EP006- Don’t let anxiety stop you in your tracks!!

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an artisan small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
This question came in via Facebook. Silvia asked for tips for coping with anxiety
She commented on a Facebook post where I asked: “If you could go all in and change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
You can submit your questions on Facebook to @thectepodcast if you want them answered.
So anxiety is a funny thing. Your mind has you thinking about all the bad stuff that might happen long before you start something. You’re worried, nervous or uneasy about an event and how bad its going to go. And how much damage you’ll need to fix.
In extreme cases, people can become paralyzed and end up not making a decision at all.
One thing you can do to help cope with this is to state your feelings about what’s happening and ask yourself  1) what is the worst thing that could happen and 2) how do I cope if that happens. After you state and ask (and answer) all these things your situation and what to do will become more clear.
Your mind is like the Holodeck in Star Trek the Next Generation. Anything can happen in there. But once its out and on paper, only what is reality stays. You’re able to throw out all the least probable scenarios and come to the truth of the matter. And more often than not, it’s not as bad as you originally thought.
Mindfulness is another great way to help cope with anxiety. It’s meditating without the religious or spiritual component. As little as 10 minutes a day can clear your mind. The best thing is that there are a number of apps and podcasts that help lead you in a session.
Whatever method you choose, remember that anxiety is your mind trying to talk you out of your decision. improving your self confidence is the key to beating anxiety.
Ultimately, you want to find the root of the anxiety. What is the underlying cause? It might not even be related to what’s happening when your anxiety hits. Most of the time people want to treat the symptom of the problem and not the cause. But if you’re listening to this podcast, treating the cause is what you’re all about.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

 

EP005- Stop Overthinking Everything

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is a small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
This question was sent in by Elisabeth P. Full disclosure, she’s my wife so I thought answering her question as the first listener question would be a wise decision.
You can submit your questions on Facebook to @thectepodcast if you want the answered.
She commented on a Facebook post where I asked: “If you could go all in and change one thing about yourself, what would it be?”
She said she wants tips on how to stop second guessing herself.
This is something that hampers a lot of people’s progress towards their goals. They play out a scenario to infinitude and usually with all the bad outcomes. Most of the time they feel that the outcome will be so bad that they won’t be able to recover from it. What’s worse, they give the same scrutiny to even the smallest decision.
In order to combat this, I’ve come up with a few things second guessers can try.
First- (and in no particular order) write it down. If you can’t even bring yourself to writing it down, that’s a tell tale sign that you don’t need to spend a long time on the decision and it’s “consequences” aren’t something to worry about.
If it IS a big decision, getting it down on paper will help you define what the decision really is. Write down all the valid outcomes (good and bad). If you have to record this process, all the wild ideas won’t get recorded.
Second- Is the decision something you can recover from if it doesn’t go as planned? Can you make changes along the way? My new motto that I live by now is “fix the plane in the air” (Gary V.). Is your indecision going to put you so far behind that it doesn’t matter how great it is? You want to get something out there and then improve upon it.
Third- Be ok with things not going well. Second guessing yourself may come from the inability to not deal with failure. There may have been an incident when you made the wrong decision and you weren’t (in your mind) able to recover from it. You most likely were able to move on but at the time it felt like the world was going to end. Accepting failure is an important skill. People who have never experienced failure (people who are “winners”) have a hard time bouncing back.
And lastly, set a deadline for the decision. With the clock ticking, you’ll have to stop all the overthinking and come to a decision. A task will take as much time to complete that you give it. So don’t waste your time trying to find a reason why something won’t work. Use your time to find a way to make it work.
I once heard someone say that perfection is the disguise of insecurity. Once you realize that most decisions aren’t as important as you think and that most outcomes can be changed with a little extra work, making decisions will come a lot easier.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

EP004- Pick up a new hobby

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is a small batch, craft coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
When kids are little (and some grown ups for that matter), sometimes if you want them to eat their vegetables you have to come up with creative ways to disguise them. At my house, my wife throws them in pasta sauce or in meat loaf.
Sometimes you have to do the same thing with your self improvement protocols. Some people have a hard time implementing them because they get hung up on the fact that they have to “fix” something about themselves. One way to disguise this is to pick up a hobby that has the characteristics of what you’re trying to implement.
Let’s say for instance that you want to reduce your anxiety. You could start doing yoga. There is a meditative aspect to yoga that can help take your mind off of what’s making you anxious. It’s like meditating for people who can’t sit still for a long period of time. Plus there’s a fitness aspect to it as well. So you can kill two birds with one stone.
Or let’s say you want to improve your fitness but you find going to the gym and/or running boring. You could join a recreational basketball team or join a running group. That way there is a social and accountability component that will keep you motivated.
Finding a way to stick to your plan of self improvement could be as easy as picking up a tennis racket or going fly fishing. Finding tricks like this is what will make you successful. Being aware that getting to your goal, no matter how unorthodox your journey, is the most important thing when you’re trying to become who you want to be.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

EP003- The CTE Podcast- Learn a New Language and See Big Changes

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an artisan small batch coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at www.cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
This is episode 003 of the podcast and today I’ll be talking about the reasons why you should learn a new language.
In the previous episode I talked about the benefits of reading for self improvement. One of the benefits was that you could learn something new. Why not use the time you schedule for reading to learn a new language? You might be saying to yourself “why do I need to learn a new language? I’m not planning on going to a foreign country”.
The benefits of learning a new language all come back to brain health. Sure you could use your time to learn to play chess or learn about history, but learning a new language has some unique benefits.
For starters, it can make you a better English speaker. The process of learning a new language will make you aware of your deficiencies in your native tongue. Improving these deficiencies will make you a better speaker and writer in English.
Learning a new language also improves your memory. The need to learn vocabulary and then learning rules to use the vocabulary uses different parts of the brain. Exercises like these have been shown to delay and completely stop the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
And finally (at least for the sake of this podcast), it can help you improve your social skills. You can either use what you’ve learned to talk to others in your new langugage or attend a class and learn with others.
All that being said, I’ve decided to start learning French. I just downloaded the Duolingo app on my phone and I’m starting with the goal of 10 minuted a day. I’ll be keeping you guys updated on then I start and of my progress. And if anyone has any tips on learning a new language, I’d love you hear them. Merci in advance.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

EP002- The CTE Podcast- Reading Everyday Can Make Big Changes.

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is ansmall batch coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
This is episode 002 of the podcast and today I’ll be talking about how reading can improve your mental ability.
I have a question for everyone. Why should you read every day. A while back I found myself kind of stuck. Kind of like my head wasn’t on straight. I was in a fog. It turns out that my brain was on auto pilot. It was just going through the motions. Don’t get me wrong, I was getting stuff done, but I felt like I was just checking things off of a list.
Once I started reading, all that changed. And when I say reading, I mean making time to read something that had nothing to do with my day. Leisure, self help, educational, whatever it is, it’ll make improvements in your life. Not only because you learn something new, but you’re mainly because you’re exercising the most important muscle in your body. Your brain.
So here 6 reasons that reading improve your mental health and well being.
  1. It slows down aging in the brain- research shows that doing creative or intellectual activities such as reading can slow cognitive decline by more than 30%.
  2. Reduces stress- reading can help reduce stress by taking your mind off of things you’re worried about. If you Immerse yourself in a good book, you can forget about “real life” for a while.
  3. It can encourage you to do something new- If you read an inspirational story or read about someplace new, you might be encouraged to do or travel someplace new.
  4. It makes you smarter- 5-15% of the words we learn come from reading. So even if all you do is read romance novels, you have a high probability of learning so something new.
  5. It improves your brain health- Each part of your brain is assigned a different task. vision, language, etc, they all work together to help you function. So if you neglect an area of the brain, like the reading part, the whole brain suffers.
  6. It can help you save money- as a form of entertainment it’s relatively inexpensive. And if you get a library card it’s free. So compared to the movies or a concert, its a cheap date.
So how do you start implementing this into your life? What I did was I put it on my calendar. 15 minutes of reading everyday. You could also set a book per month reading goal. No matter method you choose, reading is a great form of self improvement and entertainment. Give it a try and you’ll see results in no time.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

EP001- The CTE Podcast- Introduction

Hello everybody and welcome to The CTE Podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres Paniagua. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an artisan small batch coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
This is episode 001 of the podcast and today I guess you guys should know up front that I made this podcast for a completely selfish reason. I needed a reason to keep going. Once you change a few things about yourself and start seeing improvements, you could start to talk yourself into believing that your job is over and that it was successful. This is a big mistake.
So I thought that sharing what I’ve done and finding new information to share would keep me on task. And at the same time help others that are looking for ways to improve parts of their life.
Topics I’ll be sharing will range from physical to mental improvement and financial to spiritual. Not only will it be things that I’ve already done but I’ll share progress on new things I start.
Food and fun will also be included because being happy comes from all sorts of places. I’ll also have interviews with others that have decided to make positive changes in their life.
I’ll  be taking questions and topic suggestions form listeners as well so get them ready.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening and I hope we can all make positive changes in out lives together. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres.thectepodcast@gmail.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor.

Do you know where your coffee comes from?

 

No matter where you go visit in the world today, you will find a coffee shop or cafe.  The big commercial shops now popular in the States, the unique coffee houses of the Middle East, and the traditional quaint cafes of Europe and Latin America.  Coffee has become the drink of choice for most people around the world.  But I wonder how many people actually know the hard work and long journey behind those tasting little beans.

 

Like most things in nature, the coffee plant is very unique in where is grows.  As a tropical plant, it only grows in areas around the Earth’s equator between the tropical zones. After about 3-4 years, the now mature coffee tree gives clusters of beautiful, fragrant white flowers that become the coffee berry almost a year later. Inside the little red or sometimes yellow coffee cherry is the 2 bean seed that we use to make coffee. Each little tree will provide the farmer with only about a pound of beans, crazy right.  The two most commonly grown varieties are Arabica and Robusta, and the one you want to drink as a specialty coffee fan is always Arabica.  You know all those labels and descriptions that talk about the altitude the coffee was grown in, well that is because Arabica only grows up high and that is what gives those little beans such unique flavors and sweetness. Robusta beans are usually used for the large commercial store brands and other coffee uses.  Enough about the plant, that was my gardener side coming out.

 

So as you may have already guessed, coffee is actually grown in a ton of places, but most are lower income countries.  Each country and each region within a country gives us very unique flavors.  Most growers are small coffee farmers who together with their families and farming neighbors harvest the cherries over three times as they ripen.  The important thing to learn here is that coffee farming is a slow process that requires tons of hard work but in the end does not pay the farmers much. More on that in the next post.  

 

Once the cherry is ripe, most coffee crops are picked by hand. That is because that awesome tasting coffee we love grows in the hills and mountains and tractors don’t work well up there.  The hard working laborers/farmers who pick the coffee are in really good shape, they pick up to 100-200 pounds of those cherries a day.  They are then paid for the total weight of coffee they picked.  And you would never know that in most countries the laborers are women. Impressed yet!

 

So now you have a bunch of coffee fruit that needs to be processed in one of three methods to get the beans out.  The Dry (Unwashed or Natural Process) method is the traditional way and simply involves drying the cherries in the sun, while turning them during the day for several weeks.   If you like a smooth and heavy-bodied cup of coffee, then look for coffees with this process.  In areas where water is more available, they use the Wet (Fully washed) method that pulps the fruit off the beans and is then fermented in water to remove the remaining pulp.   This type of coffee is for those of you who prefer a less acidic balanced coffee with more of the fruity notes. The newer less common Honey method (Semi-washed/wet or Pulped natural) is basically a mix of the two previous methods, partial wash and then left out to dry.  But the Semi-washed varies from region to region, sometimes it’s fermented a little, sometimes it’s washed a little more. Now the result is more of an earthy, heavy bodied, coffee with mild acidic Each method really just depends of what is available to the farmer and yes each method creates a unique flavor profile in the beans.  

 

At this point, we have green fresh coffee beans that are usually sorted by hand and get to export.  The final product is exported through different means either directly by the farmer, through farming cooperatives, and in most cases by large coffee export-importers.   Then they arrive at the coffee roaster who roasts the beans in large or small batches. Each batch of processed green coffee must be carefully roasted to bring out its unique flavor characteristics.  The fresher the roasted coffee, the best flavor the coffee will give you.  
Now you know everything about where your cup of coffee comes from!  Well almost everything.  So go and explore all those different speciality coffee beans, you will be surprised at the uniqueness grown  and processed in each country and region.

Do you know where your coffee comes from?

No matter where you go visit in the world today, you will find a coffee shop or cafe.  The big commercial shops now popular in the States, the unique coffee houses of the Middle East, and the traditional quaint cafes of Europe and Latin America.  Coffee has become the drink of choice for most people around the world.  But I wonder how many people actually know the hard work and long journey behind those tasting little beans.

 

Like most things in nature, the coffee plant is very unique in where is grows.  As a tropical plant, it only grows in areas around the Earth’s equator between the tropical zones. After about 3-4 years, the now mature coffee tree gives clusters of beautiful, fragrant white flowers that become the coffee berry almost a year later. Inside the little red or sometimes yellow coffee cherry is the 2 bean seed that we use to make coffee. Each little tree will provide the farmer with only about a pound of beans, crazy right.  The two most commonly grown varieties are Arabica and Robusta, and the one you want to drink as a specialty coffee fan is always Arabica.  You know all those labels and descriptions that talk about the altitude the coffee was grown in, well that is because Arabica only grows up high and that is what gives those little beans such unique flavors and sweetness. Robusta beans are usually used for the large commercial store brands and other coffee uses.  Enough about the plant, that was my gardener side coming out.

 

So as you may have already guessed, coffee is actually grown in a ton of places, but most are lower income countries.  Each country and each region within a country gives us very unique flavors.  Most growers are small coffee farmers who together with their families and farming neighbors harvest the cherries over three times as they ripen.  The important thing to learn here is that coffee farming is a slow process that requires tons of hard work but in the end does not pay the farmers much. More on that in the next post.  

 

Once the cherry is ripe, most coffee crops are picked by hand. That is because that awesome tasting coffee we love grows in the hills and mountains and tractors don’t work well up there.  The hard working laborers/farmers who pick the coffee are in really good shape, they pick up to 100-200 pounds of those cherries a day.  They are then paid for the total weight of coffee they picked.  And you would never know that in most countries the laborers are women. Impressed yet!

 

So now you have a bunch of coffee fruit that needs to be processed in one of three methods to get the beans out.  The Dry (Unwashed or Natural Process) method is the traditional way and simply involves drying the cherries in the sun, while turning them during the day for several weeks.   If you like a smooth and heavy-bodied cup of coffee, then look for coffees with this process.  In areas where water is more available, they use the Wet (Fully washed) method that pulps the fruit off the beans and is then fermented in water to remove the remaining pulp.   This type of coffee is for those of you who prefer a less acidic balanced coffee with more of the fruity notes. The newer less common Honey method (Semi-washed/wet or Pulped natural) is basically a mix of the two previous methods, partial wash and then left out to dry.  But the Semi-washed varies from region to region, sometimes it’s fermented a little, sometimes it’s washed a little more. Now the result is more of an earthy, heavy bodied, coffee with mild acidic Each method really just depends of what is available to the farmer and yes each method creates a unique flavor profile in the beans.  

 

At this point, we have green fresh coffee beans that are usually sorted by hand and get to export.  The final product is exported through different means either directly by the farmer, through farming cooperatives, and in most cases by large coffee export-importers.   Then they arrive at the coffee roaster who roasts the beans in large or small batches. Each batch of processed green coffee must be carefully roasted to bring out its unique flavor characteristics.  The fresher the roasted coffee, the best flavor the coffee will give you.  

 

Now you know everything about where your cup of coffee comes from!  Well almost everything.  So go and explore all those different speciality coffee beans, you will be surprised at the uniqueness grown  and processed in each country and region.

 

It Was A Sad Day

Me: Dude…we should have bought more coffee

20170113_070704

Dave: Where is that?

Me: Bean Crazy

Dave: Are they done?

Me: Place is empty

Dave: Well that really sucks

This was the actual exchange that my co-worker and I had Friday via text. It was Friday the 13th after all, things like this happen. I went to get a coffee in the morning and stopped by the coffee shop I wrote about in our first blog post. There were no chairs outside and the “open” sign wasn’t on. I figured that the barista was late (it’s happened before). So I parked my car and walked to the door. When I saw the signs on the door (see above), I felt sick to my stomach.

One can only guess what happened. I looked at their Facebook page and there wasn’t any additional information there. I guess having a big, commercial coffee house right around the corner didn’t help. There is also a bagel shop that serves coffee so that didn’t help either.

The strip mall (or promenade, as the patrons of that strip mall might call it) where the big coffee house and bagel shop were located was much newer and in a better location. They had a fountain and outdoor seating area. If you got tired of coffee and bagels you could get a juice at the juice bar. But all this fluff doesn’t make the coffee taste better. The people that hang out there go there for the atmosphere. They want to be in the “cool place”. Unfortunately the people here wouldn’t know good coffee if Alfred Peet served it to them.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all had coffee from the big guys. What I don’t get is why people don’t look for better coffee after they’ve had the commercial stuff? Granted, the small coffee shop doesn’t have the fancy cups and sugar laden caramel drinks. All they had was good coffee!
This post might sound like I’m bitter. If so, I guess I’ve written it right. I guess my whole point is, if someone offered you the choice of getting a Cadillac you could drive around a busy street or a Rolls Royce you could only drive up and down your street (for the same price as the Cadillac) why would you pick the Cadillac??? So make it a point to shop “small business” that take really take pride in their work because not everyone gets to drive around in a Rolls!

Can We Manage Life and Starting A New Business

There are 24 hours in a day and we might need to use every single one of them. If life wasn’t busy enough for us, we’ve decided to add more responsibilities to it. Starting a new business can consume you. You are the ultimate decision maker. Success and failure are yours alone. If you’re not careful, it won’t leave time for anything else. Our situation isn’t unique. Many people have started a business with more responsibility than we have. Full time job, children, marriage all require lots of time to succeed. The trick is making time for all of them.

 

It was important from the get go that my wife and I agreed that if this was going to succeed we would have to put the business first. Most people would say that family should be first and they would be correct, kind of. Our underlying reason for starting the business is family security and happiness. All the hard work and time we spend on the business is by default for our family. So for us, our business success will be to benefit our family’s future.

 

Our main issues with this are changing our paradigms on security and time. We like that we have “9-5’s” that pay us on a regular schedule and we also like that we can schedule our lives around our “9-5’s”. This is not the mindset you need to start a business. When you start a business, the lines between personal life and business life are blurred if not erased. You have to become your business and to some level let it engulf your life. You are the business, and it depends on you.

 

Since we have 3 small children, we have to limit this time so we can be together as a family. And because we are currently employed, we have to make time for that too. What this means is that with the time left, we have to make it count. We have to use our time that is left over very wisely. We have to burn the candle on both ends.

 

This might be difficult in the beginning. Making sure you make time for everything and using your time wisely is tedious. Delayed gratification is boring. But giving up something now to get something better later is the way successful people operate. Good things are a result of hard work. I’m sure it’s going to be tough in the beginning. I’m positive we’ll want to give up at some point. Knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and keeping our eye on the prize it what’s going to keep us going. We’re not sure what’s going to happen but what we do know is that we’re not going down without a fight.