After an appearance by James on his podcast, Inspired Evolution, Amrit Sandhu is seeking to return the value.
In this guesting, he and James will explore purposeful living in the context of business and mental health.
They’ll talk about the importance of understanding yourself to living a purposeful life.
They’ll look at personal values as key to a business and life aligned with your true self.
And they’ll speak of self-limiting beliefs, and of honesty as a value essential to good mental health.
Table of contents
1. A timely and important subject
2. The identity and mindset pieces
3. What demons do you run from?
4. The chasing of significance
5. Starting with your values
6. When people tell you what to do
7. What will you be when you grow up?
8. It’s not a matter of age
9. What options should you invest in?
10. We’ve all got filters
11. How Amrit beat depression
12. The difference that healing made
A timely and important subject
There’s an intrinsic connection, says James, between an entrepreneur’s mindset, identity, and the success of their business. The journey of entrepreneurship often involves personal challenges and external pressures that can impact an individual’s mental well-being.
James observes that setbacks in entrepreneurship can often feel like taking “two steps forward, one punch in the face.” Recognizing the importance of mental health in this journey, James invites Amrit to share insights on navigating business with a focus on maintaining mental stability and purpose.
The identity and mindset pieces
Amrit believes that understanding one’s identity and having a positive relationship with oneself is central to manifesting abundance.
Entrepreneurship often involves setbacks and challenges; however, when one is genuinely passionate about their pursuits, facing and overcoming these challenges becomes easier. Being aligned with a purpose or mission, like Elon Musk’s expansive vision, gives meaning to the journey.
James has concerns about the potential costs of relentless ambition like Musk’s. Amid various controversies and personal sacrifices, James wonders about Musk’s balance between purpose and personal well-being. Do some individuals inadvertently invite continuous drama or challenges into their lives?
What demons do you run from?
Amrit delves into the matter of motivations – while aspirations propel individuals forward, many are also driven by their internal “demons” or personal traumas. Drawing from personal experience, Amrit shares that while he is drawn to connection, contribution, and celebration, he’s also motivated by a fear of insignificance.
By acknowledging and understanding these driving forces, individuals can better align their actions with what genuinely fulfills them.
The formative years, says Amrit, between zero and seven, have profound impact on an individual’s subconscious mindset. During these years, we largely exist in a delta wave state, similar to hypnosis, making us highly receptive to our environment. The patterns, behaviors, and even minor traumas we absorb during this time can significantly influence our motivations and actions in adulthood.
Brendon Burchard often brings up a traumatic car accident, says James, which feels to him a lot like marketing, a way to emphasize a personal narrative.
The chasing of significance
James touches upon the concept of significance. He once tried, he says, to purchase the domain significant.com (an attempt that fell through) because of his belief that people are driven by the desire to be significant. Is this significance, he ponders, sought for personal validation or for external validation from others?
Furthermore, James mentions his friend, Jaemin Frazer, who believes that addressing underlying insecurities can solve many challenges. This suggests that people might maintain unresourceful states as a way to gain attention or fulfill certain needs.
Amrit says the ongoing conversation is a significant step in understanding oneself. Discussing aspects that individuals are repelled by and delving into deep discussions about significance, as well as acknowledging values that draw individuals forward, are vital in the journey of self-awareness and purpose discovery.
Starting with your values
Understanding and being clear on one’s values is a fundamental starting point, says Amrit, especially in a coaching journey. He underscores the need to see the difference between a fleeting curiosity and a passion rooted in one’s core values.
Say, for example, a person starts a business based on a mere curiosity for coffee. Without true passion, this venture can eventually become burdensome and even kill the initial enthusiasm for the subject.
Turning a passion into a business can alter one’s relationship with it, says James, leading to potential burnout or disillusionment. The daily challenges of running a coffee shop, for instance, could make someone who once loved coffee resent it.
Amrit stresses the importance of aligning career choices with one’s values. For him, the values of connection, contribution, and celebration guide his decisions. While he acknowledges the worthiness of all careers, like being an engineering manager, they might not align with everyone’s core values. He highlights the need to find vehicles (like coaching for him) that allow individuals to express and live by their values.
Moreover, being genuine and true to one’s identity and values can also translate into a fulfilling career, which can be monetized to support oneself and their loved ones.
When people tell you what to do
James and Amrit discuss the societal pressures and expectations placed on individuals when choosing career paths. There’s audacity, says James, in thinking one has a true choice in determining their profession, considering the cultural pressures faced by many.
Amrit reflects on his personal journey, sharing that growing up with Indian heritage presented him with limited career options – becoming a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, or a failure. Even when he excelled academically, he felt he was never truly following his own desires.
Amrit experienced an internal conflict. He was naturally inclined towards fields like psychology and physiotherapy. Societal and familial pressures, however, led him to choose engineering. This decision led to years of unhappiness and depression, as he was not authentically aligned with his chosen path.
James shares his own schooling experience and how his parents’ choices influenced his academic journey. Despite attending an exclusive private school, he did not thrive in the traditional academic environment. Reflecting on his struggles, James recognizes that the educational system often focuses on grooming students to become employees, something that goes strongly against the grain for him.
What will you be when you grow up?
Says Amrit, society places a lot of pressure on young individuals to decide their future trajectories, particularly in terms of their careers. But given the limited life experiences of an 18-year-old, expecting them to make decisions for the next 30 years of their life seems unrealistic.
James reflects on how rapidly technology and opportunities evolve. For example, he couldn’t have predicted becoming an internet podcaster since the internet didn’t even exist when he was younger. Therefore, predicting the future job landscape for today’s kids is near impossible.
James shares, though, that his great grandfather’s endeavors from a century ago mirror his own in some ways. Despite the vast difference in the context of their times, there’s a continuation of themes, such as travel, entrepreneurship, and global market exploration.
Amrit reiterates that his and James’ professions as podcasters weren’t even options when they were in university. James adds that with AI and technology’s rapid advancement, the jobs of the present might not even exist in the future.
It’s not a matter of age
Amrit discusses the importance of imparting values and morals to the next generation rather than pushing specific outcomes or careers, stressing that one’s values don’t necessarily have to align with their parents’. He also finds inspiration in a statement of James’s – that he is just emerging from entrepreneurial apprenticeship at the age of 52. Personal growth and learning can happen at any age.
James shares his experience with surfing, saying that even a decade into the sport, he’s still a beginner with the same skill level as a 10-year-old. Again, it’s never too late to start something new. He supports the idea of ongoing growth and potential in various stages of life rather than believing the best moments have already passed.
What options should you invest in?
Amrit emphasizes the importance of aligning decisions with one’s core values. For him, once more, those values are connection, contribution, and celebration. Any opportunity, whether a career or investment, must align with at least two of these values for him to consider it, even if the opportunity seems promising. This approach prevents him from venturing into endeavors that may not resonate with his true self.
Skills are essential, says Amrit, but one’s core values should drive them. While skills can be acquired over time, they should align with and be motivated by these values. By prioritizing values over skills alone, individuals can ensure they’re building a future that truly resonates with who they are and what they believe in.
Amrit describes his journey from hosting informal gatherings in his living room, discussing various topics, to eventually becoming a coach and a public speaker. These shifts were not haphazard but rather a progression deeply guided by his values. By consistently adhering to his core beliefs, one opportunity seamlessly led to another, creating a momentum rooted in authenticity and genuine alignment with his self.
We’ve all got filters
It’s important, says James, to have decision-making filters, which he describes as mechanisms that help individuals make choices that align with their best interests.
Everyone has these filters, but not everyone is consciously aware of them. Without them, individuals might repeatedly make decisions that attract chaos or are not in their best interests.
For example, James admits his lack of a filter when it comes to buying identical surfboards. While this isn’t harmful, some people might lack filters for more detrimental habits, like excessive alcohol consumption or wasteful spending, which can lead to negative consequences.
How Amrit beat depression
Amrit, once proud of his academic prowess, found himself expelled from university six years in, leading to a crisis of identity. He recalled having hidden many of his true feelings and struggles from those around him, suppressing his emotions and not expressing them authentically.
Amidst this emotional turmoil, Amrit saw an advertisement on a bus about depression and was encouraged to consult a general practitioner. The doctor’s assessment led him to a psychologist who diagnosed him with years-long depression, but said he’d be okay in a few months.
During this period, Amrit learned a vital lesson about the importance of honesty. Recognizing the ability to change one’s values and “update the software” of oneself, Amrit realized that honesty was crucial in confronting and addressing his challenges, even though the journey itself would require dedication and continuous effort.
The difference that healing made
After confronting his mental health issues, Amrit made significant changes in his life, one of which was adopting the value of honesty. This change not only helped him excel academically, earning him a top spot at RMIT University, but it also allowed him to be a beacon of hope for others. By highlighting the difference in his performance pre and post-mental health intervention, he underscores the profound impact of mental well-being.
As he progressed in his career, Amrit’s journey of introspection continued, leading him to clarify his core values and start a podcast, Inspired Evolution. Through his podcast and coaching platform, Amrit aims to inspire and guide others, emphasizing the transformative power of mindfulness, true expression, and living with purpose.
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