5 Mindfulness Practices for Stress Relief in Any Workplace & 5 Simple Habits to Improve Your Focus - Transcripts
Disconnect from that. It's like how we say, oh, my marriage is my purpose. So then when you get divorced, you're like, oh, well, I don't have an identity anymore. Well, my job is my purpose. When you get kicked out of your job, you go, oh, I don't have an identity anymore. That's what it felt like. It felt like a divorce or losing the job of my dreams,
which actually led me to find my real purpose. Morning, everybody. It's the EJ, Envy, Angela Yee. Charlamagne the guy. We are the Breakfast Club. We got a special guest in the building. Absolutely.
Jay Shetty, welcome. Thank you for having me.
I'm so grateful to be here. Man, he's a very familiar voice because you got the number one health and wellness podcast, spiritual mindfulness podcast on purpose. I've had the pleasure of being a guest on it. You're a phenomenal guest. I loved the episode with Kobe Bryant, I loved the episode with Jay,
but you got a lot of great episodes. You are phenomenal guest. I'm really grateful. We got an amazing community. They keep showing up and we've had some phenomenal guests. I was just saying you were one of our first guests in the first three to six months of the show and it was brand new. So, I'm so grateful that you did that man. I really appreciate it.
Thank you for having me. And I've been hearing a lot of people talk about meditation lately, and so you actually help guide people through how to meditate,
right? Yes, yeah. So I spent three years living as a monk in India and across Europe, and so I was trained in how to meditate for monks who've been practicing for decades, and they were practicing ancient meditation techniques for thousands and thousands of years. And so when I was trained in that school, I felt this responsibility to want to share that with the world, because it changed my life, and I'm just an average kid born and raised in London, and I thought, well if it can help me, then I'm sure it can help a lot
What leads a young man to want to be a monk? Trust me I did not grow up wanting to be a monk. If someone told me that I was going to grow up and become a monk, I probably would have thrown a beer bottle at them that I would have been holding. But I was born and raised in London and I would go in my teens to go and hear from people who'd gone from nothing to something. So I was fascinated by rags to riches stories. I'd go and hear CEOs, entrepreneurs, athletes, celebrities. And this is before podcasts and YouTube, so you actually had to go to events. And so I'd go to these events. And once my friends told me that a monk was speaking, and I was skeptical. I was like, what am I going to learn from someone who's gone from nothing to nothing? Like, you know, what are they going to teach me? And so I said to my friends, I'd only go if we go to a bar afterwards.
I was 18 years old, and they were being very persuasive, so they agreed. So I end up at this event at my university, waiting to hear this monk speak. I go there, I'm looking at the clock just waiting to leave, and I was just mesmerised. And I don't mean that in a spiritual experience way. I just mean like, I was captivated by every word that he said, and there was nothing externally attractive about him. He was wearing robes, he was from India, he wasn't connected to me in any other way. But he spoke about service, and he spoke about purpose, and he spoke about how serving others and helping others with your skills and your strengths is the greatest thing you can do. And my eighteen-year-old self was just completely penetrating my heart, and I was just like, that's what I wanted. And now, when I look back, I realise that when I was 18, I had met people who were rich, I had met people who were famous, I had met people who were beautiful and strong, but I don't think anyone who is truly happy. And that day, I felt like I met someone who was truly happy, and that. You just felt that energy in this space.
What was the process? Yeah.
What was the process of being a monk? So, the process is you wake up at 4AM every day. And what is a monk? People are like, don't monk. So a monk is someone who dedicates themselves to a particular spiritual tradition. And you generally practice celibacy during the time that you're a monk. But beyond that, you're waking up every day, 4 AM, meditating for four to eight hours a day. So the morning meditation finishes about 8, 8.30. Then you get some breakfast. Then you do your daily chores. And then the rest of the day, we were out serving. So we were serving food to the homeless, building sustainable villages, helping out in schools.
And this was all out in India. So a lot of the philanthropy work as well. So the morning was about self-mastery. And the afternoon was about serving others. And so that's kind of like the rough framework
of what a day looks like. But you said you wanted to be a monk because it led you to public service. I feel like that's our true purpose in life service to others. Yes. You can do that without being a monk. So what made you want to go full fledged and be a monk?
Absolutely. And I think the truth is that I didn't see anyone living a life of service at that time who wasn't living from a spiritual place. It just wasn't as common. And now I feel so happy that this conversation is happening in the mainstream. But when I was 18, that's roughly like 16, 17 years ago, that wasn't there. You didn't see that. You saw the Forbes rich list. You saw that list. You didn't really see a service list or a purpose list. And I think that's changing. But it was also the idea that the self-mastery part was You're actually going to work on purifying your ego. You're actually going to work on your own mind.
So you're not just going to go out there and try and help other people, but you're actually going to deal with everything that's going on in here. And I think that attracted me that, wow, I'm going to get X amount of time every day to figure out the mess that's in here. When am I ever going to get that time again?
Who's going to give me the time? Who's going to give me the time? Because if you want to join the army, you can enlist in the army. If you want to be a police officer, you can fill out that application.
want to be this. So, where do you go to be a monk? So, there are lots of different monks schools, if I can use that word, across the world. There's Tibet, there's India, there's multiple ones, and I've visited many of them. I think it's about finding, as always it is, a teacher, a guide that you connect with. And so, for me, I speak about this gentleman, Goranga Das, in my book. He was the monk that I felt an affection and affinity with, and so I wanted to study in his school. And so, when I was part of his institution, two hours outside of Mumbai, in India, in that space, they had a system of what you have to practice, what you have to process. Why? So, for example, a big part of it was practicing silence. And when you practice silence, people think, oh, that sounds terrible. And it does, for like seven days.
And then after that, you stop worrying about all the noise outside, you start hearing the noise inside, and then you go deeper and deeper and deeper. A part of it was practicing fasting. We were practicing fasting for sense control, and being able to master the tongue and master the desire to eat and talk. And so, there's so many practices and methods that were set up, and service was a big part of it, to help us actually grow as humans. And I really feel that, those three years a monk's school have massively impacted how I live life now. And I left nine years ago, so it's been a fair amount of time, I know.
So, once you're out of school, what was the first thing you did? Like, how do you apply
for positions, what did you do after three years? After three years as being a monk? So I thought I was going to do it for the rest of my life, and after three years it almost felt like a failure, like I felt like I messed up, because all of that self-awareness led me to the feeling that I wasn't meant to be a monk, that I wasn't actually qualified to live the life of a monk. I realized that monk life required a certain sense of letting go of the rebellious nature that I had inside of me, and also that this calling and desire I had in my heart to want to share this wisdom and message in a certain way. When I learned about all these ancient teachings and scriptures, I was like, how cool would it be if we could share that in a modern, relevant, practical way for the people that I grew up with who maybe wouldn't do this, who wouldn't go as far as I did? And so when I shared that with the monks, they were like, yeah, we agree that we think you might be able to help people more if you left. I think they were saying, yeah, it's cool, leave, get out of here. But they encouraged it, and for me, moving on was actually really difficult. So when I left, the first thing I did was come back, start listening to Drake. Out of the pressure. Yeah, I did that first thing, ate a load of chocolate that I hadn't eaten for three years. I went back into all my old bad habits for the first month that I was back.
I moved back into my parents, 26 years old, because I felt like I'd failed and I was losing this life I'd committed to. You was in debt? Yeah, I was in debt. What did your parents think? $25,000 in debt, £18,000. What did your parents think? What did your parents think about you going to monk school and then coming back home? So when I first told them, my mom was like, where did we go wrong? Right? You know, like, what did we do wrong? And luckily, my parents are very forward thinking and they supported me because they could see my heart was in it and I can't really blame them. They did a great job and they were really supportive.
But my extended family was like, you're never going to get a job again. You've been brainwashed. You're never going to make money again. You're never going to be… You know, all that noise from society basically saying you've just committed career suicide and what are you going to do when it doesn't work out? So when it didn't work out, I almost felt like I had made what they were saying true. And so I came with a lot of pain and a lot of stress and pressure, thinking all these people were right. And maybe I was wrong.
You know what's so interesting, man? You became a monk because you felt like it gave you a sense of purpose. Yes. But then, as you were being a monk, you felt like you might've been suppressing your purpose. You felt like something was big out there. So that's got to be psychologically.
That's a great observation. Yeah. You phrased it way better than I did. That is a great observation. And that's a psychological mind mass. Cause you're like, wait, this is, and that's when I realized that your purpose is not what you wear, where you live, what you think everyone thinks of you, because to some degree I'd become attached to living as a monk and that becoming my purpose. So when I had to disconnect from that, it's like how we say, oh, my marriage is my purpose, so then when you get divorced, you're like, oh, well I don't have an identity anymore or my job is my purpose when you get kicked out of your job, you go, oh, I don't have an identity anymore. That's what it felt like. It felt like a divorce or losing the job of my dreams, which actually led me to find my real purpose, which is what I get to do today.
So when did you get out of that depression that you were in?
I think it took, and it was like, I wouldn't even accept the word. I was in massive denial. Like, I didn't even want to say the word to myself because I was so scared that if I said it, that that would make it worse. Depression? Yeah, at the time. And then I realized, I think I was in that space for about 10 months. And it was, I came back out and I was trying to practice all the principles I learned as a monk again. And that's when I realized that I'd actually been trained in all the principles I needed to get out of this space. But I was ignoring them and avoiding them and going back to my old habits. So I started waking up again meditating every day again, reading the scripture again, studying again, working hard again, putting in those same routines that I had as a monk. And that's when I started to feel like I was getting out
out of it again. And what was the voice that you heard that told you this is what you should do?
Is it the direction you should go in? I feel like I had it even when I was there or it was just like there are people who will never ever think, and this is why I love what you all do and what you've done with your work, is there are people that will never ever think about their mental health, their mental wellbeing, about the word meditation or mindfulness because it wasn't part of their upbringing. It wasn't a word that they heard, same as me. And if I can help make that accessible and relevant and practical and simple for that person, then my life's going to feel like a success. And so I just started to share it with everyone. So now I came back. My friends were all working. They were making money. They were, you know, buying homes. They had nice cars. Maybe they were in a relationship, but a lot of them were stressed. They were working in big city jobs, but they were burnt out.
And so they started coming to me for advice. And this is back in 2013, 2014. And they were saying, which are you learned about mindfulness and meditation? Can you help us with our stress? And so very naturally, I started working with people inside big corporate organizations, because that was my background. And so now I was seeing that impact on these people. And so I was speaking at companies, working with people, coaching people. And then finally I took a corporate job back to understand what the setup was like. And my executive, that was my lead, she discovered that I learned meditation. So she put me on in front of all my peers to teach meditation to a thousand people at our company event. This is before any of my online work. And I'm stressing out because I'm no one there.
They're like, this is one of our guys. He's our peer. What are we going to learn from him? And it was just a beautiful experience where everyone appreciated it. And so I got to see how this work could be practical with, with people from all
different backgrounds and walks of life. Meditation is a game changer. Could you tell
people just some of the benefits of meditation? Yeah. I mean, meditation has a ton of benefits. Some of my favorites are that of course it boosts your mood, boosts your immune system. One of the most interesting parts about meditation that people don't obviously realize is our life is completely infiltrated by dopamine, right? Whether it's our phones, whether it's money, whether it's purchases, whether it's instant buying dopamine is like constantly being released. And meditation helps us balance because it creates serotonin and an oxytocin. Those are the three chemicals that your brain needs to balance. And meditation is one of the key things that actually brings about the other two. It helps with making sure that your brain's in sync. It makes sure that you sleep better. I mean, meditation benefits go on and on and on, of course with anxiety, stress, and pressure.
But to me, that balancing of the chemicals we
we need is probably one of the most powerful. And you know, it's very hard to find that stillness and that silence on your own. I tried it for years and couldn't grasp the concept until December of 2020, but you helped with the Calm app.
Yeah, so I literally just two days ago, we launched the Daily J only on Calm and it's a daily meditation for seven minutes that I truly believe is going to be a meditation that each and every person on the planet can tune into and start their practice. And the goal of it was to make it as simple so that you can actually practice it while you're folding your laundry, while you're doing your dishes, while you're making your bed. The goal was, how can we bring meditation into people's lives rather than saying, take out time out of your day to do this? And so we built this program and it's exciting.
I'm really excited that it's out there. What are some things we should know about breathing
when it comes to meditation? You know what? So I was just speaking to Chris at security. And he came up to me and he was saying how when he was in the army, they learned box breathing. And I was saying, that's fascinating because I learned that when I was a monk. And so what I loved was that in both senses, he was saying that actually to to fire a gun,
they had to learn how to breathe.
You know, think about breath that way. And so when I hear someone like him, a military man telling me that, I love hearing that because it helps us understand. Athletes have to learn how to breathe, musicians, singers all have to learn how to breathe. And so the importance of breath came to me when, on my first day when I went to learn to be a monk, I saw a 10-year-old monk teaching like five to six year old monks. And India, they start really young. And they look adorable. Right? You've got these little monks being taught by this 10-year-old monk. And I'm watching them. And when he finishes the class, I was fascinated. I was like, what did you teach them? And he said, I taught them how to breathe.
I was like, what do you mean? He was like, that's their first day of school. He said, what did you learn in London? I was like, I learned the ABCs. And I was like, why do you teach them how to breathe? And he said, well, what's the one thing that stays with you from the moment you're born to the moment you die? It was like your breath. And he said, when you're happy, what changes? Your breath. When you're sad or you're crying, what changes? Your breath. Every single emotion in your life is connected to your breath.
So if you learn how to navigate your breath, you know how to navigate life. Bear in mind, it's a 10-year-old. And I'm just blown away, thinking, wow, I'm learning lessons from a 10-year-old, this is beautiful. And so the power of our breath is that it really is, if you see yourself when you're nervous, your breath gets shallower, it gets faster. And if you know that that's all that's happening and you can slow it down, then you can change how you feel in the moment
just through your breath. I wonder with COVID, because that affected a lot of people and their breathing who contracted it. So have you seen things like with people talking to you about that
when it comes to some of the effects of COVID? Oh, wow. Yeah, I mean, that's been really interesting to hear. I've had so many people talk to me about long COVID or them having breath challenges or breathing challenges after COVID. And I see those people practicing breath work. I don't think there's been enough time to see whether it can help that. I believe it will, but I don't wanna claim anything because there hasn't been enough studies. We haven't seen it for long enough. But breath work is something we all need. I think we all have days, even our language, right? We say things like, I'm out of breath. Let me take a breath.
Like you take my breath away. Like these are all breath-related, whether it's positive or negative. So I do believe that whatever challenges we have in life, learning to breathe
is probably the best skill we can learn. I feel like- What is meditation, right? And the reason I'm asking is, like Charlamagne said, it took them a while to get it. Yeah. So for people out there, what is getting meditation? What should they be feeling? What should they be seeing? What should they be doing? What should they, you know, Should I be sitting in the corner? Should they be crisscross, apple cross? I mean, creouse apple sauce. So they have their hands up.
Like what is it? Yeah, so no, it's a great question. It's a great question. And I think it's so important. I think the first thing I'd like to say is that meditation is making time to spend with yourself. As simple as that, right? You make time to check in with your friends, your family, your partner, your kids.
When was the last time you checked in with yourself? So some people are going to say, I meditate when I drive.
And that's a great example. Because they go off no phone. And that's a great example. And I actually agree with you. I love thinking about life when I'm driving and talking to myself and figuring things out. That is a form of meditation. That is a beginning step towards meditation. Now, when you start getting into meditation as a tool, it goes beyond that, because now you're bringing your awareness to three different types of things in the way I was trained. So you have breath work, which we just talked about. When you're focusing on your breath, you're learning to navigate your emotions. Second one is visualization. A lot of athletes use this before big games.
Lewis Hamilton, I've heard, used it before he's driving a car. Soccer stars use it before they take a free kick, where you're visualizing what's happening in your life or what you're about to do. What it does is it prepares your body. It prepares the mind, right? So visualization is a way of meditating. And the third one is mantra or sound. So we all know, I mean, you're in the heart of music. We all know that music can make you feel different things. Music can make you feel like you wanna beat someone up and music can make you feel calm. Sounds and mantra really are defined to help you have sounds that bring peace and calm to the mind and body. So there's a three different types of meditation. It doesn't matter where you're sitting, it doesn't matter how you're sitting.
It doesn't matter whether you're wearing a yoga suit or on a yoga mat. That really isn't the point. The point is, are you taking time
to build that practice and that habit? Yeah mantra, so today, my good sister Devi Brown, mantra and the beach is what got me to able I love that. To do the meditation, so I count my beats, and I do my mantra. And it's just like, that's what got me, like oh, oh okay. How you know you did? I mean, you just know, like you know, when you come to, and you're like, where was I? That's how happy feels, like you went into a sleep while you're sitting up, like you're just like, like everything just went still for a moment. Nothing is on your mind, you just hear yourself repeating your mantra over, and over, and over, and it's just like, I call it like a sinking feeling almost, you're just sinking, sinking, sinking. And I always jump before I go too deep
out, that's what makes me come back. Yeah, imagine, imagine you actually felt like you are where your feet are. Like imagine you actually felt like that, that we right now if we all put our feet on the ground, and you actually felt like I would, and what Charla man is saying about sinking, if I actually felt like I was actually here, how many times during this conversation while I've been talking and we've been thinking about, what have I got for lunch later on? What am I doing later on? Who am I meeting? Or what's this gone, what if I was actually here? How much could I actually have an impact on the people around me? How much could I actually feel people's energy? How much power and strength would I have if I was actually where my feet are? Which is a common phrase and statement that's used in meditation language, it's like, be where your feet are. If we were actually here, just how powerful would that be, and that's what you feel. You actually feel like I'm happy to be here.
I'm only here. Because think about it, when you wake up in the morning, how many times have you ever woken up And your mind is ahead of your body. Absolutely. Your body's like, oh, I don't want to go anywhere. And your mind's like racing, trying to do a million things. Or, you experiment the opposite. You wake up, and your mind is like, your body's like, can't do this. But your body's like, come on. We've got to go. We've got to go. So what we're experiencing at all times is our body and mind are completely out of sync. Completely out of sync.
They're never in the same place. So meditation, in its simplest form, is saying, well, let's start here. Let's bring them back into sync. Let's start with them being aligned. And imagine how powerful we could be.
What if you're somewhere you don't want to be? Because I know you talk about how people are really stressed at work, and so there's a lot of people who are like, ah I can't take this anymore. How does meditation help with it?
Yes. So that feeling of I can't take this anymore can often create more stress and pressure than we actually think. And what I mean by that is, let's say you're at work but you're thinking about vacation, then when you're on vacation, you're gonna be thinking about work because you've trained your mind to not be present. And that's why even when we're with our kids or our family or the people we love, we're stressing about other stuff because we've trained ourselves to not be where we are. And so what I would say in that situation, of course, it's different for people with different jobs, and I work with healthcare professionals and nurses and I work with people who I believe have some of the most difficult jobs on the planet. There was an incredible research study that was done by Yale, where they tried to discover what they believed was the most difficult job in the world. They discovered that it was hospital nurses and Sorry, hardened that was hospital cleaners. Not being a rapper? Sorry? No, Hospital cleaners hospital cleaners had the most difficult, definitely not a rapper. Hopefully, you know better than me. Hospital cleaners had the most difficult job in the world because they cleaned up toilets, bathrooms, plates, beds, they cleaned up after people pass away.
Yeah, exactly. They went and interviewed hospital cleaners. Some of the hospital cleaners described their job like that— they said, it was tough, it was hard, it was dirty, it was filthy, and they said, we're cleaners, that's all we are. Low-skilled labour in their own words. And then they interviewed another set of cleaners. And when they asked themselves to describe themselves in one word,
they said healers.
– Are they in a rapper? These cleaners worked in the same jobs as the other cleaners, but some saw themselves as cleaners and some saw themselves as healers. And when they asked them why, the cleaners said, we believe that we create a clean environment Well, patients can feel better. We know that if we create a beautiful room, their family will want to spend time with them. We see ourselves as integral to their healing journey. They did the same job, they cleaned the same toilets, but they saw it differently, so. They set a different intention. They set a different intention, and Wayne Dyer said that when you change the way you look at things. The things you look at change. The things you look at change.
I love cardiacON say that a different intention. Things you look at change.
I love cardiacON say that God blessed our debt. Yeah, yeah, yeah, rest in peace Wayne Dyer. And that beautiful principle is exemplified by these cleaners. No one better than them to teach us how to be. So, you know, they could be sitting there going, I don't want to be here. But they're going, well, actually, even this job helps me impact someone's life. And I think that's the part, that if we look beyond our laptops, our screens, our phones, and we look up and we go, how does my job actually help someone's life? That's what helps us find some meaning in that job.
I feel like we skipped a step, right? You went from being a monk, served for a monk for three years, you couldn't find a job.
You said you got rejected by 40 different companies.
40 companies, yeah. At what point did the On Purpose podcast
start between that and the monk and that? So I left being a monk in 2013. I started in 2010. On Purpose launched in 2019. So six years later. And my online video content started in 2016. So in 2016, after I'd been sharing meditation and mindfulness with corporations, coaching people behind the scenes, never made any content, I just felt that I was sitting in a lot of boardrooms, which was fantastic. But I felt this message had to get further than the boardroom. And at the time, I was thinking, how do I do this? And so I was applying to media companies that I was like, hey, if these guys give me a job, then I can make content about mindfulness and meditation. And I was rejected from three media companies. I remember chasing an exec on his bike in London and saying,
OK, you're too old. Is that after? I guess it was the president or CEO asked you to do that? Correct. So that's when you felt that that's what you're calling.
Yeah, because I was like, wow, I'm being asked to do this. It's working, but it needs to reach more people. And it needs to reach more people without just their organization being involved. What if it could reach the person on the street? How do you get to that person? And so I thought media is the way. And so I was applying to all these media jobs, but everyone kept telling me, you're too old. I was 28 years old. They're like, you're too old. Everyone's 21 who wants this job. They were like, you don't have any background in media. I've never been in communications.
And so I ended up at a TV training day run by the BBC in London in Pinewood Studios, and it was run for ethnic minorities. So there were just six brown and black people in that room. And I'm one of them. And they tell me, Jay, you're good. You're engaging. You can present well. So I'm like, give me a job. I just want a shot. And they're like, Jay, there's no jobs in media. And so I'm like, come on. You brought me all the way here, six brown and black people, to tell us there's no jobs in media. What was the point of this?
And they're like, well, you should start a YouTube channel. And in my head, I'm thinking, yeah, that works for Justin Bieber. That's not going to work for me. And I'm having that limiting belief.
Looks like you're being a boy, man. I was like, thank you. I was like, maybe not, maybe not.
Yeah. I was like, thank you. I was, maybe not, maybe not. Yeah. And literally it was like, maybe that works for Justin Bieber. And I had that limiting belief. I was like, that's not going to work for me. But literally, this beautiful statement by Thomas Edison, he said, when you believe you've exhausted All options, remember this, you haven't. And that's how I felt. I felt I had exhausted all options and the only option I'd left was YouTube if I really cared about this. So I made a video and I kept making videos every week and they were doing okay. They're again like a thousand views or something like that.
And in three months, Arianna Huffington saw my videos from the Huffington Post. So she really connected with them and they said, hey J look we're not gonna pay you anything, we're not gonna do anything we're gonna take your videos and we're gonna put them on the Huffington Post page cause we like your content, what do you think? I'm like, great, let's get them out there, right?
Like, that's what this is about. Smart, you recognized the opportunity
when it wasn't a paycheck attachment. Yeah, there was no paycheck attachment, nobody. They put it out, the first video did a million views in a week. The second video did a million views in 24 hours. And those three or four videos I made for them did like a hundred million views across that year. And literally, it just changed everything because now the message is reaching people. And then I sent her right-hand man, who's a good friend of mine now, Danny Shay, he was the one who'd come out to make this contact happen. I messaged him every day saying, when are you giving me a job? When are you giving me a job? When are you giving me a job? Finally, after 30 days, he sent me a visa, sent me a job offer, I moved to New York City in 2016, September to work at the Huff Post as a senior host and producer.
That lasted around six months. I mean, the way you're speaking is great because it's not even about the meditation and what you're speaking, it's just about a lot of people don't have that drive. You were told no a thousands of times, but still did it. You know, you did something that you had no idea about YouTube. Then when they came with a situation, most people now would be like, well how much am I getting paid? Now you wanna use my contact? And he was like, no, I understand what this can be, and congratulations, I love stories like that.
Congratulations. And thank you for highlighting that. I really appreciate the way you're looking at it.
We had it here all the time, like if people would come up here and be like, how much I'm getting paid? My not doing this cause I ain't get no money to attach, but some things ain't about the money. We came from a place where, we both worked for long. That was about the opportunity. We knew hopefully, but we didn't even know, we did it for love. I did it for love. And it just grew into what it grew into.
So I really respect and appreciate that.
It was about the opportunity. Thank you for highlighting that. Because I think sometimes we get lost in, especially when people talk to me, we get lost in the meditation and mindfulness. And it's like, that is my heart of what I want to share. But the way I've got there has not been normal or easy. But that's been the most fun part about it. I think I always wanted to serve. My whole goal was, how can this reach more people? And when HuffPost or anyone came with that opportunity, and thankfully, after those six months, I built it myself. So I went off, built my own channels. 2019, we launched On Purpose. And in the beginning, we couldn't book anyone again.
Really? So by the way, I'll tell you, when we launched the podcast, everyone said this to me. And this is why what you're saying has helped me go in this direction. When I wanted to launch a podcast, we had billions of views on Facebook and YouTube, millions of views on YouTube, billions on Facebook. I had a video that did 397 million views on Facebook, something ridiculous like that. And I wanted to launch a podcast. And everyone said to me, Jay, you're interesting for four minutes in a four-minute YouTube and Facebook video. No one wants to listen to you for over four minutes. That was the feedback I got. So I was meeting all the podcast companies. We had one podcast company that was about to sign me. And I thought it was all done.
I went away for Christmas. I came back two weeks after. They had a new exec, a big podcast company. He came in and he goes, Jay, I don't think this can be a big show. And so they pulled out two weeks before it launched. And I'd already invested all this money recording the episodes, videoing it. We've been traveling to get guests. And I was interviewing friends or people that I knew at the time. And we couldn't book anyone either. I remember I was getting rejected, left, right, and federal. That's why when you said, yes, I was so grateful. We couldn't book anyone at the time.
And now when I see what's happening, I'm like, I'm so glad that that company pulled out. I'm so grateful to them, actually. I'm so blessed that they pulled out because I got to do it my way on my own.
And I got to build it on my own.
Who was your first big guest? My first big guest was Russell Brand who I've known for a long time. We have the same meditation teacher. We've been friends in London for a while. Russell Brown was my first big guest. My first ever guest was my wife, it was my first episode. She was your first big guest. Yeah that was my first, oh yeah okay, yeah I messed that up, alright, I messed that up. My wife was my first big guest. Russell Brown was my first well-known guest. Novak Djokovic, tennis player. Who I've known for a while as well.
He was one of my first big guests. And then you know, since then it's just been a joy
to sit down with people that. I messed that up, yeah.
Alright, met a little bit. I take Breink. God bless the day.
How did that feel? I until this day and I'm not just saying it because of what happened and I don't I wish I didn't even have to say that but I do because I think people try and make things a certain way but I have never felt someone more present and grounded in his feet apart from monks than Kobe Bryant like when I spoke to him I just there was so much gravity around him and when he spoke his voice as well it had so much presence and that was two three months before The tragic event. How did you speak to him? How did that connection serious his team had reached out and they said j we want Kobe to have a conversation with someone who isn't only obsessed with basketball I didn't know him a lot about what had to do with basketball but I didn't love imagined that Yeah that's why I Purchbles made fun of me like that because then my group and my information is I have a channel I wanted to be part of home for a close friend of mine as well And yeah that's the guy I have, I dont love him and I go to. But obviously I have so much respect for Kobe. Obviously I love basketball. I genuinely enjoy watching it. And so they said, but we want someone who talks to him about storytelling, about him, about his heart, about meditation, about the stuff that he doesn't get to talk about. Because every time he goes to an interview, people just ask him basketball questions. What was it like to play in that game? What was it like to learn from this? So they reach out to him and I said, this is a dream.
I feel honored. And so we did that. That's how the podcast came about. I didn't know him or I didn't have a relationship with him. But in that short time that we spent together, he walked into the room and he came around to my whole team and he introduced himself, Kobe, Kobe, like to my video. And you know, everyone's geeking out because everyone knows who he is. He doesn't have to explain, but he was so respectful, so wonderful with the whole team. Don't ever forget that experience. And you know, you're Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, you're very, how'd that happen? Will and Jada are super close friends, consider them family. They're, you know, beautiful people who've given me and my wife family in LA, to be quite honest. Like we feel kind of adopted by them.
I've been able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them many times. That all happened because I was asked by Facebook to host the launch of Red Table Talk season two. And that's where I got to meet Jada, Willow and Cammy. And I got to interview them and Jada and I had this really interesting conversation backstage. I don't think I've ever talked about this before, but we were talking and she was asking me curious questions. She said to me, what did you learn as a monk? Like that's what you ask me, kind of like you did. And I was telling her like, I learned, you know, meditation, this cooking, and I could see that she was, you know, she was, she was intrigued and curious and something inspired me to go a bit deeper. And I said, I learned how to talk to God. Like we learned how to pray to God and when I said that, she said, I want to learn how to do that. Like I'd love to learn how to do that. And that's where our relationship began.
It began from both of us having this enthusiasm. And then I got to understand, like they both have been studying world religions every year in their marriage together. They're deeply thoughtful, intelligent human beings. And so that relationship has just been one of the greatest gifts and blessings in my life. And it all started from a God-centered intention place again. Like none of this started from, you know, I think it's really interesting when people see pictures or see things, they think, oh yeah, that's just like, it's a famous connection or it's this. And I'm like, well, actually I'd say 99% of my relationships have started from a God meditation spiritual place
because that's what I'm trying to put out in the world. I was going to ask you when people
meditate right back to meditation, how long should somebody meditate? I really believe that it's about starting with the amount of time that you can. And I said seven minutes for the Daily J because most of our daily activities take around seven minutes. Like I said, doing the laundry, washing the dishes, making our bed. I think five to 10 minutes is a healthy amount of time to start with, but hey, if you can start with 60 seconds, start with that. It's like being on the treadmill. It's like saying, how long can you be on the treadmill for? Now Tom Brady can be on the treadmill for a lot longer than I can, but he's been practicing for a lot longer than I can. And so it's like if he gets on the treadmill, if you do one minute today, do one minute today, but commit to one minute for one month, next month, commit to five minutes for one month, Like that's the point. And so I would say we started the Daily J at seven minutes
because I think it's a sweet spot that's doable. That's actually some of my favorite time to do it. Like right when I get off the elliptical machine, you know what I mean? And you know, sometimes you just sit down cause you like, when you just sit down and you just turn off the music and just, I count my beats right there. Cause you're catching your breath as well. And for some reason it just really helps you
to me right after you work out. I love that you brought up the beads because that's how we were trained as monks to the leads. And the reason was because all your senses have to be engaged. So when you're, when your hands are engaged your mouth is engaged. Cause you're saying the mantra, your ears are engaged cause you're hearing the mantra. And so when all of your senses are engaged you're actually present. And so if you want to be present anywhere if you engage all your senses you're more likely to actually be there.
And that's why the beads work like magic out here.
Did you ever do any therapy? I have seen therapists. I've worked with coaches. I've never done consistent therapy but I'm a huge proponent. and a fan of it. I've seen it helped my clients. So I'm a coach, I work with clients and all of my clients have a therapist as well. And I always believe it's two people you need in your life. So I really believe that therapy helps you untangle your past and coaching helps you build your future. And so I really believe in both of those in our lives. And so, yeah, I've seen therapists have had phenomenal conversations with them. I've seen them spot patterns for me and others in their lives too.
And I know you've, I mean, we talked about this when you came on the show so much. Yeah, big fan of therapy.
Therapy is the gateway drug to me, to me. I mean, some people, we had an NLE chopper up here and he started his healing journey through meditation. I started mine through therapy and then got into, you know, everything else. You know, the thing I like about you, Jay,
is that you never seem to stray away from your purpose.
To me, like, as big as your name gets, as big as your profile gets, it's always about what your purpose is. Like, you're here to help people heal
and you never stray away from it. That's very kind, man. I think that says a lot about you more than me because you noticed that and I think because you noticed that, that says a lot about you, genuinely, I mean that because not everyone's gonna see that. And that's partly what I've understood on this journey is that you're the only person who's gonna know your intention. People outside, not everyone's gonna know your intention and that's okay because as long as you know what your intention is, that's what you're living for and when you die, you're gonna die knowing I did it for that reason. And as long as you're cool with that. I think that's been the biggest lesson with everything changing. I think when I started, I really believed that everyone would see that I was trying to help and I was trying to serve, and as things grew, I realized not everyone's going to feel that way, and that's okay because the only person that has to feel that way is me and the people that know and love me deeply and the people that I speak to and see every week and hearing it from you, I'm full of gratitude, hearing it from you. It means the world, honestly.
What is the balance with social media? Because clearly, the digital world has helped and what you do tremendously. But also the digital world impacts our mental health in a very, very, very negative way.
So what's the balance? You know what? It's so challenging because if technology didn't exist and it wasn't going to keep growing, it would be easy for us to say, look, let's live a technology-free life. Let's all just meditate, focus, be present. But the truth is technology is already accelerating. And to sit here and work against it, I think it's too late. It's already moving too fast and it's gone too far. So my take is, how can we be in those places and give people alternatives to what they do on that technology? That's all you can do, right? You can give people a choice. And I think with the work you do, with the work I'm trying to do, with the work you all do here, is giving people a choice of, what else can you listen to. So the fact that someone can listen to on purpose instead of watching something or hearing some of that may not be great for their mindset, That's all I can do is give people a choice.
And so to me, I use social media as a creator and as a sharer. I consume it only to see what my friends are up to and support them. I don't really use it for anything else other than that. So I limit my time on social media, especially in the morning and the evening. I've been avoiding looking at my phone in the morning first thing for years, because I think that's your most precious time. You get to set your day up in that 30 seconds you're awake. And if you let in the news, the notifications, the negativity, the noise, you're drowning already.
And now you're trying to swim. That's right.
You're letting somebody else set your intention. Yeah, absolutely. And you're drowning. You're already at the bottom of the ladder again, but if you can start that. So for me, as a creator, I have to recognize it's a tool. It's a platform. I have to use it wisely to help give people a choice. But yeah, if people don't want to use it, when I hear people are not on social media and they don't want to use it, I'm like, that's great.
You know, power to you. What are some everyday practices you think people can use to improve their mental health? Like there's regular everyday things,
not paying for therapy or any like regular everyday things. Yeah, so I would say there's five habits and they're all free. And so, and it comes in the form, I like to put things in memorable ways. So it comes in the form of an acronym called TIMES, T-I-M-E-S. So T is thankfulness. I am so addicted to thankfulness and gratitude. And even though I am, I realized very recently, I just told you this whole story, right? I told you the whole story of everything that happened. Recently, I realized that I forgot the person who got me my first job after being a monk, after those 40 rejections. And I realized I've never talked about him because he's not well known. No one would know his name. His name's Ravi Khan.
No one knows him. And I remember when I was struggling to find a job, I realized he went to the same university as me. And so I messaged him and said, hey man, I've been out of the work for a while, three years, monk, et cetera, can you help me get a job? And he gave me the introduction to the company that I went to work for. And I realized very recently that I say gratitude all the time and thankfulness, but I forgot him because he's not a big part of my journey, which is not true. He's a massive part of my journey. So I sent him a message recently just to thank him. And to me, that was such an important thing because I was like, how many people do we forget that they're in between people? So thankfulness. And the way you do this is for the next seven days, text, voicemail, message one person every day. It takes 30 seconds, but here's the way to make thankfulness work. It has to be specific and it has to be personalized.
If Charlemagne a second ago just said to me, Jay, I think you're really cool, right? If that's all he said to me, that's quite generic and I wouldn't know what to do with that. And he may have just said that after cough. But when he actually said like, Jay, I really appreciate you stick to your purpose despite all, that was so specific that it really touched my heart. And so if you're gonna share gratitude with someone, has to be specific, has to be personalized. Can't just say, oh, you're a great person. Like that doesn't help. Second thing, I is for inspiration. Start your day with the thought that inspires you. It could be a quote next to your bed. For me at one point, I listened to Steve Jobs's Stanford commencement speech every day for nine months. Those nine months I was depressed, nine, 10 months, I listened to it every day.
And I promise you that speech will change your life. I just interviewed Matthew McConaughey on the podcast. I told him for 30 days, I listened to his Oscar speech every day when he won the Oscar for Dallas Spice Club. It's five minutes long, that speech. I listened to it every day for 30 days.
It was so powerful, free. That's when he said that line that everybody says, Kevin Hart said, what was the line?
Oh, I can't remember it right now. It's the one where he talks about like, he's like, I'm inspired by the person I wanna be. Like it's, yeah. And so that was beautiful. And then, so those are free, inspiration. So read a quote, put a little prayer in next to your bed in the morning on a post-it note. Now, wake up to that. Third one, M, meditation. We talked about a lot, the daily J, seven minutes. E is for exercise. We have to move. We have to have to move.
It can be 10,000 steps. It can be a virtual workout. It can be a dance party. Have to move in some way. We have to sweat every day. And S is for sleep. I just feel that if we did these five things and especially sleep out of all of them, I'd choose sleep. If you can just do one thing is solve your sleep. If we can just sleep well, and the best way to do it is the human growth hormone, HGH, is most active between 10 p.m. and the midnight. The hours before midnight. So the more hours we sleep before midnight, the more quality our sleep.
So if you sleep six hours after midnight, 12 to six, it's different if you slept 10 to four. And that's what you wanna move to is try and get a couple of hours in before midnight, it will change your life. So T-I-M-E-S, thankfulness, inspiration,
meditation, exercise, sleep. Jay, we appreciate, I was gonna ask, but I mean, after speaking to you, you realize what it is. I was gonna ask when you first got here. I was like, wow. Sometimes when we have a preacher reverent him here, we say, can you give us a prayer? Or we have a finance of the best there? We say, give the people some advice. Or if I was gonna ask you, can we meditate? But we really can't, because we need more. I mean, we'll be dead here for seven minutes.
Oh, we can do it for lessons. Let's do it. Yeah, yeah. Give me your time limit and then I'll stick to that.
30 seconds, 30 seconds a minute, yeah. Thirty seconds, 30 seconds a minute, yeah. Let's do a minute. Yeah, let's do it, yeah. Yeah, let's do a minute.
All right, well, let's do it. listening can join in as well. So what I want to do is take a moment to look around wherever they are. So keep your eyes open. And I want you to just notice five things in this space. Choose five things in your environment and bring your awareness to them, the colors, the textures, the fonts, whatever it may be. Just five things. And when you've found them, close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now what are four things that you can touch and just be present with it. It could be a jacket, the chair you're sitting on, your own hands, four things that you can touch. Notice the difference in the coolness and the texture.
Take another deep breath. What are three things that you can hear? There may be some white noise, the sound of my voice, maybe even a voice in the back of your head. Three things you can hear. Just observe and be present. Don't fight them. Just bring your awareness back to your breath. Breathe in. What are two things you can smell? Maybe the beautiful sage that we have here in the studio, the palace center, maybe a fragrance, a diffuser, some food, taking a deep breath. And what's one thing you can taste? Maybe water, breakfast.
Now in a moment when you gently and softly, in your own time, at your own pace, you open your eyes. You'll experience full presence. You can open your eyes.
You know, man, I love the sound of white noise. I love the things you see behind your eyelids. And I've been stressing to our heart that we need a mindfulness minute on all radio stations. Oh, I love that. Like we need, whether it's Jay, it could be Jay Shetty, it could be Debbie Brown, we need a mindfulness minute. I love that. Like a few times throughout the day, especially during like the 10 a.m., the 2 p.m. slot when it's mid days and people at work, every now and then you just got to take a break. Like we got to do exactly what we did just now. Yeah. So when we call you, Jay, answer the phone. Go get Jay Shetty's book.
Think Like a Monk. Subscribe to the On Purpose podcast with Jay Shetty. And check out the app column. One of my favorite people to just follow and continue to be a great leader, Jay.
Yeah. Absolutely. Thanks for the opportunity. Thank you, guys.
Thank you so much.
Thank you, man. Thank you so much. So grateful. It's Jay Shetty.
It's Jay Shetty. It's the Breakfast Club. Good morning.