In this On Purpose episode, Jay Shetty shared a discussion between him and Elizabeth Day. Day interviewed him on her podcast, How To Fail.

The conversation explores Jay's journey, his insights on happiness, purpose, love, and leadership, and how he has used his failures as stepping stones toward personal growth.

Happiness vs. Success

Often, our society measures success through tangible assets like wealth, status, and authority. However, Jay Shetty warns that material achievements do not necessarily bring true happiness. He encourages a more personalized definition of success, one that is grounded in our values, aspirations, and purpose.

Jay Shetty gained exposure to the ancient wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita from as young as 18 years old. His interpretation of this teaching emphasizes the importance of detaching happiness from physical belongings. He challenges the conventional understanding of success. He suggested that it should not be strictly tied to materialistic possessions but to personal satisfaction and inner peace.

Find Your Purpose

From Jay Shetty's perspective, life's purpose often reveals itself during our most challenging times. Amid hardship and turmoil, we question our circumstances and the world. This period of self-reflection and introspection can lead us to a deeper understanding of our true calling.

Jay believes we are compelled to question the state of our lives and our place in the world through pain and suffering. This quest for answers, he suggests, often leads us to uncover our true purpose.

By embracing the discomfort of life's trials, we can navigate the journey of finding our purpose. Instead of fearing challenges, Jay Shetty encourages the listeners to see them as stepping stones toward uncovering our life's true mission.

The Energy-Strategy-Money Method

Jay Shetty shared his method for success - the energy-strategy-money approach. In this framework, he underscores the importance of prioritizing energy and strategic thinking before focusing on financial gains.

Energy - the energy you bring to your endeavors forms the foundation of success. Your energy's quality and intensity can directly impact your efforts' results.

Strategy - it is the roadmap that guides your actions. By having a well-thought-out plan, you can optimize your energy and channel it effectively toward your goals.

Money - this should be the final consideration in this sequence. Concentrating on your energy and strategy first would be best, believing that financial success will naturally follow.

This method challenges traditional beliefs about success. It advocates for a more holistic approach where personal energy and strategic planning are valued over immediate financial gains, cultivating a pathway to long-lasting success.

Accepting Breakups

Jay Shetty explains that moving on from a failed relationship can sometimes feel daunting, primarily when focusing on the hurt and the loss. Yet the key lies in reshaping your perspective and concentrating on the lessons learned.

Breakups could be a stepping stone to finding someone more aligned with our values and needs. Jay said, "It's about understanding that someone's presence in your life has a purpose, and when they're gone, their purpose is gone."

Jay Shetty further discusses the concept of 'expiry dates' in relationships. He suggests that just as a product has an expiry date, relationships also have a life cycle. When a relationship ends, it means its cycle has run its course.

Yet through acceptance and growth, breakups can be transformed from a source of pain into a catalyst for personal growth. Every ending is a new beginning. Through these experiences, we can truly learn, grow, and ultimately find our purpose.

Trust Tokens

Jay Shetty introduced the term "trust tokens," an innovative way to understand and approach the dynamics of trust in a relationship. He compared trusting in relationships to a token economy, where every positive interaction earns a token and adds to the trust bank, while negative interactions deduct from it.

According to him, trust isn't a one-time deal. It's built slowly, over time, through our actions and behaviors. Just as in a token economy, where the accumulation of tokens results in a reward, in relationships, the build-up of trust leads to a stronger bond.

However, Jay Shetty cautions against negative interactions that can quickly deplete these tokens. A single adverse event could cost multiple tokens, damaging the trust built over time. That's why it's essential to keep adding trust tokens consistently.

Definition of Love

In Jay Shetty's opinion, love, in its purest form, should go beyond mere feelings and move towards actions and behaviors that demonstrate care and understanding. To him, love is more about serving others, caring for them, and making a positive difference in their lives. It's not just about feeling good or passionate about someone.

Jay explains his philosophy by referring to The Five Love Languages, a popular book by Gary Chapman. He underscores that understanding each other's love languages can help express love more effectively and in a way that the other person perceives as love.

Moreover, Jay Shetty gives a unique perspective on the movie The Notebook. While it is a popular romantic film, he believes it may not offer the most realistic or healthy portrayal of love and relationships. He points out that such films can skew our perceptions of love, causing us to hold unrealistic expectations that can lead to disappointment.

By shifting the narrative, Jay encourages listeners to consider the importance of enduring, consistent actions in love rather than just the dramatic gestures often seen in films. The allure of romantic movies often lies in the intense emotions they provoke. Still, Jay urges the listeners to consider love's more practical and sustainable aspects, such as understanding, patience, and willingness to work through difficulties.


In his discussion with Elizabeth Day, Jay Shetty touches on the concept of "unlearning." According to him, sometimes, the most valuable life lessons come not from acquiring new knowledge but from unlearning outdated or erroneous beliefs we have held. He explains that as we grow, we can sometimes inherit ideas and assumptions from our surroundings that may not serve our best interests.

Unlearning involves:

  • Challenging these preconceived notions.
  • Questioning their validity.
  • Potentially discarding them to make space for beliefs that align more closely with our true selves and the lives we want to lead.

Jay argues that to unlearn, we need to actively question the influences around us and analyze whether the life we're living is genuinely ours or merely a product of societal expectations. Unlearning is not about rejecting all previous knowledge. Instead, it's about sifting through it, retaining what serves us, and letting go of what doesn't.

Feeling Lovable Despite Failure

Jay Shetty candidly spoke about an experience he had in his childhood that left him feeling like a failure. As a youngster, he tried to win his parents' approval by excelling academically. However, when he failed a test, he felt inadequate and disappointed.

Despite the failure, Shetty understood a crucial lesson about self-worth and loveability. He realized that failing a test didn't make him less deserving of love or less valuable.

This experience led him to recognize the importance of self-love and self-acceptance. He learned that failure isn't a determinant of one's worthiness of love and respect. Instead, our value lies in our inherent humanity and ability to learn and grow from our mistakes.

Returning to the Modern World

Jay Shetty shared his experiences of re-entering the modern world after spending three years as a monk. He found it a significant adjustment but leveraged these experiences to build a bridge between the spiritual and secular worlds.

Jay's transition back into the hustle and bustle of the contemporary world was challenging. After experiencing the tranquility of a monk's life, he found it difficult to readjust to modern society's constant noise and distractions. He also expressed his initial difficulty relating to pop culture and mundane conversations.

However, Jay didn't let these difficulties deter him. Instead, he used his unique experiences to build a bridge between his past spiritual life and his current existence in the modern world. His journey offered him a unique perspective, enabling him to understand people's daily struggles and aspirations while providing him spiritual wisdom.

Today, Jay Shetty utilizes his insights to help others navigate their lives, offering wisdom that combines practicality with spirituality. He encourages others to find their unique path, rooted in self-understanding and authentic to their experiences.

Finding Purpose

Finding one's purpose was a central theme in the interview with Jay Shetty. He believes every individual has a unique purpose in life, which is often revealed through experiencing our pain and challenges. Through our struggles and the search for solutions, we understand what truly matters to us. Our purpose is a deeply personal quest to discover our true calling.

Jay said, "Pain makes you question. When you question, you seek answers. And it's in the answers that you start to find your purpose."

In his own life, Jay encountered significant struggles when he returned to the modern world after living as a monk. But these experiences ultimately led him to find his purpose: building a bridge between the ancient wisdom he had learned and the modern world.

Jay Shetty emphasized that finding your purpose requires introspection, self-discovery, and often a degree of struggle. But through this process, you can find a calling that resonates deeply with who you are and what you value.

Learning About Leadership

Reflecting on his experiences as a young leader, Jay Shetty shared a story about his time leading a community youth group when he was only 18. This was a challenging time for him as he was criticized by more experienced leaders who suggested he wasn't assertive enough, leading him to act out of character.

Jay recalled the event: "I was new to this. I was getting a lot of criticism from the senior leaders in the youth group. And one of them said, 'Jay, you're not very assertive. You're not tough enough.'"

This criticism had a profound impact on Jay. He strived to be more assertive, but in doing so, he acted out of character and hurt a team member. This was a turning point for him, making him realize that effective leadership isn't about being tough but about staying true to yourself and leading with your heart.

Jay Shetty also discussed the difference between being assertive and affectionate in leadership. He shared that he had to learn to balance both, suggesting leaders should be bold when necessary and show care and compassion towards their team members.

For Jay, this failure was a powerful lesson in leadership. It taught him to lead authentically, not to act out of character for anyone, and to lead with his heart. This experience also underscored the importance of viewing failure as an opportunity for growth and improvement. As he noted, "The best apology is changed behavior." His leadership journey highlights how authenticity and compassion are crucial in effective leadership.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “4 Essential Trust-Building Practices to Strengthen Relationships & Why You Shouldn’t Let External Validation Control Your Life” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at

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