How a Trip to the Himalayas Changed an Influencer's Entrepreneurial Mindset
Despite setting out on a journey to the Tibetan Plateau without any expectations, spiritualist and author Master Sri Akarshana’s chance encounter with the renowned Grand Master Akshar set into motion a sequence of events that would lead not only to receiving the Spiritual Master title himself, but also to the rapid success of his career.
In mid-2019, the YouTube influencer was satisfied with most aspects of his life, but his spiritual awakening while reclused in the Himalayas would lead him to adopt three simple principles that have since guided him to greater career success and spiritual fulfillment. Now, more than 40 million views and 655,000 subscribers later, I had the opportunity to chat with Akarshana regarding his experience in the Himalayas and how it affected his approach to entrepreneurship. Here are three lessons from the Spiritual Master himself.
1. Dominate humbly.
While under the guidance of Grand Master Akshar, Akarshana had a great deal of time to reflect. He had always been an entrepreneur but noticed that over time, how he did business had changed. As he became more comfortable, he became less driven. Even though his resources were greater, and whether a matter of pride or contentedness, he was doing less.
One of the first in the major shifts in perspective Akarshana experienced was learning that, as he puts it, “Success, happiness and fulfillment can be achieved much faster if the right practices are in place.” Specifically, these practices involve maintaining a poor man’s drive and humbleness, but a rich man’s efficiency and knowledge. This is to say that operating with, in Akarshana's words, “no ego, with no greed and with no expectation” will smooth the path before you, while focusing your efforts on impact and value “will naturally create income.”
2. You don’t always have to chase success and wealth.
Before his spiritual awakening, Akarshana believed that money wasn't important. In time, he realized that this was only a half-truth. It was not so much that money was good or evil, but more so that while money could bring about abundant good, getting lost in its pursuit defeats the purpose of acquiring it.
In thinking about his original perspective, he says, “The only reason I thought [money] was not important was because I was programmed early on in life” to believe that. We spoke about an experience he had as a child, asking his mother the whereabouts of his father only to learn that he was absent “because he was making money.” The recollection of this encounter enlightened him to the fact that while money is important, holding it above everything else will not lead to fulfillment, but rather missed experiences with those for whom you make that money.
3. The growth mindset is about being uncomfortable.
Being an entrepreneur involves constant learning and requires a willingness to frequently leave your comfort zone. Success in business is dependent on being able to push past your fears of failure, rejection or loss and embrace difficulty in the pursuit of greater knowledge. Without challenges, it would be impossible for one to learn, but it is by overcoming adversity that people come to realize the extent of their own abilities. Moreover, a willingness to try and fail will often expose people to the true extent of what they can accomplish.
In his youth, Akarshana says he “used to have a lot of fear,” “a lot of doubts and “used to be the shy boy in school.” Part of his spiritual awakening was “breaking that pattern,” which, although difficult, proved to be quite liberating. As he describes it, when he realized and subsequently began to accept that growth necessitates discomfort, he was able to embrace the situations which made him uncomfortable and better himself as a result.
With that in mind, Akarshana has come to utilize his discomfort as a gauge of proficiency. Although a younger version of himself might have chosen to actively avoid being uncomfortable, now he sees discomfort as an indication of the areas in which he still must grow. In that same line of thinking, Akarshana concludes that when he becomes comfortable, he knows he's "reached mastery.”