Welcome back to District 4, we take a break from our introductory interview with councilman David Ryu and move forward for an interview with a man who is often identified as the “millineol monk”. District 4 presents an interview with Jay Shetty:
If you follow the trends of the day you will subscribe to the ideal that there are many roads to happiness and they all lead to fancy cars, big homes, a posse, designer clothes, a great body, relationships that you do- not have to work at, and kids (if you bother) that will “eventually” be raised.
In the midst of all that striving, seeking, fighting for your rights, bad days, good days, television watching, stress, and sorting out your beliefs have you ever asked yourself- “where am I?” not who am I, but-where? Ponder that question as you read this interview and open your mind to the world of Jay Shetty:
Q: Just to recap you have had 2 billion views on youtube, something like 17 million views per video, number #1 personality on Facebook, Forbes 30 under 30 list number #7 in 2017 ( he pauses) What exactly do you do? (He chuckles at the hint of sarcasm in his question).
A. (Smiling) It’s a great question. First of all thank you for having me here. Simply what I do is I make wisdom go viral. I have this fascination with wisdom, insight, deep thought and I believe that wisdom belongs to each and every person on earth. My desire is to scale that through entertainment video that will make it available, accessible, and relevant in everyone’s daily life!
Q. Are you a motivational speaker is that what you do?
A. I like to call myself a story teller because I feel what I am trying to do is tell the stories we all try to live. I was sharing with you earlier how I genuinely believe that the answers that people are looking for are inside of them. I am just helping people excavate and become archeologist and dig in to find what is true to themselves. People may watch my videos and they may not be inspirational. It may instead be reflective- it maybe introspective, it maybe insightful, or emotional. It may take people to a place they may not want to go. So, I love sharing my stories as a story teller.
Q. You’re a young guy? I know people say I love wisdom, I want to find wisdom but you are a young guy who hasn’t lived a life yet-to that you say what?
A. It’s an interesting point of view and I have had that at every stage of my life and it is something that I don’t doubt. I genuinely believe that wisdom grows with age too. There are people out there a lot older than me, a lot wiser than me, and I am definately open to learning. I’d say the difference is I started living on a very different path. I talk about how I started following my intuition when I was seventeen years old. I was rebelling and breaking the system. I got access to people with greater wisdom than me.
Q. Let’s talk about that, lets talk about you growing up at a younger age. Tell me about your family in the context of where you started breaking the rules?
A. I had three options growing up. I could be a doctor, a lawyer, or a failure (he gives a hearty laugh) and I grew up in that pressure and that stress of having to perform academically! So, I started rebelling early on. I didn’t want to become a doctor or a lawyer and I was fighting with my family on that front, and at the same time I was at a point in my life where I was meeting people who were successful. Successful in the sense that they had wealth (he starts to count down with his fingers), beautiful and attractive partners, great jobs, they had what everyone supossedly wanted in life. However, I saw a lack of meaning in their life. This lack of happiness when I really got to know them. I didn’t feel like they were fulfilled or satisfied and that made me start to question it. I was thinking this can’t be it-if life is just about getting good grades, getting a good job, getting married, getting promoted (he gets pensive) that can’t be the meaning of life. And so I started to question that early on, when I was sixteen.
When I was eighteen was often invited to hear successful people speak and once there was a monk invited to speak. I had no interest in going what-so-ever (chuckling). My friend was forcing me to go and so I said I would go with him only if we went to a bar afterwards. He said ok we will go to a club and a bar if I just go with him (more laughter), and then I went.
He spoke to me in away…
Q. Let me stop you there, you felt he was speaking to you? In a room full of people?
A. I felt like he was speaking to me and it was strange because here I was always intrigued by people who went from nothing to everything and he had gone from everything to nothing ( the monk have given up an executive job at google to become a monk), he continues-I went home that day thinking why would someone do that?
Jay goes on to explain how he went on to live a sort of double life. Striving for the wealth and riches of the world during the year. While spending his summers living as a monk. Doing what he says was his way of “testing the two lifestyles” while not truly committing to either one.
Ultimately Jay realize that working for things only served him which did give a distraction from his emptiness but it was serving others that filled him up.
Let’s return back to the original question. Do you every ask yourself where you are? It means are you satisfied with what you contribute, are you serving others or yourself?
Q. It is interesting that your content, while you do motivate and you are passing along wisdom. You are not telling people what to do or what to say. I noticed in your videos you ask a lot of questions. I would imagine that is something you intend to do?
A. I believe the answers are within and we are not asking the right questions. I feel like we are always looking for the right answers to the wrong questions. The biggest companies we respect today comes from a question we were able to identify. That’s what I want to do is have people see themselves in my story and come to their own conclusion.
You may be thinking, how corny and idealist is this interview? You may be feeling like I am happy and I still can appreciated what my hard work does bring to my life.
Here is a way to test it. Take twenty dollars to a coffee shop for example. Buy yourself your favorite drink, then turn around and pay for the person behind you. When you leave, self check to see which purchase made you think (not felt but think). Then a week later self check again to see how you feel.
I leave you with this quote from Jay Shetty.
“YOU CAN’T BE , WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE!”
End of interview. This interview was edited.
Written and edited by Alex Love/Interviewed by Frank Buckley