Polite to a fault and as kind as he appears, Jay Shetty arrives at The Oberoi in Mumbai, greeting everyone present with a warm smile. A presence as calming as he’s charming, he’s in the city for the India leg of his world tour to promote his latest book, in the country he calls his “spiritual home.”
“I feel a renewed sense of purpose whenever I’m here,” says the former monk, global bestselling author and award- winning host of podcast, On Purpose.
From speaking to groups of 15 across England to addressing sold-out shows at gigantic venues like the Sydney Opera House, Shetty is arguably one of the biggest names to emerge in the wellness space today—with a fan base that runs into tens of millions across platforms the world over! He most recently wrote his second book, 8 Rules of Love, and also turned entrepreneur with his wife, with the launch of Sama Tea.
Those familiar with Shetty are well aware of the emphasis he lays on thoughts, affirmations, and the power of words and manifestation. He believes that the energy we exude into the universe is what we attract towards ourselves, much like Newton’s third law of motion.
“We’re powerful creators who have an ability to shape our own outcomes. The energy with which we surround ourselves contributes to what we’re able to create. To me, that energy includes the thoughts in our own minds, the people we’re close to as well as the physical environment we’re in,” Shetty explains. “I put a lot of effort into curating the sights, sounds and even smells around me to support what I’m trying to achieve.”
Shetty’s transition from monkhood to a life coach and self-help guru was neither an overnight decision, nor was there “a sudden ‘Ah-ha!’ moment” as he puts it. It was a change that unfolded over time, uncomfortably so, suspended in the space of the unknowing. “Over the course of my monk training, my body started breaking down, while my mind was totally invigorated. I became so excited about this idea of sharing what I was learning with people outside the ashram,” Shetty shares, revealing the moment from 10 years ago when the man the world knows today was taking shape, eager to share all that he was imbibing with others who could benefit from his learnings. “As I started to recognise that my body wasn’t responding well to the austerities I was putting it through as a monk, one of my teachers gently told me he didn’t think being a monk was my path going forward. That to share wisdom in the way I wanted would be better done outside the ashram. It was difficult to hear at the time, yet it made sense to me.”
And thus was born Jay Shetty, the man the world knows and loves today.
This is an excerpt from an interview from HELLO! India’s May-June 2023 issue. To read the full interview, watch out for the latest issue.