Wheel of Life | Year In Review | Fun & Hobbies | 5

This was an extraordinary year of travel: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and topping off the year with the wondrous Philippines.
I couldn’t be grateful enough for the number of things I’ve come across during my travels: meeting amazing friends in Singapore, developing relationships in Malaysia and having my “aha” moment in gorgeous Da Lat, Vietnam.
In saying that, there were times that I felt like I was neglecting this category, just because I’m not putting “fun” into my daily schedule.
I had gone to the gym on several occasions, developing wonderful relationships with people from China, Japan, Malaysia, and other places. With that being said, I think there could’ve been several ways to inject more fun into my schedule.
With massive trips to South Africa, Vietnam again (for the amazing Spartan Spring) and several others, I’m very grateful for how this year has turned out.

Wheel of Life | Year In Review | Family & Friends | 5

This is actually a pretty decent score.

Some of you are wondering what criteria do I base it off?

Well, here it is. 

  • Circle of Friends
  • Outer Circle
  • Purposeful Relationships
  • The Right Flock

I’ve had a lot of people come both in and out of my life this year. A circle of friends is the strong bond that I have with me at all times. If for whatever reason it dissipates, or if I feel like something is missing out, I would hurry up and check the circle because it more than often means that someone, who had a long-lasting impact on my life, has left. 

Nonetheless, I don’t have “friends” or “family.” My friends from the past are only around for the good — however, they’re never there during the bad. 

So, close friends in America who I’ve known for the longest — outer circle. Best friends from childhood? Outer circle. If someone had deceived me once, I wouldn’t let them back into my life.

When evaluating purposeful relationships, it’s extremely important to know when relationships SHOULD come to an end. You don’t want to prolong something that should’ve ended weeks/months/years before, right? 

And to sum this up, having the right flock and supporting cast around you is essential. I address relationships that become a bit of a problem….consciously. I make sure I surround myself with winners, people who want more and are hungry. 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast passes The Arsenio Buck Show on HISTORICAL COUNT

An emotional tribute.

When I made my first episode of The Arsenio Buck Show, I had no idea what I was doing. It was a passion project. It was the beginning of my personal development journey that needed to be documented. I didn’t know about niche markets, hashtags, plays, geolocation, coaching, mentorship, or anything I’m into right now. It was about me overcoming me.

The listeners were a byproduct of what I was going through, but I can tell you with great enthusiasm those amazing moments when I got a play or two! HUGE THANKS YOU to my original listeners from the following cities.

– Ashburn, Virginia
– Menlo Park, California
– Long Beach, California
– Edison, New Jersey
– Clifton, New Jersey

I documented the unbelievable highs of traveling, and the extreme lows of my life when I was battling a racist environment in Rangsit, Thailand.

When 2018 rolled around, I saw that some of my YouTube videos were hits. One had eclipsed the monumental 10k Mark; and I asked myself, “what if I made an ESL podcast?”

When I made my second podcast, I knew my market. I knew the lessons I would give. I knew what areas I wanted to focus on. And the grandest of them all, bringing the over 200 countries in the world on my podcast (34 and counting).

Since then, my ESL podcast eclipsed the overall play count of my personal development podcast on half the time. Amazed. Flustered. And in awe…..I saw countries listening to me like The Cayman Islands, Jersey, São Tomé and Principe, and others I had to google.

To know I’m helping people in their pilgrimage. To know that I’m on people’s watches on 6 continents. To know that someone is saying “hey, Alexa, play Arsenio’s crazy ass,” is the greatest blessing I can ask for.

Just shy of what will be an unforgettable trip to the gorgeous Philippines, this is the greatest Christmas present of my life — knowing I’m making a difference.


Wheel of Life | Year In Review | Romantic Relationships | 2

As I’ve told you guys before, I’m going to go over every individual category in the Wheel of Life over the course of this month until Christmas. Today, I’m beginning with Romantic Relationships because it’s the easiest category. 

I must say that I made a number of mistakes at the beginning of the year. To kick off the New Year, there was already an argument and someone saying “I need space.” Later on that week, and when the pollution had gotten increasingly worse, we were supposed to meet up a shopping plaza, but because she doesn’t have good awareness, it took more than a half-hour to meet, ending in an argument, me paying for my bill, and storming off. She sent me a message later on that night saying, “I don’t think it’s going to work,” and that was the end. 

It was laughable, but her wish was granted until I let her back in my second time around. Huge mistake. Sure, at the beginning (and before my trip to Malaysia), we had dinner, said our goodbyes and I told her that I would go to Vietnam to visit her. Within a week she said, “I don’t want a low-quality relationship,” ending it for the second time. 

It was frustrating, but I said “good, goodbye.” She came back around three months later and I laughed hysterically. I said, “what do you want?” She thought she could literally just “sorry” her way back in for the third time? My dumbass, let her. Lol. This time I visited Vietnam and got a great insight into what could potentially come for my career. In about a month after that, she was gone again. The best part was I turned to a 1995 film by the name of “Money Train” and used a slogan right out of the money to frankly tell her to “fuck off.” Omg, great times. 

What did I learn? The first time is enough. The second time you’re dumb. The third time you’re desperate. You lose. 

Did I get better? I think I did….through personal development, but because relationships are so topsy-turvy, there’s not much else I can do but grow as an individual. 

How was your year?

Restoring Self-Trust & The Thirteen Behaviors

Often, the most difficult trust to restore is trust in ourselves. When we violate a promise we’ve made ourselves, fail to follow through on a goal, or act in ways that go against our deepest values, our self trust can really take a die. And when we have repeated infractions, we often beat ourselves up so thoroughly that we seriously wonder if we can ever have faith in ourselves again.

Restoring self trust gives another dimension — a powerful dimension — to the Cores and Behaviors. Just think of how significantly the 13 behaviors apply in your relationship with yourself:

Talk Straight means to tell it like it is — for good, as well as bad. Don’t be around the bush. Don’t try to justify or rationalize what you’ve done, or tell yourself compelling stories. Instead, tell yourself what you should have done and what you need to do to improve. BUt don’t tell yourself lies such as: I’m worthless. I’ve blown it, and I can never make things right. It’s no use to even try. tell yourself the trust: even if it takes divine help, you can make things better if you want to and if you really try.

Demonstrate Respect for Yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over what you perceive as weaknesses or mistakes. Treat yourself with as much love as you would anyone else. Don’t expect more of yourself than you would expect of any other human being in your situation.

Create Transparency in your own life. Be open and honest with yourself about your motives and decisions. Don’t try to rationalize or justify. Don’t try to hide weaknesses or faults; face them and deal with them directly. Be exactly what you are today — and work on being a little better tomorrow.

Right Wrongs you’ve done to yourself. Forgive yourself (which is often the most difficult forgiveness of all). Free yourself so that you can work on developing self trust and confidence again.

Show Loyalty to yourself. Don’t talk negative about yourself or put yourself down — in self-talk or in talking with others.

Deliver Results in your life in the things that you feel are important — whether anyone else considers them important or not. Set goals and make them happen.

Get Better. Set aside time in your life to constantly improve your capabilities. Enjoy the increase in self trust and confidence that comes from developing skills and using your unique talents and capacities, and also from rising to meet challenges that require you to develop new abilities or gain new knowledge.

Confront reality. Don’t live in denial or keep your head in the sand. Don’t give in to pessimism and despair. Face what needs to be faced and move on with courage and hope.

Clarify expectations. be clear about what you expect of yourself. Don’t let others talk you out of meeting your own expectations and don’t let the expectations of others govern your decisions and your life.

Practice Accountability. When you receive insight into something you feel you should do, write it down and hold yourself accountable to do it. Don’t let the expectations of others take priority over your responsibility to follow your own inspiration.

Listen First to your own conscience, to your own inner voice. Don’t let the opinions of others persuade you to violate the things you feel deep inside you should or should not do.

Keep Commitments to yourself. Make commitments to yourself carefully, and treat them with the same respect you feel you should treat commitments to others.

Extend Trust to yourself. Trust your instincts and your intuition. Trust your judgement. trust your ability to receive guidance for your own live. Trust that when your own heart is right, the universe will provide and things will work together for your good.

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust – Full Book Summary Part 2 – 4 Cores of Credibility – Integrity & Intent

It’s time to break down the next phase of the book summary, and we need to first understand the four cores of credibility.

FirstIntegrity, that you are a person of integrity — that you are honest and congruent, that you have a reputation for being truthful, and that you would not lie.

SecondIntent, that you have good intent — that you’re not trying to deceive or protect anyone, that you don’t have any hidden motive or agenda that would collor your testimony.

ThirdCapabilities, that your credentials are excellent, that you do, indeed, have expertise, knowledge, skill, and capability in the area in which you are called to testify.

And fourthResults, that you have a good track record, that you have demonstrated your capabilities effectively in other situations in the past, that you produce results, and that there is good reason to believe that you will do so now.

How Credible Are YOU? — Questionnaire

People who are congruent act in harmony with their deepest values and beliefs. They walk their talk. When they feel they ought to do something, they do it. They’re not driven by extrinsic forces, including the opinions of others or the expediency of the moment.

What Gandhi thinks, what he feels, what he says, and what he does are all the same. You and I, we think one thing, feel another; say a third, and do a fourth, so we need notes and files to keep track.

How to Increase your Integrity

  • Do I genuinely try to be honest in all my interactions with others?
  • Do I typically “walk my talk”?
  • Am I clear on my values? Do I feel comfortable in standing up for them?
  • Am I open to the possibility of learning new truths that may cause me to rethink issues or even redefine my values?
  • Am I able to consistently make and keep commitments to myself?
  1. Don’t make too many commitments. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
  2. Treat a commitment you make to yourself with as much respect as you do the commitments you make to others.
  3. Don’t make commitments impulsively.

Core 2 – Intent

  • How often do I discount (or tax) what someone says because I am suspicious about the person’s intent?
  • What kind of tax is my organization paying because employees don’t trust management’s intent? What is the impact on speed and cost?
  • What kind of tax are we paying as a team because we are suspicious of one another’s motives?
  • What kind of tax am I paying because people question my own intent?
  • What can I do to improve and better communicate my intent?


Motive is your reason for doing something. It’s the “why” that motivates the “what.”

Companies worldwide recognize the importance of caring.

Clearly, motive matters, and the motive of caring will do more than anything else to build credibility and trust. But what id you genuinely don’t care? What if your real motive is profit or accumulation or recognition — period?

If you don’t care, that’s fine. However, understand THAT YOU WILL PAY A TAX!


This grows out of motive. Agenda that generally inspires the greatest trust is seeking mutual benefit.

The opposite of mutual benefit agenda is self-serving agenda: “I want to win — period.”


Typically, behavior is the manifestation of motive and agenda. The behavior that best creates credibility and inspires trust is acting in the best interest of others.

How to Improve Intent?

  • In an interaction with a child: Are my actions motivated by genuine caring and love? Am I really seeking the best interests of this child? Am I humble enough to admit it if I am wrong? Or am I really trying to impose my will on this child?
  • In an interaction with a spouse: Am I sincerely listening to what my spouse has to say? Am I genuinely open to his/her influence? Do I understand where he/she is coming from? Or am I focused on explaining my point of view, being right, or getting my way?
  • In an interaction with a work team: Am I quick to see and acknowledge the contribution of every team member? Am I focused on a “win” for the entire team? Or am I primarily focused on my own “win” — on being the “hero,” on being recognized for my own ideas?
  • In a business deal: Do I genuinely want what’s best for us both? Do I really understand what constitutes a “win” for the other party? Have I clearly thought through and can I express what constitutes a “win” for me? Am I open to synergy and third alternatives?

Work Related

  1. Why am I feeling unappreciated and undervalued?
  2. Why do I think they don’t see the good work I do?
  3. What makes me think they’re focused on the rising stars?
  4. Why do I think he gets more work than me?
  5. Why do I want to talk to the boss about it?

Choose Abundance

  • When I’m in the middle of a negotiation, do I really believe it’s possible to come up with a solution that will provide benefit for us both — or deep down, do I believe that the other person can gain benefit only at my expensive?
  • When I’m in a meeting and ideas are being tossed around, do I really believe there’s enough credit and recognition for everyone — or do I feel like someone is going to get it, and i want to make sure that someone is me?
  • Do I believe that if I love other people, my own supply of love will be replenished — or diminished?
  • Do I believe that there’s room for other people to see things differently than I do…….and still be right?
  • Do I believe that, whatever my economic circumstances, I can share with and benefit others?

Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust – Full Book Summary Part I – The Foundation

Wow! It’s been a hell of a ride. It’s been an emotional journey. This book was bought back in about October or November with a friend Anna, who has now influenced me to not only move to Vietnam, but to establish trust in her after two significant fallouts. How fitting! Nonetheless, Moustafo, an amazing fitness entrepreneur living in Malaysia, mentioned this in a podcast about last July…and I ended up purchasing this book at the place where my personal development journey began (Siam Paragon, Bangkok).

Almost a year later and a completely different man later, those of you who have been following my blogs and podcast should’ve changed.

Let’s go over the biggest key takeaways from this book. Here’s part 1 of 6 because I can’t oversaturate you with too much information.

Trust Issues Affect Everyone

I can’t stand the politics at work. I feel sabotaged by my peers. It seems like everyone is out for himself and will do anything to get ahead.

I’ve really been burned in the past. How can I ever trust anyone enough to have a real relationship?

I work in an organization that’s bogged down with bureaucracy. It takes forever to get anything done. I have to get authorization to buy a pencil!

The older the children get, the less they listen to me. What can I do?

I feel like my contributions at work are hardly every recognized or valued.

I foolishly violated the trust of someone who was supremely important to me. If I could hit “rewind” and make the decision differently, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I can’t. Will I ever be able to rebuild the relationship?

I have to walk on eggshells at work. If i say what i really think, I’ll get fired….or at least made relevant.

My boss micromanages me and everyone else at work. He treats use all like we can’t be trusted.

With all the scandals, corruption, and ethical violations in our society today, I feel like someone has pulled the rug out from under me. I don’t know what — or who — to trust anymore.

Low/High Trust Relationships

Take a minute right now and think of a person you have a high trust relationship with — perhaps a boss, coworker, customer, etc. Describe it. What’s it like? How does it feel?

Now think of a person whom you have a low-trust relationship with. Again, how does it feel?

A Summary of Taxes and Dividends

Book Review Podcast for the Taxes and Dividends

5 Waves of Trust

Self Trust; Deals with the confidence we have in ourselves–in our ability to set and achieve goals, to keep commitments, to walk our talk — and also with our ability to inspire trust in others.

Relationship Trust: How to establish and increase the “trust accounts” we have with others.

Organizational Trust: Deals with how leaders can generate trust in all kinds of organizations, including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, government entities, educational institutions, and families.

Market Trust: It’s about your company brand, which reflects the trust customers, investors, and others in the marketplace have in you.

Societal Trust: This is about creating value for others and for society at large. Your contribution.


Propensity & Broken Trust Being a Beginning

For many people, broken trust is a dead end. It’s the end of a relationship, the end of an opportunity — sometimes even the end of self-confidence and the ability to ever trust again.

But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, I contend that broken trust can actually become a significant beginning.

If you’ve broken trust with someone else, it’s an opportunity to get your own act together, to improve your character and competence, to behave in ways that inspire trust. Hopefully this will influence the offended party to restore trust in you. But even if it doesn’t, your effort may well affect others in positive ways, and it will definitely enable you to create more high-trust relationships in the future.

If someone has broken trust with you, it’s an opportunity for you to grow in your ability to forgive, to learn how to extend Smart Trust, and to maximize whatever dividends are possible in the relationship.

In either situation, broken trust presents an opportunity for you to make huge leaps in building up your own self trust and personal credibility. As you go through the process of trying to restore trust you have lost with others, or forgiving and extending smart Trust to those who have broken trust with you, you will grow in character and competence. You will gain confidence in your own discernment and ability to establish, grow, restore, and extend trust on every level of your life.


In my own life, I’ve been on both sides of the equation. I’ve been in situations where I was micromanaged, where trust was not extended. I know the powerful negative effect that had on my own feelings of engagement, commitment, excitement, and creativity, and on the release of my energy and talent. But I’ve also been in situations where trust was extended abundantly, and I know how that trust dramatically inspired and powerfully released the best in me.

Occasionally I’ve been burned. I’ve trust people who didn’t come through. But for the most, I’ve seen the incredible results when people have come through. I’ve seen them rise up to meet the expectation. I’ve seen them energized, excited, and engaged. I’ve seen them willingly give their hearts and minds as well as their hands and backs in doing their work. I’ve seen them overcome differences, transcend difficulties, and accomplish great things — fast — because someone had the wisdom to extend trust.


Restoring Organizational Trust

Restoring trust within an organization may seem difficult, particular if the focus is almost exclusively on producing and is not balanced by the need to maintain the capacity to produce in the future. However, the fact that high-trust organizations outperform low-trust organizations by three times provides a strong incentive to make the effort. High trust not only creates a great working environment, it also provides a powerful competitive edge.

All I know is that trust was not only restored, it was enhanced, with both the director and the team. Looking back, I can see how this experienced validated the importance of showing loyalty and righting wrongs, the value of restoring trust in the organization, and the impact of trust on speed and cost.

Here’s the podcast with the stories and travel experiences!


Restoring Market Trust

With regard to Market Trust, it’s true that in many cases, if you violate a customer’s trust, you’re not going to get a second chance. Ultimately that decision is up to the customer, who may simply choose to not play anymore and go his/her own way.

Just recently I was trying to get my visa through a non-reputable visa agency and they were just not helpful at all. From appalling customer service, to vague answers. It’s interesting because before you get the visa, they’re a bit more helpful. However, after that, they disappeared. There wasn’t even an email confirmation upon completing the application!

Until I checked the junk mail.

I shot over about 8 emails a day until they finally replied. Actually, they did everything somewhat by the book, and I did get my visa before the big complaints, but Mr. David of the visa agency made me lose faith in them — big time.

When it comes down to teaching, it’s a tall task to live up to the billing. When language centers post things such as, “guaranteed IELTS 7.5!” — and they don’t deliver?! You got yourself a mess. People will start talking about you on blogs and you will lose face and ultimately your business.

Let me give you an example. If I’m raving about my proven capabilities teaching this specific subject and then my student gets a horrendous score? What would happen to me? But then you have to evaluate all sides of the spectrum. What if the student was a beginner/elementary student and had NO BUSINESS learning IELTS? See what I mean?

The market doesn’t lie; the market decides. Always remember that. If you violate the trust or don’t deliver based on what your integrity and track record says, it will come back to haunt you.