Getting to Yes, And

Suneel Gupta: Everyday Dharma


Suneel Gupta

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Kelly welcomes back Suneel Gupta to the podcast to talk about his new book "Everyday Dharma: 8 Essential Practices for Finding Success and Joy in What You Do.”

I know I have a hard time admitting I’m a storyteller – so it was funny to have you say the same thing in your new book.

"Well, it's interesting, because for me the reason that storytelling never sort of resonated, or I wouldn't admit that that's what I love to do, is because I didn't see that as an occupation, right? I was so sort of geared towards this idea of: it's doctor, it's lawyer, it's teacher. Storyteller is not a job title. And so identity wise, I had a really tough time sort of saying, look, that's my thing. It just seemed too soft, too squishy.”

And knowing your dharma is hugely important but it can also come with some amount of pain.

"Dharma is your inner calling, right? And that sounds really sort of big and oftentimes, to me, at least it sounded a little scary, because it's kind of like, well, what if I figure out my calling but there's nothing that I can do about it now? I'm kind of stuck in this path and I've got bills to pay; I've got kids; And it almost seems like it's torture, you know, purpose and meaning. They sound flowery and they sound nice. But the truth is that they can actually hurt like hell. Because if you're not expressing your purpose and you're not living your meaning, then it's just a daily reminder of wondering did I choose the wrong path? And that's why I was really scared to write a book like this. But at the same time, I was feeling this sense of emptiness that I think so many people are feeling. Which is that we're showing up to our work; We're doing our job; But we’re quietly quitting, we're disengaging and it's a shame because it's where we spend approximately half of our working hours.”

Also, we will stray from the center of the wheel of dharma – but it’s imperative that we work to get back to the center.

“It's very, very easy to find yourself on the outside of the wheel, where you're just keeping up with the duties of everything that's going on. But in doing so, it's very easy to lose who you are at the center of that wheel and what you are at the center of that wheel is your dharma. It is what my grandfather called your essence. And you always must find a way to come back to the center of the wheel. And what that means practically is taking whatever this essence is. It is storytelling for me. I think it is for you as well, Kelly, and finding ways to express that even if that isn't your full-time job, right; even if you know your LinkedIn profile doesn't say what that thing is. But if you'd love to design, if you love to build, if you love to help other people feel good: these are not job titles, but they are examples of essence finding ways to take that essence and express it into the world while keeping up with all your other duties. That's really the give and take of dharma.”

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