Jay Shetty Transcript.
Brian Lord: Hi, I'm Brian Lord, your host of the Beyond Speaking podcast. And today we have on Jay Shetty. Jay is an award-winning host, filmmaker, and entrepreneur who is on a mission to make wisdom go viral. He was one of Forbes, 30 under 30. And in under two years, Jay amassed over 4 billion views on YouTube, guaranteed to go up to least 4 billion and three after doing this interview for us here. But twenty-five million followers across all social media, he started three multi-million dollar businesses. His health and wellness podcast On Purpose with Jay Shetty offers insights into purposeful living and he debuted number one on iTunes. Jay, thanks for joining us.
Jay Shetty: Thanks for having me. It's great to be here. Really grateful for it.
Brian Lord: Well, right now, we're recording this podcast in April of 2020 and the top story in everyone's mind is the coronavirus, the effect that that's having on society, how we're reacting to it. And we're really wanting people to focus on hope and resilience and how to deal this from sort of a mental aspect as well as business, but really the focus on hope and inspiration. So one of the things that you talk about is resilience. And resilience in the face of how do you keep going when you really want to quit. So what do you talk about when you do that and kind of what's your backdrop and story on that?
Jay Shetty: Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, anyone who's listening or watching right now, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I really want to take a moment to just acknowledge that if you're choosing to learn to grow, to think positively right now if you're choosing to listen to this right now over just watching a show or doing something else, you're already building your resilience muscle and resilience truly is a muscle. It gets longer every time we exercise it, every time we use it. And resilience, as the background says, is the choice of choosing what's right, even in tough times. It's choosing what can help you push forward when everything's trying to hold you back. It's choosing the energy, the environment, the positivity, the mindset that is harder to pick, but you know it's better for you. And so the simple fact that you're listening or watching right now, you're already doing that. I just want take a moment to acknowledge that, because it's really tough. And the reason why resilience is placed as such a powerful skill is because it feels tougher in tough times. And so the fact that you are exercising resilience right now means that you're strengthening that muscle. And one of the things that I really believe that's critical to developing resilience and growing resilience is you making that choice. And studies show that some of the most successful people in the world will choose education over basic entertainment in their lives. And they'll choose to read a book that's inspiring to them and moving them rather than just watching a show. Not judging watching shows right now or being entertained or relaxing at all! I'm not saying that! I've been doing plenty of- playing a bunch of games myself, getting back into some old habits as well. And that's all great because we're all adjusted, we're all adapting. But at the same time, making a little bit of time every day to learn, to listen, to grow is going to help you elevate rather than just escape. And that's what resilience is all about.
Brian Lord: Where do you think that came from your own personal life? I know everybody's got an origin story. Where did this thought process come from for you?
Jay Shetty: I think it came by many times in my childhood when I experienced everything from bullying and racism and experiencing that as a young child growing up in London where I was born and raised. I was one of the few Indian kids in my primary school that I attended. And so I was often dealt with racism from that perspective. And I was overweight as a child as well so I was bullied for being overweight. And I remember struggling to, like, get out of swimming pools. I remember struggling to run and play sports in my younger years and just being bullied for that and I think those formative experiences really forced me to do two things. When we go through pain, there are two things that can happen. One is that we develop greater compassion for anyone else that we're going to see in our lives go through pain. So now when I see people being bullied whatever it may be, I know a lot of kids, a lot of parents approach me about their kids experiencing Internet bullying or trolls and I'm very much focused on developing that compassion for anyone's situation. And the second thing that happens is you get the opportunity to build resilience because you realize- And actually when you realize the none of that was personal, it was an experience that someone had that they were going through a pain that they were experiencing and they were pushing it back onto you. And then later on in my life when I chose to turn down my corporate job offers after I attended Cass Business School in London, I turned down my corporate job offers to go and live as a monk and living as a monk in India for three years and across London and Europe taught me a ton about resilience, whether that was sitting in one place meditating for hours when I didn't want to, whether it was sleeping on the floor, it was pushing my mind and body, challenging my mind and body to live with limits and test those limits that I didn't know I could before. And that's really a big part of resilience, is we don't truly know how powerful we are until we try and test. We don't know what we're capable of until we're tried and tested. And sometimes like right now, the test can feel too overwhelming. It can feel like it's too big and feel like everything's crumbling. But I promise you that it's in those times that you really tap into your potential. It's in those times that you really understand your power.
Brian Lord: I know mentorship is a really important thing. You've been real and virtual is sort of an online mentor to so many people around the world who are some of the mentors that you've had and what have they taught you?
Jay Shetty: Absolutely, yeah. And so one of my favorite types of mentors I love to talk about is I really believe that you can be mentored by people that you've never met. And a lot of those people exist in my world. So you can see there's a bunch of frames on my wall and I'll name some of the people that are here. So we have Martin Luther King. We have Steve Jobs. We have Einstein. We have a bunch more people on this wall. And for me, those are people that I've never met in my life. I wish I did meet them. But I've spent a lot of time studying their lives, studying how they made decisions, studying how they dealt with failure. And when you read about, when you study about the lives of someone and how they navigated the challenges that they saw- Imagine Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company. Imagine what resilience that takes to then go and build products and ideas that your company wants you back and then go and build Pixar and everything else that comes with it. It's phenomenal to think that. If you at someone like Martin Luther King and the resilience that he needed for what he stood for. And you look at the books, you look at the videos, you look at the interviews with these people of the past and you start to recognize that you can be mentored by people you've never met. By understanding how they dealt with tough situations, so that's one type of mentor. The second type of mentor, which is really, really important, is the mentors that we are close to, that we can connect to. Now, these mentors may not be the most famous people in the world. They may not be people who have bestselling books. So they may have not had lots of followers. But the people who are a few years ahead of us in the journey, they're the people in our local network that maybe we don't even take as seriously as we should, because really they have great insight, they have great advice. They can give you the best practical tips for where you are right now because they are just a few steps ahead. And the third and final are are mentors that are kind of like the in-between. They're still on the planet, so we may still meet them in our lives. But mentors that I've had in my life, whether it's been people who've changed my career. People like Arianna Huffington, who was one of the first public figures to spot my content online all the way through to people in the media industry today that I'm working alongside. And so mentors can be in any of those three categories. So it's important to have all three.
Brian Lord: Certainly. And one thing I really like that you talked about is, is, you know, with these leaders that are inspiring you. One thing that they seem to do differently that you talk about is being a connected thinker. Can you define that term and why you think that is so important for the time we're in?
Jay Shetty: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the biggest definitions of a connected thinker is someone who is always able to find the links and the synergy, even when it doesn't feel like there are any. It's kind of someone who can look at a chart full of anomalies and still find the pattern. They can still find the link. And this was a skill when they interviewed, I think I believe those are three thousand CEOs and leaders- Harvard did this study. And they asked him what was the number one skill needed to be a leader and the answer from all of them, 3000 of them was the word associating, which meant connecting things that don't often feel that they are connected. A really good example of this is a really interesting conversation that Zuckerberg had with his mentor, as you mentioned. So he went to his mentor in 2009 when he was struggling with the direction of Facebook and he asked his mentor what he should do about it. Now, his mentor happened to be Steve Jobs, which is a great mentor to have in real life. So you asked him about how do I connect my business? What do I do? Now, Steve Jobs, literally, could have picked up his phone and called anyone on the planet in 2009. Pretty sure there's not many people that he couldn't have picked up the phone to. He could have picked up the phone to venture capitalists, investors, to strategists to business people. But Steve Jobs gave him some really profound advice. He said, I think you should go and live in an ashram, a monastery of monks in India. And he goes, when you go there, you'll likely find the answer of where Facebook should go. Mark Zuckerberg told this story when the prime minister of India actually visited Facebook a few years back. So Mark said he actually went to that place. He actually went to that ashram in India, and that's where he got the idea of connecting people. So a connected thinker is someone who is broad in their minds. So right now, we're all being forced to be connected thinkers because we have to find opportunity in adversity. We've got to find transformation and tragedy. We've got to find hope in hopelessness. We've got to find our focus in a time of distraction. That's a connected thinker.
Brian Lord: So, Jay, if you walk us through what is a day in a life at an ashram like something you've done or Mark Zuckerberg or others, and then also people kind of being confined right now, what can they apply or how can they apply that to their own lives?
Jay Shetty: Yeah. So I'm not gonna get anyone to live like a monk during this time, so do not worry. There is no pressure, no conversion strategy or process from my side. I don't want to put that on you right now! But the interesting thing about monks' lives is that they're very routine-based. And so our mornings began at 4:00 a.m. We woke up at 4:00 a.m. every single day, 4:30 a.m. We would start our collective meditation. At about 5:15, we'd do our individual meditation, take us through the 7:30 a.m. when we would have a wisdom class. And after that wisdom class, we'd have breakfast at 8:30. We probably have yoga somewhere in between. And then after that, we'd be off doing our daily chores. It could be teaching, serving, making a difference in the world. It could be building a sustainable village or distributing food to the homeless- It was all service-related. So half the day was self in silence and half the day was service and about supporting the society. Now what I love about that is that it's so important right now if you're secluded or you're alone or even if you're with your family, one of the reasons why we have fear and why we're anxious is because of uncertainty. And so to build resilience, what you need to do is you have to build some certainty into your day. So a lot of us have uncertainty right now about financial situations, about our work, about maybe family members who are unwell. I know a lot of my extended family and community back in London has been affected by COVID-19. So you've got all of these things happening. So you need to find some certainty in your day. One of the best ways is to have a daily routine. Now there are four aspects to a daily routine that I recommend and this is actually from my upcoming book Think Like a Month that's out in September where I've extrapolated the lessons I learned as a monk for the modern-day. So the first four aspects of a morning routine are the acronym time T-I-M-E. So the "T" stands for thankfulness. Taking a moment in your day to be thankful and be grateful is so important. Now there are lots of creative ways to do this. You can reorganize your photo gallery of the 37,398 pictures in your photo gallery and make galleries around trips that you had with your family trips that you had with your kids, trips that you had with your parents. Maybe you could even send it. Imagine how awesome it'd be to receive an organized photo gallery right now from a friend or family member? That's a way of sharing gratitude. That's a way of expressing gratitude. Maybe going to send someone a voice note or send someone a video of gratitude. So time for thankfulness is really important. The second thing is "I," which stands for insight or inspiration, you need some insight and inspiration in your day because most of us are watching the news or getting alerts or getting messages and a lot of that can be quite negative. So you want to switch that for insight, like listening to his podcast, for example, or picking up a book that inspires you and just reading a chapter. Or it could be, it could be listening to another conversation or watching a video or whatever it is that inspires you or gives you insight. The third one is "M" and that stands for meditation. If you have never meditated before, don't worry. It's not actually that difficult. You can practice simple diaphragmatic breathing. And simply by doing a few breaths in and out for the same amount of time will allow you to calm your body and relax your mind. And the "E" stands for exercise. It's so important to get some movement right now, especially when you can't go outside. So even that movement means indoor workouts, if it means dancing around, if it means doing an online class or a virtual workout, it's so important to keep moving. So that's an ideal routine every day, thankfulness, insight, meditation and exercise. And I'd like to add one more that didn't make it into the book, but probably should have. It's "S" for sleep. It's so important right now that we don't just stay awake at night. Why? Because the HGH, which is the human growth hormone, is especially active between the times before midnight. So when you're sleeping after midnight, even if you sleep eight hours, that eight hours is not as powerful as if you slept a few hours before midnight. So sleeping from 12 midnight to 8 a.m. is not as powerful as sleeping from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. the next morning. So it's so important to try and go to bed a little earlier now that we have a bit of flexibility with no commute. And of course, before you go to bed, try not to use your devices and try and eat a little earlier as well now that we have more flexibility. But that morning routine will give you so much of a strong foundation in your day from working from home.
Brian Lord: Another thing I really like that you talk about is finding your strengths and how to identify what makes you, you and to build on that. What advice can you give for people on how to do that?
Jay Shetty: Yeah, I think now's a really great time for people to uncover their strengths. We all have a bit more time and I know that a lot of people are either feeling bored or after a while, there's only so many shows and movies you can watch or as many games as you can play. And so experimenting with your skills is really good right now. What I do is first thing I do, really simple, is make a long list of every skill, talent, gift idea that you've had for a long time that you haven't been able to do. Just make a list and it's maybe three things, maybe four things. Next thing I want you to do is I want you to spend a day, could be a day on a weekend, could be a weekday whatever works for you with your work schedule and your kids' schedule. Take some time out to experiment with that idea, do that activity, do it anywhere and everywhere. Try and read about that activity. And then thirdly, do a course- an online course- that can help you upskill it this time. You'll find that literally in those three steps you start noticing which the skills you really want to get and which of the skills you don't want so much. And just doing that simple activity of reflecting on what are the things that you've always wanted to do, but never had the time he could be writing that business plan. It could be starting a YouTube channel. It could be starting a podcast. He could be writing a book. It could be reading a ton of books. Make that list. Do the activity for like an hour to see whether you're enjoying it or not, and then do it more and then go and get some investing in a skill because what if you went into this situation, but when you came out, you came out with a new set of skills, with a deeper appreciation for your strengths. It's going to put you in a power position when this place is over.
Brian Lord: So out of curiosity, to kind of finish up here... What have you done, Jay Shetty, What have you done? Have you followed your own advice? And if so, what are you doing during this sort of quarantine time?
Jay Shetty: Absolutely. So, one of the things that I did and this is really interesting to me and fascinating because when I lived as a monk and even now, meditation is a huge part of my practice. But I never really shared a lot of my meditations publicly because I make videos and podcasts and content. So I took it upon myself and I thought I've been wanted to teach meditation to people for a long time. I feel that it's going to be really useful right now. Why don't I do a 20-day meditation challenge so literally until last week, every single day for the first 20 days of quarantine, I went live on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and led guided-meditations for everyone to find a moment of common peace. I absolutely loved it. I had such a great time doing it because I could really see it benefiting people and I could see it making a difference in people's lives. And so it was for me to understand the format, to understand how to communicate in a way that people could follow along with me. And so that's one of the things that I've been wanting to do for a long time and a skill and strength that I didn't know that I fully had and being able to share with people and make a difference in the lives of healthcare workers who joined in, mothers and fathers from home who joined in, and so many frontline workers who joined in, it was truly, truly meaningful.
Brian Lord: Well, Jay, thank you so much for being a guest on this podcast and sharing this message of hope and being part of the 30 Days of Hope, we really appreciate it.
Jay Shetty: Yeah. Thank you so much, Brian. This was such a joy speaking to you. And I just want to make sure everyone out there, just sending you lots of love, sending you best wishes and hoping that you stay strong and resilient and use this as an opportunity to get stronger. This is truly, truly going to be something that we're going to look back on and we're going to be able to look back and say, "We made it. We did it and we came out strongest." So sending you all my best wishes.