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LS101 Snackable 07: What is the Big Five Personality Model?

Welcome to a Life Stuff 101 Snackable episode!

If you had listened to the last Snackable episode about extroversion and introversion, you may have heard us briefly mentioning the Big Five Personality model.

And if you were curious about it and looking to find out a little more, you’ll be listening to us getting into a bit more of the details around the Big Five Personality model in this episode.

Since this is a Snackable episode, by no means, is this meant to be a comprehensive discussion about it.

I also want to be sure to mention that I think of these tests as data about ourselves that can give us some feedback which in turn can help us understand ourselves a bit better. 

None of these tests have the complete ability to give you an entire picture of your personality, but they can be informative and if something resonates for you based on the results, it can give you some directions to explore.

If you’re interested in learning more about this personality model, here are some additional resources:
The Big Five Personality (wiki)
Big 5 Personality Traits (Psychology Today)
Take the test: Open-Source Psychometrics Project
Take a paid test (not a affiliate link): Truity

The Importance of (Truly) Listening

On this site, in the Solid Blog and on Wellness Wednesdays on The Spin, we discuss ongoing strategies, ideas and plans for sustaining ongoing foundation for mental health and wellness. 
If you or anyone is struggling or in crisis right now, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. Alternatively, crisis resources can be found here.

September 10th is Suicide Prevention Day. And while these dedicated times are very necessary reminders to have an awareness of suicide prevention and mental health, I believe it is also important to keep the conversation going and to also to attempt to discuss the many complexities of what’s involved in discussing mental health.

Firstly, if you or anyone you know is in crisis and experiencing despair, Crisis Services Canada can provide immediate support for you.

The more that all of us are talking openly about our mental health struggles and difficulties in general, hopefully more people will feel that it’s possible to talk about experiencing deep despair.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports that roughly 50% to 75% of those who attempt suicide, have talked about plans or their desire to end their life. 

As important as it is to encourage people to talk about their struggles, it is also important to know how to support people when they are struggling.  

This is a much more complicated discussion to have because many people have difficulty talking about suicide and mental health difficulties, but it can be helpful to those struggling for someone to engage them openly and directly.

And this is where it becomes difficult, many of us don’t learn or know how to actively listen and support another person with their needs.

Often, when people are looking to get support from a friend or loved one, they can be met with, “Don’t feel like that” or “You should (or shouldn’t) do this.”

In regards to suicide prevention, if someone you care about is experiencing an extreme level of distress, do your best to fully listen and not to judge (eg – “Don’t feel like that” can be heard as a judgement). And find the most appropriate resource for the person’s needs. 


If the level of distress or crisis is at a very urgent and immediate state, please reach out to someone who is specially trained in crisis work who can be accessed through crisis lines, centres and hospitals.

Otherwise, seeking out a helping professional who specializes in working with those who identify as LGBTQ+ and/or who are experiencing clinical depression, substance dependencies, abuse or other specific difficulties, a longer term treatment may be helpful.

But know that there’s someone out there that can provide support and be a good fit for their needs, and that no one has to feel alone.

Active Listening

Whether we are looking to support others more effectively or because we are interested in developing better overall life skills, learning the ability to listen actively can be valuable.

Active listening is the ability to fully concentrate, understand and be able to respond based on the other person’s perspective. 

The hallmarks of active listening are:

  • To listen without judgement IS a big one, and it’s definitely not an easy thing to do
  • Paying full attention
  • Asking relevant questions
  • Being able to repeat back what the person has said from THEIR POV
  • Also being able to connect their emotional experience to what they are expressing in words
  • True curiosity and understanding that your context or way of thinking may not be the same as the person you are talking to 

Active listening is something that can be learned, but takes practice to adapt.

Here are some video resources which speaks to the importance of active listening and how you can further develop your skills:

LS101 06: Behind the Scenes of Healthcare with Healthcare IT Specialist Torrell Pauley

Today, we’re joined by Torrell Pauley who is a Healthcare IT professional who has a podcast called Careers in Healthcare and he also has a channel on YouTube dedicated to some of the technicalities of healthcare IT.

This was a fascinating conversation for me to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the inner workings of healthcare from the IT perspective.

It was also a good reminder to me that even though certain massive systems, like healthcare, can sometimes be frustrating to navigate, there are always individuals who work directly with patients, as well as those many people behind the scenes who are dedicated to improving the patient experience.

Having worked in the field for over 13 years, he talks about some of the major changes he’s witnessed over time.

Torrell also shares his love of learning and how having conversations with others in his field which has inspired him to start his podcast, highlighting the many individuals who work in healthcare.

Be sure to listen to the end of our conversation where he recommends two resources to learn more about entrepreneurship and the big life lesson he wished he had learned in school.

Careers in Healthcare Podcast
Roberto Blake
Pat Flynn
Boyce Watkins

The #SheTheNorth Bianca Effect

On this site, in the Solid Blog and on Wellness Wednesdays on The Spin, we discuss ongoing strategies, ideas and plans for sustaining ongoing foundation for mental health and wellness. 
If you or anyone is struggling or in crisis right now, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. Alternatively, crisis resources can be found here.

I’ve previously discussed how sports is a way of coming together as a community and when we follow an athlete or team, it can give us a sense of belonging and can also have other mental and emotional wellness benefits, too.

And while sometimes, it can be tough to be a fan, there are also times when we can feel uplifted, hopeful and even inspired.

It’ll likely be sometime before we see the really long term effects of what it meant for many of us to have witnessed and felt energized by Bianca Andreescu’s US Open win, a first for a Canadian in a singles tournament. From being ranked 152nd in the world at the beginning of this year to a Grand Slam champion and rising to 5th in the overall rankings.

There are already articles (like this one) about how she is inspiring a younger generation of tennis players who are aspiring to become the next champion.

But how about the rest of us? Most of us are not aspiring to win tournaments in big arenas or be a part of a championship team.

However, each one of us knows in our own ways have a desire to be better in some way. That’s often why we have a tendency to look for the next thing, rather than to be fully satisfied with what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.

Because as much as Bianca’s US Open will be something she will undoubtedly look back on as a HUGE personal and professional accomplishment, this isn’t where she’s going to stop. There are going to be other tournaments, there’s still space for her to move up in the rankings.

We’re all wired this way. And having these momentous examples of seeing and feeling of what’s possible, lets the rest of us know that things in our lives where we could have unconsciously believed were ceilings, are maybe not as limited as we had previously believed.

It’s my belief that these are the moments that make sense to all of us, because as human beings, each of us in our own way, want to thrive, not just survive.

If this wasn’t a truth about who we are as humans, we would not have accomplished and progressed in the ways we have throughout human history and it’s ultimately what sets us apart from other living creatures.

Other examples in sports history of breaking limited beliefs or expanding our beliefs about what’s possible:

  1. The Raptors winning the championship this year!
  2. Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile.
  3. Mohammed Ali vs Sonny Liston – who then claimed “GOAT”
  4. The Battle of the Sexes – a tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in 1973

But how about other times in history where many of us were inspired by the idea of possibilities:

  1. Space travel – push toward advancement
  2. Science fiction… There were young fans of the original show who were inspired to become scientists and I believe those responsible for innovating cellular and mobile phones were influenced by Star Trek. There’s an article on NASA’s website addressing Star Trek’s influences on space science!

These historical moments bring us together as a community or as a nation, but we can also take intentional inspiration from knowing that it’s possible to accomplish personal and professional goals outside of our comfort zones and limiting beliefs.

And while we mainly focused today on this idea of accomplishing big goals, it can also have smaller ripple effect impacts on our lives, which ultimately lead to these bigger changes, too.

LS101 004: Clarifying Art Therapy and Going ‘Full Circle’ with Pearl Lee

Pearl Lee is an art therapist and co-founder of the Full Circle Art Therapy Centre located in Toronto, Canada.

Pearl provides a thorough description of art therapy and hopefully this episode will provide some valuable knowledge and insights about this form of therapy for you, too.

In this episode Pearl shares how art therapy can be beneficial to find alternate forms of expression for someone who may have perfectionistic tendencies, those looking to work through mental and emotional difficulties not just with words along, and even for those who have difficulties with engaging in communication through visual art.

Pearl guides us through explaining the process of what an art therapy session would be like: It’s not about focusing on the end product (which i believe to be a universal truth), the importance of familiarizing and finding an acceptance of ourselves with the unknown or fears, how through art therapy it is possible to create the separation between ourselves and whatever challenge it is that we may internally be experiencing.

Pearl also talks about misconceptions and stereotypes connected to art therapy such as the use of #arttherapy on social media and the popularity of colouring books for stress relief.

As co-founder of Full Circle Art Centre, Pearl also discusses the Centre’s mission to provide accessible therapy and programs she is developing to support “preemptive mental health care”.

Right off the top, Pearl also shares a weekly practice that is part of her self-care routine and be sure to listen to the end of our chat where she recommends her go-to resources and the one thing she had wished she learned earlier in life.

You can learn more about Pearl and Full Circle Art Therapy Centre here.

More detailed show notes for this episode can be found here: LS101 Episode Featuring: Pearl Lee.

LS101 001: Smashing Comfort Zones & Quiet Rebels Mindset with Mai-kee Tsang

Mai-kee Tsang is an entrepreneur.  She is a Launch Strategist, Copywriter & Coach. She works one-on-one with purpose-driven entrepreneurs and is also a podcast host of the Quiet Rebels podcast.

I am in awe of the work she has, not already accomplished, but her drive to keep evolving and growing.

Mai-kee is also a recovering self-described people-pleaser and she shares with us her insights about how people pleasing has impacted her in deeply significant ways.

There is SO much in this conversation… Mai-kee shares her experiences around growing up British-born Chinese and how so many facets of that and the expectations that had greatly influenced her. She also talks about how she learned to listen to her intuition and shares with us a  valuable exercise to get in touch with our own intuitions when trying to make decisions.

For me, though, the biggest ‘a ha’ in the discussion comes toward the end of our conversation where we talk about what it means for each of us to be “out there” in the online space with the culturally specific names we have. (The next LS101 episode will be my deep dive into my takeaways from this.)

You can find out more about Mai-kee at her website: Mai-kee Tsang
Quiet Rebels Podcast

LS101 Zero: What Inspired Life Stuff 101? The Big Life Changing ‘Aha’ Moment

From working the corporate 9 to 5… to a lack of personal fulfillment… to stepping outside the comfort zone… to a commitment to meaningful, and mind- and heart-expanding work.

It’s not just about work, but your host, Mio, has come a long way from feeling somewhat directionless and restless in life to becoming clear about her personal mission to spread the message for each and every one of us to make mental wellness, personal development and self awareness a top priority.

In this episode, learn what happened when she impulsively decided to step out of her comfort zone to push herself physically, mentally and emotionally.

Spoiler alert: It all leads directly to you listening to this podcast!

By sharing these types of personal stories, the hope is that it will inspire you to know that there’s a lot of life stuff that’s available to learn, to move you toward deeper fulfillment and better personal wellness overall.

If you haven’t already, learn more about what Life Stuff 101 is all about in the LS101 Intro Episode.

LS101 Intro: What is Life Stuff 101? Your Host, Mio Yokoi, Explains.

So what’s up with Life Stuff 101?

Your host, Supporter of Growth and psychotherapist, Mio Yokoi will explain.

Whether you’re someone dedicated to your overall health including your mental wellness or someone curious about how other people, just like you, experience and think about personal development, introducing you to Life Stuff 101 bringing you mind and self expanding goodness every week.

Mio will also talk about what’s inspired her to start this journey and the Big Audacious Mission (BAM — just came up with that, so you won’t hear it that way in the episode!) that she got clear on now that this podcast is finally up and running.

Hope we make a good first impression and don’t forget to subscribe so you’re up-to-date on future episodes!

Life Stuff 101 Podcast is Live!

Welcome to the Life Stuff 101 podcast.

It’s the podcast devoted to sharing stories and insights to inspire you to always make your mental and emotional wellness a top priority.

Hosted by me: Supporter of Growth and psychotherapist, Mio Yokoi.

I will be featuring mind expanding conversations, as well as personal and professional tips and experiences.

Because we all have those moments when we think, “I wish I had known that earlier in life,” that’s what Life Stuff 101 is all about.

Let’s join together to dedicate on-going care of our mental wellness, personal development and self-awareness in the same way we consider and take care of our physical health.

Listen right now by clicking here.

And be sure to become a member of the Miracle Mob below to get special offers and be the first to be notified!

Necessity of Emotional Intelligence

On this site, in the Solid Blog and on Wellness Wednesdays on The Spin, we discuss ongoing strategies, ideas and plans for sustaining ongoing foundation for mental health and wellness. 
If you or anyone is struggling or in crisis right now, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. Alternatively, crisis resources can be found here.

One of the reasons why I started my podcast, Life Stuff 101, is because I’ve often wondered, amongst other more practical and valuable knowledge: Why isn’t emotional intelligence taught in school?

When it comes to all forms of intelligence (whether it’s rational, physical, creative or emotional), it is my belief that many people believe that we either have it or we don’t.

While it’s true that we are all born with varying degrees of different areas of intelligence, ultimately to operate on a higher level in any area, it requires training and practice.

We take for granted that in order to compete at the higher level in sports or other kinds of competition, there is a need for training and it can be that much more helpful to get direct feedback through coaching.

Yet, specifically when it comes to emotional intelligence, there’s no clear narrative about what could be helpful for us to all consider.

What is Emotional Intelligence? Emotional intelligence is having the ability to understand and monitor your own emotional state, and also being able to understand the emotional states of others, too.

In other words, are you able to understand and name your emotions, and to effectively use what you learn from your emotions to help guide behaviours and decisions?

And just because someone can be considered to be very smart intellectually, it certainly doesn’t mean that they have a correspondingly high emotional intelligence.

In fact, there have been studies that show that those with average IQs have higher emotional intelligence than those with the highest IQs 70% of the time.

Having high emotional intelligence also has connections to success: It turns out that 90% of “top performers” have high emotional intelligence. While 80% of lower performers have been measured to have lower EQ.

Daniel Goleman has literally written the book on Emotional Intelligence and his model identifies five components of emotional intelligence.


Self awareness is having the ability to understand and recognize our moods, feelings and motivations. It also having the ability to understand how we may be impacting others in relation to ourselves.

Goleman refers to being more emotionally intelligent as being more “emotionally mature”.

Emotionally maturity when it comes to self-awareness can look be: self-confidence, the ability to accept and even make light of mistakes, and understanding how we relate or are being perceived by others.


Self regulation is having the ability to identify emotions and being able to respond or act deliberately.

Traits that would demonstrate this is the ability to not act impulsively, the ability to not immediately respond before acting or speaking, and be able to take responsibility for your own actions.


Motivation is developing the resilience to navigate obstacles and following through, through learning and challenging yourself.

Many of us are highly focused on navigating around a problem, as opposed to building emotional strength and resilience through learning how to problem solve and being able to persevere during challenging times.

Working through challenges makes us stronger. Challenging ourselves physically, makes us stronger. Lack of sustained physical challenge means that we deteriorate or atrophy.


Empathy is the ability to acknowledge and have a sense of the emotions and actions of others through their own subjectivity.

I think that many people assume they are empathizing with other people, when often it’s a projection of what they would be feeling onto someone else’s experience.

Empathic people have the ability to be fully present with others, have the ability to engage in active listening, and have a developed sense of nonverbal communication.

Social skills

Social skills, in relation to emotional intelligence, is having the ability to work with others effectively by having skills in persuasion, communication, conflict management and the ability to build meaningful relationships.

An individual with developed social skills have the ability to communicate and resolve conflicts with others effectively, have the ability to lead well, and the ability to build and maintain good relationships.

Based on the five components of emotional intelligence, if there are areas you can specifically identify as ones to work on, you can start by focusing on improving those areas.

But the following are three skills to help with developing better emotional intelligence, which I know personally have been incredibly helpful for me:

Learn to identify and be able to name emotions

Many of us can identify the strength of what we’re feeling, but often have difficulty connecting what we’re feeling to words.

I often say that learning the language of emotions is like learning a completely different dialect.

Using something like the Emotion Wheel (developed by psychologist, Robert Plutchik) to start identifying and putting words to your feelings can be a helpful tool.

Rethink the idea of “bad” emotions

While there are definitely emotions that feel bad, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the emotions themselves are bad.

Often, when people feel badly a lot, they can start believing that feeling badly means that there’s something bad about them or who they are.

But feeling badly is more often connected to something that our internal system has identified as something to address.

Which brings us to this point…

Think about emotions as “information” or “data”

Everything about how we’re designed to operate is based on helping us to survive.

If we take that as the basis of why emotions exist, rather than to judge ourselves based on how we’re feeling, it could be much more valuable to be curious about what the “data” is trying to tell us.

If we’re feeling badly about something, rather than to automatically assume that it says something about who we are, what if we were to wonder why we may be feeling what we’re feeling?

It can be a very different experience and ultimately outcome, to be an investigator about your feelings, rather than being critical of them.