26 Feb 2019

Book Excerpt: The Way Of The Spiritual Entrepreneur | Pauline Nguyen | Inspirational Speaker

A quote by Pauline Nguyen

Pauline Nguyen is one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs. She is the owner of the Red Lantern, the most awarded Vietnamese restaurant in the world and author of her best-selling memoir Secrets of the Red Lantern. Pauline is an inspiring speaker who connects with her audience in a profound way – she helps awaken and focus people to change their own story for a better future.


Stress makes you stupid. Doctors are calling Stress the Black Plague of our century. It’s become so widespread that we all accept it as ‘normal’ to have insomnia, digestive issues, chronic anxiety and overwhelm. It can negatively impact your relationships and your ability to perform at the top of your game. According to Harvard Medical School, stress is an epidemic that is responsible for 90% of all doctors visits. But the prescriptions aren’t working because we are spending our time masking symptoms. What we need to do is treat the underlying cause, not mask the symptoms.

Stress is also the Achievers word for fear. We cannot let fear determine our future. Fear and crisis is not something that you are a victim of – they are not something that you want to stay in for long periods of time either. Fear and crisis is a cue for change and it is a function of evolution. Evolution however, implies a passive and gradual response. Revolution on the other hand, implies action and positive intent. In a world created by exponential growth, it’s too late for gradual evolution. If you don’t revolutionise you will be left behind. Spirituality is that next revolution.

Today, there is a different kind of suffering that has been misdiagnosed as psychological suffering. And it is a spiritual suffering – a suffering of the spirit and the soul. Those who are spiritually bankrupt are those who suffer the most. To be ‘in spirit’ means to be inspired, and to perform all tasks and live our lives from a place of inspiration and from a higher mind.  Spirituality is about self-realisation (which in itself is a deeply spiritual process), self-determination, self-actualisation, self-sustainability and ultimately, self-transcendence.

The Spiritual Entrepreneur understands that it is not the pursuit of happiness that we should strive for, but rather, happiness in the pursuit. Happiness alone is not going to solve your life challenges or your business problems. No, happiness alone is not such a great orientation to strive for. Fearlessness is a more powerful trait. How then can you learn the tools to see through the illusion of Fear? How then can you understand the biological and neurological workings of stress to stop the disempowering emotion before it affects your neurocircuitry and hijacks your constitution? How then can you understand yourself so deeply that you become unshakeable in the face of adversity?

Unshakability does not mean to be emotionless and to shut your eyes and ears to the natural ebbs and flows of life. Unshakability is understanding and knowing yourself so deeply that you cannot be easily hacked, controlled or manipulated by others. Fearlessness, Stress Freeness and Unshakability is the new revolution.

Spirituality is about mastering our thoughts, our behaviours and our emotions.

The Way of the Spiritual Entrepreneur encompasses all four pillars of life – mindset, heartset, healthset and soulset – our spirit. No area can be ignored or neglected.

Spirituality is the missing piece that will give you the competitive edge and the unfair advantage in business and in life.

Excerpt – The Way Of The Spiritual Entrepreneur

People who feel good about themselves do great work

The best version of you will lead the best version of your people. We become excellent by doing excellent things. Over and over we must do excellent things. Every time you practice a weakness you feed it and the things you feed grow in your life. We become fearless by continually visiting the places that scare us. We become strong by living our strengths, not our weakness. The only person you are destined to become is who you decide to be. Who will you decide to be?

Love what you do; do what you love

Discovering your life’s calling or mission is finding your purpose and doing work that you love. When you have a vision and you ignore the circumstances, the circumstances end up moulding around your vision. When you hold onto that vision and ignore how the world currently works, your circumstances become the vision, and you uncover who you really are. Some people risk their life for money. What if you risk money for life? If you have a job that you need to retire from, maybe it’s not your calling. Maybe you’re here to do what you love so much that you’ll die doing it.

Discovering your professional mission

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

Steve Jobs

As a Spiritual Entrepreneur, it is important to make sure that your day-to-day professional life is in orbit around your life principles, and not the other way around. Having a vision and knowing what you are here to do shows up in your body, and your job is to lock onto it tight. And when you do, you become safe from all the people who start to judge the new you. A lot of people will not see your vision and will not accept your new deliberate self. The old world will remind you of your old story and try to convince you that ‘This is who you are. This is your fate.’ They will look at life based on how they have, and you have, always done things so far. They will rehash the stories of old and share with you their limiting beliefs. They will remind you of the old paradigm that you are not supposed to love your work, and that’s why they call it work. They will doubt you and tell you that your current circumstances do not fit in with your new vision.

This is when you need to tap into that part of you that is no longer happy with how things are. This is when you snatch back your power. You are not helpless. Tap into that part of you that continues to show up when everyone else around you disappears or crumbles. When everyone else around you gives up. When everyone else around you doubts and questions whether you can pull it off. There is a switch inside you, deep down inside – in business, in relationships, in life – that says, ‘Fuck this. I will get it done no matter what!’

Remember that, at every turn, the truer you are to yourself and the more you live in congruence, the more fulfilled you will be and the more lasting is your happiness. You must keep a high happiness score to get to and stay in Quadrant 4. Defy the odds. Set a new standard for yourself. Never fall into the trap of sacrificing or compromising your core principles in the now, based on the stories of the past or the possibility of some imagined gain in the future that is incongruent with who you truly are. When people start judging you and doubting you, you have the opportunity to hold onto your vision tighter and start doing what the vision calls for. And through the process, you start to ignore the current circumstances and, instead, you will create your new reality – not one based on the current circumstances, but one based on what your vision is.

Here’s what I mean. If, for example, one of your core principles is love and connection and you are offered a solo job as a light-house operator on a remote island, your income might go up, but your happiness score will go down. Remember that the Spiritual Entrepreneur in Quadrant 4 has, by definition, happiness and wealth. But we must get the happy part down first! In previous chapters, we have redefined what lasting happiness is – it is not ‘positive thinking’ and being happy ‘24/7’. Lasting happiness is living as your authentic self and experiencing fulfilment by doing what you love. Happiness is about discovery and listening to your heart. Happiness is about being kinder to yourself and finding your joy and embracing the person you are becoming. Happiness is about learning how to live with yourself. Your happiness was never in the hands of other people.

Here are three simple ways to figure out your professional mission: ….

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