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Mindful Masculinity, Conscious Capitalism and Kindness

Jono Fisher & Melli O'Brien






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Mindful Masculinity, Conscious Capitalism and Kindness

Join Melli and Jono as they explore the masculine expression of mindfulness and the redefining of what it means to be a ‘real man.’

I'm your host Melli O'Brien.

And with me today, I'm really delighted

to introduce you to a friend and somebody

that I admire very deeply, Jono Fisher.

And Jono is the founder of the Wake-Up

Project, which is an events and media

company dedicated to one single mission,

to inspire a kindness revolution through

creativity and conscious business.

The Wake-Up Project's really grown

in Australia to be one of the

largest and most trusted communities

centered around mindful living.

And Jono's work in creating this thriving

community has been recognized by the

likes of The Australian Financial

Review, GQ Magazine, UTS Business

Cchool, the Sunday Telegraph, ABC

the Yoga Journal and, and many more.

So Jono, thank you so much

for sharing your time today.

No, it's a pleasure and thank you

for such a generous introduction.

Well, actually, you know, one of the

things that I, that I thought of this

morning when I was looking at your

intro was actually, you know, more

than anything, what I admire about you

personally, is that you strike me as

someone that really walks your talk.

So I think that's what I actually

admire about you most deeply.

Thank you, Melli.

My first question to you is, you know,

growing up, would you say that you had any

kind of inclination towards mindfulness?

You may not have known the word back

then, but do you feel like you were a

spiritually inclined sort of a kid or?

Well, I grew up on a farm.

So in growing up on a farm, we

had, or had lots of time to myself.

Well, so I would be often roaming

the paddocks with my dog and we had

like pet sheep and, and pet horses.


And yeah, I don't think I knew the word.

I wasn't familiar with mindfulness as

a word, but I think as an experience,

being in nature and having all this

space around me, I think kind of

predisposed me to actually really,

really enjoying that space, and also

that connection to nature and sensation.

And, yeah, just a felt sense of kind

of being aware of what was happening

around me and happening inside my body.

So, yeah, I definitely think my

environment as a young person

really helps support, I think, that

being more, more part of my life.

It's interesting that that's a theme that

I hear a lot and resonates with my own

experience, as well, is that when we were

kids, we might not have understood the

concept of anything spiritual, but being

around a lot of people seem, it seems that

when they were alone in nature as children

or having that time, it seems to really

have affected that ability to be mindful.


I think the other thing that's interesting

about that, you know, where you talk

about not knowing the concept, you know,

I was chatting the other day to a, a guy

who was, who, he was the former CEO of a

large bank, the National AustraliaNbank.

And, and I asked him like, are you,

are you familiar with mindfulness?

You know?

And he said, he said, no, I don't

really do any mindfulness things.

And then he began to describe to me

things like getting up in the morning

at five o'clock before the sun came

up to go for a walk with his dog.

And he described how it

was sensory deprived.

And he, he felt this kind of quietness and

stillness that would come into his life.

And it sounded like he was actually

describing a meditation practice, but

he actually never termed it as that.

And yes, I think it's really

interesting thing the, the way in

which a language or term can get in

the way sometimes of people actually

experiencing it in very ordinary ways.

You know, whether that's walking or

swimming or those kind of things.


I couldn't agree with

you more on that topic.

And in fact, since we're talking about

it, and I know we've just spoken about

how, you know, it's a difficult thing

to define, but when you think about

what mindfulness, you know, means

to you, what, what would you say is

your kind of, I don't know,, working

definition or whatever of mindfulness?


I don't know that I have

a working definition.

But as a description, for me, it would

be the ability to become more aware of

what's actually happening in your life.

And what I mean by that too,

is what's happening internally.

So becoming aware of how you're

feeling and, just really what's

going along in your internal

world, but then also becoming aware

of actually what's around you.

And, and for me, I also have

an interest in how that then

gets expressed in your life.

So I, I know that doing that by stilling

your mind, becoming present to how

you're feeling has, has such a great

benefit upon like, you know, your

nervous system and, and stress reduction.

And, and yet I also feel like mindfulness

is so much about how that affects

how you live and I think there's a

natural sense when the body does calm

down of it gives the body a chance

to express different qualities.

So express more kindness or warmth.

But also there's an ability to also show

up more fully in your life, cause I think

you begin to understand and know yourself

better and you can then bring that forward

and people can actually begin to feel

you and begin to feel what you're about.

So yeah, I think it's a very kind of

personal, internal awareness practice,

but then it also affects, I think so,

much of how you live and how you engage

with people in a relational sense.


I don't know if that's a clear definition,

but that's kind of what comes up for

me when, when you asked the question.

Yeah, no, that's beautiful.

Jono, can you describe in your

own experience what it's like,

you know, that snippet of time

where you were on autopilot.

And then you have that, that moment

of waking up into mindfulness.

Can you describe in your own words

what that experience is like for you?



Well, it's, it's very different for

me at different times in my life.

So I can find that one of the initial

things that happens for me when I

become more present or become more

mindful, particularly if I do some

kind of meditation, like some kind of

contemplative practice, often I can

have the experience of actually touching

sadness and I'll kind of like weep or

feel a sense of a sense of sadness.

And I think that's partially to do

with a sense of realizing how much

I've spent, been spending time in

my head or spending time in worry or

anxiety or projecting of thoughts.

And I think there's a natural sense

of sadness, but it's also, I think a

sense of relief in a way to go, Oh,

coming back from living from here up

to kind of coming more in my body.

And I think my body responds

with this kind of with tears.

And it's not like a negative thing to me.

It's actually feels quite beautiful and

more really like a release, more like a

pressure cooker, just, you know, like.

And, and then I think the other, the

other, because it's not, it's, it's,

it's different different times, but it

also feels like a sequential series of

events that happens for me within my body.

The next thing I notice is that I feel

a great sense of rest and a nearly

sinking into my body and, and that also

comes with a feeling of being grounded.

So I feel like, ah,

I'm actually in a body.

I'm on the earth.

I'm here right now.

And there's a sense of perspective that

comes with that, of what was once, you

know, quite complicated or overwhelming,

all of a sudden things become very simple,

very manageable, but also very spacious.

So what I notice when, when I become

present is there's a lot more room within

myself and kind of like around me than.

I initially thought.

So it's really like feeling

contracted and then feeling expanded.

And in that space, I feel this space

for a whole series of emotions or

thoughts to arise and just to be

there in a more comfortable way.

Whereas before, when I'm not present

or I'm actually living in a kind

of a very tight mental condition,

it feels like everything's very

tight and there's not much room.


And I think the other thing that happens

for me is my heart feels more open.

And when that happens, I think

there's a quality of warmth

that arises towards myself.

And so I begin to feel, I think there's

like a reflection that goes on as well.

Like I reflect on what's

happening in my life.

And I think due to some of the practices

that I've, I've, I've learnt, I've

learned to then be kind to myself and be

kind and accepting of what's happening.

I think when that happens

too, then I start to feel more

integrated and feel more whole

and feel just better about myself.

You know, like that I, yeah, the

stories that my mind wants to tell me

when I'm not very present are just,

are just that, are just stories.

And that I and everyone else are

much bigger and much more connected,

and, and than I previously thought.

And I think the challenge with actually

that question, I love the question, but

the challenge with it is too, because

it's so experiential, is that it's often

very hard to translate what is a very

felt experience into, into the words.

But I hope that gives you like

a little sense of what I kind of

experience at times when, when

I, when I become more present.


I think you expressed that

very elegantly, actually.

And I absolutely agree with you that,

and I actually think this is one of

the big challenges in the, if you

could, if you even want to use the word

spiritual, in the spiritual community.

I think it is one of the challenges is

describing something that's such a felt.

Personal inner experience and trying

to translate that back to other people.

It's, it's really not entirely possible,

but, but we use the words like,

you know, whatever, connectedness,

spaciousness, openness, warmth, and,

and it's not really fully definable.

So yeah, it's, it's just not.

Yeah, I think that, I think I

completely agree and I think I might've

indicated earlier, but I, because I've

been interviewing a whole bunch of

people myself lately and, you know.

I've been listening.


And the, and just even guys talking

about like fishing, you know, when they

describe fishing, cause they're often

two guys on their own, often not talking.


They're in nature.

And so I'm going to

describe what's happening.

It's actually very meditative, you know.

And I think that's, I think that's

the beautiful thing that I think

can happen when mindfulness can be

taken across so many other areas.

I think, I think the problem can be

when we, we, we limit mindfulness

to like a stress reduction

course, or a particular training.

And as incredibly helpful as that

is and how supportive I am of that,

but then to also acknowledge and

recognize people being mindful, doing

a whole bunch of other things that

may not be considered a traditional

mindfulness practice, but definitely is.

And I think it can also give

people a sense of okayness about

doing something that isn't formal.


And that's something I'm really passionate

about because I think, I don't think it

suits everyone to be sitting or to do a

particular kind of training that other

people might find much more benefit in.

Swimming and being really focused on

the practice of swimming, you know?

So yeah, that's kind of

where I am with that.


I am also really passionate about that

same message kind of getting out there

that there's no right way and there's

no right, you know, exact definition.

Sometimes people get really, I

think a little bit rigid around

that and I agree, you know.

And I'm a trained, I'm trained in the,

by the Mindfulness Training Institute

of Australia who does the mindfulness

based stress reduction courses.

And I think that course is

incredibly powerful and I love it.

And I totally agree with you.

There are different ways of

approaching mindfulness for

all kinds of different people.

So, yeah.

It's, I'm really glad that

you, that you brought that up.


I mean, cause to me personally, I

mean, I just don't want to go on.



You know, even animals, for me, like

I think animals, particularly dogs.

So inherently just by their

nature, they're, they're very

present and very connected.

And I, think for me, even like when

I'm with the dog or have my arm

around a dog or look into the eyes

of a dog, I naturally start to sync

up with the energy of that dog.

And there is a sense of a very similar

quality that emerges for me that

than if I was kind of meditating.

And so, yeah, I love that you're spreading

that word for the mindfulness to be

kind of accessed in many different ways.


And I think, you know, one thing that your

story, a part, a part of your story that

I would love you to share, because I think

it's it's so, so interesting and valuable

for people to hear about is your journey

from being a young man being in the

corporate world and how you transitioned

from that into starting Wake Up Sydney.

Would you share a little bit about

how that transition happened for you?


So, yeah, I was in the corporate world for

about 10 years and things were going okay.

Nothing spectacular, but just okay.

And, you know, everything kind

of on the outside seemed okay.

And, but internally something

didn't feel right for me.

Not, not that being in the corporate

world there's anything wrong with that.

I think it's a great

place for many people.

But for me it felt like there was

something, that I was swimming kind of the

wrong direction, like the stream was going

one way and I was swimming another way.

And my body really started

to be affected by that.

And I had a sense of, probably like

a low grade kind of depression.


I would say, from doing something

that just didn't feel like it

was what I was meant to be doing.

And so actually got to a point where I

really felt quite burnt out doing what

I was doing and wanted to have break.

And so I thought I'll take a couple

of months off and then come back,

come back to the corporate world.

And in those after about three

months, I realized, you know, I

don't think I want to go back.

But also realized I had to make some cash.

And I saw an ad in my local

paper to be a male nanny, right?

A bit of a career change.


It was.

And I l thought, well,

you know, I like kids.

Yeah, maybe I can do that for a

few months and then I'll go back.

Thought it would just buy

me a little bit more time.

And so I got this job looking

after two six-year-old boys.

So twin boys, and I remember the first

night putting them to bed/ I put one

to bed and then put the other one to

bed and he sat up and he looked at me

and he said, I'm so glad you're here.

And I remember having this very

kind of visceral experience in

my body of like, Hmm, I think I

might actually be here for awhile.

And so I was.

I ended up being there for about five

years looking after these two young boys.

And it was a really transformative

experience for me, very difficult at

times, and also incredibly rewarding.

Some of the things that happened for

me that kind of stand out is that

one, I had to really simplify my life.

So I had to kind of really

strip everything down to

kind of bare necessities from

a financial point of view.

And the other thing, and that was

both hard and both really rewarding

at the same time, you know.

I remember there was a time when

I was walking down a park near

where I lived and I think it was

about a year into being a nanny.

And I remember walking down, cause

I didn't start work until like

three o'clock in the afternoon, so

I had most of my days off, you know.

And I was only, I was

working four days a week.

So I had lots of time, lots of

time to explore things that I

always had on the back burner.

So things like, I was really

interested in the wisdom traditions.

I wass interested in the

arts and social change.

And, and now all of a sudden

I had time to kind of do this.

And I remember walking in this park and I

felt like, wow, I have very little in my

life and I was looking around and there

were just beautiful trees and,there was a

kind of a waterway,a creek kind of next

to me and I was walking down to the beach.

And I honestly felt like,

really like royalty, you know.

I felt like, wow, I have everything.

And yet at another

level I had very little.

And that was kind of a very

deep experience for me.

And I continue to have these experiences

of feeling so wealthy and I think it was

very much connected to, I was actually

much more present to my life and my body

and what was actually happening around me.

And it was around that time too, I

got kind of introduced to Eckhart

Tolle's work as well, and that all

started to make a whole lot of sense.

But, but the other thing that happened in

this time was, you know, they were a very

wealthy family that I was nannying for.

And so they'd often have dinner

parties and such, and, Ioften

knew who these people were, right?

And so, you know, they come up to me

and say, hi, you know, who are you?

And I'd say, I'm the nanny.

And nine times out of ten, Melli,

there would be the answer, the response

would be, oh, and then they'd moved on.


And it was literally, it was

like a punch in the guts.

Initially, it was so painful because

I was like, I felt like I dropped

down the bottom of the social status

ladder and I was like a nobody.

And even, you know, my partner and friends

were going, Hey, Jono, like, are you okay?


If you've kind of lost the

plot in relation to career and

ambition and where you were going.

And, but what happened for me

in that it was, it took about a

year, I think, for me that, until

that wasn't a painful experience.

But it kind of got to a point naturally

where I just started to feel way

more comfortable with who I was,

irrespective of what I was doing.

And there was in the same way with the

walk in the park, there was also this

sense of feeling comfortable with who

I was, separate from what I was doing.

You know, and I think parallel to that,

you know, there's also this relationship

with these two young boys who were

just incredible young boys and that

the friendship and the relationship

and what I was learning from them and

the value and the kind of nourishment

I was getting from actually looking

after them and taking care of them.

And I, my heart was kind of opening

in being with them like that.

So anyway, it's a long way of sharing

some of the things that happened for

me, but then there came a point, Melli,

where I thought I'd really love to bring

together some of the things that I was

learning to value and appreciate during

this time I was a nanny into a community.

And I thought would that, would people

be interested in a community that

came together to celebrate meditation,

interesting speakers, live music,

kind of wine and chocolates and themes

that were really important to me.

And I remember I was having drinks

with a friend, a very dear friend

of mine, and she had kind of been

following my journey along the way.

And she, I was going to start

this out and she said, great.

What are you going to call it?

What are you going to call this community,

this thing you're going to start?

And at that point I was

going to call it Mindful.

So I said to her, I think

I'm going to call it Mindful.

She said, no, no, no, no.

And she is actually in a, in a role

where she does, she produces a lot of

mindfulness-based materials and such.

And I said, well, what do you mean?

Like, why wouldn't, why

can't I call it Mindful?

And she said, it sounds like

you can live in a cave, Jono.

She said, why are you doing it?

And I kind of was like, I kind of told

her, I felt like I told her, I wanted

to bring together these, you know, the

meditation, the arts, good speakers.

And she said, yeah, but why?

Why do you want to do this?

And what just kind of arose within me

was this response was, I said, I feel

like we're sleepwalking, myself included.

And I just want to be part

of it not being that way.

And she said, ah, she said,

you want people to wake up?

And I kind of had the sense of kind

of like nervousness and excitement.

It felt kind of bold.

And yeah.

And I said, yeah, but I don't

want it to be too like spiritual.

And she said, she said,

just get over that.

She said, notice what you want to wake

up to and then follow that impulse.

And if people come along, they come

along, if they don't, they don't.

And that was the kind of the impetus.

And she said, roll your

sleeves up and go to work.

You know, she kind of sent me out.

And I remember booking a cinema about

six years ago and kind of hoping

and praying that people would come.

I was at that event.


In Paddington.


Thanks for being one of those people.


And, and there's just been this

really natural response from people.

And I think, Melli, what's really

the lesson in it for me is how, is

how I believe so many people right

now are so hungry for a deeper sense

or deeper quality in their life.

And I think there's a real dissatisfaction

with the, the myths or the lie that

I think that it's been, that has been

perpetrated, perpetuated around, if I

get something outside of myself, then

that will make me feel really good.

Where I think it's the complete flip.

As you kind of well know, and I think

what the series is all about is that when

you find something in yourself and when

you really learn to connect to what's

going on within yourself, then everything

outside of yourself becomes more

rewarding and becomes very fulfilling.

But that's not the origin

of the fulfillment.

And yeah, so that was, and it's

just, it's continued like that.

So the Wake-Up Project now has

developed into like a big community

of about 70 odd thousand people.

We put on many, many events and

people keep coming, thank goodness.

And more and more people

keep coming or more people.

More and more people, yeah.

And it's, it's and I continue to see

the same kind of thing, you know.

Humans just wanting to get together.

Humans really valuing a contemplative

setting where they can kind of

rest and not feel like they have

to be a certain, certain way.

And then a celebration of the good and

the best qualities of human beings.

Not the ones that are often thrown

to us, you know, through media.

This kind of hyper stimulation, or even

a stimulation of our baser desires.

Well, I shouldn't say baser

desires, but of our kind of like,

of things that actually aren't

going to bring fulfillment.


Like pleasures, pleasure,

but not fulfillment.

Not fulfillment.

Or, just kind of a sense of like,

if you get this, then you're

going to be happy and it's like.

But then there are all these other human

qualities that very rarely get airplay.

And when they do get airplay and

people start bringing them into

their lives, they go, Oh my gosh,

this is actually where the goal is.

So long way of kind of sharing the

story, but that's, that's kind of

the journey for how Wake Up started.

And another,new thing that you've

started recently is your podcast.


And I've been tuning in.

And I tell you what I'm loving the

most about that podcast is that

you've opened up a conversation

around the masculine expression of

mindful living and the, the really

specific challenges that affect men.

And one of the things that you've

been talking about that, that I'm

just really enjoying hearing people

talking about is redefining what

it is to be, you know, a real man.

And so really breaking

through those, those cultural

ideas around being real men.

So I was wondering if, um, if you would

care to share what you think are the

issues that face men in particular, in

this journey to conscious living and

what you define as being a real man.

Well, what I've noticed, in my own

experience and with other men, is

that there is a kind of a cultural

expectation to show up a particular way.

And that why can be

having it all together.


Carrying the burdens on my own,

and not being, not feeling like

it's okay to share my emotions when

things are difficult or, or even when

I'm just feeling a particular way.

And so

I think there's definitely like a,

like a training that goes on from, I

think, particularly for young boys,

um, that that's just what you do.

And I don't think there's anything

malicious or, or, you know,

overt in, in the desire to kind

of suppress men in that way.

But I think that definitely has

happened and continues to happen.

And I think what I've noticed in these

interview series, is nearly every

man that I've interviewed, you know,

that's from like the Wallabies coach

to CEOs of banks and the 60 Minutes

reporter the other day, a whole bunch

of people that all said, thank you so

much for giving me the chance to talk.

And honestly, Melli I've actually gone

into a lot of these interviews with a

kind of like a slight kind of judgment.

And the judgment has kind of

been really, a man is actually

going to want to talk about this.

Right, Yeah.

A week, is it going to be really awkward?

Are they going to think I'm like a

bit of a dick, you know, to actually

even want to have this conversation.

And within like minutes,

they're actually really into it.

And it's, it's permission to actually

share in a different kind of way.

And I think what I've noticed in

that is that many times in my life,

I've only ever seen men talk like

that after like five beers, you know?

Like a, Oh, there you are.


There's this real col person

who shares openly and is quite

vulnerable and heartfelt.

So that kind of bravado

starts to soften a little bit.


And often only happens through

something like alcohol, you know,

because for some reason there's

like this, this is conditioning to

feel like I can't do that normally.

But what I'm noticing in these

interviews is that so many men actually

want to just show up as themselves.

And as themselves often is very

warm, very emotional, and, and

deeply caring about other people

and what's happening in the world.

And I've been really deeply

touched by that, really touched.

From just at a personal level, it's

really like, I don't really care if people

like the interviews or not because I'm

having this quite profound experience of

sitting, you know, for an hour plus with

men and just listening to their stories

and listening to what's important to them.

And that's made a massive

difference to my life.

But I think to your question about,

you know, what is a real man and

what does that actually mean?

Nearly every time I've asked any of

the men this, they have all said,

I'm not really interested in that

question about what a real man is.

I'm interested in what's a good human.



And I, I feel that, I feel the same

way and I feel like that's also an

indication of where we're going as humans.

You know, that this idea that a man

has to be a particular way or a woman

has to be a particular way is kind

of irrelevant and not necessary.

But what's really important is who

you are as a human, human expression

and a very unique expression.

And as a man, you may have many very

feminine qualities or you'd want

to have very masculine qualities.

But to know that you have full permission

to be yourself and to be yourself

in a kind of an unapologetic way.

But I think particularly for men to know

that the qualities of, like emotional

honesty or kindness, or compassion

or vulnerability aren't weaknesses,

but that are actually huge strengths.

I think when men know that and they're

given permission for that, they

bring it forward and they go, great.

I'm I'm into that.

But if there's any sense of lack, this

is going to be a little, we'll see.


Then they kind of, they kind of hold back

and I think it's part of the conditioning.

But I think what, what I've noticed

while around men who have the ability

to really open their hearts and

really share openly about what's

going on for them in their lives.

And I just feel, I feel so much strength.

And I'm reminded of this,

some, this kind of Buddhist

notion of having a strong back.

So your spine being strong and

nearly upright and noble, but

then having a really soft front.

So being open and

vulnerable and accessible.

And the combination of these two things

is what I'm seeing for me as a, a kind

of more updated version of masculinity.

So you don't want spineless

people or spineless men.

You still want, you don't want to

emasculate men so they're all just

kind of, you know, just all emotional.

But to remind them that this strength and

this dignity and courage and passion, all

these things are so important, but not

to ignore the front part of, you know,

your heart and your emotional world.

And those things together, it's it's

more of a, kind of a, kind of like a

spiritual warrior archetype, where,

where there's enormous strength and yet

enormous softness that is there as well.

Kind of simultaneous as opposed

to like one or the other.

Yeah, yeah.

Well, I'm just, really loving

that conversation being opened up.

I'm really looking forward to, you

know, the conversations that you're

having with men and it's around

these kinds of topics, but as a, as a

woman, I'm really just loving hearing.

So I'm going to be

continuing to tune into that.

Thanks, Melli.

Now that the other thing that I wanted

to kind of get your, your perspective

on was, you know, I read recently on

a website, your, your profile was on

a website called Conscious Capitalism.

And I was recently speaking to Mark

Williams, Professor Mark Williams,

who you probably know of who founded

the Oxford Centre for Mindfulness.

And we were talking about how mindfulness

would potentially go mainstream.

And he said, he thought one of the real

important factors in that was going to

be CEOs and business people and leaders

taking up mindfulness as a way of living.

And that's something that

you're really involved in.

A lot of your events are about

mindful leadership, mindful business.

And so I wanted to kind of get your

perspective on what, what do you

think, what does conscious capitalism

really mean to you and what does it,

what do you think that's that looks

like, you know, on a day-to-day basis?

Maybe you can even relate because

you're a business person as well, and

you're in a leadership role and, yeah.

So whatever your perspective

is on that, be lovely.


I think it's a really great question.

And, look, I think, first of all,

I'm really aware that capitalism

is a, it's a flawed kind of system.

It's not perfect, you know, as

people are not perfect and you know,

that we could do many more things

to improve the way that we operate.

So that's kind of like one thing that

I've kind of parked on one side, because

I think there's a whole debate to be had

about, is capitalism, the right system.

And it's like, well, that's okay.

I see lots of areas that we

can improve on that, you know.

There's this kind of, it's kind of

unquestionable, but then at the same

time, it's the system that we have.

You know, I think this is another

one of these things about being

present is actually with, this

is the reality of our world.

And so to work within the reality, you

know, is, is such an important thing.

And what I've noticed with bringing more

mindfulness into, so we do two things,

one we've, we're partnered with Google's

Search Inside Yourself program, which

brings kind of emotional intelligence

and mindfulness and compassion based

practices to executives here in Australia.

And we also have a mindful leadership

event, which brings together

executives within the Australian

corporate community to explore, what

does it mean to be a mindful leader.

And what we mean when we say a mindful

leader is really to become more

self-aware, to become more authentic

and become more compassionate.

So it's not just mindfulness on its own.

It's actually mindfulness with, with its

other cousins, so to speak that make up

what we would say like mindful leadership,

like a different way of actually leading.

And I have seen so many signs of how,

how beneficial this is to people.

I mean, I initially thought Jesus,

is this the right thing to be doing?

Is this the right thing to be doing to

introduce what are kind of apparently

ancient practices into a modern context?

And will that be used in a way that

just exploits or does things that

aren't really helpful for human beings?


And what I've noticed is that the

practices in, in and of themselves, and

also the, what happens to people when they

get reminded of these kinds of qualities

or these different ways of being is that

people change and people start to go, Huh.

Maybe we should be doing things

a little differently around here.

It's it's never like, Oh great.

Now we can make this much more money

and we can be this much more productive.

There is, there is a productivity

element that happens.

People do become more, I think, efficient

and focused and all these other great

things from a business point of view.

And that's very clear,.

But I think there's a

bigger thing that happens.

And the biggest thing is.

Could we do things

differently around here?

Could we, and also people start asking

questions like, what is their motivation?

Why are we even going to work?

And are the people here, are

they kind of pawns in a, in

a, in a kind of a chess game?

Or are they fellow humans that I

need to treat with kind of dignity

and compassion and could even a

workplace become more like a family

where people are treated really well?

So I have grown to witness

individuals learning these practices.


And particularly leaders.

And, and, and trusting that these

practices won't bringing out

the worst in people, it won't

bring out any more narcissism.

It actually brings out more reflection,

consideration, and qualities like

authenticity and compassion, which is

then, which then influence how business

is done, how teams are put together,

how people relate to one another.

And then, you know, ultimately, business

is the driving force of the world.

Hopefully this will move the needle

a little closer to actually business

becoming a force for good in the world.

And that would be my great hope.

And I actually think it can happen.

It's that people will wake up within

their organizations and go, hey, we

don't have to have this organization

completely collapse in order for us

to rebuild something that might work.

We could actually do it from within here.

And that's, that's my hope.

And that's what I do see happening

at a very small level right

now, but I could see it actually

moving more and more towards that.


That's a wonderful vision.

And I think it's, it's happening.

It's happening slowly.

But there are a lot of, it's

amazing, isn't it, when you hear,

actually, I really liked tuning

into Tim Ferriss' podcasts as well.

And you know, it's fascinating.

He said the, I think, the number one

consistent thing that all of these

people who are really successful

do every single day is meditate.



So there's a lot of very high profile,

successful people who meditate.

But now this becoming a bit more

mainstream, they're all fessing up

that they've been doing it for years.

So, yeah, I do think...


And another interesting thing,

Melli, I'd just like to bring into

that as well, because I think that's

there's two things come to mind.

One is I also think there is a, you know,

when people talk about, you know, kind of

changing the world and such, I think like

creativity is such a, a key part of that.

And I, I really don't think

that creativity can be fully

accessed without some kind of

contemplative practice, you know?

And I think that's what painters and

writers are actually ,what's happening

for them is they're actually in a...

We're back.


So you were saying that artists and

contemplative people go into that state.


So I think there's a, I think

creativity is such a, such an important

thing for our world right now.

I think it's one of the only things

we have to actually find the solutions

we need to improve our world.

And I think contemplative practices

and mindfulness itself is a means for

tapping another form of intelligence

that's often beyond their own mind.

You know, I think we can kind of,

you know, the whole idea of like

brainstorming or, you know, is kind

of a strange notion because it's often

tossing around the same kind of ideas.

And then I think when people

become still and quiet, something

fresh and new can emerge.

And I think that's where some

of the best ideas happen.

So that's one part of also that I think

really relates to business and leadership.

But the other thing I found really

interesting the other day, I

interviewed a guy named Jack Heath.

I listened to that interview.

It was brilliant.


And he was talking about like

when he was in Parliament.

And what I know that it, he, he mentioned

how in politics, and you probably

remember this, that so many politicians

today have very little time to reflect.

And as a result, you know, the quality of

decisions that are being made are so such

so, so much lower than what they could be.

And I think this also points to the need

for, you know, politicians as well to be

given the opportunity to learn practices

like mindfulness practices, not only

for their wellbeing, but so they can

actually have the time and the space to

make a good decision or a good policy

that can influence the whole world.

So, you know, mindfulness to me is soo...

Sure, it originates at a very personal

level, but has such big implications

for the world if it's taken seriously.


Yeah, absolutely.

And it's, it's been said, as my, my final

question, it's been said that mindfulness

has the capacity to change the world

from the inside out one person at a time.

So my question to you is, what kind

of a world, if, if mindfulness were to

really hit critical mass, so, I mean,

sometimes people say mindfulness has gone

mainstream, but I think, you know, when it

hits critical mass, you know, I'm talking

a billion or 2 billion people, what kind

of a world do you see that that would be?


Well, that's a big question, Melli.

Look, I think what comes to my mind

when you ask that is one of the

greatest qualities that I think

emerges when people become present

and become mindful is kindness.

So they become kind, their heart

begins to lead their life a little more

than their mind leading their life.

So the kind of world that I see is where

people value this moment right now and

the opportunity to be kind in this moment.

And I think it's the multiplication of

those little acts of kindness that will

create a very different world and a very

different level of connection with one

another, as a kind of a human family.

We will literally be like kindness.

You know, the first three words is kin.

We will, we will have that

sense of family again.

We are not separate individual

beings that have no responsibility or

connections to other people, but we are

profoundly connected to one another.

And I think the other thing that I

think will happen, and I think that

is happening, I think particularly

out of the Silicon Valley world that's

pointing to that is, I think we'll

be in a much more creative state.

So I think a lot of the problems we have

will potentially be, being solved or

solved through people having the space to

create, rather than being on a treadmill

where I often don't get a chance to

express something unique into the world.

So they're the two things that come to

my mind as what I think will happen when

mindfulness becomes more, more, more

and more mainstream into people's lives.

Because I think naturally, in my

experience, that's what naturally happens.


I'm not saying I'm like the most

kindest, creative person, but I know

when I am more present, they're the

two qualities, they're the two things

that seem to happen also for me.

So, you know, I would love

and hope that that becomes a

little more so in the world.

Well on that note, thank you so

much for the work that you do

in helping to create that world.

And thank you so much for your time today.

Is there anything else that you

want to share before we close up?

I really want to acknowledge

you and what you're doing with

this course and this program.

I think a lot of people see

these kind of things and can just

think they come out of thin air.

You know, well Melli just woke up and she

started a course and I want to, and I,

I know how much work and time and effort

and phone calls and emails and Skypes and

administration and technical things go

into making something like this happen.

So, I just want to acknowledge you

and thank you for doing that because

it's a real gift to the world.

And the aspirational last question you

asked about this going into the world and

becoming more mainstream happens because

people like you do a course like this.

And so I just want to say thank

you for including me and, and

for putting this together.

Aww, thanks, Jono.

And, I, yeah, I think you and I

both have a, a similar passion

and want to be part of a similar

vision for tomorrow in this world.

So yeah.

It's my pleasure to do this.

So, thank you so much for tuning

in and I'll see you next time.

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The Mindfulness Summit  null Playlist · 23 tracks

The Mindfulness Summit

Playlist · 23 tracks4.9

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