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🔑 Key Takeaways

  1. Early childhood experiences, including the absence of a father figure, can shape a person's identity and behavior, highlighting the need to address these subconscious forces for personal growth and understanding.
  2. Overcoming the Need for External Validation: Ashley learns to define his own worth and find acceptance within himself, despite a lack of paternal presence and deep-seated insecurities.
  3. Seeking approval and pursuing perfection can be exhausting, but accepting imperfections and embracing love and acceptance can lead to positive changes and deeper understanding in relationships.
  4. Look beyond first impressions, value empathy and understanding, and appreciate the depth and complexity of each individual's story and experiences.
  5. It is crucial to acknowledge and process our emotions when experiencing loss, as suppressing grief can lead to spiritual disconnection and destructive behaviors. Seek support and address emotions in a healthy manner.
  6. Knowing our origins and preserving sentimental items can bring comfort, identity, and guidance, especially in tough times and when becoming a parent.
  7. True confidence comes from within and is not dependent on material possessions. Express gratitude and be a supportive parent, drawing inspiration from past struggles and doubts.
  8. Cultivating strong relationships and treating others with kindness and respect are vital for long-term success, impacting career growth and future opportunities.
  9. Despite challenges and setbacks, Ashley Walters remains motivated and uses negativity as fuel to prove others wrong. He values the opportunity to try rather than being told he can't do something.
  10. Embrace the challenges and setbacks in life, as they shape you into who you are. Find fulfillment in the process and continuously seek new challenges and growth for a meaningful and fulfilling life.
  11. The pandemic has shown the importance of finding a balance between work and personal life, as well as the dangers of deriving too much self-esteem solely from one's work.
  12. Recognizing our self-worth and embracing who we truly are leads to self-acceptance, self-reflection, and inner peace. It requires confronting our flaws and insecurities, questioning negative thoughts, and making rational decisions.
  13. Effective communication and emotional expression are essential for a strong and committed relationship. Both Steven Bartlett and Ashley Walters recognize their challenges but emphasize the value of listening, showing emotions, and having difficult conversations with their partners.
  14. Empathy, patience, and a willingness to learn and grow are essential for fostering healthy and effective communication in relationships.
  15. Open communication and being present in your children's lives is crucial for fostering strong connections and breaking the cycle of distant relationships within families.
  16. Top Boy defies stereotypes by portraying organized crime in a human and nuanced way, resonating with audiences globally and gaining success.
  17. Developing well-rounded characters and immersing oneself in their world allows for powerful and relatable performances, even if it means sacrificing comfort. Emotional connections with the cast can make moving on from a long-running show bittersweet.
  18. Despite facing challenges, Ashley Walters and his team's perseverance led to a culturally impactful show that has empowered black storytellers and opened doors for representation in international markets.
  19. Don't wait to express your love and appreciation to your loved ones, as regrets may arise from leaving things unsaid. Open communication and expressing our feelings to family members are crucial. Hard work and perseverance lead to success.

📝 Podcast Summary

The Impact of Absent Fathers on Identity and Behavior

Early childhood experiences and the absence of a father figure can have a profound impact on a person's life. Ashley Walters shares that not having a father around caused him to feel lost and struggle with his identity as a man. This feeling of not fitting in and constantly doubting himself led him to exhibit negative behavior and hurt others in an attempt to cope with his own pain. Despite having supportive people around him, the absence of a father figure left a lasting mark. This conversation highlights the importance of understanding and addressing the subconscious forces that shape our lives, as early experiences can greatly influence our mindset and behavior as adults.

Seeking Validation and Belonging: Ashley's Fatherless Journey

Ashley Walters had a complicated relationship with his father and experienced a longing for a father figure in his life. Despite his father's absence and mistreatment, Ashley sought validation and belonging from other male figures in his community, such as local "bad boys" and members of his music group. The lack of a strong paternal presence caused Ashley to struggle with understanding his own worth and constantly question his abilities. This deep-rooted insecurity and fear of rejection stemmed from feeling abandoned and not feeling good enough, leading to a need for external validation and a constant sense of imposter syndrome. Ashley continues to work on overcoming these challenges and accepting that others' opinions do not define his worth.

The Complex Relationship and Valuable Lessons of Ashley Walters and His Father

Ashley Walters had a complex relationship with his father, who passed away in 2005. Ashley initially struggled with feeling broken and seeking his father's approval, wanting him to see his accomplishments. However, Ashley's father didn't place importance on material success and instead emphasized the importance of love and acceptance. Through their final moments together, Ashley learned valuable lessons about the pursuit of perfection and the need to adapt and accept that nothing can be perfect. This realization brought about positive changes in Ashley's life. Additionally, Ashley discovered that his father was illiterate, shedding light on the challenges his father faced and deepening his understanding of their relationship.

Don't judge a book by its cover - a lesson in understanding and appreciating people's unique qualities and perspectives.

We should not judge people based on first impressions or assumptions. Despite initially disliking someone because of their inability to read or write, the speaker later discovered that this person had street smarts and life experience that made them intelligent in a different way. It was a lesson in not underestimating others and recognizing that everyone has unique qualities and perspectives. Additionally, the conversation highlights the importance of empathy and understanding, as the speaker eventually developed a friendship and deep care for this person. It reminds us to look beyond surface-level judgments and appreciate the complex stories and experiences that shape individuals.

The Consequences of Suppressing Grief

Experiencing the loss of someone close can have a profound impact on an individual's emotional well-being and beliefs. Ashley Walters shared how after the passing of someone important to him, he chose to bury his grief and continue working, neglecting to fully process his emotions. This led to a period of spiritual disconnection and indulgence in destructive behaviors. Ashley's journey highlights the complex nature of dealing with loss and the potential consequences of suppressing one's grief. It serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing and working through our emotions in a healthy manner. This conversation emphasizes the significance of allowing ourselves to grieve and seek support during times of loss.

The Power of Sentimental Tapes and Emotional Connection

The tapes and footage Ashley Walters created with his father hold immense sentimental value to him. They symbolize a connection to his father and cherished memories that he doesn't have in any other form. Ashley has been desperate to retrieve these tapes for 10 years but has had no success. It is apparent that these tapes hold emotional significance for Ashley and have the potential to bring him comfort in tough times. Additionally, he emphasizes the importance of knowing one's origins and having a reference point in life, especially when it comes to being a father. Understanding where you come from helps provide a sense of identity and guidance.

Embracing self-belief and gratitude for personal growth

Ashley Walters learned the importance of self-belief and letting go of doubts about his abilities. Despite initially feeling the need to portray power and success by material possessions, Ashley recognized that true confidence comes from within and doesn't require arrogance. He also realized that his father, who displayed a unique combination of confidence and humility, had a profound impact on him. Although Ashley had treated his father poorly during his battle with cancer, he regrets not expressing gratitude and hopes his dad knew he had softened and let him in. Additionally, Ashley acknowledges the influential role his father played in shaping his drive and ambition, and he aspires to be a supportive and involved father to his own children. Ultimately, Ashley discovered that his past struggles and doubts fueled his determination to constantly improve and produce high-quality work.

The Power of Building Strong Relationships and Treating People Well

Building strong relationships and treating people well are crucial factors in long-term success. Ashley Walters attributes his ability to succeed in both acting and music to his charm, his ability to connect with people, and his dedication to helping others. He believes that staying humble, accessible, and true to himself has allowed him to maintain a solid fan base and maintain relationships within the industry. Steven Bartlett adds that people skills and reputation are like an invisible force that can significantly impact one's career trajectory. It is important to prioritize how we treat others and build positive connections, as these actions can have a significant impact on future opportunities and recommendations.

Resilience and Determination in the Entertainment Industry

Ashley Walters has faced challenges and setbacks in his career in the entertainment industry, but he has remained resilient and determined. He acknowledges that making mistakes is a part of life and emphasizes the importance of having a strong support system. Despite the uncertainty and instability he has experienced, including financial struggles and constant rejection, Ashley Walters remains motivated and driven. He does not allow the negativity of others to discourage him, but instead uses it as fuel to prove them wrong. When faced with people who doubt his abilities, he prefers to be given the opportunity to try rather than being told he can't do something.

Embracing Challenges and Appreciating the Journey in Life

Ashley Walters emphasizes the importance of embracing challenges and appreciating the journey in life. Despite facing numerous setbacks and negative experiences, Walters acknowledges that these difficult moments have shaped him into the person he is today. He shares that he cannot regret or erase the hardships he has encountered because they have ultimately led him to his current success and joys, such as his children and personal achievements. Walters advises students to focus on utilizing their own journey and finding fulfillment in the process rather than solely striving for the destination. He also expresses that reaching a point where there are fewer goals to achieve can become mundane, highlighting the significance of continuously seeking new challenges and growth.

Balancing Work and Personal Life: Lessons from the Pandemic

The pandemic and the ensuing lockdown had a major impact on Ashley Walters and his perception of work. Prior to the pandemic, Walters relied on his work as a source of self-worth and stability, being constantly busy and having something to look forward to. However, when the pandemic hit and work came to a standstill, Walters struggled with the sudden loss of purpose and structure in his life. He found himself feeling depressed, low, and even questioning his own mortality. This conversation highlights the importance of finding a balance between work and personal life, as well as the potential dangers of deriving too much of one's self-esteem solely from work.

Embracing Self-Acceptance and Inner Peace

It's important to recognize our own self-worth and embrace who we truly are. Ashley Walters shares how being stripped of certain aspects of their identity made them confront their flaws and insecurities. They admit to using distractions like drinking and smoking to avoid facing themselves. Sitting with their own thoughts was initially uncomfortable, but they learned to question the negative voice in their head and seek external perspectives. Ashley emphasizes the need to make decisions based on rationality rather than emotions and to forgive others to free oneself from the burden of holding grudges. Ultimately, this conversation highlights the importance of self-acceptance, self-reflection, and finding inner peace.

The importance of communication and emotional expression in a loving relationship.

Effective communication and emotional expression are crucial for a loving and committed relationship. Both Steven Bartlett and Ashley Walters acknowledge their own challenges in these areas, stemming from their upbringing and natural disposition. They recognize the importance of listening, showing emotions, and having difficult conversations with their partners. Ashley's experience with his wife, Danielle, highlights the contrast between their families' ways of expressing affection and the initial discomfort he felt. However, he has learned to appreciate and embrace this loving dynamic. Steven also acknowledges the value of having a partner who counterbalances his tendencies, even if it requires him to step out of his comfort zone. Both individuals are committed to personal growth and understanding the significance of emotional connection in their relationships.

The Importance of Understanding Communication Styles and Emotional Expression

Communication styles and emotional expression can vary greatly among individuals and may be influenced by personal experiences and upbringing. In the conversation, Ashley Walters and Steven Bartlett discuss their discomfort with sharing emotions and their tendency to want to "fix" problems. They both acknowledge that these communication patterns may stem from a lack of learning or understanding in their past. However, they recognize the importance of open dialogue and are actively working on improving their ability to connect and communicate with their partners. The conversation highlights the need for empathy, patience, and a willingness to learn and grow in order to foster healthy and effective communication in relationships.

Importance of Communication in Building Trust and Maintaining Relationships within Families.

Open and honest communication is crucial in building trust and maintaining strong relationships, especially within families. Ashley Walters opens up about his past struggles as a father and admits to not being there for his children in the way he should have been. This lack of presence and responsibility has affected the trust and closeness between him and his kids. Similarly, Steven Bartlett discusses his own distant relationship with his father and fears passing on the same pattern to the next generation. Both individuals recognize the importance of breaking the cycle and being actively present in their children's lives. This conversation highlights the significance of being accountable and making an effort to foster strong connections with loved ones.

Top Boy: A Unique Series of Crime and Humanity

Top Boy, the TV series, stood out from other shows about young black men and crime due to its complex and well-developed storyline and characters. Unlike other similar shows, Top Boy successfully crossed over to different audiences and gained a global following. Ashley Walters, one of the actors in the series, was initially hesitant to take on another role as a drug dealer or criminal, but the script for Top Boy stood out to him. It portrayed black organized crime in a more human and nuanced way, highlighting the characters' motivations and aspirations for change. The success of Top Boy can be attributed to its timing, cultural relevance, and dedicated fan base.

Creating Depth and Authenticity in Performances

Creating well-rounded characters and pushing the limits of one's own emotions and experiences are crucial for delivering powerful performances. Ashley Walters emphasizes the importance of adding depth to characters, making them three-dimensional and relatable to the audience. This approach allows viewers to root for the characters, regardless of their actions. Additionally, Walters highlights the significance of immersing oneself in the character's world to bring out the most authentic performance. This may entail extreme measures like altering personal routines, sleeping in unfamiliar places, or even sacrificing comfort. However, Walters also acknowledges that sometimes, knowing the character deeply and being well-versed in their backstory is enough to deliver a genuine performance. Finally, Walters expresses the bittersweet feeling of moving on from a long-running show, highlighting the emotional connections built with the cast and the potential loss of those connections in the future.

Overcoming Resistance and Making an Impact: The Story Behind the Show

Ashley Walters and his team faced resistance and lacked creative input during the making of the show. However, they persevered and pushed back, which ultimately resulted in the show being as good as it is. Despite the challenges, the show has had a significant impact on culture and the world. It has made jobs easier for people in the music and entertainment industry, as they no longer have to explain themselves or their background. The show has also opened doors for black representation in international markets and has paved the way for the telling of diverse black stories beyond the world of "Top Boy." The possibilities for black storytelling are endless, ranging from detectives to superheroes.

Importance of Expressing Love and Appreciation

Expressing love and appreciation to our loved ones is essential. Ashley Walters shares that the last conversation he would have with his children would be to tell them that he loves them, emphasizing the importance of not leaving things unsaid. He reflects on the regret of not having those conversations with his own father before his departure. This highlights the significance of open communication and expressing our feelings to our family members. Steven Bartlett also expresses his excitement for Ashley's future endeavors, acknowledging the hard work, dedication, and resilience required to achieve success. This emphasizes the importance of perseverance and the belief that hard work pays off in the long run.