Episode #79: Knowing Where to Look with Light Watkins

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Wellness visionary & inspirational speaker, author of Let Your Fears Make You Fierce, & Founder of The Get Loved Up Community. My core mission is to promote daily self-care, oneness & eco-friendly living.

Hi, I'm Koya

Hello love, it’s good to have you here with me today.

This episode is special because we’ll be talking about taking a leap of faith and finding the answers to our life’s purpose.

Are you feeling that life is becoming monotonous? That there seems to be a lack of fulfillment, and that there is a different calling waiting for you to take a different path? It’s true: it’s hard to leave our comfort zones, and it can be tempting to stay there. As a result, we end up living a repetitive life without growth, and with a lack of excitement and thrills. Sometimes, all it takes is a leap of faith to get us out of our comfort zones and start on a new, yet strange path towards our  life’s calling.

I have an amazing guest today, Light Watkins, who took a leap of faith to live a one-bagger life. In this episode, he will share with us his captivating story and how his journey led him to a life of fulfillment, making an impact on others through his daily doses of motivations.

Who is Light Watkins?

Light Watkins is an inspirational coach with more than two decades of experience in the meditation space. He started first as a practitioner in 1998, then as an apprentice to a Vedic Meditation teacher, and finally as a transformational leader, a lifestyle coach, and a daily yoga instructor, helping people with simple tools to improve their happiness. 

He is also a keynote speaker who has delivered more than 500 hundred wellness talks across the globe since 2007. He’s had various speaking engagements with top companies like Apple, Facebook, Dollar Shave Club, and Soho House, among others. He also conducts several retreats on meditation and happiness. His retreats are usually sold-out.

In 2014, Light Watkins founded The Shine Movement. It is a global pop-up variety show that puts ordinary people in the spotlight, sharing their talents as a way of giving back in meaningful ways to the world. He is also the host of At the End of the Tunnel, a popular wellness and health podcast featuring dedicated philanthropists and creatives helping people uplift their lives.

Light Watkins is a highly respected author. His first book, The Inner Gym, is a 30-day transformation workout for strengthening happiness. In his other book, Bliss More: How to Succeed in Meditation Without Really Trying, he debunked the biggest myths and misunderstandings around meditation while providing the tools to E.A.S.Y, which is an acronym for Embrace, Accept, Surrender, and Yield. 

His most recent book,  Knowing Where to Look: 108 Daily Doses of Inspiration, is a collection of exercises, essays, and inspiring stories to activate your inner guidance. It sums up everything he’s done since 2016 when he launched the Light’s Daily Dose of Inspiration, an email subscription to counterbalance the everyday negativity in life.

The year 2018 was a life-changing moment for Light when he decided to become a nomad. He sold all of his belongings and started practicing minimalism by living out of  a single backpack: 

“I consider myself more of a hunter-gatherer than a nomad.” – Light Watkins

While living the life of a self-proclaimed hunter-gatherer, Light continues to make an impact on others and on the communities around him. He created an online hub, The Happiness Insiders, that serves as a supportive and fun place for inspiration and joy where people can learn the skills to recharge, navigate stress, and revive their spirit while guiding towards their purpose in life.

Knowing Where to Look

We’ve all experienced some crossroads in life. During those times, it can be hard to decide which path to take. There are people who may encourage us to take paths that don’t feel like they fit our innermost desires. In the end, we can spend years contemplating and reflecting on our passion, happiness, and life purpose, forgetting about the most important part, which is to take meaningful actions. We are afraid of failure and criticism. We are also afraid of making mistakes that might lead us to embarrassment, leading us to stay in our comfort zone and always contemplating our life purpose. 

“If something hits your heart in the right way, you don’t even think twice about it. You’re like, ‘Okay, I’ve got to do it.’” – Light Watkins

Sometimes, all we need to do is take just one action. It could be a diet change, a lifestyle modification, taking daily yoga classes, or working on a new hobby: just anything you love to do. For Light, he chose to live a nomad life, which made a major shift in his career.

“I became nomadic. … I sold all my stuff, and now I’m living out of a backpack. … And [when] people hear that … they think to themselves, ‘Oh! That’s really extreme,’ or, ‘I don’t know if I could do that.’ And that’s because you don’t want that to be the first time you follow your heart. You want to follow your heart with little things.” – Light Watkins

There are times you are afraid to do something different because you are looking at the bigger picture, which seems impossible to do. You have to understand that whatever you are aspiring to accomplish won’t happen overnight. It may take days, weeks, months, or even years to achieve your dreams. When some people know the challenges of living a nomadic life, they would say it is something impossible for them to do, when in fact, it is actually something doable by just taking one step at a time.

“All these little things, … they add up, and then after a while, they will become your new norm.” – Light Watkins

Living a nomadic life was a leap of faith for Light Watkins. It is not a common path, unlike having a corporate job, being an accountant, a lawyer, or an artist in the suburbs. It is living with practically nothing but a single backpack, which allows him to detach himself from worldly possessions and live a simple, yet meaningful life.

“My mission is to be the example for other people to take a leap of faith because … the real fulfillment, the real abundance, happens inside. It’s not about what’s going on in Bank of America or Wells Fargo — it is what’s happening inside of your own heart.” – Light Watkins

Some people might think that the path you take is something that will just bring you a lot of uncertainty about the future. Some will criticize harshly, while others may simply give you negative or pessimistic feedback. But if you are looking for some answers to your life’s purpose, the answers are not in the people around you or by what they say. They’re inside you.

“Stop looking externally and start looking internally for the answer. That’s where you’re going to find the answer, and not in what they think, but in what you feel. … This is something that’s still very relevant for us today because we’re being hit on all sides with information and opinions. … Everyone has thoughts about what you should be doing in your life, and the place we’re not looking is inside of ourselves. That’s the one place that continues to consistently be ignored.” – Light Watkins

Knowing where to look starts by listening to what’s in your heart. You will find the answers there.

Mistakes and Criticism Helps You Evolve Into the Best Version of Yourself

According to Mark Twain, there are two truly great events in our life: “The day you are born and the day you find out why.” Light Watkins added a third day to that philosophy: the day you start taking actions on your purpose, or your “why.”

When Light started taking action on his “why,” he discovered that one of his life’s purposes is to make an impact on others through his writings, so he started an email subscription in 2016. He called it Light’s Daily Dose of Inspiration, which made an impact on many people — but not all.

“My favorite days would be the days where I would get a message that I felt really good about. … Somebody would say, ‘That was exactly what I needed to hear.’ Someone else will say, ‘How dare you to write that — you offended me.’ … and everything else in between. … And then … you start becoming more and more immune to criticism, which is a very important skill as an entrepreneur. Because if you are afraid of being criticized, you will not take the leap of faith.” – Light Watkins

Criticisms are part of life, no matter which path you take. It is common nowadays, especially in the digital world of social media, where people have the freedom to make comments on your posts — positive and nasty ones. The same thing happened to Light with his email subscription.

“Putting yourself out there on a daily basis forces you to become callous to rejections.” – Light Watkins

Rejections and criticisms are common in the workplace, at home, in sales, in businesses, and in relationships. But as you become more spiritually mature,  you will understand that these things happen at the surface. From a broader perspective of awareness, rejections and criticisms are opportunities for growth and learning experiences that can help you evolve into the best version of yourself.

How about you? How did you handle criticisms and rejections? If you think back and reflect on those times when you were criticized or rejected, you will realize that those rejections led you from one place to another and eventually to where you are right now. Surely, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Get Loved Up with Light Watkins

This was such an awesome interview with  Light Watkins about simplicity, meditation, knowing where to look, and taking rejections and criticism in a positive way. I hope you will find as much value in our conversation as I did.  Listen to the full episode for more wisdom from Light, and don’t forget to share it with your friends.

Visit his official website and sign up for his email subscription for a daily dose of inspiration or weekly motivations. Light Watkins is currently working on Light’s Community, an online hub for sharing your experiences, learning accessible inner practices, connecting with others, and getting quality support. It’s coming out soon. So, watch for it.

You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel for access to the video versions of the different episodes of At the End of the Tunnel podcasts, as well as more videos about meditation. Follow Light at Twitter and please tag him, @lightwatkins, and me, @koyawebb, on Instagram with a screenshot of the episode and your best takeaways. We’d be happy to know your learnings from our conversation. It will motivate us to continue making a positive impact in this world and spread love. So, love yourself, love others, and love the world. One day at a time, one breath at a time.

Until next time, love.

 

  • Origin of the Name (3:13)
  • Following Your Heart and Becoming Nomadic (13:14)
  • What is Spirituality to You? (15:23)
  • It’s All Research (19:15)
  • Maintaining Wellness On the Road (20:00)
  • Pick Your Battles (25:25)
  • Daily Rituals (27:00)
  • Commitment to Community (33:00)
  • The Happiness Insiders (35:30)
  • The Book : Knowing Where to Look (37:40)
  • Immunity to Criticism – A Necessity for Any Entrepreneur (41:00)
  • What It Means to Be Black in the Wellness Space (47:00)
  • Setting An Example (54:55)

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