Why we felt he needed to be included in this list: From being a monk to making “wisdom go viral”, Jay Shetty — fresh from graduating school at the age of 22 — turned his passion for positive thinking and mindfulness into a full-fledged movement. Now he’s one of the most sought-after professional coaches and self-development experts with over 25 million followers on Facebook and over 1 billion views.
Jay Shetty wasn’t always the ray of positivity and wisdom we’ve come to admire and look up to. During his teenage years, feeling uncertain about who he was, Shetty began acting out and it usually landed him in trouble. Then, at 16, Shetty was forced to deal with the deaths of two of his closest friends and realized he wanted to do more with the life he felt fortunate to have.
At 18, while enrolled at Cass Business School, where he earned his B.Sc. Hons in behavioral science, Shetty met a monk who spoke about what it meant to serve. Even though he had enticing job prospects after graduating at 22, he decided to leave behind the life he knew to become a monk for three years, during which time he lived in India and Europe.
During his time as a monk, Shetty lived a simple but impactful life. He woke up each day at 4 a.m., ate clean, and spent four to eight hours a day meditating. He also engaged in training techniques that allowed him to regulate his breathing and his thoughts and learned about Hindu Vedic philosophies, which he then taught to others to help them with their self-development. While Shetty was abroad, he engaged in philanthropic work, including working on developing sustainable villages, meal delivery initiatives that benefit millions, and sharing his learnings with people in other parts of the world who were struggling with their mental health.
[My mission now is] to share life-changing wisdom in a way that makes people feel entertained, in a way that’s active, dynamic, and innovative. It’s not sitting there listening to a school program or a class. I’m [also] passionate about spreading a movement of unlearning what the world has taught us: what our families taught, what school has taught, what we’ve picked up from around us. To allow [people] to go back to being self-aware of their own interests, needs, and concerns. It’s disconnecting from what ‘makes sense’ to what actually moves you and what makes sense internally.
After three years as a monk, Shetty returned to London with nothing to his name and moved in with his family as he worked to reacclimate to life at home. Unbeknownst to him, Shetty’s ties to the business world, via his schoolmates at Cass Business School, would launch his career. Shetty’s classmates asked him to speak about what he had learned as a monk at their workplaces where stress levels were high. Shetty turned his lessons from monkhood into a career and began working with Accenture as their digital marketing/social media strategy and innovation coach and consultant, where he coached members of senior management.
With the intention of sharing his wisdom and helping people, Shetty launched his Facebook page in 2016, featuring a variety of videos that deal with perspective, mindfulness and relationships. The page has since garnered a following of 25 million people and 200 million views. His work captured the attention of Arianna Huffington, who offered him an opportunity in 2016, and Shetty relocated to New York City to work at The Huffington Post, where he was a senior host and producer of a daily live show, #FollowTheReader, which discussed hot button issues such as being mindful and tech. The show garnered an audience of more than one million members and featured interviews with the likes of Russell Simmons and Deepak Chopra.
In 2016, Shetty left The Huffington Post and launched Jay Shetty Media and Coaching, fueled by his goal to get wisdom to go viral. Under the umbrella of his company, he launched Genius Coaching, where he delivers support and weekly lessons to over 10,000 members to help with their personal development. This year, Shetty launched his podcast, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, where he covers topics like dealing with relationships and success, and features interviews with stars like Kobe Bryant and Ashley Graham.
Success comes from gaining, happiness comes from giving.
Awaken The Greatness Within
Shetty has worked with Google and Nasdaq, delivering engaging and inspirational speeches, and has helped Facebook and various authors develop motivating messaging. He has been featured by various global publications including Vogue, Entrepreneur and National Geographic, and was featured on Forbes’s Top 30 Under 30 list. Shetty’s accolades include placing third in the 2015 Guardian Rising Star Award, and receiving the 2016 ITV Asian Media Award for Best Blog, the 2018 Streamy Award for Health and Wellness, and the Outstanding Achievement Online Award at the 2019 Asian Awards. Shetty was also included in The ANOKHI POWER List 2018 and was the recipient of The ANOKHI POWER Award.
As if he wasn’t busy enough, Shetty co-founded Icon Media, with Alex Kushneir. The video production firm works specifically with those who are looking to develop viral media that will benefit people on a global scale.
Most recently, Shetty has been working on a book, Think Like A Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day. The book, which comes out April 2020, will serve as a guide to help people understand and get past whatever is holding them back from living their best life.
Shetty’s passion and determination to share his wisdom with others so they have a chance to lead a better life is philanthropic in its own right.
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