Karan Bajaj is a #1 bestselling Indian novelist with more than 200,000 copies of his novels in print, both optioned into major films. Karan’s first worldwide novel, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent, was released in May. The book, called “The greatest adventure of our Generation” by The Daily Telegraph was inspired by Karan’s one year sabbatical traveling from Europe to India by road and learning yoga and meditation in the Himalayas.
Karan has also worked in senior executive roles at companies like Procter & Gamble and the Boston Consulting Group and was named among Ad Age’s “Top 40 Under 40 executives” in the US.
Over the last decade, Karan has lived by the following model: Four years of extreme goal-directed living—working at his corporate job, disciplined reading/ writing/ researching etc. followed by a one year sabbatical where he travels without a goal, allows himself the space to just be, and discover facets of himself without the constant hankering to become.
“I have this year in which I’m completely free. In that freedom, things come to me. Innate tendencies start to reveal themselves.”
In This Episode:
- Growing up in foothills of the Himalayas
- Value of an individual vs. community in different cultures
- The meaning of “Dharma”
- The 4-1-4 model
- Purpose behind taking a year long sabbatical
- The misconception of space in the Western World
- Why his employers have been ok with him taking a year long sabbatical
- How to determine when the right time is for taking this journey
- The tangible return of a sabbatical
- Why he doesn’t feel a burden to be perfect
- The difference between becoming better and revealing yourself
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“I just like this idea of finding out things about myself than I didn’t even know existed, rather than being like ‘I’m going to take a sabbatical to write better.’ It’s not a sabbatical to become anyone better, it’s just to ‘let be.’”
“When people try to create space here, they think they are creating space but they end up creating a different kind of busyness. What they are really craving is a bit of nothingness with no pressure to become someone different.”
“Stripping our life of comfort is very important for a period of time so that we become closer to what matters.”
“If you’re growing dramatically as a person in an intuitive and emotional sense, it will manifest in better work in the world, and it will have some type of material benefit to it.”
“I learned to be more intuitive because I’m making decisions consciously out of intuition.”
“If you’re actions are pure, the effects are purer. The cause and effect cycle keeps continuing.”
“Training the spirit is about silencing the mind.”
“I get in my own way if I’m being too left brain and logical.”
“Pressure comes from extrinsic motivations.”
“The best relationships have a complete dissolution of your ego or sense of self.”
“Success is living your dharma. To purify your life to the extent that your purest natural tendencies express themselves.”
“My vision is to live in the state of flow for as long as I can.”
“If you have a desire to create, let’s not that mistake that with a desire to become an entrepreneur. Those are different things in my mind.”
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