Pandit Dasa

Leaders, Don't Stop At Empathy, Your Employees Need Kindness

Leaders, Don’t Stop At Empathy, Your Employees Need Kindness

Pandit Dasa

Urban Monk, Keynote Speaker, Author

Pandit Dasa

Pandit Dasa is a Mindful Leadership Expert, author, and motivational keynote speaker. His inspirational speeches aim to create a more mindful workplace culture, that increases productivity and improves retention.

He encourages leadership and co-workers to appreciate and celebrate the success and contributions of others.

This attitude fosters trust, enhances teamwork, and greatly impacts employee performance. He emphasizes the importance of leading without ego and highlights the importance of cultivating self-awareness and personal growth and development.

Pandit Dasa has spent 15 years as a monk in New York City and today he speaks on Mindful Leadership, Resilience, Mental Health, and Stress Management and helps companies transform their workplace culture to create a more collaborative and engaging environment.

Take home these learnings:

1. The Journey Of An Urban Monk
2. The Early Life Of Pandit As A Monk In NYC
3. Myths Around Being A Monk In Modern Era
4. Mindfulness For Leaders
5. Why Leaders Should Begin To Lead With Empathy
6. The Kindness Message For All

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Episode Transcript:

Intro:// Welcome ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the podcast the xMonks Drive. I am your host Gaurav Arora. Before we get to our today’s and the first episode of the year 2023, let me take this opportunity to Wish you and your family a very happy New year 2023. I wish you good health, vitality, happiness, peace, & abundance. While we were getting closer to the end of last year, Tunisha Sharma’s news stirred a very different emotion in the Entertainment world and came as a shocker to all. Newspapers said “Tunisha Sharma, a 20 years old actress died by suicide on December 24, 2022. She was found hanging in a make-up room on the set of her TV show.” And it’s not the first time, we have heard this kind of a news…a couple of years back, another well known actor in his 30’s died by suicide. Last week, I heard a 17 years old boy died by suicide in Gurgaon because of the pressure of scoring well. News like these…leave me a bit amused and saddened and definitely tells about the stress and anxiety we are living with. It could be the pressure of delivering at work, or scoring good marks in schools/ colleges or anyother reason. Mental health is becoming a concern that has to be addressed on a priority basis. The question is- What could be done in that direction? And What are the possible practices we can imbibe to bring in peace and balance in life? To address all these questions- we have Mr. Pandit Dasa today. Pandit is a Former Monk and Media Authority on the Future of Work, Resilience, Mindfulness, and Mental Health. He is the author of two books including Urban Monk- Exploring Karma, Consciousness, and the Divine and Closing the apps. Let’s explore with him why is it important to imbibe Mindfulness in our day to day practice and lead with empathy? Outro: My key take aways from this episode are: Everything is happening for a reason. It’s OK to have attachments in life for as long as you are serving others, eating health and spreading happiness and peace all around Only happy human beings make productive employees What are your key takeaways and insights from this episode. Do share that with me on my personal mail ID Please leave a rating and review on iTunes or Spotify and help me get better Please do share this podcast with someone you think will get benefitted And I look forward to meeting you next week with yet another interesting conversation. Till then stay tuned and take care. Once again, wishing you and your family a very happy New Year 2023. 00:02 Hey, thank you so much for being here. Such a pleasure having you on the podcast that x monks drive. I think it genuinely belongs to you. 00:14 Thank you so much. Yes, I am an ex monk. So I'm happy to be on your podcast. 00:19 fantast Fantastic. Fantastic. So the podcast name is x MGS. And here we have an x monk on the show. What a fantastic coincidence. Thank you so much. Now, here's my first question, right? Pandit? What led you to renounce the world and get onto the path of being a monk, when everything was going really well in your life, you were a part of an established business that your family had. And what led you to renounce the world? 00:51 Yes, it is a bit of a long story. But I'll try to keep it short. So I grew up in Southern California in Los Angeles, My parents migrated from India to the US in 1980. And you know, that we came over with little to no money. So it was a day to day struggle just to earn a livelihood just to put be able to put food on the table. And my parents really hard working, they were working seven days a week, one of the first things they did they set up a small shop, just selling gift items on Venice Beach. And I don't know if you know where Venice Beach is, but it's just, you can Google it, look it up, there's a boardwalk. And people set up little shops, and there's a bunch of people walking around, and then you're just selling gift items, T shirts, jewellery, whatever, little things. So that's what they did. And they were working seven days a week. And and I was very little I was only seven years old. So I didn't realise all the struggles we were experiencing. They didn't let me feel it. And within a matter of about eight years, they established a multimillion dollar jewellery business in Los Angeles, you know, that requires not just hard work, you have to have some good luck, some good karma to make that happen, because a lot of people work hard, but they want to achieve that kind of success. So life was good for a while, we began living the so called American Dream, which is why everyone comes to the US. And we had everything a big house on the hill with a pool, jacuzzi, a little waterfall, fancy cars, everything you can imagine. Life was good for many years. And then in the early 1990s, my parents jewellery factory caught on fire. And finally, it's pretty much burnt down, and we lost all our inventory and lost everything. And at that time, we were just wondering what to do. So my dad decided to explore new business opportunities in post communist Bulgaria. And his reasoning behind that was because Bulgaria is just coming out of communism, they don't have much, so maybe he can import things there. And you know, buying and selling was this thing. So he went over there few months later, we packed up our bags left Los Angeles, behind for good, and moved to post communist Bulgaria. And to give you an idea of the contrast that existed between my lifestyle in LA and my lifestyle in Bulgaria, first was, I felt it was about 3040 years behind in technology. Like you had to go to the post office to make an international phone call. Right couldn't make an international phone call from from your home. And then everything on TV was in Russian and Bulgarian, no one spoke English, it's just like, so even getting around doing basic things was difficult, because people didn't speak the language. So you I was a very, I was very much a foreigner, very much a foreigner. Because I didn't know the language at all, everything in the movie theatres were, I don't know, five, seven years old, because I don't think American movies were allowed during the communist time. So it was very difficult, challenging, but as challenging as it was, it was a very introspective time in my life, because this is when I'm in the early 1990s, when I'm sitting in Bulgaria, trying to think make sense of what just happened. But why did my life just turn upside down in such an extreme way? Like, what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? Why do these things happen to good people like myself, I don't deserve this. And so you know, I was really questioning life, and why things happen. And I think we do question life when bad things are difficult or painful thing or unexpected things happen, we begin to question life, which is a normal human response to obstacles and painful things. And that led me to, again, it's a very long story, every little detail is very long, but I started reading the Bhagavad Gita at that time. And it really opened my eyes to the whole idea of karma. And that somehow or other if I'm going through something painful, or even something positive, it's a result of some previous karma. And so as difficult as that was to for me to accept, I began to really ponder the idea and I'm like, what, why else would it be happening to me, because otherwise If it's not karma, then it's all random chance. Yeah. And well, I don't like random chance. I like random chance less than I like karma. Because karma means I can control something like I can choose to live and behave differently, that affects my future in a more positive or negative way, random chance, I can do great or horrible things, has no impact on me. Like, it's all random, I could do a tonne of good things. And like a rock could fall on my head. Right, I can do a bunch of bad things and end up winning the lottery. That's random chance I didn't that just didn't sit well with me personally. So I chose the path of karma over random chance. Like, okay, I have to accept responsibility for whatever's happening. And that's when my eyes began to open about life and spirituality and philosophy. We spent two I started meditating also, in a more deep way. Two years later, we moved back to the US because Bulgaria was unstable, we felt unsafe there, came back to the US to the east coast to New Jersey, my parents started running a small business in New York City. I helped them with that a little. But overall, I was just not satisfied with how my life was progressing. So then I finally decided that I'm going to take some time out and go to a monastery in Mumbai, India. I went there in 1999, with the idea of being there just a month, like I needed time to clear my head to figure out where life was taking me, and how I wanted to live the rest of my life. And so here I am going to this monastery in Mumbai, India, I'm living with 40 monks, and everybody slept on a hardwood floor. And I was a guest, but I didn't get a guest room or a mattress or anything. They just said, Well, here's the space. Every night you find a space to sleep, and you go to sleep. And you have a thin straw mat. That didn't give me when I had my sleeping bag, which I use. And we'd wake up at five in the morning, 430 in the morning, because our meditation was started at five that would go on for a few hours. And the rest of the day was spent serving one another, serving the community. So it was a life of simplicity, humility and service. And, and of course, during the day, I was studying philosophy with the monks and travelling with them and just spending time with them understanding what made them choose this because these guys, these were younger guys, they were in their 20s and 30s. They weren't like 70 year old monks. And most of them had engineering degrees. So they were educated. A lot of them were coming from decent families, good families, and like, yeah, like, why would they leave? Everything behind? Their life is set. So I was really curious, like, kind of like the question you asked me what made me want to become a monk, I was like what made these guys want to become a monk, like I went through a tragedy that put me in this direction. They didn't, they had a pretty good life, they could have just become good income earners, a lot of them would have gone off to another foreign country and made a good living. And so I realised that there was something deeper in life that they were looking for. And that's something I was looking forward to. And people move into this direction. For many reasons. Not everybody has to go through a tragedy or some major setback, it could just be your deep inquisitiveness about life, and just whatever life has to in the universe that could make you want to go in this direction. So instead of a month, I spent six months in India, I went to a few different ashrams and monasteries, which really exploring myself in life, I came back to the US and moved into a monastery in New York City. And I thought I'd spend maybe three, six months there. ended up spending 15 years of my life. Wow. As a monk. Yeah, it was it. This is not something you can plan. Right? It's not something I planned to do. I went with the idea of being as living with monks from month, like a lot of people do take a little retreat. That was my idea. I didn't expect it to turn into 15 years. And, you know, I was living the monastery I was at in New York City. I was doing a lot of talks and workshops for students on college campuses at Columbia University, New York University, and I started travelling around the country speaking on college campuses, on mindfulness, stress management, work, life balance, meditations, I was doing all of these things. And then, about eight, nine years ago, I decided I wanted to take everything I'd learned into corporations, and teach corporate professionals about mindfulness, how to be mindful at work with your colleagues. And so I left them on nastic life behind and I've been speaking in corporations For the last nine years now, it's been globally. I've been speaking in corporations. Yeah. So that's, in a nutshell, my journey into why I renounced the world and why I'm back in the world now. 10:13 Yeah, yeah, yeah. So here's the question, of course, I would want to understand, what was the reason for you to come back. But before that, I would love to understand. After 15 years of practising mindfulness, and eight years of teaching mindfulness and meditation and what it means to live a mindful life, the question that you asked with which everything started for you, is it karma? Is it random chances? Were does that question? Is it still there? Or you still have now you have better clarity around that? 10:54 Oh, yeah, that question was answered. When I first started reading the book with Heath in the mid 1990s, early to mid 1990s. And it became clear to me that really nothing in life is random. Everything is happening for a reason. And whatever is happening in our life right now has been set up by our previous actions. 11:18 And previous as in previous as 11:21 an either in this life or getting more spiritual for those who want to believe it in a previous life. 11:27 Got it? And that's what I want you to clarify. Yeah. Yeah. 11:31 Because our life is not just limited. Like, you know, you look at a child, a child comes out with a very specific personality. And they're already fixed on what they like and don't like. They're pretty determined on what they like, yeah, some things we can teach them. And you only you just wonder, Where's that coming from? Could it be that it's all random? I guess you could, if you're satisfied with that, then that's, that's fine. That it's all just random? I don't think so. Because even in, in the in the in the womb, there's research showing that children are dreaming. But my question is, what are they dreaming about? We dream about things that will happen during the day. Or things that have happened in our life, that's what we usually dream about. So what are they dreaming about? If they haven't had any previous experiences, right, energy is not destroyed, It just transforms it keeps going. And for a lot, this will sound very foreign, very strange concept. But what are children dreaming about in the womb? Even a child when they're sleeping? Sometimes they'll smile? Sometimes they'll cry? What are they laughing and crying about? Today? Have you hadn't really hadn't? Haven't had many life experiences an infant, a one month old start smiling you like why is it smiling? What What is it remembering? So there's some mystery that we can see. But the Gita and and a bunch of other spiritual texts around the world talk about previous existence of that we're, we're basically we're on a journey of life. Right? It's like a train that still has many stations. And we get off on one station, experience that station, and then we jump back on the tree of life we go, we jump off at another station, experience the food and different things that have to offer there, then jump back on, and then you go back on, until we get to the destination we're meant to get to, to life is like that train with many compartments. Some are third class, some are second class, some are first class. And each station that we stop at has different things to offer us. And we go through exploring and experimenting with these different offerings that life has for us, and hopefully learn from each offering. 13:56 Thank you. Thank you. And I'm still wondering when you said it could be the karma from this lifetime or from the past lifetime. So all those people who believe in that and and the way you supported that argument when you are saying that children in the womb also they dream? What are they dreaming about? That's a question for all of us to ponder on. Move on, Pandit. You said something led you to share this message with the corporations. And today you are considered to be one of the authorities in the space of mindfulness. You are an authority when it comes to leading with empathy. You are an authority when it comes to talking about depression and the stress and anxiety. What led you to come back to this world? 14:49 So when I was doing the similar types of talks in college campuses, I noticed how much people were struggling with their own mental health students that are so driven to To succeed, and being pushed by their parents to succeed, and society to succeed, and they end up in a college like Columbia University, New York University with top coveted schools, there's so much pressure on them. And a lot of times that pressure can lead them into anxiety and depression. And you see some of these top colleges every few years or somebody who commit suicide. And so you wondering, like, they've achieved everything, in one sense, they're at the top schools, that means they're going to come out just making a good income, no matter what they graduated, you know, anybody who graduates from there gets picked up by a good company, like what's going on. So there's something that's been unaddressed in their life. And now, they're carrying that into the corporations with them as well. And so I realised that I wanted to be able to just help more people think I was very happy doing the, you know, helping college students, but I'm like, there's so much more stress and anxiety in the corporate world, like now, because a lot of times in college, you can be in a little bit of a bubble, you have some shelter, someone else is paying the bills a lot of times, or maybe you don't have to pay them right away. But when it comes to corporate life, you have your work pressures, you have your you have a boss over your head, you have to pay bills, you have family members, you have kids, their education, there is so much pressure, how is a human being actually able to deal with all of these pressures and remain sane. And I wanted to see see if I could provide some knowledge, information and practice to people in corporate America to help them deal with all of this work life balance that we are always struggling with. So that was a major factor. I'm like, let me see if I'm up to this challenge, if I can actually provide some value to all of these individuals, and of course, the others, I want it to have go in the direction of having a family, right, I started to feel that, just like when I was feeling the need to leave it behind and go into monastic life, I started feeling the need for having a family. And so it was both on the professional and personal reasons that are a combination of both made me decide that okay, I'm gonna go ahead and step out, enter the world and continue my work in the world. I mean, even when I was in the monastery, it's not like I was isolated living in a cave. I was living in Manhattan, New York City, like next to me was a tattoo shop. Then there was three bars. Then there was a pizza shop, a laundromat, a bakery, you know, a nightclub across the street, like I was living, not in that cave in India. I was living in the jungle of Manhattan. Were trying to outside our monastery people were drinking and partying and loud music was happening every Friday and Saturday night. So when we're meditating at 5am, I can hear loud music and drunken conversations right outside the window. Right. So in one sense, I was never living a reclusive, isolated monk life. I was very much quote unquote, an Urban Monk. As the title of my one of my books. 18:26 Yeah, yeah. Yeah. But I've been curious. You just mentioned that you were living in the jungle, the concrete jungle of Manhattan. And outside that monastery, there were Big Sur centres, there were bars, everything was happening. The life was happening there. Right. Just curious to understand from you. What are the myths that people have about being a monk that you would like to place on records for us? 19:06 The biggest myth that I encounter from people when they find that I'm not a monkey, like, Oh, I didn't realise you could not be a monk once you're a monk. I'm like, Yeah, that's a common misconception, because even according to the the Vedic or Indian or a Hindu perspective, generally the monk life was initially like, as a student, like you're a student of life, of philosophy of spirituality. And like any student, you're supposed to graduate and move from that. Unless you find that you're very deeply rooted and very peaceful in that environment, and even then, generally, you wouldn't become a monk until you were 50 or older. That means by then you realise that, okay, I don't need a family. I'm happy by myself. I'm peaceful by myself. And I don't want all the things that these families have When you find that it's within, then you can actually become a monk generally, it's a time for learning, studying, philosophy, spirituality, meditation, whatever your practice is sadhana, you learn all of that. And then you take it with you into the world, into your family life into your work life into your society and community. So that's one of the biggest myths is that, yes, you can leave it behind, it's meant to be a training ground. For most people, just like a college or a university is, right. So that's one of the biggest myths that's out there, that you can't go back when most monks actually, I would say, 9598 99% of people who join a monastery will leave the monastery, that's been my practical experience. That's what I've seen, they will leave it and pursue other things, and take what they've learned, take it with them, and implement that into their own personal and professional life. 21:06 Thank you for sharing that. In fact, you know, in one of the interviews that I was listening to, you mentioned that you spent 15 years as a monk dedicated to serving others, while discovering your purpose. Now, here are the two questions. One, what is your purpose? If you were to define your purpose? How would you define that? That's the first question. The second question is, and that's the question that I've been dealing with for quite some time. Why do we need any purpose to live? I feel having a purpose is also an attachment. So if there is an attachment to purpose, why do I need a purpose? 21:55 Yeah, so in terms of every human being, it's the foundation of our existence is really to serve. 22:05 And if you can just start I think I missed in between, there's no challenge with the connectivity. 22:10 Yeah, the connection is little connection is a little choppy, that not just my purpose, but I think the purpose of every human being is really to serve to serve others, while serving ourselves as well. So as you can see that our entire life from beginning to end, we're engaged in serving others. You know, we're serving our family. We're serving our community, we're serving the government, right? We're serving someone or parents are serving their kids, kids are serving their parents, we're serving our friends. It's something we can't live without, it is what it means to be human. To serve people have pets than they're serving their pets. So we cannot live without serving. I think the service to be human is just an essential part of who we are. And I think we've all experienced that time when we serve someone and we felt so good at the end of it, somebody in need, or just someone, it just makes it. It's really what brings about happiness service brings happiness. 23:18 But isn't that the dichotomy because on one hand, I am getting attached to happiness. And that's what that's the question that I've been asking myself that, okay, the first is when we are attached to the goals. The second one is we are attached to purpose. You know, as Alan Watts says, we're always clinging on to something and unless we'll release what we are pledging on to, we'll never be able to experience freedom in life. And that means the list things that I'm dependent on, the less karmas I'm adding to my life. What's your take on this? 23:54 See, attachment isn't a bad thing. I think in spiritual circles, we often label attachment is bad. Everything has there are good attachments in life. Me being attached to taking care of my family is a good attachment. Anyone who tells me that's not I would think they're psychotic. Unless there's something wrong with your head that you're saying I shouldn't be like, if I don't take care of my child, it's going to grow up to be like, emotionally deprived. Like that's a bad service I've done to my child or spouse or other family members, if I don't, if I'm not attached to them, and their well being. I think that's an unhealthy human behaviour. There's unhealthy attachments as well. Maybe we're attached to just like making money to such a degree where work we don't mind stepping on others and crushing others and backstabbing others that's unhealthy. If I'm, you know, attached to like, drinking alcohol all the time and getting drunk. That's a bad attachment if I'm gambling all the time wasting away. My money and energy, that's unhealthy attachment. Right? If you're, there's a healthier to, if you're attached to eating healthy food, more power to you stay attached that way. If you're attached to serving people and helping them in their life, more power to you, and I pray, you can always remain attached in that way. So attachment isn't about just making us happy, it's about helping others become happier. And the natural byproduct of serving others is happiness comes automatically. It's like eat food. You're not making a separate effort to make sure the energy from that food is distributed throughout your body. It happens automatically. You get nourished and you get satisfied. It's a byproduct of eating the right food, right? It just naturally happens. You're not like, Okay, I'm eating now. Oh, I hope I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna try to be satisfied. Because I just put food in my mouth. It just happens. You eat the right food, like Oh, body strong, energetic, Oh, I feel good. I want some more. Now, eating too much, is the bad attachment. Attachment in itself isn't bad. Being attached. To feel happiness comes naturally as a result of our behaviour. When we serve others help others, even if it's a colleague in a corporation that we may be competing with, if we assist them, we've done a good deed as a human being. And it's okay to be attached to doing good things. And I would agree with anyone who says, Oh, I shouldn't be attached to them like, well, you can choose to live your life that way. I'm choosing to be attached to serving others and helping others feel good. 26:54 Where would you fit in the concept of equanimity? They say no affinity, no aversion. equanimity, where would you place that? 27:04 So it is. So I think that when we work with detachment, and we are able to accept whatever the outcome is, because that's not in our hand, got it. Accepting the outcome is equanimity. So I can try to help someone get over their depression, or anxiety or work life balance. The outcome is not up to me because ultimately, they have to be able to follow the suggestions and tips that I provide. I can't be attached to that outcome, I hope the best for them. I hope they can adopt this. But if I'm worried about the outcome, which is out of my hand, see, that's not helping me and it's not helping anyone. And so doing our duty, which is the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, it's the essential teaching, do the like, as a parent, you can do the best you can to educate your child, teach them manners, to live morally to live ethically, if somehow, without you knowing them, develop bad friends, start doing drugs and end up robbing a bank. You'd be like, what? When did this happen? So you don't know. Right? We have to be detached? Yes. But definitely, you're going to feel remorse, you're going to feel sad, you're going to cry. And that's all part of being human. We cannot deny those feelings. It's just part of human life that we can't ignore. Still, as long as we've tried our best to do our best, then, if we can make peace with that, then we can have equanimity. 29:02 Thank you, thank you so much for defining creativity the way you did you also use the word detachment let's take a little deeper dive into that. You know, I have personally come across a lot of so called Godman busy holding things having possessions still doing things to expand their influence, their name, their fame, where does detachment fit in? In the larger scheme of thoughts for you? I'm in India, you will find so many examples and celebrated Godman. 29:34 When you say God men you mean like spiritual people, spiritual masters, 29:37 yeah. 29:40 So, again, name, fame and influence can be good or bad. If we are using our influence, to help people become better people then And what's the harm? That means we can do good on a broad scale? So earlier we were talking about Gorgo. Powell G. Right? Yeah. He's using he's a great example of someone who's using his influence, to help millions of youth and adults around the globe. Right. And he still lives a very simple life, from what I know. He lives very simply actually, in a small room. That's it. Right? So if we are living simply still, I mean, what is simple and what's not as that's also very subjective, right? It doesn't have to be like everybody has to live in one room, right? But the point is, if we're using our influence, to help others, improve their life, and live morally, live ethically, be kinder, be more compassionate, that influence is so important. It's a wonderful thing, because you're using it to affect the masses. Because right now, there are too many negative messages of greed and pride and hoarding being promoted. So we need other people to gain influence, and spread a positive message. Otherwise, how is society going to try to improve? 31:29 Oh, good food perspective. Thank you. But let's say take one step forward. And, as I mentioned, you are an authority when it comes to delivering seminars or workshops. You're an author of a couple of books, you talk about leading with empathy. What does that mean? When we're talking about leading with empathy, somehow, I've never understood the word empathy, people say, getting into somebody else's shoes, I'll never be able to experience the pain, what the other person is experiencing, the other person will never be able to experience the pain that I am going through. Only I can experience when I cut my finger, only I know what it feels like to have that. What does that mean, when you're saying leading with empathy? 32:17 You know, I agree with you that it's almost impossible for one person to jump into the shoes of another. Because if you're jumping into the shoes of somebody, let's say somebody 35 years old, I don't know how they have lived for the last 35 years precisely went through in their childhood, what struggles, what privileges they had, what you know, all of these things for me to understand. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't try. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try and leading with empathy, especially if you're a manager or your boss, leader in an organisation, it becomes part of your job description to try to understand what others are going through. Otherwise, we will just treat them like numbers. We won't even treat them as people as human beings. So to some degree, we can relate to each other your boss, do you have a family, you realise, well, my employee has a family too, and they need to spend time with their family. So let me create an environment where there can be work life balance, because if the families easeful, then they'll be peaceful and happy. And that means they'll be able to work in a more in a more productive capacity and a healthier capacity when they come to work. As a boss, you realise, when I have a fight with my wife, and my kids, I show up to work all grumpy and angry. Well, and maybe it's because I'm working 18 hours a day. And maybe that's adding to it, because my family is upset that I'm not home. So now they're arguing with me about all kinds of things that don't even have anything to do with anything. They're just feeling neglected. So I'm like creating a similar environment for my employees, that they're having fights with their family, and I expect them to show up to work happy, peaceful and productive. And now how are they going to deal with my clients, and a happy, peaceful, productive, but no, their anger and frustration is going to show up when they deal with the client. And now that's having a negative impact on the the name and the prestige of that organisation. Because if people aren't dealing with clients in a healthy and positive way, so leading with empathy, it is possible to be able to try to step into the shoes of another because even though we can't fully understand what others are going through, we do have similar experiences that allow us to some degree understand what others are going through. Yeah, and that's, that can't be denied. And so you try our level best to lead in a way and realise what are some of the things that my colleagues are going through? And let me see if I can help them with that, as opposed to judging them assuming they're lazy assuming they're incompetent or they're not pulling their weight. All of these things that we come up with just asking you, Hey, how's it going? Is there anything I can help me with? That's what I would say is leading with empathy. 35:10 Yeah, you know, reminds me of a conversation with a friend, and an author of a book called reboot. His name is Jerry colonna. And he said, If only I can ask the person, how are you from a genuine intent, and not be surprised that the other person would start to cry? Because there's so much going on in everyone's life. You never know what the other person is going through. But I do understand that at the cognitive level. If I'm speaking to a group of 100 people, and I would ask this question, how many of you make a genuine attempt to understand the other person to empathise with what your team members are going through? I will not be surprised if 100 out of 100 people would raise their hand. And yet, at least I have not seen most of us implementing that. In our workplaces. What do you think? Where does the gap between knowing something that I should be doing and doing something knowing I should empathise and lead with empathy? And putting it into action? What is the missing link here? 36:25 You know, I think it also to some, I mean, we can learn these things. But it does also does start in our childhood, right. And hopefully, as parents, we can teach our kids empathy at an early age, because then it stays with them for the rest of their life. And that's going to be an empathic leader one day, right? But I think we ultimately have to make a decision in our life that I'm going to start leading with empathy. And when I ask a colleague, how you're doing, that, I'm going to be willing to sit and stand there and hear what they're saying. And usually, it can't really just happen over a cup of coffee in the coffee room, it probably requires saying, hey, let's check in with each other. Let's set aside 15 to 20 minutes and just check in personally, that it requires setting aside some time, specifically for that person for that, you know, interaction, and not like you're walking down the hall and your colleagues coming by, Hey, how was it? How's it going? Good, how was your weekend? Great, fantastic. Alright, see you later. So it has to be like, Hey, let's check in, we haven't checked in in a while. Let's schedule it, and just see how, you know, personal check in. And now, we have nothing else going on, you're not rushing from one task to the other, you're not rushing from one meeting to another, you're just with them. And they're just with you. And that's when that exchange can actually happen properly in a meaningful way. 37:55 Making sure you make time for the other person making sure that I make time for people like genuinely cared for. You know, considering the world that we're living in right now, and especially post pandemic world. The culture and organisation is very hybrid in nature. People come for two days, they're not coming for four days. What do you think? How can we develop those positive social connections? In today's environment? 38:33 Well, two ways one is making the most of the time that we have in person. So that, hey, I'm going to be in the office on Thursday. Are you going to be there? Okay, well, let's let's plan to have lunch together and connect with each other personally, right? Making the most of that time. But there's fully possible to schedule a call a video call, and still have that connection. I mean, people are connecting with their relatives around the globe. So why not wake up with a colleague who's maybe in another city or another part of the quote globe, just setting aside a virtual call and video call and just getting to know them, say, Hey, this is the purpose of this is just we want I want to just know how you're doing. We've been working together for the last 12 months, but we haven't had a chance to really talk. I just want to know who you are. And I want to share a little bit about myself with you. Like that's really cool. At the end of it. Now you know each other, you realise that they may have something in common, like, you know, like you and I realise we have so many people that we know in common. We didn't realise that until this happened. When I when he first reached out to me, I was like, I don't know who this person is. But initially, then we started talking like, oh, wow, we know several people in common. So it's a beautiful thing. You just opened up a whole new relationship, when you set aside that time, even in a hybrid work environment. 39:54 Yeah, yeah. One of the assumption that I've heard people talking about instead I do a lot of work with C suite executives, one of the assumptions that people have is that in case I start to walk on this path of spirituality in case I start to walk on the path of mindfulness and meditation and building connections with people, I might lose track of the bottom line, or the top line on which I'm evaluated on, what's your take on that? Where do these two worlds converge? On one hand, we are talking about mindfulness, we are talking about empathy, we are talking about connections, we are talking about mindfulness and meditation. On the other hand, we are evaluating executives on the top and bottom line on the results that they are delivering the revenue that they have been able to generate in the organisation. 40:48 I think if people look at it carefully, they will see that there is research supporting that the more we focus on empathy and mindfulness, the better results we'll have even in our workplace and business. So because the only way, there's one company, I read this article about Southwest Airlines, yeah, here in the US, and they prioritise their employees more than their customers and shareholders. Now, that's interesting. You think, Well, shareholders, you know, obviously, well, if the employees are happy, then the customers are happy. If employees aren't happy, then they won't deal with customers properly. And then the reviews, Google reviews will go drop right down and no one's gonna fly. And if customers are happy, and employees are happy, shareholders happy because everyone was playing with them. So that's mindfulness. That's empathy. That's kindness in the workplace. So I think people have to take a moment and realise that these things actually improve business, and culture, and profits. Because when you have loyal employees and loyal customers, that's how businesses grow steadily. A problem is a lot of people leave because they're not appreciated at work. They don't like the workplace culture, people, you know, the, there's one saying that people don't leave jobs, they leave managers, because the manager is not kind and caring. They're just can be a little, you know, task oriented, taskmasters, with little to no soft skills. And what happens really good people end up walking away after you've spent years training them and paying them now they're taking all that knowledge to someone else, and maybe some of your secrets as well. So I think if we take a breath, and realise that being a good person, and being a good leader, will actually is good for business. I think that's when the transformation is going to happen. 42:55 Thank you. And the last question is, since we are talking about corporations, and you do a lot of work with leaders all across the world, if you were to share a couple of tips that could allow us to put mindfulness into our day to day life, you know, some people say they start meditating. That's one way, of course. But what are the other ways that you can recommend us that will allow us to put mindfulness into day to day practice when I'm eating when I'm interacting with my team members when I'm travelling when I'm travelling to my office, when I'm coming back when I'm dealing with people on the road? Right? What's your take on that? 43:39 So just like, you know, we say that Breck, at least it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for the body. So I do think if we start our morning with a little mindfulness and meditation, even if it's as little as three to five minutes, centering ourselves, realising that there's a bigger purpose in life, and telling ourselves that I'm going to try my best to be kind today, I'm going to be present with the people that I'm going to be interacting with. And if someone's misbehaving in the workplace, or on the road, that I'm going to be, I'm going to have some empathy, understanding that maybe this person is going through a very difficult time, and that's why they're acting out and lashing out. Not that they're like that. But usually, we misbehave when things aren't going right or we're going through a problem or difficulty or pain in life. And we don't know how to express it and it comes out in with through unkind words or unkind action towards others. It's like, for example, someone who's a bully at school. They've probably been bullied in their life or they've gone through maybe they had parents who bullied them or there are other people who believe that and now they're bullying others in school just act out to get their aggression out unresolved aggression. So that's just a kinder way to look approach the world. And it doesn't mean that what they're doing is right. But just for us to realise that, you know, there's pain in there. And this is just them expressing their pain. And we want to avoid that person, but just having that approach because that approach carries into the workplace. And someone's not performing at the level you wanted them to, or you hope, like, maybe there's something going on in their life. And maybe if I do figure that out and show some kindness, it could help them. And it builds my relationship with that person, because we took the time to be kind. 45:37 Yeah, yeah, thank you. Thank you so much as they say that kindness and compassion will never go out of fashion. The Tory, the know, you'll never know the story that that person is going through. And if I could be kinder to the other person, I think that's the only way to live a life. As you said, from your purpose, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, your insight, your experiences. It was an absolute pleasure having you with us and share honour to listen to your firsthand experience somebody who has lived from a space of mindfulness for 15 years and then sharing so shukran 46:19 thank you so much. gargy It was a pleasure speaking with you on these beautiful topics. And and I hope people can find some value in these messages.

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