Value The CONNECTION Between MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH to Achieve True Balance w/ Kaki Okumura

Nov 16, 2021
 
 

Welcome to episode 20 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It’s all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.

Episode 20’s guest is Kaki Okumura. She’s a Japanese wellness expert. She particularly focuses on how the relationship between physical health and mental health are so connected and weakness in one or sickness in one will lead to sickness in the other two. At the same time, if you can improve your health and improve your physical health, there are also benefits to your mental health too. She really explores how you can do this through both diet and exercise.

Kaki herself was born in Dallas but grew up across Tokyo and New York which gave her an interesting insight into the two different cultures as she’s growing up. This means that she could see the pros and cons of both and from her own life philosophy where she now shares with her huge number of followers. We’ve also touched on some aspects such as ikigai which I know a lot of people are very interested in.

I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I’d love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels. 

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How to be mindful of the connection between your mind and body.
  • Why it’s important to pay attention to your nutrition both food and information.
  • How to make sure your mind and body are in harmony.
  • Japanese wisdom on how to achieve balance and be healthy.
  • Japanese concepts about healthy mindset.
  • Japanese ideas about work-life balance.
  • How to be kinder to yourself and others.

Keynotes:

  • Introduction (0:00)
  • The best version of yourself (2:02)
  • Balance and not needing a crutch (6:28)
  • The importance of encouragement and having a strong strong social lifestyle (11:40)
  • Ikigai and finding that equilibrium (15:55)
  • ‘Hard work is not just working hard but it’s also knowing when to not work.’ – Kaki (20:37)
  • Managing your own time, protecting your mental health, and putting emphasis on the people you surround yourself with (25:29)

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Intro Music:
“Himalayas” by Mona Wonderlick — bit.ly/youtube-monawonderlick
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free download: bit.ly/himalayas-download

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Transcript

 

[00:00:00] Kaki: Oh, there’s so many things. I think the one that can think of immediately is my sister just like texted me. And she was just like, what are you up to? And I said, nothing. Why? Like, what do you want from me? And she’s like, oh no, it’s just bored and want to talk. And that was just really nice. I was like, oh, you know, my mind went somewhere bad where I was like, oh, what do you want from me? But she just wants to talk. And that made me really happy. And I realized I should probably call the people I love more often. 

[00:00:32] Amardeep: Welcome to the Mindful and Driven Podcast, where we help you to not lose sight of what’s really important whilst chasing your dreams. Today’s guest is Kaki Okumura. She’s a Japanese wellness expert. She particularly focuses on how the relationship between physical health and mental health are so connected and weakness in one or sickness in one will lead to sickness in the other two.  At the same time, if you can improve your health and improve your physical health, there are also benefits to your mental health too. She really explores how you can do this through both diet and exercise. Kaki herself was born in Dallas but grew up across Tokyo and New York which gave her an interesting insight into the two different cultures as she’s growing up. This means that she could see the pros and cons of both and from her own life philosophy where she now shares with her huge number of followers. We’ve also touched on some aspects such as ikigai which I know a lot of people are very interested in. 

Welcome Kaki. It’s great to have you on. 

[00:01:25] Kaki: Thanks for having me. 

[00:01:26] Amardeep: So this is the first ever audio only podcast because you’re a bit of a mystery and you like to keep yourself that way. 

[00:01:32] Kaki: I’m not trying to be mysterious though, it’s just, I don’t know. It’s a weird preference of mine. 

[00:01:37] Amardeep: Nice. I completely respect that. So we’re both obviously writers and I’ve written a lot about Japanese concepts I learned from karate, which I used to do for about a decade, but you’ve gone much more in depth into the Japanese lifestyle because one, you’re Japanese, and you say lived in Japan for quite a long time. Right? So you’ve lived in America, Japan, and I’m sure there’s somewhere else as well. Right? 

[00:02:00] Kaki: yeah, now being Japanese and living in Japan helps with picking up on more subtle things about Japanese culture. I’ve lived primarily, so I was born in the US. I was born in Texas, then I moved to New York, so there’s a bit of a culture shift there. Then there was Japan, which is a big one. But even then during college, I studied abroad. I lived in Sweden for a bit. It was enough to be like, I’ve learned so much about, you know, obviously I learned a lot about Sweden, but it wasn’t enough to feel like I really immersed myself in the culture, but it’s a really good experience just living somewhere else in a different continent and being able to compare my experiences, living in the US and Japan with a very, you know, European culture. But yeah, I’d say besides that, You know, I’m always bouncing between the US and Japan, and that’s kind of where I derive most of my ideas towards lifestyle and how we can be the healthiest versions of ourselves. 

[00:02:59] Amardeep: So on that point, is there any advice you see quite often that you disagree with? 

[00:03:04] Kaki: Yeah, I think there’s, especially with health and food, there’s just so much advice out there and a lot of it is not good. I think the one that I just hate the most and hate, I don’t use that word lightly, but there are just some things that, you know, I just think make people worse off, but it’s the idea of like, okay, lose X amount of pounds in X amount of weeks. And, you know, doing that by like doing something really strict, like, you know, only drinking liquids or eating like only 1500 calories when you’re like a six foot tall man. Stuff like that. It’s really dangerous. It’s also not sustainable. No, one’s going to be eating at a calorie deficit for the rest of their lives or only eating, you know, only drinking juices. And so messages like that and that that’s like a healthy way to lose weight, it’s really irresponsible. And most of the time when people do really extreme stuff like that, they’ll just gain the weight back. They’ll feel worse about themselves and it just messes up your whole body’s equilibrium and everything. So that is like, you know, something about diet and culture that it’s like, no, no, no, please don’t listen to this. There’s better ways to approach your health. 

[00:04:20] Amardeep: Yeah. The one who I remember from, but then if it’s from Okinawa where it’s from is the eat until you’re 80% full and they’re kind of eat and mix of different things and that eat until they’re 80% full, but they don’t restrict, oh, you can’t have this, or you can’t have that. It’s just about trying to stay in control generally. 

[00:04:38] Kaki: Yeah, it’s something. So for new listeners who don’t know about me a lot, it’s that I used to be really overweight as a kid, you know, growing up in Texas, the idea, there are good and bad things about this, but as you know, bigger is better. People ate a lot. And, you know, as a consequence, like I was a kid, I had no self control. I ate so much. I also relied on it emotionally. And so I was really overweight as a kid and I’d visit my grandma’s place during the summers, even when I lived in the US and like, grandma, she wouldn’t be like, don’t eat ice cream or like, you know, don’t have sugar, don’t eat fried foods. It’s never that. But she’d always repeat this phrase, Hara hachi bun me, which is 80% full, like you want to eat until you’re 80% full. You don’t need to cut out sugars. You don’t need to cut out ice cream or whatever. You’re a kid, but you don’t need to be eating in excess. So that was like one of the main ideas that I really took away, whereas, you know, eating healthy, isn’t only eating vegetables and only eating whole grains or, you know, only eating solids, but being able to like eat things in moderation and finding a lot of balance in that. So the other part of the Okinawan diet, they kind of mentioned is that you’re eating a lot of different things. A lot of different variations of not just like different vegetables, but it’s not just one thing. It’s okay. You have your rice, but you also have your soup and then you also have your grilled veggies and then you have your boiled, like fish or something. And so preparing foods in different ways and kind of combining that together is what makes a meal complete and well balanced is the idea of, you know, variety and balance. I’d say. 

[00:06:27] Amardeep: So in that you mentioned that you struggled with your weight as a child and one thing that’s quite interesting, you mentioned is it was almost due to emotion. So you use it to deal with your emotions and anxiety that you had. What made you no longer need that as a crutch? 

[00:06:42] Kaki: Yeah, no, I think that’s a great question. And it’s a really, you know, if you’ve ever struggled with your weight and your body image and, you know, using food as a coping mechanism, you’ll understand that it’s really hard. It’s really difficult. And someone just telling you, like, you’re not eating well, like you need to eat more vegetables, you need to eat less. It’s really unhelpful. And it’s kind of hard to peel yourself away from feeling, using food as a very like emotional bandaid or comfort blanket. And so for one thing, I think, it’s very psychological and it’s, you got to find like a better way to deal with stress. And for me, it was overcoming that narrative that I didn’t enjoy exercise. So when you grow up overweight as a kid, you like don’t enjoy sports. You don’t enjoy PE class. You don’t think you’ll ever enjoy it. And so for me, it was overcoming that, you know, internal dialogue that I wasn’t an athlete. I didn’t enjoy running and realizing that that was false. And, you know, I wasn’t the most athletic person, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like to run. I didn’t like to do sports. And so I went to, you know, a good middle school, which had a pretty strong PE program, and the PE teachers were really encouraging. It wasn’t just like, okay, you need to run fast. If you’re not good, he can’t play sports. It was okay. Even if you’re not the best athlete, like we make sure everything’s really inclusive. And if you get better, they can get better. You can play on the field. And that was the kind of mindset. Like everyone gets a shot. And so I joined the, Um, I did field hockey in middle school. I was slow. I wasn’t good, but I ended up really loving the sport. And then that kind of became my outlet instead of eating. So I’d get home and maybe I was like stressed about something or, you know, something at school didn’t go well. 

And in the beginning it was okay, I’m gonna eat something, make me feel, self feel better. I’ll watch something on Netflix. Over time that became okay. I’m just going to go on a five minute run five minutes is nothing. I wasn’t fast. It was super slow, but I’d go on five minutes, you know, just jogging outside with my headphones in and like, I feel so much better and that kind of drove away my need to rely on food. So that’s why I think movement is really important when you’re talking about eating better, cause it’s not just burning calories or like building muscle, but it’s about getting into this mental head space where you are not so caught up in, you know, your stresses or emotions, and you can kind of take a step back and get a breather. So, you know, for some people that might be a jog, it could even just be a walk. I’m a huge proponent of walking. Just to like get in a different Headspace. And you know, you’re not worried about like how far away and how long or burning calories, but it’s about, okay, like I’m in this negative mindset I can get to someplace better and using exercise as a tool for that. 

[00:10:01] Amardeep: Yeah. And I think what’s really interesting that you mentioned there is you’re addressing the root cause because it wasn’t, how do you eat less? It was, what’s another healthy way to reduce my stress. And by addressing that it allowed you to not stress it because you had a more productive way or more healthy way to deal with the underlying group problem. And I think sometimes something people forget is they focus so much on what they don’t want to do, rather than what’s the underlying reason they do that because it could be that adding something else, differs your life. We’ll then tackle that problem instead. 

[00:10:34] Kaki: No, it’s exactly that. And I think, you know, when you talk about weight loss from a very scientific sense or, you know, whatever health problem you’re dealing with, it doesn’t need to be a weight. It’s okay. You need to have less sugar. You need to eat less calories. And you know, if we’re computers or robots, like yeah, of course that’s all it takes, but we’re human and a lot of things stem from, you know, non rational, non-logical things. We have emotions. We have personal histories with certain things or situations. And so we need to consider that whenever we think, okay, what does a healthier lifestyle look for me? It’s not just eating less calories or eating more vegetables. It’s, I’m not matching my health, I mean, not, I’m not managing my stress in a productive way. What’s a better way I can address that? 

[00:11:26] Amardeep: Yeah. And it’s good that you found that. It’s great that the PE teachers also encouraged you to do that because as you said, it could have quite easily been a more toxic environment, but because they gave you that, 

[00:11:37] Kaki: No, I think I was really lucky in that, so I went to an international school in Japan, but, you know, they still derived a lot of their values from Japanese school systems. And one thing that’s really different from the US system to the Japanese one is that there’s no like team tryouts in a sense like, so if you wanted to like join the soccer team, it’s not, okay you tryout for the team, and then if you suck, you get cut and you can’t play a sport. It’s everyone gets to join the sport. And if you’re good, you play on the, play during the game. But even if you’re not good, you can like show up to the practices, participate in the drills, and maybe get less attention from the coaches, and you know, it’s not like you’re, you might not be like a starting player, but you still get the chance to participate and play and practice and get better, which I think is huge and it sucks that, when I was in school, in the US that it was how, if you suck at soccer, you don’t get to play. Like you’re not good enough to be on the team. And so me being in that place where I was overweight, couldn’t run, but my school still let me play on this field hockey team and it was just about okay, having, you know, practice getting better. That really encouraged me a ways. And, you know, I made varsity like the following years after. And so I think that is huge giving that opportunity for people to, you know, you might not be the best, but just get better. And even if you’re not getting that much better, like being able to enjoy the sport because you know, it’s high school, people aren’t there to like become professional usually. So I think that was like pretty big. 

[00:13:17] Amardeep: Yeah. And coming from the UK, where I see in American films, is there’s a competitiveness or trying to get scholarship or trying to get something like that. Whereas it’s the same in the UK, most people play sport for recreation. It’s just for fun. We have, so we call it football, but five sites soccer, which like hundreds of thousands of people play every week. And most people aren’t very good, but it’s just a good way to socialize. You just go with your mates and you have a bit of fun. And nobody’s expecting you to be the next Ronaldo or the next Messi, but it’s that break. It gets you moving. It gets you with your friends. And that’s so important, right? 

[00:13:56] Kaki: No, it’s so important. Just the social aspect too. And having, you know, playing sports is really about like going play sports, being like, okay, I’m trying to burn 200 calories here. It’s, you know, hang out with my friends and it’s a great way to socialize, like you just mentioned, and so it’s and people aren’t there to become really skilled players. Another philosophy I have is that our social lives are really important to our health. It’s, you know, like sports can make, like exercise really fun for people or just doing it with someone else and getting that encouragement to do better. And so I think that’s super important. And the American view on sports is, yeah, it’s a little off to me where people are like, okay, if you suck at something, you can’t play. It’s like, okay. I guess we’re here to win. We’re not just here to like use sports as a way to like, get more exercise and socialize with other people around us or learn teamwork. So that was always kind of odd to me. So yeah, I definitely agree. 

[00:15:00] Amardeep: Hi everyone. I hope you’re enjoying the episode so far. I want to take a quick break to ask you to check in with yourself. There’s many people struggling with balance and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s tips that my guests might share can hopefully help you along the way, but if you already feel overwhelmed or burnt out, it’s probably best that you ask somebody for help too. For some, this might be a friend or family member, while others might feel like they have nobody they can talk to. If you’re one of these people, check out the link in the show notes, it’s for United for Global Mental Health. They’ve got health plans all across the world, with people willing to listen on the other side. It’s important to let somebody know how you’re feeling. Now, back to the show. 

Well you mentioned there about social life being so important as well. I can’t remember where I saw this, but they did a study and people who self identify as lonely have got a much higher death rate than heavy smokers, heavy drinkers, like drug users, and that’s like the number one sign that somebody is going to live long, less, not live as long. It’s as if they feel lonely, but we don’t appreciate that enough. We don’t see that as the same problem that we see some of these other addictions as. 

[00:16:01] Kaki: Yeah, no, that’s a really good point. I know the study you’re referring to. I can’t name it off the top of my head, but multiple studies have found the strong correlation between, you know, just longevity and having a strong social network, and the Okinawan lifestyle is often referred to for, you know, like rich in nature and eating good vegetables and lots of fruits or whatever, but another huge, huge component is that they have really strong communities. And so it’s about like, you know, supporting one another, looking out for each other, not just, you know, It’s if something bad happens to you, like you’re not alone in it, like people come and give financial support, emotional support, and that community is super important for people to, you know, if something emotionally, it’s like really heavy on you that has an impact on your physical health. And so having someone to relieve that makes a huge difference in just the way are able to cope and the way your body responds and the term that they use often is like, well, this isn’t the exact term, but ikigai comes up a lot as in this energy to live, and that’s about like, okay, what you can do for other people and things you enjoy and surrounding yourself with just like really supportive people is a part of that concept of ikigai. Like your energy and that will to live. That’s a little too strong, I say, but if you guys should be a bit more light-hearted, but yeah, that is the idea. 

[00:17:40] Amardeep: Yeah. Yeah, there’s something that I’ve written about in the past, that’s where, like ikigai in the west is sometimes seen as like your job, whereas it’s like, it’s not right when I went to Japan, like nobody thinks that it’s just, but it’s been written in a book. People keep using it in articles and I see it all the time. Like, that’s wrong. Like, it’s not what ikigai means. Can you explain that as somebody who’s obviously Japanese yourself and just studied this. So the way I know it is as is your reasons to live, which could be your family, it could be your pets, it could be like your hobbies, it could be a million things. It doesn’t need to be one thing. Whereas in the Western media, they try to portray as it’s the one thing that makes you like your one purpose in life. 

[00:18:23] Kaki: Yeah. It’s, I think that idea of like, okay, organizes, definition of ikigai into like, this really like boxed in answer. So it’s easy for people to digest, but you’re exactly right. And that ikigai isn’t like this one thing that that’s your only purpose to living, but you can get it from a lot different things. And It’s basically, it could be your hobbies, it could be just your interest. It doesn’t need to necessarily be our job. But the idea is that it works well with the idea of like your career, because it’s like something you enjoy. Something, you know, is helpful to other people and that is a big part of ikigai is that you’re not doing it alone. It involves other people usually involves, you know, boosting your social life, but also like you get a sense of mastery over something. You’re getting better at something. And so I, it’s harder to explain in like one sentence, which is why I think that really like, you know, cookie cutter definition came up and it’s really popular, but it’s that, you know, ikigai combines a lot of things where it’s useful. It’s helpful to you. You sent feel a sense of growth and accomplishment and you just enjoy it and if it contributes to your life in a positive way like that, then yeah, you can just get overcome like bigger struggles. 

[00:19:43] Amardeep: Is there anything at the moment that you feel like you’re struggling with in terms of balance? 

[00:19:47] Kaki: Oh yeah. I mean, I think this goes for everyone, but life is just constantly balancing different parts of your life and trying to find that equilibrium. I don’t think, it’s not like you achieve balance and you never have to worry about it again, it’s, you know, constantly adjusting yourself, but having these systems for achieving balance is really important. So I think for them a big one for me right now, I think, especially shifting more from like in-person communication too, just more digital communication. I find myself working a lot more than I should, and I get kind of stressed out by that and I think a lot of people feel the same way, especially just starting to work remotely or, you know, working from home. And so there’s that debate like, oh, should we go back into the office? Stay at home? And I think the general consensus is a hybrid model is really helpful to look at. It’s basically, you know, being able to balance like, okay, when do I stop working? When do I think about, you know, just enjoying myself in the moment, not just, okay, what do I need to get done? And I think that leads into not being able to like rest properly. So if the weekend comes, we’re still in our bedroom where we worked all week, you know, it’s hard for us to like, just unplug and enjoy the weekend with our friends or family without thinking about work. If our laptop is there and that’s like the place we work. So I think that’s definitely something I struggle with in terms of balance recently. 

[00:21:17] Amardeep: I’ve got the exact same issue. So, my laptop is on my desk, is in my room, but then it means when I wake up, I need to consciously make an effort to go walk around or go outside because whenever I’m going to sleep, then it’s, I’m in my office. It’s some people say it’s working from home, but I do feel like it’s living from work. Like I’m sleeping in my office in some ways, and it’s not, that’s not where I want to be. So it’s like, I’m trying to also work on that and think what I can do about it. 

[00:21:45] Kaki: Yeah, for me, it’s just, you know, it’s, it’s a hard balance, but it’s just being like disciplined, and I follow this idea that like hard work is not just working hard, but it’s also knowing when to not work. And it’s difficult to not work. And I think people don’t give that enough credit. Like, you know, especially the US it’s the grinding society. Like you want to do more and like not getting sleep and doing work for some reason is like this weird achievement. I think, you know, college students might relate where it’s like, I only got four hours of sleep. It’s like, well, I only got three and a half. It’s like, no, we shouldn’t be talking about hard work like that. If you really care about performing well, you will also know when to rust. And so that’s something that we need to look at hard work in a different way, where it’s, you know, knowing when to rest is difficult and we should recognize that. And when you do it, you should be, you know, you should feel good about it. You shouldn’t feel guilty. 

[00:22:45] Amardeep: Is there anything you’re working towards of your balance? Like, do you know where you want to end up in terms of either your working hours or your working arrangements? What’s that kind of, ideal lifestyle? 

[00:22:56] Kaki: I should be more concrete about my goals, I guess. But one that I haven’t quite achieved that I had set myself for 20, 21 was you know, setting myself like, okay, these are the only hours I’m going to work. So I don’t know what the number was, but I think it was like, I only wanted to work, maybe like 20 or 30 hours a week and have more time for free time. And I think it’s difficult for me because I kind of mix up, like my writing to me is also something I love. So it’s hard for me to think of it as work sometimes, but I think that’s also taking away from the time I’d spent with friends and family and my ability to go on vacation, not pull up my laptop and be like, this is a great writing idea. I need to get it down on paper. But I think, you know, Definitely something I want to do less of is just spend less time working and just like being able to cut that down. And I think in terms of career, especially as someone who writes online it’s, you know, trying to find that scalable business model, whereas, but, you know, I don’t want to take away from the quality of what I produce and I like being able to spend a lot of time with my audience in ways that matter, not just, you know, putting something out there and never interacting with them. So that’s kind of like a difficult balance that I hope I’ll be better about next in 2022, but I guess I still have three months. I can still figure that out. 

[00:24:20] Amardeep: How much do you work each week at the moment? So you mentioned about you want to work less. Do you know roughly how many hours you do? 

[00:24:26] Kaki: I think the problem is that I’m definitely more than 40 hours for sure. I’d say near, yeah, and I think it usually, it’s not like I’m working like, nine to five and then, you know, that’s it. It’s, you know, I might stay up really late to finish something or I’ll do things on the weekend very often. I still, I’m not, I’m not totally against the idea of working on the weekend because sometimes, I’ll take like a Thursday or Friday off and then like make up for it on a Sunday. But yeah, I’d say like close to 50 hours, I guess and that’s also like trying to align my schedules with people from other places. So the big one is like, if I’m talking to someone from Japan or I’m connecting with someone in a different time zone, like we are right now, it’s just, sometimes it doesn’t necessarily work out like, okay, nine to five, I’m off the clock. It’s okay. You gotta accommodate and I don’t mind doing that, but it can definitely disrupt this idea of like, okay, working hours versus resting hours. Like those start to merge. 

[00:25:31] Amardeep: Yeah. I’ve got the same problem. So LA is eight hours behind me, but then LA is also probably where most of my audience is. Or like most of the people I collaborate with are on the west coast, west coast of the USA, which means that’s they’re starting work at the same time that I’d probably want to finish. 

[00:25:50] Kaki: Yeah. 

[00:25:52] Amardeep: So it’s an interesting balance in that way. And when I know I’m going to talk to somebody in the evening, then I try and make sure during the daytime, I relax a bit more so that I’m not just continuing working late because it’s one of the advantages we have, right. Is that we can set up times in a way, but then we’ve also got to be good bosses to ourselves and tell ourselves when to stop which can be the hard bit, like you said. 

[00:26:18] Kaki: I think for any listener who wants to be like your own boss or entrepreneur it’s, you know, there’s a lot of perks to, you know, managing your own schedule, but that is a big thing where you need to be responsible over your own time and, you know, managing your own time is going to be like number one skill, you know? for just being able to balance like, okay, getting stuff done, but also like protecting your own mental health. So, you know, being really mindful of that will be super important 

[00:26:49] Amardeep: What’s one mindset shift do you think the listeners can do to make a positive difference in their lives? 

[00:26:54] Kaki: So I think the big thing for me when we’re thinking about happiness is that a lot of the times we’re told this narrative, okay, if you have a stable job, or if you have like a high income or like high status in your job, you’ll get a lot of happiness, whereas it’s really not true. And I think when you think in terms of your happiness, 99% of it is from the strength of your relationships. And you should always keep in mind that when things don’t go well, or as intended, I think we need to put more emphasis on the people we surround ourselves with. You know, in life, there are going to be good things and there’re going to be bad things, and that’s going to be the case, no matter where you are and your life, or you know, where you are towards reaching your goals. But if you surround yourself with supportive people, you’ll always have a high quality of life satisfaction. But you’re surrounding yourself with toxic people. You could be like the richest, most successful person, but. You’ll be deeply unhappy and you’ll be deeply unsatisfied with yourself and where you are. But if you’re with the right people, those things will feel really minuscule. Not to say that finances don’t matter. I think, you know, having a certain level of wealth leads to stability and freedom, which is important for our happiness, but the quality of your life is majority, the majority of is determined by the quality of the people you surround yourselves with. So that’s like one mindset shift that I always recommend to people, you know, invest in your relationships, think about who you spend time with, and I’ll really set the stage for how, you know, your personal happiness and wellbeing. 

[00:28:38] Amardeep: I think a big part of that as well, I notice more and more that I see this on like Instagram or wherever is people saying, you need to spend time with people who are going to help you grow. And I disagree in some ways, because it’s not just about growth. It’s about who makes you happy. They don’t need to make you a better writer or a better whatever you’re doing, but if they can make you laugh, then that’s so much more valuable than them being professionally useful to you. And yeah, it’s just like don’t underrate people who bring you happiness. 

[00:29:08] Kaki: I mean, they’re so important. I think, you know, if you’re listening to this right now, you know, who do you love the most in your life? Like who is the most important person to you? It’s probably not the person who like gave you, you know, obviously we’ll appreciate the people who support career-wise but it’s not going to be the person who like gave you the $10,000 bonus. There’ll be, you know, your parent who’s really supported you when you were going through something rough or your sibling who like always makes you laugh, can always, you can always have a good time with that friend that you always lean to whenever you have like good news or bad news, like the first person you want to turn to. You know, those are the people we think of when we think about the people we love and the people we want surround ourselves with. And so, you know, definitely like that idea that, you know, surround yourself with people like help you grow is not like the worst idea, but it distracts from the main point, which is you want to be surrounded by quality people. Who you know, will make you happy and it’s not necessarily just who will financially benefit you. 

[00:30:19] Amardeep: It’s been a pressure to have you on the podcast today. Where can the listeners hear more from you? 

[00:30:24] Kaki: Yeah, I think come to my website and sign up for my email newsletter. My email newsletter is the best place to reach me. Website is www.kakikata.. K A K I K A T A dot space. Or you can follow me on [email protected] or follow me on Medium with, I also publish my writing. I think those would be the best places to reach me. 

[00:30:50] Amardeep: And the final point to end up on, especially when I was talking about ikigai as well, is what’s one small thing that’s brought you joy recently? 

[00:30:57] Kaki: Oh, there’s so many things. I think the one that can think of immediately is my sister just like texted me. And she was just like, what are you up to? And I said nothing. Why? Like, what do you want from me? And she’s like, oh no, I was just bored and wanted to talk. No, this is really nice. I was like, oh, you know, my mind went somewhere bad where I was like, oh, what do you want from me? But she just wanted to talk. And that made me really happy. And I realized I should probably call the people. I love more often. 

[00:31:32] Amardeep: If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, I’d love it If you could leave me a five star review, it really helps get the message out further. Wherever you’re listening, it would be awesome If you could subscribe and share in your social media channels. If you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes. 

Thank you again for listening and I hope you have a lovely day.

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