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Now available on iTunes and Spotify, "Life’s Essentials with Prem Rawat" is a multi-part series of uplifting and colorful interviews Prem recorded while speaking about living life consciously. Enjoy the candor and spontaneous humor in this high spirited podcast series. Each episode will be made available every Tuesday for download.
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This interview excerpt of Prem in Cape Town, South Africa paints a picture with words. What is missing in the world is that we have lost touch with our humanity. Understanding is the interwoven cord that binds us all—beyond words and labels.
Prem Rawat speaks with DJs Fresh, Somizi, and Tigi at Metro FM during the Fresh Breakfast weekly show on conflict solutions. He offers pertinent tools for finding peace in a turbulent South Africa. “You are your constant source of peace and joy when you know yourself.”
You are clearly very inspirational, Prem. You literally travel the world and inspire people for a living. I’m interested to know, who inspires you?
Well, I am inspired by everybody that I inspire. And when I see people being inspired by a message, my question always is, "Why? What did I say that is so unique, so incredible?"
And yet I see that all of a sudden, they thought where they were, versus where they now see that they are, that they are not without the tools in their life; they’re not alone; they’re not abandoned; they’re not in these dire straits. They’re actually doing pretty good.
And to acknowledge that in their lives—and a beautiful light comes shining through them. And that’s what inspires me. That’s really what inspires me.
Yeah, me too. Watching people wake up to their own power and joy is....
Yeah, that, absolutely, it’s the most, most stunning thing to see, to observe.
Absolutely. I really want, you know, those listening to look at themselves with that ability. It’s such a core central theme of my work. I help people find their message and help them to build their platforms and to create awareness of those platforms, that they can impact more people and impact their careers and impact their lives.
I think a lot of people have self-limiting beliefs that they are worthy of being that person. They’ll look at someone like you—or maybe even me, people who have platforms—and say to themselves, “I, I couldn’t do that. I’m not worthy of doing that; I don’t know how to do that.” What advice do you have for those people?
Let me tell you a little story—and I gave this example. And somebody asked me a question a long time ago. They were actually wondering, you know—they were talking about, “Is this good; is this good; is this good?” And I said, “The value of all these things that you have described to me is zero—and you are a ‘one.’”
So, when they heard that, they were really very angry with me. And in fact, they walked out. Because they were like, “And how could you say what I am talking about has to be zero?”
And I said, “But”—I continued with my analogy, and my analogy was, “Everything you’re talking about is zero—and you are a ‘one.’ Place zero in front of a one and what do you have? One!—and a zero. No value, nothing. Nothing changes.
“Put that zero after a one and it’s a ten; it’s a hundred; it’s a thousand; it’s a hundred thousand; it’s a million; it’s....” All these things, placed after you, after you are worth a lot. Placed before you? And they mean nothing, absolutely nothing. That’s math; that’s math. Yeah, I mean, anybody can do that math.
And to me, that’s the way I see it. You know, it’s just, “First, find yourself; then take all these things that you want to do and put them after you.” And they will be ten, a hundred, thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, a million, ten million, a billion, trillion, whatever.
But keep placing them before you? They mean nothing! Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I love that. “Be your own ‘one.’” Be the “one.” Brilliant, brilliant!
Where can people find you, more about you?
Well, I am reachable through PremRawat.com. PremRawat.com, yeah.
Jessica Zweig: [simult.]
It’s a beautiful site. Beautiful.
I have one final question for you, Prem. You’ve given us such beautiful wisdom today. I would love to know—as I ask every guest—what do the words “simply be” mean to you?
To be that “one”—without the zeros in front, with all the zeros after. And now you’ve got everything. Simply be. Simply, simply, simply, simply, simply-simply-simply. Not thinking about this; not getting into—but just simply be.
Look at a child; look at a baby. That baby knows how to simply be. You are still that baby. Well, you were once a baby—and you’re still that baby. That baby never died; that baby never went away.
Tap into that resource that you have to be that baby, and you will simply be. Because simply being is it—is it, is the it.
I’m crying; I’m smiling; I’m nodding; I’m tearing up at the same time. That was so beautifully stated. Thank you so much for explaining it that way. It touched my heart. And this is something I speak about all the time. And to hear you say it in that way was just really meaningful.
Thank you so, so much for being on my show. It is just such an honor to speak to you and to learn from you. And thank you for the reminder—to simply be. Because I needed it today, especially.
Thank you; thank you so much for letting me be on your show and—great, wonderful; thank you. Thank you.
You just came out with this new book, Peace Is Possible: Thoughts on Happiness, Success, and Relationships for a Deeper Understanding of Life—such a beautiful title. What was the inspiration of this book, if I may ask?
Well, again, you know, it’s just taking a very, very simple message—and, you know, the message that has been around for a long, long time that always gets shared by people, even before there were books—was verbally, the stories.
And so, it is taking these little stories that have been around for a really long time, and then tying this message of knowing yourself to those stories of the intricacy of everyday existence to the simplicity of those stories—and how the simplicity of those stories brings on a message that touches the heart.
That it’s not about.... I mean, something that happened at a book fair—these two gentlemen who had just come from prison, who had just been released from prison, came to the book fair. And they were walking around and they were like, “Ahhh.” They came over to the stall where the Peace Is Possible book was and they were like, “What’s that? What’s, what’s that all about?”
And somebody said, “Well, here it is; read it.” And the person started reading it, and he just, tears started coming from his eyes. And his friend said to him, says, “Why are you crying? Why are you crying?” And he said, “You read, read this book; read this book.”
And it touched them. And it touched them so sweetly and so gently. Because the message is there. There is a message that touches your heart. Everything that we do touches our mind, but there’s a message that touches your heart.
And I have tried to take this book, Peace Is Possible, and give that message that touches your heart a space—in this very, very busy world, in this incredibly frantic world, giving that message that touches your heart a space, a little page, a little, you know, period, a comma, an exclamation mark. And that’s what this book, Peace Is Possible, is all about.
And it’s beautiful.
You have a lot of quotes in the world, as an author and a speaker and a thought leader. And I, I’m a huge quote fan. I love them; I put them in all my presentations; I share a lot of my own quotes on Instagram; I quote people all the time; it’s my thing.
And I was, of course, looking at some of your quotes. Because you have been listed as one of the top one hundred most spiritually influential people alive today, along with Eckhart Tolle and Tony Robbins and Gabby Bernstein, Bruce Lipton. It’s pretty incredible. Just, thank you so much for, by the way, being on my show.
And there was one quote that you have said that really struck me, which is, “Living your life consciously is the most fun a human being can have.”
And fun, for me, is a core value for life: “If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?” I think that it’s the true measure of success—is how much fun we are having.
Can you talk about what that—what that means to you, to live a conscious life, to find that fun as a human being?
Imagine being in a beautiful park—I mean, just gorgeous—the flowers are beautiful; the ponds are beautiful; the trees are beautiful. And all of a sudden you hear a noise. You don’t know what it is. You’re not aware of this noise and all of a sudden you’re frightened, and it jostles you.
Versus you’re taking the same walk and you go, “Oh! That’s a little bird! Oh, that’s, that noise is coming from that little frog that’s moving around.”
One, you don’t know what it is versus know what it is. And when you know what it is, it is so much fun! I mean, it is so much fun because now you don’t have to be in fear of where you are and what is happening. You are enjoying every step, every day.
The outcome of today is certain because you know what it is all about—rather than uncertain and “I’m going to try to keep my fingers crossed and make good things happen.” Well, good things are happening all the time.
You know, people say I’m spiritual—so, a lot of—involved with spiritualism, but I’m not. To me, what I try to tell people is, “You have to know. You have to know; you have to be aware. Not believe.” And believing is okay; it has its place. But at some point in time, you have to come out of the field of believing and go into the field of knowing.
And I am all for knowing. And knowing and understanding, being conscious on this road of life, now you know what that is that’s making that noise and you can enjoy it! And it’s like, “Ahh! I know what that is. That’s just a little froggie! It’s okay! Here I go!”
You have been speaking to audiences since you were four years old, and you’ve been spreading this message of peace for a very long time.
And I think, today, more than ever before—and I wasn’t around fifty years ago—but there is just so much more to consume ourselves with. And I think it’s harder and harder to get in touch with that dreamer. And we don’t give ourselves the permission to do that.
You know, most of us wake up, check our phones, eat breakfast while we’re checking our phones, rush to work on our phones, get to our office and—and are, you know, inundated all day long. And then we come home and by the end of the day, we’re just exhausted.
And there’s—it’s just so hard, especially in modern society in America—in the West, at least, where finding this space to know the dreamer has just become harder. I would imagine, since the time you’ve started your career, you’ve seen so much more happening in the world. And how do we mitigate against that? How do we technically do that?
Well, the thing is, there are problems that have arisen in society. And the problems that have arisen in society are that people are not understanding not only themselves, but they’re not understanding other people.
To me, you know, when people talk about the problems that are happening in.... The fire season is on in California, by the way. And I don’t know if, on the East Coast, they’re listening to the news that, you know, “This part of California’s on fire; that part of California’s on fire.”
And imagine, on one hand, you have California on fire. On the other hand, you have a bunch of refugees who are traveling from their country towards central Europe—and they are in dire straits.
And there is a person in California whose house is in fire and they’re in dire straits. And there is a tornado in the panhandle of Florida that has just demolished this person’s house. And they are emotionally distraught and they’re—everything that they worked for is just, this little tornado came and destroyed it.
Is there a similarity? Is there a similarity between that guy watching his house being burned down, another one in the panhandle who’s just watching his house being disintegrated, and a person who is of a totally different religion, totally different faith, on a boat, taking on the waves and in dire straits because, are they going to make it? And when they make it, are they going to be let in? I mean, they have no choice to go back. It’s a horrible situation.
Then you’ve got all these refugees who are not being allowed, being shoved further and further south of even, you know, Mexico and Honduras and so many other countries, and it’s like, “Go away; go away; go away.” Is there a similarity?
And is there a similarity in all the oceans being riddled with plastic? And is there a problem with the Amazon forests being destroyed, every square inch of them being potentially on the list of being absolutely destroyed?
And I say, “Yes, there is; there is a common thread. And the common thread is the human being. The pain and sorrow that is being caused, is being caused by human beings and is being suffered by human beings.”
And so, human beings are the common denominator in all these problems. And yet, what is the problem with the human being? I mean, isn’t it wonderful that we can do all these things that we have done? I mean, after all, human beings have done some pretty incredible things.
Mind you, we have wiped out a bunch of diseases that existed; we have gone to the moon; I mean, my God, we can communicate; we have done a lot of wonderful things.
But by the same token, have we done something that is wrong? And the answer to that is, “Absolutely!” And we continue to do it, because we don’t see it. We don’t see. What we don’t see, we cannot correct.
And what we don’t see in our lives so much is, “My life is limited. My life on this planet Earth is limited.” I mean, if you were to take.... Even if you were to live a hundred years, how long is that in days? Thirty-six thousand five hundred. Now, thirty-six thousand five hundred is not a very long time at all!
When you think about it—I mean, it’s like, “And wait a minute; maybe, maybe I misplaced a zero, right? Three hundred and sixty-five?” No! It’s actually thirty-six thousand five hundred. And that’s if you get to live for a hundred years—a hundred years.
My God, that’s still, you know—anybody who crosses the hundred-year boundary—at least, in Japan—gets a, you know, recognition from the government.
So, it is still a novelty, and yet it is such a short time on the face of this earth. Well, who are you? What are you all about? Are you about all your problems? Are you the creator of all your problems in your life and that’s it? Or are you something more? Can you offer yourself some help?
And what I’m saying is that “Of course you can—and you are your salvation.” You are your salvation. You don’t need an angel to come down from the heavens to take care of your problems. You are the ones who are going to take care of your problems.
And the way you’re going to do it, it’s by starting to look around; it’s by starting to see—not close your eyes, but by looking around.
Your life, your understanding, every single day, saying, “Who am I? What am I about? What is my relationship with everything that I live in? In my house, my children, my husband, my boyfriend, my person who I work with, what is my relationship with these people?”
And to really bring it home that you are here—and you can make a difference and you’re going to make a difference. But the difference you’re going to make is from the simplest little things in your life. And that’s where you’re going to begin.
Yes, so true. It’s beautifully said. I’m just so aligned. Because I literally just recorded an episode myself of my show about the power and the responsibility that we all have to impact the world, ourselves—that we actually have the ability to do that.
And, you know, my show is about personal branding and giving people the tools to help them put themselves out on a stage, whatever that stage might be, with a positive message that comes from their hearts.
But what I love about what you’re saying so much, Prem, is that finding peace within yourself isn’t a passive act, actually; it’s a very empowered decision. And that taking true responsibility for yourself is your biggest job.
I can speak to a retreat that I took, a women’s retreat I went on a few years ago, and I was in total victim mentality, thinking that everything was happening to me. It was my husband’s fault; it was my job’s fault; it was the weather’s fault; it was the time of the year’s fault—it was everyone else’s fault but mine.
And I was probably the most depressed I had been in a long time. And in just a matter of a few days in this retreat, I worked with, you know, all of these amazing women coaches who kind of woke me up—that it’s no one’s, no one’s fault but mine to let myself be and feel this way. And that taking total, unapologetic, radical responsibility for your life is the path to peace.
Would you agree with that?
I would like to add something to it. I mean, once you have defined that something is wrong—and then you say, “Okay, I’m going to correct it,” that’s not peace. Peace is much more fundamental than that.
Because these situations—for instance, you know, if your relationship with your husband is really bad and you go, “Okay, if I fix my relationship with my husband, everything will be fine.” But there was a time you weren’t married. And you still needed peace. And how will you get peace if you’re not even married and you can’t fix that problem because you don’t have a husband?
But peace goes beyond that threshold. And peace gets to the very fundamental of life itself. What is life itself? What is your definition of life itself?
When you wake up in the morning, you think about all the things you’re going to do. Do you think about all the things that you have to do—and that one fundamental thing that you have to do, just to breathe? And if you were just to stop breathing, you would be dead?
I mean, do you understand your existence, that you are alive? That this is a gift that you are being given? It has taken the whole universe to collude so that you can be alive today.
That you can be alive today! You were in the making for millions and billions and billions and billions and billions of years. Do you accept that as a gift? Do you even see that as a gift?
Or do you see your problems going away as a gift? Because, if you see your problems going away as a gift, you’re missing on life. You’re not missing on your, you know, what’s happening because you are alive, but you’re missing out on what life itself is.
And I want to always bring it home—to “we need to know what life itself is,” not “what you can accomplish because you are alive.”
There is a driver, and the driver has to pay attention to what the car is doing. There may be other passengers who can roll down their window and say, “Look over there; oh my God, oh my God,” but not that driver. The driver has to enjoy what he can enjoy whilst he is paying one hundred percent attention to his driving.
Because if he starts to lose that focus, an accident is imminent. And that accident that is imminent is the way I see the problems in our lives today. We’re having mini-accidents. Because we are not taking into account what is really, really important. And that thing is paying attention to who we really are.