At the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2022 in Davos, I was lucky enough to meet the world-renowned pioneer in personal transformation, bestselling author, alternative medicine advocate and philanthropist, Dr. Deepak Chopra, during the dinner reception of Finnish Flow and Future of Cities. Dr. Chopra was a keynote speaker at the Wisdom Panel. He isn’t just the founder of the hugely popular Chopra Meditation and Wellbeing app. He is also the leader of a global campaign called NeverAlone — an organization under his Chopra Foundation that combats mental health and suicide.
Davos is a mix of multiple events. Some of the events are all about generating money and how to get hold of passports in several European countries. That part is very uninteresting to me. I am actually not very interested in the elitism that Davos represents. On the other hand, there are very interesting happenings here, including talks on the science of medical psychedelics, climate change, and the future of well-being — which is great. I found a lot of enthusiasm there. By and large, the WEF in Davos seems to be a big networking operation, but there are always some visionaries. So, I think it’s very worth going.
Leadership needs a new incarnation. As far as I am concerned, fast leadership is about power, influence, cronyism, corruption, etc. I would like to see leadership more focused on global cooperation and moving towards a healthier, more peaceful, sustainable, and joyful world. If leaders come together for that instead of using leadership as a means to their own power, then that could be a good thing.
That’s a question that you have to address with Mr. Schwab. I am here and happy to work with global leaders to serve and help wherever I can. On that note, I do already work with Heads of State to advise on topics like social and economic justice, how to give leadership a soul, how to create plans for change, how to take responsibility, etc. But, the interest and openness for change have to be there first.
I have observed that the younger generation is very receptive to these new ways of thinking and cooperating for a better world. They are the future leaders.
Stop asking, “What’s in it for me?” Ask instead, “How can I serve?”
I think humanity is sleepwalking to extinction right now: with climate change, the extinction of the species, war, terrorism, recognized ways of killing each other, and destruction of the eco-system. Unless we take the road less traveled, we are doomed to extinction.
If insects disappeared from our planet, all life would stop within five years. If humans disappeared from this planet, all life would flourish in five years. So, we have to look at ourselves very seriously and ask how we can serve and work together with a shared vision and emotional-spiritual bonding for a higher cause. Only then can we save ourselves. The planet will continue without us. We need to understand that we are the predator. Unless we stop behaving in this extremely selfish and divided way, the planet will decide to flourish without us.
True abundance is a state of consciousness. Money is only one component. The book was inspired by lyrics from Bob Marley, who said, “Some people are so poor. All they have is money.” The book “Abundance“ not only talks about money as an exchange of values but also about security, safety, transformation, and the ability to love and have compassion. It’s about creative expression, insight, intuition, imagination, higher consciousness, and transcendence.
When we have fulfillment in all these areas, that’s called abundance. It comes from the generosity of spirit. Abundance is the nature of the universe. If you don’t have abundance, you must be focusing on only one aspect of “abundance” and sacrificing everything else. Ultimately, joy is the only measure of success and well-being. It does not matter what you have if you don’t have joy. And if you don’t have generosity, then you’ve wasted your life.
The first step is to ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?” And then, other questions like, “Who am I? What do I want? How can I serve? What is the meaning of life and existence?” It is a great mystery to me that people are not surprised that they exist. The very fact that we exist and are aware that we exist is a huge miracle. Unless we are grateful for that miracle, there are no further steps. First, we have to be grateful, bewildered, and surprised by the fact that we exist. If you open the door to gratitude, you also open the door to abundance.
No, I think smartness is overrated. So is hard work. My advice is to work with wisdom, playfulness, and service. Wisdom is the knowledge that helps improve the quality of life for all beings on our planet.
Thank you, Dr. Chopra.
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Nel-Olivia Waga is the Founder & Publisher of HER/etiquette. She is a Brand Consultant, an Author and Entrepreneur, most passionate about well-being, travel, nature and art. Her work can regularly be seen in her column on FORBES. Her consultancy YMPACT LAB, creates innovative marketing projects for luxury brands based on passion, purpose and sustainable impact.
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