July 23, 2020

078 Gopi Kallayil: Living Life At Its Fullest, Tech Evangelism, & The Yoga Of Learning

Today's guest is Gopi Kallayil, chief evangelist of brand marketing at Google, who I connected with at the opening ceremonies of Burning Man. We had an incredibly compelling conversation on human connection, persistence, and what it means to be a tech...

Today's guest is Gopi Kallayil, chief evangelist of brand marketing at Google, who I connected with at the opening ceremonies of Burning Man. We had an incredibly compelling conversation on human connection, persistence, and what it means to be a tech evangelist.

Impactful topics we discussed:

  • The common denominator of all Gopi's pursuits
  • Learning to walk towards the storm
  • Going through darkness to gain enlightenment
  • Becoming a confident public speaker
  • Learning to become doggedly persistent
  • Learning to let go of the idea of "the other"
  • How our own mortality can calm our anxiety
  • Understanding the inner-net of human connectivity
  • Being an evangelist of the tech industry
  • Translating internal awareness to external awareness


Full Episode

Insightful Clips

What is the Common Denominator Of All Your Pursuits? - Gopi Kallayil

So if you look at everything that you're involved with, what would you say is the common denominator amongst all of them?

Well, the common denominator is I would say most importantly to live life at its fullest and explore it in whatever dimension that calls out to you. I think we are blessed with the wonderful imagination, brain creativity, opportunities, access, no matter what your circumstances.

I think we all are in. Just if you're blessed with life, you're blessed with, a number of different opportunities and things that happen around you. So live life at your fullest to whatever extenuating circumstances terms you use the underlying theme. But part of it is also, I think we have both the freedom, the responsibility, and the opportunity to take full advantage of each of our talents and interests.

And I would say that would be the underlying theme: testing the boundaries of what is possible, where can you go with your deep interests and passions and your curiosity?

Because on the one hand, you'd say that writing a book of the kind of written may have nothing to do with burning man or maybe kirtan music.

This might be true and there's nothing wrong in these interests me very disparate and seemingly even disconnected the one hand more formal secular career trajectory yet. A company like Google or strategy consulting seems as far away from exploring counterculture fringe festivals. But to me, all of those are within the realm of possibilities.

You'll get to live one life. So live it the way you want to own it and live it.

Hmm. I love that. So a commitment to explore what's possible. That is the atomic unit. That's the seed that allow you to do all these different kinds of thing.

And what calls out to you as well? What is possible and what, calls out to you at that point in time?

So five years ago, I don't think like this kind of musical exploration is part of my journey, but since then it does evolve and that we change.

I know building physical things is not part of it for some reason at this point. don't seem to, but maybe it's that kind of sculpture, design, industrial. Welding may call out to me four years from now. And that may be a direction that I may want to move it.

Maybe you write another book on welding, the zen of welding, kind of like the Zen of motorcycle maintenance.

Exactly. I remember reading it, when I was growing up and, but three times, Yeah, partly because I had to read it three times, really understand what Robert per Sigma say.

and, and also because I greatly enjoyed it, this juxtaposition of an adventure with the sun on a road bike, B mountain, someone Pana while he was going mad, literally like in the end, I think he ended up, in an asylum, at least for a portion of the time. And yet exploring very deep philosophical constructs was just brilliant.

Learning To Walk Towards The Storm - Gopi Kallayil

as you're speaking, I'm calling it my personal heroes journey as well. You know, my younger days, I want to skip the pain altogether. I want to hack on the shortcut. I want the, Hey, I can learn someone else's lesson, but from my personal experience. I could have learned it on the intellectual way, but really embodying it, really understand the nuance and really gaining compassion and empathy to it. I have to go through it. There's no way to skip it. Would you agree?

I completely agree. And although one thing has changed CK that I had to go through life experience to get to the point earlier.

I would fear those. I would shy away from it. They terrorized me. But now I just accept them as things coming to you to teach you something.

So walk towards them. And the metaphor I use is I am going to walk towards the storm.

And in fact, in my first book, the inner-net to the internet, I talk about open with the story of the American bison, which there was a documentary made about it. And I think it goes on public television called facing the storm.

And it earned that nickname because it is the one animal that when a winter storm approaches on the Plains of the, I guess the Midwest, or a place like Montana, where the bison thrived and lived., all other animals in nature, flee the storm and try to go the other way because they see a storm approaching.

The American bison is one animal that'll actually turn towards the storm and walk into the storm because it understands that the sooner walks into the storm, the sooner it can be out of it on the other side. and I love the metaphor.

In fact, the place that the building I worked in on a particular project at Google, the head of the project, one of my mentors actually told a story.

That's where I learned from. And he had a big stuffed Worsham off a bison installed in the lobby. So as we walk through it, it reminds us of facing the storm and walking towards the storm.

Every Philosopher Had To Go Through Darkness To Gain Enlightenment - Gopi Kallayil

do you feel that that level of conscious awareness or conscious awakening requires that suffering that intensity, that challenges that we all face as humans?

Yes, it does. I believe so. You have to go through. we've been at what they call the darkness of your soul before you break through.

And in nature, the analogy is the most quoted when they talk about is what happens in the evolution of the butterfly. Here's a Caterpillar, this creepy crawly little thing that most people would shy away would not want to touch and get anywhere near. And how can that little worm like being with, 50 or 60 legs? How many whole legs caterpillars have, or maybe they don't have legs? But in a centipede style.

So they belong to that category of being suddenly get transformed, go through the Caicos stage and then eventually become a butterfly.

And now everyone wants to touch it and photograph it and want the same being that transmuted to come and sit on their hands.

But the butterfly didn't just manifest like that. It had to start at a Caterpillar, pushed through certain growth phases to get there.

And, you have all philosophers, you would see have their, exploration creed darkness moment, whether it's, Jesus in 40 years in the desert or Buddha wandering away from his gilded palace and going hungry and sitting in silence on under the Bodhi tree for 40 days before he gets enlightened.

So I think as humans we have to, and that's where usually I've had met breakthroughs, I didn't call for the situation. those times I really felt this was not the life I chose, but this is the life I've been given. And I had to take what that life that I've been given when things completely fall apart and through that, then you have a breakthrough to the next level.

And often people will say that it's when they lost the job or when the company crumbled or when they had to fold the startup that they've founded and raise money and build it with great love and dreams for 10 years. And then it had to completely wind down or they have a huge relationship problem, or a parent dies that they have that breakthrough moment.

From Being Terrified To Winning Public Speaking Contests - Gopi Kallayil

And then what would you say was the, the wounds now you had to overcome that hit the integrate in what you earn your superpower.

Yeah. I know it's an awkward and difficult question to answer. So probably may not even answer it because you're asking me to label something in me and say it that's my super power. That seems like such an ego statement.

What am I capabilities?

Yeah. Yeah. Extra capabilities. Super capability.

Well, there are several, the one that would stand out and that often has been coming to mind I have, and it's a completely learned skill. I've become a good presenter, communicators speaker, enforcement, in the English language and English is my third language I could learn.

So. And I spoke it in a very awkward way in a rapid fire fashion because of my mother and Malala, how it's spoken and, and the way I would pronounce a word, the speed with which I would, the cadence, all that made me unintelligible, but I'd or come all that and become a confident public speaker presentation. it's a Skill most people fear the most you can put in front of an audience and speaking to 2000 people.

Terrifies most people. And initially I did too, but I walked towards the storm and no matter how much my throat dries up felt parts, he said I'm will learn the skill. And one way I know is that you ask somebody and say, where do you learn the skill? Who can teach it to you? And they would make an introduction connection. So that's all I did.

And eventually I found my way to a little worldwide organization that helps people learn public speaking at a mastery level called Toastmasters. And that was a huge, made a huge difference. And I say that even the name is an odd one. I say it's, it's like alcoholics anonymous for people for speaking problems.

So that was my, advent into it, but it's led over the years and just, all I did was consistently show up, pick up one more skill, look at one more mentor. And over time it led me to actually compete in the world championship of public speaking,

no kidding. you Competed.

Those are the trophies behind me actually. And the one that is, it looks like.

Yeah, it's really plastic, but I said lucite. Maybe it's lucite, it, but you can't see it here because of the light. That's my proudest one. That's when in 2018, I ended up top 20 in the world from among 35,000 competitors in 145 countries from 45 countries. So, but it's not just, it's not about winning the trophy.

So what picking up a skill, a talent. To tell stories to be persuasive and charismatic on stage and hold people's attention and move them to action to make them believe in something. And I've used that skill, in two dimensions at work.

What I do for google at many levels can use that skill to talk to senior leaders of our largest customers and make them understand a point of view around the digital technology and transform the business and hence my title and role and why I'm dressed like this because I had a couple three meetings that came today and I just thought they were like With global companies, senior level.

And even though I'm doing it from home, I thought I just want, I wanted to shop in a certain way. Sure. But that's how the professional side it's helped me pivot my career around that skill. And I realized how much it's a sought after skill, particularly in my industry to be able to take these complex concepts and demystify it for a business audience at a leadership level.

But secondly, it's also given me a platform outside of work. To able to speak and bring out a messages that I want to deliver. And that's what led to five TEDx talks by now, hundreds of speaking opportunities around the world. I travel all over the world and get the speaker again. I would probably do it two X that level, I'm going to post COVID of course.

but you know, due to my work circumstances, I have to limit the number, but otherwise I get invited all the time and that's quite an honor.

I'm deeply touched by it because to me again, it's not about ego. It's about an amazing opportunities. Other humans beings. So giving to me and I. I tell myself if I'm on stage for an hour, doing a keynote with in front of, let's say a thousand people or 10,000 people, all of which I've done.

so for, let's say, let's say large scale audience of 10,000 people. You do a keynote. It's two hours of your time, but it's 20,000 hours. They're giving back and exchange 20,000 hours of attention. So this is an unfair value. You getting so much love back and you take this way very seriously. and therefore I do follow some rule that my professional coaches have taught me that for you put in two hours of work for every minute on stage.

If you are going to be speaking for an hour, you better be prepared to put in 120 hours of work, which seems like a lot, except when you realize that they are putting in 20,000 hours of their time, sometimes of rehearsals preparation, checking with the host six drive from a lot of time. So I would say that would be one skill that I've had.

Picked up all the years and that's, if you could call it, quote unquote super power, but I just think of a talent of blessing that I've been given that has really served me well in my personal and professional life.

And still being communication is one of the key drivers of how we live and function. You can have the most amazing talent. You can have the most incredible ideas and a genius brain. But you are both judged, perceived, and the effect you can have on other people, your ability to influence and persuade. It's all dependent on how well you can articulate and communicate the point of view, that idea. And either people will listen and will get moved by it, or they, they won't get the message. They won't pay attention to your message.

I love that. So, inside of what you said, there's a few different points. I want to highlight that. So you pull on this thread of this commitment to acquire new skills, you lean into it, and then you follow that curiosity.

And then you, And then you reframe the work that you had to do as a way to earn the 20,000 hours of attention that the audience is on gifting you. Yeah. I really like a mental model. Cause in my mind, I'm a Toastmaster as well. Good. And I competed as well. They didn't get to the world stage, but I competed regionally.

In my mind, I was thought, Oh man, there's like hundreds of hours of work for just 10 minutes, 20 minutes.

But that framework of actually people giving you, gifting you their attention, it's a beautiful for my cerebral mind to make that calculation.

Running My First Marathon Taught Me The Power Of Persistence - Gopi Kallayil

you know, the format of the conference itself. It's a seven minutes, 30 second speech. And by the time of the semifinals of the world championship. I had done it more than a hundred times in front of live audiences as part of my practice and learning. Cause that's the only way you can make it better. You would record it each time and watch it.

So I had this crazy routine that, I would find live audience, any live audience that is willing to listen to my seven minutes, 30 second speech I would sign up for. That means I had to drive all over the. San Francisco Bay area up and down, and I would do it lunchtime. I would do it evenings. I would do it weekends.

And in some cases I would catch a flight just to get one seven minutes, 30 seconds speaking opportunity

wow, that's dedication

audience, like at the regional conference, they invited me to come and speak and be the keynote speaker as part of it, they said, you can do this feature also. And then I would record the talk, send it to my coach in Chicago.

That's prescient vessel of the 2000. There are people, world champion. And then Friday after work, I would fly out and stay in a hotel. So I could practice with him like Saturday, Sunday, and fly back. And I did weekend after weekend. it.

I Don't know how I got through that period, but it can get very obsessive at least to actually a second skill that I picked up along the way is to be doggedly persistent.

And I learned this after I did my first ever marathon. And before that I'm not an athlete, maybe stretch of the imagination. Some of the culture I grew up in sport to get good scores, math test, then a shine on the basketball court. That's just how Indian culture is. And then growing up in India, the emphasis was not on sports, but Academy excellence, particularly math and sciences and get into a professional degree course.

So, but when I came here, actually by stumbled across the finish line. lovely speaking. I was not running it at the central park of the New York marathon. I just happened to be in central park at the time. And I didn't realize it as the day of the New York city marathon. And I saw all these people go by and I had a certain imagination of the kind of people who probably run marathons.

And what I saw was these were not elite athletes. These were people who were on wheelchairs and crutches and, people with all types of body types were finishing the marathon. And that's what I said, that they can do it. I should be able to do it. It took me several years to sign up, finally signed up and I did it.

It took a lot of training and having a coach and working with a team, et cetera. But I stumbled across the finish line in a time that is not flattering at all.

And again, it proved once again, I'm not an athlete, but all I cared was that I had to get across the finish line, but it taught me the power of setting a goal and being persistent about it and getting to it. And they started bringing that approach to other things, including the winning, the toastmasters, not winning, getting to sit in the top 20, that didn't happen automatically. It first started competing with me almost 17 years before I got to that state.

And I'm still not done because I've not won outright. And the back there is a gap and that gap is for the actual championship trophy. But I don't care if it takes 20 years or it doesn't happen in my lifetime. Again, the goal is knocked out, right? When a piece of plastic you can put on your bookshelf, but to constantly keep pushing saying, can you better get better at it this year than the previous year?

So that sorts of dogged pursuit and knowing this is you're doing this for the long haul and you're competing only against yourself. And the game is never. All work E it just the ending Scotto work. So there's one more inning that you can give yourself if you're pursuing a goal, is another, I would say using your terminology, superpower, that just life experience has taught me.

Yeah. Thank you. And I think the listeners who are watching this are so getting the, the path of learning. The context of learning those as well as the path of learning they're complex is that this is not as a way to win some metals or plastic things or acknowledgement. This is a path of self actualization, self realization.

Learning To Let Go Of The Idea Of The "Other" - Gopi Kallayil

So can you talk a little bit more about that? The magic of Gopi a bit. I know it sounds a little egoic, but if you can hone in on the X factor. And that event, I think it's worth discussing.

Yeah. so I, I don't know what is it that, you know, particular refer to the magic of Gopi, but I'm getting a sense of what you might be referring to, or that particular host was introducing me.

but I'm not laying all the seek is that simple notion that everyone is human. And everyone is worthy and everyone is amazing. And the culture I grew up here also created that everyone is divine. So actually the collection of divine beings in different human experiences and it's the exact same divine being, and it's different instances. Soffit, there are. A hundred billion humans that have walked this planet are currently still here.

What 7.4 billion, but an estimated a hundred billion from the first time almost sapien stood upright and started walking. And, all those hundred billion are considered like various instances of just amazing human beings, divine beings in the human form. So you stuck with that sense of connection. And essentially if I were to use in a podcast like this, I've used use a sense of love.

And what you're so practicing of yoga, particularly yoga philosophy has taught me is as much as possible lose that sense of the other and find, lose that sense of separation and find a point of connection. And that's the very meaning of the word. Yoga means to join, to join yourself with everyone else and find excellence eventually to a larger cosmic consciousness.

approach every gathering, every situation with that, all you feel is a deep sense of connection and a deep sense of love and empathy and compassion. You don't wanna see separation. You don't want to see the other. And then you're a lot more forgiving, very little, few things annoying you. Of course, people are there unique ways of approaching it and they have the behavioral things and things may trigger you, et cetera.

That's normal. You're also just being human. But underlying all that you're able to just acknowledge the fact that, you know, there is this connection interdependency amongst us, and that creates a certain spaciousness that creates psychological safety, that creates certain beauty and then things start flowing magic happens, and you can have fun with it.

Then you're not uncomfortable in any situation. You're not nervous about it. And if things don't work the way you wanted it to, in that human interaction, in the energy that's hockey, you let it go. And because, you know, everything is fleeting and everything is transcript. So it's that sort of an approach that allows me to operate with that kind of, I would say spaciousness, and for the most part, it works like it chills everyone.

And, and to get there, you also shouldn't take yourself way too seriously. Yeah. I think life is too important to be taken seriously so that, that way, when you act in a disarming way with your own could be as simple as self deprecating sense of humor or doing things that are little wild and crazy. but done for fun. It gives permission to everyone else to do that.

So give an example in real terms, practical terms, how it goes from the outrageous to what might be possible.

So you go to burning man. That's where we met and I've gone 15 years. This would have been my 16th year. Why do I go?

One of the reasons is it's this artificial container that exists for a week. Everyone has given permission to just be themselves in whatever way they want creative freedom, life expression freedom, et cetera. Right. Everyone who shows up, especially the people who've been going there for a while, do that. And the silliness of it all and what people are wearing and what form they take on.

Is it doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. And therefore is beautiful because the instant you go there, you're the very first time people don't even know what the festival is would arrive and change. They watch and say, Oh, I can be that way. Right. So that's sort of a norm. Now it's easy because that container money men permit sit and that's how it got created.

And that's how it's thrived for 30 years. That's why only a certain type of person gets attracted to it.

It's not for everyone, not everyone is at that level of comfort or a thinking, but elements often you can bring to other situations also.

So, I have walked into business meetings here at work and in with some of my burning man attire, I did one last week was presenting to a group of fairly senior clients that had crazy hat and jacket on. And a part of what I'm asked, you know, I have to do these kinds of conversations, really create magic with the products we building, the ideas we're exploring said, we will explore, but let's start with some little magic. And that actually did a magic trick. And then we're out of the hat. I pulled out their product and it was, it is fun. It is a little silly, but instantly use permission to everyone say, relax, let's be ourselves and have a really good conversation.

And most difficult business conversations take place when people are relaxed, having fun. That's when you learn, that's when creativity flows, that's when ideas explore, but not to get people to that stage, I had to take the little bit of a risk of doing something on the edge and that, so I was bringing a concept I might have learned from burning man into the situation.

First I give myself permission, take the risk. It could bomb, it could go the other way, but it's not going to kill me. It actually worked very well. And, yeah. We had so much fun and amazingness in that, meeting and conversation. Hmm.

I like that. So if I understand you correctly, you constantly are putting yourself or create situations where you're putting yourself at the edge.

That requires a little bit of a risk that requires a little bit of, courage, right. And then as a way to strengthen your own a muscle or permission, whatever you call it as a way to take bigger and bigger risks, is that accurate?

well only partially. let me restate exactly what I'm saying. So the idea is not to put yourself on the edge or take risks just for the sake of saying, can I take a risk or can I be on the edge ideas to create these kinds of environments where I said, make a disarming, made it a little fun, give people permission.

But to do that, you have to do something that may be slightly on edge or unconventional. You're not doing it to get the edge or to take a risk. You're doing it to get to that end state. And therefore at risk or being alleged is just an intermediate step. If there is a way by which you can do it without taking the risk without doing, going to that edge, that's fine too.

So for example, there are meetings that have done research. You know, before we get into the business topic led to sit down and meditate for a few minutes. And five years ago that would've been seen going, taking a risk going on nature, but not today. People do it all the time.

Let's ground ourselves. It will be seen as a little new age woowoo stuff, but a very normal in San Francisco or California and almost expected tech company

The Overview Effect Helps With Becoming Courageous - Gopi Kallayil

I love that. Thank you. So what I'm hearing you say is effectively you, you have a mantra, a mantra of like my mental Mori.

I hae all this is impermanent. At some point, even as Alexander, the great Gangas Kahn, even people like that they're left with just a rubble somewhere in the house. Yeah.

Yeah. Also we, we, we pay so much attention to the significance of our life and our stories, but it's just a tiny speck in the overall scheme of things.

I mean, right now in this moment and we sitting here feeling very super important and on this podcast on social media, how many people actually plus one that, and did I get 5,000 likes with metrics by which we measure our worthiness, but if you look at it at one level, it, it does not matter. C K w w right now we are this giant universe.

Our earth is spinning at this incredible speed on its axis and moving around, right? And on this planet, all of a sudden there are 7 billion office or close to 8 billion on this planet doing our little thing right now, in this moment, sleeping, walking, doing a job, repairing something, making food, and. And this earth is just this very tiny planet.

One Milky way. That's running in the largest Milky way. And just in this planet alone, there are thousands tens of thousands of stars in our solar system, our sun that, and this Milky way is just one of millions of galaxies that are out there, the universe, I mean the extent so that we can't even peer the outreach, we don't have the Normans travel there.

We don't have the devices in telescopes. The best we, I was the James Webb telescope, right. Which only allows us to see a certain distance and not beyond that, that is the vastness, that gigantic nature of this. This thing that the occupy universe we occupied and the midst of this, this is one tiny lonely planet.

And only one we think there is life on the that probably, you know, who knows what's going on in the other places. And even here, like I said, there are closer to a hundred countries, seven, 8 billion of us walking around and in the midst of all this sits this life of mine. And yet the construct, my head is in the midst of all of this, there is me.

What do you not see? Right. So at some level of find that it's silly, it's, eh, it's not going to trivialize anyone's life, but just put that in context. And when you realize that, then you realize, yeah, my life is just one tiny speck in this larger story. And the world is just less than a microsecond of attention on my life.

So then there's nothing to fear. I just do it for my own enjoyment and pleasure for the most part.

I love that. Thank you for sharing that. And I think having that kind of mindset allows you and also people who are listening to this will actually just calm their internal noise, bring that equanimity , calm that anxiety towards the future where equipments of the past and things like that, and just live the life as best as they can in this moment.

So I appreciate that.

Enrich Your Inner-Net, Enrich Your Life Experiences - Gopi Kallayil

what is a core idea of what you want to bring forth and, and how, how do you get to that truth? in my mind, there's a core truth that we live in any record in my mind, it requires work to get there.

So CK right now if you look into this world for the most part, and if you are some sort of access some sort of resources, generally the acceptances and important tool that we all get. The use that we all benefit from that is extremely useful and necessary in our life is the internet, this entire collection of information, technology services, et cetera, that are available to us, whether it's entertainment or education or information.

But in the midst of all of that, the point of view that I'm evangelizing is that the most important resource we get to use, the single most important resource we get to use is the inner-net by mean our physical body, our brain, our mind, our consciousness, our heart, and.

The inner-net or this collection of technology or systems, and you're a PhD in biochemistry so you know this well.

This is extremely sophisticated and complex. What's going on here for each individual and collectively the way we grow in the way our mental processes develop in the way, why one person becomes smart benevolent genius another person becomes a smart, dangerous genius. Another person becomes completely deranged. We deal don't quite understand all of this, right?

But all of this, we see it happening. Why, so how people can transmute anger to solving a problem or to violence, et cetera, et cetera, I can keep going.

But this is a very complex system that we barely understand, which is why we're struggling with so many problems in our life today, including violence and disparity and we are one species that seemed to have a larger share of it. Yeah. So this is, this is a super important technology.

The two aspects to it is all of a life experience has to be filtered by this layer. This inner-net, there is no life experience we have outside of it. You eat lunch today, this system has to digested and convert into energy. If you're listening to these words coming out of your mouth, you're looking at my words. You're looking at my expression by gestures and then processing in a certain way.

And if there were six people in front doing it, then the six people will walk away with slightly different impressions. Some people might be compassionate believers. Some people might walk away totally skeptical, even though you all have access to the exact same words and expressions and gestures, visually auditorily.

Why is that? Because you are inner-net processing differently. So, or if it's a piece of music, listen to our movie, you watch book, you read doesn't matter. There is no life experience we have outside of the system and can be very different in the exact same situation.

The second is we go through life and most everyone wants to use this life to express themselves. And we call it self expression and the self expression can be, I want to create the next great musical hit too. I want to write a business plan too. I just want to cook amazing lunch for my lover to I want to redecorate my house, whatever it is, we are constantly expressing ourselves and all of our expression, whether it's physical, mental, intellectual, from the food you cook to the idea you develop to a song that comes from your throat has to come from this inner light in their technology, right? There is no self expression outside of it for each person.

So therefore just logically arguing again, you're a PhD and you've very familiar with the rational analytical process of deductive decision-making. So putting these two things together, you can reach the conclusion very quickly that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of how this inner technologies maintain.

If you know how to keep an operating and running this inner technology in a peak state, you experience life at a peak state because all life experience has to come from this layer and you express yourself at a peak state because all self-expression also comes from this layer, and this is making sense.


absolutely irrefutable. It's just very logically our give point and support. So how do you put this into technology into a state of peak performance? And this is where the operating manual is already available.

You and I don't have to figure it out. All of the people who've gone behind in the past that we have long forgotten whose names we don't remember have left tiny footprints and use the manuals for us. And that's what evangelize about. Take charts, take an unconditional responsibility for this, and only you can do it.

Someone else can guide you a little bit. But most of the work has to be done by you. And this is our principal responsibility and you're not doing it for the good of the world. It's the world will move on and keep repeating. If I can even forget, you're leaving behind. Remember you and I are tiny specs that we, you, I don't know what you, I'm not even going to get the little turtle reminder monument. I can standing that at least for Jenny Scott and God. So I know not even a turtle stone turtle for me. So the only reason you do it is for your own sake, your own growth, your own development, that your own personal journey.

Being An Evangelist Of The Tech Industry - Gopi Kallayil


Well, one, how would you define evangelist as a word and two, how are you diving or digging into who you are and expressing your truth.

Yeah. the title evangelist it's commonly used in the tech industry, but for most people, it trips them apart because it's used in the, in the context of religious Christian evangelism and the term.

I look at it the way the word gurus used or originally guru used to be it's a word for literally it means teacher in sanscript, but almost always, it seemed to be associated with, teachers of spiritual wisdom and therefore was a mental construct. There was a man and older, bearded, and dressed in orange, right. Living in a it's called an ashrum in a monastery. That was the word with guru, but then in Indian, Indian culture gurus also used for music teachers and dance teachers, but still associated with the sacred arts.

And now it has spread people say, Oh, he's a artificial intelligence guru, or she is a biochemical guru. it sort of extends to other areas as well, same way.

The idea of an evangelist, look at someone who believes so passionately being a point of view, and they're able to speak about it in a persuasive manner, in a compelling manner. And in that process, get you to believe their point of view. So the reason the tech industry uses it, usually a lot of innovation that comes out of the tech industry is disruptive.

I know old model has to be completely shed away and the new model has to be adopted and you have to be one of the first early believers in it. And then you have to argue for that point of view before you can get people to believe in it. And that's where the term comes from.

so classic examples of that as 10 years ago, I've told you that the number of auto accidents that is cost. And that happens in each year in the world is about 1.8 million. 97% of them costs by human error. People fall asleep on the wheel. They drink and drive. They get distracted. They are on the phone. So therefore, if we take the human out of the picture, we should have safer streets.

Let's have cars without humans driving around there don't seem preposterous. Have nobody would have believed you that's even possible. Stop wasting my time. And that somebody had to believe and evangelize that idea and persuade and get people to rally around it and invest the technology, the platforms, et cetera.

Before we could have had the first self driving car on the road. And now it's not only reality, it's being tested right. Fully automonous way are on the road. Going through their testing phase.

And that's what I mean by you gotta be evangelical about it. And that's where the term comes from.

In my case, what I'm evangelizing is I meet with the, senior leaders, people at the C level of the big customers, clients that we have and have to make them believe in that their entire business model in the way they deal with the customers and every aspect of the product, no matter what industry they're in is being disrupted and has to be transformed by a layer of digital and how they should go about it.

When You Marry Understanding With Conviction, You Are Unstoppable - Gopi Kallayil

And in my mind, it takes a lot of work to get there. how did you arrive that truth personally, as well as, what process you took to translate that internal awareness to the external? And, and I say that because a lot of people have an understanding of what they want to say, but they couldn't define it for themselves and also to express it to someone else.

Yeah. So it goes through stages CK the first is just realization of the proof you, and you have to know that there's a moment of awareness when you come to conclusions around this. And, and, and the realization I notice is in two States first, you realize that here you have an intellectual awareness of the truth.

You can frame it. You can articulate, you can put words around it. And then there is the emotional awareness of the coop when you feel it, when in a deep down in the heart, you know it, and that's when it goes from a simple intellectual understanding to conviction. And when you have conviction on anything you're unstoppable in your belief system. So that is being aware of the truth.

The second is. Is to have, experiential data behind it. You need to have gone through the experience. You need to live the truth. You need to have gone up against the untruth behind that particular situation to realize. So this has not served me well. And, it's an iterative process and experientially. You have to, and that's where it really goes from the intellectual understanding to that experiential.

And this is why we have the kind of training that's given to doctors, for example, and that's why it's so rigorous. You don't have weekend online programs by which you can become a doctor and they're taught certain facts of the human body and disease management, and these are known or currently known pieces of information are shared. We don't just tell it to them and say, you graduated, go, go do open heart surgery on CK or Gopi. Then why they go through the very intense residency program because experientially and they have to go through hundreds of situations.

It's like, go work in the ER room, whatever comes up, deal with it. And when you have gone through 172 ER. trauma cases coming in experientially, you understand certain things about, the human body and trauma and how to deal with it, right? That's why they have that kind of a training system.

So using the same analogy, each one of us has to go through life residency, and you can pick up the great texts and learn and attend lectures and sit in workshops and wonderful one burning men tend to another listening to panels.

But you have to go through the life experience. And then, when you've gone through that and your deep rooted conviction and a passionate belief that comes to the point when you have the urge to tell it to others, when you feel compelled to it, there's an old Ethiopian saying when your heart is full, it overflows through the mouth.

When your heart is full, it all flows through the mouth. Meaning when you are filled with your heart, with these life experiences, there comes a time. When I say, I want to package this, this is a message. I got to give it to other people. And that's when you may want to speak about it, you may never reach that stage.

You might still be testing it. There's no expectation. The world does not need, this is more your own innate need or it's to transmit

i love that.

Yeah, which is why, I mean, it seems like a, who would ever want to do it, right? This is the first thing that comes, who would ever want to do it. It seems why take the trouble?

This is what a book represents. Every book is that expression of something people want to say and how many other and estimated 36 million books. And you're a stopping wander, right. And no one goes to physical libraries and bookstores are few and far between, but I bring up that analogy because it existed at one point.

That or look at the Amazon catalog. Look at the number of books listed. Each one is an attempt by someone to present a persuasive message or idea of what relationships about thermodynamics, about their view of history about, ayuvedic cuisine, whatever it is.

They're like, I need to get this out. This is my expertise. I have so much knowledge, a body where some human somewhere spent time understanding, learning mastery, all of this. And then they will want to transmit it and having written two books.

I know this is not for the faint of heart and only have two books and not 20. I've had to reach for 11. It's a hard process. The first one took me 10 years to write. And the second one, three, four years.

And yet people do it the same way. Look at platform like creative platform, like. Let's say YouTube and they use it as an example because they're not familiar with it. I'm close to it. It's owned by alphabet, Google every hour, 400, every minute, 400 hours of video gets uploaded to the platform every minute.

What this means in human scale is. I am starting to speak the sentence. And as I continue to speak the sentence, and if I were to take a minute to finish this sentence CK in this instant right now, human beings are uploading videos. And when I finished the sentence, like right now, all of these videos that just happened in this incident will take us 400 hours to watch.

And the next minute it happens again, another 400 of us. And the next minute, this is constantly happening.

And if you examine those videos, these are people again, transmitting messages, it's creative, the dancing, the singing, and doing cooking shows. They're teaching someone how to speak Spanish or to make carpentry work, or they're explaining the great theories of, or the explanation behind the first three yoga sutras. So potentially whatever it is they choose to. They're like, I have a body of knowledge. I want to propagate. I want to communicate and solve for free. Right?

a few people make, maybe save money off it. Most people don't, but they're uploading beauty tips and tutorials. And some of it just a gifted away, some of it for hopefully fame and celebrity status. Some people want many, many likes. And none of us are mad or anywhere. So said we'll all be a pilot this summer. So, so, but still be chasing it, we pursue it and that in it need. So I'm not the only person who is chief evangelist of something say sure, those are examples of everyone is evangelizing something out there.

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