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Living on purpose - Shedding light on the slick camaraderie of the Wellness Guru and Mogul Monk- Jay Shetty

In this article, I examine the ideologies of the wellness guru Jay Shetty and his entrepreneurial nurture of self-help content that helps him build a community.

By Hridya SharmaPublished 3 months ago 6 min read

Living on purpose - Shedding light on the slick camaraderie of the Wellness Guru and mogul monk- Jay Shetty

Introduction

The world we live in thrives on the consumption of the digital realm and social media influences the way we think and behave. According to studies, 4.9 billion individuals will reportedly be using social media worldwide in 2023. Furthermore, it's predicted that by 2027, there will be 5.85 billion users worldwide. The surge of the virtual world has catalyzed the growth of media ambassadors and celebrities who are building communities around the content they sell and making fortunes over the consumption of their creations that are boosted by complex algorithms. Capitalism today is forging the world to be an open market that can prey on anyone through the realm of digital platforms.

But as we grow more connected over the digital realm, the isolation that surrounds us in our real lives often makes us fall under the trap of mental illness. A recent study predicts that consuming reels daily is now termed a neurotic disorder. The lack of authentic and genuine connection, in reality, is making us hungrier for the dopamine rush that the constant grossing over social media brings to our senses.

The influencers who earn their bread through making content on these platforms know very well how to develop their niches and sharpen their edge over the insecurities of a common individual. In recent years, self-help and wellness content has started to dominate the online space, with an abundance of wellness gurus who claim to inspire and be changemakers who want to transform society for the better. Social media is accustomed to being a place for contrasting views, where people follow misogynistic alpha creators like Andrew Tate and Joe Rogans, and there are creators like Jay Shetty and Dhar Mann that promote wellness and holistic living. The question lies here, “When all these creators are promoting their ideologies, how much can their audience rely on the transparency and honesty behind their content?

In this article, I examine the ideologies of the wellness guru Jay Shetty and his entrepreneurial nurture of self-help content that helps him build a community.

About Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty is a British podcaster, author, and life coach who was born on September 6, 1987. In addition, he helped found Sama Tea. British-Indian Shetty was raised in a Hindu family in Barnet, North London, together with his parents and younger sister. His father is an Indian from Tuluva Karnataka and his mother is a Yemeni Gujarati. He attended Queen Elizabeth's School in Barnet and then earned a degree from the City University of London's Cass Business School. Jay Shetty resides in Los Angeles with his wife Radhi Devlukia Shetty.

Shetty met Gauranga Das at business school, a monk who was asked to lecture at the institution about selflessness and leading a simple life. Shetty talked to Gauranga after his presentation and accompanied him for the rest of his lecture tour in the United Kingdom. Shetty claims to have spent four summers completing business internships and training with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, widely known as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, and three years living the life of a Vedic monk at an ashram in Mumbai, India.

Jay Shetty started up his career with Accenture, where he worked on digital strategy and coached the company's executives on social media. Shetty received honors from the Asian Media Awards 2016 Best Blog and the National Geographic Chasing Genius Council. Shetty won prizes at the 2018 Streamy Awards and the 2016 ITV Asian Media Awards. Jay Shetty started the podcast On Purpose in 2019. 64 million people downloaded the podcast in its first year. According to Forbes, On Purpose rose to become the world's top wellness podcast by Forbes.

The Game of Transparency and Authenticity- An insight into Jay Shetty’s content

If you can build muscles, you can build a mindset. As the saying goes, "Solidarity is the power of solitude." The power of love outweighs the power of will by a wide margin. There is no denial to the popularity of Jay Shetty and his wife and wellness content creator Radhi Devlukia, with his books, podcast and tea brand, his massive likeability is unquestionable. But as we ponder deeper into his work and the brand he builds for himself, the question of the authenticity of his productions is valid.

In her YouTube video, Nicole Arbour accuses the monk-turned-motivational speaker Jay Shetty of plagiarism of content and inauthentic selling of mass motivational content that does not credit the responsible author for his authentic work. The YouTube video claims many of his quotes have been stolen from famous poets, writers, and authors online and credited to his name. Another interesting part of this lies in the fact that the Youtuber spoke about Brendon Burchard- a successful author and writer who replied to Jay Shetty’s content on social media and told him to credit the responsible and true origin of the content.

The YouTuber also claimed the falsehood of him being a monk as the photograph that strives to be evidence of his monkhood was of him wearing an orange hoodie and not the orange attire of a monk.

Though the question of whether him being a monk or not is questionable, the video claims the fact that his work was plagiarized by fellow writers and authors on the internet. Copyright infringement and plagiarism are grave concerns that constitute a larger part of cyber crimes. Think like a monk- an all-time best seller serves as bait to a larger audience that serves the agenda of selling his motivational content which is a compilation of thoughts and views of other great authors and writers.

The brilliance of Jay Shetty’s online presence- an excellent marketing and public relations strategy

The British Indian self-help entrepreneur is 35 years old and has built a multimillion-dollar health empire that includes two best-selling books, a podcast, coaching seminars, courses, speaking engagements, a video production firm, and, of course, a tea brand with Ayurvedic roots. The idea of growing in love and compassion for everyone is admirable, but it will not enable a person to support their way of life.

Hence, the target audience of Jay Shetty has been young teenagers or fairly well-established individuals who fall for his campaigns. With a following of 14.8 Million on Instagram and his podcast being named the number one wellness podcast by Forbes, his marketing and PR skills are praiseworthy.

Though he is a wellness guru and motivational speaker who claims to do philanthropic work, his genius mind can be appraised as being a seasoned marketing personnel. The courses he offers claim to be benefit-worthy for the ordinary masses but only if you are ready to pay the price. With calling big names for interviews on his podcast and positioning his services as a mass beneficiary force, his business skills run deeper than his being called a motivational speaker.

The dark reality of the motivational gurus and self-help content.

Self-improvement, once the path to enlightenment, has now become a lucrative industry for self-help gurus who feed on the insecurities of people by claiming to make them better versions of themselves but only fill their pockets. According to statistics, ‘The global personal development market size was estimated at USD 43.77 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 45.92 billion in 2023’. The capitalisation on the idea of self-improvement by big industry names and self-help gurus has fed the idea of toxic positivity and has made us addicted to self-help content.

Jay Shetty is undoubtedly creating a brand. Since leaving the ashram, he has evolved into a hybrid influencer/life coach who shares knowledge and self-help tips with 72 million YouTube subscribers, 14.5 million Instagram followers, and more than 30 million Facebook users. By endorsing self-help motives, these content creators claim to heal the world but we should also not forget the fact they are not licensed or trained mental health professionals who can counsel and guide us coherently.

Conclusion

Though self-help content and influencers like Jay Shetty are promoting ideas of self-improvisation and personality development, it is important to understand that no good comes from being addicted to any form of external stimuli for internal healing and action. The self-help business, which is worth billions of dollars, ignores the root causes of problems and instead focuses on short cures that only temporarily improve consumers' moods. This leads to a vicious cycle of unhappiness and product dependence. It is high time we should understand that these social media bellwethers, who claim to inspire and help their followers are promoting their selfish interests under the name of wellness. The only solution to improve yourself and your personal development lies in internal realization and action towards our goals.

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Hridya Sharma

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    Hridya SharmaWritten by Hridya Sharma

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