#137 - 5 Things You Need to Hear Today with Cain Kerner

June 8, 2022

One of my favorite things to do on this podcast is share lessons that will make you and your life significantly better. So in this episode, with the help of the American musician Cain Kerner, I'll be sharing 5 life lessons that you should learn as soon as possible.

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Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Shit! How do you start the transmission fucking up, man? Let's try that again. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Depending on where you are in the world. This is episode number 137 of the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to play a clip of a man named Cain Kerner, who has five very important things to share with you today. Now, Cain Kerner... Actually, let me spell his name, C A I N, Cain, K E R N E R, Kerner. It's Cain Kerner.

[00:00:41] And you can actually search for him on Tik Tok. You can find this video on his Tik Tok profile. I came across him on Tik Tok and he had this really interesting video called Five Things You Need to Hear Today. And I thought it was very thought-provoking, so I wanted to share it with you today. So as always, man, I'm going to play the clip and then summarize, tell you what I think and we'll get out of here, my friend. So let's not waste any time and let's get into this episode. I'm going to play the clip now.

Cain Kerner: [00:01:10] What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and these are five things that you need to hear today. Let's go. Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience. Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Number four, today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:44] That last one was good, bro. All right. So let's go all the way back to the beginning of the clip and I'll explain everything that was said. So at first, actually, let me just play it, then I'll explain it.

Cain Kerner: [00:01:56] What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and these are five things that you need to hear today.

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:00] So first he said "what's poppin'?". Now, you might have heard this before, but "what's poppin'?" is the same thing as saying, What's up? There's many different variations of the phrase "What's up?". What's poppin'? What's crackin'? What's good? What's happening? What's going on? You know, there's a bunch of them. But "what's poppin'?", I mean, even "what's up?", I guess is considered slang. But "what's poppin'?" is definitely slang. It's not something that everyone says. It just depends on where you're from and who you grew up with. But again, it just means "what's up?". So if somebody says, Hey, what's poppin', bro? They just mean what's up, in most cases. Right?

[00:02:35] And typically it's guys that say "What's poppin'?". I've never in my life heard a woman say "what's poppin'?". It's not that it would be weird. You can obviously say it if you want. I'm just trying to give you an idea of what this phrase means, who uses it and why. You know what I'm saying? It's just typically guys say that. Everyone says what's up, but what's poppin'? I've never heard a woman say that. But anyway, it just means "what's up?". So he said, What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and here are five things you need to hear today. So let's go ahead and hear those five things one more time.

Cain Kerner: [00:03:07] Let's go. Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:14] Discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Now, you might have understood that the first time hearing it. But just in case you didn't or even if you did, let me tell you what I think, because this is a problem I see with many people, myself included, I used to make this mistake all the time. But in the context of learning English, right? This podcast is for English learners. You're learning English, so I'm going to try to keep it within that context. Excuse me.

[00:03:45] So let's say you're an English learner, what a lot of people do is they simply wait until they feel like practicing their English. They wait until they feel like studying English. They wait until they feel like talking to another person in English. You see what I'm saying? That's... They're waiting for inspiration. And I've talked before on this podcast about the difference between inspiration and motivation. Inspiration is just that feeling where you, where you believe you can do anything. You have this surge of positive energy and you can conquer the world. Right? You want to do, do, do. You want to take action. You feel good about it. That's inspiration. It comes out of nowhere. You can't predict it. You see what I'm saying?

[00:04:27] And just like every other feeling, happiness or sadness, or hunger, or anger, inspiration comes and goes. It comes and goes. You cannot depend on inspiration if you're trying to get something big and challenging done. You see what I'm saying? Because you never know when inspiration is going to show up. You never know what the attendance record of inspiration is going to be. And just in case you don't know, 'attendance record' is the record of how often you show up. Like in school, if you had perfect attendance at school, that means you showed up at school every single day of the year. You never missed a day. You were never absent. You would always attend school, right? So if we go back to inspiration. The attendance record of inspiration is a little shoddy, bro. It's a little... It's inconsistent. It's here sometimes, it's not here sometimes. It's never there when you need it. Right? That's inspiration. 

[00:05:22] Now, motivation is simply, in my opinion, it's the reason for doing something. And that's why we say, What was the motive for that action? I think it comes from, those two words come from the same place. Motive, motivation, motivated. It means that you have a good reason to do something and a reason to do something has nothing to do with the feeling about doing it. You understand what I'm saying? Like, the motivation for learning English would be to be able to travel the world and be able to communicate in this universal language or get a better job or pass this English exam. There's a reason you're doing it. That's motivation, you understand? Not inspiration.

[00:06:03] So getting back to Cain's point. I'm trying to remember the exact words he said. Discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. So we've already established that inspiration is unreliable. It comes and goes. Right? But discipline, forcing... Not even forcing yourself to do something, but choosing to maintain a productive habit over time. Essentially, that's discipline, right? Regardless of how you feel, regardless of how much inspiration you have at the moment, you choose to do this thing even if you don't feel like it, right? Even if you don't want to, you choose to do it because you told yourself that you were going to do it. You choose to do it because you know the only way to be successful at it is doing it consistently. It's discipline.

[00:06:57] So by choosing to be disciplined, you greatly increase the chance that you're successful, that you actually do what you say you want to do. If you just rely on inspiration, you'll never fucking get it done, bro. You'll never get it done. And that's what a lot of people have to understand is these big, challenging, long term goals, like learning a language, starting a business, learning how to play the soccer, any skill or any project that takes long amounts of time and large amounts of effort and energy, discipline is what gets you there. Consistency. Understanding that you're going to wake up and there are going to be days when you don't want to do this shit, whatever it is, practice English, run the business, fucking play guitar, whatever it is. There's going to be days when you just don't feel like it. And what most people do is say "Ah, tomorrow". And then tomorrow becomes next week and next week becomes next month, and next month becomes the next fucking year. You understand?

[00:07:54] Like, you don't want that. I don't even know you and I know you don't want that. You know what I'm saying? Do not want that. And the way you avoid that is discipline, consistency, showing up every single day, regardless of whether you want to or not, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. Because discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Discipline will show up every single fucking day, if you choose for it to show up. It's on you. You understand? You have control over your level of discipline, but you have zero control over your level of inspiration. So just something to think about. All right? But let's move on to point number two.

Cain Kerner: [00:08:34] Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:41] In order to lead the orchestra, you must be willing to turn your back to the audience. I actually had to think about this one for a second after I heard it. I even searched on the Internet just to make sure I understood what it really meant. And what I understand now when he says this, first of all, let me explain the language because 'an orchestra'... A rough definition, I don't have the dictionary in front of me, but a basic definition of 'an orchestra' is a group of musicians that are all playing what we call 'string instruments'. String instruments are instruments that are played with strings like the guitar, the violin, the cello. There's a bunch of other ones I'm not familiar with, but you get the point. 

[00:09:26] Instruments like that where you play them with strings, and then an orchestra is typically like violins and cellos, violas. And I don't know the names of the other ones, but you've seen that before, at least on TV or maybe in a theater, a giant group of people playing these instruments and they're playing like classical music or something like that. That's an orchestra. So in order to lead the orchestra, the band leader, it's not a band, it's an orchestra. But the leader, the one that's conducting the show, that's one that's instructing and guiding the entire orchestra. Right? That person at the front. In order to be able to do their job, they had to turn their back to the audience. Literally. Literally. They have to look at the orchestra and lead them and not look at the audience and focus on what the audience is saying or doing or thinking.

[00:10:14] So if you take that and think about it metaphorically you can apply that really to anything in life, whether you're the boss at a business or the team or the team captain, or even just in your personal life. You understand? So let's, let's just use your life, for example. I feel like that's universal. The orchestra in this case would also be you. You're, you're both the orchestra leader and the orchestra itself. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but just follow me for a second. You are responsible for yourself. Let's put it that way. And in order to live your life. In order to achieve what you really want to achieve, especially if it's something that's less than traditional. Maybe you want to travel the world for a couple of years when everybody else expects you to go to college. Everybody else expects you to get a 9 to 5 job or something. 

[00:11:04] In order to do what you really want to do, in order to be successful at what you want to do, whatever that is, you have to turn your back to the audience, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, strangers on the Internet. Everybody who has an opinion about you and what you're doing, you can't really focus on that. And I don't mean don't listen to people because even people you don't like can tell you stuff that you need to know. Right? But I'm saying you need to be objective about it. And just remember that you are responsible for yourself. No one else. Only you can live your life. And as a leader, you have to be able to deal with that type of pressure and that type of criticism. People talking shit or disagreeing with your choices, your lifestyle.

[00:11:50] You have to focus on the orchestra, the people you're trying to lead because they are depending on you to be the leader, they're looking... Literally, the orchestra is looking at the leader for direction. You cannot direct him if his back is turned to them and he's looking at the audience, worried about what they think. I'm sure you understand the metaphor. And again, you can apply that to anything in life, bro. You're trying to start a business with you and your friends and everybody thinks it's going to fail. Everybody's saying "Get a fucking job. Go to school" Blah, blah, blah. Turn your back to the audience and lead that fucking orchestra, bro. Focus on what's important. No matter what you do in life, there will always be people who disagree or criticize, or tear you down. There will always be people, I shouldn't say always, but they will probably be somebody who supports you as well.

[00:12:35] My point is on both sides, you might have positive feedback and negative feedback. It doesn't matter. You got to focus on leading your fucking orchestra. Nothing more. Hopefully, that makes sense because it's a really important point, man, especially for young people or people of any age that are kind of insecure about doing things their way, living life their way. This is an important point to understand. There will always be critics, man. People will always have something to say about you and your choices. But as long as you know what path you're on, you're doing shit for the right reasons. Like, there's no reason to focus on all that shit. Just lead your orchestra. Who or whatever that may be, you know? All right. Let's move on to point number three.

Cain Kerner: [00:13:24] Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful.

Tony Kaizen: [00:13:32] I like this one too, man. Being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Now, I want to find the dictionary definitions of these words before we get started. So give me 1 second. Define assertive. And the reason I want to get a dictionary definition of 'assertive' is because people all the time confuse the word 'assertive' with 'aggressive'. Right? So give me a second. Assertive. A S S E R T I V E. Assertive. This word means having or showing a confident and forceful personality. Excuse me. So, and just one second, I want to explain I keep burping a lot because I'm drinking a Red Bull. So it's like, I'm trying to talk and these fucking bubbles just keep coming up out of my stomach and I burp. So, sorry about that.

[00:14:22] But anyway, assertive, having or showing confidence or forceful personality. People confuse this with aggressive and let me get the definition of that as well. Aggressive. Aggressive is ready or likely to attack or confront, characterized by or resulting from aggression. So hopefully you can see the difference. Assertive is more about confidence and aggressive is more about attack, aggression. A lot of... It's not always physical. But the idea is to attack when we talk about aggression. Assertiveness is just to take action. Whatever that action may be, to take action confidently, you know? So and the last word is resentful. Resentful. Resentful. Feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly. That's what resentful means.

[00:15:27] So going back to the point, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. The way I understood it, this point refers to a lot of passive-aggressive people, you know, those type of people that clearly have something to say or something they want to do, but they're afraid to do it. Because of shyness or cowardice or whatever it is, they're afraid to take an action or say what needs to be said. And they just hold it for themselves. They keep it on the inside. And for that reason, that bitterness, that anger, that resentment ends up manifesting itself in other ways. They might say something very indirect that communicates that direct thing that they're afraid to say. They might do something very indirect that communicates something's wrong or they're unhappy or they're unsatisfied. Right? That's why we call it passive-aggressive because you're passively communicating your aggression instead of directly. You understand?

[00:16:26] And I guess what Cain is saying is by being assertive, by confidently taking action, by saying what needs to be said, by saying what you're really thinking, by communicating that your feelings were hurt, that you didn't like what happened, or that you need this thing or whatever. It could be bad or good, whatever you need to communicate. By being assertive and communicating that directly and clearly, you can avoid those feelings of resentment and bitterness, and unfair treatment. You understand? Because when you just hold on to it, instead of saying it or doing it, you're really doing nothing but poisoning yourself. And that's why people end up manifesting that in other ways because it starts to eat them alive on the inside.

[00:17:04] So they have to take action. They have to say it or do it in some indirect way to just get it out of themselves so they don't have to feel that way anymore. And what I think Cain is saying is you would never have to feel that way if you just said what needed to be said or did what needed to be done from the beginning. And being assertive and saying, You know what? I didn't like that. Or, You know what? I'm not going to tolerate that. By just being direct and saying that you can avoid those feelings of resentment that you will inevitably feel when you choose not to say what needs to be said or do what needs to be done, you know? I really hope that makes sense because it's an important point, man. And maybe it's personal because I just really, really, really have a hard time tolerating passive-aggressive people. I really don't like them. You know what I'm saying? 

[00:17:50] It's probably not, I mean, that's a negative thing to say. But I just... Passive aggression is the weirdest thing, dog. To me, it's just cowardice. It's a, it's a fancy term for cowardice. And I just, I don't know, I have a low tolerance for cowards, bro. And especially, and I say that a lot of times I talk shit on this podcast. I can be critical or cynical, but things I say like that, like, Man, I fucking hate a coward. I say that because I saw that in myself and I hated myself and that was something I had to change about myself. So I'm much more understanding when I find it in other people these days. But still, it's just something that it's hard to deal with. It's cowardice. It was hard to deal with in myself. I couldn't take it anymore, so I had to change it. You know what I'm saying? And I guess that's why I don't like seeing it in other people.

[00:18:37] And there's a quote that I'm trying to... I don't want to fuck it up, but it makes me think of a quote that I heard a long time ago. And somebody said something like, When you find a person and there's something about them you don't like, what you're really doing is seeing something that you don't like about yourself. When you find a quality in somebody that you don't like or something that irritates you is because you identify with that quality. You see it in yourself. Every person is in some way like a mirror. So when you see like, for example, I don't like cowardice. So when I see somebody being a coward, some part inside me identifies with that, and that's why I don't like it. It's not about that person. It's about that quality that I've found in myself at some point that I identify with for some reason.

[00:19:24]  And I don't know if that makes sense to you, but when I heard that, it just made me think, man, that there might be some truth to that. It's never that we don't like that specific person. There's a quality inside them that we identify with and we don't like that quality. But it's not the person, you know? But anyway, that has nothing to do with the point that Cain made, which is being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Hopefully, the point made sense. If it didn't, you know, hit me up and I'll try to clarify. But anyway, let's move on to point number four.

Cain Kerner: [00:19:58] Number four, today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:03] That's another... All these points are good, man. But that's another good one. Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. And to be honest, I had to think about this one. It's a really simple sentence, but I had to think about what it really means. Excuse me. And I guess you could interpret it multiple ways, but... Hang on. Geez. Okay. No more Red Bulls during podcasts because goddamn, I burped, like, 15 times. But anyway, this phrase could be interpreted in many ways, right? I think. But today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, when I hear that, I think that a lot of people, myself included, have a bad habit of living in the future. You know, I heard recently that anxiety is simply living in the future. You're worried about what could happen or what might happen. Even though it hasn't happened yet, it's in the future, this imaginary place.

[00:21:06] And depression is living in the past. There's something in the past that you just can't let go of. You can't walk away from it. You can't overcome it. You're stuck there in the past and you're depressed about it. You're sad about something that happened that you can't change and you can't let go of. So living in the future is anxiety. Living in the past is depression. So all you really have, the only healthy way to live is living in the present. You know what I'm saying? And a lot of us spend so much time worrying about tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. But tomorrow will never come, technically. All you have is the present moment. So you're worried about tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

[00:21:52] But today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. So the question is, what are you going to do today? Because yesterday you were so worried about today and now here it is. What are you going to do? The answer for most people is, I'll worry about tomorrow, worry about the next day. For obvious reasons that's just a really bad idea, you know? But it's a, it's a weird... It's a weird balancing act, you know what I'm saying? Because we have to live in the present if we want to be, you know, healthy and happy, it's the only way to be. But at the same time, you have to think about tomorrow to prepare for tomorrow. So I guess the point is, even though you have to think about and prepare for the future, you need to live here in the present. Take action now. You know what I'm saying? 

[00:22:42] So that tomorrow... How can I say this? Take action now so that you increase the chances that tomorrow is a good day and not a bad day. Take action now so you don't have to worry about tomorrow. Do everything you can today to make sure that tomorrow is as good as it can possibly be. You know? It's senseless to be worrying about the future all the time. Because the future doesn't exist. All you have is right now. So what are you going to do right now to make a difference? That's all that matters because that's all you have control over. You know? I think that's the main point. I would love to hear how you guys interpret this phrase, though, because again, I think you can interpret it more than one way. But that's more or less what I took from it. All right? So let's get on to this last point.

Cain Kerner: [00:23:29] Tomorrow that you're worried about yesterday.

Tony Kaizen: [00:23:32] That is not the last point. Here we go.

Cain Kerner: [00:23:35] And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary.

Tony Kaizen: [00:23:43] I think this one is not a continuation of point number four, but it's similar, right? You suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary. It's a really good one. And this one specifically, I think is for the anxious people, the ones that are always living in the future. Because as a matter of fact, I'll give you an example. One of my friends, she wants to be an au pair. And just in case you don't know what that is, an au pair is basically a caregiver or a nanny or something like that, that will move to a foreign country and live with this family in exchange for a place to live and food to eat and stuff like that. The au pair will take care of the family's children, just like a nanny.

[00:24:22] And actually, I don't know what episode number it was, but I interviewed an au pair on this podcast. So if you're interested in what the life of an au pair is like, then search for the episode "The Life of an Au Pair with Alondra Sandoval". I don't remember the number, but it's recent, so you'll find it. But anyway, my friend wants to be an au pair as well. And she joined the program, you know, years ago. I don't know how many years ago. And she was having a hard time finding a family and then COVID happened. So everything got shut down and nobody was traveling. And then she kind of, not gave up on the idea, but she kind of realized it was going to be a long time before things went back to normal and she got a chance to meet more families and actually travel.

[00:25:08] So she got a job and everything and was just kind of like waiting to see what happen. And at some point, she changed her destination. She wanted to come to the U.S., but then she realized there were more opportunities in Europe. So she decided she wanted to go to Europe. And this whole time we're talking about it, and she's just really nervous about all these things. Like, what if I can't find a family? What if I run out of time? What if I lose the money? What if they don't like me? What if somebody else takes my spot? What if this? What if that? What if that? Just worried about all of these things that could go wrong. Worried about all these things that might happen or might not happen. You understand?

[00:25:43] She just... She was just stressing herself out. Nobody or nothing was stressing her out. She was stressing herself out by worrying about all these things in this imaginary future that might happen. Let me say that again, worrying about all these things that might happen. You understand? There's a.. The list of things that might happen is fucking infinite. It's infinite. So by worrying about things that might happen, you're just stressing yourself out for no reason. You're suffering more than necessary because you're suffering before it's necessary. So, and I'm sure you understand, but just in case and for anyone who doesn't, let me explain what that really means using that same example.

[00:26:27] So she's worried about all these things for months and months and months. We're talking about it all the time. Finally, she finds multiple families that she likes and families that are interested in her, and all these things. And she's nervous about that too. What if I choose the wrong family? What if the family finds somebody else and I lose that option and blah blah blah. Worried about that too. And at the end of it all, she finds the perfect family that she has a great connection with. She signs the contract. She's going to Europe at the end of this year. Everything worked out. Everything. So all of that anxiety, all of that suffering, all that stress that she put on herself for years was unnecessary. It did nothing positive for... It had no positive impact on the result.

[00:27:15] In fact, all that shit she was worrying about didn't even happen. She found a family that she actually wants to work with, in a country she actually wants to visit. She's learning this new language now. Everything worked out. There was no reason to be all stressed and anxious about all this shit because it worked out. Right? So she did all that suffering before it was necessary, because if nothing would have worked out and she would have lost her program money and found no family and everything went to shit, then she would have a reason to, let's say, suffer or be sad or disappointed. But even then, even if nothing worked out and everything went to shit, all that suffering before that moment was still unnecessary. It has no effect on the outcome of the situation.

[00:27:58] So she suffered before things went to shit and then she suffered after things went to shit. Why would you suffer twice for no reason? That's the point. But in her case, shit actually did work out. So why would you suffer all that time and things worked out in the end? It's like, What's what's the point? There's no reason. So sitting and worrying about what might happen, what could happen, this or that and the third, you're suffering for no reason. You're putting yourself through all this anxiety and stress before you even know what's going to happen. Everything might work out perfectly fine, and then all that time and energy turns out to be wasted. You know what I'm saying?

[00:28:39] So... Hey, man, I would just say except what you can't control, do every single thing in your power to increase the chance that what you want to happen actually happens. But after you do that, you've got to sit back and accept the fact you can't control nothing else, bro. So why stress about it? Like, stress has actual health implications, you understand? Like, just constantly being stressed and anxious has a negative effect on your physical and mental health. You're choosing to feel stressed and anxious about this, You're choosing to focus on that negativity. You're choosing to suffer before it's necessary. So you're choosing to fuck up your own health just because you can't accept the fact that there are things you cannot control.

[00:29:29] Maybe you don't think about it that way, but when I break it down to the essential idea, that's what it is. You know? A lot of people suffer with that, myself included. I've had to work on it over, over time and just like, understand like, Shit, I really want this thing. I really want this thing to happen or whatever. But I've done all I can do. I can't control anything else. I just have to exhibit faith and patience and see what happens. And shit is just so much easier that way. There's no reason, there's never a reason to suffer twice. There's never a reason to suffer before and after something happens. There's no reason.

[00:30:09] So, that's it, man. That's it. Let me summarize these five points and we'll get out of here, man. Number one... Is what, Tony? Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience. Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Number four, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary. This is Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. I want to thank you so much for your time and your attention. I hope you enjoyed the episode and I will definitely talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Shit! How do you start the transmission fucking up, man? Let's try that again. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Depending on where you are in the world. This is episode number 137 of the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to play a clip of a man named Cain Kerner, who has five very important things to share with you today. Now, Cain Kerner... Actually, let me spell his name, C A I N, Cain, K E R N E R, Kerner. It's Cain Kerner.

[00:00:41] And you can actually search for him on Tik Tok. You can find this video on his Tik Tok profile. I came across him on Tik Tok and he had this really interesting video called Five Things You Need to Hear Today. And I thought it was very thought-provoking, so I wanted to share it with you today. So as always, man, I'm going to play the clip and then summarize, tell you what I think and we'll get out of here, my friend. So let's not waste any time and let's get into this episode. I'm going to play the clip now.

Cain Kerner: [00:01:10] What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and these are five things that you need to hear today. Let's go. Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience. Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Number four, today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:44] That last one was good, bro. All right. So let's go all the way back to the beginning of the clip and I'll explain everything that was said. So at first, actually, let me just play it, then I'll explain it.

Cain Kerner: [00:01:56] What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and these are five things that you need to hear today.

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:00] So first he said "what's poppin'?". Now, you might have heard this before, but "what's poppin'?" is the same thing as saying, What's up? There's many different variations of the phrase "What's up?". What's poppin'? What's crackin'? What's good? What's happening? What's going on? You know, there's a bunch of them. But "what's poppin'?", I mean, even "what's up?", I guess is considered slang. But "what's poppin'?" is definitely slang. It's not something that everyone says. It just depends on where you're from and who you grew up with. But again, it just means "what's up?". So if somebody says, Hey, what's poppin', bro? They just mean what's up, in most cases. Right?

[00:02:35] And typically it's guys that say "What's poppin'?". I've never in my life heard a woman say "what's poppin'?". It's not that it would be weird. You can obviously say it if you want. I'm just trying to give you an idea of what this phrase means, who uses it and why. You know what I'm saying? It's just typically guys say that. Everyone says what's up, but what's poppin'? I've never heard a woman say that. But anyway, it just means "what's up?". So he said, What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and here are five things you need to hear today. So let's go ahead and hear those five things one more time.

Cain Kerner: [00:03:07] Let's go. Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:14] Discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Now, you might have understood that the first time hearing it. But just in case you didn't or even if you did, let me tell you what I think, because this is a problem I see with many people, myself included, I used to make this mistake all the time. But in the context of learning English, right? This podcast is for English learners. You're learning English, so I'm going to try to keep it within that context. Excuse me.

[00:03:45] So let's say you're an English learner, what a lot of people do is they simply wait until they feel like practicing their English. They wait until they feel like studying English. They wait until they feel like talking to another person in English. You see what I'm saying? That's... They're waiting for inspiration. And I've talked before on this podcast about the difference between inspiration and motivation. Inspiration is just that feeling where you, where you believe you can do anything. You have this surge of positive energy and you can conquer the world. Right? You want to do, do, do. You want to take action. You feel good about it. That's inspiration. It comes out of nowhere. You can't predict it. You see what I'm saying?

[00:04:27] And just like every other feeling, happiness or sadness, or hunger, or anger, inspiration comes and goes. It comes and goes. You cannot depend on inspiration if you're trying to get something big and challenging done. You see what I'm saying? Because you never know when inspiration is going to show up. You never know what the attendance record of inspiration is going to be. And just in case you don't know, 'attendance record' is the record of how often you show up. Like in school, if you had perfect attendance at school, that means you showed up at school every single day of the year. You never missed a day. You were never absent. You would always attend school, right? So if we go back to inspiration. The attendance record of inspiration is a little shoddy, bro. It's a little... It's inconsistent. It's here sometimes, it's not here sometimes. It's never there when you need it. Right? That's inspiration. 

[00:05:22] Now, motivation is simply, in my opinion, it's the reason for doing something. And that's why we say, What was the motive for that action? I think it comes from, those two words come from the same place. Motive, motivation, motivated. It means that you have a good reason to do something and a reason to do something has nothing to do with the feeling about doing it. You understand what I'm saying? Like, the motivation for learning English would be to be able to travel the world and be able to communicate in this universal language or get a better job or pass this English exam. There's a reason you're doing it. That's motivation, you understand? Not inspiration.

[00:06:03] So getting back to Cain's point. I'm trying to remember the exact words he said. Discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. So we've already established that inspiration is unreliable. It comes and goes. Right? But discipline, forcing... Not even forcing yourself to do something, but choosing to maintain a productive habit over time. Essentially, that's discipline, right? Regardless of how you feel, regardless of how much inspiration you have at the moment, you choose to do this thing even if you don't feel like it, right? Even if you don't want to, you choose to do it because you told yourself that you were going to do it. You choose to do it because you know the only way to be successful at it is doing it consistently. It's discipline.

[00:06:57] So by choosing to be disciplined, you greatly increase the chance that you're successful, that you actually do what you say you want to do. If you just rely on inspiration, you'll never fucking get it done, bro. You'll never get it done. And that's what a lot of people have to understand is these big, challenging, long term goals, like learning a language, starting a business, learning how to play the soccer, any skill or any project that takes long amounts of time and large amounts of effort and energy, discipline is what gets you there. Consistency. Understanding that you're going to wake up and there are going to be days when you don't want to do this shit, whatever it is, practice English, run the business, fucking play guitar, whatever it is. There's going to be days when you just don't feel like it. And what most people do is say "Ah, tomorrow". And then tomorrow becomes next week and next week becomes next month, and next month becomes the next fucking year. You understand?

[00:07:54] Like, you don't want that. I don't even know you and I know you don't want that. You know what I'm saying? Do not want that. And the way you avoid that is discipline, consistency, showing up every single day, regardless of whether you want to or not, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. Because discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Discipline will show up every single fucking day, if you choose for it to show up. It's on you. You understand? You have control over your level of discipline, but you have zero control over your level of inspiration. So just something to think about. All right? But let's move on to point number two.

Cain Kerner: [00:08:34] Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:41] In order to lead the orchestra, you must be willing to turn your back to the audience. I actually had to think about this one for a second after I heard it. I even searched on the Internet just to make sure I understood what it really meant. And what I understand now when he says this, first of all, let me explain the language because 'an orchestra'... A rough definition, I don't have the dictionary in front of me, but a basic definition of 'an orchestra' is a group of musicians that are all playing what we call 'string instruments'. String instruments are instruments that are played with strings like the guitar, the violin, the cello. There's a bunch of other ones I'm not familiar with, but you get the point. 

[00:09:26] Instruments like that where you play them with strings, and then an orchestra is typically like violins and cellos, violas. And I don't know the names of the other ones, but you've seen that before, at least on TV or maybe in a theater, a giant group of people playing these instruments and they're playing like classical music or something like that. That's an orchestra. So in order to lead the orchestra, the band leader, it's not a band, it's an orchestra. But the leader, the one that's conducting the show, that's one that's instructing and guiding the entire orchestra. Right? That person at the front. In order to be able to do their job, they had to turn their back to the audience. Literally. Literally. They have to look at the orchestra and lead them and not look at the audience and focus on what the audience is saying or doing or thinking.

[00:10:14] So if you take that and think about it metaphorically you can apply that really to anything in life, whether you're the boss at a business or the team or the team captain, or even just in your personal life. You understand? So let's, let's just use your life, for example. I feel like that's universal. The orchestra in this case would also be you. You're, you're both the orchestra leader and the orchestra itself. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but just follow me for a second. You are responsible for yourself. Let's put it that way. And in order to live your life. In order to achieve what you really want to achieve, especially if it's something that's less than traditional. Maybe you want to travel the world for a couple of years when everybody else expects you to go to college. Everybody else expects you to get a 9 to 5 job or something. 

[00:11:04] In order to do what you really want to do, in order to be successful at what you want to do, whatever that is, you have to turn your back to the audience, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, strangers on the Internet. Everybody who has an opinion about you and what you're doing, you can't really focus on that. And I don't mean don't listen to people because even people you don't like can tell you stuff that you need to know. Right? But I'm saying you need to be objective about it. And just remember that you are responsible for yourself. No one else. Only you can live your life. And as a leader, you have to be able to deal with that type of pressure and that type of criticism. People talking shit or disagreeing with your choices, your lifestyle.

[00:11:50] You have to focus on the orchestra, the people you're trying to lead because they are depending on you to be the leader, they're looking... Literally, the orchestra is looking at the leader for direction. You cannot direct him if his back is turned to them and he's looking at the audience, worried about what they think. I'm sure you understand the metaphor. And again, you can apply that to anything in life, bro. You're trying to start a business with you and your friends and everybody thinks it's going to fail. Everybody's saying "Get a fucking job. Go to school" Blah, blah, blah. Turn your back to the audience and lead that fucking orchestra, bro. Focus on what's important. No matter what you do in life, there will always be people who disagree or criticize, or tear you down. There will always be people, I shouldn't say always, but they will probably be somebody who supports you as well.

[00:12:35] My point is on both sides, you might have positive feedback and negative feedback. It doesn't matter. You got to focus on leading your fucking orchestra. Nothing more. Hopefully, that makes sense because it's a really important point, man, especially for young people or people of any age that are kind of insecure about doing things their way, living life their way. This is an important point to understand. There will always be critics, man. People will always have something to say about you and your choices. But as long as you know what path you're on, you're doing shit for the right reasons. Like, there's no reason to focus on all that shit. Just lead your orchestra. Who or whatever that may be, you know? All right. Let's move on to point number three.

Cain Kerner: [00:13:24] Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful.

Tony Kaizen: [00:13:32] I like this one too, man. Being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Now, I want to find the dictionary definitions of these words before we get started. So give me 1 second. Define assertive. And the reason I want to get a dictionary definition of 'assertive' is because people all the time confuse the word 'assertive' with 'aggressive'. Right? So give me a second. Assertive. A S S E R T I V E. Assertive. This word means having or showing a confident and forceful personality. Excuse me. So, and just one second, I want to explain I keep burping a lot because I'm drinking a Red Bull. So it's like, I'm trying to talk and these fucking bubbles just keep coming up out of my stomach and I burp. So, sorry about that.

[00:14:22] But anyway, assertive, having or showing confidence or forceful personality. People confuse this with aggressive and let me get the definition of that as well. Aggressive. Aggressive is ready or likely to attack or confront, characterized by or resulting from aggression. So hopefully you can see the difference. Assertive is more about confidence and aggressive is more about attack, aggression. A lot of... It's not always physical. But the idea is to attack when we talk about aggression. Assertiveness is just to take action. Whatever that action may be, to take action confidently, you know? So and the last word is resentful. Resentful. Resentful. Feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly. That's what resentful means.

[00:15:27] So going back to the point, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. The way I understood it, this point refers to a lot of passive-aggressive people, you know, those type of people that clearly have something to say or something they want to do, but they're afraid to do it. Because of shyness or cowardice or whatever it is, they're afraid to take an action or say what needs to be said. And they just hold it for themselves. They keep it on the inside. And for that reason, that bitterness, that anger, that resentment ends up manifesting itself in other ways. They might say something very indirect that communicates that direct thing that they're afraid to say. They might do something very indirect that communicates something's wrong or they're unhappy or they're unsatisfied. Right? That's why we call it passive-aggressive because you're passively communicating your aggression instead of directly. You understand?

[00:16:26] And I guess what Cain is saying is by being assertive, by confidently taking action, by saying what needs to be said, by saying what you're really thinking, by communicating that your feelings were hurt, that you didn't like what happened, or that you need this thing or whatever. It could be bad or good, whatever you need to communicate. By being assertive and communicating that directly and clearly, you can avoid those feelings of resentment and bitterness, and unfair treatment. You understand? Because when you just hold on to it, instead of saying it or doing it, you're really doing nothing but poisoning yourself. And that's why people end up manifesting that in other ways because it starts to eat them alive on the inside.

[00:17:04] So they have to take action. They have to say it or do it in some indirect way to just get it out of themselves so they don't have to feel that way anymore. And what I think Cain is saying is you would never have to feel that way if you just said what needed to be said or did what needed to be done from the beginning. And being assertive and saying, You know what? I didn't like that. Or, You know what? I'm not going to tolerate that. By just being direct and saying that you can avoid those feelings of resentment that you will inevitably feel when you choose not to say what needs to be said or do what needs to be done, you know? I really hope that makes sense because it's an important point, man. And maybe it's personal because I just really, really, really have a hard time tolerating passive-aggressive people. I really don't like them. You know what I'm saying? 

[00:17:50] It's probably not, I mean, that's a negative thing to say. But I just... Passive aggression is the weirdest thing, dog. To me, it's just cowardice. It's a, it's a fancy term for cowardice. And I just, I don't know, I have a low tolerance for cowards, bro. And especially, and I say that a lot of times I talk shit on this podcast. I can be critical or cynical, but things I say like that, like, Man, I fucking hate a coward. I say that because I saw that in myself and I hated myself and that was something I had to change about myself. So I'm much more understanding when I find it in other people these days. But still, it's just something that it's hard to deal with. It's cowardice. It was hard to deal with in myself. I couldn't take it anymore, so I had to change it. You know what I'm saying? And I guess that's why I don't like seeing it in other people.

[00:18:37] And there's a quote that I'm trying to... I don't want to fuck it up, but it makes me think of a quote that I heard a long time ago. And somebody said something like, When you find a person and there's something about them you don't like, what you're really doing is seeing something that you don't like about yourself. When you find a quality in somebody that you don't like or something that irritates you is because you identify with that quality. You see it in yourself. Every person is in some way like a mirror. So when you see like, for example, I don't like cowardice. So when I see somebody being a coward, some part inside me identifies with that, and that's why I don't like it. It's not about that person. It's about that quality that I've found in myself at some point that I identify with for some reason.

[00:19:24]  And I don't know if that makes sense to you, but when I heard that, it just made me think, man, that there might be some truth to that. It's never that we don't like that specific person. There's a quality inside them that we identify with and we don't like that quality. But it's not the person, you know? But anyway, that has nothing to do with the point that Cain made, which is being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Hopefully, the point made sense. If it didn't, you know, hit me up and I'll try to clarify. But anyway, let's move on to point number four.

Cain Kerner: [00:19:58] Number four, today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:03] That's another... All these points are good, man. But that's another good one. Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. And to be honest, I had to think about this one. It's a really simple sentence, but I had to think about what it really means. Excuse me. And I guess you could interpret it multiple ways, but... Hang on. Geez. Okay. No more Red Bulls during podcasts because goddamn, I burped, like, 15 times. But anyway, this phrase could be interpreted in many ways, right? I think. But today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, when I hear that, I think that a lot of people, myself included, have a bad habit of living in the future. You know, I heard recently that anxiety is simply living in the future. You're worried about what could happen or what might happen. Even though it hasn't happened yet, it's in the future, this imaginary place.

[00:21:06] And depression is living in the past. There's something in the past that you just can't let go of. You can't walk away from it. You can't overcome it. You're stuck there in the past and you're depressed about it. You're sad about something that happened that you can't change and you can't let go of. So living in the future is anxiety. Living in the past is depression. So all you really have, the only healthy way to live is living in the present. You know what I'm saying? And a lot of us spend so much time worrying about tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. But tomorrow will never come, technically. All you have is the present moment. So you're worried about tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

[00:21:52] But today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. So the question is, what are you going to do today? Because yesterday you were so worried about today and now here it is. What are you going to do? The answer for most people is, I'll worry about tomorrow, worry about the next day. For obvious reasons that's just a really bad idea, you know? But it's a, it's a weird... It's a weird balancing act, you know what I'm saying? Because we have to live in the present if we want to be, you know, healthy and happy, it's the only way to be. But at the same time, you have to think about tomorrow to prepare for tomorrow. So I guess the point is, even though you have to think about and prepare for the future, you need to live here in the present. Take action now. You know what I'm saying? 

[00:22:42] So that tomorrow... How can I say this? Take action now so that you increase the chances that tomorrow is a good day and not a bad day. Take action now so you don't have to worry about tomorrow. Do everything you can today to make sure that tomorrow is as good as it can possibly be. You know? It's senseless to be worrying about the future all the time. Because the future doesn't exist. All you have is right now. So what are you going to do right now to make a difference? That's all that matters because that's all you have control over. You know? I think that's the main point. I would love to hear how you guys interpret this phrase, though, because again, I think you can interpret it more than one way. But that's more or less what I took from it. All right? So let's get on to this last point.

Cain Kerner: [00:23:29] Tomorrow that you're worried about yesterday.

Tony Kaizen: [00:23:32] That is not the last point. Here we go.

Cain Kerner: [00:23:35] And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary.

Tony Kaizen: [00:23:43] I think this one is not a continuation of point number four, but it's similar, right? You suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary. It's a really good one. And this one specifically, I think is for the anxious people, the ones that are always living in the future. Because as a matter of fact, I'll give you an example. One of my friends, she wants to be an au pair. And just in case you don't know what that is, an au pair is basically a caregiver or a nanny or something like that, that will move to a foreign country and live with this family in exchange for a place to live and food to eat and stuff like that. The au pair will take care of the family's children, just like a nanny.

[00:24:22] And actually, I don't know what episode number it was, but I interviewed an au pair on this podcast. So if you're interested in what the life of an au pair is like, then search for the episode "The Life of an Au Pair with Alondra Sandoval". I don't remember the number, but it's recent, so you'll find it. But anyway, my friend wants to be an au pair as well. And she joined the program, you know, years ago. I don't know how many years ago. And she was having a hard time finding a family and then COVID happened. So everything got shut down and nobody was traveling. And then she kind of, not gave up on the idea, but she kind of realized it was going to be a long time before things went back to normal and she got a chance to meet more families and actually travel.

[00:25:08] So she got a job and everything and was just kind of like waiting to see what happen. And at some point, she changed her destination. She wanted to come to the U.S., but then she realized there were more opportunities in Europe. So she decided she wanted to go to Europe. And this whole time we're talking about it, and she's just really nervous about all these things. Like, what if I can't find a family? What if I run out of time? What if I lose the money? What if they don't like me? What if somebody else takes my spot? What if this? What if that? What if that? Just worried about all of these things that could go wrong. Worried about all these things that might happen or might not happen. You understand?

[00:25:43] She just... She was just stressing herself out. Nobody or nothing was stressing her out. She was stressing herself out by worrying about all these things in this imaginary future that might happen. Let me say that again, worrying about all these things that might happen. You understand? There's a.. The list of things that might happen is fucking infinite. It's infinite. So by worrying about things that might happen, you're just stressing yourself out for no reason. You're suffering more than necessary because you're suffering before it's necessary. So, and I'm sure you understand, but just in case and for anyone who doesn't, let me explain what that really means using that same example.

[00:26:27] So she's worried about all these things for months and months and months. We're talking about it all the time. Finally, she finds multiple families that she likes and families that are interested in her, and all these things. And she's nervous about that too. What if I choose the wrong family? What if the family finds somebody else and I lose that option and blah blah blah. Worried about that too. And at the end of it all, she finds the perfect family that she has a great connection with. She signs the contract. She's going to Europe at the end of this year. Everything worked out. Everything. So all of that anxiety, all of that suffering, all that stress that she put on herself for years was unnecessary. It did nothing positive for... It had no positive impact on the result.

[00:27:15] In fact, all that shit she was worrying about didn't even happen. She found a family that she actually wants to work with, in a country she actually wants to visit. She's learning this new language now. Everything worked out. There was no reason to be all stressed and anxious about all this shit because it worked out. Right? So she did all that suffering before it was necessary, because if nothing would have worked out and she would have lost her program money and found no family and everything went to shit, then she would have a reason to, let's say, suffer or be sad or disappointed. But even then, even if nothing worked out and everything went to shit, all that suffering before that moment was still unnecessary. It has no effect on the outcome of the situation.

[00:27:58] So she suffered before things went to shit and then she suffered after things went to shit. Why would you suffer twice for no reason? That's the point. But in her case, shit actually did work out. So why would you suffer all that time and things worked out in the end? It's like, What's what's the point? There's no reason. So sitting and worrying about what might happen, what could happen, this or that and the third, you're suffering for no reason. You're putting yourself through all this anxiety and stress before you even know what's going to happen. Everything might work out perfectly fine, and then all that time and energy turns out to be wasted. You know what I'm saying?

[00:28:39] So... Hey, man, I would just say except what you can't control, do every single thing in your power to increase the chance that what you want to happen actually happens. But after you do that, you've got to sit back and accept the fact you can't control nothing else, bro. So why stress about it? Like, stress has actual health implications, you understand? Like, just constantly being stressed and anxious has a negative effect on your physical and mental health. You're choosing to feel stressed and anxious about this, You're choosing to focus on that negativity. You're choosing to suffer before it's necessary. So you're choosing to fuck up your own health just because you can't accept the fact that there are things you cannot control.

[00:29:29] Maybe you don't think about it that way, but when I break it down to the essential idea, that's what it is. You know? A lot of people suffer with that, myself included. I've had to work on it over, over time and just like, understand like, Shit, I really want this thing. I really want this thing to happen or whatever. But I've done all I can do. I can't control anything else. I just have to exhibit faith and patience and see what happens. And shit is just so much easier that way. There's no reason, there's never a reason to suffer twice. There's never a reason to suffer before and after something happens. There's no reason.

[00:30:09] So, that's it, man. That's it. Let me summarize these five points and we'll get out of here, man. Number one... Is what, Tony? Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience. Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Number four, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary. This is Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. I want to thank you so much for your time and your attention. I hope you enjoyed the episode and I will definitely talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • Which of the five lessons resonated with you the most? Why?
  • What's a life lesson you've learned that you'd like to share with people?
  • What qualities do you need if you want to be a good leader?
Key Vocabulary & Grammar Guide
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Key Vocabulary Guide

Transcript

Tony Kaizen: [00:00:00] Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Shit! How do you start the transmission fucking up, man? Let's try that again. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Depending on where you are in the world. This is episode number 137 of the Life in English podcast. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to play a clip of a man named Cain Kerner, who has five very important things to share with you today. Now, Cain Kerner... Actually, let me spell his name, C A I N, Cain, K E R N E R, Kerner. It's Cain Kerner.

[00:00:41] And you can actually search for him on Tik Tok. You can find this video on his Tik Tok profile. I came across him on Tik Tok and he had this really interesting video called Five Things You Need to Hear Today. And I thought it was very thought-provoking, so I wanted to share it with you today. So as always, man, I'm going to play the clip and then summarize, tell you what I think and we'll get out of here, my friend. So let's not waste any time and let's get into this episode. I'm going to play the clip now.

Cain Kerner: [00:01:10] What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and these are five things that you need to hear today. Let's go. Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience. Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Number four, today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary.

Tony Kaizen: [00:01:44] That last one was good, bro. All right. So let's go all the way back to the beginning of the clip and I'll explain everything that was said. So at first, actually, let me just play it, then I'll explain it.

Cain Kerner: [00:01:56] What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and these are five things that you need to hear today.

Tony Kaizen: [00:02:00] So first he said "what's poppin'?". Now, you might have heard this before, but "what's poppin'?" is the same thing as saying, What's up? There's many different variations of the phrase "What's up?". What's poppin'? What's crackin'? What's good? What's happening? What's going on? You know, there's a bunch of them. But "what's poppin'?", I mean, even "what's up?", I guess is considered slang. But "what's poppin'?" is definitely slang. It's not something that everyone says. It just depends on where you're from and who you grew up with. But again, it just means "what's up?". So if somebody says, Hey, what's poppin', bro? They just mean what's up, in most cases. Right?

[00:02:35] And typically it's guys that say "What's poppin'?". I've never in my life heard a woman say "what's poppin'?". It's not that it would be weird. You can obviously say it if you want. I'm just trying to give you an idea of what this phrase means, who uses it and why. You know what I'm saying? It's just typically guys say that. Everyone says what's up, but what's poppin'? I've never heard a woman say that. But anyway, it just means "what's up?". So he said, What's poppin'? My name is Cain, and here are five things you need to hear today. So let's go ahead and hear those five things one more time.

Cain Kerner: [00:03:07] Let's go. Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration.

Tony Kaizen: [00:03:14] Discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Now, you might have understood that the first time hearing it. But just in case you didn't or even if you did, let me tell you what I think, because this is a problem I see with many people, myself included, I used to make this mistake all the time. But in the context of learning English, right? This podcast is for English learners. You're learning English, so I'm going to try to keep it within that context. Excuse me.

[00:03:45] So let's say you're an English learner, what a lot of people do is they simply wait until they feel like practicing their English. They wait until they feel like studying English. They wait until they feel like talking to another person in English. You see what I'm saying? That's... They're waiting for inspiration. And I've talked before on this podcast about the difference between inspiration and motivation. Inspiration is just that feeling where you, where you believe you can do anything. You have this surge of positive energy and you can conquer the world. Right? You want to do, do, do. You want to take action. You feel good about it. That's inspiration. It comes out of nowhere. You can't predict it. You see what I'm saying?

[00:04:27] And just like every other feeling, happiness or sadness, or hunger, or anger, inspiration comes and goes. It comes and goes. You cannot depend on inspiration if you're trying to get something big and challenging done. You see what I'm saying? Because you never know when inspiration is going to show up. You never know what the attendance record of inspiration is going to be. And just in case you don't know, 'attendance record' is the record of how often you show up. Like in school, if you had perfect attendance at school, that means you showed up at school every single day of the year. You never missed a day. You were never absent. You would always attend school, right? So if we go back to inspiration. The attendance record of inspiration is a little shoddy, bro. It's a little... It's inconsistent. It's here sometimes, it's not here sometimes. It's never there when you need it. Right? That's inspiration. 

[00:05:22] Now, motivation is simply, in my opinion, it's the reason for doing something. And that's why we say, What was the motive for that action? I think it comes from, those two words come from the same place. Motive, motivation, motivated. It means that you have a good reason to do something and a reason to do something has nothing to do with the feeling about doing it. You understand what I'm saying? Like, the motivation for learning English would be to be able to travel the world and be able to communicate in this universal language or get a better job or pass this English exam. There's a reason you're doing it. That's motivation, you understand? Not inspiration.

[00:06:03] So getting back to Cain's point. I'm trying to remember the exact words he said. Discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. So we've already established that inspiration is unreliable. It comes and goes. Right? But discipline, forcing... Not even forcing yourself to do something, but choosing to maintain a productive habit over time. Essentially, that's discipline, right? Regardless of how you feel, regardless of how much inspiration you have at the moment, you choose to do this thing even if you don't feel like it, right? Even if you don't want to, you choose to do it because you told yourself that you were going to do it. You choose to do it because you know the only way to be successful at it is doing it consistently. It's discipline.

[00:06:57] So by choosing to be disciplined, you greatly increase the chance that you're successful, that you actually do what you say you want to do. If you just rely on inspiration, you'll never fucking get it done, bro. You'll never get it done. And that's what a lot of people have to understand is these big, challenging, long term goals, like learning a language, starting a business, learning how to play the soccer, any skill or any project that takes long amounts of time and large amounts of effort and energy, discipline is what gets you there. Consistency. Understanding that you're going to wake up and there are going to be days when you don't want to do this shit, whatever it is, practice English, run the business, fucking play guitar, whatever it is. There's going to be days when you just don't feel like it. And what most people do is say "Ah, tomorrow". And then tomorrow becomes next week and next week becomes next month, and next month becomes the next fucking year. You understand?

[00:07:54] Like, you don't want that. I don't even know you and I know you don't want that. You know what I'm saying? Do not want that. And the way you avoid that is discipline, consistency, showing up every single day, regardless of whether you want to or not, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. Because discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Discipline will show up every single fucking day, if you choose for it to show up. It's on you. You understand? You have control over your level of discipline, but you have zero control over your level of inspiration. So just something to think about. All right? But let's move on to point number two.

Cain Kerner: [00:08:34] Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience.

Tony Kaizen: [00:08:41] In order to lead the orchestra, you must be willing to turn your back to the audience. I actually had to think about this one for a second after I heard it. I even searched on the Internet just to make sure I understood what it really meant. And what I understand now when he says this, first of all, let me explain the language because 'an orchestra'... A rough definition, I don't have the dictionary in front of me, but a basic definition of 'an orchestra' is a group of musicians that are all playing what we call 'string instruments'. String instruments are instruments that are played with strings like the guitar, the violin, the cello. There's a bunch of other ones I'm not familiar with, but you get the point. 

[00:09:26] Instruments like that where you play them with strings, and then an orchestra is typically like violins and cellos, violas. And I don't know the names of the other ones, but you've seen that before, at least on TV or maybe in a theater, a giant group of people playing these instruments and they're playing like classical music or something like that. That's an orchestra. So in order to lead the orchestra, the band leader, it's not a band, it's an orchestra. But the leader, the one that's conducting the show, that's one that's instructing and guiding the entire orchestra. Right? That person at the front. In order to be able to do their job, they had to turn their back to the audience. Literally. Literally. They have to look at the orchestra and lead them and not look at the audience and focus on what the audience is saying or doing or thinking.

[00:10:14] So if you take that and think about it metaphorically you can apply that really to anything in life, whether you're the boss at a business or the team or the team captain, or even just in your personal life. You understand? So let's, let's just use your life, for example. I feel like that's universal. The orchestra in this case would also be you. You're, you're both the orchestra leader and the orchestra itself. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but just follow me for a second. You are responsible for yourself. Let's put it that way. And in order to live your life. In order to achieve what you really want to achieve, especially if it's something that's less than traditional. Maybe you want to travel the world for a couple of years when everybody else expects you to go to college. Everybody else expects you to get a 9 to 5 job or something. 

[00:11:04] In order to do what you really want to do, in order to be successful at what you want to do, whatever that is, you have to turn your back to the audience, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your co-workers, strangers on the Internet. Everybody who has an opinion about you and what you're doing, you can't really focus on that. And I don't mean don't listen to people because even people you don't like can tell you stuff that you need to know. Right? But I'm saying you need to be objective about it. And just remember that you are responsible for yourself. No one else. Only you can live your life. And as a leader, you have to be able to deal with that type of pressure and that type of criticism. People talking shit or disagreeing with your choices, your lifestyle.

[00:11:50] You have to focus on the orchestra, the people you're trying to lead because they are depending on you to be the leader, they're looking... Literally, the orchestra is looking at the leader for direction. You cannot direct him if his back is turned to them and he's looking at the audience, worried about what they think. I'm sure you understand the metaphor. And again, you can apply that to anything in life, bro. You're trying to start a business with you and your friends and everybody thinks it's going to fail. Everybody's saying "Get a fucking job. Go to school" Blah, blah, blah. Turn your back to the audience and lead that fucking orchestra, bro. Focus on what's important. No matter what you do in life, there will always be people who disagree or criticize, or tear you down. There will always be people, I shouldn't say always, but they will probably be somebody who supports you as well.

[00:12:35] My point is on both sides, you might have positive feedback and negative feedback. It doesn't matter. You got to focus on leading your fucking orchestra. Nothing more. Hopefully, that makes sense because it's a really important point, man, especially for young people or people of any age that are kind of insecure about doing things their way, living life their way. This is an important point to understand. There will always be critics, man. People will always have something to say about you and your choices. But as long as you know what path you're on, you're doing shit for the right reasons. Like, there's no reason to focus on all that shit. Just lead your orchestra. Who or whatever that may be, you know? All right. Let's move on to point number three.

Cain Kerner: [00:13:24] Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful.

Tony Kaizen: [00:13:32] I like this one too, man. Being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Now, I want to find the dictionary definitions of these words before we get started. So give me 1 second. Define assertive. And the reason I want to get a dictionary definition of 'assertive' is because people all the time confuse the word 'assertive' with 'aggressive'. Right? So give me a second. Assertive. A S S E R T I V E. Assertive. This word means having or showing a confident and forceful personality. Excuse me. So, and just one second, I want to explain I keep burping a lot because I'm drinking a Red Bull. So it's like, I'm trying to talk and these fucking bubbles just keep coming up out of my stomach and I burp. So, sorry about that.

[00:14:22] But anyway, assertive, having or showing confidence or forceful personality. People confuse this with aggressive and let me get the definition of that as well. Aggressive. Aggressive is ready or likely to attack or confront, characterized by or resulting from aggression. So hopefully you can see the difference. Assertive is more about confidence and aggressive is more about attack, aggression. A lot of... It's not always physical. But the idea is to attack when we talk about aggression. Assertiveness is just to take action. Whatever that action may be, to take action confidently, you know? So and the last word is resentful. Resentful. Resentful. Feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation at having been treated unfairly. That's what resentful means.

[00:15:27] So going back to the point, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. The way I understood it, this point refers to a lot of passive-aggressive people, you know, those type of people that clearly have something to say or something they want to do, but they're afraid to do it. Because of shyness or cowardice or whatever it is, they're afraid to take an action or say what needs to be said. And they just hold it for themselves. They keep it on the inside. And for that reason, that bitterness, that anger, that resentment ends up manifesting itself in other ways. They might say something very indirect that communicates that direct thing that they're afraid to say. They might do something very indirect that communicates something's wrong or they're unhappy or they're unsatisfied. Right? That's why we call it passive-aggressive because you're passively communicating your aggression instead of directly. You understand?

[00:16:26] And I guess what Cain is saying is by being assertive, by confidently taking action, by saying what needs to be said, by saying what you're really thinking, by communicating that your feelings were hurt, that you didn't like what happened, or that you need this thing or whatever. It could be bad or good, whatever you need to communicate. By being assertive and communicating that directly and clearly, you can avoid those feelings of resentment and bitterness, and unfair treatment. You understand? Because when you just hold on to it, instead of saying it or doing it, you're really doing nothing but poisoning yourself. And that's why people end up manifesting that in other ways because it starts to eat them alive on the inside.

[00:17:04] So they have to take action. They have to say it or do it in some indirect way to just get it out of themselves so they don't have to feel that way anymore. And what I think Cain is saying is you would never have to feel that way if you just said what needed to be said or did what needed to be done from the beginning. And being assertive and saying, You know what? I didn't like that. Or, You know what? I'm not going to tolerate that. By just being direct and saying that you can avoid those feelings of resentment that you will inevitably feel when you choose not to say what needs to be said or do what needs to be done, you know? I really hope that makes sense because it's an important point, man. And maybe it's personal because I just really, really, really have a hard time tolerating passive-aggressive people. I really don't like them. You know what I'm saying? 

[00:17:50] It's probably not, I mean, that's a negative thing to say. But I just... Passive aggression is the weirdest thing, dog. To me, it's just cowardice. It's a, it's a fancy term for cowardice. And I just, I don't know, I have a low tolerance for cowards, bro. And especially, and I say that a lot of times I talk shit on this podcast. I can be critical or cynical, but things I say like that, like, Man, I fucking hate a coward. I say that because I saw that in myself and I hated myself and that was something I had to change about myself. So I'm much more understanding when I find it in other people these days. But still, it's just something that it's hard to deal with. It's cowardice. It was hard to deal with in myself. I couldn't take it anymore, so I had to change it. You know what I'm saying? And I guess that's why I don't like seeing it in other people.

[00:18:37] And there's a quote that I'm trying to... I don't want to fuck it up, but it makes me think of a quote that I heard a long time ago. And somebody said something like, When you find a person and there's something about them you don't like, what you're really doing is seeing something that you don't like about yourself. When you find a quality in somebody that you don't like or something that irritates you is because you identify with that quality. You see it in yourself. Every person is in some way like a mirror. So when you see like, for example, I don't like cowardice. So when I see somebody being a coward, some part inside me identifies with that, and that's why I don't like it. It's not about that person. It's about that quality that I've found in myself at some point that I identify with for some reason.

[00:19:24]  And I don't know if that makes sense to you, but when I heard that, it just made me think, man, that there might be some truth to that. It's never that we don't like that specific person. There's a quality inside them that we identify with and we don't like that quality. But it's not the person, you know? But anyway, that has nothing to do with the point that Cain made, which is being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Hopefully, the point made sense. If it didn't, you know, hit me up and I'll try to clarify. But anyway, let's move on to point number four.

Cain Kerner: [00:19:58] Number four, today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.

Tony Kaizen: [00:20:03] That's another... All these points are good, man. But that's another good one. Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. And to be honest, I had to think about this one. It's a really simple sentence, but I had to think about what it really means. Excuse me. And I guess you could interpret it multiple ways, but... Hang on. Geez. Okay. No more Red Bulls during podcasts because goddamn, I burped, like, 15 times. But anyway, this phrase could be interpreted in many ways, right? I think. But today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, when I hear that, I think that a lot of people, myself included, have a bad habit of living in the future. You know, I heard recently that anxiety is simply living in the future. You're worried about what could happen or what might happen. Even though it hasn't happened yet, it's in the future, this imaginary place.

[00:21:06] And depression is living in the past. There's something in the past that you just can't let go of. You can't walk away from it. You can't overcome it. You're stuck there in the past and you're depressed about it. You're sad about something that happened that you can't change and you can't let go of. So living in the future is anxiety. Living in the past is depression. So all you really have, the only healthy way to live is living in the present. You know what I'm saying? And a lot of us spend so much time worrying about tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. But tomorrow will never come, technically. All you have is the present moment. So you're worried about tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

[00:21:52] But today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. So the question is, what are you going to do today? Because yesterday you were so worried about today and now here it is. What are you going to do? The answer for most people is, I'll worry about tomorrow, worry about the next day. For obvious reasons that's just a really bad idea, you know? But it's a, it's a weird... It's a weird balancing act, you know what I'm saying? Because we have to live in the present if we want to be, you know, healthy and happy, it's the only way to be. But at the same time, you have to think about tomorrow to prepare for tomorrow. So I guess the point is, even though you have to think about and prepare for the future, you need to live here in the present. Take action now. You know what I'm saying? 

[00:22:42] So that tomorrow... How can I say this? Take action now so that you increase the chances that tomorrow is a good day and not a bad day. Take action now so you don't have to worry about tomorrow. Do everything you can today to make sure that tomorrow is as good as it can possibly be. You know? It's senseless to be worrying about the future all the time. Because the future doesn't exist. All you have is right now. So what are you going to do right now to make a difference? That's all that matters because that's all you have control over. You know? I think that's the main point. I would love to hear how you guys interpret this phrase, though, because again, I think you can interpret it more than one way. But that's more or less what I took from it. All right? So let's get on to this last point.

Cain Kerner: [00:23:29] Tomorrow that you're worried about yesterday.

Tony Kaizen: [00:23:32] That is not the last point. Here we go.

Cain Kerner: [00:23:35] And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary.

Tony Kaizen: [00:23:43] I think this one is not a continuation of point number four, but it's similar, right? You suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary. It's a really good one. And this one specifically, I think is for the anxious people, the ones that are always living in the future. Because as a matter of fact, I'll give you an example. One of my friends, she wants to be an au pair. And just in case you don't know what that is, an au pair is basically a caregiver or a nanny or something like that, that will move to a foreign country and live with this family in exchange for a place to live and food to eat and stuff like that. The au pair will take care of the family's children, just like a nanny.

[00:24:22] And actually, I don't know what episode number it was, but I interviewed an au pair on this podcast. So if you're interested in what the life of an au pair is like, then search for the episode "The Life of an Au Pair with Alondra Sandoval". I don't remember the number, but it's recent, so you'll find it. But anyway, my friend wants to be an au pair as well. And she joined the program, you know, years ago. I don't know how many years ago. And she was having a hard time finding a family and then COVID happened. So everything got shut down and nobody was traveling. And then she kind of, not gave up on the idea, but she kind of realized it was going to be a long time before things went back to normal and she got a chance to meet more families and actually travel.

[00:25:08] So she got a job and everything and was just kind of like waiting to see what happen. And at some point, she changed her destination. She wanted to come to the U.S., but then she realized there were more opportunities in Europe. So she decided she wanted to go to Europe. And this whole time we're talking about it, and she's just really nervous about all these things. Like, what if I can't find a family? What if I run out of time? What if I lose the money? What if they don't like me? What if somebody else takes my spot? What if this? What if that? What if that? Just worried about all of these things that could go wrong. Worried about all these things that might happen or might not happen. You understand?

[00:25:43] She just... She was just stressing herself out. Nobody or nothing was stressing her out. She was stressing herself out by worrying about all these things in this imaginary future that might happen. Let me say that again, worrying about all these things that might happen. You understand? There's a.. The list of things that might happen is fucking infinite. It's infinite. So by worrying about things that might happen, you're just stressing yourself out for no reason. You're suffering more than necessary because you're suffering before it's necessary. So, and I'm sure you understand, but just in case and for anyone who doesn't, let me explain what that really means using that same example.

[00:26:27] So she's worried about all these things for months and months and months. We're talking about it all the time. Finally, she finds multiple families that she likes and families that are interested in her, and all these things. And she's nervous about that too. What if I choose the wrong family? What if the family finds somebody else and I lose that option and blah blah blah. Worried about that too. And at the end of it all, she finds the perfect family that she has a great connection with. She signs the contract. She's going to Europe at the end of this year. Everything worked out. Everything. So all of that anxiety, all of that suffering, all that stress that she put on herself for years was unnecessary. It did nothing positive for... It had no positive impact on the result.

[00:27:15] In fact, all that shit she was worrying about didn't even happen. She found a family that she actually wants to work with, in a country she actually wants to visit. She's learning this new language now. Everything worked out. There was no reason to be all stressed and anxious about all this shit because it worked out. Right? So she did all that suffering before it was necessary, because if nothing would have worked out and she would have lost her program money and found no family and everything went to shit, then she would have a reason to, let's say, suffer or be sad or disappointed. But even then, even if nothing worked out and everything went to shit, all that suffering before that moment was still unnecessary. It has no effect on the outcome of the situation.

[00:27:58] So she suffered before things went to shit and then she suffered after things went to shit. Why would you suffer twice for no reason? That's the point. But in her case, shit actually did work out. So why would you suffer all that time and things worked out in the end? It's like, What's what's the point? There's no reason. So sitting and worrying about what might happen, what could happen, this or that and the third, you're suffering for no reason. You're putting yourself through all this anxiety and stress before you even know what's going to happen. Everything might work out perfectly fine, and then all that time and energy turns out to be wasted. You know what I'm saying?

[00:28:39] So... Hey, man, I would just say except what you can't control, do every single thing in your power to increase the chance that what you want to happen actually happens. But after you do that, you've got to sit back and accept the fact you can't control nothing else, bro. So why stress about it? Like, stress has actual health implications, you understand? Like, just constantly being stressed and anxious has a negative effect on your physical and mental health. You're choosing to feel stressed and anxious about this, You're choosing to focus on that negativity. You're choosing to suffer before it's necessary. So you're choosing to fuck up your own health just because you can't accept the fact that there are things you cannot control.

[00:29:29] Maybe you don't think about it that way, but when I break it down to the essential idea, that's what it is. You know? A lot of people suffer with that, myself included. I've had to work on it over, over time and just like, understand like, Shit, I really want this thing. I really want this thing to happen or whatever. But I've done all I can do. I can't control anything else. I just have to exhibit faith and patience and see what happens. And shit is just so much easier that way. There's no reason, there's never a reason to suffer twice. There's never a reason to suffer before and after something happens. There's no reason.

[00:30:09] So, that's it, man. That's it. Let me summarize these five points and we'll get out of here, man. Number one... Is what, Tony? Number one, discipline has a better attendance record than inspiration. Number two, in order to lead the orchestra, you must turn your back to the audience. Number three, being more assertive can help you to avoid being resentful. Number four, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. And number five, you suffer more than necessary when you suffer before it's necessary. This is Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. I want to thank you so much for your time and your attention. I hope you enjoyed the episode and I will definitely talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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