Host: Welcome to the Lifelong Wellness podcast where we talk to wellness professionals from so many walks of life from around the world and get their insight in living healthier. I’m your host Wes Malik. Happy New Year to you.
Sasha: Happy New Year to you as well.
Host: So as I said before, no better guest to have on our podcast today, the Lifelong Wellness podcast than you Sasha because you talk about so many things about especially about change and these is the time where everybody is thinking about change. It becomes as natural catalyst for a lot of people in their lives with the resolutions and all. And I want to ask you, Did you set any resolutions for yourself in 2020?
Sasha: That is a popular question that I have been asked for the last two and my personal philosophy is, I don’t believe in resolutions.
Sasha: I think growing up it was January will come and whatever you want to fix or you want to achieve make a list of it and make it happen. As time flies away from January 1st people very desensitize so the idea that they will make it to the gym or maybe I will wait for a year or maybe I’ll do change my resolution. So I tell people instead of changing your resolutions look at it this way, you don’t have to wait for a certain time to kick start your goals. So I personally don’t believe in them. I look at it as if you really want to do something go out and do it. And every day we get a new slate and we get to start off from there. And if you don’t get to hit your target that day remember you could always continue where you left off. A lot of people when they made resolutions they will not guarantee that they are going to achieve their goal. They are going to lose weight, they are going to get that job, they are going to get married, there are so many personal and professional goals that people come to me with. And I often have to remind them that it’s a process and nothing could just pops up. There is I would say a formula a combination of luck, opportunity but a lot of hard work. You have to be able to back it up with hard work but also working smarter. So going back to your question about resolutions, I don’t have a resolution but I do know that up to last night literally I was cleaning up and leaning up all the work and portfolio, projects I have been working on. And I said for 2020 I will focus on probably on finishing those and run with it. Some people have that security that they need 20 things working out for me because 18 if them don’t work out I have two. And I tell people to look at life like the glass half full and take it day by day. Don’t get overwhelmed because there are strangers that I cross path with almost every day and that’s there big question to me and I said I don’t believe in them. And over the past few years I also meet people who also don’t believe in resolutions because they feel that the first month of the year everyone is so hyped up and then they can’t keep up with the emotional momentum to follow through.
Host: What would you suggest for a person who is hankering for change in their life?
Sasha: Sir, Change everyone reacts to it differently. Excuse me. When you are the initiator of change and you are willing and wanting it you gonna make more of an effort. There will be less of a resistance coming from within you, less anxiety and less wear and hopefully more excitement. Then there are those who don’t react to change well because they look at it as their living their comfort zone. Change is protected on to them whether it is in a professional environment, in their life or something happens where they don’t know how to cope and my recommendation to change would be don’t fear it. It does not all come in the form that you want it. So much with attention we all love attention but we don’t get to control the form of attention. It can be someone nitpicking on us.
Sasha: Or to someone preventing us just like that with change. It can be a blessing in disguise but it might come in a packaging that we don’t want it but I always tell people be slow to react but try to understand why things are happening in your path. Of course if you ask me 15 years ago, how I responded to change. I would say not always in a positive fashion but if I was the initiator of change I did really well. So it all comes down to every goal you have or whatever mission we want to carry, how badly do you want it, and if it means a lot to you I do believe that to those that are passionate or has emotional attachment to a greater goal, greater than themselves they do follow through with it. Don’t be hangover about the pace of I have to get their by a certain time limit because typically as we approach the New Year there are men and women, more women come to me and say “I am approaching this age and I should have been married, I should have had my children by now or Men come to me and they are starting career goals” and they would say “I should have reached this milestone”. And I tell them Don’t let the milestone be dictated by age, a certain time. If you rush through it easy come easy go and there are certain things that take time you want to instill it and ensure longevity in your path.
Host: that’s great advice. Change can be difficult. WE fear it. We are in our comfort zones all the time. We like our routines and we are comfortable with who we are and what we are doing. Although we have an innate desire that we would like to achieve something. Maybe it is that fear that keeps us at bay from changing. How do you overcome your fears?
Sasha: But the thing about Change is that it can be very scary. Let’s say that if you had a great career and all of a sudden you get laid off then the fear starts swimming into your life like how are you going to put food on the table, how are you going to support your family, you don’t have a roof on your head in a few months from now.
Host: It is a very scary preposition. Yeah.
Sasha: Yes, but it is very real. I remember when I came out with my first book talking about how to go about the different forms of employment and in engagement and people wouldn’t believe me that I have been laid off at least 5 times by the time Sashatalks.com come around. I told them that Change is a blessing in disguise when you look back in hindsight. If you are receptive to understanding that okay I have to move forward and sometimes you don’t have a choice it’s either you cling on, it’s a game of survival then you do the best of it. And there were other times where people want to make a change it can be from I want to quit smoking, I want to lose weight or I am gonna become better at improving the nature of relationships I have in my life. So your goal let’s say perhaps to go out and get married. Then you have to put yourself out that also brings more vulnerability on the table. People are more vulnerable when they are going through change or some emotional aspect of life than when it is day to day practical matters because if you’re only relying on your intellect there are many guarding mechanisms that people apply to get through the day.
Sasha: There are some quick pods that you cannot co exist but behind close doors that when you look in the mirror you know what’s great about union you know what your weaknesses are and your fears are. So the change aspect I think most people would plan well if they educate of themselves of what is change and why it is happening in my life, how it will benefit me because if you don’t understand the benefit of crossing that bridge and making that transition and then they will most likely act upon it. Because so many people I’ve met over the years that are great at planning, planning, planning and they think planning equates to taking action. That the planning is just a conceptualization you have to actually execute your plans and how they pan out. Some people will not execute them unless they get a life guarantee that I’m gonna succeed I’m not gonna meet people and date unless I know that they are going to receive me well and they’re offering me a relationship. I tell them there are no guarantees and be careful what they wish for. There are many people who have gotten what they wish for but then they realize this is not what I want. This is not the lifestyle I am not as happy because I end up with a person like this my life would be made for me or they change careers. They move on the other side of the world. There are so many different aspects of change but I’m glad that it exist because it has made a monumental difference in my own life and it also bottoms to prospective of learning how to cope on a good day or bad day because often on a good day you immediately jump up and show gratitude but if things don’t go very well either people are going to point out words let’s say it happen because of this or because of that or they are gonna be very slow to come to the table and say I am going to take accountability and the change most of the time we are accountable and there’s one of you maybe 20% aspect of life is being where it is being projected on to you. The great beauty of living is we have free will we are not victims of circumstances down to how we respond to the changes being projected upon us.
Sasha: And sometimes people engage in change and they don’t even know that it is change in itself.
Host: I ask this question of all our guest and every guest comes up with a different answer because there’s a different meaning to this question and because we are talking about lifelong wellness on the Lifelong Wellness podcast. What does wellness mean to you personally?
Sasha: I think my answer has evolved over the years. Initially I never thought that it will only have to do that matter of health in your body in our body. Over the years I have also have to say that balancing your mental and emotional well-being and in the past few years I started an activity that I practice to this day that every day I do a gratitude a list, a running list where I do it verbally or in a journal. And every day I do my best I forgive at least one person, thing, or opportunity or event that would probably hold me back. Yes, and it has made a difference in my life because we realize how much baggage we all carry whether or not we really believe that of a third party or an opportunity or something around us may have hindered us or kept us from getting to where we want. When you do that forgiveness activity it could be from a stranger who probably cut me off when I was driving to, or somebody who probably made a comment a year ago that I got hung up on and you realize that when you begin the activity. Especially in the beginning in the first few weeks a lot comes out of you without realizing that wow I put all of that on the paper. I didn’t know all of that I think it was within me like the poison comes out and I remember when I started out doing it. The first month was insightful and then because part of your lifestyle that you realize we don’t let this small things get to you, you don’t get attach to the things that people project unto you. It could be through their words to their actions and I think that’s a lifelong process even from learning from other professionals in the field. What people think of you is their business has nothing to do with you. What you think of others, what you think of life is your business because sometimes people get very embroiled in our opinions or in their critic of one another that they don’t realize how easily it gets easy to get hung up for it. Trying to win the vote of each individual out there but do they really care? We are living in a world where mostly everything could be bought from critical acclaim to very harsh critic that’s a blessing and curse.
Host: It is. Absolutely it is. Thank you. What a great thing you mentioned creating a list of who or gratitude of the things who you are thankful for and who you are going to forgive. It is very interesting and I like the explanation to what impact or what effect it had on you personally. Thank you very much for that. It’s a great insight into living very well. You have written many books on many topics if I am not wrong you’ve written over five books, correct?
Sasha: Yes, the fifth one is in the cooker. It will be a follow up to the first book which has to do with going out in the market and marketing yourself and understanding the value of work and how to find the right opportunities. The first one I talk a lot about the basic exhibit of what is shop hunting and how you go about it with the every different aspects of it because I notice that now a days you can just apply online and people are waiting. Some people don’t know when to move on and not to get hung up over that one response that you may never get but part of the premise was dealing with rejection literally and metaphorically in life. And I have few more talks about how rejections had been one of the biggest blessings in my life that has brought me where I am today.
Host: Tell us a bit about your books. Tell us about your first book what it is about?
Sasha: That one focuses on how you go from jobless to abundance. And to understand how you are not looking for a job or a paycheck to put food on the table but to how to screen the right opportunities and how to carry yourself if you are marketing yourself for a certain opportunities, the type of speech, the type of demeanor, presentation manner. I am not actually telling people to become someone that they are not but I am trying to get them to be more authentic in their approach. If your approach to these opportunities are more genuine that will be easier for you to understand. That even though if someone hires you, you can kindly decline and the job offer. You are not at the mercy of a third party to accept you it goes both ways. And I meet people that have polarizing views of employment. Some people do work well with third parties. Other people don’t spun well into taking orders from other people and they want to be their own entrepreneurs. And I told people entrepreneurship is not for everyone because I know when I started out I was working a part time opportunity in corporate while transitioning to Sasha Talks. I was averaging about 80 hours per week.
Sasha: Majority of those hours I was not getting paid for because I was trying to understand the online traffic at odd hours of the day from 8 different time zones. I should share the process of Sasha Talks initially it was only a special counselling website and people would come to me through the radio shows but because I also come from the business world I thought it would be appropriate to integrate that part and put it on one platform. The second book had to do with departures only caring the true the principles and the values that matter to you in the metaphoric glass would be what you put in your backpack if you had to climb a mountain and the two aspects it focus on was communication and the value of relationships but also being true to yourself. Knowing when to walk away from circumstances that they either outgrow or no longer serve your higher self. That is one thing that a lot of people juggle with. Knowing when to walk away because they are afraid that the moment that they leave their circumstance will improve and then they have the fear of missing out. And the thing about life is that Yes, you can have it all but you may not have it all in the same quantity and to the best degree. You have to pick and choose what matters to you. What work out to you 10 years ago may not be ideal for you today.
Host: True. Circumstances change.
Sasha: Unfortunately, It could be matters of love, relationships, career opportunities or you might just wanna just get up, move to another country you might wanna just change professions but all of that requires courage and effort. And courage is something that cannot be bought we have to dig deep within us. And get ourselves to show up and perform. Courage is what I can say Courage cannot be bought but it has to be nurtured and the more healthier relationship you have with yourself or you know yourself well enough you will be more confident with the decisions that you make.
Host: Sasha, when we talk to our guest on our podcast we talk about health, wellness, mental health, meditation, yoga, many types of eating habits and one thing that we haven’t spoken about and I am so happy to be speaking to you because you have a wealth of knowledge. You have written so many books about this area and you are a seasoned to even be it a professional organizational human behavior very important part of our lives, our careers. When it comes to our careers we are always either looking for one or to better our career. We are always looking forward to something it could be change, it could be improvement, it could be financial, it could be in terms of power, or leadership. For some people even entrepreneurship, people would like to leave their career and become entrepreneurs. For a lot of people entrepreneurship equals freedom. Although if you ask an entrepreneur if it does equal freedom I’m sure their answer will be it does not but I would like to know now. It is a perfect time at the beginning of the year to talk about careers. And how would you help somebody and what advice would you give to somebody who is looking for advancement, change. I know this is very general, a broad subject there are broad question. Feel free to answer this as you wish or how you would take it. What kind of advice for careers in 2020? No matter where we are in our careers or looking forward to something else.
Sasha: To back track a bit, I recall while growing up as you go through every decade there are certain careers that are considered hot and people just jump in the bandwagon and they pursue those careers because you are going to have financial security you are going to do well to a certain degree. There were jokes that certain parts of the world you either gonna be an engineer, a doctor, scientist, and the list goes on. With every decade with the advancement of technology there are many careers available out there but I do notice one trend that when people pursue any goal for they might have good intentions but for the right reasons. The right reasons might be money at that time and their working it. It’s okay now they have the money providing the lifestyle for them but then they realize I cannot spend it. They are not in it for the money. So my first guidance for careers in a form of advancements whatever your goal is Make the right decisions but for the right reasons. And if you make the right decisions for the wrong reasons you are not going to be able to sustain it yourself and you want to be genuinely happy from within when your working because I spend a lot of time working. There are good days and bad days but there’s contentment that you can walk away with that job satisfaction and that ties when people working with third parties they often rely on their employer to nurture their happiness and their advancement. And the reality is that not every organization out there that I have frequented nurtures professional development. There are companies that function from command and control to just being very stoic and not keeping up with the technology and the organizational changes and there are some companies that are very up and running start up organizations to global companies where they want to make sure people first. If you take care of the people, the people will take care of the business. Many different philosophy that exist out there and having part of there you can relate to it. If you are looking for a career change I always tell people think about it ask yourself those hard questions why are you seeking that career change? How is it going to improve your life? If you are going to run away from a boss you don’t like or are you just trying to escape from an environment in front of you? Because when you make these changes it takes a lot of time and hard work.
Sasha: You have to put your energy behind it. It is not about wishing about it. Praying it into your life or buying into it because all of those methods maybe respectable to a degree but they are all going to fall apart. And also if you are going to back to school or take certification courses I encourage all of that but I always tell them are you going to apply it in your life? Because some people like to look good in paper but not as exemplary person and then there may be people who are a bit rough around on the edges of paper but they end up being great human capital and great assets to the society. You want to strike a balance of what you are doing and why you are doing it? Because there many people I cross paths with and they like to put up either a facade or there is a buffer between their genuine self and what they are expected to do based on the society. That is speaking of a career making an investment, becoming an entrepreneur especially if you want to be an entrepreneur not because you want to escape the people from your day to day work environment but because there are a lot of work whether in the form of resources, time, energy. There gonna be days you will be working God knows for how many hours a week because now you are responsible coming up with that steady, consistent, and reliable flow of income. You are not gonna be and I wouldn’t advise people and I don’t give financial advice but I will say some entrepreneurs that I’ve met out of excitement and being in love with their idea. They have taken out second mortgages, compromise their child’s college funds. Literally, gambled on their personal funds and be careful who you go to for advise whether it’s friends or family. They may be very conservative sharing their true thoughts and some people have literally belly upside down in their finances in order to make idea work and then they are starting all over. It is one thing of you are starting all over because you have been laid off and it’s been a bad economy. Another thing because unfortunately you didn’t do your homework and seek out the right sources should give you objective. A feedback of this is a good idea but it’s not gonna work in the market. Your information is only as reliable as the source, reliable and credible. Before you embark upon any a professional or personal journey. There is nothing wrong with seeking counsel. You don’t have to accept its advice but be mindful of who you seeking the advice from. Is it someone who needs to see you every day? And they may be a little bit more censored. In giving you a genuine aspect of don’t do this you are going to ruin your life, then some people take it personally. The thing about this is you shouldn’t take majority of this stuff that come your way personally or you’re not going to survive. Growing a thick skin is an ongoing life process for me because I am always around strangers and you are dealing with a human condition whether it is in an office or out in the field.
Host: I got a couple of more questions related to work and wellness. And one of them is when we work we take a lot of stress. A lot of people mentioned generally that oh work stresses me out, I stressed at work, or that person stresses me out at work. I feel that there are a lot of people who were like that or maybe less I don’t know. I haven’t done a survey on that but still you must have encountered or must have heard a lot of people as well. What advice do you give them?
Sasha: Yes, also once upon a time perhaps I can relate to that to my mindset as well. I know it sounds a little bit apathetic but I would say that from sitting where I am today for half of the people at least I don’t feel bad for them. Because some people are the type that they have to feel stress in order to feel that they are doomed. Some people are doing in their life reminds themselves that they need to be mindful. You are a funnel and you get to control for the most part but you allow the heart, the mind, your body to receive, so if you are not taking care of yourself in setting healthy balanced boundaries in terms of your relationships, your time, your space, whether it is in the work place or in your life. Yes, life will run you over and that is something that even I have to learn very early on. I’ve been pretty much successful with adhering to it because if you don’t adhere to those healthy boundaries whether it is working with people online or offline, strangers, friends, family you will be overwhelmed sometimes people are stress because they like being into the condition. And I hate to admit it that itself is a form of addiction that if they are not stressed nothing is happening in their life. It is so much as a drama magnet with stress there are people who are stress magnet. There are those that I can compassionately sympathize with and then there are those who chose not to exercise any remedies that could eradicate that stress. When we are stress we are not gonna make optimal decisions they are just going to get through day to day and check it off the list and we want to be ahead of the learning curve especially day to day because you want to create vacuum for days that you need to take a step back and just take care of yourself. There are many people who don’t know how it is to be alone because they don’t know the difference between being alone and lonely. You could be in a relationship but still be lonely. You could be in a room full of audience and feel lonely or you could be alone and not be lonely. Something that I had been honing in on the past several years because there are men and women who come to me and they have that concern of if they change their day to day unnerving even when it is domestic or professional they are going to be lonely. And sometimes is up here in our mind and that also triggers stress. There are many things that can trigger stress but it is also the company that we keep. We don’t get to control the family aspect of it but I tell people you do get mindful of type of work environment or work culture you surround yourself with. Because you will be working a lot and you want to keep company socially and it is okay if you outgrow some of your friendships. And if you do have great goals in life this is something I learned along the way and I am learning as you ascend to new dimensions your environment changes. So are spending more time on those you want to emulate or you are just spending more time feeding onto other people’s frustrations? It feels good because misery does love company. That when people talk to me they learn that okay she is coming from a place of tough love. There are times where I could and I know that I have to exercise tough love like crying but there are times where in I am if I can hug them and cross through that screen or that phone call I would. There are people, there are good people who are working hard to overcome their challenges. And then there is that population that they just want to be in that state of stress, uncertainty. They have known and you just have to make an extra effort to transcend at a certain point and break your own ceiling. To want a better condition, better life and I cannot do that for them they have to be the ones to do it. People think that if they come to a conference or seminar there is nothing wrong with reading books then meeting people you become inspired. It is similar to listening to a sermon you are inspired and then a few hours later it was a new day and I am going to put this plan into work and then all of a sudden that inspiration leaves you what are you going to do on that day that the phone doesn’t ring, the emails read zero, the cloudy day outside, and how are you going to cheer yourself up. If you are relying on others to sustain that for you or do you know how to cope through that?
Host: A lot of people tried to maintain something called Work Life Balance. They say that “their work life balance is imbalance and they would like to change that.” They want to better improve on this aspect of managing their careers and their personal lives and their relationships with their families, their friends, and possibly a relationship with themselves. How do you suggest that we can start to balance the two aspects of the two things?
Sasha: I look at it both as to simplify things there are two ways to looking at it. If you are working full time and you have a family it doesn’t matter what your personal demographics are. If you are talking about seeking work life balance at a place where you know that there is none in a work environment. That might be a great idea to start explore in ways to work in a different place.
Sasha: Like you have to pick and choose your battles and then let’s say you are not working in an environment that restricts you from having a work life balance then more of that accountability falls on to your lap of how come you are not carving out time to spend with your family, friends or just nurture your own relationships. Again it all goes back to I know a lot of people when they approach me they are planning and I commend them for planning but I say those are just thoughts what are you implementing into your life? I would like to know whether these plans are going to work out or not and you got to keep refining your plans. There is no such thing as right or wrong decision in life whatever decision you make you have to keep refining it. What may be right for us, let’s say I took an opportunity 8 years ago and it was great then but I may have outgrown it. Now I feel really restricted emotionally, in terms of life or advancement it’s my responsibility knowing that I am acknowledging that to do something about it. Am I going to leave that work place? Am I just going to dwell as okay these are the cards I have been dealt and I am going to work with it. And I always try to push people out of that victim mentality from being a victim to a victor. This is your life, you are in the driver seat and yes, sometimes we like to be driven but it’s always more revolting to be the one setting the tone and the pace of your path. Within that life is tough but it’s worth living and we also have to create that bandwidth when for life emergencies happen. We don’t know everything and we are never going to know everything. When people are very complex with relationships and in controlling people and controlling environment but what they are really clinging on is to secure a comfort zone. You are not going to get that from other people you have to get that from within you. I see that when people come to me whether it has to do with their personal relationships, family life, love relationships, work. I mean I focus on the human conditions and human behaviors. That whether I am working alongside executives it is very telling to me of how they treat their staff, how they pursue the organization where do their interest lie, working with individuals it tells me a lot about what are their values, are they adhering to their values, when you go against who you are in yourself, if you have a healthy relationship your inner GPS will let you know that okay something is off course do something about it. It all comes down to are you open to receiving the messages. Life around us is always speaking back to us. It is only a matter of us wanting to pay attention and we don’t have to agree with it, we don’t have to like it but of course hind sight is 2020 and I know that if I were to look back at some decisions I made, the guidance was around me but I only base it off what I knew then. We can shame people for not knowing but we should encourage one another to make that effort to learn more about themselves. And the questions is how can I learn more about myself? Or would say go out try new things. Take healthy calculated risk, meet new people, go outside of your comfort zone try to learn a new hobby or new interest ad if you like it stick with it. If you don’t like it then there is no shame on walking away from it. But there are people who do the same thing the same way for 30 years. There is nothing wrong with it but thy may have a culture shock in challenges when change is projected onto them. And there are people who are very resilient and resilience cannot be bought we need to go out and actively live life. There gonna be great days you gonna get rough tough I think knowing what heart break is healthy, knowing what rejection is healthy. I don’t want to raise my child not knowing that they are 20 and they do not know how to navigate through this very chaotic and at times unkind world. So it’s very important that we nurture our own perspective and you are the company you keep because I mean look at the stuff that we are surrounded by social media, technology, the news cycle within milliseconds now a days.
Host: Yeah, So quick.
Sasha: Yup, some people either believe it without questioning it and there are those who go out and they challenge it. I don’t know what the right way is but I know that I don’t watch TV. I never own a personal TV since 1999.
Sasha: Yeah, but I get my form of entertainment through online or YouTube when I need it. I don’t know so many things have changed. I don’t know what it is to have a landline. I don’t know what it is to have a TV but if I’m travelling at a hotel I turn on the TV I am like a 5 year old kid. Everything is new to me. Everyone’s lifestyle is different there are some people who, they’ll be watching TV 24/7. And of course their perception of life will be different than mine. So it all comes down to Life is short make the best of it no one is perfect. Yes, we are going to make mistakes no one can guarantee you that you are going to get it on your first try. And there’s a lot of should we say joy, there’s grief but of you don’t know what pain is you are not going to appreciate the joy that shines into your life.
Host: Sasha, what a wonderful information. I was going to ask you to do that for us. It is an absolute brilliant advice on building relationship with ourselves, and the summation is fantastic. You know before you go I would love for our listeners to know a little bit more about you. You appear on radio, you have your own talk shows. You can be found at Sashatalks.com is that correct?
Host: And… where can we get your books, where can we listen to you or your radio shows or if you have any podcast or YouTube. Where can we find you?
Sasha: Yes, the website is being updated at the moment and new initiatives should be rolled out over a period in the next few days. So people could go to Sashatalks.com there is a media an appearances section that lets people know what I am up to and what I will be doing. The blog will be launched from Sashatalks.com before it was on [email protected] That ran really well for 4 years and it was dedicated to an audience that joined me back in 2016. And I encourage people just to keep an eye out on the website because we were working on it last night as well. Drop out hellos with the contact page I am pretty responsive as long as people write to me to the right portal. Because there are times people sending me pitches on different email address and I will be appearing on the radio or 2020. I believe that will be a mystery because we are having a discussion whether it’s gonna be a spiritual show or a business show.
Host: (Laughing) So it is still in the works and we are looking forward to it in 2020. Sasha Laghonh Thank you so much for being on our podcast today. Wish you a very happy new year. We wish you the best of success in 2020.
Sasha: Thank you.
Host: Thanks for tuning in to this week’s show. To listen to previous shows for other helpful health and wellness content visit us at online at www.lifelongwellness.org. Wishing you and your family peace, prosperity, health and wellness. Thank you for listening.