Simple truths can produce big transformation.
Making wisdom go viral is the driving passion behind all Jay Shetty does.
At first glance, “Making wisdom go viral” seems like just another catchy phrase. Jay Shetty recently unpacked the concept for the crowd at Mind Valley. Really digging into it opened up a treasure trove of deep truth for the audience of this Mind Valley fan favorite. In fact, Shetty was awarded best speaker at Mind Valley across all seminars, festivals, and events for the entire year of 2018.
Shetty shared a behind-the-scenes replay of that interview on a recent episode of On Purpose with Jay Shetty. Here are his takeaways from the interview.
Refine Your Intentions
Jay Shetty strongly believes in the importance of daily rituals, habits, and foundations. Centering on these each day allows a person to meet the pressures of life with strength and determination; not with worry or being overwhelmed.
“Find your daily rituals, find your daily habits, find your practices that act as the foundation because we're living in such busy, hectic, crazy times,” Shetty said.
For Jay Shetty, it’s meditation. He has meditated two hours per day for the last 13 years and says it helps keep him focused and tuned in to his life.
One of the ways he stays tuned in is by refining his intentions on a daily basis.
“What I do every day is I'll look at the plethora of options that I have available, all of the things – whether it's deals, ideas, thoughts, projects, offers, whatever it is – and on top of all of them I'll write down why I would do that,” he said.
If the reason is negative – things like ego, price, envy, jealousy – then he doesn’t pursue it. On the other hand, if the reasons are positive and full of compassion, love, joy, passion, purpose, he does.
Without setting intentions for the day, it’s too easy to get distracted.
“You start watching something really educational on YouTube,” said Jay Shetty, “Two videos later you're watching something about Justin Bieber's mom, right?”
He acknowledges that not everyone will be able to spend two hours a day meditating, but he challenges people to start with what they can.
Are You Planting Seeds or Weeds?
Jay Shetty sees all actions, thoughts, and motives as either positive or negative – either seeds or weeds. Being mindful of which kind of fruit a person is sowing is vital.
“I want to plant more seeds in the garden of my life. Seeds of compassion, love, purpose, fulfillment, meaning, joy, and service,” Shetty explains. “Weeds are when we do things out of ego, envy, and competition. So everyday, I'm plucking the weeds out of my life, and I'm trying to plant more seeds.”
Focused intention on planting seeds means consistent habits and routines, including saying yes to affirmations and no to self-doubt, choosing reading over mindless scrolling or TV. Everyone has the gift of time. The magic is in how it is used.
Jay Shetty on India or Bust
Another key to Jay Shetty’s growth is his yearly trip to the ashram he served in as a monk. Going back to the place that first transformed his life is not merely nostalgic, it is vital. During this time, Shetty turns off his Instagram and other social media so he can be solely present for his spiritual growth.
“It is so important that I do not have to think of creativity as stress or pressure,” said Jay Shetty. “I'm able to do creativity as a form of passion and service.”
When Jay Shetty is in India, he is IN India. He jokes that the reason he turns everything off is that monks don’t really care about his life outside the ashram or what he is up to on Instagram. There is truth to that, but the reason for his radio silence goes deeper … three steps deeper.
“There is a saying, if you want to move three steps forward, you have to go three steps deep,” Shetty explained. “And so if I'm not going forward, I know it's because I haven't gone deep.”
In India, he dives in head first. Eight hours a day spent meditating, focused time with his teachers, and time being just a person, not a social media personality, humbles him and grounds him. That month sets the groundwork for a year of purpose and intentionality. When asked how he could afford to take that time off, Shetty replied, “How can I not?”
While Jay Shetty believes that immersive experiences do change people’s lives, he acknowledges that not everyone has the ability to get away for a month of meditation in India. Despite that, he challenges people to do what they can wherever they are.
He encourages people to refine their intentions by setting daily healthy habits and foundations. Jay believes that taking advantage of immersive experiences where they are available will take growth to a new level. Immersion helps foster transformation, and refining your intention daily motivates it to stick.
Grow and Rescue
Jay Shetty’s Buddhist practice sets the foundation for his beliefs, but he affirms that spirituality is for and within everyone.
“Actually half of learning in my opinion, is really unlearning,” he said. “Everyone already has the answer inside of them. You're not really learning anything new, you're just trying to get rid of all the bad lessons you learned.”
He uses the sun as an example. For some, their light is clearer and less obstructed by clouds of experience and life. Others have a harder time – the light is still there, but clouds of negative experiences, lack of knowledge, or unwillingness cover the light they have. Balance comes when the light is allowed to shine and the clouds are accepted as natural.
“We're all spiritual people, and it's just that some are covered,” Shetty said. “It's like the sun's always out, but often it's covered with the clouds.”
This non-judgemental approach helps ground Shetty spiritually in a world that is full of chaos. He acknowledges that encountering experiences or people who are not on a similar spiritual level can be challenging.
It can be difficult to keep that person from clouding or overwhelming the spiritual strength of another. Being grounded in meditation and his spiritual identity allows Shetty to not be shaken as easily.
“I've always thought about it as, if you look at the ocean and you see someone drowning, you want to help them,” he explained. “But if you go in too soon and you're not strong enough, it's likely that you're going to get pulled in. And at that point, it's easier to shout out to a lifeguard who can come along, who's trained, who's disciplined, who's committed, who can go and make a difference.”
Acknowledging his limits has allowed Shetty to help who he can, but not get bogged down by those he can’t.
We All Start Somewhere
We have all been there. Experiencing something life-changing makes us want to shout it from the rooftops. It’s tempting to try to drag others along on our journey so they can experience transformation too. Sometimes people are not on board.
People don’t often experience true transformation because it is forced upon them. Even though well-intentioned, expecting people to change before they are ready is not fair or effective. Jay Shetty wisely encouraged people to lead by example, not education. Not long ago, he was in a similar place of growth and struggle.
“Start with compassion, empathy and connection,” encouraged Shetty. “Recognize we were just there a few years ago. That's the biggest anchor in my life, recognizing that I was addicted to things I don't believe are good for me spiritually. I was that guy. I was that kid. It's taken a journey and someone had to believe in me. Someone had to invest in me.”
People will be most impacted by observing the transformation they see in another person’s life; not by being judged for their current state. Humbly living out changes will speak so much louder than lectures filled with facts.
Wage Peace Passionately
Jay Shetty is the first to admit that there’s a lot that needs to be done. In a world of chaos, dissention, and drama, he doesn’t want to waste time. He believes multitasking is not effective, but being strategic is vital.
He quotes Martin Luther King Jr., “Those who love peace need to learn to organize themselves as well as those who love war.’” Shetty urges others to be focused and intentional with their efforts to bring peace and transformation. Strategic intention will change the world. He challenges people to look at how they use their time, what meaningful connections they make, and how they focus strategically on making a difference.
“My plea to all of you and to myself is whatever we're going to do, let's get really strategic about it,” Jay Shetty said. “Let's bring sincerity and strategy together. Let's bring data and dynamism together. Let's bring intuition and insight together.”
Dreaming Big, Working Bigger
At this point, it seems like the sky's the limit for Jay Shetty. The evolution and growth don’t stop. He is humbly mindful of how far he has come, but he doesn’t allow that acknowledgement to hold him back. That is because Shetty’s passion is bigger than himself.
His mission is to spread wisdom at the pace people want entertainment. With Martin Luther King, Jr. in the back of his brain, Jay Shetty is living what he preaches.
“A big part of my vision and goal is to create conscious content that will sit on all the platforms that everyone binge watches,” he said. “It will be so extremely entertaining, you won't even know that it will have the most meaningful messages behind it.”
In the noise of today’s world, Shetty goes deep by narrowing it down to the basics:
- Create focused intention on learning and growing spiritually
- Immerse yourself to experience transformation
- Experience speaks louder than education
- Spirituality belongs to everyone
- Pursue peace strategically
- Make wisdom go viral
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on, “The Only Way to Inspire Change in Your Friends and Family” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out his website at jayshetty.me.