Jay Shetty has built an empire thinking like a monk.

But, as the British author, podcaster and life coach retells in Episode 3 of "Good Trouble with Nick Kyrgios," it was never what he set out to do. In fact, it was the "last thing" he would've ever thought for himself. In an ironic twist of fate, choosing to embrace minimalism, he says, has helped enrich his life in many ways.

The course of Shetty's life changed when, in business school, he met Gauranga Das, a monk invited to speak on the topics of selflessness and minimalism. Inspired by the talk, he later went on to spend time at an ashram, an Indian monastery, and he penned his experiences in his first book: "Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day."

While the choice to pursue such a passion could be regarded as unique, over the course of 35 minutes, Kyrgios in fact bonds with Shetty over a shared experience: blocking out the outside noise, and how being a non-conformist can sometimes lead to success. For Kyrgios, blocking out the noise meant brushing off negative commentary and outside pressures that have followed him in his professional tennis career. For Shetty, this meant bucking the expectations and traditional stereotypes that come with being the son of immigrant parents.

"There were expectations of, 'You need to get a good career, you need to get a good job, you need to pay the bills,' and all of things that come with that," he says.

"But for me, that noise was propelling my work ethic. But I always felt there was this inner voice from when I was 14, when I really started listening to it, that was telling me to do things I cared about. [Then] the outside noise would be, 'Well, all your cousins are going to be doctors, lawyers, engineers ... that was scary for me, because that wasn't the path I saw for myself."


Shetty said that the people around him dubbed the choices he made at the beginning "the worst decision of [his] life," but it was a risk that paid off.

His media empire has since expanded: In 2019, Shetty launched his podcast, "On Purpose" which was downloaded a staggering 64 million times in its first year and quickly became the No. 1 health and wellness podcast according to *Forbes*. In 2023, he wrote his second book, “8 Rules of Love: How to Find It, Keep It and Let It Go,” which made the New York Times bestseller list.

While it might be unrealistic to expect that listeners follow Shetty's path exactly, he does want to impart a universal lesson on them through his conversation with Kyrgios: going against the grain, and taking risks, can often lead to reward.

"I've realized that listening to your heart, and following your inner voice, often looks like going against the grain," he says. "If I wanted to live a life that I genuinely believed was right, chances are, it wouldn't make sense to other people because society is telling everyone to live the same life."


Going against the grain was the roadmap for Shetty's personal growth, but in it lies a universal truth: Growth is attainable is through self-love, Shetty says. And while he stresses that self-love must not be selfish, putting one's self first is also crucial first step to serve others.

"If you're not recharging, you're just giving people your leftovers. I find that taking care of myself is not a selfish act if I'm taking care of myself so that I can serve others," he said.

"That's the magic of it. Putting yourself first is not because everyone else is second, putting yourself first is so that you can keep pouring in and giving to other people."

Good Trouble with Nick Kyrgiosairs on select Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET on T2 (available on Amazon Freevee, Fubo, Hulu, Roku and Samsung TV Plus).