Welcome To the Join Up Dots Podcast with Neil Pasricha
Introducing Neil Pasricha
Neil Pasriche is todays guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast.
He is a Canadian author, entrepreneur, podcaster, and public speaker characterized by his advocacy of positivity and simple pleasures.
He is best known for his The Book of Awesome series, and “The Happiness Equation” which are international bestsellers
As he says “I think, write, and speak about living intentionally.
All of my current work focuses under the themes of gratitude, happiness, failure, resilience, and trust.
I’m the the author of six books including: The Book of Awesome, a spinning rolodex of simple pleasures based on my 100-million-hit, award-winning blog 1000 Awesome Things, The Happiness Equation, originally written as a 300-page love letter to my unborn son on how to live a happy life, Awesome Is Everywhere, an interactive introduction to guided meditation for children, and You Are Awesome, a nine-step guide to building resilience told through stories and research.
How The Dots Joined Up For Neil
My books are New York Times and #1 international bestsellers and have sold millions of copies across dozens of languages.
I also give over 50 speeches a year at places like TED, SXSW, and Google.
My first TED talk “The 3 A’s of Awesome” is ranked one of the 10 Most Inspiring of all time and my second is called “How do you maximize your tiny, short life?”, an artistic side-project called the world’s first TED Listen, composed entirely of questions.
So when he is as busy as he is, how does he take the time to live intentionally?
And most importantly how do you find gratitude when most of us get trapped into “well this just normal…what’s there to be grateful about?”
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the only and only Neil Pasricha
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Neil Pasricha such as:
Neil shares the breakdown of happiness and you might be surprised how little we can do to make this happen in our lives.
Why it is so difficult for someone to express happiness and enjoyment in a corporate environment and the steps to make it happen.
The steps Neil Pasricha took to create a life-changing blog which allowed him take more and more risks to get greater success in his life.
How To Connect With Neil Pasricha
Return To The Top Of Neil Pasricha
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here– enjoy
Interview Transcription For Neil Pasricha Interview
David Ralph [0:01]
Once upon a time, there was a guy with a dream, a dream to quit his job, support himself online and have a kickoff live. Little did he know that dream would lead him into a world of struggle, burnout and debt, until he found the magic ingredient and no struggles became a thing of the past. I of course, was that person. And now My dream is to make things happen for you. Welcome to Join Up Dots.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling in Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:52]
Yes, hello there. Good morning. David Ralph. So that means you are listening to that Join Up Dots podcast. Yes, we are West flying past six years, on to our seventh year in nine year who knows where it’s going to go, but I know it’s going to go somewhere because when you awesome and your shows awesome, then you’re going to be awesome. And that’s why I’ve got a guy on the show today. But one of the six books is part of the book of awesome series. I think just pick myself up there was a lead in there. He’s a Canadian author, entrepreneur, podcast and public speaker, characterised by his advocacy of positivity and simple pleasures, as he says, I think write and speak about living intentionally. All of my current work focuses under the themes of gratitude, happiness, failure, resilience, and trust. I’m the author of six books, including the book of awesome a spinning Rolodex of simple pleasures based on my hundred million hits, award winning blog 1000 awesome things the happiness equation, originally written as a 300 page love letter to my unborn son on how to live a happy life. Awesome is everywhere. And in interactive introduction to guided meditation for children. And you are awesome a nine step guide to building resilience told through stories and research by books, The New York Times and number one international bestsellers, and have sold millions of copies across dozens of languages. He also hosts an apple best podcast called free books, where he’s on a 15 year long mission to uncover and discover the thousand most formative books in the world. So when he’s as busy as he is, how does he take the time to live intentionally? And most importantly, how do you find gratitude when most of us get trapped into the well, this is just normal. What’s to be grateful about? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Neil Pasricha. Good morning. How are you?
Neil Pasricha [2:48]
I’m great. David, thank you so much for that great introduction.
David Ralph [2:52]
Yeah, I’ll tell you what. So many guests come along to Join Up Dots and so many guests pitch but there’s not many guests, but speak my language. I believe in everything you say you, I’m your crowd. But how do you convince somebody who’s not? The glass is half full kind of person? Because, hey, nowadays, we’re surrounded by those all the time.
Neil Pasricha [3:16]
Absolutely. Well, there’s great research on this from sila mirror ski at Stanford. And now University of California, she wrote a great book called The House happiness. And it shows where she paused at some model, David that shows that 50% of our happiness is actually genetic. Right? You have two kids, you know, this you if anyone has two kids are thinking, of course I got one kid happen in the other kid, that’s a genetic setpoint 50% of our happiness is genetic. 10% of your happiness is based on your circumstances, or what’s happening to you what’s in the news, what’s in your family these days, and the remaining 40% and this is the key part here. The last part, the remaining 40% is what they call intentional activities. Meaning that the only part of the pie chart you can control is also the greatest part you can control. That’s the full 30% of what you do to create your own happiness proving none of that we don’t have to say that metaphor, the glass half full or half empty. This model actually proved scientifically, that the glass is refillable. You can invest in that 40%, whatever you want, you can, there’s a tremendous amount of research, we can go into it if you want, you can invest in 20 minutes a day doing, for example, a walk through nature, or a meditation, or a journaling practice or reading 20 pages of fiction, you don’t gotta do all these things. I got lots more, you gotta do all the just one of them for 20 minutes a day will actually prime your brain for positivity and you will invest in your 40% and you will be happier.
David Ralph [4:41]
Right? So let’s take you back to the very first thing you said because I reflected on the fact of it is kind of so we’re basically our who we are because I generally will bounce out of bed in the morning and I’m generally happy all day. I very, very rarely have downtimes but my son, we call him Or for a reason, because he will find the gloom above him. So he is kind of a just has that vibe about him. He’s never too high. He’s never too low he just kind of plods along in an ER state. So it is what it is. You are just that kind of person.
Neil Pasricha [5:21]
Yeah, I know. And this is the thing. I also have a mother with, you know, mental illness. So we have friends, we have family member that kind of ploughed through the day that way. Here’s the thing. Most of us grew up in the mall where I’m going to, I’m going to give you six words, David, I want you remember them and I want all your listeners to hear them. We think it goes great work, leads to big success leads to be happy. And that’s not because that’s true is because it’s what our parents told us. One of my parents told me, Neil Pasricha, if you work really hard, and you get straight A’s and because of Reese Indian, you’ll become a doctor or if you work really hard, you get promoted, then you’re happy. We think great work leads to big success, which leads to be happy, but it doesn’t. It’s the opposite. We know from research that As she proves chapter one of my book, The happiness equation, that is the opposite, be happy leads to great work, which actually leads to big success. Again, if you can prime your brain for positivity First, if the ears in your life or the ear in your own brain can actually get out of your own way. And then guess what, according to Harvard Business Review, you’re 31% more productive. So today, if 37% higher sales throughout the day, then your peer group, you have 300% more creative than your peer group, you’re 40% more likely to get a promotion. We like working with happy people, and you can make yourself happy. And then guess what? The big success comes later, two kinds of success, the career success I mentioned, but also you live longer, happy people actually live an average of over 10 extra years compared to the average person. So even if you don’t buy anything else, I’m saying you think this guy is full of garbage or whatever. Here’s what I’ll tell you. Do you like life? Because it’s only 30,000 days long. 30,000 sunrises, 30,000 sunsets 30,000 bowls, ice cream and cake. your kid’s gonna that’s all you got. That’s all I got. That’s all you got David. That’s all any of us got 30,000 days. That’s it. That’s the average. Okay. Now what almost 5000 more of them than Happiness is your way to get there.
David Ralph [7:12]
Now I’m gonna throw something back at you, Neil Pasricha. Because one of the things you were saying there is happiness will build promotions and stop now, I used to work in an office, I was happy and I was known to be happy. And because I was happy, I can actually equate but lack of promotions, because I didn’t seem serious and focused enough. The people that were walking around with rounds and looking really intend and like I had all the worries on the world, but I used to get promotions left right and centre because the directors and the company kind of thought they were more serious about it. Well, I’d bounded around doing a good job and just having a good time. I never got moved on which is why I said what screw Yeah, I’ll start my own thing.
Neil Pasricha [7:56]
Well, I think you bring up an incredible point is one definitely heard before. And when I can relate to I’ve spent 10 years in corporate, I worked at Walmart. And I’ll tell you from my research and my experience, optimists, in corporate settings, are closeted. And the reason they are clauses is exactly because you say, Now you may have a, I don’t know your specific company specific culture, you know, you’re, we already know you’re in this in Britain, and you know, and I’m in Canada. So right away, they might be cultural differences there. But I’m just going to say, yes, there is the perception that a lot of organisations that if you are, if you have time to be happy, then you must not have enough to do you must not have a busy enough job, you must have a large enough remit, you must not have you must have been taking your work seriously enough. But why do I say I said optimists are proven to be closeted. That means that many people who are actually happy on the inside are actually feel pretty good about their jobs. They feel like they have to hide it. You didn’t feel like you had died. I applaud you for your authenticity. I wish people around you and in your personal experience had been more supportive of your, how you manifested your identity because I think that’s beautiful. I think Right. And by the way, the research does show that we’d like working with people that have that attitude like that. But instead, you left the company, they lost a great, great, great person and they lost a resource. Okay? So what’s the solution? The solution is, and you’re not going to like this because it didn’t really work out for you. It sounds like the solution. The solution is say to people, you know what, we got a pretty good here. Look, the grass is always greener. But look, we’re half the half the world is unemployed. Do you guys realise that? Half the world? I’m not joking. That’s not I did not make that up. That’s true. Half the world does not have a job. If you’re already inside an organisation. You’re good. If you make more than $5,000 a year, you are above the world average income, five grand a year. Okay. You’re above the world average. That’s what like 4000 pounds. I don’t know. I can’t do the math, but you know what I’m saying? So if you go down this opportunity circle, and I like to do this with people, I say, hey, do you have a post secondary education? Guess what only 7% of the world does. 7% of the world does. Okay. And you jack clean water. You know what percent of the world does, it’s a lot lower than you think you can keep going down this opportunity circle, the place I like to get people to reach to at the very end of this David is you already won the lottery. You You did. You’ve got to be here. 115 billion people have ever been alive on Earth, only 8 billion of them are alive today. 14 and of every 15 people are simply not here. One of the 15 people is alive to that. If of those 8 billion people you happen to live in a country where you do have clean water, you feel safe coming out your front door, you can marry who you want, you can live Are you please, that collective set of freedoms is exceedingly rare around the world. And you are in the lucky what you call it 5% or 10% of people that get to do that. And so this is why chapter three of the happiness equation I talked about remembering the lottery so often we get bogged down with our day to day dramas, and we forget how how great it is to be here. Now I’m
David Ralph [10:50]
always fascinated with people like you, Neil Pasricha because you have got something which could have been extinguished through the education system. I look at the education system time and time again, and it’s anything but bigging up awesome. It’s almost like conform, conform. If you’re too big You’re too cocky to find to whatever you’re not going to fit in. Now if I take you back to that person who was at Walmart were you the same person were you growing into who you are now? Have you always been like this? Or did you go through a stage of a you’re looking for your thing until you found it?
Neil Pasricha [11:30]
Definitely the ladder I did not always I was not always like this. Maybe it was deep down deep on the inside. But for me what happened? David is 10 years ago, my wife left me and my best friend took his own life. I was in the throes of a major depression. I lost 40 pounds due to stress. I had blocked bags under my eyes. I could not sleep. I was coming to work every day at Walmart. Right? You will use the the metaphor of as though or Tesco whatever for the for your for your British audience. And, you know, I was People were like, what’s wrong with you? You know, I was like, and the other thing they were saying, which is unfortunate, but they were like, you look great, because you know, when you lose a lot of weight, everyone thinks you, you know, you’re the aspirational person. That’s like figuring out some new diet, right? And I felt horrible. And so what do I do? Well be open the news. It’s all bad news every day, every single day, the news is a business trying to sell you ads. And the way they do that is by getting they, they the whole point of the news media industry, is to turn on your amygdala in your brain which flash flashes, fight or flight hormones, and have you stare at a screen for long enough that they can sell you a Subaru in the case of MSNBC, or in the case of fox news to sell your gold scam or something, the point of the business to get you to look at it, okay? So I look at the news. It’s all negative. I look at turn on the radio, it’s all negative. I turn you know, I flip up a newspaper is all negative. So I go on the internet one night, I literally type in and this is maybe somewhere I honestly thought you were talking about me. To begin I was like, this sounds like me. I do on I go on the internet, I type in how to start a blog, and click, I’m feeling lucky. And then I start, I randomly start a blog called 1000 awesome things calm. Why did I pick the word awesome if I was not feeling awesome, honestly, my mother in law at the time, so I told you my wife asked me for a divorce my mother at the time, she was like, that’s awesome. She said that all the time. Like it was just like a refrain in my ears. And I thought 1000 was a small number. So every day I come home from work, I started writing some thing to try and cheer myself up. If you read my blog, it’s still up today. 1000 awesome. things calm. You. They’re like, they’re not that fun. They’re not that funny. They’re kind of rude. They’re kind of cynical, depressed, sarcastic. I talk about fat baseball players because they give us hope that we can play sports and talk about you know, we’re random things. But over time, what happened, David is I didn’t know this. But I’m starting to look for awesome things with the day I’m joining. Yeah, search for something I could write about that night. And then when I only had five to start with, guess what I wrote one awesome thing every single day for 1000 straight days, so I’m gonna,
David Ralph [14:03]
I’m gonna stop you back. Because Yeah, that is amazing to do that because through Join Up Dots, I had a load of people asking for help to change their mindset. And we focused in on the gratitude team basically, where every day people would come into Facebook and they would write something that they’re grateful for. And we try to spread it across the world so that we would have one in Australia and one in America. And we were setting up all these different groups to sort of get a ground swell, a ground swell of positivity and gratitude because it doesn’t matter who I’ve spoken to from jack Canfield and sort of the law of attraction people all the way through. It’s that mindset of waking up feeling grateful doing a gratitude journal, which is so important. Now the guys, I couldn’t think of stuff. And it became that one or two people that was grateful, and some of them were amazingly grateful and you know, they could write 30 things at a time. But the to a halt. So to do 1000 back that is a landmark in itself, isn’t it?
Neil Pasricha [15:06]
Yeah. And by the way, if you so what happened was like this is, so I totally understand and agree and frankly, was the people that cannot come up with them. Our neural pathways in our brains towards the positive are not typically developed. Think about your bicep, okay? And your arm if you don’t lift weights, or you don’t lift heavy things and never gets big. Similarly, in your brain, you have pathways that can focus on positive things, but if you don’t use them, they’ll never get used, they will not grow. And what does the world feed us again? I mentioned the news media because I have a personal war against the news media, but it always feeds in negativity. What is everybody on the highway, look at the car accident. Our brains are oriented through 200,000 years of evolution to find problems, solve problems and fix problems. That’s what we’re really really really good at. And that’s why we secrete fight or flight hormones. De through the amygdala in our brain, okay? Because it has kept our species alive for 200,000 years, we are really good at hearing a animal creeping up to us in the forest and running away or killing that Sabre toothed Tiger today, in our era of abundance. We don’t need that manifestation, that musculature in our brain, but yet, it’s still there. So what do I do when I started 1000 things I had, I had honestly nothing man, I had nothing. I came home after a day. And like, nobody read the blog, so you know, zero traffic, and then my mom for like my mom for that. So my dad and my traffic doubled. You know, like, I got two hits. And then they sent her I got 10 minutes, and then one of my buddies wrote me an email, say, hey, Neil Pasricha, you must be crazy. I don’t know if you’ve done the math. But if you want to write 1000 of these, that’s gonna take you almost four years. You know, have you ever really thought about this? I thought, Oh my gosh, I better write down a list of all of them. Guess what, I only had 10. I had like 10 or 12 total total. Now what happened to me was exactly what will happen to anyone listening who does this practice. If you publish your Online gratitude journal or list of awesome things publicly, whether it’s Twitter, whether it’s on Facebook, whether that’s in your email, whether it’s an email to other people, whether it’s a blog, whatever, then guess what happens the universe conspires to give you what you want you know have to look for them to find one for the next day and other friends start texting you suggestions. In my case people left comments for me, my one of my most popular awesome things is the cold side of the pillow, you know, flipping to the nail on the middle of the night. Well guess what? That was somebody that left a comment on one of my first blog posts saying hey, you should write about the cold side of the cup. So you see them saying people left me comments and then I would just expand them into the essays I couldn’t think of all this stuff myself. And then by the end of the thing I had about 25,000 in my database on yet written Okay, and so that turned it This is why this turned into the book of awesome the book of even more awesome book all the awesome what five calendars of awesome today because I had so a plethora like a cornucopia over flowing with abundance. By the end life certainly did not have that the beginning because
David Ralph [18:06]
Neil Pasricha this is when when you start getting into it because I once again that the law of attraction so many people go What a load of old rubbish, you know, I’ve tried it I’ve watched the secret three or four times but to me it’s cause and effect. You know the law of attraction is the secondary role. The role of vibration is the first one where you really sort of focus on getting your positivity and your vibration up. That naturally attracts people that naturally brings people into your world and I just I can’t dispute is going to happen. But why can people not take that action and start increasing their vibration? Because it is easy to do, isn’t it?
Neil Pasricha [18:49]
Well, here’s the thing. We all grow up thinking that motivation causes action. You know, you need you need nice running shoes before you can run a marathon. You need to have a good moleskin notebook before you can write a novel, you need to have, you know, a trainer before you can go to the gym. This is how people think. Unfortunately, what we’ve learned is action actually causes motivation. And maybe it’s similar to what you’re saying them and I don’t profess to have a deep knowledge on the law of attraction or the but I don’t have that personal. I just started blogging man, I got nothing on me like I just literally started going for it. But what I believe is that it’s Newton’s first law. So again, we grew up thinking motivation causes action. No, no, no, if you go out for a run, if you go for a run in your dress shoes, the next day, you might buy shoes, because you’ll be motivated to do it. Because you now think you’re a runner. If you start writing a sentence before bed every night, then you’ll write two more, two more, then you’ll get the moleskin notebook app after again, motivation does not cause action, action causes motivation. And if I can put this another way, I would say it is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking rather than think yourself into a new way of acting So we all get stuck in our heads we think think think think think well I wonder if I should started the gym I should do this. No, you’re stuck in your head, man Stop it. Action causes motivation. Motivation does not cause action. Go for one of your dresses, write a sentence before bed. It’s very easy to do that first step, but just don’t think about it too much. I get analysis paralysis, and you’re never get going. The best thing I ever did on that blog, David was just literally typing in how to start a blog and to Google clicking the I’m feeling lucky button and writing a blog post and printing and publishing it like five minutes later. And by the way, my first blog post was crap. It was called brocco flower. It was the green call the flower and they wrote, this is nature’s ugliest vegetable, a mutant hybrid love child of broccoli and cauliflower. Awesome. Like that’s literally all that was my first block was it was garbage. But it got me thinking I should start again tomorrow to see them saying
David Ralph [20:57]
I see exactly what you’re saying. Let’s hear some words. And we get back to Neil Pasricha.
Jim Carrey [21:00]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [21:27]
Now, what interests me with you now Neil Pasricha, is you was depressed you as lost, you started doing stuff, and you have made it into something that is is bringing you an income. Now what Jim Carrey says, which is the big leap is Yeah, you can find something that you love, but how the hell do you then make money from that love? That is the big bridge, you got to cross. How did you do it?
Neil Pasricha [21:56]
Well, I was working a full time job at Walmart. So as I started this blog as my wife left me as my best friend took his own life as I was looking for a place to live. I never had expectations that this thing would make money. And I want to point that out because for me, it’s important to note that because because I have my stable full time job at Walmart, I could afford to not put ads on my blog, I wasn’t trying to monetize it too quickly. And because my writing then started to take off and the blog started to get popular started hitting, you know, then went from five hits a day that tended today to 100 hits a day that thousands a day to 5000 then eventually this peak was getting 50,000 hits a day. Because of the because of the blog was popular, I actually started taking more risks at Walmart meaning that I could be a little bit healthier in the meetings. I could ask questions to the CEO I could start being like this like kind of have a little bit more sway so I thought, well, if they fire me I can I can really I got this great popular blog all the sudden. Interesting to note for me, I’m East Indian. My parents are very conservative that you know, the clip makes sense to me. You know, my mom’s an accountant. My dad’s a teacher. They told me, you know, be a doctor. I failed at that. They said You know, don’t quit your day job, you got to have benefits, you know, I mean, so for me it was like this excessive one thing enabled me to take more risks than the other. And guess what, when you take more risks than the other, you get promoted. So I Walmart they kept promoting me because that was because I was mouthy because I was asking questions. And guess what, because I was in Walla Walla. I was like, I could take more risks in my writing, I could write about whenever I want to write, I don’t care what any advertisers think. Guess what, that made the blog more successful. So then the book deals started common and so on. I held on to both of those things overlapping and this is unconventional, I know. But for me, it was maybe a result of my cultural upbringing. I wrote five books, published five books, gave 200 speeches, including my TED talk and 200 paid speeches. While I had my full time job at Walmart, meaning that I did both as long as I possibly could and only when I got remarried to my beautiful lovely wife Leslie, and she then got pregnant on our honeymoon, okay, told me she was praying on the flight home. It’s a long story I can tell you about and Then I was like, Oh, I need to like spend my evenings and weekends like taking care of my family. I can’t just like, you know, be grinding at night and on the weekends. So then I quit walmer and now I do this full time, but I did not do this full time for us, like I held off on doing this full time for as long as I could, again, that can be result of Neil’s kind of problems with this cultural upbringing or like, I was too scared or nothing. That’s a good thing. It just worked out for me.
David Ralph [24:23]
No, I think is as it is, you know, and I see it time and time again. I always say to people don’t do the leap of faith. I did the leap of faith and it almost killed me. Now, I always say to people do to slide of faith. If you’re in a job, you’ve got so much opportunity in the lunchtime to do stuff and in the evening and you don’t actually have to just just go for it. You know that thing of jump off the cliff and build the parachute as you’re falling to death, you know, just side off until something comes along. Now, what I’m interested in as well is the issue about people have that by start blogs. They start creation, content creation, but they don’t Have a defined monetization route. They don’t have a defined avatar. Is that an issue? Or does that just kind of work itself out now?
Neil Pasricha [25:09]
I believe it works itself out. It’s hard. It’s easy for me to say obviously, because it worked out for me. But I believe if all you love to do is make, you know, amazing baskets, then you keep making your amazing baskets, then you can put them online, then you can get reviews, then you can make an Instagram account. But for now, the deeper you can focus on your craft, the more uniquely you your art can be. Okay, so the more uniquely you your art can be, the better it’s chance of survival in this world of 8 billion other creators. You got 8 billion competitors, everything you’re doing the only chance you have to have your thing win is to be more uniquely you than anyone elses anything else, because that’s the one thing that’s uncopyable is your mind, your DNA, your view of the world, your lens on what you want you Your aspirations for your art. That’s the thing that can’t be copied. The more you can deepen your quality of craft, the more you can invest in your own creation, you making your very, very, very, very, very special quote unquote whatever it is podcast baskets, a babysitting service business I don’t know whatever, then if that can be more uniquely you then it can be special and differentiated and of course then I believe will then be successful.
David Ralph [26:25]
Now, what is success to you at the moment? When is it control of your life? Is it control of your time because most people have a different definition of success?
Neil Pasricha [26:35]
waking up in the morning don’t want I want going to bed at night.
Neil Pasricha [26:40]
I agree. I agree. Totally quote.
Neil Pasricha [26:43]
Yeah, Bob Dylan quote by I don’t want to quote Bob Dylan because you get in trouble for that if you get it wrong.
David Ralph [26:48]
As long as you try to do a Bob Dylan impression, I’ll be fine. You can say anything you want. But no, I’ve been I’ve been that control. I think that control is key because I realised through my journey. I would have said many different things leading up to this point now. But the fact that I control my income, I control my time I control when I finished I control who I want to speak to. in corporate and you don’t have that do you don’t have that. And I think that’s the thing that people really have to grasp is life changing the ability to go? It’s a lovely day is afternoon. Let’s go for a walk in the country. It’s like tomorrow, tomorrow is Friday. And I just said to my wife, let’s go off and do something. We got no idea what we’re going to do, but it’s a Friday, we just get in the car and we drive off. That for me is is it I think that’s success.
Neil Pasricha [27:36]
Well, I love that metaphor. And as somebody who spent a long time in corporate The other thing I love about how I do it now and I’m kind of like, you know, I’m a solo guy, you know, I might have one employee, if I have one employee like an assistant. For me. The thing I love is 100% of my time is valuable, meaning that I don’t ever have a wasted Meeting anymore or like, Wow, really spent a long time on this project and it failed or like, Oh, I mean, I’m been partnered up with this. Like there’s just no more like I do want to yes there’s control and that’s maybe it we share the same psychological tendency desire that like a lot of artists, I’m sure entrepreneurs do, but also just the idea that like, when I’m in something I’m using, like, I know for sure the thing I’m spending my time on will be worth something. And I it killed me when I was in corporate and I was like, ever I’d walk out of a meeting and it was a waste of time. I’d be like, I just it just hurt me. It hurt me inside that I wasted my time that way. I just hated it. And as you know from working in an office is like that happens all the time. Yeah,
David Ralph [28:38]
yeah, it really does. But let’s listen to some more words and we will be back with Neil Pasricha. Are you ready to make a full time living online? Check out the amazing Join Up Dots business coaching.
Unknown Speaker [28:51]
Hello, my name is Alan. And I’ve just completed the excellent eight week course with David before I started working with David Actually, I had no idea at all. Like to start,
Unknown Speaker [29:02]
I had a lot of ideas about what I probably thought was going to be good in business, Ty was able to help me through that day to find that passion. Within literally minutes. We had,
Unknown Speaker [29:13]
we had a business idea. And for the last seven weeks we’ve been building on it and building on and the position me now I don’t think I ever got here
Unknown Speaker [29:21]
on my own because of the amount of information that David gives the structure. He’s got the full package here, and he explains it in a way that I can understand. His support is phenomenal. I feel like this is the way business is supposed to work. David helped me understand, okay, what were the next logical steps that I should do? How How can I get this up and running? So I would really recommend this is an excellent course helping you if you have an idea if you have no idea, really teasing that out and at some of the practicalities and steps to take to really launch your business whether as a full time job was a side hustle. So it was really excellent. I recommend it. anybody thinking about setting up their own business? I don’t think so exaggeration to say, David will totally save you, us.
Unknown Speaker [30:06]
Thank you, David for all your amazing help and support which keeps on going. And we certainly couldn’t be where we are today without you. So your author
David Ralph [30:17]
of you would love to become my next success story and have your own life changing online business following my step by step system, buying tuned over many years to take away the effort and expense that others struggle with, then come across to Join Up dots.com and book a free call with myself. Let’s get you living easy life as it’s there waiting for you to get it that is Join Up dots.com business coaching. White Neil, so we can’t overstate the fact that although it seems about success is just flooding to you. There’s going to be times when things just don’t work. Give us an example of what a time when you’ve done a talk and it’s just gone flat and how you’ve overcome that
Neil Pasricha [31:00]
I’ve made a million mistakes. There’s so many things I’ve done wrong. So talks. Yeah, there’s, I once spoke to a room of 2000 pharmacists in Las Vegas. And I made an opening joke when I walked on stage about like, how crazy it must have been last night to be in Vegas. And like, you know, you don’t want to tell people back home what you did last night. And I totally misread the audience because the pharmacists, as you may or may not know, are kind of more stiff and scientific, thick, you know, and nobody laughed, and it threw me off. And I never regained their trust, like the whole speech I was, I was, I was operating that speech from a deficit of trust, when the whole point of a speech is to make trust, you know, really quickly, and I was like, I just felt shameful about it. And of course, my reviews were poor, and I just kicked myself cuz I knew I lost them right from the opening line. So now what I do as a correction is I keep a cue card in my pocket. So I gave about 5060 speeches last year. So I keep a cue card in my pocket. With a pen for the entire time I land on site, whether that’s a hotel, whether it’s a conference centre, wherever, to the time I get on stage, and everyone I talked to and meet and the people I bump into in the in the bathroom or at the buffet stand or whatever, they enter into my mental memory and I make a little note of that interaction. Now, rather than risk it with a joke that may or may not be on colour on point, I simply tell a really shortened story of my time from arriving to the stage. And people love it because I mentioning people by name, I’m talking about the food that everybody just a and people are laughing and talking about the joke that I heard that somebody say and then everybody laughs And so all I’m now doing in the first minute I speak on the stage, David is building trust, connecting with the audience, sharing with them my experience to getting there and then everybody hopefully loves the speech.
David Ralph [32:49]
He’s trying I used to do a lot of public speaking and I used to do God is literally all the time I was up there. And I always I found Fascinating when you say something that you thought was going to kill because it killed every up every sort of show up to that point, and it was absolute crickets. And then other times you say stuff, but you don’t think it’s funny at all. And the whole room just roars with laughter anything. What was that? Did you find as you’re doing it now, you’re kind of dissecting your performance as you go. It’s almost like you’ve got that split personality of watching you perform.
Neil Pasricha [33:27]
Yeah, I took so for a long time. So my very first speech ever was my TED Talk. So I gave a TED talk in 2010, called the three days of awesome. And it was posted to Ted calm and got it became one of the most popular TED talks on their website. And I think it’s one of the top 10 most inspirational TED Talks. I never given a speech before. So when I gave that TED talk, I was I wrote it out. And I rewrote it probably 50 times and then I practised it, meaning that I gave the speech live in front of like somebody visiting my apartment. Remember, I was just going through my divorce. I Women alone, I’ve lost all this weight. It’s a story of my journey as well as the genesis of the phoenix rising from the ashes that blog and the book of awesome. So I gave that speech probably 50 I’m not kidding. I didn’t say that word lightly. I mean, actually 50 times 50 times the full speed till I have the thing memorised to a tee. And I did not sleep for an entire month before because I knew the TED talk was of course being filmed, and would be on the internet kind of forever. So I was like, I will be judged by this talk when I’m 18 years old, okay, like classic, you know, anxiety I was putting on myself or whatever. And the what happened was, I cannot watch that speech today. Because I said hum, and on so many times, my posture was poor and I my timing was messed up. But it was a home run. Like I got a standing ovation and the talk did really well. Now, what I do today 400 speeches later is after every speech I go, I want to walk off the stage when I get back to my hotel room or wherever. I go back and I revisit the drums. draft script of my speech, and I added it immediately and after every speech I have probably five or 10 edits. Take this out this joke didn’t work. This is now funnier. Oh, this comment I’m making but suicide is getting more resonance. I cannot talk about suicide. But more is there a research study here? So what I’m now doing is I have one speech, like one main core centric speech. But after every single speech I give, it literally evolves like the kind of organism through evolution. And so if you saw me speak in January, and you saw me speak in July, you wouldn’t perceive it as the same, because I’m ending it slightly each time when people say, Oh, do you write a new speech every time I say no, I’m giving the same one. But what I do is I go back to my hotel room and I edit based on the reaction from the crowd and what and the reaction from the crowd of course change based on what’s in the news and how people are evolving what trends are happening and so on. So I I ended it that way now, but it gives me great great comfort have the same route speech.
David Ralph [35:51]
He’s interesting No, with the speeches is interesting with anything that you do, but you’ve got to put yourself out there that you build it up into Something monumental in your head. And when you present it, generally it goes really well. And then the second time you have to do it, it feels flat. And it’s the third time and fourth time it starts finding its feet. But the first time is always damn sight better than the second time. Have you found that?
Neil Pasricha [36:18]
Well, it’s very similar to what I’m saying I do because somebody always somebody buys the beginning, which is, as you start doing more and more speeches, make sure every speech there’s something about it that you’ve never said before. So that you internally get excited about and nervous about, like, is this going to work? Or I’m going to try this new joke, or I’m gonna use this new site to see what happens. So always I never have like something that’s been 100% the same. I always do that so that I get some of that high from the first time each time.
David Ralph [36:47]
Now, how do you start a speaking gig? Because I know so many people struggle, and they’re trying to get that cracking the door is the key to get Ted First of all, or Just, you know, do anything can just get practice, how do you get a speaking sort of profile going?
Neil Pasricha [37:07]
Well, there’s many ways to do it. And so the adage I would say is that you can either be famous, so hello to me, like if you if you are famous, if you are a NBA basketball player, you’re going to get paid a tonne of money and no one cares if you suck at speaking, you could, you could read a group truelist off a piece of paper, and they will pay you 10 times more than they will ever pay me. Okay, so the first way onto the speaking circuit is be famous. And that is not an easy way to do it. But I’m just and that’s not how I do it. But I’m just telling you, that’s one way to do it. The second way to do it is have a deep sense of expertise is are you talking about something that you have studied for 10 years that nobody else knows about? That when you get up in front of the room, you can say hey, I’ve been studying, you know, dogs for 10 years. So let me tell you guys all about what I learned about dogs or I have a PhD in this one. Rare area or I have been a professor of this area or I have been I’m the I was the head of marketing for Addy das. So and this is literally a speaker I just saw. So this is how we did marketing and it that or whatever you see them saying so it’s like what is the expertise you have that nobody else in the room has and how can we learn from you right now for example of love people speaking about things like cryptocurrency, this is stuff I know nothing about. But you see, you can understand why somebody would have be hired because they have an expertise that the room doesn’t have. And the third thing, which is kind of I guess the thing I’m in is be entertaining. Okay, be entertaining, be easy to listen to tell a lot of great jokes have easy and accessible model simple stuff, like the stuff I’m talking about. But you
David Ralph [38:42]
know, having you know, you still got to get somebody to take a chance on you.
Neil Pasricha [38:48]
Oh, I see. Okay, so then there’s, there’s two ways to do that. Number one is to do it the way I do it, which is yes, get a TED x. So I say did a TED talk. I did my TED talk at TEDx Toronto. So this was a local Ted affiliate. And there’s many of them all over the world. And I did my TED Talk there. And it was filmed as all Ted exes are, I would choose a TEDx that is, has got good media, you know, I mean, they have good, good filming kind of thing. And then that video is essentially what somebody is buying. So again, nothing is worth more nothing, nothing is worth more than the quality of the video of you speaking. So if it’s a 10 great, but if it’s not Ted, can you give a speech somewhere for free? Can you go to a nonprofit Can you go to your town school, school can you go to is there is there another type of state you can walk on for free I’m not telling you get may pay money and you hire the videographer. Okay, you hire somebody to film it film, you film The crowd from the reactions from the laughing, they patch it together, you edit it and that is what you’re selling. And again, if nobody buys it, it might be a sign that you need to work on it better, or you need to make it better. You need to have an angle more the angle again can be famous But my point is like you need to you can’t sell a speech if you want to, if you don’t have a video of it, and if you don’t have a video of it, you need to make a video of it. And the way to do it is to give a free speech and hire someone to videotape it.
Steve Jobs [40:12]
Heres, Steve Jobs, of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [40:48]
Where have your dots joined up from the web. Can you see the first major dot that led you to where you are today.
Neil Pasricha [40:57]
David Ralph [41:00]
didn’t give you liberation. Do you know what why was that not the answer you come up with,
Neil Pasricha [41:04]
because I was East India and then my parents told me I should be married and I should have kids and I should have a house and I should have a steadily stable job. And if it wasn’t going to be a doctor, it should be a lawyer was gonna be a lawyer, it should be an engineer should be a dentist. And I thought by my late 20s, I had achieved quote, unquote, all of here I was married, we just bought a house, I had a full time job, I was working at Walmart, and in a second it crumbled the divorce with the with the loss of the marriage, which was the first linchpin then came the loss of the house because we had to sell where we were, and then I moved downtown. I’m like, you know, way out there. I lost my I lost weight. I’m suddenly it was liberating because I had nothing. So I started from the beginning. And it also forced me It helped me lean into my artistic side, and I started that blog. I was a kid who loved reading, I loved books, I loved writing, and I had forgotten and I had abandoned that as I grown up. So when I had nothing else when I had nothing to do on a Friday night or Saturday morning or a third Tonight or any nights I know friends, I nothing, no literally by myself. Then I started writing and I found my inner artist against that divorce was a.as you put it to lead me into that discovery, that realisation that I had this artists inside me waiting to come out.
David Ralph [42:16]
And was there any clue? Did you use to be sort of quite artistic when you was a little lad and you lost it?
Neil Pasricha [42:26]
Yeah, I mean, I had thick coke bottle glasses. I was a tiny, small, skinny, scrawny brown kid at a school with everyone. So I was I mentioned that because I was shorter than everybody else and make any sports team that can make any I was literally sitting in the library reading the book, you know what I mean? And so I ended the high school newspaper like that I didn’t want to be like it was just all that kind of stuff. And so I had that passion. And so I mean, I’d spend my Saturdays at the library every Saturday, my mom took me and my sister to the library that’s like where we wanted to go. She said we want to do a library like we never said We’re gonna go watch what along with the library. I knew what the Dewey Decimal numbers by heart. I was like, Oh, 741 point five, nine, I want to go check out the new comic books, right? So I love that stuff as a kid. And then the problem was for me, as you go through university, it was be now to me, because now I have to read all this boring stuff. So I am such an upholder, I was so felt so responsible doing that, that I didn’t follow Mark Twain’s advice to separate my education from my schooling. You know, I just thought that they were the same thing. And so for 10 years as I went through undergrad and masters, I was like, yeah, this is what I’m supposed to read accounting textbooks, you know, and it was so boring that I didn’t think I liked reading and writing anymore when I didn’t like what I was reading and writing when it came down to writing a blog about it. That was an awesome thing. I found my inner artist again, the one I had as a child who loved reading books.
David Ralph [43:51]
He’s fascinating, isn’t it, but you know, I used to kind of say at the end of the show, and I will say it again, but our essence is where we should be heading, that the thing that we do, just because we love doing it, that we don’t want money that inspires us. You know, I would do this if I wasn’t being paid for it. Fortunately, I’m being paid rather well for it, and it’s a double win. But I’d still love doing it.
Neil Pasricha [44:18]
Yeah, I always tell people to do three tests. If you don’t know what you want to do. This comes from the happiest way to my last book. Well, I say do the Saturday morning test, do the bench test into the five people test. Saturday morning test is what do you do on a Saturday morning when you have nothing to do? Leave that you call that your essence? I say what do you pick up a guitar, maybe one teach music like whatever it is. The bench test is my friend got into a bunch of Ivy League schools and he drove around to all the campuses and sat on the bench in the middle of campus for an hour patiently listening to all the conversations. Immerse yourself in the sample of the situation. God people I know that become a lawyer and then on their first day in a law firm, they’re like, I hate this. Well, what they didn’t ever do was spend a day in a law firm maybe before they spent three years in law school. would be a good idea. You know how you buy a car, you do a test drive people buy a house, they don’t walk around the neighbourhood. So you need to do the bench test and immerse yourself in the example of the situation first, you know, if you if you love what Dave is I start a podcast, do one episode, see what it feels like, right? And the five people test is you are the average of the five people around you. There’s a lot of science about this book about this called connected. We know this is true. You’re the average of their height, you’re the average of their weight. You’re the average of if they’re if they’re all smokers. You’re a smoker if they’re not, you’re not like it’s just kind of like unfortunately the way truth it is. So it’s kind of like listen to what Susan Cain would call What do you envy? Look at who you’re surrounded by You are the average of those five people. Are they all lawyers and you’re not maybe you want to be and use that example the opposite way just there but what are they doing the people that you love and you surround yourself with that you’re not because that could that can also tip you off into something you’re passionate with? Look, I was friends and a lot of podcasters before I started three books, right three books is my podcast, all about finding the most formative books in the world. But I look around David effusion. I’m like, All my friends are podcasters doesn’t that tell me something? Maybe I want to be one myself.
David Ralph [46:07]
I am going to bring this show to an end. But it could go on for another two or three hours, I’m convinced to it. But let’s take you on a journey. And this is the journey when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if I could put you in a room with the young version of yourself, what advice would you give him? Well, let’s play the music and we find out is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [46:37]
With the best
Neil Pasricha [46:55]
meal. This is Neil, I’m 42 that I’m talking to you when you’re I don’t know 10 Guess what you want to please your parents, your culture, your upbringing, you want to be a doctor, you want to get good marks in chemistry class, you want to get into a top school, you’re going to put your head down on Friday nights and Saturday nights and you’re going to study really hard, you’re probably not going to drink, you’re not going to drink, really, because you’re going to want to be in the library, you are a classic, super nervous. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But here’s the thing I want to tell you that you should have done a little bit more. You’re going to live for 10 decades is the average lifespan right now, based on being born today. Okay, it’s actually more than 10 decades, let’s say you’re live for 10 decades, two of them are going to be learning and about six or seven of them are going to be when you’re settled, you’re going to have a family, you’re gonna have kids, you can be raising them, you’re gonna be working professionally, you got one decade in the middle, it’s called your 20s. You got one decade in the middle, it’s called your 20s. And I want you to remember that decade, the entire 10 years of it is reserved fully and completely for pure experimentation. What you’re going to do is you’re going to figure that out anyway, when your wife leaves you when your best friend takes his own life when you start a blog when you start a business that fails. When you start another business that fails. When you go to business school, you, you’re going to figure that out eventually, but you’re going to feel pain the entire way through your 20s. What I want you to do is to lean into your 20s to remember a decade of experimentation, experimentation how every single way you possibly can, with conscience, with, with geography, with psychology, with love, with relationships with types of relationships, numbers of relationships, sexuality of relationships, every where you go, how you live, where you work, what you study who you spend time with what you do, lean into that, you know why? Because the wider and more diverse the experimentation of your 20s can be, the richer your inner artists will be. For all those productive years that follow. Your writing will be smarter, it will be more informed, you’ll be a more cultured student of the energy that drives the entire universe. Make sure your 20s are a decade of experimentation and that will help you live a happier life.
David Ralph [48:53]
Now, what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you sir
Neil Pasricha [49:00]
My podcast is called three books. It’s just the number three and the word books. And every single thing that talks about all my books, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah is all on my website, which is www dot Neil dot blog, you can feel free to email me personally at Neil at global happiness. org, I always leave my email at the end of really good podcast, because I’m part of the end of the podcast club, this community of people that listens to the very end
David Ralph [49:24]
of the show, Spoken like a professional. Neil, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Neil, thank you so much.
Neil Pasricha [49:42]
Thank you so much, David. You’re doing great work. I love your show. I love what you’re doing. Thank you so much for having me.
David Ralph [49:49]
Neil Pasricha , he was enthusiastic, wasn’t it? That’s what we need. We need a bit of awesomeness all the time. So where do you sit in there? How do you maximise your time short life on Earth. Are you just sort of going through the motions hoping that something happens? Or are you trying to get happy? Because if you get happy as he said, Ben, the good work naturally occurs is a groundswell. I kind agree with that. I don’t totally agree with it. Because I know when I do really good work, I’ve been feeling really happy, but maybe only did the good work because I was feeling happy in the first place. Maybe that’s the angle. But until next time, please come back to Join Up Dots. We love having you here. We love hearing where you’re listening to the shows dropping a line, I try to respond to everything I possibly can to give you the best support I can. And the best support you can do is be here next time. See again, bye bye. Do you ever wonder why people are podcasting? Nowadays, so many people are starting so many businesses are starting even Virgin and Barclays Bank and some of these little global businesses are all jumping on the bandwagon and podcasting and why are they doing that? Because I know there’s money behind it. People listen to podcast before Bye from podcast. And by having your own podcast, you literally do sprinkle Rocket Power over your business. So if you’ve got a business and you’re not podcasting, why, if you haven’t got a business and you want to start one, then podcasting is probably one of the best ways to actually get that business rocking and rolling. My name is David Ralph, and I’m the host of Join Up Dots. And I’m going to be showing you behind the scenes of how we have turned Join Up Dots into a multiple six figure business and beyond, simply with three very easy steps that all of you can follow to, I’m going to be hosting it I’m going to be there live, all you gotta do is jump over to podcasters mastery.com and book your ticket and I’ll be waiting bear probably my best clothes might even shave as well make a bit of effort after all, and we’re be ready to show you those three easy steps. Really, if you haven’t got a podcast on your business, then you’re missing a trick and over to podcasters mastery.com and you will see my sexy face that forward to seeing you Cheers.