David Yeung is a noted environmental advocate and founder of Green Monday, an innovative social venture that takes on on climate change, food insecurity, health issues and animal welfare with a diverse platform that shifts individuals, communities, and corporations towards sustainable, healthy, and mindful living.
Under Green Monday Mr. Yeung launched Green Common – the world’s first plant-based green living destination – to introduce a revolutionary food and lifestyle experience. The movement of Green Monday has now spread to over 10 countries, with 1.6 million people practicing Green Monday at its Hong Kong origin.
Awards and recognitions won by Green Monday and Mr. Yeung include “50 Most Innovative Companies,” “100 Most Creative People in China,” “Asia 100 Pioneers”, “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Hong Kong”, “Best Idea of the Year.” He is also the author of a number of best-selling books on Zen wisdom and mindfulness. Mr. Yeung is a graduate of Columbia University and a Director of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), Hong Kong AIDS Foundation and Hong Kong Buddhist Association.
In This Episode:
- Learning the cost of success from his father at an early age
- Figuring out things on his own during childhood
- Why he believes in always finding a way to give back to others
- What inspired him to create the Green Monday movement
- The impact an animal diet has on the environment
- Why failure is no longer part of his vocabulary
- His ideal mindset and where mindfulness comes into play
- How he approaches his mindfulness training
- Living mindfully vs. training mindfully
- Focusing on the present moment
- Channeling business for good
- Challenging others to take one action
- The success of Green Monday and his vision for the future
“Behind the scenes of any successful people, it’s never easy. You experience your ups and downs with work and also with your personal situation, including loneliness and sacrifice away from family.”
“You can of course rely on other people, but deep down you need to learn how to do it on your own.”
Family motto: “No matter how tough it is for us, if we have even the tiniest ability to do something for other people who are in a worse position, we try and do something, even at the expense of our own wellbeing.”
“Animals consume a lot of food and water to grow. You need to feed them before they are fed to us. For the same piece of land that could feed 100 people if you simply grow plants or vegetables or fruits, you can feed only 1/10th or 1/20th the people if you use the land to grow food to feed and raise the animals that are eventually fed to us.”
On why a social venture: “We always brainstorm various ideas to use business to change the world. We believe that a traditional non for profit doesn’t entirely solve the problem.”
“All entrepreneurs or all people who accomplish anything go through set backs and failures.”
“Failure isn’t in my vocabulary, because to me it’s just data. It’s very valuable data that tells you, ‘hey this path isn’t working, try another path.’ It’s a very useful and positive thing.”
“For something to work, for a success to happen, it takes internal and external successes to align.”
“The first thing I realized was that the people who succeed aren’t necessarily genius and the people who fail often times are often very brilliant. It’s because of these internal and external factors.”
“For me, the ideal mindset is to never get too high or too low. You’re at a relatively stable, steady energy level.”
“If you maximize the learning, that is not failure.”
“1 billion people are suffering from hunger. 1/7th of our population do not have enough food and 1.5 billion people do not have access to clean water.”
“Food by definition is a social activity. We eat with our friends. We eat with our family. We eat with our co-workers.”
Defining Mastery: “Taking responsibility of your own thinking and behavior. The reason we get into trouble is we cannot our thinking and behavior. If we are mindful and take responsibility of the consequence, that process is a form of mastery to me.”
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