LIVING BEYOND LIMITS: Tiffany Soi & Niraj Shah

This is Tiffany Soi and welcome to this conversation for my WeMove series: “Living beyond Limits & Mental Resilience”. I am very pleased to be sharing my dialogue with Niraj Shah: Niraj is the founder of Mind: Unlocked, one of London's leading mental well-being communities. They are developing evidence-based, practical, digital tools to help people around the world optimise their mental well-being and mindset. He is also European Co-Chair for Silicon Valley’s Transformative Technology Lab - the largest global community of entrepreneurs using technology to raise mental health, emotional well-being and human thriving.  

Niraj is a man who encapsulates the themes of this series through his own story - which I frankly find quite shocking, as becomes evident as I process the circumstances in real-time and find myself somewhat unresponsive and blank! - but moreover, he has taken his personal life trauma & his deep founded fascinations to actively drive transformation in the mental health & resilience space as an entrepreneur [with the Mind: Unlocked programme]. There are some real lessons for us to draw on: Life often doesn’t go as planned, but how we choose to engage & respond to our circumstances - good or bad - will be the deciding factor in how our futures can play out. There is so much to learn about our mental capacity in this this honest, frank and very educational episode!

“being able to self-regulate emotionally, and manage our mental wellbeing is going to be fundamental skill in this rapidly changing future”

Mind: Unlocked takes an evidence based, practical and outcome focused approach to mental well-being for 21st century life. It's first online course "How to Build Your Personal Meditation Habit in 21 Days" is being released imminently. For resources & to sign up head to  & Instagram @mind.unlocked 

Niraj Shah IG:@niraj5hah Twitter: @niraj5hah Credit Kristina Kashtanova @backtoenough & Phillip Ruddick for relevant photos. Tiffany Soi: Instagram: @tiffany_soi Web: YouTube: Tiffany Soi

snow angel ourmala - credit Kristina Kashtanova.jpg
Equinox & Design Museum - credit Phillip Suddick.jpg

KEY NOTE Timings

44:47 “the most important skill today and in the future [increasingly is] the ability to emotionally self regulate”


“I knew from my teenage years I wanted my own business and to see the world”


“My 20’s were “work hard, play hard”, a big part of Hong Kong & London drinking culture”


“Is this what my life is? Am I doing anything good for the world?”


Committed to moving forward in life with a focus on technology & health sectors. Out of nowhere, struck down by a sudden stroke at age 30 [extremely rare type “cerebellar infarct”]


Neurologist said [despite all tests looking for causes] - “you need to think of this like a car accident, it just happened”


On re-learning to walk within a few weeks: “that’s how incredible our brains are… the brain rewired itself to take over those functions…we don’t know how it happens but it does…for neurological issues, if the brain has the opportunity to rewire, it will!”


“I became obsessed with health and learning about the brain and how to minimise the chance of this ever happening again”


On ability to recover: “the neurologist said I am confident of your recovery because of your mindset


On our mutual teacher & friend Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga: “Tara was an online discovery, and I [like so many of us], connected with the non-dogmatic style and approach to yoga rooted in feeling good in your body, doing more with less effort”


“I practiced yoga every night for 20 mins without fail to create separation from work and sleep - and I would sleep really well - it was a meditation through a movement practice, though I didn’t know it at the time”


On discovering meditation via an app after a particularly bad period of unshakeable insomnia: “when you are desperate, you will do anything that works…and this meditation thing… I am able to get what I am doing in yoga, but faster and without having to do anything physical”


“Despite all the scientific evidence, what’s the disconnect between colleagues and friends who are complaining about stress, knowing that something can help, but not actually doing it?”

The question is “how can I make meditation accessible enough?”


It’s like saying to someone who has never exercised to train with a PT 1 hour everyday when the place to start is “a 5 minute jog” - and so it is with this meditation course.


You can’t go to the gym once and expect to be ripped - likewise with meditation, you can’t say “I meditated once and it didn’t work”. 


“the world is changing so fast and that is why stress, anxiety and insomnia are increasingly prevalent”


“My hope for the future is that we treat mental health & wellbeing in the same way as physical health, for it to be considered as natural as knowing to brush your teeth”


On guiding principles through life and as an entrepreneur: “everything that happens serves me - I have something to gain and learn, no matter how negative it seems”

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