#78 – Choosing Your Identity

Ep. 78 - Podcast Thumbnail Title: Podcast Thumbnails

Challenging ourselves to change for the better can be hard, but what’s even harder is when we try to break our old habits. For one, there is no short-cut or even hacks on this. 

In order for you to achieve your goal, you need patience, dedication, and consistency. This is because our habits can greatly affect us and have a direct impact on our lives than we imagine. So, changing even just one little thing each day can actually help us have a healthier lifestyle and a more positive outlook in life.

In this episode, Benjy and Andrew exchange views about developing your good habits, creating your identity, and building the image of your ideal self. They also discuss the importance of acknowledging your past mistakes so you can fully accept your new identity. They also emphasize how willpower can stop you from letting your bad habits rule your life considering that you are a human being with sexual integrity who has total control over yourself.  

To help us have a clearer understanding of the topic, Benjy openly shares his internal and emotional battle back when he was in middle school and how he learned more about himself through his experiences. Meanwhile, Andrew tells about his desire of having a healthier mind and body by slowly building good habits on a daily basis to be the best version of himself. 

Join us, and learn more as we present our views on how changing our habits can help us attain self-improvement, and how giving importance to our physical and emotional health can help maintain our sexual integrity. Lastly, how turning away from our bad habits can regain our self-confidence and self-respect as children of God.

  • Adopting a new kind of identity
  • Learning more about yourself
  • Cascading effect of transformation
  • Correlation between physical health and people’s integrity
  • Confidence in being a child of God
  • Creating our own identity
  • The idea of the Divine Principle
  • Emotional habits being more challenging
  • Controlling our emotions

Episode Transcript:

Andrew Love 

All right, everybody. Welcome back to Love, Life and Legacy. It’s me, Andy. And you?

Benjy Uyama 

Benjo Man. Howdy, howdy.

Andrew Love 

“Friendjamin”. Benjamin is your “friendjamin” and Andy is just “handy and dandy”. And today, we’re going to talk about habits. We’ve gone over this topic from different angles. But I wanted to talk about the idea of adopting kind of a new identity in a sense when you do change your habits. And the reason is this, like a lot of people out there you are either struggling with porn, or you’re in a difficult relationship with yourself or with God or with a real person. And you want that to change. But you don’t realize that you actually have to change in many ways, not just externally through your habits, but how you express yourself, even sometimes how you think and even sometimes how you walk and talk. And it sounds ludicrous, but that’s why we want to talk about this because it’s not only important, it’s essential, if you actually want to transform, so the transformation is from the inside out. We all kind of know that. But I want to get into some details about how that looks because it’s a lot different than most of us think, even though we’ve experienced the opposite to be true. How’s that sound? Benjy?

Benjy Uyama 

Sounds good. Let’s get into it.

Andrew Love 

So one practical thing. Okay. First day of high school, how is that for you? Benjy?

Benjy Uyama 

You mean, first day of homeschooling?

Andrew Love 

You’re the worst person I could have had that question. Do you ever go to it? Well, you went to GOP?

Benjy Uyama 

Yes, I went to middle school in Korea. I went to a Korean public middle school. Yes. That is true.

Andrew Love 

Amazing. So you’re kind of sheltered, you’re living a homeschool life. And then, you fly to another continent and another land. And you’re surrounded by new people. And how do you remember how you felt the first day that you showed up at GOP?

Benjy Uyama 

Yes, 12 years old. And completely. If you can imagine without my parents for the first time. I don’t know why they sent, why anyone does that, but God bless them. I think it was a good move. Because it really taught me a lot. Nervous, isolated, for sure. Isolated, just feeling alone. Not really fitting in or knowing how to fit in a lot of internal emotional battles. Yes.

Andrew Love 

And so, that’s your first day, you’re probably pooping in your pants a little bit just super scared, worried about how people are going to receive you? And then, was that a one-year thing or a two-year thing?

Benjy Uyama 

It was two years. I was there.

Andrew Love 

So, you stay there for two years. Do you remember the “you” that exited that two-year program? So you’re now 14? Did you have a lot of friends? Were you, you didn’t want to even go home because you like having these really tight relationships? What was it like, at the end of your journey?

Benjy Uyama 

I was perfect. Ready for marriage, ready for the blessing. No, not at all. It was, oh man. My mom tells me the stories of when she sent me off. You know, I’m a parent, too. You’re too. So just the idea of sending your kid off to a foreign country in Seoul, Korea, which is one of the most dangerous places for a kid to bike around by ground town walking by themselves. She said, basically, many nights she would just cry, and you wonder why a parent would do that, why any loving parent would send their kid off to a school with a bunch of other teenagers. And you might have heard stories of this program. But for me, honestly, it was like, there is something about my parents just letting go. And they let me make mistakes and let me take responsibility for my education, over my life habits, the way I spend my own money on food or snacks or whatever, about my time, my free time. That is a life skill that is irreplaceable, regardless of how difficult it is, 12 years old, 13, 14 years old, that I am so grateful, to be honest. And I think a lot of people would look back and say, oh, it’s so terrible and difficult and isolating, and it didn’t have friends. But in the end, I learned a lot about myself. I think I was set up. I had the foundation to have a truly remarkable experience. Honestly. Yeah.

Andrew Love 

But who is that person? Who is the Benjy that left that program? What I’m getting at is I’m guessing you didn’t leave feeling nervous. And all these things you did on the first day. You probably were much more confident in that social group. Yes?

Benjy Uyama 

Oh, yes. I could go right now in Korea on my own.

Andrew Love 

Well, so that’s amazing because not only did you transform how you showed up to this small group of people in this little program in a foreign land, but how you operated in the land itself. So, guys, the reason why I’m bringing this up is because Benjy started his journey, kind of nervous, not knowing what to do, and he became somebody totally different. If you compare the two, if you took the beginning of the journey, 12-year-old Benjy, and put them right next to 14-year-old Benjy in the same environment, right side by side, and you compare the two, they would be so vastly different. And, if the 12-year-old, you could envision the 14-year-old version of you in the same scenario, but with more confidence in all that, it’d be hard for you to believe that you could change so much. And that’s kind of what we’re getting at here is, everything we do, whatever we want, that’s outside of us, or even inside of us, but we haven’t adopted it yet. We’ll feel weird and new in the beginning, but it’s a matter of acclimating to become that right. And so there’s an element of visualization that’s needed, that things will be okay. So in this situation, things are gonna happen, I’m not gonna die, even though I’m far away from my parents. So I, you kind of have to believe this. And even if things are rough, it’ll get better. It’ll get better, it’ll get better. But it also takes some perseverance. But it also takes practice. This is a weird thing. And so this has been coming up in my groups, in particular, is that, if you want to be free from porn, you gotta practice what it’s like, let’s say you weren’t watching porn. What would you do with your computer? How would you use it in the best possible way? How would you use your mind in the best possible way? What would you be thinking about, and it’s about practicing that, until that becomes the new you. And it’s on such a deep level that we don’t even know that we’re doing it a lot of the time. We’re just trying to get rid of a bad habit while still being the same person. But actually, sometimes it requires some drastic measures. Do you know what I mean? If you want to fit in, in a workplace, you have to kind of play the part, even though it’s a new, new environment. But in terms of sexual integrity, in order to really be free, you have to act like a person who is free. You can’t just always be worried about being a slave all the time. That’s how a slave thinks, they’re always worried. But somebody who’s really confident has to develop that confidence in themselves and their decision-making. And that’s practice. That goes back to your story, Benjy. So I’m hoping that we can kind of get into that, because, to be honest, I was feeling pretty good about my life, except for my body.

Andrew Love 

I’ve developed a bit of a dad bod. Luckily, I have some pretty decent genetics, so it’s not out of control. But definitely, my abs are obscure. It’s like us. Remember those 3d paintings where you really have to stare at them for a while in order to see an image. That is the same with my abs, you have to kind of stare at my belly for a while, yeah, maybe I could see it. And so, I got to the point where it’s like, okay, I’ve tried working out here and there, and it’s not working. It’s hard when you travel, it’s how, and I can’t do it at home. It’s kind of COVID life, it’s where I don’t want to go to a gym. So then I was, you know what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna sign up for a Spartan Race. I just didn’t even know what they were, but I just got this feeling I’m gonna, so I googled it. And then the first day that I had that feeling, I asked somebody, I said, hey, here’s somebody that I know is like, do you want to do a Spartan Race? And he’s like, yeah, it’s perfect timing. He’s like, “Yeah!” This guy, William, who lives in Denver with me. And I was like, let’s do it. And then we signed up. And now I’m like the Spartan Race guy, and it’s not who I am. I’ve never done it before I looked at the videos, and some of the people look so hardcore. Definitely, not who I identify with, necessarily, but I’m becoming that guy. So now I’m training like a guy who is going to be successful at the Spartan Race. I  train and I’m doing pull-ups all the time, a lot of push-ups, and I’m jogging. I don’t normally jog. But now I’m a jogging guy. I normally say, oh, I don’t jog. That’s my old self. But now, I’m a guy that jogs and I’m getting better at jogging. And I’m a guy that does pull-ups and it changes how I feel about myself. And I didn’t even mean to but now I’ve changed how I eat. Now I don’t even eat heavy breakfast, I just have smoothies for breakfast because that’s what my body wants because that’s what my mind wants. I’m becoming a fundamentally different person. I used to have concepts about people who run these kinds of races, people who jog blah blah blah, that’s not me. I’m this guy. I’m not that guy. But that’s just all, it’s all garbage. But when you, it’s coming from a place where I want to be in really good physical shape, so I can feel better about my body so I can regain my vitality- my physical vitality. Yes, and it’s got this cascading effect where it’s actually transforming. Which shirts I wear now, actually, because I don’t. I realized I wasn’t wearing certain shirts because it showed my belly.  I had a bit of a belly. And I was like, this is too embarrassing. It’s changing. It seems little, but it’s actually changing how I walk out of my house and how I speak and just how I feel about myself and how I feel about the world. So, I’m actually becoming a different version of Andrew. And in the beginning, it’s awkward. My first time jogging I felt such an idiot jogging because I’m like, I just wanted to apologize or have a sign that said, I’m not a jogger, you know. I’m just doing this because we should make sure this isn’t that’s not a jogger. Yes, or shoes. That says not a jog, jogging shoes that are not jogging, jogging shoes. But that’s just it. I’m now a little bit more okay with being a jogger. Now I just jog. It’s no big deal. And maybe one day, I’ll just become a jogger, who, who knows. But yeah, I just wanted to bring this up because a lot of people don’t even sign up for High Noon, I met a guy who recently just joined our program, Ascend program. After his mom, he’s in his 30s. And his mom recommended it finally because he told her about it. But he knew about us from the beginning, from our first summit in Las Vegas, he wanted to go, but he didn’t want to show up and have people be like, “oh, you struggle with porn?” Because he didn’t want that to be a part of his identity. And he’s, he’s listened to all of our podcasts. He watched all of our stuff. But he didn’t want to be that guy. And then guess what, he just joined a group. And now he’s feeling a lot better about himself because he realized that that was just a concept. So he’s becoming that guy. But he didn’t know that that guy actually just meant somebody who’s free. Instead somebody is crapping his pants worrying about what other people think about.

Benjy Uyama 

Yes, that brings up some questions for me, and then I’ll also address a similar story to yours, Andrew. It’s how does, I guess physical health relates to integrity, sexual integrity, in particular, and with self-development? I think that, especially with my groups, there seems to be a very strong correlation between physical health and people’s integrity because the basic fundamental nature of someone who has a strong physical but not strong, but a healthy body, or priority in investing in their physical health is that they are able to see long term, and they’re able to recognize the impact of their daily decisions on their long term health. And that also happens to be a fundamental quality of a happy, well-adjusted human being who has integrity, who has sexual integrity and control over themselves. And this goes into everything in terms of our emotional state, our physical state, our spiritual state. So to me, that’s what comes up when you’re sharing, that is it really does affect every aspect of our body in many ways. For me, the story that comes to my mind is when I was working in New York City, and this is crazy to think about now. But when I was working for the Family Federation headquarters in New York, we were living in New Jersey, and if you’ve ever, I know you have Andrew, whoever lived in that area, or done that commute to the city. It’s everyone’s least favorite thing on the planet. And I think that’s the sole reason why everyone in New York is unhappy, in my opinion. But, I started biking to work every day because I was diagnosed with hyper, hyper, hyper hyperthyroidism, which is overactive thyroid, and I was like, really young, mid-20s. And I was really scared that I was actually going to have a heart attack or something. My heart rate was through the roof, it’s really fast, racing heart rate, and they were like, you got to, you got to take medication. That’s what they said, of course. But then I discovered that I need to just exercise more. And I was like, why can I just bike? It’s a 26-mile round trip. I know it sounds crazy. But I did a few times. And I was like, I’ll do it a few times. Now it goes about a road bike. And I just got hooked, honestly, I really got into cycling. And I just enjoyed it so much more. And I did it every day for two years, every single day, even going through blizzards, even through the blistering heat, even when they said don’t come to work because it’s snowing too much. I got on my bike. I remember even getting on the bus and I was like, I better take the bus because it’s snowing. And I remember getting on the bus and just seeing how miserable everyone was on the bus. There’s, oh, it’s snowing. I don’t want to go to work today. But I have to. And then I got off the bus. Because I hate this. And then I biked. I got like, I rode for half a block on the bus and I got off again, and then went on my bike. And I was just so happy. And so the result of doing this habit just after about a month of doing it every day during the week. It gave me energy, it gave me the energy of life and that’s what I really wanted. I was tired of just coming home playing with my kids. And just being exhausted, I want it to be on fire, I want to be excited, I want to have that upper-level energy all day throughout the whole day. And, and that’s what happened just after a month of doing that. I have more energy now, I’m more confident, I’m happy when I get to work everyone else is who goes to work. It’s kind of wet and sad. And it’s so depressing. I was just smiling, covered in snow or sweat or whatever. And then I would get changed and start working. That’s a different story. And now this is like a humblebrag, but it’s something that I’m really proud that I did. Because you’re saying, this lifestyle sticks with me today. Even today, I was biking to the YMCA and to the cafe to do some work. And it’s just something I do anything under five miles, I’ll bike to it, even with my kids will bike take them in the bike trailer. It’s just what we do now because it’s part of life. And that’s who I am and I didn’t think I would be that guy, like hipster, hipster cycling guy.

Andrew Love 

But what’s even cooler is you were the unhealthy guy and then, you became the healthy guy and that transition is no small feat. It’s an identity shift. A lot of people are caught smoking or drinking and stuff like that. It’s a part of their identity. I know a lot of people smoke for the social aspect of being a smoker. Because then you have a reason to stand next to somebody and talk to them. They don’t even know that’s why they smoke but when you dig deeper, that’s why it is so to become a nonsmoker. It’s like the addiction is there, obviously. But then it’s also that they don’t know how to make friends anymore. Because they were smokers their whole life. And that’s their identity. So who do they hang out with now? Or you go from a meat-eater to a vegan it changes, it changes how you see the world and everything. So that’s a big deal. And then, as you said, there’s a cascading effect, you have more energy, you’re happier because you have this dopamine cycle associated with health now. Where you bike to work. And even though you’re tired, especially on those hot days, you have this newfound energy because your body’s rewarding you for taking care of it, right. So there’s so many, but that identity shift is the important aspect that I’m trying to bring out in this podcast because we have so much of our identity connected to even…

Andrew Love 

I’ll give you another example. This one’s a little bit harsh.  I really wanted my home for the past few years to have a really nice car and a really horrible car so that my identity is not connected to being fancy or poor looking. And I had a pretty decently fancy car just by accident, it was just a circumstance. And I was glad to get rid of it. And you know, we traveled and we came back and somebody loaned us their car for six months, and it is really cool. But it’s a 2001 Toyota Avalon, with a lot of hail marks. The  paint is faded on 40% of the car. And yesterday we went to a very fancy area because they have really nice parks . Obviously, fancy areas, nice parks. And we parked there, nobody else was parked there but when we went back to our car, we looked around, there’s all these brand new, really fancy infinity SUVs like $80,000, and then our car. And I looked at it with our kids and I was like, look at all these cars. They’re so boring. Ours has personality. And there’s a part of me when you hop into that car in a fancy neighborhood people will look at you, are you from around here? And you get that feeling when we showed up, there were some moms in the park that kind of looked at us, like, we haven’t seen your type around here. Or at least that’s how I intuited it because somehow my self-worth is connected to the car that I drive. So it’s good to test this stuff out. And again, it goes into social media, your avatar online, the stuff that you watch online. And if you’re not conscious, then you’ve just created identity by accident. But if you look at your own Facebook feed, and you look at your own pictures, what you’ve deleted and what you’ve allowed to be on social media, is based on the perception that you think about yourself is acceptable. And whether that’s congruent with the true self, your true self or not is a very good question. But moving forward, a better question is, how do you want to show up? So especially if you’re preparing for marriage, you right now are probably not the you that you would want to be in order to be fully ready for marriage. So becoming that person is a journey. If you already are blessed or married then It’s also a journey, but you’re doing it together with somebody else. Does that make sense? So even if you’re not making the money that you would like to make in your life like I was, I interviewed somebody yesterday, he was saying he was a data guy. And then he turned into a relationship expert. And while he was making that transition, everybody in his life said, you can’t do that. You can’t be a relationship guy because you’re a data guy. You’re a computer guy. So he felt ashamed for a second, but then you realize, no, I’m okay with everybody telling me this, I’ll just be who I say I am. Now you say I am. So think about even how that plays into your sexual integrity. When you’re like, I am addicted. These are powerful words. These are very powerful. I’m an addict. No, you’re a child of God. What if you just pretended to be the most powerful child of God that you could imagine? And that becomes the real you. You would probably think differently. You’d probably be more confident when you say all this stuff changes depending on what you say about yourself and how you think about yourself.

Benjy Uyama 

Yes, there are a few people that come to mind that I want to share who are like that. I don’t want to say names. There’s one guy I’ll name because he’s been on the podcast before. You know, Gene, right? Gene Honeycutt is a really good friend of mine, he’s very, he’s so open to talk about his story, and you can check out his podcast that he did as well. And the matching process, right when he was preparing for a relationship, was really beautiful. In my experience of helping for the last decade, people go through this process of finding a spouse, and getting to know each other and committing to marriage, and the blessing is that, well, the one kind of defining quality of people that I think is, basically their confidence in themselves as a child of God. Period. And if you can be confident, regardless of what you bring to the table, regardless of what habits, past experiences, mistakes, physical attributes you have, if you bring simply the confidence that I’m a child of God, and I bring so much to this relationship, beyond anything that anyone else has, that’s unique to me. If you bring that confidence, then that is super attractive. People will jump on that. And I’ve seen this over and over even people who are like, oh, I don’t know if frankly, this is deeper, I don’t know if I mean a genius, genius Gene, right? He’s like, he’s Gene. He’s, you know, I mean, he’s amazing, but he doesn’t look at himself as the five-foot whatever, half Japanese, dude. He looks at himself as a child of God. And I bring a lot of compassion, care, and all the great attributes that he has. And that’s just really something that his current wife, Marina really grabbed on to. And initially, I was like, Marina, I don’t understand. I even set up their wedding. When I gave the toaster when I was like Marina, I don’t see what you see in Gene, but good luck. Honestly, I don’t understand. But she sees it. Because I think Gene sees himself that way. Does that make sense? You can see it, you can see it in the people who, as I said, I’ve advised a lot of people, I even say, I think you should change this, maybe like the way you present yourself or the way you do your, your hair, maybe you should lose some weight or something like that, kind of the limited thinking I have. But then, they somehow just bring so much a different spin on it. And it’s just so beautiful to see for men and women, by the way. So, I think that it’s not confidence, like superficial confidence or like, I’m buff, I’m beautiful. I’m fit or whatever. You are truly like, I am a child of God. And I know exactly what I bring to this world. And only I can bring it and only I can bring it to a spouse. So when you bring that to the table, that’s just I mean, game over. Yes, I’ve seen it over and over.

Andrew Love 

Yeah, yeah. And well, you’re a dad, right? I’m a dad. And it’s weird. Or even when you get married. To say this is my wife, in the beginning, is a real novelty. And it feels weird saying it and but then when you’re, I’m a dad, or I have kids, it’s all-new. But it becomes a part of who you are, that becomes a part of your identity. And that’s fine. It’s all fine. We’re creating our identity as we go. But you’re either creating it unconsciously. Which is usually not so great as definitely not so powerful, or are you creating it consciously because you’re making all of your decisions consciously and unconsciously based on who you think you are. So if you’re like, oh, I’m not worthy of love. I’m only worthy of porn and stuff like that. Then when somebody is trying to tell you I love you, or they’re trying to show you signs of love, you don’t see it. You don’t perceive it because you’re seeing everything through the lens of being somebody who’s not worthy. Who sucks, who’s stupid. And how many times have somebody told you you’re stupid or ugly or whatever, that you believed it for a second. So, it’s not believing what the world tells you who you are, but believing who God says you are. And when you really, really believe that, you simply don’t have time for the waste. You don’t have space for the waste because it doesn’t make sense for who you are. It’s similar to this, I had a burger last night, we went out for burgers after this park and this experience that I was telling you about. And I felt like I was dying because I’m a healthy guy now. So, I have a burger, which actually threw me for a loop before. I never really felt it last night, honestly, I woke up this morning, just real. Some issues. I don’t feel so good. My belly just is bloated, too. I just, I went right back because it’s not a part of who this person is that I’m recreating myself to be. So that’s the good thing about I guess religion, and especially the Divine Principle, this idea of recreation and resurrection can happen within the self at any time. You can resurrect yourself, and recreate yourself any day of the week. You’re right, the moment that you cling on to, I want this to be my identity. And so that really is directly correlating to sexual integrity, to building yourself in the image of your ideal version of yourself instead of the kind of lackluster version that you were up until this point.

Benjy Uyama 

So, what would you say is the defining point that people should do or think or people should do initially when they have a bad habit or a bad approach to something and changing that into the person they want to be or the habit they want it to be?

Andrew Love 

Yes. So if you have a bad habit, that’s great that you can identify that, but you’re not going to be able to change that habit as you. You have to become somebody else who doesn’t do that habit. That’s like shedding a layer of skin of the old version of you. So, that’s where the North Star goal comes in. And I’ve spoken at this ad nauseam because it’s so important, that the North Star goal is getting better at identifying that version of you, that you want to be that child of God version of you. And then saying, well, what would that person do in practicing that? What would that person think in practicing that? What would that person feel, in practicing that? Because if you even change, if you’re in the moment, and you’re like, the child of God version of me, is very calm in stressful situations. Well, when somebody is chewing you out, and you’re about to yell at them back, you take a breath, and like, no, because this child of God version of me can handle this. And it changes your, the structure of your brain and the subsequent feelings. You can actually customize how you think about yourself if you decided on it, right. Yeah. So the Northstar goal is super important, I think. But the real magic is not that I want to make $50,000 in the next three months, it’s more of who is the person that I want to become? And how do they operate? And then practicing that, and everything falls into line based on that.

Benjy Uyama 

Yes, I can share something that I find personally very helpful. And I hope it’s helpful for others. I have a general motto in my life, for every aspect of my life is that, if I’m not enjoying it, then I’m doing it wrong. And I don’t know where I heard that. But it’s all like, every day I think about it. whatever I’m doing. This comes into play in my parenting as a father, which is huge. I’m not enjoying being a dad, I’m not doing it right. And it comes into work. The work that I do, becomes how I get from point A to point B, right? Biking or driving? Am I enjoying it? It comes into the way I sleep, and okay, even when reading God’s word. I don’t like reading God’s word. I don’t. So I listened to it. I get a PDF and I have some. A robot read it to me because that’s just more enjoyable and my kids and my wife can hear it together in the morning. The list goes on and on. So that’s basically, I mean, going back to my cycling habits, I really didn’t enjoy going to work, so I have to either move somewhere closer or I have to commit to biking from New Jersey to New York every day. And I enjoyed it, and I got into it. I didn’t just dread the ride, I really like to delve into it as a hobby and I researched, and I got all the gear I was so excited about. I watched all the YouTube videos, whatever it is, fitness is something really exciting right? The Spartan Race that’s super exciting stuff right there. In parenting, what can I do to make my relationship make the everyday task of being a dad enjoyable? Whether it’s reading together, whether it’s, reading is something they say is so important. I don’t enjoy reading the same book all the time. So, I only get the books that I enjoy reading to my kids. I know that’s selfish. But  Dr. Seuss, I love reading Dr. Seuss, it’s just so fun to read. And we go to the library almost every week, and we get 30 or 40 bucks every time because I enjoy reading new books. And when we get home and read them, I enjoy that. But I don’t enjoy reading the same books over and over. So I’m just like, sorry, guys. We’re getting new books because I don’t like this. So that helps me at least kind of keep tabs on who I want to be and make sure that I’m living into that. Do I enjoy it? And what can I do to make sure that I’m enjoying my work in particular? Or my relationships?

Andrew Love 

Yes, exactly. That’s great. And that’s the decision that you made, you really believe in that ethos of enjoying stuff. So that’s what you committed to doing. And you figure out a way of doing, so the brain really needs to prove itself, right. So, if you do decide that you are not worth very much, and that you’re stupid, your brain will find every reason to prove that to be true. And it’s very subtle because sometimes we don’t say it out loud. But look at your life and find out if you have a struggling point, then what belief do you hold that allows you to be struggling in such a way? Why do you permit yourself to make certain mistakes again and again? And again? What story are you telling yourself? So this is all kind of esoteric but also extremely practical because it influences how you are, so just look at your life and be like, who do I think I am? And who do I want to be? And if you can figure out who you want to be? How do you practice being that person more and more, until that’s just who you are? That’s the magic of the North Star goal.

Benjy Uyama 

Yeah, I just want to share one thing that came to mind, we’re talking about habits. For me, physical habits aren’t so difficult, like biking, that’s like waking up, whatever. For me, what’s always been challenging is the more emotional habits, how we respond to things in particular. And something that I struggled with for a long time is, particularly in relationship with my wife, or really anyone is, it was very hard for me to not take things personally. You know, whether it’s a criticism or a comment, or even just an innocent comment that my wife made or particular, it would always spiral me into this, just feeling attacked and taking it personally and in reacting in a very negative way, even with frustration and anger. And it just went on for years and years. And you can spiral to a point where my wife didn’t feel comfortable to be honest sometimes because she was afraid that I was going to react negatively. That’s a terrible situation, to be in a relationship where we can’t be honest. .This wasn’t until I would say the last few years even I can testify now. Just yesterday, my wife was having a pretty rough day. There’s just a lot going on. She’s really busy making, preparing for… Sammy’s wife, Yi Gyu, has a birthday party tomorrow and she’s making a giant cake, a tiramisu cake. God bless her. But she was making a macaroon tiramisu cake. Yeah, handmade, hand making it all. And she was kind of having a rough stressful day. And typically, I would really, if she was maybe being a little edgy with me, and making comments at me or telling me that, you know, and typically, I would really take it personally, like, I’ve worked so hard and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s like, how can you say that you shouldn’t say stuff like that, you should be more this or that. But I was really proud of myself yesterday because I was kind of more like not laughing it off, but just kind of smiling and being like, yeah, I get it, it might not be the best approach to just laugh it off. But it’s way more valuable or big, bigger improvement than me just responding with anger to her frustration. So, I was just like, yeah, and I did that all day until the very end of the night. And she just felt so calm at the end. Because I just didn’t let it get to me. I was just like a black hole of love for her, and she was able to let loose and calm down at the end. And, and that’s something that took a long time for me to do, but I know that anger itself is, especially in a relationship, poison to a relationship. It’s a poison to a marriage, it’s poison to a parent-child relationship and it’s poison to children. And I think I was really able to change that because I recognize the impact of me being that way. And for me, that’s the first step for any change in my life, especially emotional spiritual ones recognizing the impact that me being this way is having and then when I recognize the impact it is basically just, I break down emotionally and I just can’t believe I’ve been this way to my kids. I can’t believe I’ve been a really frustrated dad or husband, and I can’t believe it. And then when that happens, it’s the first step that I can actually start being a different version of myself where I’m just more like a black hole of love, where whatever is thrown my way, I can just accept it as love and I can now be more stern and loving at the same time to my kids. Whereas before, if they were,  my son, in particular, six is not listening, or you won’t clean up or whatever, I just, yeah, just come on, scan the car, get in the car, put your seatbelt on. But now, I can be that but loving at the same time, stern and loving, like a teacher. I remember my true father said, this last thing I’ll say it’s true father said, before I had my son, before my son was born, I was reading about parenting. And he said, Your responsibility as a parent is to be your child’s greatest, your child’s best friend, and their best teacher. And I basically tattooed that on my forehead, you’re your child’s best friend and their best teacher. And that I took that as I have to be loving, and firm in my values, and teach him in a loving way. And that’s the hard thing. But I think I am making the mental shift of not wanting to be this frustrated, angry person I want to be loving, but also to teach values and to my children. So yes, if that’s helpful at all, that’s what really helped me a lot.

Andrew Love 

Yes, I mean, it’s really important that you can even change how you react. I think most people don’t think because I’m the angry guy. You’re the spaz dad, that’s what you do. But you don’t have to be. A lot of it is negotiable. Some of it takes a little bit more work than others, but just know that you can customize it, especially when you’re really clear about what you want to do. Okay, you don’t want to yell at your kids. Well, what do you want to do? Practice that. It’s all possible. It’s not where anything is out of our control. Everything’s in our control, you know, and it has these impacts, so many people think, oh, we have heart problems that run in our family. Is that true? Or do you have anger problems that create hard problems in your family? There are so many, it’s deep, it’s so much deeper than just the physiological result. So anyway, it impacts every aspect of our life. But the thesis that we’re presenting here today, is that your habits are largely dictated by what you think you deserve, and who you think you are. So, if that’s serving you well, fantastic, and if not, you can change at any point in time, who you think you are, and what results you get. So, please do so if you’re not in a place that is very happy. And if chances are if you’re listening to this, then there are some aspects of your life that you’re looking to improve. Know that that’s absolutely possible. But first, you have to get clear on what you would rather be or feel or experience and practice that. Practice that, practice that, practice that. It’s very practical, so just practice it. Thank you guys for listening. At any point in time, if you need help practicing, we have our Ascend program. We have our podcasts, we have blogs so if you need us to develop more content for some specific niche that we haven’t covered yet, let us know. Tell us, give us feedback. We love hearing from you guys. And thank you so much for listening. Benjy, say something.

Benjy Uyama 

Thank you, everyone. God bless, we love you.

Andrew Love 

God bless you all.

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