fact. One of my, one of my projects, they actually have a thing where it’s like said five goals that you want to achieve this year. Oh, that’s beautiful. That’s, that’s perfect. Yeah. And we’ve read and we’ve been talking about setting goals this year. So one of my main goals is definitely to keep up my good grades because one, I don’t want to be failing to this. You could help me later on in life and three, well, I just want to be you an overall smart,
Speaker 4: 07:39 You want to be an overall smart, yeah. Yeah. We’re still, we’re still working on that.
Speaker 6: 07:44 Yeah. I’m working on my English learning. I’m working on my talk.
Speaker 4: 07:49 Yes we are. That’s okay. Daddy’s just making fun of .
Speaker 6: 07:52 Yeah, I’m sorry. It’s Friday. I it’s late. I mean,
Speaker 4: 07:55 Right. It’s lately weak. You’re tired. You’re burned down. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
Speaker 6: 08:00 Also. All the exercises already made me tired enough.
Speaker 4: 08:05 I bet. Yeah. Stop hitting the microphone. That makes you tired and loud. This not too far where you want to be able to, I can just move closer. Okay. So the next thing that we have on the list here is a, they talk about your short term costs and how short term costs can lead to longterm benefits. Actively trying to change one’s life is not a walk in the park. It often requires effort, time, pain and sometimes a little discomfort. Yeah. Like with exercise there’s no magic pills or blueprints for you to follow. You need to be willing to invest in yourself, which is important, which often requires paying short term goals that will lead to longterm benefits in the future. So for instance, if your longterm goal like, like mine is to lose a certain amount of weight. So for me to do that, there are certain costs to that. Eating healthy, getting out and walking when I can, putting in the exercise, not snacking, various types of things. So there’s costs to it to achieve my goal. What cause and effect. Exactly, exactly. What do you think the short term costs are for you to achieve the goals that you’ve laid out so far in the podcast?
Speaker 6: 09:29 Okay, so we’ll start off with the straight A’s part. So with the straight is part, it’s this is, this can go out for every student. So it’s getting your homework done at a good time and even getting your homework done. That also comes with a few like things you need to do, like time management as we talked on the time management podcast also, like there’s probably a bunch of other factors,
Speaker 4: 10:00 Prioritization too. Like what did you run into last night?
Speaker 7: 10:04 I w
Speaker 6: 10:06 I wasn’t able to finish some of my homework.
Speaker 4: 10:09 Right. And what happened was we had prioritized lesser important things ahead of that and when it was around time to get ready for bed, you didn’t have your homework done. So you’re going to stay up a little bit later than usual to get your homework done, which meant you might’ve gotten a little bit less sleep, which meant that could be contributing to why you’re a little bit more tired today. So the idea is prioritization, time management, do the things that are most important first, right?
Speaker 6: 10:38 Yeah. So getting your homework down is definitely one. Also studying for all the tests. Yeah. That’s also one because if you don’t study for the tests
Speaker 6: 10:52 You’re not really gonna know it, you’re probably gonna get the lower grid. Also, you have to be willing to do everything. Like everyone, like thinks like, Oh, I can just do this and this. But if you’re not willing to do it, then you can’t really achieve it if you’re basically too, if you feel too lazy to do, easy to do anything about it, you basically won’t, you know, be, be able to achieve and neither goal any of those goals you set.
Speaker 4: 11:24 That’s a very good point. And I’ll even add on to that a slight addendum that you need to be able to motivate yourself.
Speaker 6: 11:31 Yeah, I was just about to say motivation.
Speaker 4: 11:33 Motivation. Like there’s a lot of people in your life, your parents, your teachers, your guidance counselors, your friends that will try to motivate you to do things. But ultimately you need to be able to motivate yourself to have the drive, to want to do these things, to not be lazy, to get up and do them and devote the time. So that’s the term cost that we’re talking about. The other thing they talk about is that you as an individual are always changing. The truth is that whether we play an active role in our self-improvement or not, we’re always changing and developing as individuals. We are all in some kind of self improvement path whether we know it or not, but some take more control over their future than others. You’re not a static being. You are dynamic and always changing. Now in the teen years, this is even more a factor because there’s a lot that’s changing this year in school.
Speaker 4: 12:34 You’re in middle school, so your, your entire schedule has been changed. Your entire methodology in school has been changed. You’re jumping from class to class to class. You need to remember your schedule. You need to get to where you’re going on time. So that’s a change. You’re changing biologically. So you’re going through the growth spurts and puberty and all that that comes with plus your brains changing the chemical makeup in your brain, how you think, how you learn, how you remember. All those things are changing. So when you set these goals, you kind of have to factor in the, the change, you know, variable that’s involved here because you’re going to be more tired than you were last year because of the way your body’s changing. You’re going to need to change the way that you learned or the way you take notes because your brain is changing and you’re going to remember things differently. So these are all factors that you had to take into consideration is that whether you’re trying to improve yourself or not, your body is because you’re growing up. So you need to be able to adjust to that. You need to be able to change your habits and you need to be able to adjust your goals to take all that stuff into account when you are gray. What are, what are some of the things that are changing about you? They’re having an impact on your goals right now?
Speaker 8: 14:08 I guess the main thing is just, well, as we said before, the fact of me basically switching from class to class to class and constantly having to be alert has been, I think a pretty big factor. But luckily I’ve learned to maintain that.
Speaker 4: 14:30 Right. And the other thing, you know, the motivational change itself, because you know, last year you had one or two teachers that you’re dealing with, so they knew everything about you, about your schoolwork and everything. And if they sold it, you’re slipping, they could help motivate you. Well, you don’t have that luxury year. So this year you’ve got what, eight different teachers you’re dealing with at one time. So yeah. So one teacher who might be dumping a lot of homework on you doesn’t realize, you know, your ELA teacher done some, a lot of homework on you. They might not realize that you’re struggling with work on math. So that you don’t have that same level of motivation where they’re going to ease up on one side and, and help you on the other side. So you don’t have some of that motivational incentive that you had before.
Speaker 4: 15:26 Yeah. Your thoughts matter. And I think we try to, you know, make sure that you’re aware of that on a day to day basis. We sometimes think our thoughts are immaterial and inconsequential, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. How you think strongly influences how you act and respond to the world around you and how you act will determine the results and outcomes you get out of life. Your thoughts and beliefs are important and play a big influence in how your life will turn out. And mommy and daddy tried to stress this a lot because we just had the incident earlier this week where you had some concerns over your math grades and you were upset about it. And what was my reaction to it? You laughed. I did. And why did I laugh?
Speaker 8: 16:22 Because you had went to back to school night and my math teacher specifically said very rare, very, very. A very rare amount of her students would get A’s in her class cause it’s so dumb.
Speaker 4: 16:34 Well actually that wasn’t why I laughed. I laughed. Because you had yourself so worked up because you weren’t averaging an a rate. Now, when mommy and daddy never expected you or required you or demanded that you bring home A’s, that was a demand that you put on yourself. So that’s an example of where your thoughts matter. You want to get the A’s, that’s your motivation. So this is a case where that thought matters to you. I’m okay with you having an 86 if that’s what you have. I think that’s what you said you had, right? Yeah, I’m okay with that. I mean, that’s not, to me, the end of the world. What I like for you to get a nice, sure, that would be awesome, but you’re not in danger of failing the class. You’re, it’s not indicative of you not being a good student, but your own thoughts are what are dragging you down at that point in time.
Speaker 4: 17:34 So the point that I’m trying to make here is that your thoughts really do matter. You’re being hard on yourself, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it serves to motivate you, but it can’t be to the point where it’s debilitating for you. You’re having emotional breakdowns and you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. You don’t want that to happen. So be aware that your thoughts do matter to you, certainly, and they matter to mommy and I and they matter to other people too. So be aware of your thoughts. Don’t be negative. This is one of the reasons why I’m daddy’s always trying to tell you, be positive. Don’t come home and tell me what went wrong today. You can tell you that, but tell me what went right. First. Let’s focus on the positive because when you focus on the positives, that’s when we can, you know, be have an uplifting conversation, right?
Speaker 4: 18:30 Your habits matter as well. Just as we should focus on changing our thoughts, we should also focus on exploring new habits. As the saying goes, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got. Sometimes we won’t know what the correct course of action is until we have experimented with a few different things. Changing habits is essential for learning more about yourself and continuing to grow as a person. This kinda goes back to the school change I was talking about. So the studying habits that you had last year might not be as effective this year. So one of the things that you’re going to find is that your teachers are going to be teaching you new ways to study and do ways to take notes and new ways to be organized. And what they’re trying to do is evolve on really what was a baseline the teachers have given you so far have had of retain information. And as you go through middle school and you go through high school, that’s going to continue to evolve. It’s going to get more complex, you’re going to have more tools introduced to you, and they’re all designed to prep you for college. What habits do you think you have now that you might have to change in order to reach the goals that you talked about earlier?
Speaker 6: 19:55 My social activity.
Speaker 4: 19:57 Okay. Explain that
Speaker 6: 19:58 Like I not only have my goals set for getting all, trying to get as many as good grades as I can, but I also want to get the goal of going to college and by doing so I’m going to have to get college credit, a K a doing more than just succeeding in my academics.
Speaker 4: 20:19 And what’s your plan to achieve that this year?
Speaker 6: 20:21 Well, the thing is we do a bunch of clubs and to do that you have to be willing to do it. And I think with the problem of me not being that social, I haven’t been able to join the clubs and I’m pretty sure I also thought that if I did join the club or were just add continuous stress on me, I wouldn’t get that much time to do my homework. Just that kinda thing. And right.
Speaker 4: 20:50 Again, that’s your thoughts feeding into those habits now too.
Speaker 6: 20:53 Yeah. And I think that’s also the problem. Like I got to stop worrying so much. That’s the other thing I need to stop doing. I need a get gained my social skills start gaining my social skills and less than the anxiety.
Speaker 4: 21:10 I think that’s a great plan. I think that’ll set you on the right direction. Your body matters. Now, when we talked about puberty in the past and how your body’s changing, one of the most important aspects of self improvement is taking care of your body and your health or physical health and mental health are often interconnected. And we’ve talked about that in the past as well. So it’d be truly to, to truly be your best self. You should try to eat right exercise, take care of your longterm health without taking care of your body, you won’t be able to achieve your maximum potential. Case in point here, you’re exhausted getting home from school now because you’re very active with all the exercise that they’re doing during gym class now. Now you had gym how many times a week last year?
Speaker 6: 22:04 At most too.
Speaker 4: 22:06 Okay, so you didn’t get that much. You might have had recess, but it wasn’t the rigorous exercise that you’re getting now. So what’s happening is that’s having an impact on your energy levels. You’re getting home, you’re sweaty, you don’t feel comfortable, you’re tired. What’s going to happen is as you continue to do that and your body gets used to it, your respiratory system improves, your muscles start to build, your body will get into better shape, and you’ll find that instead of being exhausted after exercising, you’re going to have a lot of energy. And that energy is what’s gonna help you to achieve your goals. So once you feel better, like even Nally, like you know, anyone looks at the podcast, they know that I’m overweight, but the difference is two years ago I was this way, but I wasn’t exercising. I wasn’t eating right. Now I’m exercising, I’m eating right, I’m breathing better, my heart stronger, my muscles are stronger.
Speaker 4: 23:14 I feel much more energized today than I did a year ago. So when you improve your body, even though I’m not, you know, in ideal athletic shape, any improvement that you make to your body to help your body have more endurance and more energy affects everything in your life. It gives you more attention in school. It gives you the ability to pay attention longer. It gives you the ability to do your homework more. It just across the board you’ll see improvements and a no, you’re not seeing that. Now are you? Now you’re just seeing the pain right now. This again is those short term coal costs, having longterm benefits. So those costs of exercise are going to eventually have those benefits. And I suspect if you keep up this pace, you’ll probably start seeing some benefits within three to four weeks where it’s not going to be as hard to do some of the stuff that you’re doing and you’re going to start having more energy. So it’s tough. Now you have to sort of tough it out, but in the end it’s going to benefit you. So that’s why it’s important that we focus on mind and body.
Speaker 4: 24:36 Let’s see. The next thing is the present moment is your place of power. This is one of those philosophical ideas. So every conscious decision we make and every action we do unfolds in the present moment. The more attuned you are to the present and the choices you have in any given situation, the greater control you have over your day to day actions yesterday is over. Tomorrow’s yet to come. But today is where you have the power to act and to decide what is your takeaway on that? I’m curious how you, how you receive that philosophy.
Speaker 6: 25:16 I mean I can definitely agree on it. Like yesterday already happened. Tomorrow is yet to come. But today is when you actually make choices. Yes, you make the wrong choices, but like you have said before you’re okay with mistakes as long as you learn from them, right? So if you learn from your mistakes, the next today or tomorrow will hopefully have better outcomes as long as you control it because you basically get control the world of today and potentially the world of tomorrow.
Speaker 4: 25:55 That’s, that’s a very profound and very mature thought.
Speaker 6: 25:59 Yeah, you can’t control the only thing you really can’t control as the world of yesterday, but you can control the world of today and the world of tomorrow.
Speaker 4: 26:08 So one thing I would like to add to that though is you don’t want to look ahead too far. You don’t want to be reactionary. So if you’ve got that project that’s coming up and you see that you have five days to do it, you don’t want to psych yourself out and get yourself all worked up and freaked out because then you’re going to have an add of the amount of anxiety, all the same. When you do make a mistake, understand it’s a mistake, learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on it because dwelling is not going to benefit you. You can’t change it. All you can do is improve yourself by learning from it. Focus on what today is. What choices do you have today? What struggles do you have today and what challenges do you have to overcome tomorrow? You’ll deal with that stuff when it gets here.
Speaker 4: 27:03 It’s okay to prepare for it. You know, if you’ve got a project in five days, don’t wait the five days. Obviously you can work on that project as you get there. And like we had talked about last week with your time management, when you get a project that you have to do or a challenge or a problem, look at it as a whole, break it down into smaller parts and then start working on those small parts. So in the case of the mind, be mindful of the present. Take that project that’s five days away and break it down and start working on what you can contribute to it today. Tomorrow you’ll work on another piece and tomorrow or the day after that, the next piece. And eventually when those five days are up, you will have the whole thing done because you dealt with it and the time that you had to do it.
Speaker 4: 27:58 The last one that we have, Oh, I’m sorry, second last one. Learn from the past and this builds on the last one. I don’t want to do all too long on this. I think we got the gist of it already. Have a lot of people wanna know why history’s important in school. A lot of kids think that history is really not useful. There’s a lot that we can learn from the past that we can either angulate or avoid. There’s mistakes to learn from. There’s problems that recalls that we can avoid causing in the future. And there’s good examples, you know, when you see a good deed, when you learn a good lesson, all that stuff happens in the past and it’s all worth moving forward with and it can help to improve you. What do you think? Are you a, are you a fan of history?
Speaker 6: 28:50 I mean, I’m definitely a bigger fan of it now than I used to be. I remember I used to be one of those kids who’s like, why do I need one? Or I need to learn history. Luckily now, after learning about, well, one of the biggest events in history, the Holocaust, I can definitely see why history is important.
Speaker 4: 29:07 Yeah. Yeah. That’s one of those things that you definitely don’t want to have happen again. Yeah. And the last thing that we have in this segment is be optimistic about the future. We don’t always know what the future may bring, but if we remain optimistic and hopeful, we allow ourselves to act in ways that help create that fact. Often times it can become a kind of self fulfilling prophecy. Have you ever heard that term before?
Speaker 6: 29:34 No.
Speaker 4: 29:34 So a self fulfilling prophecy is when you look at everything, and it’s not always necessarily negative, but it’s usually used in a negative connotation. When you look at things on the negative side, like, Oh, I’m going to have a terrible day tomorrow. Tomorrow is Monday. It’s gotta be a bad day. Well, if you can go into it with that attitude, you almost guarantee that that’s the reality that you’re going to have. But if you go into things with a more positive attitude, it gives you a chance to make things positive. You have to believe in the future before you can start building it. And that’s the important thing. If you, if all you ever saw was the bad side of things, you’d never have any hope. You’d never have any reason to get up in the morning or to think that, you know, you’d have a better day tomorrow. Every day would be miserable.
Speaker 4: 30:28 There’d be no joy in your life. So be optimistic. It doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t cause to be optimistic. Someone had famously said, you burn fewer calories, smiling and then you do frowning because Franny requires more muscles. So think positively. There is a lot of negative things in the world, but there’s a lot of ways to take those negative things and make them positive. And that’s kind of what we had to focus on. And that’s, that’s really the biggest thing to improve is to be optimistic. I am not labeled as the most optimistic person. I tend to be very realistic, but that realism allows me to plan ahead and try to be prepared for things. You know, people, the, the test that people litmus test that people always use is, is the glass half full or half empty?
Speaker 6: 31:24 Oh yeah, that’s the classic.
Speaker 4: 31:25 So are you a half full or half empty person?
Speaker 6: 31:29 I think
Speaker 6: 31:33 It would, right. I would Def, I just want to quickly go back to the past. Sure. I never was that optimistic in the past. I remember when I, before I remember definitely before I started the podcast, I was basically the half empty kind of person. I w I didn’t really think optimistic. I didn’t like going to school. I would always say it was a terrible day. And of course, so that eventually end up happening. I was basically that person who always normally thought negative and I never really thought that positive. But luckily after the podcast I have known better and not to do that. Even though I still sometimes struggle with it. I’ve definitely gotten better. I don’t hate school as much as I did then. I can definitely deal with school. It’s been taught, it’s been tolerable and, and somewhat relaxing. And if you would ask me that question now, I think I’d become sorta like you, I’d go on the realistic thing on how did it get there? Did you pour it or did you drink it then? It would be half full or half empty because one I, even though I’m not that positive and I’ve definitely gone better away from the negative side, so I’m basically in the middle. I’m not that negative, but I’m not very positive.
Speaker 4: 32:54 Right. And, and I, you’re, there’s definitely been an improvement and, and you know, there’s always the alternative philosophy of it’s foe and people say, well what do you mean it’s full on? It’s half full with liquid hair full of their dance. The ultimate optimist look on it is when you asked me if it’s half empty or half full, you’re really not specifying is it half full of what you know? Half it’s full of air unless you’re in a vacuum. So there’s different twists that you can take on that, that philosophically help guide people in different directions when you’re, you’re not really sure why I’m wearing the other, but there’s definitely been an improvement. So let’s take a little break and we’ll come back and we’ll talk to about, talk about some practical ways to improve yourself.
Speaker 5: 33:38 Awesome.
Speaker 4: 33:44 So these are everyday things that you can do that they work for. Some people, they might not work for others. And we’ll just throw them out there and run down the list real quick and get your thoughts. So the first one they have is pick up a new hobby. Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies. Is there something you can pick up? A new sport you can learn? A new instrument a new skill that you can learn. What’s your thoughts on hobbies?
Speaker 6: 34:15 I mean, yeah. I could definitely agree. Like don’t it’s like that thing. It’s like that saying step out of your comfort zone. Yes, you have good hobbies now, but if you add more hobbies onto that, you’ll be able to learn more. You’ll be able to maybe even be good at good at something else. Right now I’m into drawing and
Speaker 4: 34:50 Drawing a lot of drawings.
Speaker 6: 34:52 Yeah, yeah, yeah. And technology. Yes.
Speaker 4: 34:57 Create an inspirational room. I think you did a little bit of this. Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. You are living in an inspirational environment. You’re going to be inspired every day. So when we redid your room, we moved you into the larger room. I’ve noticed you’ve taken great pains to keep it very neat and organized and you spend a lot more time in there than you did before. Talk about that a little bit.
Speaker 6: 35:27 Well I can definitely say I didn’t spend a lot of, when I use, when I used to live in here, the studio and this used to be my room, it was a huge mess and you can definitely agree on that into her. Yeah. And I think that’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t normally come in here cause it was just too crowded. Plus I was more social back then when we moved into my new room. I it, I definitely wanted to make sure it was not like my other room cause then you wouldn’t even be able to walk in. And I wanted to actually have a better environment and because of that I started spending a little more time in there. And whenever I do it reduces any of my stress or anxiety unless I’m trying to fall asleep. And I got like too much on my mind. Right.
Speaker 4: 36:19 And your, a lot of your creative endeavors have in there. You’re your build your Legos in there and you do a lot of your drawing in there. I just think it’s a, it’s a healthy creative environment for you and your writing. You do distress in there and I think that’s very important. It’s mentally, it’s very healthy.
Speaker 6: 36:37 Yeah. Even though like I also day stressed whenever we play video games together or AKA kill stuff in the call of duty in the call of duty game we, that also helps me de stress. But like whenever you like when you guys are busy I needed something else to distress me after a long day. And I can definitely say after I got the new room, whenever I feel stressed, I definitely lose most of my stress when I, whenever I go into that environment.
Speaker 4: 37:09 Right? The next thing they talk about is overcoming your fears. And we’ve done a whole podcast on, on this. All of us have fears, fear of uncertainty for public speaking, fear risk. All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow. Always think of fears as the compass for growth after our fear podcast, fears and phobias. Have you grown past any of your fears that we talked about in there?
Speaker 6: 37:49 Well, I can definitely say I haven’t really surplussed all like my fears, but I’ve definitely gotten better at dealing with them. I know that my fear of spiders is still around. I prob, I know I don’t have, I know I definitely haven’t grown into arachnophobia but I’ve definitely gotten kind, kinda gotten better even though I’m still not willing to kill them.
Speaker 4: 38:19 Well, and that’s good. It’s, it’s probably best that you’re not willing to kill things.
Speaker 6: 38:23 And with my phobia of Heights I’ve definitely gotten used to the stairs in my middle school, even though it still takes me a little wild go.
Speaker 4: 38:35 Well, and I think that was a major concern you had at the beginning of the school year where, you know, you didn’t even, you weren’t able to go up and downstairs functionally. Yeah. So I think you’ve made significant progress with that, which I think is awesome.
Speaker 6: 38:48 Yeah. And actually because of that, I’ve been able to go downstairs a little more quickly. I still haven’t gotten over my I don’t think, I haven’t fully gotten over my fear of Heights, but I’ve gotten a little better. I can definitely like walk downstairs a little faster than I used to. I can put one foot down one step and then move the other foot down when I used to do like two feet.
Speaker 4: 39:16 Yeah. You were, you were had a pretty debilitating fear of stairs. So you’ve, you’ve really helped the conquer that waking up early. Now this one, you don’t really have much choice with your current schedule. Yeah. But waking up early and they say five or 6:00 AM has been acknowledged by many among blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m sorry. Reading attribution here has been acknowledged by memory. Mem, many lad can’t talk to improve your productivity and your quality of life. Now you’ve been getting up significantly earlier this year than you did last year. Has it improved your productivity? And your quality of life getting up earlier?
Speaker 6: 40:06 I can definitely say I still feel like gets a Monday morning. I still don’t want to get up.
Speaker 4: 40:12 Okay. I won’t argue with that
Speaker 6: 40:13 Cause honestly I don’t personally, neither am I. And I’m basically like, no, I one of those days leave like I can rarely sleep and if I, if someone wakes me up, I’m like, no, I normally wake myself up. That’s good. Especially on weekends and I’m glad like gang, I can do that. Cause like Anatol all annoying waking up to an alarm and I’m like, yeah. And I don’t think it’s really increased any of my productivity. It’s just gotten me up earlier. But that’s it. Like,
Speaker 4: 40:49 Okay, well then you’re more productive because you’re cooking now too, so you do a lot more around the house so you are more productive whether you realize it or not.
Speaker 6: 40:58 Yeah. I don’t realize it because
Speaker 4: 41:01 Right. I can get you a start your life handbook. Now, I don’t know if this is for everybody, but basically it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for life. And this is one of those things where as you learn useful things, you write it down in this, in a book, books consider it like a daily journal life lessons of the day, words of wisdom, inspirational thoughts how to do something, how to cook spaghetti for instance. You know, anything that has helped you throughout the day. At the end of the day before you go to bed, you jotted down to the book and one it helps you to remember it and two you have a reference to go back to later on and you can organize it and come up with your own inspirational book. I’m just sort of a little memory management, a memory improvement technique. I think here more than anything else you don’t do you do a journal, personal journal or you just do one for school?
Speaker 6: 42:15 I mean, I hear it. I used to I remember I used to do a diary because I thought it was cool and I would just like write about the day and now I really don’t do that anymore because it just took too much time and
Speaker 4: 42:36 Well mommy, you know, mommy does that. She’ll do just, you know, a couple of, of a couple of sentences and that’s it. Just to sum up the day.
Speaker 6: 42:43 Yeah. I don’t do that. I mainly just think of it while I’m out while I’m supposed to be sleeping, which is, yeah. I also have my anxiety things like I think about the day and what could have, like, that’s what I do. Like
Speaker 4: 43:03 Another technique, like I think the way mommy does it in her journal is it’s a meditative practice for her. It helps her to sum her day up. It helps her to wind down and relax for bed. What some people do, cause some people have anxiety of tomorrow what I have to do, well, what projects I have, what’s classes I have. What a lot of people tend to do though is they’ll write that down, the write their anxieties down in a journal and by committing it to paper, that way they’re less apt to dwell on it when they’re trying to fall asleep. I know it’s not for everyone. You think I’m, I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Speaker 6: 43:47 No, that is not what I think. I think I’m the complete opp. I think like with mommy, I’m the clue pleat opposite. I keep all the thoughts in my head and doesn’t reduce my anxiety, probably increases it. Making it harder for me to fall asleep.
Speaker 4: 44:06 Hence the point of the journal. You are symbolically offloading those anxieties onto a piece of paper. Have you tried it?
Speaker 6: 44:16 No. Mommy doesn’t want me riding in bed though
Speaker 4: 44:21 Right at your desk and then get in bed. Try it. The point is see if it works. If it doesn’t work, you don’t have to do it anymore. But idea is it works for some people and if it works for some people it might work for you. Basically brain dumping to a piece of paper. Get to that of your head. That’s all you have any shot. Just like, you know, broccoli and green beans and cauliflower. Try and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to keep eating it. Okay. So write a letter to your future self. I’ve done this, actually I have a journal I haven’t written in a while. I’m kind of guilty of that, but I started writing a journal for Sam who long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. And I started writing one to you and they are written in less as letters.
Speaker 4: 45:20 Eventually I’ll get back to it. I tend to do it in spurts cause usually they get lost on my desk somewhere. But I would write letters of, you know, updates on you or something that Sam did or you know, special events, stuff like that. Yeah. And I have them downstairs on my desk. But they say in this case here, what do you see yourself what do you see yourself as five years from now? Will you be the same different? What kind of person will you be? I don’t know. You know, I, I guess this works for some people. I don’t, don’t know if it’s ever really been something that I’ve done specifically, but some of the stuff that I’ll write about with you where some of the things as a, as a baby growing up that like you’re not going to remember.
Speaker 4: 46:14 And you know, with my memory, chances are I’m not going to remember either. So I would write some stuff down in the form of a letter to you. And some day when I filled a book up, I’ll give you the book and you can have all the letters long ways from filling your book right now. Oh, get out of your comfort zone. We’ve talked about this one. Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow. It makes us stagnate. I am a true believer in this, but I am one who was usually hesitant to get out of my comfort zone. I am a creature of habit. I like my world in an organized and well defined manner. And when I step out of there, it definitely is an experience for me to grow and it all and I always have. Any challenge that you face as a chance to grow being outside your comfort zone by definition is uncomfortable though. I mean, what do you think when mommy and daddy force you out of your comfort zone, how does it, how do you react to that?
Speaker 6: 47:24 I definitely don’t react in a fairly good way. I’m gonna give you an example. If you can draw this kind of thing in your head. So imagine there’s a square area and in it it’s basically everything that you like, anything you like, anything that basically is like calming for you. It’s like all nice, calm and sweet. And whenever you guys pushed me out of that little square area, it’s basically just chaos outside. Like a bunch of weird random creatures that would just give me stress and anxiety, looking at them, make me worry about what is going on. We had plants everywhere and just a really, really weird path.
Speaker 4: 48:14 That’s a very interesting visual.
Speaker 6: 48:18 Yeah. Like when you were saying that, I actually visualized it in my brain, like your comfort zone is basically like a small area where like there’s a line and like S in the shape of a square and it’s basically like everything that makes you calm. It’s nice, calm, sweet. Nothing strange or weird or creepy, but whenever you’re pushed out of that comfort zone, it’s just all catastrophic and strange and just something you’ve never really experienced.
Speaker 4: 48:51 And that’s, that’s an interesting depiction. Let me give you one that’s a little bit more realistic. Okay. So at the beginning of camp this summer, what was the biggest thing that I kept harping on with you? Making new friends. Right. And that was way outside your comfort zone. You wanted to sit at the table, you wanted to draw, you didn’t want people to bother with you. And then what happened? I made a couple new friends. You did. And you made friends that had common interests of yours. And then camp wasn’t as bad as it was the first few weeks, was it? I guess? Yeah. So it’s one of those things where it helped you grow and expand at your pool of friends. It gave you something fun and positive to do while you were there because you were so down on camp. But it required you to step outside your comfort zone. And as a result in this case, and it doesn’t always work this way, but in this case, stepping outside your comfort zone had a benefit for you.
Speaker 6: 49:53 Okay, now I’m going back to my visual.
Speaker 4: 49:57 Don’t be negative. Remember, focus on positive.
Speaker 6: 50:00 It’ll be quick. I promise. So when I was, I’m going to base it off the world, but also the example you gave me. So when I was pushed out of my comfort zone to make new friends and I was put in this completely new surrounding, I was a bit shocked and was afraid I wasn’t able to do it. I mean, my ideal comfort zone was just being alone and drawing at a table. But luckily being the person, luckily after a certain amount of time I was able to find some, some people who I was actually able to meet the goal with. And with that, I think my comfort zone at the small square actually expanded a bit. So just think of it with anything. If you’re able to push yourself out of your comfort zone and if you’re able to succeed you, you’re basically, your comfort zone will basically expand a bit,
Speaker 4: 51:03 Right? So we’re running a little late here and we’ve got a whole slew of these things still to go for it. So I’m just gonna run through these real quick. If something strikes a note with you shout and we’ll software, we can discuss it. Okay. So identify your blind spots. Know where your weaknesses are. If you identify your weaknesses, you can correct them. Ask for feedback. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for feedback, positive or negative. Yeah, that’s a problem I’m still struggling with. Right? If you can get feedback from people, you can improve yourself.
Speaker 6: 51:37 Yeah, that’s a thing with the social thing and worrying that I get might get something wrong.
Speaker 4: 51:42 Right? And you’re asking for people to judge you at that point. So don’t be afraid of judgment. Yeah. Stay focused with to do lists. This is the whole whole time management thing. Take a big project, break it down to the smaller ones, make to do lists and you can keep organized and acknowledge your flaws. Same as your, as your blind spots. Know where you’re, you’re strong and nowhere your weekend. Focus on your weak points. Learn from people who inspire you. Find inspirational people. Avoid negative people. Okay? P there are people out there that are gonna bring you down. They’re not the kind of people that you want to hang around with.
Speaker 6: 52:23 Yeah, I, no, I’m not really that social. I do have people who inspire me and help me. And I think B, thanks to my antisocial, Ines, I haven’t met anyone who would bring me down.
Speaker 4: 52:34 Good. Learn to deal with difficult people and I can tell you in my experience, there’s a lot of them out there. I know that as well. Some of them you can avoid. Most of them, you can’t learn to deal with them. Don’t let them bring you down. Learn from your friends. Learn from anyone really. But learn for your friends cause you can trust your friends. Start a journal. We talked about that. Yeah. Meditate. I know meditation. We’ll do a whole segment on meditation and we’ll probably have a special guest on meditation, but learn about meditation. We’ll just mention it here for now. Okay, let go over the past. Forgive yourself. That’s the biggest thing I can say about letting go of the past. Show kindness to the people around you. But more importantly, show to yourself when you make a mistake, if you don’t achieve your goals, don’t be overly hard on yourself. Show yourself kindness. You deserve it.
Speaker 6: 53:34 I still need to work on that a bit.
Speaker 4: 53:36 You do. And the last one here is one that we can, you know, end on a good note. Take a break, take a break. They say, ah, you’ve been working too hard. Self-Improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break, to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no petrol or no fuel. No gas. Scheduling downtime for yourself is important. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate, and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.
Speaker 6: 54:11 Yeah. And I think that’s the best way to avoid burnout. If no one in the audience knows about burnout. Burnout is basically, if you are driven to work exceptionally hard, but you just neglect to treat yourself, then it turns into a problem. And I definitely think like people who are suffering from burnout should definitely know, like they shouldn’t, like they should take breaks. This is definitely would definitely be a good step for them.
Speaker 4: 54:43 Yeah. And like what we do is you know, on the weekends we kinda, I kind of insist on having one day off, you know, we got chores, there’s always that, that to do list of things that need to get done shopping or laundry or cleaning or, you know, whatever it is. We spend a day doing that and then we have a day where we’re not doing anything or we’re just relaxing or we’re doing something fun. This weekend we happen to be going to a toy show and then we’ll have the rest of the day off. So any of the working stuff that we have to do, we’ll do the day the other day. So take a break, schedule it, you know, make time to recuperate. Everyone needs time to, to blow off some steam and relax.
Speaker 6: 55:32 Yeah. And it’s almost similar to I can also relate it to eating healthy. Like if you like, you can’t like say I’m never eating, I’m never eating like dessert or sweets again. Cause then you’re just gonna be setting yourself up for failure. It’s always important to treat yourself once in a while, but don’t do it like so often. I mean, don’t never treat yourself because if you don’t do that, you’re just gonna set yourself up for failure and you won’t be able to function well. So just remember the treat yourself like yes, of course you do want to stay healthy but it’s never, but it’s always okay important to make sure you are allow yourself to treat yourself. Yup. Yep.
Speaker 4: 56:21 And I think the most important thing to sum up with here is self improvement is an ongoing process. Part of it is part of growing up. Part of it is something that’s a little more structured, a little more focus, but be mindful of the self improvement. Heed some of the suggestions that we had here and and I think it’ll help people get along way. So we’ll come back for final thoughts and shout outs. She, you my dear.
Speaker 6: 56:56 So for anyone out there teenage or older or maybe even younger I definitely recommend setting yourself up for self improvement. Not every, no one just know no one is perfect. We all have flaws no matter what they are. Some have bigger than others, but no matter what, we’re all gonna have flaws. And if you work towards self improvement and use all the steps we recommended, then you’re more than likely setting yourself up for success. Just know the on our ending note, always remember, it’s good to take breaks. Don’t like don’t just go on this immediately and just continue doing it for basically the rest of your life with outbreaks. Remember, it’s always important to take breaks and especially with schoolwork, if you don’t take breaks, you’re more than likely going to get tired and burn and maybe even potentially cause burnout.
Speaker 4: 57:57 Very good. All right. Love to thought. Any shout outs?
Speaker 4: 58:03 No, no. And this week
Speaker 6: 58:04 I don’t really know. I’m kinda running out of shout outs
Speaker 4: 58:08 And don’t be overly generous. We need that. We needed to have, you know, make it special. Right? Yeah. All right, so I think that’s it for this week. What did I want to say? Oh, a new podcast that is actually premiering on our YouTube channel in 15 minutes. Your brother, our new co cohost Sam Waylon, join me for insights into tomorrow episode zero. We talked about gun violence, how it affects us today, what our policies from the government look like and how it’s gonna affect us in the future. We even had a honorary mention of our active shooter podcast that we had here on insights in the teens. So check that out tonight at nine on YouTube. You can also get firstname.lastname@example.org for the audio version and for us, you can always reach us at our website, at WW dot insights into things. You can email us at comments at insights into things, not com, or you can check us out on email@example.com that’s it. We are out in other one in the books. Bye.
- What is Self Improvement
- Anything you do in an attempt to improve yourself is self-improvement. Volunteering at a homeless shelter, going to college, learning to meditate — all of these things can lead to self-improvement. Often, self-improvement and self-help are used interchangeably.
- 10 Commandments of Self
- The Emotion Machine
- You are
responsible for how you live your life. People who are on the self improvement path
understand that their thoughts and actions play a big role in what they
get out of life. Without taking at least some degree of responsibility
over your life, self improvement is nearly impossible.
- You need
to define what you want before you can achieve it. Many people go through
life aimlessly, without a clear destination in mind. Ultimately,
however, we need to identify our goals, values, and priorities in life
before we can achieve them. We shouldn’t just work hard, but work hard
on the things that matter most to us.
costs can lead to long-term benefits. Actively trying to change one’s life is not
a walk in the park; it often requires effort, time, pain, and
discomfort. There are no magic pills or blueprints for you to follow.
You need to be willing to invest in yourself, which often requires
paying short-term costs that will eventually lead to long-term benefits
in the future.
- You are
The truth is that whether we play an active role in our self
improvement or not, we are always changing and developing as
individuals. We are all on some kind of self improvement path, but some
take more control over their future than others. You are not a static
being, you are dynamic and always changing.
We sometimes think of our thoughts as immaterial and inconsequential,
but that couldn’t be further from the truth. How you think strongly
influences how you act and respond to the world around you. And how you
act will determine the results and outcomes you get out of life. Your
thoughts and beliefs are important and play a big influence in how your
life will turn out.
Just as we should focus on changing our thoughts, we should also focus
on exploring new habits. As the saying goes, “If you keep doing what
you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.”
Sometimes we won’t know what the correct course of action is until we
have experimented with different things. Changing habits is essential
for learning more about yourself and continuing to grow as a
- Your body
of the most important aspects of self improvement is taking care of
your body and health. Our physical health and mental health are often
interconnected. So to truly be your best self, you should try your best
to eat right, exercise, and take care of your long-term health. Without
taking care of your body, you won’t be able to achieve your maximum
present moment is your place of power. Every conscious decision we make and every
action we do unfolds in the present moment. The more attuned you are to
the present and the choices you have in any given situation, the
greater control you have over your day-to-day actions. Yesterday is
over. Tomorrow is yet to come. But today is where you have the power to
act and decide.
from the past.
While we can’t change our past, it can still be a valuable resource to
look back on and learn from, whether it’s our past mistakes or past
successes. Being able to reflect on your past and learn ways to improve
yourself in the future is essential to self-growth and
optimistic about the future. We don’t always know what the future may bring, but
if we remain optimistic and hopeful we allow ourselves to act in ways
that help create that fact. Often times, it can become a kind of
self-fulfilling prophecy. You have to believe in the future before you
can start building it.
- You are responsible for how you live your life. People who are on the self improvement path understand that their thoughts and actions play a big role in what they get out of life. Without taking at least some degree of responsibility over your life, self improvement is nearly impossible.
- Practical Ways to Improve
- Pick up a new hobby.
Beyond just your usual favorite hobbies, is there something new you can pick up? Any new sport you can learn?
- Create an inspirational
Your environment sets the mood and tone for you. If you are living in an inspirational environment, you are going to be inspired every day.
- Overcome your fears.
All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow. I always think of fears as the compass for growth.
- Wake up early.
Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life.
- Start your life
Basically, it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for your life.
- Write a letter to your
What do you see yourself as 5 years from now? Will you be the same? Different? What kind of person will you be?
- Get out of your comfort
Real growth comes with hard work and sweat. Being too comfortable doesn’t help us grow, it makes us stagnate.
- Identify your blind
Scientifically, blind spots refer to areas our eyes are not capable of seeing. In personal development terms, blind spots are things about ourselves we are unaware of. Discovering our blind spots help us discover our areas of improvement.
- Ask for feedback.
As much as we try to improve, we will always have blind spots. Asking for feedback gives us an additional perspective.
- Stay focused with to-do
I start my day with a list of tasks I want to complete and this helps make me stay focused. In comparison, the days when I don’t do this end up being extremely unproductive.
- Acknowledge your
Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them.
What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?
- Learn from people who
Think about people you admire. People who inspire you. These people reflect certain qualities you want to have for yourself too.
- Avoid negative
Wherever we go, there are bound to be negative people. Don’t spend too much of your time around them if you feel they drag you down.
- Learn to deal with
There are times when there are difficult people you can’t avoid, such as at your workplace, or when the person is part of your inner circle of contacts.
- Learn from your
Everyone has amazing qualities in them. It’s up to how we want to tap into them.
- Start a journal.
Journaling is a great way to gain better self-awareness. It’s a self-reflection process.
Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. I also realized that during the nights when I meditate (before I sleep), I need lesser sleep. The clutter clearing process is very liberating.
- Let go of the past.
Is there any grievance or unhappiness from the past which you have been holding on? If so, it’s time to let it go.
- Show kindness to people
You can never be too kind to someone. In fact, most of us don’t show enough kindness to people around us. Being kind helps us to cultivate other qualities such as compassion, patience, and love.
- Take a break.
Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no petrol. Scheduling down time for yourself is important. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead
- Pick up a new hobby.
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