Suren is a seasoned serial entrepreneur who is passionate about helping companies win in their markets by applying his experience driving strategy, operational excellence, and innovation at the right time and the right opportunity. He oversaw the development and exit of numerous B2B software platforms, has investments in tech funds, and real estate development.
Early in his career, Suren played a critical role in building several start-up businesses as well as advising well-established organizations. Suren’s entrepreneurial journey eventually led him to the position of CTO of the largest privately held laboratory in California. Successfully enabling the organization with cutting-edge technologies the business was able to scale x20 in testing volume within seven years. The lab was eventually acquired by LabCorp in 2006, prompting Suren to launch LigoLab.
LigoLab Information Systems is the leading provider of innovative end-to-end healthcare software to laboratories, servicing 100+ facilities nationwide. LigoLab's mission is to help laboratories reduce errors, scale their operations and revenues.
In March of 2020, Suren and his team launched TestDirectly, a direct-to-consumer portal that facilitates safe and easy sample collecting and processing. The team is actively launching the platform for reference laboratories, point-of-care testing practices, and facilities processing COVID-19 collection and testing to help increase capacity, accessibility, and eliminate bottlenecks and risks of exposure for patients and healthcare providers. Processing and delivering over 5 million COVID-19 reports to patients to date.
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CK LIN 0:00
Welcome to noble warrior you hear my friends because you believe that expanding your mindset in service of your highest purpose is what makes life meaningful. Our goal with the show is to introduce you to leaders and entrepreneurs and ideas that will accelerate your self actualization. So if you want to continue this conversation or ask any further questions go to noble warrior calm forward slash group. Alright, let's get started.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 0:26
No peppermint tea everywhere. My hands my eyes, my know.
CK LIN 0:36
How was that? The scale one to 10
SUREN AVUNJIAN 0:39
I'd say maybe a to a to a two or three like that somewhere in between those. Feel the tingling, I like the madness of it actually cleared out my nose, which is generally clogged up. So that's a nice tool to open it up. I feel my heart rate a little up. But I also feel calm at the same time. So I don't know if you get those feelings yourself or not. But I felt my heart rate go up a little bit. Not too far.
CK LIN 1:28
So I'm really excited to have Soren with us today. Soren is a dear friend. One of the things I really admire Soren about his his joy for life. Anytime that I I talked to him, whether is during our friendly conversations, whether it's conversations with other people around or whether it's conversations when he's employees around, I always feel that gentle enjoys way of being. So well. Welcome, Suren. And thanks for being here.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 2:01
Thank you, CK, I thank you for the compliments, and you really are super admiring super charming, and someone I look up to as well. I really respect the all the talents you have. So I want to share that with you.
CK LIN 2:17
Thank you. So let's start with these question.
What were some pivotal moments in your childhood that made you the man that you are the person that you are, so that way people who are listening to this and get some relatedness,
Unknown Speaker 2:37
I had a pretty happy childhood, I would say, lived in a very safe city. So it was, you know, like, in the summers, we would stay up as, as a child, I remember till, you know, midnight 2am even sometimes rarely, but, you know, it was the it was all just fun and like you enjoyed with the neighborhood, all the kids are out kind of by the park. And that that's like an early memories. I remember a lot that you know how incredible that experience was to grow up. And then I also remember that I pretty early on, I just felt the need to be very independent. So I wouldn't let my parents you like from first grade, I wouldn't let them help me with homework or even look at what I'm doing. I was and and interestingly, they both accepted. They both were like professors in school. So that was pretty cool to get that acceptance from them and not be kind of on my neck about it. And it really pushed me to prove that this I'd like the choice I made was the right one for me, because I can you know, bring the good grades, and have a fun life as well. Even as a child for some reason. I this is I guess this this shaped me for the rest of my life. I think.
CK LIN 4:11
So you were free range child. Oh, that's so interesting, which is actually contrary to the way I was raised. I was raised by basically Tiger parents, right there very, there's clear boundaries. Yeah, we have parameters, you do not go past that parameter. Otherwise there will be serious consequences. Yeah. So interesting. So they were really that trusting and then you just embrace it right
SUREN AVUNJIAN 4:37
I embraced it. And then I really early to I remember was like I was thanking them for put leaving that trust with me. Because that's not necessarily how there is my sister. I guess, just because of our culture. You know, there was a little bit more boundaries around the girl. And probably another thing that comes to mind was early on going and visiting one of my uncle's who was a physicist, and he took me, I think I was probably seven or eight. And he took me and I got to see my first computer in my life. And I just remember the moment there was there wasn't even a computer. It was a mainframe. And he let me play a game on it. So there was, you know, just such a wonderous and mysterious moment like what how am I interacting with the machine? So that I think was a pretty big moment for me. I was like, wow, I was just so fascinated with technology at that point that think it just, I feel this was some sort of a switch that happened.
CK LIN 6:01
So let me ask you this without going to the more on the curiosity, because I am curious. And so let's hold that for a moment. But because of how we met, in the context of how we made the impression that hat is, you know, no matter what situation that you're in, you're always joyous. Are you got you always bring some element of fun and humor? Indeed. So were you that way when you're younger? Or do you was more of a cultivated journey?
Unknown Speaker 6:28
It was cultivated? Yeah, it was something. I had an experience. I left Armenia, because of an earthquake, which was very devastating for the entire city with like, maybe half the population was gone that day and a very big majority of my school, actually procrastinated.
CK LIN 6:56
So you actually saw death at that age.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 7:01
I mean, I remember very vividly, first of all, going through the experience being on the third floor of the building we lived in, literally watching the walls open up. And luckily, being the only building in the neighborhood that's stayed up. When we came out, I was just, you know, it was a lot of tall buildings. We lived in the center of the city. And they look, my mom was like, literally, I remember she turned around to me. And she's like, where did these one story houses come from? Like, it didn't register this kind of devastation? Right away. So that was, you know, that was a pretty traumatic time, I would say, and it was I had my kind of darker days. Oh, yeah, of course, I think though, you know, seeing something like that, even though we were super lucky. And, you know, immediate family was okay. We lost a lot of relatives, but that, you know, seeing death on the streets, and just the trauma and the moving of in two different cities in a short span, definitely affected. I think it's normal, anyone would get affected by that. But then the realization after that, I think is where I found these like, Oh, well, I stayed alive, I should be happy. And I think that I was, I would say, maybe 14, I was already here in us. And I remember, I went to my father. And I was like, you know, the, this earthquake. And my dad was, of course, for him, he came, you know, he was 35. And he came, you know, switch switch, he had an incredible life back there. In Soviet Union, that was just the time when you can start opening up your own businesses, like corporations. This is Gorbachev started. And he had my dad had lot of patents and a lot of ideas. So he started a shoe factory. And he had it had started going, it was really cool and innovative. And then he lost everything. So for someone, he came with a very negative kind of mindset, or, I mean, he, he made it positive, but internally, he had felt that, you know, he left everything had to come, he didn't necessarily want to come to the States, even though most of his relatives were already here. But he's up here. Yeah, he's like, if I'm gonna have to start my life from zero, might as well started in the land of opportunity. So So I turned to him. And I told him that, you know, this earthquake was the best thing that probably happened to your kids.
CK LIN 9:45
And you said that when you were 14, Yeah, wow. So you say more about that? What did you mean?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 9:50
Well, I realized, I mean, it was it was very tough. For us in the beginning literally came to like a typical immigrant story. We came to us with like, nine hundred bucks in our pocket men, our first month rent was 750. So it's a really quickly like, you know, both parents had to both learn English and work nonstop. So I was spending a lot of time alone at home with my sister, our age differences 10 years apart. So it was like both brother and sister and also parents and child. And also because I had to, like watch her during those periods. So I became more of a parent. So I think that helped me probably mature really quick. Just all the experiences accumulated together made that happen, I think. And so yeah, I had basically that realization of, well, if that didn't happen, we wouldn't be here we wouldn't, you know, make a new life for ourselves would be because what happened after the earthquake? The city was basically with no lights, no, the lights would turn on at one time for one our at a random hour. It could be like four in the morning around, and you would get lights and water and the warm water. So the like, that's how people lived for like, five, six years. Oh, wow. So the infrastructure was gone. It's like going back a couple of thousand years, basically. Oh, man. So I knew that was happening too. So it was like, Oh, well, here's great. We're watching married with children. And you know, everything's good with all the families in the air. So, yeah, it was just the realization, it wasn't anything like super profound, it was just like, wow, like, I want to be grateful. Because if that didn't happen, you know. And also, there was a war that Armenia was in as well. So that both those two things made like turn the country really,
CK LIN 11:51
infrastructure was gone. There was a war going on. and political stability.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 11:56
Just very draining. Yeah. So it was just a realized that it was a good time we came here. Okay, so now Yeah, no, then I should live my life. Right? Not like a victim of it. Yeah. But embracing it. Because I mean, it both because it's a choice. You could choose to be the victim of it, or like, let me find a positive from this. So I didn't even have a choice that let me put it that way. It was like the only way to go.
CK LIN 12:24
Well, but yes, you're right. Simple to say. But it's not actually common. because you can find victims everywhere. Whatever they income, whatever the economic you know, socio economic, you know, situation they're in, you know, what woe is me. It's part of being human. You know, so hence why I am. So there was literally it was like, like a switch you just like from now on? We're gonna be grateful for everything. Yeah, that was it.
Unknown Speaker 12:57
Yeah. Because I feel like going into a negative direction is a first human reaction, right? It's like, I feel like going into negative direction is the least resistance to the path. But and then, you know, you could choose to hop over that and turn your life to a more positive perspective.
CK LIN 13:22
Interesting. So recently, I was in my meditation retreat. That's, that's actually the thing that realize, in my mind, my mental model is Yeah, there's the the ego, right, the humanistic animalistic reactions, being angry, being in fear, and being jealous, whatever. Those things actually requires zero effort on my part. It's a natural reaction. I don't need to input anything naturally. I'm just gonna feel that way. Yeah. And however, it actually takes more effort, conscientious choice, to be grateful to be generous, be be loving.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 14:00
Yeah. And that's a it's a practice, you know, it doesn't just happen, like you do it once. Right? doesn't mean you're going to continue to do it. Right. But I think when you do it once, and you're mindful of it, and you're like, wow, this is actually so much better than going into a negative direction. So then, then it makes the path a little bit easier for someone to choose, like, oh, let me just put, like, let's want Well, you know, let's do one more push up. And then things will feel a little better. So you start taking in that practice, and when you were 14,
CK LIN 14:36
hence, why is now more effortless? So what are some of the actual practice you, I guess, conscientiously? Do I guess maybe you think back when you were younger, in your 20s and 30s. Or some of the, the path that you took to get to where you are right now.
Unknown Speaker 15:01
You know, I think the first thing I discovered was power of breathing. And I just found so much peace, just doing deep breaths, again, probably around the same age, if not earlier. And just, I guess it was a way of meditating, I would just sit, I didn't even know what I was doing. I just knew it felt good. So I would just just do that over and over and over. And then it would just bring so much peace and light that it just, I would do it. And you know, sometimes my mom would be like, are you okay? I'm like, yeah, I'm great.
CK LIN 15:45
Did you share with your parents? Did you share with your family? I don't think so. It was more just like a trick you figured out.
Unknown Speaker 15:50
Yeah. I just like I'm like, I just like I'm like, it feels good to do it. That's, I'm just doing it. I didn't know what I was doing. I'd like something you stumbled upon and like, felt great. So that was the one thing early I remember that I started and it was like, I felt you know, Now obviously, looking back, I realized that was somewhat meditating, doing breath work. And it just like, Lord, a lot of anxiety and just brought pieces should. And then later, like, once, you know, I got more exposed to life. I was like, and like all these religions that I felt like you had to pick one. So I started studying as many of them as possible.
CK LIN 16:35
Yeah. How old were you then?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 16:37
Actually, I remember pretty early, like, my parents got me an encyclopedia back in Armenia. And that was like, I wouldn't I didn't like reading, you know, just, we were stories. And to me, they felt like, yeah, they're nice to read. But I'm not necessarily gaining. I wanted something like practical, right? So I just started like, a tactical you a tactical, exactly. So I was like, let's just open up starting with letter A, and we're going to read what's in the encyclopedia, because I want to know what's out there in the world. So that was that, you know, it kind of from there, then I got exposed to all the different religions. So I was like, oh, what's all this about? Because my parents were not necessarily religious. They were. They were very, you know, they were Christian. But they weren't necessarily practicing or anything like that. It was really, it was more tradition. Yeah, it was more tradition. So it was for me, it was very interesting. Like, oh, what else what other things are available? What? And then also, at the same time, I was like, well, maybe I can learn wisdom from all of them. So that explorations into that, I think, and seeing what's congruent with me, that was looking for for that to
CK LIN 18:02
this so fascinating. So you were that curious about wisdom? backing when you were 1415? before the disaster. That's interesting, huh? Hmm. So cool. Yeah. Yeah, same was all intuitive.
Unknown Speaker 18:25
It was and then there was a huge gap. You know, then then like, schooling here started and you know, just I kept myself busy. I tried to work and school, or you're working? Oh, yeah, I started working pretty much like the first year I came here. at like, 13. We're doing there was a program, our school had junior high school with fire department. And sometimes they would take us on to, like, slopes and steep hills to cut the brush to prevent fires. So that was the first john 325 an hour to 25 an hour. School? was a lot of money back then for sure. For a 13 year old back in the 19 $90.
CK LIN 19:21
Did you appreciate what you were doing? Actually, then were you just looking for that paycheck to come?
Unknown Speaker 19:28
I realized every job showed me like where they need to be doing. And I realized that wasn't really made for manual labor. All right, you learn something I definitely learned everything got it was just a summer job. I stuck through it. I didn't quit. Right. It was cool to be outdoors, too. But definitely, it was probably the last manual labor job.
CK LIN 19:54
Alright, so that's interesting. So when did you so let's go back to. You fell in love with technology? Did you then after pick up technology after that?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 20:01
No. After that, then there was a next year there was a job with a shoe store. So do during Christmas. So I tried that. And then I realized the retail isn't my thing, either. Very quickly, I was like, Whoa, that was my first exposure to public like outside of family circles outside of school circles. It was like, just straight, you know, like a wave hitting you in the face, like right away, because it's like Christmas time busy. You get the worst of people. And I didn't know that about the world. And there was a very shocking experience. So that job was very short to
CK LIN 20:44
actually I had retail experience during the holiday season. I actually understand exactly what you felt. but I wasn't self aware enough to know that it wasn't for me. So I think I did a couple of summer.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 21:01
So but then I actually at home, when the first gift I got when I came to the States was a 286 computer my uncle gave me and I didn't even have hard drive. It had two giant floppy, those five and a half quarter like five and a half, remember, and one had an operating system. And the other one had a programming language GW basic. Basically, I had to write software that I wanted. Oh, interesting. And what a gift. Yeah, that was a cool gift. And that I that's where I started with, you know, my passion for software engineering. And my father also took software programming classes, because his brother was doing that. Interestingly, actually, half of my family is in medicine, and the other half is in computers. Oh, interesting. Yeah. And then we'll get to that later of how my life ended up. I ended up doing both kind of now With what? With my software company? Yeah.
CK LIN 22:03
So what are some of the other pivotal moments in your life that made you as a man, I mean, you as a person?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 22:09
Well, I got a job. After that there was a program with my school with the JPL. So I ended up going there and work. They're a little bit longer two years. My was very cool. We were working on a lot of projects, mostly like weather balloons and things like that, but also got to participate. With my boss, she was working on some, you know, very cool, far orbit projects Cassini project, I don't know if you remember, they recently crashed it into Saturn, but I got to see touch it, watch the code in it, as it went, you know, across our solar system. So that was a very fascinating experience, too, because I had a passion and I still do in cosmology. So but then there, I realized, I don't want to be in a very big organization. It's too bureaucratic. There's too many politics. So that was the reason I got out of there.
CK LIN 23:13
So hold on one second to the through line is the self awareness part. Will you really that clear about like, exactly the language? You said, This is too big, too bureaucratic? Like, I don't like it. Really?
Unknown Speaker 23:26
Yeah. Not like from day one. But it was just like a slow... I mean, if, if you're in a year, I don't know if you've worked in a
CK LIN 23:34
I worked in two universities before?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 23:37
Yeah. So have you? Yeah, I think when you're in it, you start realizing like, you know, there's less, like more work could be done. And then there's all these hurdles, you have to jump through to get anything done. Why is it so inefficient? I think then that became a little bit, I think it's actually I had that I think early two, is this, like efficiency, everything needs to be more efficient, you know, I would go around at home and turn off the lights, like, you guys are leaving the lights off. I remember, like, early on, I was doing things like that. So that's why I'm thinking like, I probably had this all along. But later, you know, I was like, you know, we need to, you know, figure out how to fight entropy, you know, that's, you know, part part of the part of what the world needs. Fascinating. So just going through probably lots of different experiences like that. Here. Like with work at school, I feel like every day could be and should be pivotal for us. But those moments definitely have, you know, are the spikes, I would say that are clear in my head.
CK LIN 24:50
Yeah, cuz everyone will always make a choice. Right? I think, to go even little bit more grandiose. Some people are saying re speaking on cosmic. The study of the universe. Now there's multiple universe happening even time based on each decisions that you make, you enter into new universe, right? So new possibilities, new rounds of possibilities happen. And so hence, why self awareness, self consciousness is so I believe so important. So you don't just make decisions randomly. That's okay, too. But I think, to be more conscientious about it, that I've learned in my life, it's a very, very, very important thing.
Unknown Speaker 25:39
I have made a lot of decisions on a coin. flipping the coin. Did you? Yeah, a lot of decisions, too. Okay. So what was some of the decisions you made? Only my coins? Starting different businesses? kidding? Yeah, just the relationships. I, you know, flip a coin, flip a coin, go with this. First, I do it out of three, you have to do three have to give it three chances. And you will be surprised the best decisions that three times that it falls on are always the same. Like that's what I know. That's for sure. It's between like, it's not just what the winner is. It's the frequency of the same.
CK LIN 26:17
the expected value of the particular decision.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 26:22
So it's interesting. I don't know what how that started. But I just one day decided to flip the coin and see which decision you know, I should take and then started but it became a little practice. Do you still do it today? Yeah. Now, I have my wife doing it too.
CK LIN 26:43
That was great. Now I know a little bit of the mental. So you don't do like a spreadsheet with the expected
SUREN AVUNJIAN 26:50
No, no, it's just easy. just three times. 50/50? And we'll see where it goes.
CK LIN 26:57
Yeah, I mean, one of my mental models about this, ultimately, and you may be able to speak to this. Ultimately, if the end result the outcome is not catastrophic, then you can just make decisions quickly. Because you can always wind in reverse. Right. Take another path. It's not I mean, I don't know, what do you think about that?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 27:20
I agree. Yeah, they're not, you know, life and death decisions, of course, but the they are significant ones. But also, sometimes I have full trust in the universe. So I feel like that's, like a way it's a bi directional communication with it. So it's a way of telling me like, okay, maybe you should go this route. Because, you know, sometimes when it comes to choices, they're binary. And like you said, if it's not going to harm anybody, and you have a way of going back, then it's a safe way. And it just makes the process of decision making easy, because my life has just become like one non stop decision making and you get tired of it sometimes. So I resort to this, I mean, it's not very frequent. It's maybe once once every few months, like every decision is made with it. But just for fun, sometimes when they can, when they become indecisive, actually, when they feel a little bit indecisive. That's when I, you know, might go use that as a tool.
CK LIN 28:22
Well, okay, so let's unpack that just a little bit. When you say when you feel undecisive, it's like onset owners. Like I should I shouldn't I right. I maybe I should. But what if I do that. The unsettle-ness? Is that
SUREN AVUNJIAN 28:35
Yeah, exactly. Because usually, like I when I get choices, I like know where to go. But then of course, the bite overthink it. And that's something I've been working on getting rid of as well. Just this like, you know, and once once you start it's like a rabbit hole, right? overthinking? It's just that, and it only can go negative. So I tried to stop it with different tools. That by flipping coins, yeah, that's interesting.
CK LIN 29:05
Yeah, the ego, the human mind, our brains evolved to help us not die. So therefore it's very, very good. I come up with what if scenarios in and usually it's like the worst. Right? But oftentimes, the words very rarely happens. It's true. Yeah. So this is interesting. So let's see, how do I ask my follow up question about that. What other mental models do you have to help you, you know, make decisions quickly or make this may make make the right decision.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 29:40
Just really trusting your instinct, more and more, which is tough in the beginning, because you're not always, like confident with it. So that's a little bit of a practice to, and then you start realizing, well, I had this instinct, but I didn't listen to it. And now it's too late. Or I had this sense thing, but then I convinced myself out of it. And they didn't make the right decision. So then, you know, eventually, once you start becoming more and more aware of those moments, just like doing a little pathology, when it's done, you know, just opening up the situation, the patient and seeing what happened there. And you know, lead back to well, you should have listened to your intuition, because it was telling you so sometimes, it doesn't make sense or, but now I try to be more keen on capturing that.
CK LIN 30:36
So you're big on trusting your intuition? Yeah. trusting your instincts. Mm hmm. Have you ever read the book, blink? Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. No. Okay. That's that's what the whole book is about? Yeah, I'll have to check it out. Yeah, it's interesting. It's their basically, their, their whole assertion of the book is after, if you you're an amateur, the instincts are inaccurate. But when you become an expert, like, let's say an expert, driver or expert, surgeon, the decision they make within blink of a moment is accurate, because you've practiced so many times. Yeah. So it's an interesting way to look at how do we actually make decisions? And how do we make decisions quickly and accurately?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 31:29
Yeah, definitely. Practice is important. That's, that's absolutely true. And I think, you know, analyzing your decisions, helps you see those threads and, you know, the all the different permutations that could have gone and what and remembering what your intuition was telling you, I think that maybe makes that process even faster to get to.
CK LIN 31:52
So you do a forecast, right? Yeah. Also do a post mortem. post mortem. Yeah. And you keep be iterating as a way to hone your own decision. Yeah. How do you apply that to all areas your life, physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and, you know, relationships, business,
Unknown Speaker 32:12
probably relationships and business most than the vestments. Yeah, like seeing, for example, next waves of things coming and where to go, which path, kind of more strategic things. But then, of course, when it comes to tactical things, then I more try to, you know, study it almost more in a scientific way of doing it. But then when it comes to strategic, it's more based on intuition.
CK LIN 32:40
And one of the things I realized too, is because I'm trained to be a scientist, right all my life, I wanted to be a scientist. So I tend to, but the problem with that approach is, there's the infinite, the rabbit hole goes down forever. Now I'm paralyzed by everything under the sun that I can find. So I have to basically unlearn a lot of the habits that I have is some sometimes is good enough, then because you I'm never going to have perfect information by anything. Right? And therefore, just All right, so is roughly correct. trust myself, trust, you know, this instinct. And you know, so trust, the information I got, and just make the decision
SUREN AVUNJIAN 33:29
I'll give you a lucky quarter. See how that works. So you had you had almost like the schooling boxes, that were keeping you almost like a prisoner?
CK LIN 33:46
Well, I mean, to be really frank, I mean, that's the logical response. And the answer is yes. But also in the, the inner game was the fear of failure. Because if I fail, then I'm I am a failure is not the thing, or the task that it took on that that failed, experiment that fail, right? It was, my name is associated with it. And therefore, I became a failure. And there was a lot of fear around that. versus just, you know, an experiment. Right? Did it work? Did it not work? learn something from it? Take another experiment. And then and I don't know, did you ever have that burden of fear of failure or fear of things not working out?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 34:34
A little bit, maybe probably a little bit less than, like, friends. I know who a lot of people seem to be I don't know. I mean, I, I, there was a point A, they relate that a lot to perfectionism. I think it's very, like when you're a perfectionist, and I have a little bit of that, but it was just letting go of trying to be perfect. And no, you know, just appreciating that things can have faults. And that it was and I didn't even maybe I was just lucky that I didn't necessarily have too many, you know, falls or or maybe I just didn't associate them as fault like, problem problem areas or mistakes. You know, I just got over it. I learned probably from a LIN that was, you know, forgot about it. I have a very good way of forgetting.
CK LIN 35:35
Once again, right, then that's, that's amazing. But is that cultivated? Or is just naturally you don't remember things?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 35:42
or? Yeah, I think I just always like make room in the brain to like, pick up the next thing I want to learn and then I forget whatever I don't use, like very easily. I feel like it's a gift to be.
CK LIN 35:58
I mean, if you think about it, if you look at I don't know if you ever doubt them, Vipassana know, or study Buddhism, or a bit yeah, the mechanics of enlightenment, right? They say that life is suffering and then the source of suffering is attachment. And roughly loosely, translators, you suffer because you hold on to things or your past. Yeah. Or you worry about the future. That hasn't happened yet. So the gift of now remember everything, which I also have right now. Yeah. My wife tells me now all the time. You don't remember anything? No, I really don't.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 36:37
That's why we have wives. I've worked. I think that part, but I definitely have the other one where I worry about the future. So I have that one. That's kind of figure out how I've gotten better throughout the years, I think but definitely have suffered lot because that causes anxiety.
CK LIN 37:04
Well, before we I asked you the next question, you want to do a little hape, please. Okay, so we have a gentle hape, or the sharper hape?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 37:15
This is we've we've done this together on time. hape. Which, which one is hape? Okay, what is this going up? Okay. No, then we haven't done because I remember Burning Man. We did. Alright, write that song. So now I'm doing something else. No. I feel like we did. We tried two different medicines. In that case that may be I don't remember anything going up my nose.
CK LIN 37:39
In that case no. Here. Here's a different one.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 37:45
They smell similar. They're supposed to smell different. Slightly. Okay. Okay, yeah. your recommendation. So since I haven't done it before,
CK LIN 38:23
It's really intense for your nose. And the bodily sensation is very much like a hard, challenging workout. But then right afterwards, you may feel a little lightheaded or tingling your extremities and that you should be able to also feel the calmness after the workout. So I will invite you to set an intention. So that way you can fully take advantage of the silence. So the way you do it, same thing. And then if you want the nostrils ready for you. Okay breathe
SUREN AVUNJIAN 39:26
Wow. there was just water coming out. Wow now that was more so the other one is he was stronger or just refer sharper sharper
CK LIN 40:36
take as long as you need.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 40:37
Yeah, no, I'm good. I think I'm pretty good. Okay, yeah, it feels good. Okay, how was that I feel like the first one was stronger in the right side of my I can literally feel just like the right front side of my face. Just tingling. The second one maybe didn't go as far up I didn't get that and it was much more just in the nose. Very strong. So is an unbalanced a little bit but I feel this like strong kind of energy inside. Just expanding from the center upwards and Yeah, a little bit. A little bit. High almost half of it actually. A very like floaty. Yeah, this is non psychoactive.
CK LIN 42:01
Save legal and non psychoactive, non psychoactive.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 42:05
Well, is it vegan?
CK LIN 42:08
It is yes. Tobacco and tree ash. barks. tree barks. Oh, yeah, I see.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 42:18
All right. That was cool. Thank you. new experiences. Yeah, I love it. I love new experiences. I that that's one of the Well, obviously because you asked me to I felt very honored. But I liked the format that you're doing the sun. Cool. And it's very exploratory.
CK LIN 42:40
Yeah. Actually, this thing is used before the Amazon warriors go out for hunt. Really? Yeah. As a way to bring that heightened awareness on the body. But also clear, the mind. I suppose they can function better? Obviously. I didn't follow them into one. I don't know what they do. Exactly. That's what I'm told.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 43:02
That's I heard the similar about mushrooms to magic mushrooms that people took it because an increase your vision. And people were using it, you know, back then to hunters? Well, maybe a lot of these medicine is probably for that. But maybe that's why it's warrior medicine. Right? Perhaps.
CK LIN 43:23
So you mentioned about so there's actually a couple of points I want to ask you. Were you always this had that spiritual calling. Because you said you trust the universe, right things that's outside of you. Were you always was kind of developed over the
SUREN AVUNJIAN 43:39
years, definitely developed over the years. But definitely, I would say probably the earthquake had a big shift for me to just realizing Well, if we're alive, then we're meant, you know, there's a reason why we're alive. So that was very cool to learn that at a really young age, I think that like really shaped a lot. This kind of realization like Wow, well, I stayed alive. That's why, you know, and that kind of drove me to study like more into learn more about it. And just more self explore it than necessarily go to books or to a particular religion to study there is just more looking inwards.
CK LIN 44:24
Oh, interesting. So the old way of learning my way of learning, my default way of learning is always go to books, right? Because I wanted to see best quote unquote, best practices, right? People have done then over the years, I've learned to be trusting myself more and self explore, right, using that inner awareness to do it. So what was your path? Like?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 44:46
Like, it started, like, you know, with the, like I said, like really early starting to read the Second Peter like in first grade. But then prettier, like I would say, in after the age of maybe after college, I would say I just even even in college, I just started realizing that, you know, I, they're all dancers are there, if you just look for it, you know, carefully. Not necessarily, you know, the books obviously have wisdom in it. And I tried to learn from other people's mistakes or other people's stories. So I watched a lot of my friends or family relatives and try to understand, you know, what brought everyone to the point that they are and what works and what doesn't. So, really careful about trying to learn from people's mistakes or, or correct choices in their life where how they ended up. So follow more that type of path. So more like an observer
CK LIN 45:53
where the empirical evidence Yeah, an interesting qualitative evidence. Yeah, man. So cool, very different learning style
SUREN AVUNJIAN 46:01
very, I because I guess I had to, I didn't have my parents influence me on learning styles. And or the schools much I felt like school was just something you do, and you know, you do it. And you move on, I didn't invest too much time. I would just more like, oh, let's get, you know, like, I was with, get it over with and then there's all these cool things to go do outside. That was more of the model. I think I had
CK LIN 46:31
I love it. Yeah. Do you feel that entrepreneurs tend to be that way? Since you have obviously a lot entrepreneur friends? And so to I'm curious know, your your observation about the entrepreneurial, cold type of people,
SUREN AVUNJIAN 46:43
probably I would say, that's, that's usual, that you could generally find that, in that the printers, people that they are hard to put in a box and limit themselves in particular ways. So they are just out, they're more, they're just very exploratory people. And for that, you just have to have a very kind of free mind.
CK LIN 47:13
So what's your answer right now to that question, what does it all mean? Now your ally versus your friends or relatives,
SUREN AVUNJIAN 47:20
I feel like you will never know. It's, it's like, you know, it's less of a destination, right? It's more of like, the path that you keep exploring, because we changed so much every day, you're never the same. So it all becomes like stories, and you
CK LIN 47:40
what's your current story that you tell yourself? Like, why are you here?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 47:45
Yeah, I feel like my purpose is addressing, I feel like it's to grow myself, to grow people around me to just have a little bit of, you know, shine, if I can help anyone, you know, whether it comes to an employee or to develop themselves in any way, or give them the opportunity to choose that, then I feel that's my purpose
CK LIN 48:16
to is now like, some grand, you know, how, Steve Jobs, let's make a dent in the universe and making computers or software hardware software slash software as a way to, to renewable people to do that. So this is not like some grand vision like that.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 48:33
That's definitely a competitive side I have for sure, I definitely get off on that. But it's not like the primary primary task I feel like is more to just, you know, grow every day, little by little, nothing super grandiose, learn something new. And then help. So London anyway. Like, I feel like just though and then from there, it translates into like, Okay, how can we scale help? How can we scale this? You know, that and then how do we, you know, fight entropy? How do we, you know, change, change the world a little bit better. And that's where like, the businesses come, because that's kind of the only way you can really scale yourself. Hmm. Interesting.
CK LIN 49:26
Yeah, actually, I have to unlearn that I love the mental model of the yin and the yang sign. Yang is intentionality, directionality, you know, goal, right? The end and the Yang is surrendering go with flow in this present moment. So my whole life academically, it's all about future, the next goal, the next goal, the next goal in order to do the next the next thing, next thing, and from entrepreneurship, from all this extraordinary learning, transformative, and I had to unlearn a lot of those things and start to look at the Yang side of things in the present moment. So have gained so much more appreciation, basically have a goal, but still hold it loosely. Yeah. Because ultimately, all we have is this present moment, and the life will continue to unfold itself. Right? I can control the process. The sorry, the effort, but not the outcome is not guarantee. So cool.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 50:32
Yeah, I think we live in, at least on myself, and now I balance things through extremes. So like, you'll have all this big purpose and got to do this, or just any anything I've noticed in my life that I find balance by doing extreme opposites.
CK LIN 50:53
Okay, so how do you want gauge that balance? And then also, how do you find the opposite of the this intentionality this this desire to?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 51:05
Yeah, I mean, it could be some something like, Yeah, I would just go and slave away, put in hours and try to do, you know, five conference calls in one day, and solve tons of problems. And you know, and I'll do that maybe for two days, and then another day, I would just either do nothing, like zero, where I'm just disconnected LD, they're going nature or, even worse, I'll just stay home and just be complete, like introvert. And then I'll the next few days, I'll go in the opposite sex, like super communicative. And out there getting things done. So I do notice you that's like, something very quickly that comes in mind. But I've like, self observed you going backwards? A lot on all these like, you know, I would, for example, had a was really deep into kind of the science piece, right? Doing computers, and studying at school, and so on. But then at the same time, I had, where I decided to start, like an events business. So I was doing parties. Oh, yeah. After University, basically, like at the end of university for about eight, nine years, I had an events business where we would bring in like flying DJ is from all over the world. I want to just put together crazy parties. Yeah. So and at the same time I had like, and then I'd like to computer consulting business where I was doing that works and teaching networking. And so it was like, complete two opposite lives. But I was finding a lot of peace in between those.
CK LIN 52:49
I love that. So how do you know when you're out of balance? And by the way, I use a usually try to stay away from the word balance. Because balance implies, I mean, if you look at scale, you do this thing, but you give up this other thing, you do this thing, but you give up this other. Yeah. So I like to use the word harmony. But how do you strike that harmony? The middle way? Right, right. And Yang? say how did you How do you know you're when you're not harmonized?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 53:20
Just listening, I guess. So listening? Yeah. Like, I could catch myself. Like, for example, recently, I've taken on way too much I can bite, you know, so I know for sure. Like, I've just, you know, I have too much on my hands too much on my plate. So it's been, but I also didn't want to drop the ball on anything. So it's so like, recently, it's been pretty challenging, trying to juggle so many different things. But I, you know, I've I also, then forcefully, just make time for myself. So just like, I can feel the anxiety and the, the burden and the responsibility. And then also, at the same time, I know, to be able to be responsible and to do these things properly. I need to also clear my head, or else I'll start making probably wrong decisions. All right. So
CK LIN 54:20
what I want to people who are listening to this get something not just inspiration, but something tactical. So what some of the tactics or discipline to use as a way to shut off that noise, right? anxiety or whatever.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 54:35
Okay. I have some unhealthy ones that I want to get into because...
CK LIN 54:43
so what are some of the healthy ones healthy that you're willing to share? Yeah, can be healthy, unhealthy? Yeah. But the ones that you want to share?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 54:51
healthy ones, I would say, you know, meditating, for sure, is something I definitely should. It is, it seems like the harder path, but then the rewards are great from it, because then you could really listen to what what's happening deeper inside, you almost like look at the engine. So that is definitely a very valuable skill
CK LIN 55:18
What kind of meditation. Because there are thousands there are Yeah,
SUREN AVUNJIAN 55:21
so I long time ago, I took a inner engineering, you know, EW, done that one, or is this with sub sub guru sat guru? Yeah, I haven't done it. Okay, that was really cool. And I practice that two times a day. It's like a 40 minute practice. For six months, I really like that really did a lot of had a lot of benefits. But then life and travel happens, and I wasn't able to keep that practice. So sometimes I'll return to that. And then at other times, just basic Bry breath, like I've always had that, like, as a kid, like, I that's my go to super easy. You know, I can do that anytime in the middle of a meeting if I want to. Or, you know, of course, it's much better at home, because you just, you know, filling in peace at home, and you can much more easily get into that space. So that's, that's probably my best tool, I would say. And not even for very long, like 1015 minutes. And I'm like, much in a much, much better space. Actually, before you came, I had a super stressful day. And I, you know, went to the bedroom and laid with Alina, and we just, you know, had a few nice breath together. And there was a great reset. It was almost like taking a quick power nap.
CK LIN 56:53
Would you say that as a pretty good relationship hack? Yeah, taking breath. Deep breaths together.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 56:59
Absolutely. Yeah. I love that. It's, it's my favorite thing is even when we're, I did this practice recently with my employees actually did really cool. Yeah. So I'm exposing them now to like, these. Once a month, we'll have a session with a coach. And it's not anything I'm productivity, just mindfulness. And then we closed like, what was the last time they asked me? You know, I started talking a little bit about meditation. So they asked me to, like guide them on on one. And they're all pretty new to it, if there's a few guys who have been doing it, and have you been taking courses. So that was really cool. And then we made that almost like every after every session, we would i would do a guided meditation with them,
CK LIN 57:48
like a visualization or purely counting your breath.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 57:53
Every time differently just depends. You have a repertoire, just whatever it feels like I've never It was almost like, I think the first time I did a guided meditation was actually at your house. I think the first time we even met. Oh, yeah, we had little, like a meditation circle. Oh, yeah. And that's right. That was actually that's when we kind of went around and all the guided meditation of our own. And that was the first time I did it. And I really like that. So. So I tried to do a little bit more of it not not as much as you know, it would be awesome to do more. But yeah, then I was like, oh, let's try this. It just, you know, life led to that moment where we, it was very recently where we did that with the employees and, and I asked them to try to be attentive to the rest of their day to see how that changed their day a little bit. And maybe that gives them a little bit of this buffer for them to be less reactive and more, and have that space to process things a little better. So it's a practice I would love for, you know, people who want to do it, to continue to do so that's something I'm really happy that is, you know, working out and people are really acceptance. accepting of it. I didn't think people would be that accepting.
CK LIN 59:20
So yeah, as a business owner, I'm curious to know your perspective. Because as a business owner, you have fiduciary responsibilities to your investors, for your employees, your it yourself, right to make sure that the businesses Kwang. co productive, right. So a lot of business owners, they're hesitant to share this new things, because it feels like a distraction to what people are supposed to do. So what is your what's your point of view around introducing, because you're obviously doing that in a very active way? Yeah. Right. So what do you see is the potential a payoff, ROI, reward these practices that may or may not have a very instantaneous payoff, right?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:00:12
Because I think that with employees, especially the way we try to run our business to not have, you know, turn of employees, because every employee, we invest so much time and the business we're in the domain is so wide and deep, that it's really important that they're not just like an employee, they're almost like a family relative. And then you also start realizing that, you know, you take care of the employees, and they take care of the business, because I'm not more or less on the day to day things that happen in the business, they are the ones running the business. So why not? Like if this work then helped me, maybe it might help someone else. And why not help, you know, some one that as close as someone you work with, and spend a lot of time and your day with. And so it's there's definitely selfishness to it, right? So then they take care of the business, right. But at the end, I think it's also just, it makes them a better rounded person that, and if taking a look inside of their own thoughts, and have less self limiting thoughts, that's always good for them, and then also for the business. So. So I think there's, there's very high ROI, it's not necessarily, you know, the next day, but all my businesses, I never do it for like a quick turn around. And quick profit, it's everything I've done is, like, if I look, it's just like a decade of work to just bring it up. But then it's, you know, it's like a solid foundation, and it's hard to topple that over. So I don't do like the quick startup, let's raise some money and then sell it off. It's more like just, let's build a good product that's, you know, creates a huge barrier to entry. And, you know, so I don't know why I'm more attracted to these kind of operations, I guess, long term investment. Yeah, I get it. Consistency, consistency. And I feel like, you know, I've definitely tried to do the quick, and I feel like, you know, it's just the money part, if it comes in quick, it leaves very quick to, and you don't savor it as much.
CK LIN 1:02:36
So part of it is the journey, you actually really enjoy building the the hustle? I like it. Okay, so so to the skeptics, because I'm obviously I'm a convert, right, I believe in what you're saying and what we're doing all of this. But for the skeptics, still, who are listening to this, are their businesses that's not necessarily suitable for this type of introducing introduction of things that's outside of the business realm. That lets us meditation to be more specific. Right. Right. other businesses who, whose people shouldn't be introduced to meditation?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:03:20
I mean, corporations are people know. So I mean it to reframe that question is, is there a person that wouldn't benefit from meditation? I would say no. So I think, yeah, that I think it's critical for people and then businesses to start. And I think the world can only get better from it. I haven't seen any harm comes from it. You know, it's not like a waste of time. It's actually it might feel like it because you're sitting there in silence. But your company time. Yeah, company time. Exactly. And, but then the realizations you can have the, you know, can be so profound that you're like, no, this is, this is great, because you could go 10 years of just, you know, with your monkey brain, and just live in this like, circular way and not ever come out of the shell. And like, who wants to live a life like that?
CK LIN 1:04:23
Hundred percent agree. Yeah. I am curious, whoever This is listening. If you guys think that Oh, yeah, I know, a business Who wouldn't benefit from these? You know, inner game practices. I'm curious to know your point of view. Please send to me.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:04:41
Probably those big bureaucratic businesses can benefit from that just to keep the system going.
CK LIN 1:04:47
Don't think because do what I tell you. Right. Yeah.
Yeah, I don't know. I wonder about that. On that thought, would you like to do sananga
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:05:01
Does hape Give you like an appetite.
CK LIN 1:05:17
If you'd like to take a moment. So you had the gentle one at Burning Man. This is the more intense one.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:05:27
Jesus. Okay. I don't remember. I just trusted you whatever. But that was I was struggling for like a good five minutes was Burning Man. I
CK LIN 1:05:42
Lean your head back as far as you can. Same thing with an intention. Close your eyes. Even more format.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:05:52
eyes open or closed.
CK LIN 1:06:01
with the intention, and then you can open your eyes. And then I run around a little bit.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:07:05
This wasn't that bad. Maybe I got used to it. I don't know. Or does it come in waves? No, that's it. That's it? No, I would say this was easier. Maybe? I don't know. Or maybe it was just all the all the dust on the sand Burning Man. That the struggle was much more real back then. Are you just want these young men? put a few drops?
CK LIN 1:07:48
Ready? Yeah. How was that? scale one to 10?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:07:52
Actually, this was a much, much much I would say maybe about a four? or five? Yeah, the hape was around like, seven eight range. Okay. Yeah. All right. different feeling. Yeah, this one that was more braced. For worse, I guess. From my lot of my first time over doing so. Yeah. And yeah, this one was probably 10 15% of that experience. I remember the other one. I was rolling around a little. He probably was because it was so novel. Me ever had pain that areas of your body. Could we in your eyes before? Yeah. So I was more so ready for a shock. I knew what to expect. knew what to expect. That's awesome. Yeah, maybe with the happen next time, I'll be mindful to see how I feel. Because that one was just like, totally new feelings, like feeling the right side of your entire face.
CK LIN 1:08:58
Different kind of hape do. Okay, thank you similar to tobacco with a different kind of interest. They are all different. Yeah. So different ones in the future.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:09:08
Okay. Okay. Nice.
CK LIN 1:09:11
That's that's kind of look ahead a little bit. I'm curious. And then and then we'll wrap with the use of technology actually came back from trans tech. Right, where Alina actually goes quite a bit is the intersection between spirituality and technology. Right. So the whole contention is that, yeah, you can meditate for decades and achieve a certain state of bliss or inner peace. By you can use technology to kind of help you get there faster, and more predictably. Because that's what technology and science is good for predictability, right. repeatability. Yep. What's your point of view on that? You feel that, suppose there's a ultrasound device that can get you to a blissful state? In 10 minutes? Do you feel like yeah, I don't know. I didn't earn it? Or do you feel like hell? Yeah, let's do it. Like a bio hacker type?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:10:13
Yeah, no, I'm all about toys and technologies. But I do feel, you know, something like that. I think what works great in spirituality, pro taking shortcuts? Because I think they're very good at showing you what you can achieve without them. And then that way you like it shines a little bit of a light on path. Like, oh, I could be there is temporary. Same thing with like, drugs, right? It might open up something. And then you have gives you direction. I feel like so yeah, I'm I believe in that too. Like a benchmark? benchmark? Yeah.
CK LIN 1:11:00
How do you then what's the line? right between using as a benchmark? versus like an in self indulgence? Then it becomes an addiction. I must have my coffee, right? Don't talk to me until I have my coffee. Right? Right. Or, don't talk to me until I meditate or wherever you start, kind of lose that middle ground. So what what is the middle ground? For your point of view?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:11:26
That's a good question. I probably would say, again, you know, being just self observing to see where you are, whether it's something you're craving, or you're using it as a tool, like every decision, like, before, you are going to do something you will you kind of look in the words and say, What am I using this for? is this? Is this just just to do it? Or am I and then also being observant of how often you're doing it too, if this is like you're using this tool more than once a month, then maybe you're using it too much you're becoming dependent on it. Or it's just, you know, or it's just like in your arsenal of things you have. So that's how I interpret whether this is something I'm overdoing it or, you know, I need to tone it up or tone it down, like this harmony that you're talking about, with with things with tools with five.
CK LIN 1:12:35
Yeah, one of the guests that I spoke to recently, he is the managing director of this longevity project. In his own contention, the longevity longevity project is how do you increase your capacity for homeostasis. And basically range his his his whole family is it's not about sticking with your rituals every day. Because that keeps you a very specific range. It's not about depriving yourself from something every day or eating McDonald's every day. His whole thing, his whole premises actually do it all. So then create, stress your body fast. You know, do the bulletproof, whatever, but just don't do it forever. Right. That way, your body's used to that range of things very much on par with what you spoke about. You see your the extremes, right, very stressful five conference call day in doing nothing per day. Right. Right. And by speaking of that, it's I personally find it to be difficult to if I don't have it on my schedule, I just won't do it. Right. So I have to schedule it. Do you have so I want to make sure that people are listening to this are inspired by your point of view. They want to live a more extreme life as a way to push their rage, right? What kind of disciplines you have to ensure that you you do it, right versus just like I don't know, that's in flow. And
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:14:20
definitely the it's, it's a good mix of those two, I of course have my calendar. It's mainly business related. I do try to have certain practices that I'll do throughout my day to for example, you wake up and like do 10 push ups or 20 push ups or 30 push ups depends how you feel that they and so I have some constant things that I might you know, my actually get more specific concrete, is it because,
CK LIN 1:14:51
you know, people are like, Oh, I want to Yeah, I want to emulate Suren. So, tell them what they should do.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:14:57
Well, that that's that's probably like it. That's one way I like to wake up and then I'll take a shower normal. And then but then I'll turn it to cold. So I always end my showers with cold water. Make sure like head to toe. I'm covered. And now try to do that. As long as I can take it. Way better than coffee. I like coffee too. But this is like if I don't do this, like I don't feel my day doesn't start properly cold shower. Yeah, cold shower. So in the morning, that's probably a practice I'll have and then I'll also start my mornings, generally, like my favorite ways to start it is with music, finding new music. So probably this is where, you know, I go into like this mode of getting a thrill out of finding something new.
CK LIN 1:15:50
What a thrill out of finding something. Digging, I call it digging for music. So you allocate half an hour an hour just to dig for an music. Yeah.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:16:01
Yeah. All right, start with that. And I'll take a shower with music on as well. All right, like listening to new tracks that are out, right. So that that, you know, I've always had this like exploratory side, I think that it's just a spirit, I think it's probably you can develop it as well, I'm guessing, but it's also something you probably need to have as well. So then that opens it up, you know, and then when you tune into flow, then you start discovered, like spending your day almost. And week, tomorrow, you know, keep going macro. And just using that flow of things to find new things in your life, new people, new influences. So that is a mode I have throughout the day. Just try to never have the same day. basically try like always different things. I have some projects that I'll try to just divide and work on a little bit that if I just did that project that would drive me crazy. So I definitely multitask one to another. And I'll just have the same day. On the same day, I'll have like three, four long term projects that I need to work on. I do work on those. And then I mix it up with just the media things, whether it's some emails or just going around and talking to everybody a little bit, just to mix it up. Just I'm not in the same load or it I love variety. Yeah, exactly. All right, couldn't have said it better. And then when I come home, you know spend spend time and catch up and relax, obviously at home. And kind of back to a practice. I might do like the little a little bit of my breath work. And it could be anywhere. It could be just walking around the house. If I'm extra stressed. I like to like clean.
CK LIN 1:17:59
I see...restore disorder.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:18:01
Yeah, exactly. I that brings me a lot of calm and relaxation. And that has a benefit. Because you get some you get you get a nice, shiny house and organize something like something I've been wanting to organize, I'll just start organizing things. And maybe it's a little bit of an OCD. And then I like to one thing I got exposed really early on to is like Alan Watts. And I love I love going to bed with him. Helps you fall asleep. It helps me Yeah, it helps me fall asleep. It helps me like center and ground myself and remember all the things you know. And he has he speaks so incredibly well. And so why's that it's definitely it's been a good practice. It's like almost like a medic stayed with him while he's talking. And it's just a really good way to go to sleep. I feel like because his voice is like monotone and just very calm. And you know, he has a lot of pauses. And like that would be my average routine. Week.
CK LIN 1:19:21
A specific Alan Watts.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:19:24
No, I'll just go to I tried to listen to different why he's whoever is listening. Well, what which one, which out? Me he has a lot. There's a lot. So I'll just which one should they start with? It really doesn't matter. It really anything does anything. They're all they all have carry so much wisdom in it that I I love I love them all
CK LIN 1:19:45
What's wisdom. Actually, let's define that for a moment.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:19:48
Wisdom is just for me. It's just a lot of experience and knowledge rolled in together. That's just there. And it's like the right path.
CK LIN 1:19:58
A lot of knowledge rolled into the right path. pointed to the right path. Yeah, I see. Okay,
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:20:04
that I guess that's that if I had to define it, quick way that would come to mind.
CK LIN 1:20:10
Actually, I do have a few other questions for you. Because I said it was last question that I do have a few other questions. So I will see you doing cool stuff in hang around with cool people. What? What are your criteria that you use to keep the people around you one, and also for the events that you go to? Because you mentioned that you wanted to do extremes and cool events or activities? Right? You really I from my point of view, something that helps you be more alive? So I'm curious to know, what kind of criteria do you use to keep the people around you to do the things that you do?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:20:49
Hmm, good question. I haven't really thought about it, honestly. You know, I think just looking for the variety is really important to me.
CK LIN 1:21:02
So you have regular like friends, right? Where they hang out with five people if I know,
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:21:08
I have friends that like I've had, I have a friend for example, that we've been friends from high school, and we just love to debate together. So like I'll and I just love to have friends of all social classes. I love artists. You know, just because I just love differences in people. I guess that's, I really appreciate that. And then it's also such an opportunity to learn from everyone. I feel like a chameleon to with I remember from early on my mom would know which friend I'm talking to on the phone. Because she was like your you would email you would talk like them. I didn't even realize that. So that's a baby a crater like things I want to learn. And I think you learned something from everyone too. So I use every experience with people to learn something from them.
CK LIN 1:22:01
Yeah, the same guy that was speaking about earlier Joon, he said that he loves talking to people who, who's really who, who loves a specific thing, because then he can see the world through their lens. Yeah, for example, someone who loves UC Berkeley, say, Please show me the Berkeley that, you know, then as a whole, they say it's very intoxicating. It sounds like you do that. Yeah, as well. You'd like to hang out with people who was passionate was Larry loves what they do. And then you're like, please show me the is that?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:22:34
Yeah, I don't necessarily ask them for something, it just through osmosis try to it's not it's not very conscious, I think it's just being around them, I feel like just pushes my limits and, you know, really appreciate either the talents they have, or the perspective that they have, you know, kind of along the same journey said mentioned? Yeah. What resonated with when you said that, like, when I travel, I intentionally Get lost. I like to just get lost to that way in either interact or have to figure yourself out of a particular situation. That's a practice I love doing when I'm traveling. And I get to see the world from a different perspective, or, you know, you meet someone and see see things, you know, it's almost like, like a virgin with their, with their eyes and how, how the world looks for them, or if someone is going through an experience you haven't been to, but it's their first time. That's very intriguing to for me. Because I yeah, you could really relate them like, it's it's a very emotional experience. For
CK LIN 1:23:42
It's a beautiful way to live. Yeah. Always seeing the world through new eyes. Yeah, yeah. That's so cool. Well, one last question, which is the whole premise of this whole podcast, right? What does it mean to be a man in modern times? I know that we touch a little bits and pieces every where, but for the people that are listening, what do you think? Is Java man? I guess, responsibility? What was it like? And what is the role? Right, being a man in modern times?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:24:15
I think a big role would be is to cultivate courage. And because it all starts from there, like when we started talking about, right, going, choosing between positive or negative, what is the courage that shift shifts you and makes you do like one little bit extra to get to the positive side? Right? So it all starts, I think, from there. So the more you build that into yourself, and inspire others to have courage to move forward with situations and not be down on themselves? I think the the, and I feel like that's the responsibility of men to do because maybe it comes a little bit more naturally for men. And yeah, that's, that's something that that just kind of comes up.
CK LIN 1:25:18
So tactically, I want to make sure that people are inspired by your story or your narrative, but also they can try set something on themselves. Right. So what will be a tactic that someone can try on to be more courageous?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:25:33
I think that awareness of it is definitely knowing about it is very useful. And really evaluating when you're when you're making a choice, whether Is this the courageous path, or is this not the greatest path? I might? And you know, very easily we choose the, you know, the least, the least resistance path is definitely been a up mindful of it, it's usually not the most courageous path. So that is probably a tactical is just as you're making decisions throughout the day. to, to maybe bring that forward, I'd like is this the courageous path or not?
CK LIN 1:26:18
I mean, actually, one thing we didn't really talk about, I don't know if you want to kind of our edit in later. So one thing we didn't talk about is entrepreneurship, especially the American dream, right? People want to be business owners, people look up to people who build companies and have employees and knowing what you know, now, having run how many businesses you have built before.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:26:44
Oh, man, it's hard to keep track. But right now I'm running like four businesses. Right?
CK LIN 1:26:48
So okay, so historically, run probably many more, right by running right now you're running for. So they have this romanticized, you know, idea was I like to be entrepreneurship, maybe you can be knowing what you know, now, maybe you can give them a little bit of a glimpse. Yeah, what is the real deal? Because, from my point of view, you live a joyous life. from their point of view, conventionally, it's you gotta sacrifice everything, you know, sacrifice your house, sacrifice your relationship, sacrifice your friends, sacrifice your hobbies.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:27:25
There's definitely a lot of sacrifice
CK LIN 1:27:26
So share with us, right? How do you have it all? worked out?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:27:39
Yeah. Right. I mean, the first thing is passion. You got to have passion for anything, something everybody has a passion, I think, whether they've discovered it or not everyone has some talent, something that it could be the least productive thing in their mind. But finding that nurturing it practice, this thing is getting better. At that is super important. And then looking for a niche, you can apply that to something where it's not super, at least this is my, my, my process. And then applying that to niche, and sticking through it, not giving up, the beginning part is like heavy sacrifice heavy, then usually, it's about it from, from the way I've practiced, like the business piece, I would say, it's usually like the first two, three years, you have to have only sacrifice and just roll with the punches. But then every day, you just do something to move that forward, something that the next day, you would look back, and thank yourself for doing that. So every day, you just put one break, then the next day, make sure there's another brick, and you just practice that without looking at all the punches that are coming along your way. So that first few years is like the heavy sacrifices, then after that, if you didn't give up, that's when there's like this opening that happens. And it starts things start working out in your favor more and more and more and more. And it's then, you know, it's it's becomes more about going with the flow and not having too far of a direction where you need to go. You know, understanding maybe what the customer needs, because they change all the time. So you can't just be going and creating something in a black box. And then three years or five years later, you come like, hey, look at what I built, you know, the world has changed by then differently. So then it's more like every day you pick up, you kind of tune in, you have to be super to then to see what the world wants at that point. And you kind of work on that little by little every day.
CK LIN 1:30:07
So and he actually asked a follow up question there because conceptually, agree hundred percent. And when you go from zero to one, a lot of times there's not a whole lot of feedback coming your way though. Yeah, right. Eva Mas, cause it not everyone's your mice, number one, but he calls it eating glass staring into the abyss. Right? It, it's pretty lonely during that time. I would use this podcast as an example. This is my second podcast, my first podcast, I did eight episodes, there I stop, right? Because there was no feedback, then I figured people are not interested in it. And I had a whole totally different context, hence why I stopped. Hmm. So then there is a line between Yes, you know, continue to build that brick after brick every day, then you'll see new reap the rewards two years from whatever, right. But then there's also Alright, so there's no feedback. If you guys not positive, whatever I'm building, there's no, the market. Yeah, appreciating it. So where is the once again, where does that line,
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:31:15
it's your like you that's where you have you have your passion that is just driving you like I don't care whether I have feedback or not. I this is something like I need to do. It's that drive, you have a drive from that. And then your vision too, because you can't you know, build something in one day you can't it's impossible. So you, you have to go toward you'll never reach your ultimate vision. But you know, you gotta have it. Because that's, that's at least for me, that's what keeps me going. Because I know like, I'm going to reach it one day, or I'm going to get really close to it. But it's not going to be an easy necessarily short path to it.
CK LIN 1:32:00
You go in knowing that. you go in knowing that
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:32:03
Yeah, you go in knowing, I guess because I've done it now a few times. Now I know that and I don't have a personality to give up fast. I like sticking through it just like you enjoy the very stubborn Yeah, I do. I like that I like pain actually. So I can be very sad. I used to be super stubborn actually used to be I think cast has its Yeah, I realized that it was a big weakness actually being stubborn. But But I know how to go back to it at least like use it more like a tool. Yeah, I can channel it. And that's where I've like tried to use it in a more positive way than just to be an asshole.
CK LIN 1:32:44
So you weren't always this nice know your side at some point? Yeah. Oh, yeah.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:32:49
CK LIN 1:32:51
Growth process Yeah, I'm glad we're here now.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:32:54
Yeah, no, I you know, you have to go to dark places to be able to appreciate like, the bright places.
CK LIN 1:33:00
Okay, says, follow up question. Do you believe that? That's a inevitable growth developmental process?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:33:08
For me, yeah. That's just how it worked out for me. So I don't know what it's like for other people. But for me, you know, being really challenged or being really, you know, in dark places, new you just know now not to go there. Like now it's like more clear, like, Okay, this is good. This is bad. You know, just the choices become very bad, like the tree rights, multiple universes, we're talking about you quickly, if you know, you know, the this path leads, you know, this little action can continue to leading towards this darkness. You can cut that stem really quickly and choose to grow in this direction. Yeah.
CK LIN 1:33:59
Yeah, I agree. Hundred percent. It's all about developing that, you know, awareness. Know. For me, the life of darkness is filled with anger, fear, resentment. What was me victim? I'm not worthy. Whatever. Been down that road?
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:34:19
Yeah, not fun. No, there is no, there's nothing that you can gain from it other than just continuing in your downward spiral.
CK LIN 1:34:26
Well, so let me I mean, so so my point of view, the initial part is satisfying. Yeah. victim, like, I'm a victim, therefore, I don't need to take responsibility. Yep. Right, because that's the payoff, but the afterwards is terrible. It is. But the the if you flip it actually one of the guests, Paul said, it's easy to go down the path of fear and anger, because you don't need to do any work. Yeah. And but then the later cost is so much higher. But then if you keep your heart open, it takes effort to keep your heart open moment. But the payoff is almost immediate. Yeah. as well. Just a little bit longer. And then just, there's that path, and you can take
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:35:09
very articulate. Yeah, yeah, exactly. how I feel. I appreciate this.
CK LIN 1:35:15
Thanks, my friend. Yeah. Very cool.
Yeah. so much. Thank you. Hey, sorry, I really acknowledge you for sharing everything you share. I got to know you a little bit better. Mission accomplished. Thank you. And also just want a story. So intuitive. Very, very different path than my own path. But nonetheless, here we are.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:35:41
Thank you. That was that was beautiful. I feel great. All these things we got to try. And you got so much out too. Yeah, for myself and for you think Yeah, that was beautiful. Yeah, I appreciate it. I'm a big fan.
CK LIN 1:35:57
Thank you. So guys, go out and take some actions and like what Suren was saying. Try something new. Yeah, develop that awareness for courage. And then beautiful. So today.
SUREN AVUNJIAN 1:36:13
CK LIN 1:36:14
All right, listeners. Thank you so much for listening. If you have any questions about what we discussed, anything that needs to be answered, please go to noblewarrior.com/group we will be happy to answer those questions there. Take care now. Bye.