About Gaj Ravichandra
Gaj is the Managing Partner of Kompass Consultancy, he’s also a Psychologist, Careers and Talent Expert and Performance Coach with over 15,000 coaching hours delivered Internationally. Gaj has trained everybody from world-cup winning sporting coaches to business leaders undertaking multi-billion-dollar corporate mergers.
He has worked with multinationals, governments, educational institutions and sporting teams in Australia, the Middle East, UK, Europe and Asia. His industry experience covers a wide range of sectors, including Telecom, Finance, Healthcare, Aviation, Technology, Manufacturing, Consulting, Retail and even Oil & Gas.
Gaj is passionate about Sustainable High Performance, Leadership Development, Career Pathing Strategies, and Setting Fulfilling Mindsets for Life
When outside of work, Gaj travels extensively around the globe and is the Founder and Director of organisations focused on career development, music, education, sports and a family charity.
Lesson 1. You network is your net worth 03:45
Lesson 2. Winning doesn’t exist in the comparison game. 06:35
Lesson 3. The pillars of life are your values and purpose. 08:53
Lesson 4. Running towards success rather than away from failure. 12:12
Lesson 5. Every person should have a therapist 14:12
Lesson 6. Mental toughness is the most important leadership skill and mindset to develop 17:53
Lesson 7. The things you fear are the greatest growth opportunities 21:09
Lesson 8. Choose abundance over scarcity 25:20
Lesson 9. Self-compassion allows you to give more to others. 27:47
Lesson 10. Assume there is 1% of truth in everything 32:46
Gaj Ravichandra – Assume there is 1% of truth in everything
[00:00:08] Jeffery Wang: Hello, and welcome to the podcast. 10 lessons learned where we dispense wisdom to an international audience of rising leaders. In other words, in this podcast, you’ll hear valuable insights that you can’t learn from a textbook because it took us years to learn the stuff. My name is Jeffrey Wang, the founder of professional de development forum.
[00:00:26] And your host this episode. I’m a Taiwanese born Australian living in sunny Sydney, This podcast is sponsored by the professional development forum, which helps diverse young professionals of any age to find fulfillment in the modern workplace. Today we’re joined by Gaj Ravichandra. Gaj is a managing partner of Kompass Consultancy. He’s also a psychologist, careers and talent expert and performance coach. With over 15,000 coaching hours delivered internationally. Gaj has trained everybody from world cup, winning sporting coaches to business leaders, undertaking multi-billion-dollar corporate mergers.
[00:01:04] He has worked with multinationals governments educational institutions and sporting teams in Australia, the Middle East, the UK Europe and Asia. His industry experience covers a wide range of sectors, including telecom, finance, healthcare, aviation technology, manufacturing, consulting, retail, and even oil and gas.
[00:01:24] Gaj is passionate about sustainable high performance. Leadership development, career pathing strategies and setting fulfillment mindsets for life. Gaj has been featured in the Arabian Business. Khaleej Times, Thrive Magazine W K N D Magazine, and the Gulf News. And when outside of work Gaj travels extensively around the globe and is the founder and director of several organizations focused on career development, music, education, sports, and a family charity.
[00:01:56] Welcome Gaj.
[00:01:57] Gaj Ravichandra: Thank you. Great to see you, Jeff. And, yeah, looking forward to our chat today.
[00:02:01] Jeffery Wang: Just a quick confession. I know, Asian genes are great and all, but you’re not really 50. Are you?
[00:02:08] Gaj Ravichandra: I feel it today, particularly in a cold winter in Sydney. I definitely feel older than I am, but no, I’m not 50 mate. I’m not 50 I’m mid-forties. That’s, horrifying me to some extent, but excited as well.
[00:02:22] Jeffery Wang: oh, you still look great. So, so, that’s awesome. But before we jump into your 10 lessons, I just want to throw you a little bit of a curve ball. What advice would you give your 30-year-old self, if you were to see him today?
[00:02:35] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah, I remember, at 30 it was actually the time which my wife and my two-year-old daughter at the time went to the middle east. We took this huge leap of faith and, moved from Sydney to Dubai. And I think one of the things that I would’ve, I would go back and tell myself is to actually. Back myself in the decisions that I made.
[00:02:55] And I had a lot of self-doubt, particularly back then. And you got to remember I, we moved to the middle east in May of 2018. The financial crisis hit in September. So about, a few months later and, massive amount of doubt, self-doubt that sort of jumped into my mind, during that time.
[00:03:13] And I think going back, I would just remind myself about the decisions that I made, why I made those decisions and sticking with things and committing to things and not putting so much pressure on myself. To do that. So, I think we stuck with it, but I think there’s a lot of things I could have said to make life a lot easier for myself during that time.
[00:03:32] Jeffery Wang: Beautiful. So, with the benefit of hindsight, you would’ve told yourself to back yourself when you’re 30?
[00:03:37] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah, absolutely. I think just to go for it, unleash yourself. Yeah. Don’t hold back.
[00:03:42] Jeffery Wang: That’s wise word, indeed. All right.
[00:03:45] Lesson 1: You network is your net worth
[00:03:45] Jeffery Wang: Well, let’s jump into your 10 lessons. Lesson. Number one, you say that your net is your net worth.
[00:03:51] What do you mean by that?
[00:03:53] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah, I mean, it’s something that’s thrown around a lot these days, but the big lesson that I’ve learned is that there are many reasons why our relationships are really important to us. And a lot of the time that I spend coaching people is around work and, promotional opportunities and leadership opportunities.
[00:04:13] And one of the things that I’ve found Jeff is that people really overemphasize the importance of their performance, over their relationships and time again, I find people get disappointed at their, the fact that their technical brilliance or the fact that they’ve, achieved their KPIs is not enough, for them to achieve the success that they want to achieve. And I think they forget. Actually, people making these decisions actually are humans that need to feel a sense of trust or connection, with others. And if we don’t put ourselves in those situations, we don’t brand ourselves. And if we don’t, show people that we can relate to them and connect to them, we are potentially going to be left behind, in some of the decisions that are made because we may not have the connections. That we want to have. So, performance is important, but relationships and that network that we have. are just as important, if not more important, the more senior we get, within our careers.
[00:05:07] Jeffery Wang: I agree with that. But it’s sort of the easier set than done, so how do you build a network that is, thriving and healthy and useful.
[00:05:16] Gaj Ravichandra: I think starts with understanding a little bit about. You’re trying to achieve. And so, finding people around you that have that shared goal or sense of purpose, and I’m sure we’ll talk about purpose later today, but that sense of connection with them really helps to orchestrate what you do in your day or weeks, your months.
[00:05:37] And whether you decide to have them as mentors or people around you that sort of guide you, your tribe it can be. Full. And so that I think is one thing, secondly, understanding. What are the kinds of, networks that are available to you?
[00:05:51] So doing a bit of a network map, right? To understand the key stakeholders and those around you, that can influence decisions that are important, that carry weight, that may have some sort of political advantage, and perhaps have the kinds of mindset and personality that you look up to and admire. Right. You want to spend more time with these people?
[00:06:12] So, identifying who these people are, and then starting to just, reach out to them either through referrals, which can be a really helpful, easier way rather than sometimes a cold connection. so, there’s a bit of a strategy and an approach, right? That you would use to kind of get in front of these people and surround yourself with these people.
[00:06:30] Jeffery Wang: Beautiful and you got to do it. as you go as well.
[00:06:33] Lesson 2: Winning doesn’t exist in the comparison game
[00:06:33] Jeffery Wang: Now, lesson number two, and I feel like we might have, very similar parents growing up, you say that winning doesn’t exist from the comparison game now I’m sensing, this is something that, happens all throughout your life, especially people of, an Asian cultural background where you feel like there’s a lot of comparing going on.
[00:06:53] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah, absolutely. And when you look at social identity theory, right? The idea of collectivist versus individualistic cultures. And I think, those in the Asian, and continental Europe have a lot of these collectivist type cultures where, what we do not only impacts us or our family, but our communities, and the society in which we live. Whereas an individualistic society is much more driven by, the success of the individual and how that operates. And so, in a collectivist culture, you’re going to have, a greater chance or likelihood that your performance, the things that you do, the things that you have are compared to other people. And I remember growing up as a child, that was a massive part of, growing up and look at so, and so look what they have done. Look where they live, look how they’re, providing for their family and so forth. That’s a very natural thing to do, but it also creates a comparison game.
[00:07:46] And what we know is that the only person we should be really comparing ourselves is to us yesterday. And so that is a healthy comparison. The rest is unhealthy. We can use potentially others as role models, in, from a motivational perspective. But if we’re actually comparing ourselves to them, we know psychologically, it can be quite damaging.
[00:08:07] And so we want to make sure that we are doing it for the right reasons. And that there’s a win-win right. It’s like when you compare yourself to your competitors. For you to feel good about yourself. the competitors need to lose. For you to win. That’s true. Yeah. And so is that really the game that we want to play here, that somebody else has to lose for us to win. And I think that’s an individual question that this is one of the life lessons that I learned that kind of helped me to refocus on myself rather than worrying too much about the external world.
[00:08:36] Jeffery Wang: Absolutely. And I like what you said, we should be comparing ourselves to what we were yesterday.
[00:08:41] and that’s a much more meaningful comparison that we should be having with ourselves. And that’s probably the only way you can have a win-win comparison, knowing that you are a better person than you were yesterday. So, I love that. Thank you for sharing that.
[00:08:53] Lesson 3: The pillars of life are your values and purpose
[00:08:53] Jeffery Wang: Yeah. Number three, the pillars of life are your values and purpose.
[00:08:58] I sense, there’s a good story behind how you came to learn that.
[00:09:02] Gaj Ravichandra: you know, one of the things when we started our business Kompass about nine years ago. I was working in the corporate consulting world, and it was very much about working for somebody else’s vision or purpose.
[00:09:13] So even though mine was tied to that, it was never going to be completely mine. And so, what I went through was a process of discovering what that purpose or the intentional career was that I wanted to have not an accidental career. One where I’m just going down a path of, being good at what I do, and then getting promoted or given opportunities, but actually purely intentional.
[00:09:36] And I had to go back to my values to actually know, well, what were the things that were important to me and how were they going to be demonstrated? Because values, the only way you can see them is through our behaviors, right? And so, when we actually get to live our values at our highest level, that’s when we get to optimize ourselves.
[00:09:56] And I, the leaders that I get to work with, and I feel very fortunate, these, C-suite executives and top talent coming through the organizations. They have this in common. They have this absolute clarity around what is important to them and how they need to then navigate their purpose through their values and through their behaviors.
[00:10:16] And so, those long-term goals of purpose, if you like, where you might feel. You want to do good things in the world and have a good impact. And also, to do something that’s personally meaningful to, you have to be driven by your values. There has to be a connection there, and I tend to find the people that are unhappy, even though they’ve achieved amazing things in their life.
[00:10:37] They’ve typically had to do it. Almost in contradiction to their values. And so, there’s this feeling of being unsettled, unhappy, disconnected. And so those two things have to go hand in hand
[00:10:49] Jeffery Wang: No, that’s certainly true. especially, through my own experience, I do find that you have to be authentic to who you really are in order to feel that sort of sense of fulfillment, but that’s easier said than done though.
[00:11:03] Cuz it takes a lot of courage to live authentically. Presume, there’s probably a moment in life where you realized that weren’t going to be fulfilled. Without living out your values, is there a story behind that?
[00:11:15] Gaj Ravichandra: probably lots of them, Jeff, but I think one of the things that come to mind is, working for a particular boss when I first moved to the middle east who did not have similar values to me, and I had to make a decision at a time when, the economies and the crisis was taking place to leave.
[00:11:35] And that was not easy to do, but the decision was made based on this values misalignment. And I needed to find somewhere that was better aligned. So, though it was the more difficult decision to make at the time, because it created a lot of instability, for my family, I knew that in terms of the longer path, it was going to be much more aligned.
[00:11:55] And more meaningful to me.
[00:11:56] Jeffery Wang: Well, that must have been a pretty courageous decision.
[00:11:58] Gaj Ravichandra: I think my wife definitely helped right. To make that decision, which was great. Yeah.
[00:12:03] Jeffery Wang: And it worked out in hindsight?
[00:12:05] Gaj Ravichandra: It did. Yeah. One of the best decisions I made, absolutely. Through the discomfort comes triumph.
[00:12:10] And I think sometimes we need to go through that.
[00:12:12] Lesson 4: Running towards success rather than away from failure
[00:12:12] Jeffery Wang: Lesson number four, running towards success rather than away from failure.
[00:12:17] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. Again, being a collectivist culture Asian backgrounds, I think, we are used to running away from failure. And this came up a lot.
[00:12:27] And my first graduate job actually, I was going as a consultant psychologist and I got a call the day after the assessment center. by the managing director at the time. and she said to me, look, Gaj, we want to take you on board, but we don’t want to take you on as a full-time consultant.
[00:12:43] We think you’ve got this ability to do this commercial sales type position. And I said, well, I don’t know anything about sales, right? I think you might be talking to the wrong person on this one. She said, well, actually, you’ve got one of the highest fears of failure that we’ve seen. And we know that for sales positions, that is a really critical personality disposition.
[00:13:02] So We want you to give it a go, And then she said at the end, but I want you to think about one thing and that is instead of running away from failure, take that energy and run towards success. It’s a lot more fun. And I think that stuck with me that’s 20 years ago and it stuck with me, to this day.
[00:13:21] And I think whenever I go through those moments of where my mindset is shifting to the anxiety and the worrying and all the rest of it. I need to start also remembering to rebalance what that means, from the positive perspective. And I think that re-energizes right automatically, re-energizes you. Right? In lots of positive ways.
[00:13:43] Jeffery Wang: Oh, indeed. your, mind’s a powerful thing and You can’t really. not think of something, when I say don’t think of a pink elephant, what you think of? And I think there’s one of those things, , if you’re always worried about failure, and you’re always thinking about failure that tends to be what manifests, but I had to chuckle because, I can relate to that so much, bringing shame to your family is probably one of those things in our culture that you’re trying so hard to avoid. And yet, that sort of underpins that fear of failure so much in our culture.
[00:14:11] So thanks for sharing that.
[00:14:12] Lesson 5: Every person should have a therapist
[00:14:12] Jeffery Wang: Now lesson number five is probably going to cause a little bit of controversy, which is why I love it. You say that every person should have a therapist now come on. every person surely, I’m. Okay, aren’t I?
[00:14:28] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. So, I think there’s a couple of things wrapped up right. In that comment.
[00:14:32] I know it is a bit of an extreme position. However, I think it’s quite valid and here are my reasons for validity this is just my percept. I’m slightly skewed on this of course. So, as we have a GP, a general practitioner for our physical health, And that is widely accepted and recognized and normalized. If we haven’t learned anything over the last two or three years, about how important our mental health is, then I think we also need to consider that perhaps in the same way that we have someone to go to for our physical health, that we also need to value our mental health. Now. There’s two parts of this, right?
[00:15:09] So the first is yes, we need to have someone to support us in our mental health. The second is it is not just when we are in trouble. When we are feeling that we are down, it is also when we just want to improve when we want to keep moving forward. There’s a reason why the elite athletes in the world have many coaches.
[00:15:28] They have people that work on parts of their body, on their diet, on their mind. Because we need support and they’re at the top of their game. And I think sometimes it may be even a little bit arrogant to think that we don’t need somebody. To help us along, That we can do this all by ourselves.
[00:15:46] Well, the reality is no one’s ever done it by themselves. And in fact, if we’ve got access to people now who are specifically trained to support you mentally, why wouldn’t we take that as a life advantage? Why wouldn’t we think about it, not as a deficit in our life, but as a privilege and an opportunity.
[00:16:04] And so I think in the same way we look at GPs, maybe we need to look at someone who is a therapist, or a mental coach, to support us in that journey.
[00:16:12] Jeffery Wang: Oh, I love that. I love that. And it’s an interesting way to look at it as well. A lot of people see needing a therapist or needing help, is a sign of weakness.
[00:16:22] And I agree with you, we need to turn that around and see it’s like getting a coach and having a bit of advantage in life. Now the other side of that coin is, and this might be again, Asian cultural thing. why would I pay for a coach? Where is the value of that coach?
[00:16:37] And I know this is specifically a very sort of professional services driven mindset that you have in a lot of Asian cultures. How do you overcome that mindset who am I to afford, a personal coach?
[00:16:48] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. And I think it’s ironic because a lot of the Asian parents, we will pay for a maths tutor for our children.
[00:16:56] with the coach. That’s true. And so, the idea is that actually all we’re doing is we are applying that to our mind and, in the same way that we want to give ourselves an advantage and by giving ourselves an advantage, guess what our families get an advantage. And I don’t know anybody who doesn’t want to provide the best for their families.
[00:17:14] So I’m trying to connect these things in a way. When I talk to people about the kind of support that they might need, that this is not just an individualistic, egotistical. purpose, right? There’s actually some significant value for your family, your community, as a result of you optimizing who you are and what you can bring to the table to get the most out of yourself for you, your family and your community.
[00:17:39] And I think that’s an important message that we need to send out as well.
[00:17:43] Jeffery Wang: absolutely. And we need to see it as an investment of time and value. So, when you get the best help, you get the best results and the help more than pays for itself. So, love that.
[00:17:53] Lesson 6: Mental toughness is the most important leadership skill and mindset to develop
[00:17:53] Jeffery Wang: Lesson. Number six, mental toughness is the most important leadership skill and mindset to develop.
[00:18:00] Gaj Ravichandra: Jeff, I saw these pieces this statistic about. About eight and a half, nine years ago, which changed my view on why I think this is probably the most important thing to pin down as a leader. when you look at performance and how individuals perform and lead, intelligence IQ accounts for about 7% of uplifting performance and capability, the components of mental toughness account for 27%. And when I saw that statistic, I thought to myself, why are we not talking about this more? This is obviously really important. And here we are on one level rewarding. People that we call geniuses.
[00:18:39] I don’t know. People call Elon Musker genius. I don’t think he’s a genius. I just think he’s a visionary, I don’t think he’s a genius, but I do think that he’s been able to be exceptionally resilient. I think he’s able to have confidence in what he’s able to deliver on. I think he’s able to control his life and the lives of those around him and his emotion. except when he is on Twitter. And then we have probably the last one around overcoming challenges and obstacles. Whether you look at, failed rocket crashes, when they’re returning back to earth or issues with the Tesla’s auto drive capability, he keeps coming back.
[00:19:15] And so I think it’s actually not his intelligence that has driven him to be successful. It’s actually his resilience and mental toughness. And of course, you, you’ve got to be visionary. You got to do all these things and have a great team around you. But I think that’s a fundamental pillar. That is one example, but I see this time and time again in people in their careers and the way they lead.
[00:19:35] When you look at those factors of mental toughness and resilience, they are the ones that actually result in a higher chance of success. For people to be able to achieve what they need to achieve.
[00:19:47] Jeffery Wang: Indeed. And I could relate that to Ted talk I saw before, Angela Lee Duckworth. and that was on the one single attribute that, is a predicator for success for kids is grit.
[00:19:58] And I think grit’s just another word for mental toughness. It’s not so much how many times get knock down it’s how many times you get back up that ultimately determines it, and I think this is the reason why you do want your kids to, learn sports as a part of their upbringing, because, that’s where they develop a lot of their grit and mental toughness, because as you’re growing up, you’re always going to be smaller than everyone playing.
[00:20:21] You are overcoming all those adversities, but ultimately you realize that the triumph, it’s not that you’re going to be winning all the way and in fact, if you did, you would probably not do very well. because at the first sign they’ll say there, that’s when everything collapses, I’m thinking on the top of my head, a perfect example is Ben Simmons, who’s an Australian born, Basketball player. Yeah. That, ended up in the, NBA as the number one draft. and up until that point, he’s been winning all the way up until the highest level of competition. And that’s when he hits the ceiling, hits a wall.
[00:20:53] And he realized now that he may not have the grit to actually come back from that, Hopefully his career’s not over yet. and he may find some, but it’s just one of those examples where, perhaps grit is something that was missing earlier on in his life because he’s done, too well.
[00:21:07] So, I can definitely relate to that.
[00:21:09] Lesson 7. The things you fear are the greatest growth opportunities
[00:21:09] Jeffery Wang: Lesson number seven, the, things you fear are the greatest growth opportunities.
[00:21:16] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. And I think a lot of this comes back to our insecurities, right? The sense of uncertainty in ourselves and also the future. And when we look at this world, I mean, I think most of us have heard of the VUCA term, volatile, Uncertain, Complex Ambiguous. But the next addition to that is BANI right. So VUCA makes us operate in a BANI world. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this, but it’s B A N I. So that is Brittle. Anxious Non-linear and Incomprehensible, which means brittle is fragility. It is creating this fragility in us.
[00:21:50] We feel that life is fragile, And so we need to be super cautious about the things we do and who we interact with. It is making us anxious, right? Because we, it’s hard to predict the future as much as we could have perhaps 15 years ago or 20 years ago. And so that uncertainty causes that problem for us.
[00:22:08] It’s nonlinear. We can’t look at the same path and think this is the only job I’m going to take. And this is the only company I’m going to be in or the only industry division. And so, we do need to think about connecting the dots on what we do in our lives and how we operate and take our gigs into becoming more higher earning, opportunities for us.
[00:22:27] For example, as we enter the fractional employment world and then incomprehensible, there are a lot of things out of our control. Right now, we’re talking about monkey pox. God knows what’s going to happen with that. And how that’s going to manifest itself. So, because of these things, there are lots of things to be afraid of.
[00:22:42] And we are built as machines to be afraid. That’s how we’ve survived as humans, but it’s only the last 150 years that we’ve realized there’s actually this untapped growth mindset, that we can obviously reach into. And that is so much more exciting, For us to then focus on. And that’s where a lot of the growth opportunities, are generated from where we start getting excited about what that looks like. So, I kind of liken it to superheroes, The DC comics Marvel characters, It’s not an accident that we relate to these characters because they actually represent something in us. Each of them have insecurities that they’ve had to work through fears, problems, challenges, That they’ve had to then confront to be able to realise a superhero power, something that makes them unique. And I don’t want to get too fantastical about it, but I think that is true for each of us. We need to confront these things for us to really lift a lid on the opportunities that we represent.
[00:23:42] Jeffery Wang: Oh, absolutely.
[00:23:43] And I think the growth and the achievement, and the sense of fulfillment comes from overcoming that adversity. Although I’ll call you up on that because you mentioned DC. So, what is, and I’m thinking Superman here and kryptonite and the thing you fear, I mean, how does kryptonite represent Superman’s, greatest growth opportunity. Yeah,
[00:24:03] Gaj Ravichandra: well, actually, I don’t know if it was kryptonite, that was actually his issue. I think his insecurity was whether he was actually going to be the person that turned his superpowers into good or evil. I think it was the idea wasn’t him, it’s almost imposter syndrome.
[00:24:17] It was imposter syndrome, right? His fear of am I good enough? Is the world actually going to accept me for who I am? That was his biggest insecurity. And security. And so, as a result of that, that made a massive difference when he confronted it and accepted it and decided that he wanted to deal with this head on, his powers were really revealed to him.
[00:24:38] And I think we have to go through that pain, that discomfort, to face it and to see what’s on the other side. And it is not an accident, Jeff, that if you look at the most phenomenal talent in any discipline, whether it’s business or the top ballerinas in the world, the top politicians the top athlete.
[00:24:57] they’ve all had to face levels of this adversity, To get to this outcome. It’s not an accident. The answers are there. We need to confront these things. But it’s hard. It’s tough. But that’s what also puts the lid on our abilities. So, we are always going to be capped until we open that lid and confront it.
[00:25:15] Jeffery Wang: And do you have any tips on how to confront it Head on?
[00:25:18] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. Get a therapist.
[00:25:20] Lesson 8: Choose abundance over scarcity
[00:25:20] Jeffery Wang: I love it. It’s all connected. lesson number eight, choose abundance over scarcity.
[00:25:29] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. So, as we were talking about before we are machines that are built to worry. And so, when challenges come up, it is very natural for us. I mean, our brains. Obviously, tens of thousands of years old, right?
[00:25:42] We are going to convert our thinking powers into concern and, there’s that beautiful Stanford research, which said 82% of the things we worry about never happen. So, we know all this, that, we worry about all these things. We operate in this scarcity mindset, which then doesn’t allow us.
[00:26:01] To actually realize the resources that are available to us, doesn’t allow us to think more deeply in, the situations that we’re in. And so, coming from this abundance mindset means that we open up our minds and the story that resonates with me mate, is I was talking to a guy who’s working at the international monetary fund.
[00:26:23] This was about 15 years ago and what he told me, was. I was talking about, getting investments for a business that we were looking at and what he actually said was Gaj do you know that there is unlimited money in this world? And I said, what do you mean? Because there’s literally unlimited money.
[00:26:42] So if you’re going to have a mindset that there’s not enough money for the projects that you’re working on, or the charity that you are, doing some work with or whatever it might be, you’ve already gone down the wrong tree, because it’s simply not even true. So that completely changed the way that I looked at the world.
[00:26:59] And that meant that I wasn’t looking at my competitors or “competitors”. And saying, well, are they’re going to take this work for me? Well, actually there’s plenty of work. I just need to be more creative in how I go about finding it. And so, it just changes the mindset and the dialogue in our head.
[00:27:14] Jeffery Wang: So, is this a case of making the pie bigger rather than how you cut up the pie? Or
[00:27:19] Gaj Ravichandra: Absolutely. so instead of fighting for small parts of the pie, let’s actually realize that the pie is bigger than we think it is. And so, then that means, how do I then take all the knowledge and the skills and the abilities, connect those dots and offer something that is unique.
[00:27:32] As you said before. Being more authentic, right? There’s only one version of Jeff out here. So, what is it that Jeff needs to do? And this podcast is an example, of many things that you’re doing. But that’s what makes you unique? That’s what makes you special?
[00:27:46] Jeffery Wang: love that mindset.
[00:27:47] Lesson 9: Self-compassion allows you to give more to others.
[00:27:47] Jeffery Wang: Number nine self-compassion allows you to give more to others. Well, first of all what is self-compassion and what you know, why do you need to look after yourself?
[00:27:57] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah, well, I guess if we look at compassion is empathy with action. So self-compassion is, yes, you might have some element of understanding emotionally what you are doing, how you are engaging with the world and interpreting what’s happening in the world, but then you need to do something about it.
[00:28:15] So if you’re in a situation that is depleting your energy, if you’re in a relationship, either at work or personally, that is not supporting you, then empathy is important. Self-empathy is important. You have to do something about it and that is self-compassion, So that, that’s why it is important.
[00:28:31] Otherwise you’re going to be stuck in the same places. Now, the reason, I used to hate the term self-love, right? When I used to listen to this and I thought, oh my God, here we go. Again. People talking about this, loving yourself and why that’s so important. But actually, when I sort of dug a bit deeper into this concept, I actually think it’s about self-respect.
[00:28:51] And you need to respect yourself before you truly can respect other people. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, I think if you understand what you are capable of and what hinders you, what, triggers you, where you need to recharge yourself, how you need to demonstrate to people, what is important to you, then you are in a better place.
[00:29:12] To be able to help other people, right? You are better positioned from an energy perspective, a knowledge perspective, all those things come into play. And so, that can be really helpful. So, I think that’s my sort of interpretation of that.
[00:29:23] Jeffery Wang: Yeah. So, it’s almost like you’ve got to accept yourself for who you are, warts and all imperfections before you can really, I suppose, set out to, to make the world a better place.
[00:29:33] I remember we had another lesson from a, another one of our guests that said put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. I guess it’s a similar sort of concept. Isn’t it? You have to make sure that you’ve you got Yourself sorted. And that allows you to have a bigger impact on the world.
[00:29:48] So love that. Yeah.
[00:29:50] Now lesson number 10. But before I jump into lesson, number 10, I’m going to throw you another curve ball. So, what lesson have you unlearn? And what I mean by that is something that you believe to be the ironclad truth. That you’ve always held to be truth, until you find out later in life that it just wasn’t so.
[00:30:11] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. One of the things that I’ve learned is that sometimes I felt obliged that I needed to have certain relationships with people. Family members, friends, friends of friends, work colleagues, whatever it might be, and that I needed to put myself through unnecessary mental trauma and physical trauma to have those relationships and I think maybe that’s a collectivist thing. Maybe it’s not. But I’ve unlearned that in lots of ways, particularly over the last five to six years of my life. I think I just don’t have the energy to deal with people and situations where you know that their interests are not aligned to yours where they’re perhaps being unkind.
[00:30:55] Perhaps where, they’re not being, sort of considerate of other people. And so, I’ve had to unlearn that lesson. It was drilled into me as a youngster that you just put up with people and you need to do that. Whereas now I’m less tolerant. I think of people who are quite selfish. In their approach
[00:31:16] Jeffery Wang: to be, ah, okay.
[00:31:17] So, so I’m trying to unpack that because I was thinking it could go one or two ways. One is that is, it’s more like understanding that those obligations aren’t sort of ironclad. Those weren’t probably obligations that you had to. fulfill in the first place, or is it a case of, choosing a company wisely, banish, psychic, vampire as another one of our guests have shared.
[00:31:40] Yeah. Is it a case of just, you choose your time carefully only entertain those people who, are going to be a positive influence in your life?
[00:31:48] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. I think being much more selective about the people that I spend that time with. I mean, I think all of us are time poor. I’ve never met anybody that told me, oh, you know what, this year I actually found that I had more time than last year to do things right.
[00:32:01] I’ve just never heard that. It’s always busy. Things are always coming up. That’s true. So, it means that we need to really. be very selective, about the kinds of people that, and more on the values, right? That sort of similar values piece to us. Everyone’s got diversity in different experiences.
[00:32:16] That’s super important, but when you’re meeting people, who’ve got completely misaligned values to you, and you feel like you just have to put up with them for the sake of it. Drawing some lines in the ground, putting some stakes in the ground, lines in the sand. Can be really helpful to protect yourself and that’s really important.
[00:32:35] Jeffery Wang: Indeed. And gosh, I wish I learned that lesson a lot earlier in my life. Sometimes I lament, I don’t even have enough time for all the good people in my life. So definitely I wish I knew that earlier.
[00:32:46] Lesson 10: Assume that there is 1% of truth in everything.
[00:32:46] Lesson number 10, our 10th and final lesson assume that there is 1% of truth in everything. I like the sound of that.
[00:32:55] Gaj Ravichandra: Yeah. I mean, this comes a lot from, my marriage. One of the things that found is that I got married quite young. I was, I feel quite young. I was 25 years old at the time.
[00:33:05] I’ve been married now, for, nineteen years. And one of the things that I noticed is that I would come into a conversation sometimes thinking that I, my truth was the only truth. And so, what it forced me to do, having this mindset of, assume 1% truth means, well, I’m forced to uncover what that 1% is in the other person’s agenda.
[00:33:29] And so I’m trying to find it. And so, it, it makes my mind just open up a little bit to get into that mindset, to understand. And I think over time, one of the things that I’ve noticed, Jeff, and I’ve seen this, when we look at the major problems around the world, whether it’s do people get vaccinated or remain unvaccinated do people go to war and how do we use, different levels of threat?
[00:33:54] When war takes place, I find that facts are not the truth. What is truth to me is not truth to you. right. And I think the more that we realize this, and this is one thing I’ve noticed is that don’t assume that truths are the same or that the facts are equally represented. So, okay.
[00:34:13] You might agree that there is some sort of temperature change taking place in the environment. I may not agree that it is due to humans. Maybe it’s not a rapid thing. It’s just some part of evolution. Now. I don’t agree with that. I think there is some sort of impact that we are having as humans, but if I’m open to the conversation to understand a little bit more without blocking that off, straight away, then I might actually create a channel for the discussion to take place. And that can be a starting point or a building block, as part of that conversation, it’s not to assume that we are going to agree on all the truths, right? Life is way too complicated for that. But there may be some that we can come to once we’ve got that open mindset and assuming the 1% is just a reminder for me.
[00:34:58] So when I’m going into even feedback, from a client. don’t get defensive. When someone tells you something, that you don’t like let’s try and understand it right from the truth, from their perspective.
[00:35:10] Jeffery Wang: And I’m nodding inferior agreement because I think this is probably the biggest problem facing us today is this hyperpolarization of everything.
[00:35:20] You almost have to define yourself by what you’re for what you’re against and all these labels. And this incredible, need to pick sides. When in reality, there is just so many shades of grey that it’s impossible for anybody to perceive all the different perspectives. And, in reality to deal with VUCA, which is the more volatility, uncertainty and complex ambiguity.
[00:35:45] We need to have more perspectives, not less. And yet, the media, the shorter attention spans, our inability to actually see. That there’s 1% truth in everything in, somebody else’s opinion, is indeed getting worse. So, so, so I like that. And I like the way you talk about this, because again, another lesson we’ve learned in the past is, that you haven’t understood the issue unless you can argue from the other side.
[00:36:10] And that’s something that, I’m personally pretty committed to and are passionate about. So, In a practical sense of how do you implement this lesson? Because I know it’s a bit of a mindset, right?
[00:36:21] That there’s 1% of truth in everything, but how do you remind yourself not to get sort of railroaded into a particular view world view or perspective or mindset or, a narrative? In a practical sense, how do you implement that lesson?
[00:36:35] Gaj Ravichandra: One of the, one of the steps that I’ve taken, having these conversations is around choosing to be curious when going into conversations. And if I’m more curious take on the curious mindset, then I’m more likely to ask questions than I am to state, my truth. And I find that to be really helpful.
[00:36:52] So just, can you explain that to me a little bit more? I didn’t quite understand that. So, tell me where that would work and where that wouldn’t work and those kinds of things. And so that I find that to be really helpful, so the curious mindset. I think the second thing is also about how do I find a connection with this person?
[00:37:11] Because if I’m trying to get to a resolution here, there is no way we are going to get to a resolution if I don’t connect with that person. So, at immediately, if we start with a binary approach to say, you are here and I am here, well, there is no connection, so let’s find the connections. Let’s find the fact that, okay, you know what?
[00:37:30] We both care for our families. That’s an important connection. We both want to be able to demonstrate love and compassion and whatever it might be. So, if it’s a home context, maybe we both want performance for our teams, right? We want the profitability to be high, whatever it might be, find the connections, find those instruments that allow you to be able to feel a sense of relationship with this person that can build that web.
[00:37:53] Between what we’re trying to achieve. Yeah. So that would be immediate. Very good of us. Three things off the top of my head. Yeah.
[00:38:00] Jeffery Wang: Oh, I love it. And I think these are the sort of things that we need more than ever, in this world. But I think we all got to start with a humility in recognizing that there is 1% of truth in everything, even if it’s just 1%, let’s go find out what it is.
[00:38:15] And surprisingly more often than not, there’s have a lot more than 1%. And I think if we can go into everything in, terms of the biggest conflicts in our lives, that way, I think we will end up, a lot happier, a lot more, successful, a lot more, fulfilled as a result.
[00:38:31] So, on that note we will finish this episode. Thank you very much for joining us, Gaj, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you. I knew when I read the list of lessons that this was going to be a cracker episode and you have not disappointed.
[00:38:44] Gaj Ravichandra: Thank you so much, Jeff, it’s been wonderful, mate.
[00:38:46] I’m loving what you’re doing on these. I think it’s just terrific to have these bite sized, pieces of knowledge and wisdom, going out and I’m getting a lot out of the podcast and everything else. So, thank you, mate. I really appreciate it.
[00:38:58] Jeffery Wang: Thank you. And you have been listening to the podcast, 10 lessons that took me 50 years to learn where we dispense wisdom for career, business, and life.
[00:39:06] Our guest today has been Gaj Ravichandra sharing. His 10 lessons learned. This episode is produced by Robert Hossary, sponsored by the Professional Development Forum, which offers webinars, insights, community discussions, podcasts, events, and the best. It’s all free. You can find them online at www.Professionaldevelopmentforum.org.
[00:39:26] Don’t forget to leave us a review or comment. You can even email us at firstname.lastname@example.org that’s podcast at number one, zero lessons learned.com. Go ahead and hit that subscribe button so that you don’t miss an episode of the only podcast that makes the world a little wiser lesson by lesson. Thanks for listening and stay safe, everyone.