Mindfulness: The Power Of Your Inner Game With Manuj Aggarwal
The world has so much going on that we can’t help but be swayed by its expectations and lose ourselves in the process. Switching it up, guest Manuj Aggarwal is all about working our inner game rather than setting ourselves up against the never-ending thresholds for happiness of the outside world. Manuj is an entrepreneur, investor, and the CTO of TetraNoodle. Fighting decades of anxiety, depression, and pessimism while building his career, he has found the life-changing power of training his subconscious mind to create the life of his dreams actively. In this episode, he talks about having the right mindset to live in the present moment rather than tie our well-being to future outcomes. Speaking to the overwhelmed entrepreneurs, he addresses the way sensationalizing competition exacerbates anxiety and gives advice on spirituality, meditation, and mindfulness to help overcome these issues. He also touches on the Law of Attraction and his program, The Purposeful Tech Entrepreneur.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Mindfulness: The Power Of Your Inner Game With Manuj Aggarwal
Our guest is Manuj Aggarwal. He is an entrepreneur, investor and CTO of TetraNoodle, a software consulting company that helps startup founders with tech projects. He started his career at the age of fifteen, working in a factory for twelve hours a day, six days a week, earning a cool $2 per day. He had no contacts or resources. He was determined to improve his life and realized education and the right training was the only way for him to achieve his goals. He managed to acquire a modest education and went on to become a technical leader and CTO in multiple startups. Manuj is very passionate about education and training because without it, these achievements would not have been possible. While building his career, he fought decades of anxiety, depression and pessimism by indulging in meditation and mindfulness. He is deeply spiritual, which is not the same thing as religious and focuses on accessing training his subconscious mind to create the life of his dreams actively. Manuj, welcome to the show. It’s an honor to have you here.
Thank you so much. I’m so excited.
It’s great to have you. I love that you help people with the mindset and the inner game because I’ve heard people say that’s half the battle. That’s not half the battle. That is the battle.
A lot of people have this and I’m not excluding myself from that group. We grew up with this notion that you have all these dreams, you’re going to do well, you’re going to get a job or you’re going to build a career or business. Once you have that, then you can be happy or once you retire, you can be happy. Once you get your kids off to university, you’d be happy. That day never comes on. Whenever something is accomplished, you set up a new goal and then that becomes the threshold for happiness. If you flip it around and things become so much easier where you work on your mindset. You find ways to satisfy yourself mentally and spiritually and then work towards your goals. That is a much better path than the other way around.
Absolutely, because it’s not culture-specific. Humans, in general, have this tendency to dangle our own carrots in front of ourselves. It’s not somebody else doing it. We do it to ourselves.
We are creative beings. Most people like to create something. We have desires, it’s okay to reach out for something, but it’s not okay to tie your happiness or your well-being to the outcome of that effort.
Manuj, how do you separate the two? How do you separate the desire to create something and the desire to have something better from letting go of the outcome? How did you do that for yourself?
Let’s do a little deep dive here. When I started noticing my own thought patterns, I was either thinking about the past and beating myself down for things like said, done or things I should have said or the things I should have said in a different way. Planning for the future. If this person says something like this to me, next time I’m going to use this dialogue on him. This is how I’m going to respond to them or this is how I’m going to show him.
That’s such a common thought process for people.
You always live in the future. Again, I’m going to try this strategy. This is going to work out. I’m going to make all this money and life is going to be fine. Never did I focus on what is happening today, right now or at this moment. When I started meditating, the present moments started becoming more and more prominent. I started realizing, “Why do we live in the past or the future, which is not the moment that we have access to?” We’re living in the present. Why not stay in the present and enjoy what we are doing? To come to your point, once you get into that state of mind, whatever process like we are doing this interview.
We are both engaged in that. We are having fun. This is something we like to do. This process itself becomes enjoyable. What happens after this interview? Whether the recording will be preserved. Sometimes it crashes and whether somebody will respond to this episode, whether they will review it, that’s the outcome, which we right now do not care about. If you keep thinking about, “We want the best episode out there,” then we won’t be able to focus on what we are doing right now and that’s where this anxiety will come up. We are tying our well-being with the outcome, which is in the future and frankly, we have very little control over that.
That’s helpful to pick apart, how we take the present moment and we project it into the future and many of us do that.
It’s the way that we have been raised and the whole educational system. Our mindset is that we are preparing for a battle in our life. The kids like, “You need to go to school. You need to become a doctor, engineer or whatever, so that you can make a lot of money and lead a good life.” Never do we teach kids about morals and happiness. What are your core values? Things are changing a little bit, but not really. The more I learned about what we are teaching to our kids, the more I feel that more drastic thing is needed.
Manuj, how do you feel? What are your thoughts about the metaphors, even the ones that you were using like preparing for the battle of your life? We see this everywhere we turn, the war on this or the battle against that or the race for the cure. We hear it in every facet of life. There’s this competition, there’s this battle and there’s this fight. Do you find that helpful?
Let me try to explain how I look at these things. We are living in a very noisy world. There’s so much going on, so much information being thrown at us. It’s hard for us to notice things and separate the ones that are good for us from the ones that are bad for us. Most of them are not very helpful. We need to take it out, “This is something that we are interested in. This is going to help us.” You’re going to notice that people who are pushing that concept or the content or the idea towards us, they need to sensationalize it so that it stands out. Otherwise, they may have the best intentions, it maybe the right product or service for me, but if they don’t say the war on something and make it so dramatic, I won’t even notice it. I won’t even like to say, “This is about entrepreneurship. I knew all about it.”
If somebody says, “Be the best entrepreneur you can be,” it’s like, “That resonates a little bit. Let me check it out.” Even that act of me checking it out, this is where the marketing geniuses come in. They try all these different messages, but at the end of the day, they are trying to sensationalize it and get our attention. I don’t know whether it’s the right thing to do and the wrong thing to do. By the sheer amount of information that is coming at us, it is a necessity in my opinion.
What does that do to the mindset, what you were talking about? Trying to sensationalize things and we have all these battles, these wars, these races and these competitions and everything is coming at us. What does that do to our mindset? That’s what you help people with is, mindset.
If somebody is selling that information, they need to sensationalize it. This is our responsibility. When we receive this email, we are able to break it down and not take it as face value. We recognize that. It got to us through sensational headlines and whatnot and it’s our responsibility to figure out, does this resonate with us? Let’s not take it at face value of war or race for whatever. Let’s dig a little bit deeper. Let’s understand who the person is. Let’s understand what their story has been and what is their journey? We try to break it down into pieces where this is something that I understand and it resonates with me. I want to participate in it.
As we break it down, we can say, “It got to me somehow. I looked at the headline, I looked at the title, I clicked on it or I became familiar with it, but after learning more about the program, the content, the product, the service or the person who sent it to me, their intentions, it may not be the right thing for me to do.” Looking at it objectively, not getting all caught up emotionally will help you. Stay in the present. Let’s look at the things evaluated for yourself and then make a decision either way, whether this is for you or not and move on.
I would agree with that, absolutely. Looking at something like that objectively requires some level of awareness. Do you work with people who don’t have that level of awareness and if so, how do you help them start to become aware? Do you see the connection between how this advertisement coming at you or this new story and the sensationalism exacerbated your anxiety? Do you help them make that connection and how do you approach that?
That’s a very good question. Thanks a lot for asking. Self-awareness is the first step in this whole journey. When people talk about self-awareness, they say, “I’m very self-aware.” I like to eat Korean food. I like to wear these clothes. People mistake that as self-awareness. Self-awareness is very deep in terms of understanding what drives you. What motivates you? What are you running after? A lot of these things are linked to how we think subconsciously. What are the experiences we had in childhood? What have been our major disappointments?
All through our life, we are running around to neutralize some disappointments we had in the past or something of that nature. Self-awareness is more about learning about those types of deep issues that you have, learning about your core values, learning about why do you do the things that you do? There are certain exercises I share with people, I walk them through, which helps uncover these hidden layers that we all have. Once people start to become more aware of all these internal feelings and emotions that are driving them, then we start the next step from that point on. If you’re not self-aware, everything else becomes difficult to incorporate and to work with.
I love how you described that process. Self-awareness is much deeper. It seems to me that you’re spot on with how you explain that because I’m a trauma specialist, I do similar work. What I help people with is figure out, where did this begin in the first place? Where did some of these deep core beliefs that you’re helping them uncover? I help them learn where they come from in the first place. My philosophy is to hell with peeling back the layers of the onion. Let’s go straight to the root. A lot of times, we find that there’s a whole patch of onions. It’s not just one.
I do similar work as well. I tried to summarize it, but a lot has to do with certain, we don’t even realize. An example in my case, I was 6 or 7 years old and I lost 20 rupees once. One time I was going to the market and only 20 rupees at that point were about $0.10, $0.20 or something like that. What transpired after that was a huge deal because I lost that much money, which was a big amount for me. That one little experience controlled or affected how I used to think about money over the duration of my life. I didn’t realize that until I was 35 or 36. I was like, “Why do I always think that this is what’s going to happen?” I’m going to lose money or lose all whatever I’m getting for. It was tied to that little experience. To your point, it’s all these little things, they have a root cause somewhere in your past and small little things. We don’t realize were, which we used to think are insignificant, they may be so significant that they may be controlling your life.
I’ve discovered similar things in my life, how little events that the adults in my life and the adults around me would have found humorous at the time were overwhelmingly humiliating and sent me into such a state of shame at the moment that I’ve carried that with me my whole life. Like you, I was in my late 30s and into my 40s trying to uncover how some of these little seemingly innocuous events do carry us. We carry it with us throughout our whole life and we modify our behavior. How does spirituality, meditation and mindfulness help with some of these issues? I know if somebody is prone to anxiety, sometimes meditation and mindfulness can exacerbate anxiety and make it worse. How do you work with that to bring it down? I do think depending on the person, there are a right way and a wrong way for each person to approach mindfulness.
I haven’t experienced any negative effects with anyone for meditation. Let’s come back to anxiety. A lot of people have anxiety and I have anxiety too. What I noticed was, again, most of the anxiety is about the uncertainty about what’s going to happen in the future. This is where spirituality helped me quite a bit because being a student of science and being involved in technology, I like to understand things a little bit deeper. When I said I’m not religious, because most of the religions teach the same thing, love yourself, neighbor and everyone and that’s the part to the higher power, whatever you want to call it, God, Universe. I didn’t quite understand it on face value and the practices that most modern religions follow. It didn’t sit well with me.
With my understanding of science, universe and spirituality started coming together that whatever we are anxious about, it’s futile because we can only control what we are doing. What actions we are taking and objectively make those decisions to steer us towards that final goal. If we leave out that outcome part and not be anxious about the outcome and stay with the process, that anxiety level starts to go down. I’ve seen that and once you get it, there’s nothing to be anxious about. That’s one thing that I tried to do to lower that anxiety level. Adding fuel to the fire by meditating and being mindful, now you’re staying more and more in the present and not focusing too much on the past or the future.
Once you have these feelings and you are grateful for being in the present, then all the things that you realize that you have at your disposal already. In my experience, things work out universally in terms of how people think, how people behave and what decisions they make. Granted that you are working with people with trauma and I don’t claim to be qualified to handle that type of situation. My focus is on helping people who are in entrepreneurship and startup world get to the right state of mind. A lot of people struggle with building a business, but they don’t work on themselves first. That’s where I want to give them these tools so that they can work on themselves first and then build a business around their life.
I asked that question because early when I started meditating, I had this experience and I’ve talked to several others and I’ve worked with people who’ve had the experience of they try to meditate and their mind goes into this chatter of, “Am I meditating? I don’t know. Am I in the present moment? What am I supposed to be thinking about?” The next thing you know is, this chatter is going off and then you start to get anxious because you don’t know if you’re meditating, you don’t know how to meditate. You don’t know what you’re supposed to do. You come out of the meditation and if it’s a group meditation, you might hear somebody else tell a story about, “I turned into this butterfly and I saw myself transformed through this beautiful process of metamorphosis.”
You’re like, “That didn’t happen to me. Did I do it wrong?” This worry comes in. I don’t know if you do this or not with yourself or with people. I start to guide people to, I call it ground. Which is grounding and meditation is notice all your contact points. Notice if you’re sitting in a chair and notice your feet on the floor. Notice the chair under your butt. Notice the chair against your back. Notice the armrest under your arms. How do all those contact points feel? If you can get the monkey mind or that narrator, that chatter that is constantly going to focus on, “I can feel my feet on the floor.” If that’s what you’re hearing, then you’ve got your mind that chatter in the present moment with you.
I used something similar. Here’s my process the way that I follow it, one is, I always ask people to focus on their breath because that is a universal thing.
Breath is another one and sound.
I was going to come to that and then have a neutral sound in the background. I meditated in my computer room. There’s a humming sound of the computer fan. I focus my attention on that. To your point, I used to feel the same way that, “Am I meditating and what the heck is going on?” Once I started coming to this concept of acceptance, self-love and whether it’s right or wrong, let’s do it. A lot of people have this anxiety, “I cannot sit still for 10 minutes or 15 minutes.” I tell them, “Start with one minute. Don’t set a too high standard for yourself. Take three deep breaths and start with one minute.” That’s a process I follow with myself and with others as well. I do not get anxious. I’m there to receive whatever is coming. I know the method, meaning I want to focus on my breath and I want to listen to something neutral.
Out of those fifteen minutes, maybe twelve minutes will be my monkey mind, going all over the place. At least for those three minutes, I will get a little bit of a glimpse of what it is like to be in a meditative state. My mind is getting trained or used to this feeling and the next day, it could be 3 minutes, 15 seconds, the next day it could be 3 minutes, 30 seconds. In some days, I even sit down for, “I’m going to do it for fifteen minutes.” Sometimes I’m done in ten minutes because I’m not feeling it. That’s okay because I say, “I’m not going to push it. Let’s come back tomorrow and see what happens.” That way, slowly make a little bit of progress every day. Like a baby, it’s not going to be perfect, but once you keep doing it over and over again, you get that.
I love that you brought that up because I have that experience too, where I’ll sit down, I’ll set the timer for 15 or 20 and 10 minutes into it, I’m done. There is a mind game we play with ourselves. You refer to it as the inner game that we play with ourselves because part of me wants to believe that I’m a failure and another there is a part that does want to berate me and it’s like, “You failed. You’re not good enough. You said you were going to do this for fifteen and you were only there for ten.” How do you address that inner game that happens?
Once again, I will say it’s all the values that have been instilled in us by others, adults, education systems and a society that you have to have a certain level of success or certain thresholds you have to meet. These thresholds are arbitrary. They say, 15 to 20 minutes is a good time, but nobody said if you do it only for ten minutes is bad. The threshold is something that we have said. The idea is not to be too anal about the threshold of fifteen minutes. The idea is to get into the flow as much as possible, irrespective of what the outcome is. If you’re happy that you devoted ten minutes rather than fifteen minutes, then there is no conflict. There is nothing to berate yourself. You put self-acceptance and self-love on top of that, it’s like nobody’s perfect. If I try to be perfect and, in the process, I’m going to be unhappy or I’m going to be talking down to myself, that is more harmful than me taking five minutes off my schedule and saying, “That’s enough for now.” Think about changing your thinking the way you talk to yourself and saying, “I’m trying to do my best, this is what I’ve got for you now and we’ll try tomorrow.”
This mindset in this inner game and all of this stuff that we’re talking about, even this inner conflict that we have, how does the work that you do and that you’re talking about translate to entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is tough. Everybody thinks, “I’m going to launch an app. I’m going to launch a social media network. I’m going to become Elon Musk or Zuckerberg.” The media does not do justice in exposing the behind the scenes reality of entrepreneurship. It’s like you’re always tensed about where that revenue is going to come from? Where the quarter is going to finish? How are you going to pay for all your bills because you are on your own? Nobody is going to give you a paycheck after two weeks. Once you get into that rollercoaster ride, if you’re not objectively looking at things, this is very much related to devoting 15 or 10 minutes. If you are so driven, “I’m going to make it happen no matter what,” you start to make decisions from that mindset. I’m going to make it happen no matter what, rather than saying, “I’m in this for the long-term and this is the situation I’m dealing with.”
Let’s say an employee left or a deal got canceled or something wrong is happening with your website, whatever it is. Rather than getting emotionally involved, you start to pull yourself out of the situation and look at it objectively and say, “This is the situation we are dealing with. What is the effect? Why did it happen? What can we do right now to fix it?” Rather than saying, “My goodness, this is bad. Let’s drop everything. Let’s go and fight this, fight here.” The very next moment, there’s something else going wrong over there. Do you get into this mess? It’s so difficult to get out of it sometimes if you’re not careful, if you’re not thinking about these things or looking at these things objectively.
I’ve noticed that entrepreneurs tend to get overwhelmed rather easily because they are on their own. Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed and avoid little tasks like, “That’s not a big deal. I’m going to not do anything about it.” It’s like, ignore it and it will go away. It doesn’t go away and then things build up. Sometimes entrepreneurs get into that quagmire of not knowing who they can reach out to.
What’s happening again, if you don’t mind, is it has a finite capacity. The conscious mind has finite capacity. The more of this mess we take on, even if the task is not complete, most people will agree, it stays in the back of your mind. It bugs you every now and then. “I need to do that. I’ll do it later but let me focus on this.” This is leading all this mess in the limited capacity that you have. If you start to meditate, look at things differently and start to journal. Some other tactical things that I coach people would be like using journaling or calendaring tool effectively, using virtual assistants and whatnot. The whole idea you try to empty your mind as much as possible and keep the most important things in your mind. That way, these things that bug you in the back of your mind, at least I have captured them in a system or I have delegated to a virtual assistant. I have done something with it so that I don’t need to keep repeating it in my mind if somewhere in a paper or some records or somebody taking care of it for me. The whole idea becomes now, you watch your time very closely. You spend it on constructive activities and you focus on emptying out your mind rather than filling it up with more and more mess.
What are some of the effects? We’re talking a lot about the process and the how-tos. What are some of the effects that you see or some of these successes that you’ve seen with your clients?
The effects are loss of anxiety and loss of that enjoyment. I see a higher level of joy in my life and other people I work with and they start to genuinely enjoy the process. Even if setbacks come, this is another thing which I teach because I have seen that in my personal life. Earlier challenges and obstacles used to be somewhat of a disappointment like, “Here comes another challenge. We have to deal with this now.” When I started noticing it, every challenge leads to some growth, some new lessons you learn, some new ways of doing things and some new conversations you had. That’s a part of growth. You start to incorporate that into your thinking. Now, your challenge becomes something that you anticipate and then you cherish that because you don’t associate that with the hard work you need to put in. You associate it with the anticipated growth that will come out of this talent. All these things as you’re incorporating, you can see life becomes more of a plate rather than an intimidating event where we have to constantly fight fires. That’s the state of flow that you attain.
All of those sound like side effects that we want, not the small print side effects.
This is where we started to get into things like the Law of Attraction and all that. If you are in a good state of mind, if you’re in a flow, then you can make the right decision. You can execute well. When that happens, things automatically work out much easier and much better and things start to show up like coincidence. You run into people who are willing to help you. Whereas earlier, when you were all anxious about the results, you are reaching out to people. You’re doing the hard selling and everything, but then when you’re in a calm state of mind, people are reaching out to you. You’ll start to notice things become so much easier and the outcomes are much better.
Manuj, I would imagine that there are some of my audience who might not know what the Law of Attraction is. Since you mentioned that, do you mind giving us a little bit more of an explanation of what the Law of Attraction is and how it works?
You can create your own reality through the power of your mind. The way that it works is, to go a little bit deeper with the talks that you think over and over again. The example that I gave from any incident that happened in your childhood, subconsciously lives in your mind. When you think it over and over again, the thought was from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind and it becomes a belief. You believe in it. Whether it’s true or false, you believe in it. All this belief system starts to shape your life. If you believe making money is hard, it’s going to be a struggle to make money. If you believe making money is easy, things will be easier for you in terms of financial success. You now reverse the process and you say, “This is how things work. What can I do to change this whole process?”
All you need to do is change your thoughts rather than thinking negative thoughts, “This not going to work. I’m never going to be happy. I’m not going to find any money. My business is not going to work.” It is the typical talk button most of us have. You just start to think of the opposite. It’s like, “This is a wonderful day. My business is working. I’m making progress.” That progress does not have to be going from 0 to $1 million in one day. It could be one page of my business plan. Again, baby steps. Anything that moves you forward is worth acknowledging and celebrating. You are getting more positive energy out of that. You do that over and over again and it starts to compound. One day, there’s a hockey stick goal that came out of nowhere.
I know when it comes to Law of Attraction with mindset, the language with which we word things and even the language of the thoughts in our head because one of the things you said was, if we believe that making money is hard, it will be. If we believe that making money is easy, it will be. The way you worded that, you said very specifically making money is hard, making money is easy. It doesn’t matter even if you think those words are, if you say them, it matters the language with which you think them are saying. Can you talk a little bit about that?
I’ll take my case and try to explain it. I used to think that there’s only a limited amount of money to put on in this world and I need to do whatever I need to do to capture as much as possible. It’s like a zero-sum game. Whatever money I take from you, it will come out of society into my account and somebody else will need to struggle for that money. With that belief, I was always going on these circles like, “I want to have more so that I can have enough for the future.” Slowly when I started doing more work, I found that’s the wrong thinking. There’s enough to go around for everyone, plus there is more, but there is abundance everywhere. There is no hurry. There’s no cutthroat competition to earn as much as possible. There may be out there in the world, but you don’t have to subscribe to that notion.
With this belief that there’s a limited amount of wealth to go around, it was replaced with a world of abundance. I can focus on what I do best, try to enjoy my process. If I do a good job, the money will start to flow in. Money, fame or whatever you want out of life starts with fluent. Once again, these are the ways that you can start to understand your psychology and your belief system. If those beliefs are not aligned with your long-term goals, it’s hard to say to yourself, “Get rid of that belief.” The more we think about it, the more we start thinking about it and then the cycle goes on and on and then that belief becomes stronger and stronger. Rather than trying to delete it, try to neutralize it. Meaning, try to replace that belief with a newer belief that there’s enough to go around and then some.
I’ve also heard the argument that it’s almost blaming somebody. You talk to somebody who might be living below the poverty level and financially struggling. Maybe working 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs and barely making ends meet. How do you respond to that person? Whenever they’re out there struggling in the world and they’re calling BS on this. I’ve been in both positions in life and I’m always curious to know how other people respond to this. It’s a tough question when somebody is truly in the struggle and in it.
There are two parts to this. One is and again, it may sound a little bit strange and it’s a little bit deeper. Let’s hope it’s not something that will trigger a negative view, but the universe has both good and bad. We cannot say, “Let’s extract the bad out of it and throw it out of this universe.” It has to balance out both good and bad. As we come onto this planet, our objective is to experience life and grow. Whether you believe in reincarnation or how things work, the point is once you’ve come to this planet, this life is almost like a movie.
When you go to movies, you can watch a comedy movie, you can watch a war movie, you can watch a tragedy movie and these genres of movies but we never say, people who go to comedy movies are happier and people who go to tragic movies want to enjoy something different. I like comedy movies, but I will watch a horror movie once in a while. I will watch a murder mystery once in a while. That doesn’t mean that either the movie is bad or I’m bad or there is something wrong with me. Similarly, a person who is going through a tough time, maybe that’s what they want in life as an experience. It may sound harsh, but that is the reality. We need to take responsibility for our experiences. The second part of this is, a lot of people think the Law of Attraction or all these meditations, spirituality has more to do with the mind.
It does have to do with the mind, but if you do not accompany your changing patterns and thoughts with action, that’s what’s going to happen. If you keep thinking positive and you keep thinking, “I’m going to be successful. I’m going to make this much money.” Nothing is going to happen unless you say, “I’m going to make this much money. This is my plan. How much money do I need to make? How much time do I have?” Let’s break it down. Let’s plan it out. Let’s take the baby steps. It doesn’t have to be like huge projects, but let’s take those little steps. Let’s talk to people who can help us and then things start to change. One aspect is, we should not look at the experiences that we have labeled as bad experiences. It’s the experience that somebody wants subconsciously. The way to change that is they need to figure out the new experience they want and take action towards that.
In the struggle, whatever people are struggling with, whether it’s financial struggles, health struggles, mental, emotional struggles, whatever it is, there’s a lesson buried in there. It is something to be explored. It’s life’s way of backing us into a corner and forcing us to look within. The more we fight and resist looking within and finding, “What’s the lesson that I need to learn out of this struggle that I’m in?” The more we resist it, the worse our situation becomes.
We try to push everything outward. Blaming that person, blaming society, blaming the government. If you don’t look within, we’re always reacting, but if you start to understand, “These external stimuli that are coming towards me and I’m the one paying attention to it. I’m the one interpreting it.” Putting that feeling inside my heart and my brain, then we can choose to pay attention to something else or invoke a different feeling or have a different experience through the same stimuli.
There’s an author. She’s a favorite author of mine. Maybe you’ve heard of her. She’s a Hay House author. Her name is Caroline Myss and she’s written several books. Her most famous book is called Anatomy of the Spirit. She’s also written a book called Sacred Contracts. She does a lot of work around archetypes. Her archetypal work is what I look into and whenever she’s talking about our soul and our archetypes and the struggles that we have in life, I love how she puts this because she separates the physical body from the soul. The soul is more eternal. The lessons of the soul are different than the lessons of the body. She talks about some of the struggles that we go through. She says it’s intimate to the soul, impersonal to the body. She repeats that 2 or 3 times, intimate to the soul and impersonal to the body. Impersonal to this human incarnation, impersonal to this human existence, but very intimate to what our soul needs to learn. A lot of the struggles that we go through do help us grow at that deeper soul level. Much of what we’re talking about, it all circles back to that very basic step of self-awareness.
Thanks for bringing it up. Living in poverty, it could be the parts of the growth that you’re looking for. I talk about my life again. I started working in a factory, but I learned a lot of things there. If now I think about it, if I didn’t do that, my life would have been totally different because probably, I wouldn’t be working as hard, probably I won’t know how business works. All those things were not designed, but they were there for a reason and they lead up to the next step. At the moment, it may not be as much fun living through it, but if you think you we went through school bitching about learning mathematics or the topics or the subjects which we’re not keen about, but still we had to go through it to get to the next stage in lives.
There’s a lot of value in some of that stuff that we bitched about that we had to learn. Manuj, if I understand it correctly, you’re getting ready to launch The Purposeful Tech Entrepreneur?
Yeah, that’s right.
Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah, my background is software and IT and I worked with a lot of startup founders and entrepreneurs. What I’m trying to do is put together this coaching program. It’s a six months coaching program. It starts with a very strong mindset, getting familiar, getting ready mentally for the challenges that lie ahead and then moves into the actual strategies and the tactics of how to build a tech company. It starts on the mindset and then it goes all the way to a place where somebody can be confident about bringing a new product or service to the market and grow it from there. We call it The Purposeful Tech Entrepreneur. It’s a six-month program. It’s in the prelaunch phase right now. The good thing is, people who sign up for the first prelaunch phase, I’ll be teaching it live. After that, it probably is not going to be live. This is a good time to get in.
If somebody is interested in getting in, how would they go about that?
You can go to InnerGamePurpose.com and sign up. If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about what the program is all about, mindset is a big piece of it. You can subscribe to a free video series. It’s an introduction to what’s in the coaching program. You can get that at InnerGet.com. After going through this blog or you generally know what I stand for, if you want to sign up right now, then it’s the InnerGamePurpose.com.
InnerGet.com is the free videos and then InnerGamePurpose.com is the prelaunch for your Purposeful Tech Entrepreneur. I might go check those out. It sounds interesting to me. I’ve got to confess, I dated a guy who was in tech years ago and I swore I’d never do it again. He has no mindfulness whatsoever. It’s not something you see in the tech world very much, somebody who’s mindful. I love that you’re bringing some mindfulness and some life purpose into the tech world because stereotypically, that’s not what we find there.
First of all, I hope I am able to change your mind and help the tech entrepreneur community to get more dates and everything. Things are changing. I hear companies like Google, they have meditation spaces and they bring in people and talk about these concepts with their employees. A lot of companies are changing the way that they think about these. If the thing is it has to be done at the individual level. The motivation has to come from within and there are tremendous benefits. If people start to recognize it if you talk about it and it’s all about a game. It’s all about spreading awareness and telling people, “This is something useful for you.” It’s not some new age mumbo jumbo. It’s not like you need to renounce and go to the monastery and become a monk. You can still live an entrepreneurial life, which is rooted in capitalism, but you can enjoy life in a better way and make more progress. If you do it that way, you definitely will have more progress than if you do the other way around.
What’s your response to the person who wants to sign up? They’re trying to keep up with their friends who signed up because they genuinely want to. We have a lot of that too. It’s like, “You’re doing it. I’ve got to do it too.”
I will say you need to evaluate that feeling. If you’re only doing it just not to get left behind with your friend, I will not recommend that. If you genuinely feel that, “This friend, he or she has similar values as me. If they find out and if I sign up, it will be beneficial.” If you get that feeling or internally you are motivated to join, you’re most welcome, but don’t join for the wrong reasons. Don’t join through the fear of missing out or don’t join because you want to be part of a club with your friends or whatever, join for the right reasons.
If you’re out there reading, it’s all about self-awareness. Look at your motivation. Look at why you want to sign up. Look at why you want to have a mindfulness practice or become a mindful entrepreneur. It all goes to self-evaluation and self-mindfulness. Was it Socrates that said, “The unexamined life isn’t worth living?”
There is some truth to that. If you’re always comparing yourself to other people, but not examining your own life, what’s the use? Why are you here?
That’s how 99% of people live. They live the planet without examining anything. We are lucky that however many decades it took, at least we got to this point and we are trying to help other people get to this point. Things are improving and that means these are very good signs.
If somebody wants to follow you or send you an email, what’s the best way to reach out to you if any of our audience wants to get in contact with you?
Manuj, do you have any final tips or bits of wisdom to leave with our audience?
One thing I will say is, life is short, try to pack as much enjoyment in it as much as possible. You must have heard when some other speakers talk about raising your vibration and things like that. For me, it never made sense what they’re talking about. What does that mean to raise your vibration? All it means is bringing more joy in your life. Anything that is stressing you out, that is not sitting well with you, that is your body, mind and soul telling you that you need to do something different. Neutralize that negative feeling by replacing it with a positive feeling. Find out exactly what you enjoy, who do you enjoy spending time with? Take little baby steps to do more and more of it. You don’t have to go all out but start to enjoy life a little bit and then that will bring about many positive changes in your life.
Thank you so much, Manuj. It’s been an honor to have you with us.
Thank you so much.
For all of our audience, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I love how Manuj was able to take some complicated and confusing concepts that create that, WTF does this even mean in your head? Put it into simple terms and pick it apart in a way that makes it understandable and achievable. Self-awareness and mindfulness practice isn’t as difficult as it seems and whether or not you’re an entrepreneur, the work is accessible to you. Please look him up. If you’re interested in learning more about me, you can find information about me at JenniferWhitacre.com. It’s been a pleasure having you here and I will see all of you in our next episode.
- Anatomy of the Spirit
- Sacred Contracts
- LinkedIn – Manuj Aggarwal
- Facebook – Manuj Aggarwal
- [email protected]
About Manuj Aggarwal
Manuj is an entrepreneur, investor, and CTO of TetraNoodle, a software consulting company that helps startup founders with tech projects. Manuj started his career at the age of 15, working in a factory for twelve hours a day, six days a week, earning a cool $2 per day.
While Manuj had no contacts or resources, he was determined to improve his life and realized education and the right training was the only way for him to achieve his goals. Manuj managed to acquire a modest education and went on to become a technical leader and CTO in multiple startups. Manuj is very passionate about education and training because, without it, these achievements would not have been possible.
While building his career, Manuj fought decades of anxiety, depression, and pessimism by indulging in meditation and mindfulness. He is deeply spiritual (not religious) and focuses on accessing and training his subconscious mind to create the life of his dreams actively.