We are facing three pandemics right now: Deepak Chopra
Total Meditation writer and wellness guru Deepak Chopra participated with Yahoo Finance's Julia La Roche on the latest installment of Yahoo Finance Presents to break the relationship between happiness and prosperity and how to create a healthy relationship Money should look like.
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JULIA LA ROCHE: Well, I'm excited to bring in the wellness expert and bestselling author of several books, Deepak Chopra. Dr. Deepak is also the newest member of Personal Capital's Financial Heroes campaign, where he and the company will promote the importance of financial wellbeing before the new year. Deepak, it's such a pleasure to have you.
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Thank you, Julia. It's nice to be with you
JULIA LA ROCHE: It's always nice to be with you. I want to give an overview here of the relationship between money, wealth, financial well-being, and happiness.
DEEPAK CHOPRA: So wealth is a state of mind or a state of consciousness that we can call abundance consciousness. The opposite of this is the so-called scarcity awareness or poverty awareness. You can be the richest person in the world, but you can still be poor. And that means you have all the money, billions of dollars, but you don't have generosity of the mind, you don't know how to spend the money, you don't know how to enjoy the money, you don't know how To use the money for good experiences, just hoard money and then use money to make more money, to make more money, to make more money, to make more money and never have the time to do it to enjoy.
So the poverty awareness rules two types of people, the extremely rich and the extremely poor. Why? Because their identity is money. The extremely rich mistake wealth for self-worth. The extremely rich think that their wealth is their self-worth. You think about money all the time. The extremely poor also think about money all the time. So in order to actually have fun making money, which is the symbolic representation of your values, one has to be aware of the abundance.
JULIA LA ROCHE: It's so interesting that you just grew up there, like two almost extreme ends of the spectrum, the extremely poor and the extremely rich. And these are the people who are most unhappy when it comes to money. So you mentioned abundance consciousness. What does a healthy relationship with money look like?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Wondering if you had all the money in the world and all the time in the world, how would you express your unique gifts? Be grateful for this and you will open the door to the awareness of abundance. And you know that abundance consciousness is not just about money, money, as I said, is a symbolic representation of the exchange of values. If one's values are pornography, this is how they will make money. If one's values create a healthy, joyful world, well-being will make them money.
When someone's values are the good of the company, they do a good job for their employees, care for their employees because they know that employee satisfaction is related to customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction is related to investor satisfaction and investor satisfaction. So you have to take it all into account, personal relationship, social interactions, workplace, community wellbeing, physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, spiritual wellbeing - all of these together give you what we call financial wellbeing. His or her financial security. When people have financial security, they are not obsessed with money, they don't - the extremely poor and the extremely rich only think of money, but what kind of life is it?
JULIA LA ROCHE: What can people do to unlock this? How do you get to the point where you can have that financial well being or well being? I suppose when a lot of people live from paycheck to paycheck they are committed to their jobs. For example, how do you get to the point where you can get to the next level and unlock that there?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: At the moment, by the way, we have a very bad relationship with money and it is the cause of stress in the world. And it's important to have financial tools so someone can provide you with financial tools to manage your data. For the workplace it is also important to make sure that you have savings, that you have time for vacation, that you can raise yourself or your children, that you have retirement benefits so that you can feel safe.
And that is the new initiative in many entrepreneurial organizations and many companies. I started something called JUST Capital where we identify companies that can do well to improve the global situation. All of these initiatives help us move into an area with more financial security. We just have to use the tools.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Well, Deepak, I'm glad you ONLY mentioned capital. I only had Paul Tudor Jones last week when he was talking about stakeholder capitalism. I would love to hear your thoughts too as you look at what happened in 2020 and many people have been talking about some kind of K-shaped recovery, the growing wealth gap, belongings. What do you think of the development of capitalism and are we going in the right direction?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: You know, capitalism is a very brilliant idea. It is only corrupted by greed and fear. If it wasn't corrupted by greed and fear and had the right intent, like Paul Tudor Jones did with JUST Capital. He and I started it together, by the way, as a result of a conversation with one of my students at Columbia Business School, where I was teaching a course on cause-oriented marketing. And I just mentioned it to Paul and he ran with it and you know, he's done it so successfully. I think this is the future of capitalism, ONLY capitalism.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Yes, and you already mentioned the responsibility that companies have to contribute to financial wellbeing. In your opinion, what needs changes in this area, where are some opportunities for changes in relation to the corporate landscape?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: I think employees have to take care of number one. But you also need to be educated about financial security. This is how customers should be educated about financial security. So investors should be educated about financial security. And for that there are tools that we can offer. It's part of my partnership with you, this organization that we work with.
JULIA LA ROCHE: You just mentioned the sheer scale of the challenge that many people report worrying about money and their financial situation. I think one of the statistics was that 77% of Americans say they are concerned about their financial situation and also about a lot of depression. Many people with depression are also more likely to have financial problems. That really shocked me. I didn't know how massive the problem is. Would you mind putting this into context and do you think the pandemic contributed and exacerbated the problem and how?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Yes, I should mention that my partnership with Personal Capital is about providing people with tools and free tools for financial literacy. Even so, it's the responsibility of everyone in business to make sure that we feel financially secure because financial uncertainty and stress go together. We currently have three pandemics, one of which is the COVID-19 pandemic. The second is the financial crisis pandemic, people have no jobs.
And also the fact that we have a culture, we have a culture here where you spend money you didn't deserve, to buy things you don't need, to impress people you don't like. And then you worry about why you are having all the stress. So financial stress, financial hardship, absolutely insane spending habits on things you don't need. And no financial security education creates the mess we have. People don't even do ... if they miss a paycheck, they can't pay their rent or they can't buy food. What kind of situation is this for the richest country in the world?
JULIA LA ROCHE: It is a good point that you also raise and only point out that it will be issued. Much of it is probably like a signal to others or their perception. And I actually had a conversation with my husband earlier, only he was scrolling through Instagram. It looks like everyone has the most beautiful clothes and the most beautiful house. So you're also wondering how much do you think social media is contributing to this problem.
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Social media allows us to confuse ourselves with our selfie. So everyone's self-esteem is based on their selfie and they have forgotten who they are. And that's how we impress people. You know the statistics show that if you could move into a house, let's say you had a house that was $ 0.5 million, but you could move into a house that was worth $ 1 million tomorrow, but your neighbour's house $ 2 million, you won. 't move. You want to be better than your neighbor.
So we confuse ourselves with our selfie. So social media is very destructive when it comes to financial security or any kind of security, security about how you look, security about how you feel, security about your relationships. All of this is sacrificed because we don't know how to talk to each other as humans. We talk through machines and through selfies.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Do you think this will change? Are you hopeful that maybe people will realize this and what they can do, such as some practical things they can actually do to change these habits?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: So you know we started our non-profit organization. I have a non-profit organization called the Chopra Foundation. We started a campaign called neveralone.love, www.neveralone.love. And that was because every 40 seconds someone in the world commits suicide. It is the second leading cause of death among teenagers, which is a reflection of our parenting skills for our children to commit suicide.
As part of this, we launched what is known as an AI called PIWI. This is an artificial intelligence machine that can tell if you are worried about something, suffering from depression, or feeling suicidal. And what did we find? People feel more comfortable talking to a machine than to a person because they feel less - they are ready to be vulnerable to a machine, they trust the machine more than any other person. Such is the state of affairs.
So what we did with PIWI, now they can detect suicide risk, refer you to a counselor. And we're creating our own cryptocurrency, a love in action sign to pay for, democratizing the world's well-being without paying any attention to special interest groups, democratizing financial well-being, physical well-being, emotional well-being, and spiritual well-being through one worldwide campaign at grassroots level. It's the only way. We cannot trust special interest groups, especially politicians. All are gangsters.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Mm-hmm. It's interesting too. And you mentioned your own type of cryptocurrency and ...
DEEPAK CHOPRA: We're about to make it, yes.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Yes, while we can do that and use this AI technology too. What results are you seeing, Deepak?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: We have seen intervention on 500 suicide attempts. And that's a remarkable thing that surpasses any other type of therapy. But of course we want to work with therapists, counselors, social workers and frontline workers. And you know a lot is happening right now. I think if we understand the convergence of information technologies, the new methods of transportation, the production of energy that does not depend on fossil fuels, the production of food through fermentation and stem cells.
We are entering a new era of abundance, of abundance for the world, if only we work together. The future of emergence depends on maximum diversity, maximum diversity of people, shared vision, mutual complementarity of strengths, open systems, feedback and transparency. When we do this, we can create abundance in the world.
JULIA LA ROCHE: I really like what you say there. And if you don't mind, I just want to ask a follow-up question and double click on cryptocurrency as we are having a bigger conversation about money and you are thinking about how money has done over the years. How do you do - what do you think of cryptocurrency by and large as a topic?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: It will be part of our ecosystem, the financial ecosystem. This is the only way to localize the success of companies. So you think locally, you create wealth locally, you participate globally, but you are not tied to specific interest groups, and your businesses will thrive locally if you create your own cryptocurrencies. This is part of the Buddhist economy, it has been around for 2,500 years, but now that we have AI and all of these amazing technologies come together as convergence, this will be the future that will be localized abundance and prosperity and global collaboration.
And fill now. We see almost free energy in the future. We see almost free transportation in the future. We want to eliminate fossil fuels. We consider food production that is done locally with food as software through technology.
JULIA LA ROCHE: So it's like a fascinating picture of the future and what it could look like. You know, a lot of people really admire the work you've done. You obviously have a lot of purpose and influence on people. And I think it would be helpful to go back a few years and I read that when you came to the US you had $ 20 in your pocket. And, Deepak, what was the activation for you, where you could realize your purpose and your kind of place?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Actually, I came out with zero. I had to make a group call to my hospital to pick me up from JFK. So I had zero and worked hard. I started, trained in medicine, trained in endocrinology, internal medicine, mind-body medicine and just expressed my passion, that's all.
And it was like someone was singing in the bathroom and people liked the song. And so they started buying my books. And I was lucky. What can I say? It was not planned. I just finished my PhD, which is what I define as passion, hunger and drive.
JULIA LA ROCHE: I love that - passion, hunger and drive.
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Particularly passion.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Yes, long before we were done, the crisis brought mental health to the fore. And I know you've done a lot about mindfulness and meditation, including a series with Oprah. Many people I speak to, whether it's Ray Dalio, for example, point out that meditation is critical to their success. What about meditation and how can it help you in your life and realize your potential and find your success?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Meditation helps you not be just a biological robot. Most of the people act like algorithms, there is no creativity, there is no insight, there is no inspiration, there is no higher vision, there is no purpose, there is no meaning. So meditation takes you beyond the alleys, the dark alleys of your conditioned mind, to the source of the mind and sets creativity free. Ray Dalio and Paul Tudor Jones are good at that. They are very smart business people, they are also professional mediators, as you know.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Yes. Well, I should also point out that you have written your 91st book, Total Meditation, and are working on your 92nd book. So Dr. Deepak Chopra, thank you very much for your time. Thank you for joining us today.
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Thank you, Julia. The new book is called Abundance: The Hidden Path.
JULIA LA ROCHE: I can't wait to read it. I'm so excited. 2021 right?
DEEPAK CHOPRA: Yes.
JULIA LA ROCHE: Great. Many Thanks. Thank you again, Deepak.
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