Episode 148: Howie Zuo on Emotional Intelligence, breaking through cultural and societal expectations

The Davidson Hang Podcast

25-01-2022 • 40 mins

Taking from his website.

My story is a lot like many of your stories; I am a child of immigrant parents who moved from China to the United States with dreams of a better future for themselves and their children. My childhood had an emphasis on studying hard, getting into a good university, a good job, and so on.

Between choosing between a doctor, accountant, lawyer, or engineer, I ended up studying Chemical Engineering at Georgia Tech (Go Yellowjackets!). It wasn’t something I was passionate about but it was supposed to guarantee success. I assumed my parents knew what was best for me and I was following all of the steps they said I needed to become financially secure and happy.

I knew the gig was up when I graduated from college. There was no sudden epiphany when I received my diploma. In fact, things got harder. Graduating into the Great Recession, employers weren’t interested in a new graduate with little experience. My then-girlfriend left me, with a hole in my heart and self-esteem damaged. Where was this so-called happiness I was promised?

I moved to California from New Jersey to start fresh. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it, to build myself up and the life I wanted. Although things got better (a good job making decent money, a nice place to live, and a loving partner), I still felt like something was missing…

The conclusion that I came to was that I was living my life by every other terms except mine. Certainly, I was comfortable but not fulfilled. I wanted to be in the driver’s seat of my life. I kept depending on external factors to make me happy, but realized I can only be happy if I internalize being happy.

Seeing friends and others in the community struggle with the same issues, I decided to start Thriving Turtle. As a Life Coach and Emotional Intelligence Trainer, I want to be the resource that I wish I had when I was younger. To be clear, I don’t resent the fact that I learned so late, but I can see how much better me and my community can be if we learned sooner rather than later.

Thank you for reading my story. I would love to connect with others who want to support others in their personal happiness and emotional intelligence journey and open to collabs / networking / etc.

Owner of Thriving Turtle (www.thrivingturtle.com).
Providing emotional intelligence guidance to those who want to go from doing "ok" to doing "awesome"

We discussed context around what it means to be Asian American to break through societal expectations. We celebrate our growth and how much joy emotional intelligence work has brought to our lives.

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