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Misery or Mindfulness? Choosing Your Perspective Wisely with Dr. Srikumar Rao (Episode #107)

Turns out, we don’t have to solve any of our problems through struggle, trial, and error. No, there are pieces of wisdom out there that are as true today as they were 2,000 years ago. And today’s guest, Dr. Srikumar Rao, has done the work of gathering those pieces of insight and making them relevant to modern life. Dr. Rao is a sought-after speaker around the globe because the perspectives he shares have the power to help us make enormous leaps in our personal wisdom and use those leaps to rise above the chaos.

About Our Guest

You’ll hear the words “timeless wisdom” a lot today, not for dramatic effect, but because that’s really Dr. Rao’s specialty. 

More than 2 decades ago, after successful careers in industry and academia, he dove deep into many of the world’s oldest “wisdom traditions”. Then, after leaving the religious references behind, he created powerful ways to communicate the sage advice and timeless logic… and he’s been teaching these enduring perspectives ever since. 

Dr. Rao speaks at places like Harvard, MIT, Google, Stanford.  He’s written 4 books, and has been a contributing editor for Success, Financial World and Forbes magazine. He is founder of The Rao Institute and creator of the pioneering program, Creativity & Personal Mastery. 

He’s been an executive at Warner communications, a sought after business school professor at Columbia, and he is an elite coach of senior executives and entrepreneurs. 

I could go on, but most importantly… I’ve been proud to call him my friend for about 4 years.  

In this interview (and there will be more in the future), I decided to share the 4 insights of his that I use almost every day since meeting him about 4 years ago. 

I was always a bit of a student of philosophy, dabbling here and there in a variety of books (old and new) for decades. But since meeting Dr. Rao, when some kind of challenge visits me, I’ve got a bit of timeless wisdom in my hip pocket and can avoid the search and struggle I used to dive into.

We can also recommend his amazing newsletter. (One of only 3 that I read without fail.) I have ah-ha moments that improve my way of thinking in every brush with Dr. Rao’s work.  

He also has a new book out… Modern Wisdom / Ancient Roots. It was just released 3 weeks ago, at the time of this broadcast and has nothing but 5-star ratings.


Other links we referred to… 

Show Notes

[00:00- 03:30] Opening

[03:31- 15:05]

  • Albert Einstein
  • Umbrella concept
  • Stallion Story- good thing, bad thing
  • No event causes suffering
  • Suffering begins the instant you label the event
  • Never to let any adversity get you down

[15:06- 23:00]

  • Stress
  • One reason you have stress in your life
  • Realize that you have no control
  • What you have is the illusion of control

[23:01- 31:00]

  • Mental chatter is fake news
  • Awareness is like a flashlight
  • We typically shine the flashlight on 2-3 wrong things in our life

[31:01- 34:38]

  • Gratitude
  • The thing that you are grateful for can be taken away

[34:39- 37:32] BREAK

[37:33- 45:00]

  • Dr. Rao’s blogs
  • We do a lot of things mindlessly
  • Is this the journey I want to take?
  • Gradually you will notice that life transforms itself

[45:01- 50:20]

  • Marshall Goldsmith
  • Decision is made by the person who had the power to make the decision

[50:21- 56:15]

  • We always try to fix somebody in our life
  • What do I have to learn in this situation?

[56:16- 58:18]

[58:19- 01:00:38] Closing

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