page title icon The Morning Upgrade Podcast Featuring Carolina de Arriba

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Welcome to episode #112 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Carolina de Arriba, VP of Talent Management and Development at Schneider Electric, and host of the Leading Yourself podcast.

Top Talking Points

  • You have to help yourself each morning before you can help anyone else.
  • Making a habit out of self-reflection.
  • How to overcome challenges you’ve never faced before.

Resources & Links

Connect With Carolina at LeadingYourselfPodcast.com or on Instagram.

Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast Today

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with Carolina, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and please leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Announcer 

Hey, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote, where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan

Hey, Carolina. Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Carolina 

Hi, Ryan. I’m fantastic. Thank you so much for having me today in your podcast.

Ryan 

I’m excited to talk with you. And you’re very big into personal growth and development. You lead virtual events for that. You have your own podcast for leading yourself. So yeah, this is gonna be a fun conversation. So let’s kick it off with you telling everyone knew who you are and what you do for a living, and then give us a big win happening in your life right now.

Carolina 

Yeah. So, again, thank you for having me. I think we have so many things in common. We both love morning routines. I am definitely a morning person. I work for a global company as vice president of talent management and talent development. I’ve been in HR men my entire career. And I’m passionate about, I consider myself a lot lifelong learner and passionate about personal growth, and I absolutely love my morning routine. And as a hobby, I host a podcast called The leading yourself a podcast. And as you said, I also host events; it has become my own little tradition on how I celebrate my birthday. And I think talking about wins is a huge win for me. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, I’m originally from Spain, and my family was supposed to come to celebrate a milestone birthday that I had last year. And it wasn’t possible because of all the travel restrictions. So I wanted to find a way how I would celebrate my birthday that would be meaningful. And something that I will always remember. And I decided to throw out a two-day virtual conference on personal growth, which I had never done before. And I had no idea how to do it. But I’m the kind of person that puts an idea out, and then I just figure it out. And I did, and now it has become a tradition. I’m already working on the next one for this year.

Ryan  

That’s excellent. Yeah, I want to talk to you a bit about that. I’m just curious as to like the type of content you put out and how it works, maybe some like your key takeaways from the event itself. And then from actually putting on the event. But you mentioned your morning routine had been a big part of your life. What is your routine look like?

Carolina 

I like to wake up every morning a couple of hours before my kids do. Because once they wake up, your morning routine is over. And I have to say I started with 15 minutes. And now my morning routine takes me two hours. But I build seven components that I’m very intentional about. So one is gratitude. I start every morning with a gratitude practice. Then I drink a big glass of water. And then I work out I like to move my body. And then, I like to find ways to get inspired, and that can look in different ways. I like to pick a random quote every day and reflect on what that code is telling me that day and try to do something with that quote that day. So inspires me to take action sometimes is visualizing my goals and sometimes is journaling. But something that inspires me, I like to start my day inspired. And then I like to get focused. This is where I really focus on my goals and try to identify, like, what are my non-negotiables for the day and kind of plan my day. I look through my calendar, and I make sure everything makes sense. And I’m ready to really tackle the day in a way that I can give my best. And then, you know, I take a shower, I get ready, I get the kids ready to go to school, and then I enjoy a healthy breakfast. And that’s kind of how my morning routine looks like every day.

Ryan 

I love that you started with 15 minutes, you know, kind of building the habit in a very bite-sized chunk that’s manageable, and then built build up from their minds about 30 minutes, but I’ve had longer routines in the past like hour and a half I just settled in the 30 minutes that works best for me. That’s like, you know, the key takeaway from morning routines is to find what works best for you, and obviously, you could then build it up right because you were filling your cup up with other strategies. What made you start the routine?

Carolina 

Yeah, well, I live I read the book morning miracles; I think you have to, and a lot of people that I talked to that are making morning routines have been inspired by that book, but I am a morning person and always have been and what I started to notice is that my days started really crazy. I was always running, always very Karthik when I started my days, in that chaotic way, then the whole day was chaotic. And I’m like, I need to change this. So I was inspired by the book, and then I ordered my own morning routine, starting with 15 minutes and just spending 15 minutes on it; taking the time for myself made a huge difference. And then, I started to research more about morning routines and really got curious about what other people were doing. And I started to incorporate more and more elements into it until it became what it is. And if one day I don’t do my morning routine, I feel like out of whack, and the day doesn’t go as smoothly as when I do have my morning routine. I think that you can’t feel other people’s cups unless you feel yours first. And I take that by heart. And for me, that looks like my morning routine.

Ryan

Well, what’s your favorite part of your routine? Over the two hours?

Carolina 

I don’t know. I would say gratitude is a big piece that I love. Because it hits so many things, right? It inspires me. It makes me feel more grounded and more present. And it gets me in that mindset of looking for blessings throughout the day. But I also love to move my body and break a sweat in the mornings. That gives me so much energy. So it’s hard to say just one piece. I think it’s the combination of it all that makes it unique. And as you said, every person, we’re all different, right? So what works for me might not work for you or for someone else. I think it’s finding what works for you. And for me, that’s those are the themes that are meaningful. And I enjoy it, and it helps me stay grounded throughout the day.

Ryan  

You’re right that gratitude is big, like that book I was telling you about before we started recording Peace is Every Step. It’s what I’m reading right now as part of my morning routine Peace is Every Step. And it’s about gratitude and being mindful and just recognizing the simple things around you that you know you should be grateful for. It’s a great book. And it’s really tied to gratitude practice and mindfulness.

Carolina

I already added it to my list.

Ryan

I like it because it’s got it’s like little short little snippets of chapters. And so you can easily sneak in a couple in partier as part of your routine. And so that’s what I like to do. So let’s talk about habits besides your morning routine. Are there any habits that you rely on? It can be professional too. This is also a business podcast. So habits, what do you do?

Carolina

Yeah, so I think once our universal one is self-reflection, I build time for self-reflection. For me, it looks different every day. But for sure. Before going to bed, I like to have some self-reflection on what went well. What can I learn from today? Just asking myself a few questions. I think the most powerful thing that you can do to grow is to ask yourself questions. So I do a lot of self-reflection. And I have it as a, let’s say, nice habit if you will. The other thing is one habit that helps me a lot is on Sundays, I plan my week. And I spend time just being intentional about how I plan my week. Because I like to build every day in during the week. You know, things that feel me, that energize me, and I think having that balance is always so important. Of course exercise I talk about is reading learning in general, right? I spent, on average, 60 minutes a day on personal growth. And it didn’t start with 60 minutes, right? It started with listening to an audiobook on my commute to work. And now I’m actually looking forward to that time every day. And that can look different every day. Right? Sometimes it’s reading a book, sometimes listening to a podcast, sometimes having a conversation and learning from someone like you and I are right now sometimes it is journaling. Sometimes it’s taking training, but investing time in personal growth every day. It’s also a great habit that I personally love, and it’s been a game changer.

Ryan

Why do you think that is like why do you think you’re so into personal growth? Why do you think you gravitate toward it?

Carolina

I don’t know. I think it’s just part of who I am. I’ve always been very curious as a kid. I was very curious. I was a nerd at school. So I think it that’s part of, you know, it’s always been there. But I think it’d be has become for me an addiction, a good one in the good sense of the word, right? Like, the more time I spend on personal growth and more I want to spend more time on my personal growth because it brings a sense of fulfillment of self-awareness. You can see the progress, and I think a lot of times we focus so much on whatever our end goal is that we forget to enjoy the journey I think for me, Paul’s personal growth is That journey, right every day of, of rediscovering yourself and learning new things. And it’s, it brings that sadly fell satisfaction if you will have a sense of progress and a sense of having aha moments along the way. And the more you learn, the more you know that you still have so much more to learn. So it becomes kind of addictive.

Ryan 

It does. Yeah, I can I can relate to that. And you’re right is the journey. Like, if you think about personal growth, like really, with any goal, this is based on my personal experience, but if I hit a goal, it feels good. But then it’s like, okay, well, what’s next? So it’s really about appreciating the journey. That’s what I like about my personal growth because it’s, we’re all imperfect. So there are always ways to improve ourselves. And there’s, like, really no set endpoint, I suppose. Right? It’s called kind of, you know, get better. That’s kind of vague. It’s kind of vague. And so, but I like it because it means that journey never really ends, though you still see yourself growing, and it becomes addictive, it’s really, really forced you to appreciate the journey along the way. Absolutely. I want to talk to you about how your see. So you’re in corporate America, then you do the podcast, and then you do the virtual events on the side as like a passion project, putting on a virtual event, like, Are there any challenges that you had to deal with when you were putting it down? And as you get through them?

Carolina 

I think the main challenge was that I had no idea how to put together an event like that, right? I didn’t know technology-wise, I didn’t know how to get people to invite people to get the word out, like I knew nothing, right? But I had this dream. So I am the kind of person that I love. When I have one of these big ideas, I just share it with the world, right? And then I figure out how to actually deliver on that. But that helps me like increase, you know, to really increase my sense of accountability when I say I’m going to do something because I’m the kind of person that if I make a promise, I will do anything and everything to keep that promise, especially if it’s with someone else. So I put it out in the world as I’m going to do this. And then I tried to figure it out. So for me, it was a journey of figuring out right and trying to reach out to people that I knew to ask for advice, doing research, and different tools. And one challenge was to get out of overthinking things, I started to get into research, and you can get lost in research. Oh, yeah, yeah. And I think here’s where personal development is really helpful, right? Because you learn through personal development that change only happens through action. So that really helped me to get out of this, just researching, researching, and researching to actually taking steps and breaking it down into little small steps. So it wasn’t overwhelming. So I started by reaching out to a lot of people, some that I knew, and some were strangers on the internet, right that I knew, but they didn’t meet like people that I admire that were both authors or podcasters. And I was very lucky when I explained the idea and the project; they were on board. So I was very lucky to get amazing speakers at the conference. And then I figured out the technology. And I learned a lot about different platforms, I learned a lot about designing media marketing ads, and all of that to promote their event. So it was quite a learning experience. But I think the main challenge was throwing myself into the water without knowing how to swim and then figuring out how to swim. But I knew that I’ve done that before in other situations, right? Not necessarily virtual events. And I’m like, you know, every time that I set myself to do something, I figure it out. So this is not going to be the exception. And it wasn’t it was an amazing event.

Ryan 

Yeah, and these virtual events, not that I put one on, but I know what goes into it. And that’s no joke. And there are a lot of moving parts. And I know you had a few 100, and the first one that’s a lot of people, so good for you for sticking with it. And you’re learning a lot throughout the journey.

Carolina 

You know, it was definitely a learning experience.

Ryan  

So what’s your goal for this year? How many people?

Carolina 

Well, my goal is to have at least 300 people join the event this year, and now this year, my challenge is to really adopt a beginner’s mindset. You know, the first time that you do something because you don’t know what you don’t know. You’re so into it, right? And the way that you pay attention to things and the way that you go after them. There’s something about having a beginner’s mindset. And this year, my challenge is to really embrace that and not tell myself. Yeah, you’re doing it again. You know how to do it, and like leave Everything for the last minute, you know. So I think that’s going to be my biggest challenge this year. I’m right now working on securing the speakers I have a couple already secure. So I’m really excited about it, and it’s going to be a great way to celebrate my birthday this year.

Ryan  

Excellent. Well, I want you to share that link. But first, I’ve got one last question for you. Karolina, I want to look at the meaning of life through your lens in 30 seconds or less; in your opinion, what is the meaning of life?

Carolina 

Now, this is gonna sound cheesy, but I think the meaning in life is to find meaning in life. So I think we all are going to find a different meaning in life. But whatever is significant to you. I think that’s what the meaning of life is right to find. I want to use the word purpose because sometimes there’s not even a purpose, but it’s finding fulfillment, finding something that makes you feel full and whole. And I believe that the only way to do that is by being of service to others. So how can you find something that fulfills you? Does that involve pouring into other people’s cups? For me, that is the meaning of life, right? Enjoying life at its fullest, leaving without regrets, and finding and creating your own meaning in life.

Ryan 

I love that answer. It’s like a little brain twister. The meaning of life is to find the meaning of life. I like that a lot. Well, this is a great Karolina. If people want to reach out to you and learn more about your podcasts and your and your virtual event. Where should we send them?

Carolina 

Yeah, so my podcast is called leading yourself is focused on personal growth and career development you can find it on any podcast platform. You can connect with me on Instagram and Facebook, and you will find me leading your podcast, and they’re in LinkedIn you’ll find LinkedIn IMS, Carolina de Arriba, and on any other platforms, you will find a link that will take you to the web page that you can find more information about the event. I will share with you, Ryan the link so if you want to put it on the show notes or you want to share it with your listeners, they are more than welcome to join the event. The event is going to be completely free. So I’m looking forward to connecting.

Ryan

Yeah, I will definitely link that up in the show notes. Absolutely. Well, thanks, Carolina. This was great. Thanks for everything you shared.

Carolina

Thank you, Ryan, for having me.

Announcer  

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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