061 – Nusrat Durrani of MTV – Reimagining Yourself (Part 1)


How do you know the “you” that you are now is the best you? Have you have ever wanted to reinvent your self?

NusratIn the first of a two-part interview, a recovering media executive reveals how Intuition and the willingness to humble himself allowed him to make the hardest professional decision of his life, to travel across the world on a whim to become MTV’s oldest intern in history, how he consciously reimagined himself (twice), took a sabbatical after twenty years to get in touch with what really matters, the ways American ignores the rest of the world, learning to make furniture with his bare hands, and why Bob Dylan and David Bowie are so important to him. Nusrat Durrani, General Manager of MTV Networks, joins Julie Chan in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • When Durrani saw MTV while in Dubai, how he decided he needed to be a part of it at age 35, while working as marketing manager for Honda with multi million dollar budget and large team
  • How Durrani had intuition that media and creative was his calling
  • Flying to New York on a whim, interviewing and failing to get a job at MTV, but pushing, eventually becoming the oldest intern (age 35) ever hired at MTV, and how that was incredibly humbling
  • Working for MTV market development team, identifying new distribution platforms for the network
  • How Durrani wasn’t person he is now, had worked for a Japanese brand in a different country, went into creative and rowdy environment, and was shy person
  • Telling his management at MTV that he could be an intern and do intern things, or do something using his experience
  • How MTV gave him a project and he did so well that they hired him
  • Being at MTV for some 20 years, one of the most remarkable cultures anywhere, how it didn’t feel like work, and they believed they were creating magic every day
  • How Durrani never took job for granted
  • Like a light switch, how Durrani completely and radically reimagined his entire personality and self as a deliberate act to fit in and be productive at MTV
  • Growing up in India – the only son of a scholar and doctor, privileged
  • How his knowledge of Bob Dylan created shock in a meeting and changed everyone’s perception of him at MTV
  • His blueprint to success at MTV in NYNusrat
  • How he handled needing to become expert in the industry, needing to become an eloquent and expert speaker, losing his accent
  • Flipping the light switch again after 20 years, taking a sabbatical
  • Knowing he would always reimagine his life from time to time
  • Stayed so long at MTV because he loved his job so much, could do largely what he wanted to make the network more of a global connection around the world
  • How a lot of companies and senior executive incumbents need a wake up call, often trying to solve the wrong problems
  • Wanting to unlearn everything you have learned – rebooting the mind
  • Traveling as a civilian, having never been in the business of serving anyone for a long time
  • Really putting himself bodily in situations that require him to serve with all his being, not just writing a check
  • Learning to create in organic and rough manner, getting into grit of doing something with the hands
  • To travel and dream again
  • Mother has developed Alzheimers disease, and what it meant when Durrani went back to India and spent a lot of time with her
  • How his mother is a hero, one of the most empowered, self-reliant, selfless women he’s ever met—to see her reliant on others now is humbling

036 – Rick Little of The Spring Meditation Studio – The Fourth State

Vedic Meditation…

Rick Little, Organizational Consultant & Meditation Teacher, Co-Founder of The Spring, and former Vice President, Administration & Strategic Projects for Friends of the High Line, joins Julie Chan for a discussion Vedic Meditation, spirituality, and being complete. Recorded at the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Discovering the practice, Vedic Meditation in the workplace, and spiritual vs. non-spiritual practice

Little discusses how he was first introduced to the practice of Vedic Meditation by former boss Robert Hammond, a caution against participating in mediation without proper instruction, and the experience of having a boss speaking with employees about meditation and modalities. Meditation as a spiritual practice and as not being one, how it aligns with what employers want employees to be, and meditation was one way, not presented to staff as a spiritual practice, and why spiritual aspects are not what meditation teachers usually lead with.

Origins, scanning for the most attractive things, and a fourth state

How Vedic Meditation comes from The Vedas in India (which also produced yoga), which is 5-10,000 years old. How to live one’s life in alignment with nature, mantras, how the mind is scanning for things it finds attractive and moving towards it, following it down as the mantra becomes fainter, leaving the mind in a place where it isn’t thinking conscious thoughts. Transcendental Meditation vs. Vedic Meditation, and meditation as a fourth state if consciousness, or wakeful hypometobolic state, and meditation on the subway.

Becoming complete, the right instruction, and The Spring

How meditation is not something that can only happen under a specific set of circumstances, learning to meditate with someone close to you, and why meditating gets us in touch with the part of us that makes us see that we are complete. Instruction in meditation should be seen as important just like any other new skill in life, and why it is best learned on an individual basis. And, how Little is collaborating with several other mediation instructors to open a new New York City studio called The Spring.

017 – Chia-Ti Chiu of One Love Wellness – Poetic Peacefulness

Yoga, wellness, and mindfulness…

Chia-Ti Chiu, founder of One Love Wellness (Customized Wellness Services in New York City – bio), joins Julie Chan for a mini-intuitive reading and discussion on yoga, wellness, and making the world a better place. Recorded at the MouthMedia Network Studios.

The spoken word, Asia and India, and working with teens

Chiu shares her Taiwanese background, teaching classes in New York City, and her international retreats, how she was spoken word artist, living in Asia and backpacking and studying in India, her first experience in yoga, and following intuition and getting involved in yoga. Being inspired by India, and the larger plan, using yoga for wellness, trauma treatment and social justice, working with youth, how trauma affects the adolescent brain, and how yoga can be a tool to calm nervous system and foster confidence, peace and creativity, which empowers young people to make healthy choices for themselves.

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