Gaurav Arora

Spilling The Beans - Finale Special

Spilling The Beans – Finale Special

Gaurav Arora

Inspirer at Heart

Gaurav Arora

Gaurav has a decade of rich experience in the professional services industry as a Facilitator, Coach and Speaker, with a strong track record of building high-performing leadership teams. As a facilitator, he has been recognized for creating stimulating and interactive learning environments, encouraging participation and individual creativity. As an Executive Coach, he works to dismantle barriers that come up in the workplace for leaders and help them in fulfilling their intent. A storyteller by heart, he leverages various methodologies and technique to put his point across and create the breakthrough.

He founded Inspire Coaching Systems in 2009, now known as xMonks and started a social development initiative “iOwn” in 2016, which is a platform to connect coaches with Social Development Sector to create possibilities and transformation for the change makers and bringing coaching to the grass root level.

Gaurav is an Engineer and a Management Graduate in Marketing. He is a recipient of the “Young HR Professional of the Year 2009-10” by Employer Branding Institute and has been awarded as the 100 top Leadership Coach in 2017. Recently, Gaurav has been honored with the 2019 ICF Young Leader Award. Gaurav is a voracious reader and loves adventure sports. In his free time, he does calligraphy, painting, and reads books.

Take home these learnings:

1. Why 108th? The Meaning and Importance Behind Choosing This Number
2. Cameron Hosts The Season Finale
3. Revelations Behind Some of Gaurav’s Philosophies
4. What is Gaurav’s Daily Prayer
5. What is the next wave for The xMonks Drive?

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Episode Transcript:

Intro: Hello, and welcome to the Season Finale of xMonks Drive, the podcast where we explore ideas and topics that drive us forward. I'm your usual host, but today, I'm flipping the script and becoming the guest. So if I am not the host, who is it then? For that a huge shoutout to kind Cameron for accepting to be a host for this episode. Throughout the past 107 episodes, we've had incredible guests, fascinating discussions, and learned so much from experts across the world. Throughout this season, we've talked to incredible guests about their passions, ideas, and insights. But today, it's my turn to be on the receiving end of the questions. I'm excited to open up and give you a glimpse into my world of thoughts and most importantly why 108? So buckle up, and get ready for a unique season finale of xMonks Drive. 00:06 Cameron: Okay, are you gonna start us off or do you want me to start us off? Gaurav: Please start. Cameron: Okay. Hey Gaurav, how are you today? 00:15 Gaurav: Hey, Cameron, thank you so much, such a pleasure being with you one more time. So yeah, very well. 00:22 Cameron: This is interesting. This is like the flip of what what I normally do because I either have, I run a podcast called “The Second in Command” podcast where I interview CEOs and get to know them. But this is interesting, now with me interviewing you for your podcasts. So it's going to give everyone who's listening a little bit of an inside glimpse as to who you are, and also me an opportunity to get to know more of you as well. Because I was a guest on your podcast a while ago. Gaurav: Absolutely. Cameron: Go ahead. 00:50 Gaurav: No, when we were just looking at who could be the best person that could bring out the best in others. And we did not have several choices. But I guess we were very clear on who we would want to bring on board. And thank you, as I mentioned, that's so kind of you to have accepted our invitation to be the host in the podcast “The xMonks Drive.” 01:12 Cameron: I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes and also learning a little bit more about you. So tell me a little bit about you Gaurav? It’s like Gaurav is the man, Gaurav is the human you know, without your title, without the business, who are you? 01:23 Gaurav: You know, that's the question that I've been pondering on for the longest period of time. I've had the privilege of interviewing so many thought leaders in the last three years time, and every time when I get into a conversation with them, I asked them who are you without your titles? And most of us, most of us tend to fumble, I fumble. So let me be truthful to you, hand on heart. I don't have an answer for that. I don't have an answer for that. I still get attached to titles, I do get attached to my accomplishments, I do get attached to people that I know. I.. I take pride in saying that I know Cameron really well. I take pride in saying that I know so and so really well. At the same time, the journey that I'm on to right now, the closest that I've been to my own self is when I declare my statement, my intention statement. That is to hold the space for others with compassion where they can live their life from a space of self awareness, self acceptance, enjoy courage, possibilities and shukrana. And at the cognitive level, I can say that I'm so, I’m spirit, I am consciousness. But.. I think you know what? I'm not yet one with that. I'm not one with the spaciousness as much as I would want to be. So still searching for that answer. Who am I without my titles? Difficult question but definitely a profound question to ponder on. 02:57 Cameron: It is.. I just I actually just wrote it down. I'm holding an event for our COO Alliance in April, where we're all going very inward, we have a monk coming to speak. We have someone who studied Buddhism for years coming to speak. And we're definitely doing this kind of inward journey. And I'm going to ask my COO Alliance members, who are they without their title? And without their business? Right? Who are they as a human? Because, yeah, I think it's a great question to ponder. So how about, you know, you've clearly been very successful in your career, and you're very well known in the Indian business marketplace. How about when you were just feeling like the imposter syndrome? Or you weren't feeling like you were good enough? Tell me about a time when that kind of occurred for you? Which… Which one, right, like, like… 03:45 Gaurav: Which one? Exactly… exactly. So I would want you to narrow down that question. Hey, which one would you want me to talk about? Several times, right? Several several times. I was instrumental in putting together one of the initial coach training programmes together in the country. And even when I was one of those handful of people certified on coaching in the country, and yet when people would look at me and say, Hey, we're looking for someone with more experience, and I would wonder what kind of experience are you looking for. Lord tell me. And a friend of mine, his name is Vikram Kaul. He was kind enough to tell me on my face. “Hey Gaurav we are looking for someone with grey hair or no hair.” I said sucks man, you would have told me initially itself. So that was one of those situations. Another situation I remember, I did a programme for GE Capital in the year 2008. For high potential high performers of GE Capital, and trust me, I literally cried at the end of the day because I could not, I could not answer the questions. Those high potential high performers had, and I literally cried. 05:02 Cameron: You, and you probably could have answered the questions, but you probably like I do tend to get in your head a little bit and worry when the only reason you're… you're in there, they already know you're the expert. That's why you're reciting. Besides, I think we, we overthink it in terms of like, what could I possibly have to give them right? Besides so, so when you go through a situation like that, or when you go through a failure? How do you bounce back from that? How do you pick yourself up or recover? Because you know, often those around us don't pick us up. What do you do to pick yourself back up when you fail? 05:33 Gaurav: You know, I’ll share with you a couple of examples. In fact, recently I delivered one of the keynote speeches for one of the organisations and according to me it did not go well. It did not go as I would have expected. For some time I was really down. I was wondering what went well, I'm not good enough. I don't think that I'm there yet. I don't deserve to be here. And I started wondering why am I wearing this shirt? I don't deserve to wear this kind of expensive shirt. Why am I wearing these kinds of branded shoes? I don't deserve to be there. And then I took a pause and I took a break and started asking myself what went well, now this flipping of perspective requires when I was willing to take a pause and reflect on what's going really well in life. 06:20 Cameron: You know, like. I heard that, I heard that we're not supposed to measure against our goals. We're not supposed to measure against how well others are doing. We're supposed to measure down. We're supposed to see how far we've come or how much better we're doing. Like I heard someone say one time and I'm sure this is true as well of you. A billion people on the planet would give their life to have yours. Gaurav: Definitely. Cameron: Even on the day that you're failing, right so… Gaurav: Definitely, definitely. Cameron: You… do you set time in your day or in your practice to praise yourself, I know that you're probably good at praising others and your time to praise yourself. 07:02 Gaurav: That's the beautiful question. Do I block my time to praise myself? I think my way of, I would say do I praise? I will not say do I praise myself or do I praise life? And I said, yes, my daily prayer, my daily ritual is to express my Shukrana. Shukrana is being grateful, grateful for being alive. Here, just imagine just before this conversation came around. I was wondering, how could I get so lucky to have Cameron to interview me on my podcast? I mean, why would you agree? Why would anyone agree to be the host on somebody's else’s podcast? If it's not grace, what else would you name that? And when I start to identify, when I start to look at situations like these, the people that I've met, the situations that I have encountered, opportunities that I've been blessed with, the people that I've met in my life, my family, my friends, the work that I do, the life that I have. I think enough and more times I say Shukrana to life. So is it equal into praising myself? To a large extent, I think God has been extremely kind to me, and there is some grace, which is shining at me. And that, through that I get all the glory. So yes, yes. In capitals? YES. 08:32 Cameron: That's good. I like that. Alright, so in India, I know that you're one of the top coaches out there, probably in the top 10 in India. I think people you know, when they don't get to know you, create assumptions right? They see you in social media, or they read about you, and what do you think the assumptions that they would have about you would be, and where are they wrong? 08:53 Gaurav: Where they are wrong. Definitely I'm, I'm not sure if I'm the one of the top 10 coaches, that's one. But I'll be very happy if people can say that he is definitely a mindful, thoughtful human being. And I'm very mindful of when I'm using the word, he is a mindful, thoughtful human being, not one of them. Because one of them has got a lot of comparisons to that. That's one. And that's exactly what I've been trying to be away from, because enough of comparison that I've lived my life from. So the assumption that they might have that, ah… I really don't know what are those assumptions that people might have of me. But I think, why they might have this impression is because of the work that we are doing in the industry. I'm definitely one of those lucky few who got an opportunity to get into this space quite early. When they were not many, many coaches in the country. Just gotten lucky. So by the virtue of having spent so much time, I think the credit is coming my way, which I'm really humbled and happy about. If I'm one of the top 10, who are one of the top 20? Who are the top one? I don't have an answer. I don't have an answer. Who is putting people on that? 1234. But yeah, I'm really happy that I am where I am, as you mentioned, several peoples, several people would give millions of dollars to be where I am today. And I'm really humbled about that, really happy about that. I've worked really hard to be where I am. And God has been kind, I would say, yes. 10:44 Cameron: But, well, here's a here's a bit of a random question. This is kind of one of those dinner topics. If you could go to any, any era, travel in time back to any era, where would you go? And when would you go? Like whatever would you go back to and why? 10:56 Gaurav: Boom. I'll come to you and give you a tight hug for this. Thank you, I will tell you, right. And if I could go to another era, I would definitely would want to visit 1500s. You know, during that time… 11:16 Cameron: The Maharaja… 11:19 Gaurav: Not Maharaja, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. I don't know if you have heard of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The first guru of Sikhism. Okay, he traveled over 28,000 kilometers and he had five journeys, and it's known as Udasi Ansh. Udasi Ansh means different journeys that he had and really traveled to different countries, including of course, India, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Baghdad. And I think just by his sheer presence, magic happened. For me, he's an epitome of love and kindness and compassion. For me he's an epitome of detachment. For me he is the epitome of humanity. For me he is an epitome of equity, equality. He spoke about how it's important to give, to share when he spoke about Vaand Chhako. I mean, share that, share what you have with others. Naam Japo, always be in service of others, always be kind to others, always be in the stream or continue to recite the name of a concord. The one who's the creator. So definitely would love to visit that era if I can somehow. 12:50 Cameron: I like it. Alright, so when you started your podcast, probably very similar to me. I've done about 260 episodes now. And I had no idea how much learning that would happen over that time. I was purely doing it to interview these people and let them share their stories. But it's almost been like a real world MBA, getting to listen to all these second commands, you've done over 100 episodes now. I think we're lucky number 108. What are your key learnings or reflections that you want to share? What have you pulled from the last, you know, the first batch? 13:24 Guarav: You know, I can go on and on and on. I think I'm sure you would be able to and in fact you have written several books, I would be able to write at least one book on the learnings only by the pearls of wisdom that I could gather from all these masterful coaches and leaders and business leaders and authors on my show. Just to share with you a couple things. The more I interact with people, the more I realise that how important is kindness and compassion. That's one. Expression, connection and contribution, they are the basic desires of a human soul. I remember my conversation with Jerry Colonna and Hunkins where they mentioned that, who you are is how you lead. My conversation with Pat Williams where he spoke about that when you climb the mountain, you don't go there and stay there. You go there, you enjoy, look around, enjoy the fresh breeze of air. And after sometime you come back so that you can scale another mountain. My learning from leaders, other leaders where I got to learn about curiosity and connection and, and also I think how all these people are so giving, all these people are so given. My conversation with Jason Feifer. My conversation with Amit Malik, my conversation with Rohit Thakur, my conversation with Shiv Kumar. I think all these people are so giving. 15:01 Cameron: Jason Feifer was was Jason Coca Cola? 15:05 Gaurav: Jason Feifer is The chief editor. 15:08 Cameron: Right? That's right. Yeah. Really? Brilliant guy. 15:13 Gaurav: Absolutely. Absolutely. 15:15 Cameron: Yeah, Yeah, we spoke in the, we spoke in the chat room and on clubhouse about a year ago. He's great. 15:20 Gaurav: Yeah. He's amazing. He's amazing. He talks about why it's important to live from a space of vision, rather than getting stuck with and identifying yourself with any one thing in life, because anything that you identify with is going to dominate you. And the way he talks about… 15:38 Cameron: Yeah, no, you're right. Go ahead what he talks about. 15:42 Gaurav: The way he talks about the importance of living from a space of mission. And intention statements like, I don't think that I can describe the way he does it. 15:52 Cameron: That's cool. Right? So you have in a lot of your work, come up with a lot of philosophical thoughts, you've surrounded yourself with brilliant people. You've certainly read a lot about some of the great thinkers of the past and I want to ask you about some that that I know mean, are meaningful to you. So one is who you are is how you coach. So that's an interesting one. I've never even read that one before, and kind of encountered that. How do you relate to that? Who you are as what you are? How you coach? 16:21 Gaurav: You know, Cameron, thank you for asking this question. As I mentioned, I've been in the space of coaching now for over now, what, what, 15 years now. And if there's one statement that shifted everything for me, is the statement who you are is how you coach. And the more I reflect on this statement, the more I wonder about who I am as an individual. And that's how this one statement is connected to when I ask people who are you without your titles and people fumble back, people fumble back because we find it extremely difficult. At least I find it extremely difficult to describe myself without if I don't have the title, who am I? So who am I? This question is a is a question that people have been asking from the time and or memorial beat so creates a sort of plateau. Alan Ward, Rupert Spira, Deepak Chopra, Ramana Maharshi Ji, and all the sages of the world, they've been asking this question, Who am I? Now, so that means if I'm vibrating at a certain level, I can coach the other person only from that level. So who you are is how you coach. Now let's let's further double click on the word ‘coach’ and replace the word ‘coach’ with ‘leader’, who you are is how you lead. Let's replace this word lead with other words, like who you are, is how you brother. Who you are, is how you partner. Who you are, is how you sister, Who you are, is how you father. Who you are, is how you host. Who you.. who I am is how I guest. Who you are, is how you live, isn't that? And the more I look into this statement, the more I take a pause, and look at myself some or witness point of view, and make the necessary shifts, what I'm being is, am I adding value in this conversation? Or I'm just blabbering. But there's one space in the last 30 minutes conversation that we're having. I said, I worked really hard and I achieved that. And I could smell some kind of arrogance in my own voice. And that's where I revisited myself, know what? God has been extremely kind. Because the hard work also, the circumstances were such that this so called human called Gaurav had no other option but to work hard. And that's where I think the more I ponder on this statement, the more I get into the space of surrender, and that stillness. And then I experienced a tension between my greed, my ego, and the space, the spaciousness, which is so pious. So who you are is how you live. Why you’re only Gaurav is how you coach. 19:27 Cameron: When I asked you a random question about, about coaching, and I'm curious around this. There's a bit of a spectrum between coaching and consulting and mentoring. You know coaching by its nature is supposed to be the socratic method where we ask lots of questions to get the person to uncover and then mentoring is when we're going to tell people what to do based on our experience and consulting is when they tell us what they need and we do it for them. Are you more of a coach or a mentor or an advisor or a guide? Where do you kind of see yourself in this whole spectrum? 19:59 Gaurav: I think on this birth I would definitely position myself as a coach. Where definitely I ask questions and the space that I held, and that the space that I hold for the person that I'm talking to, and I think that has become a part of who I am, I don't need to step into that zone. Just as a professional, I think those traits have become a part of who I am as an individual. So in the conversation, I would ask a question, and then leave the person with a space where the person can ponder on and reflect on and then we'll come up. And then there's another question and followed by another question, and then followed by some silence and followed by some space and that's a breakthrough. 20:50 Cameron: Yeah. So you've often said that the journey of a coach is the journey of a human being, why do you say that? 20:58 Gaurav: Oh, as I mentioned, who you are is how you coach and who you are and how you live. Because in case I cannot, if I cannot be a better human being, how can I become a coach for the other person? If, you know, my limited understanding says that we hardly connect with each other. You know, if I asked myself, when was the last time I took a pause, and asked a friend, hey, how are you? 21:30 Gaurav: I don't remember. Cameron: Right. And I guess to truly pause and care, right? 21:35 Gaurav: Yeah because, you know, there's always a coach who's talking to a vice president of a technology company. There's always a entrepreneur, talking to another entrepreneur, there's always a identity, which is meeting another identity. When am I willing to let go of that identity to meet another person without identity, a person without the title meeting another person without the title. And what happens is two human beings interacting with each other and that's a very difficult journey. That is the reason I say that I'm on that path where I would love to meet my own self before I meet the other person. So the journey of a coach is definitely a journey of a human being Cameron. Thank you for asking the question. 22:20 Cameron: I love it. So prepare for life and prepare for death. What do each of those statement or statements mean for you? 22:31 Gaurav: Prepare for life, you're asking tough, difficult questions from me Cameron. Prepare for life, and prepare for death 22:46 Gaurav: You know, prepare for death. I don't think that that was ever there in my dictionary, for the longest period of time. Now, if I look at the last one year, when I and my mom chose to move on. Okay, let me… let me make an attempt to address that. Now you've asked me this question. I think preparing for life means holding more things, adding more credentials to yourself, doing more, knowing more, holding things, accumulating things, and thus, there's hardly any time to live. And I'm so busy preparing for life. When would I live? Preparing for death on the contrary, on the other end of this continuum letting go, letting go and letting go. Because you never know when is the last day. You know, Steve Jobs said I live my life on daily basis as if today's my last day. What a way to live a life, isn't it? Because when I know, this episode is going to the last episode of my life. How would I want this episode to be? And I'll be living in this moment because there's nothing to prepare. And in living life in this moment, I'll be letting go of everything. And that's preparation for death. So I said, rather look at these two statements, and we'll divide that into three statements rather. Preparing for life, living life, is equal to prepare it for death. Here I'm holding things here and letting go of things. Here I'm accumulating things. Here, I'm letting go of things. I'm just sharing it with others. Here, scarcity, here, magnanimity. Here, give me more. Here, take more. Here, let me accumulate love. Here, Let me love. Here, more preparation, more targets, more action, more running around. Here, just being, just being because you never know when is the last breath which is going to come through my nostrils. When we look at that from that space, I don't know if it's making sense to you. 25:06 Cameron: I know it's just nothing that I've actually ever thought about in the past before. But it's intriguing, you've got some interesting kind of philosophical quotes or ideas. So that's why I want to ask about them. Here's this longer one, when you're clear about your intentions, the words start to flow through you and your actions seem aligned with who you are. So the deeper question is, how clear are you of your intentions? And can you elaborate on that? 25:34 Gaurav: You know I think that's how we started the conversation Cameron if you look at. I said that I don't know myself, who I am without my titles, I really don't know who I am without my titles. I'm on the journey where I'm making a… or something is happening, which is taking me closer to who I am. And the closest that I've been to who I am is the intention statement. And every time when I get muddled up, when the situation is messy, when I know I don't have an answer, when things are going off track, out of my hand. When I get distracted, because of the glitters of the world, the lust of the world, the addictions of the world, I come back home to my intention statement. When I come back home to my intention statement, then there is no need to prove a point, there is no need to prove how smart I am. There is no need to be who I am not. There's no need for external validation and the recognition and appreciation and accolades from the world. And then that's what I think, you know, metaphorically, if intention is an object, it will look like a flute. And I'm just here to blow. And the music is going to get created in that moment that I'm a part of, which is worth billions. And yet I don't care. 27:19 Cameron: Right. It's funny, I wonder if it doesn't feel to me like people think about these questions enough. I think they're so, are we distracted with our day to day or what? What are we? You know, what are we doing here? 27:37 Gaurav: One is, not everyone is blessed to have a friend like you Cameron. It's… I think it's the power of the questions. And the question that you're asking me, which is making, which is definitely making me ponder and reflect on like, that is one for sure. Second, I think we promote what we celebrate. The question is not that whether we take a pause and reflect on these questions or not, the question is, as a society, how much time do we invest in celebrating these kinds of questions and reflections? Because if I'm not taking a pause and reflecting on these questions, because I know nobody's going to celebrate outside and that's the reason it becomes really important to have communities. To have you know, you run COO Alliances, when people come together, they start to vibrate at a very similar level. Because they are discussing something which is poignant to them, important to them. Now, similarly, if we have a community where people are willing to come together and reflect on questions like that, I can just imagine the kind of space that we all can create for each other. And when I know… 28:49 Cameron: I wish people would think about this stuff more. I wish people wouldn't have these discussions, more of these would be much more you know, much richer dinner discussions. Then you know, who won the latest cricket match? Or who won the latest football game? 29:02 Gaurav: That has it’s space for sure, that has its space for sure, who won the cricket match. Who is playing tennis and who's dating whom? I think especially in India, we have these very, very fine discussions and discussions over dinner table where we discuss politics, we discuss cricket and we discuss Bollywood and we can tell you that which cricketer is dating which actress, right? Which politician is behind whom and what's happening. There’s a spicy discusssion Cameron, not everything needs to be serious. 29:39 Cameron: That’s true too. I guess some of this is… some of this is the serious stuff as well, right? So you said and this is a serious one, you have to kill self to meet self. Is this like the ego death? 29:52 Guarav: Yeah, it's the death of the ego. You know, this is so interesting. I… long time back I read somewhere. It says the act of creation begins with an act of destruction. 30:09 Cameron: So I'm, I'm doing a psychedelic journey this week with a doctor. And it's a ketamine journey where I'll be injected with IV ketamine, and we… I will experience ego death where I will at some point actually feel real death. Yeah, how do you… how do you experience you know, the ego death? Or this kind of? How do you experience this without a psychedelics? What do you do? 30:35 Gaurav: What a beautiful question, I think my way of killing my ego is taking a pause and reflecting on why I did what I did. And interestingly, interestingly, my limited understanding says anything and everything that we do is driven by ego. Anytime, and there are very few people on the face of the earth, very, very few people Cameron, who have been able to release that identity and ego, very few people. With due respect to few of the so called God men in the country, in the world. I mean, look at the kind of clothes that they wear, look at the kinds of palaces that they have created for themselves, look at the kind of cars that they drive. And then they also called sages, right? And I wonder where are they coming from? They might have their own ways of justifying what they're saying. But then at the end of doing that, that's just justification. Now, you have to kill a part of your own self to give birth to a new self, because it's a moment by moment, killing of your ego. Now, we can, we can ponder on that. What is ego? Ego is nothing but it's a safety mechanism created by your soul to protect yourself. I understand that. But at the same time, I think what I do as Eckhart Tolle talks about that, I said, what I do, what I have, what I have accomplished, who I know, there are different routes to tap into your ego. Now coming back to the question from where you started Cameron. Who I am without the titles that I have? Who I am without the people that I know? Who I am without the accomplishment that I have? Can I kill that moment by moment? And can I continue to revisit my intentional statement that this is who I am. And everything is transient, everything is temporary, be it thoughts, be it emotions, be it accomplishments, be these relationships, and that's going back to the era that you spoke about. Where Guru Nanak Dev Ji walked 1000s of miles from a space of detachment and pure love and care. Is it possible? For people like me? My answer is no, at least not possible for me. But then nobody can stop me from walking on this path. If not in this birth, if there's a concept of reincarnation. Next one, if not the next one. I'm sure. 33:07 Cameron: I like it. Alright, so this is an Erin Hanson quote that I know you’d like, What if I fail? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? 33:14 Guarav: Absolutely. What if you fly because I unless I'm willing to take a risk and not do anything. I just love this quote. What if you fail? Ah it sucks man. Honey. Viola, what if you fly? What if, from this episode, you get to know who you are? What if, through this episode, you may want to wander the world and look at the world from a very different perspective? What if? You know this question, what if is a beautiful question. It can bring all the imaginations, all the dreams possible in this moment. What if, I get an opportunity to sit next to you? And be a part of your COO Alliance. What if, we can bring in the work that you do to India? What if you, Oprah and I can host a programme? What if, we can make a difference in the world? What if, we can influence millions of people together? What if, the world could be a beautiful place? I think this from what if, Martin Luther King would have started when he said that I have a dream? What if, we can create a world where the blacks and whites can walk together? I think that what if is a beautiful question. And I love it because my daughter, Neer she's three years, she asked me a lot of what if questions. Gaurav, what if I can paint here? Of course you're going to spoil the wall. But for her it she's going to create a Mona Lisa, on the wall that she's painting. What if, she could be a painter? What if, she could be an artist? What if is a magical question cameron. 34:56 Cameron: We had a franchise partner of ours when we were building one 800 got junk in the early days, we were meeting with some of the franchisees to get their ideas and we were arguing, the head office was arguing with the franchisees and they were arguing with us. And one of the franchisees put his hand up, and he said, for the next two days, anytime someone says something, let's just think what if we could? And it changed the whole trajectory of the company, because it allowed us to think of possibility, right? So another, another quote of yours when you are grateful, there is no fear. Why do you say that? it's interesting. 35:32 Gaurav: There's no doubt about that, when you're grateful magic happens, then I'm a firm believer of Shukrana. Shukrana is being glad, being grateful. You know, reminds me of… I reached home one of these beautiful evenings, and my mom was making dahi. Dahi is curd, right. And the simple process of making dahi is that you have the yeast, you put it in the vessel, or a container, and in that you pour in warm milk, and you keep it for some time. And after that, and after that, you keep it for some time, and after that, it's going to freeze and you keep it in the refrigerator once it cools down, and what you will get is good. Now while doing that, she was reciting wahe guru, waheguru, waheguru, waheguru. Waheguru is the name of the Lord, Guru Nanak Dev ji I was talking about. And while doing that, I out of curiosity I asked, “Mom, why you disturbing him? He must be busy right now taking care of the world”. It's such a simple, simple process, why don't you do it yourself? And she said, You know what, this is my way of expressing Shukrana. At any point in time, I don't want to get an impression that this has happened because of me. I said, Mom, what does that mean? She said, it's happening to me, not because of me. And this is my way of expressing Shukrana. And when you know that the universe is here, the universe is conspiring to help you achieve what you want to achieve through you. You can surrender. And when there is surrender, when there is gratefulness, when there is Shukrana, where's the question of fear? 37:20 Cameron: I like it, I was in Egypt 30 years ago, and I learned the term Shukran, which was thank you, is that what Shukrana is? Giving thank you? Gaurav: Absolutely, absolutely. Cameron: I'm like, people won't necessarily be able to see me, I'm a Canadian kid. So I'm… that's why I had to ask, but that was when you kept saying Shukrana. And that's what it meant to me was thank you, thank you or giving thanks. Yeah. All right, so 108 episodes, I've been intrigued since you asked me to host this to interview you. Why 108? What's the number here and I think I might know what it is. 37:53 Gaurav: So 108 is, you know, that's a symbolic number. 108 is considered to be very sacred, love, kindness. Zero is shunya. One is the initiation of something. So if you look at initiation of something, taking a dive into nothingness, shunya, and then initiation of something which is into shunya, and sacred and love and compassion. So it's a very symbolic number, and, you know, there are several ways to look at that, both in Hinduism, in Islam and in Buddhism, people wear beads. You know, I wear these beads. And what we call the malas, right, or the rosaries. And every time when you read a bead, you put more intention and mindfulness to one of the mantras being more mindful and more intentional. And every time when you complete that it's like the completion of one cycle. And then you start with another cycle. And with every cycle, you pour in more intention and mindfulness. And why are we celebrating 108 episodes, because this is the end of one cycle, and we are getting into another cycle, which is more intense now, where we are going to be more mindful. And we are going to get deeper into that. Right. And we wanted to bring in this sense of mysticism, we wanted to bring in the sense of mindfulness and spirituality and intentional, where we are focusing and putting our attention together. So that's the next wave, where we are going to bring in that element. So that's the reason why we wanted to celebrate 108 episode and it's also an opportunity for me to express my Shukrana to all the 107 guests. Starting from Gururaj Deshpande, Marilyn Atkinson. To all the way where I had the great opportunity of interviewing you and all the other guests and friends and thought leaders. I think that’s the reason why 108. 40:03 Cameron: That's interesting. I love it. And I used to wear malas as well, I have to go out and dig one of them back out again. Yeah, I love that story. So 108 episodes now. So picking up from that. What's your personal prayer that you say when you're doing the malas? Or when you're doing the… 40:21 Gaurav: Oh, I just say Shukran. I just say thank you. Because this was interesting, what a beautiful question. You know, yesterday evening, I was driving back home. And I looked at all the situations where I would have wanted, I would have expected a different outcome in my life. Also, I was looking at all the situations where I did not expect the outcome that I got, that I'm really proud of, that I'm really happy about, that delighted me. And I realised that even if I asked for something, or I make a declaration, things happen, the way they happen. So an even better way, that brings in more peace and serendipity and an equanimity to my life is when I learn to live from a space of surrender, and Shukrana. And when I bring these two elements, I think there's nothing else but to celebrate life, there's nothing else but to be happy about being more mindful about. And being joy and being peace and happiness always just celebrate life. 41:42 Cameron: I like, it's interesting. I'm, I'm interviewed as a guest on so many podcasts globally. And I do speaking events to groups of entrepreneurs all over the world. I'm speaking next month in Cairo, Egypt, to a group of entrepreneurs. It'll be the 27th country that I've been asked to speak in. And I'm always asked at the end, you know, is there anything else I would say? And I'm like, yeah, none of this shit actually matters. Like none of this. None of this business stuff actually matters. It's the stuff that you're talking about today that matters. It's the stuff about, you know, gratitude and love and the self exploration because at the end of the day, we're all just walking each other home. None of us are getting out of this alive. 42:21 Gaurav: I love it, what you siad. At the end of the day, we're just walking each other home. So true. 42:26 Cameron: Yeah, so Ramdas, it's just this, Let's hold hands and enjoy the journey, right? Precisely, so what else have you got to share? I've got got a little bit more time left, and then we should wrap up for our guests. But for our listener, is there anything else that you want to share that maybe you've been thinking about recently. 42:44 Gaurav: You know, I would say that the I'm looking forward to the next phase of the Xmonks Drive. X monks stand for the warrior monks. The warrior monks come from saint soldier. Saint soldier comes from Sant Sipahi that was the term coined by Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji was the 10th guru of Sikhism. So, first Guru was Guru Nanak Dev Ji what we spoke about and the 10th Guru is Guru Gobind Singh Ji, he coined a term called Sant Sipahi. We call it the warrior monk, and somebody who's willing to pull the sword in service of others, to lift others. If I were to pull the sword out of my arsenal, I'll be very happy to do that. And even that means I have to sacrifice something in my life which is precious to me the way Guru Gobind Singh Ji did that. So I think I would just want to say thank you to the entire team, which has been extremely kind and supported me to pull this, the Xmonks Drive together. All the help that they have been providing, all the guests who have been extremely kind for taking time out. And I'm so looking forward to the next phase. And I'm sure the we have learned and I've grown as an individual. Can only pray for happiness and growth and peace and vitality and good health for self and others. Let's create the magic one more time. Let there be peace, and Shukran, Shukran and Shukran. Thank you. 44:28 Cameron: I love it. We'll Gaurav Shukran. Thank you and Shukran for asking me to be here on the show today and interview you and get to know you a little bit more. I appreciate it. And please share this episode with me as well so that I can share it with our tribe as well. But thank you for having us. 44:43 Gaurav: For sure. Thank you so much. Outro: Thank you for joining me on this episode of xMonks Drive! I hope you enjoyed hearing my perspective as both the host and guest. It's been an incredible journey exploring so many different ideas and topics this season, and I couldn't have done it without our amazing guests and listeners. As we close out Season 1, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported us along the way. Thank you to our guests, who have shared their expertise and insights with us. And thank you to our listeners, who have joined us on this journey and helped make this podcast a success. We'll be taking a short break before returning with even more exciting conversations in Season 2. In the meantime I will be adding more reflective beads. Till then, stay curious, keep exploring, and keep driving forward. Don't forget to follow us and leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform. We love hearing from you and appreciate your feedback. Until next season, this is xMonks Drive, signing off!

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