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Deepak Chopra to entrepreneurs: Changing the world starts with well-being



Did you know your body is 100 percent recycled every year? That gives new meaning to the question "who are you?"

Put another way, with every breath, we are all intimately sharing our organs. “The total universe is embodied in your physical body,” said best-selling author Deepak Chopra. To a packed Summit room at Miami Beach Convention Center, he  opened Emerge Americas Day 2 with an hour-long “exploration into the human consciousness” -- sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always thought provoking.

The author of 80 books in 43 languages, 22 of those best sellers, and founder of the Chopra Foundation shared his insights that combine science (he has quite an impressive scientific background) and the spirit.

Chopra, who is at work at a new book called Super Genes,  said he has been working with seven institutions measuring genes. The good news: “We predict many years of aging can be reversed.”

Chopra’s five pillars of personal well-being are sleep, meditation, exercise and movement, emotions, and finally  food (that's the healthy stuff, nothing processed).

If you can only do one thing, try "grateful journaling," he said. Each night write the five things you are grateful for that day. In a study, just this one action showed vastly improved well-being results, he said.

But in addition to personal well-being you also need social, career, financial and community well-being and “all of these can be measured. “ By the way, the U.S. is No. 14 in the world for well-being, Denmark is No. 1 and Canada No. 2.

"For an individual, community, business and country, well-being is the No. 1 predictor of the future" -– traffic accidents, financial results, productivity, crime, ecology, etc., he said.

Technology of course is playing its part, from gene radars that can be read from a spit of saliva to a Google for well-being that Chopra and others are aiming to create for a “more peaceful,  just, sustainable, healthy and happier world.”

Entrepreneurs can use all this by being more enlightened leaders – being good listeners and creating teams with emotional bonding, a shared vision and complementary strengths. “Your business has to be global and affect people,” said Chopra who  is working with some VCs on a “Just Capital" project to put humanity back in profits and develop a new index to reward ethical and just companies with social missions. We want to replace the Dow Jones, he said.

What gripes him? Talk of "exit plans.” And he hears far too much of that in Silicon Valley.

“Before they rob the train, they are already dividing the loot. It’s the wrong approach.” Look at the bigger ecosystem -- who is your constituency? It's your investors but it is also your employees and customers --  and do something with impact. “The purpose of a business is to improve the quality of life.”

- Nancy Dahlberg