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To know what that true self is without social pressure is to know your true nature.

Martha Beck

Wellness Tip:

Align Your Essential Self and Your Social Self

In Martha Beck’s bestselling Finding Your Own North Star, she says we have two selves: our essential self (the personality we’ve had since birth) and our social self (the part of us that developed in response to the people around us).

The social self helps us fit in with society and do what’s “right”. But if we give it too much weight, we end up ignoring what’s essential – and we pursue goals that don’t truly fulfil us.

Says Rowena Tsai (routine below), “Take some time to differentiate who your essential self is and who your social self is and which one influences you more in your daily life.” E.g. Are you doing something just because social media says it’s cool? Or does it really benefit you?

Aligning our two selves helps us balance society’s demands with what brings us meaning. Read more here to go deeper, and start looking for your essential self.

Productivity Tip:

Make More Time To Read

Reading boosts your brain power, makes you more creative, and more. 📚But how do you realistically find more time to do it? Here are some tips:

  • Reflect on your reading goals and what’s holding you back.
  • Carry a book (or ebook reader) with you.
  • Schedule in reading time (this is where Panda Planner comes in).
  • Design a reading ritual (like lighting a candle or sitting in a favorite chair). 
  • Join a book club to make yourself accountable. 


Do you make enough time for reading? What are you reading right now?

Routine Breakdown

Rowena Tsai, YouTuber & Podcast Host

Rowena Tsai

“How much of our morning routine is rooted in what our essential self wants to do, and how much of it is rooted in what our social self thinks we should do?” asks Rowena Tsai. To find this out, she devised three questions: What gets me excited to get out of bed? What brings me peace? What brings me joy?

So, after making her bed, she:

  • Makes matcha tea and a delicious breakfast. These are what she’s excited about.
  • Sits quietly with her breakfast and a book. This time brings her peace.
  • Does her skincare routine. This brings her joy.


Why it works:

  • The beauty of this routine is that she keeps it simple and sticks to the things that she knows will bring the most happiness to her mornings. 


So, what brings you excitement, peace and joy?

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