Well, hello, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of The YouSchool podcast. And we have a very, very special guest today. I searched far and wide to find who I thought would be the most appropriate person to share insight into this very important topic. And my first choice, couldn't do it. So I got my second choice. Who was my favorite kid? Favorite boy in the world. It's my own son. Cale Schimmel, would you say hi to everybody.
Hello, everyone. I'm Cale. And you're here. Oh, thanks for having me, dad.
You're welcome. And this is not a punishment, you we're not being paid for this very much. And this will be painless, I promise. But the whole idea behind these episodes, these interviews, they're so you knew kale is I want to, I want to show people what it looks like to have these thoughtful conversations with people. And you're the first time on this podcast, we've done this in other venues. And you've been on this before, where we bring in teenagers, real live teenagers, and have a conversation with them. And one of the things I recognize, as we start out on this is I know that it's hard to talk to your parents, especially when you're a teenager. And in fact, that's actually a really healthy thing to pull away from your parents, and put way more emphasis on what your friends think. And maybe what some mentors think. So the idea that we're having this conversation, I just recognize that it can be a little uncomfortable or awkward. But we're going to do our best. And I'm going to talk to you just share some ideas and get your reactions, real life teenager, who is maybe you could tell us a little bit about you like age, where your school what you're, you're in, like, that's that sort of thing.
Okay, so like I said, I'm Cale, I'm 15 years old. I'm a freshman at range metal High School. And I like to just surf, do my homework and hang out with friends.
You're like, as normal of a kid, as I can imagine. And I've told you this a few times lately, there are these bigger trends that are happening in the world, particularly since the majority of teenagers had smartphones start in 2012, where there's a big decline in teenagers, kids just like you, fewer kids hang out together. In just social situations, fewer kids leave their room, fewer kids go on dates, fewer kids have jobs. And you are really remarkable compared to let's say the trends. Because you have a job, you have relationship, you have friends, you outside, I mean, you're just as normal as it gets. And not just normal, you're really exceptional. So that's the start of this interview. Because we're going to we're going to switch gears and actually talk about weaknesses. And I want to try to set the stage because one of the things that's important to happen when you're a teenager is figuring out who you are and who you're not. And a part of who you're not, would be to confront and be honest with your weaknesses or your limits, or in many ways to avoid going down a path in life where you're trying to be someone that you're not. I think you and I both agree that's not a good plan. And yet, many, many, many people do that. So there's a really good definition, I'm going to read it to you to contrast what a strength is, and what are weaknesses. And that might help us to have this conversation. So this comes from Marcus Buckingham, who created that thing called Strengths Finder, which is like kinda like a personality test. He said that Marcus Buckingham said this, a better definition of a strength is an activity that makes you feel strong. And so just right there. A strength, he says is an activity that makes you feel strong. It's not necessarily something that you're really good at, although it can be and often is. And on the flip side, a weakness is an activity that makes you feel weak. And this is the key part. And this is I'm gonna ask you a question. Even if you're good at it, if it drains you, that's a weakness. And you're a kid that becomes really good at things. So I'm curious, does anything come to mind in your life, whether it's in school, or with friends or even at work, or with or you know, you'd like to build things and fix things? Is there anything that you would say you're good at, but it's actually something that drains you? You don't enjoy doing?
Yeah, of course, I would say the number one thing right off my head would be competitive sports. I think I'm really athletic compared to most kids. And after almost my whole life up until now playing competitive sports, it was just really tiring. And I would, it just wouldn't bring me happiness. Yeah, compared to other things, like outside school and like surfing, for example, that I don't do that competitively as of now. And I find that really fun because I can just progress at my own pace. But after like baseball, that was just, I was pretty good. But it was just so hard to keep up. And it's just training.
Yep. What about school? Is there anything that you're you feel like you're pretty good at, but it's just, it's not your favorite.
I would say, I'm pretty I feel like I'm a smart, I'm a smarter kid. And I understand what I'm learning. It's just the work feels draining a lot in, I tend to slack off and not do my best. And my results don't show for what I can do to my full potential.
Yeah. And that certainly points towards probably things like having goals, or having a bigger picture for your life is going and that sort of thing will come or hopefully in your life, we'll see. But you mentioned surfing. And I find that interesting, because you had been playing baseball for several years, and you're good at it. And you were on a competitive team on a path to play in high school. And you know, and you decided to stop and start something that you weren't good at. And that's the key. That's that's that's partly what I'm trying to understand here. Because a lot of people when they're not good at something, they avoid it. And you aren't you whether it was mountain biking, or surfing most recently. I'd love to hear kind of what goes through your thought process when you're starting out. And it can be embarrassing or uncomfortable or awkward or, like in many ways, no one really likes to be the new kid at something. So why did you pick surfing? And how did you get through that challenging part where you just felt like a total Kook?
So I started surfing couple years ago. And it wasn't until these past two years that I really got into it. And I always wanted to be, I would see a video of some pro surfer. And I was like, that sounds so awesome. I want to be like that. And I would just picture myself being that. Yeah, I would perform at such a low level. And overtime, I just keep doing it keep doing keep practicing. I was getting better and better. And I loved it. That's what that's what kept me going. I wanted to be like that guy I saw. I wanted to do that. And I loved it. And that's why I did it.
That's it. I think it's interesting. I, for me, my passion in terms of sports and hobbies is golf, as you know. And I'm not great by any means. And there's so many people that are better at it than me. But the key part of that definition, like I read earlier, it makes me feel strong. I like getting better at something. And so part of where we're gonna go in this conversation is how do you figure out what to do when you confront a limitation or a weakness? Because one, one solution or one response would be to quit or avoid it? If you're not good at something, don't do it. But what do you do when either it makes you come alive and bring some spark or life inside you or it's important. And I think that's where school becomes really interesting. Because most students who are teenagers wouldn't probably choose to go to school. Because they they find the process of learning so invigorating. It's mostly because you have to, but there's something underneath that. So before we get there, I want to ask you a couple other maybe categories of things about yourself that you've noticed. And one would be in relationships or friendships with people. Have you noticed in yourself something? Maybe that's an area that you're not so strong in? But either Maybe you feel like you want to be or should
be? Um, I would say, lately, I've been trying to put more effort into my relationships. For example, I would, I used to just sit back and wait till my friends had asked to you know, hang out or I'd let them make the plans but I've been starting to do more of that. And I would I would be the one who hit them up and asked to hang out. Feed them questions, stuff like that. Just put more effort into my friendships relationships.
Awesome. Yeah, I remember in early college, I had become pretty good at that. And I was usually the one taking initiative. And almost always the person that was saying, hey, what if we did this. But the next layer, the next level for me, was oftentimes would be hanging out. And I was way more comfortable asking questions than I was answering questions. And people would ask me just, you know, as friends do, how are you doing what's going on? And I wouldn't have much to say. And I would flip the questions around pretty quickly. So I'm ever in college, something I really wanted to work on in terms of a weakness was sharing more. And because I valued friendship, I really wanted to connect with people. It just became something that was so important to me that I pushed through it, and it was awkward. And it was uncomfortable. And I felt like people would look at me when I was trying to describe what was going on in my life with confusion, or I wouldn't make too much sense. And then typically, I'd feel like an idiot, and then stop talking. But I kept pushing through, and I had good friends that were patient. So it's, it's I think it's interesting to think about those things that we value things that we want, and how to grow. You seem to be and maybe tell me if I'm wrong, you seem to be okay with being uncomfortable or growing. Like you don't seem to mind trying to get better at something compared to other people who would quit or give up? Where does that come from? Do you think?
Um, I'm not quite sure. I've always been totally okay with, you know, walking in the hallways alone or talking to someone that I really know. And trying to grow a relationship with them. And I think that just comes naturally to me being uncomfortable. Because I haven't I didn't do anything, anything as a child that was like, out of ordinary. Yeah. But I just I think that's just the way that I am. I like to just take risks, and not just like physical risks, but just take opportunities and step out of my comfort zone.
Awesome. Well, I'm going to ask you, because I know in school, you will have conversations or get talked to a lot about mental health. And I'm just curious your perspective as, as a student, as a kid, as a peer. We're talking about weaknesses, we're talking about things that drain you. And I guess, from your perspective, when when do you become concerned? Or when do you maybe get concerned for a friend where it's not just about a weakness, or something that's a challenge in your life? It's actually a bigger deal. I don't know how to really ask that question. But I'm just curious if that's a part of your how you think or what you're on the lookout for the things you're talking about at school.
What kind of, like, gets my attention is when I see kids that, you know, they'll say, Oh, I was up till 1am doing homework last night. Now. That's why I finished it three o'clock. And they'd be like, while I was playing video games and watching tick tock all night, or each other kids just get so flustered, up and turning red when talking to adults. I think that most kids these days, don't want to step out of their comfort zone. They don't want to get out of bed and do their homework, they don't want to leave their phone. And that just kind of hinders their ability to be more confident when talking to other people and getting their jobs done.
Yeah, that's I think that's cool. You notice that? And I would imagine I had a friend like you, I've told you about him. My friend Nic. And his maturity, his willingness to take risks definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone. So that's, that's cool that you probably offer that to your friends. Last question, I guess what's something? There's a quote, I think it was Michael Jordan quote, although it sounds more like Kobe these days, but Michael Jordan said when I would, this is my paraphrase. When I would discover a weakness, I would then turn it into a strength. So I'm curious if there's anything besides surfing? Is there anything that you're trying to grow in right now that you want to get better at?
I really try to be more productive. I'm trying to get my homework done. As soon as I get it, get my classwork done. Stop slacking off. And if that turns into my strength, that'd be awesome because I can be a hard worker, fast worker compared to being lazy and slow. Yeah.
Awesome. And don't forget driving. You're getting better at that every day.
Yeah, of course.
I like it. Yeah.
Well, thanks. Thanks for being on the show, kill it as you're listening in. Obviously, these are the kinds of conversations that are so important to have. And particularly, I don't know, if you would say that kill, maybe we'll get off this and you're gonna regret doing this or get mad at me. But as you're listening in, if there are teenagers in your life, whether they're your kids or your friends of your kids or your teacher, these sorts of questions, and hopefully you notice in the back and forth, sometimes it's helpful to actually, as the adult, share a little bit first share a little bit to model, what it looks like to go there and be deeper and authentic and real and vulnerable. And sometimes we just need to give kids space to think and process and I'm sure if I had given kale, some warning, and told him what these questions were going to be, and give him the opportunity to maybe even write his thoughts down, that he would have come up with something else or thought of a different perspective, or maybe gone a layer deeper. So that's all that's how this whole thing works. So anyways, Cale, thank you for being on the show. Thanks for being my son. I am exceptionally proud of who you are. I like you, and you're turning into not just a good friend of mine, but a fine man. So thank you and we will be back next week with another episode of The YouSchool podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai