Chief Dream Chaser Aimee J. brings to the show people you never knew you needed to meet. Aimee talks to fellow dream chasers who share the story of their chase, the lessons they've learned, and have a good time doing it. Life is too short to live with regrets. You need to make moves, take a chance, and chase your dreams.
Aimee J - 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.
"Hustling isn't always the answer." #chasingdream
"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.
"The power is in the rest." #chasingdreams
"You might do yourself more harm than good if you don't take a break." #chasingdreams
"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
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.
"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.
"It's okay to not be okay." #chasing dreams
"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...
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.
"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
"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.
"Don't worry about the money you're making, who...
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.
“Be open-minded to different ideas.” #chasingdreams
"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.
"Take time for yourself." #chasingdreams
“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.
"Take some time to go outside, there's something about it that's calming and soothing." #chasingdreams
“Self-care is a way to manage stress.”
WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
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.”
"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
"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.
"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
"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...
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.
"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
"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...
Inspiration through the power of belief
Aimee J has created a powerful platform that really gives the listener encouragement and inspiration through the unique stories. A wonderful channel to subscribe .. Aimee is so talented and has such a wonderful personality that she draws out thought provoking and inspirational points that applies to our everyday lives.
Aimee J is inspiring, interesting and fun to listen to! This is just what I needed to get motivated to peruse my own dreams!
Great podcast! Highly recommend!
This podcast is absolutely incredible! Regardless of whether you're an entrepreneur chasing your dreams or not - Aimee does a great job of sharing the truth behind what it takes to live the life you truly want and the mindset needed to transform ideas into reality. I highly recommend digging into this show if you're interested in personal growth, leveling up and joining a community committed to building a life you’re proud to call your own. Thank you Aimee!