The Five Core Energies For Success

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Marketing Podcast with Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa. He is a professor at Columbia Business School and Founder of the Mentora Institute. He has coached dozens of Fortune 100 C-suite executives and taught 10,000+ MBAs and Executives. His class on Personal Leadership & Success is one of the most popular at Columbia Business School.

His upcoming book: Inner Mastery, Outer Impact: How Your Five Core Energies Hold the Key to Success, explains the 5 Core Energies (Purpose, Wisdom, Growth, Love, and Self-Realization) and expressing them through actions that bring out the best in yourself and others. Dr. Hitendra shares the key principles for how to pursue success by letting your true self shine through in everything you do.

Key Takeaway:

The concept of energies provides a flexible approach to personal growth, allowing individuals to embody the five core energies: growth, purpose, wisdom, love, and self-realization in alignment with their body, mind, heart, and spirit. By grounding oneself in core values and principles, one can develop inner charisma, clarity of thought, develop new learnings, and the ability to influence others positively, that ultimately will lead to personal transformation and success. 

Questions I ask Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa:

  • [01:34] Why did you decided to specifically focus on energies in your book?
  • [05:43] You talk about the five core energies. Did you disover them over the years teaching about them to your students or was there some other research that went into getting it to establish only five?
  • [10:35] You have the words inner and outer in the title. If there’s one core message in this book, is that you got to get the inner part, right? And if you get the inner part right, the outer part will take care of itself?
  • [13:14] Would you say that it’s about attracting the things you want? Or is it really about changing the way you feel about? What goes on in your outer world?
  • [16:50] If somebody comes to you and they accept the ideas you talk about, but they struggle with it. Where would you tell them to start? Is there one energy to focus on as opposed to getting overwhelmed and trying to do them all?

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John Jantsch (00:00): Hey, marketing agency owners, you know, I can teach you the keys to doubling your business in just 90 days or your money back. Sound interesting? All you have to do is license our three step process that it's gonna allow you to make your competitors irrelevant, charge a premium for your services and scale perhaps without adding overhead. And here's the best part. You could license this entire system for your agency by simply participating in an upcoming agency certification intensive look, why create the wheel? Use a set of tools that took us over 20 years to create. And you could have 'em today. Check it out at That's

(00:55): Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa. He's a professor at Columbia Business School and the founder of the Mentora Institute. He's coached dozens of Fortune 100 C-suite executives and taught 10,000 plus MBAs and executives. We're gonna talk about his new book today called Inner Mastery, Outer Impact: How Your Five Core Energies Hold the Key to Success. So, Dr. Wadhwa, welcome to the show.

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (01:30): Thank you, John. Pleasure to be here with you. And, and I guess,

John Jantsch (01:34): Yeah, I, I always like to unpack words, key words that I find in titles. And so I wanna start with energy. You know, a lot of times people talk about best practices or principles you've chosen specifically to focus on energies. I'd love to hear kind of your difference between those kind of ideas.

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (01:53): I have long been a student of human nature and in the arena of leadership in particular. And I find that we have either taken a very behavioral path, which is kind of a very embodied physical path towards trying to understand, you know, what it takes to pursue success in our life or in leadership. You know, behave this way and not that way, and acquire these qualities and, you know, all of that. Or sometimes it's more, you know, through our cognition, through our sort of mental understanding and architecting and blueprinting, you know, of the path to success, which is where principles come in, you know, as you were saying. Right. Right. And both of these are good. I mean, you know, there's no, you know, there's nothing wrong with, with us seeking to aspire, you know, on, on those fronts. However, at the same time, I find that, look, the world is getting more and more complex.

(02:40): It's changing around us so much. It's so nuanced that it can at times be very limiting and rigid, you know, for us to have to be force fitted into a certain kind of behavior, you know, and or a certain kind of, you know, a principle, you know, as well. And we also are seeking every one of us, you know, to be authentic, be true to our own individual divine spot. Yes. You know, whatever it might be for you, which I know it's luminous 'cause it's shining true in your work, John, and what it might be for me. And so energies releases us, you know, that the notion of energies releases us from that kind of rigid pre-formatted prescribe, like some expert telling you what you need to do, kind of like frame into one, which can be fluid, you know, which can evolve and change, which can be dialed up like energy can or dialed down, which also needs to be rejuvenated, you know, so, so we better make some time for rest and for, you know, getting reconnected and, you know, from within to a spirit, because then our energies can come out and flow, you know, that much more energies allow us to mix different, you know, modalities at the same time.

(03:44): It doesn't have to be only one or the other, but it's like you can mix some amount of, like mind, you know, work with wisdom, with some amount of embodiment through the actions and behaviors with some amount of an opening of the heart through more of a love-based energy. Uh, and so, yeah, so I, over time, it, it didn't happen immediately on day one in my work at Columbia Business School with the M B A students, but over the course of about 3, 4, 5 years in teaching this material the pursuit of success, I found that if I could help us move away from more rigid constructs to more fluid constructs, you know, people would, you know, better be able to take agency over them, feel a sense of personal sort of imprint, you know, or what they're doing. And also it invites people to look more deeply within, which is to me, the ultimate arena of transformation and the source of success when we can tap into our, you know, deepest faculties within. And, and that's the space of energy.

John Jantsch (04:37): Yeah. And I think depending upon what tradition, uh, you come from, you know, there are certainly certain traditions that talk about we're nothing but energy .

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (04:47): Yeah, that is so true. I mean, hey, listen, uh, we are all, you know, coming out from the wake of the release Oppenheimer, and probably many of our listeners that have seen that film. I don't know, have you John yet, or

John Jantsch (04:58): I have not. I I went to Barbie instead. I'm sorry. Okay.

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (05:01): . Yeah. I, I did a back Toback one night, Barbie one night, uh, Oppenheimer. It's worth seeing, it's worth seeing. It's a pretty remarkable story moment in human history, you know, character as well as a, a well-made movie. But anyway, so, so to your point about energy, right? And if you think about it from that vanish point, the atomic age that we live in and all that, what it's telling us is that you have no idea how much untapped energy is resident within you, as if you wanna call it potential energy, right? Yeah. And what we expect on the outside is kinetic energy, the energy that actually gets to be used for, you know, for doing things and moving things and all of that. But like, what about all this untapped potential energy that lies at a core?

John Jantsch (05:40): So, so you, uh, whittled all of this down to five core energies. I'm, I'm curious, is it just from years of, you know, teaching this, working with students? Or was there some other research that went into getting it to simply five?

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (05:53): Yeah. Well, it's interesting because on the one hand, the actual arc of the story is that I started with just three energies mm-hmm. mm-hmm. , growth, purpose and wisdom, growth, purpose and wisdom. And then over time I realized, man, I have to add something around the heart. You know, it's like such an important component to the whole equation. And so I added love, and then at some point I realized, you know, what I have known personally, like in my own life, how important ization the activation of the spirit within, you know, is in, in, in my truth, seeking pursuits. But you know what, it's time that we brought it out because the science is very clear now on this, and people are becoming much more receptive and open to it. And so even in a, you know, university setting and in a business school setting, I can talk about this fifth energy, what I call self-realization, that direct tapping of a spirit.

(06:43): And so, on the one hand, it's been this kind of an evolution that happened over, you know, 2, 3, 4 years of my initial sort of steps. On the other hand, it's interesting because when I look back and I connected to my roots, you know, I grew up in India and then I moved to the United States to go to, you know, graduate school and have stayed here over the last three or decades. I grew up in India, and you know, that's the land of yoga. And in the yoga traditions, you have these four main paths of yoga, you know, karma yoga, which is, uh, about doing the right deeds, you know, being of service to humanity and doing it from a place of egolessness and surrender. And that's kind of like the purpose energy. And then there's Ian yoga, you know, which is about having an incisive commitment to attuning yourself to truth in whichever form it comes, putting aside your emotions and your blinding beliefs so that you can study and understand the world for exactly the way it is, because the truth shall set you free.

(07:31): And that's GaN yoga. And that in my language, was the wisdom energy. And then there is PTI yoga. PTI yoga is this devotional sort of order, you know, with which you seek to want to merge with the infinite, want to connect with, you know, your divine mother, the creative force in the universe from where, you know, all creation. And you and me all have emerged, you know, in that model, right? Of thinking and see the, you know, humanity as just a, and all of life really as an extension of your own sort of self dissolve yourself in that larger ocean. And so that's akhi, and that's, you know, that's the love energy in my model. And then there is Raj Yoga, which integrates and combines these, but also says, Hey, listen, why don't you directly access your spirit, man? And when you do that, you're gonna get to an awesome place, a beautiful place, because your spirit is always in peace and joy and love and all of that stuff.

(08:17): And meditation, mindfulness, those practicing can take you there. And that was my ization energy. And so, you know, looking back, I realized, oh my God, like, you know, I grew up with that deep appreciation I have for these different pathways. I respect that, you know, every human being as a pilgrim, as a truth seeker, conscious or unconscious is kind of making up, you know, their journey onto the top of the mountain of, you know, transcendence and, you know, enlightenment and, you know, somebody could be doing it more of with, you know, purpose and some more with wisdom and some more with love, but kind of like we're all on that path. And so it was nice to see that integration happening with a foundation of yoga that had long been drawn to. And then in the West, we, we've had this notion of looking at ourself through these four lenses as well, you know, body, mind, heart, and spirit, right?

(09:00): And that just these four, again, purpose, the embodiment, the doing mind, the, the wisdom, you know, heart, love and spirit, you know, the ization part. And then the fifth one for me has been growth. And growth has been all about sort of the ever expanding sense of self so that you see yourself as a work in progress, you know, at every, you know, stage and age of your life until in a sense you're dying breath, you know, you're always expanding and growing in some regard. Uh, and so in, in some ways it's been kind of like, almost like mathematically, you know, very reassuring for me to see that something that I was evolving and stumbling into in my business school arena has deep grounding in both the popular ethos of body, mind, heart, and, you know, spirit as well as in what has existed in the yoga traditions. And I'm sure really in many regards in the mystic traditions around the world,

John Jantsch (09:45): Hey, marketing agency owners, you know, I can teach you the keys to doubling your business in just 90 days, or your money back sound interesting. All you have to do is license our three step process that it's gonna allow you to make your competitors irrelevant, charge a premium for your services and scale perhaps without adding overhead. And here's the best part. You can license this entire system for your agency by simply participating in an upcoming agency certification intensive look, why create the wheel? Use a set of tools that took us over 20 years to create. And you can have 'em today, check it out at That's

(10:31): So would you say it's safe to, safe to say then? I mean, you have the words inner and outer in the title, that, that in a lot of ways, if there's one core message in this book, it's, you gotta get the inner part right? And if you get the inner part right, the outer part will take care of itself.

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (10:46): Yeah, that's a beautiful way of putting it. I mean, that's so close to what, you know, one of my role models, right? The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Stephen

John Jantsch (10:54): Covey.

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (10:54): Yeah. You know, that whole sort of movement that Stephen Covey created, right? That he talked about it as inner victory and then outer victory. And so, I mean, in some ways, I'm not saying anything new. This has been the realization from truth seekers across the ages for thousands and thousands of years. What I'm seeking to do is put in a form that is modern and accessible for, you know, the present day sensibilities and, you know, and ornament it. But just story upon story, you know, I've been so blessed with the journeys that my students have made and executives have made, and the programs are run at Mentor Torah Institute and at Columbia. And some of those personal journeys are made their way into the book, but also studying some of the great leaders from history like in Mother Teresa or Gandhi, or in, you know, Abram Lincoln and others, you know, to show how they have exemplified, you know, many of these qualities.

(11:39): And to your point, absolutely, you know, it starts with inner mastery. You know, the book is titled Inner Mastery Outer Impact. It's not saying outer mastery, because that would be hubristic and presumptuous to assume that you can master the outer arena, you know, that has, you know, so many other, you know, dials and controls that others are playing a role in shaping as well the environment around us. But what I can say is this, that from my research, from the storied lives of these individuals, from the science that is out there and from timeless spiritual wisdom, you know, one thing is clear. The more, as you say, the more you anchor yourself in your core, you know, that space of highest potential within, from where there is no ego or at attachments or insecurities, but you're deeply committed to noble cause and connected with the people around you and curious and open to any new learning that comes and calm and receptive to the truth and centered in your, you know, joyful spirit within the, the more you do that, the more you create the conditions where people become more receptive to you, people, you know, conflicts just end up sort of resolving themselves.

(12:38): People wanna follow you. You have a certain, not just outer, but inner charisma, you know, from where you work, you have greater clarity of thought in terms of the calculus and the decisions you have to make. You have a greater sense of resilience because you're doing things outta what is right to do and not out of like, will I get this result today? Will I get that result tomorrow? Oh, will this person like me, you know, is this person gonna shake up my self-worth and self-esteem? , no. You're feeding all your hungers from them and you're showing up in the world to do your life's most beautiful work.

John Jantsch (13:07): Would you say, 'cause I'm, I, I know some people would look at this and go, oh, if I just do these things, then I'll attract wealth, or I'll attract this, or all the things I want. Would you say that, that it's about attracting the things you want? Or is it really about changing the way you feel about what goes on in your outer world?

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (13:25): Yeah, it's a great point. It's a great point. You know, it reminds me of a conversation I had with James Dotty, you know, he's a professor at Stanford and he's had an incredible life, and very early in his life, a lot of struggles he was having at home. And he met this woman who really helped him see things beyond and see things differently, and gave him a visualization practice that became sort of his life mantra, you know? And, and, and what he said, to your point is that initially it was as though it was about some of the, like, like creating the conditions for more of like the outer solutions to emerge, you know, for the problems he was facing. Right? But then over time, what happened is that it completely changed his outlook, you know, about what it is that he was looking for.

(13:58): And it became, you know, you get to that place where from the outside you are in a sense, in a state of resolute pursuit, of a noble cause mm-hmm. , but at the same time with a complete sense of surrender about the outcome. Yeah. Yeah. And it's interesting because you look at a Mother Teresa, you look at a Steve Jobs, you look at a Warren Buffet, and folks, you know, I'm talking here about people who have been materially incredibly successful, a Nobel Prize winner, you know, made change maker of the highest order in, in, in Steve Jobs, and, you know, one of the world's richest people, Warren Buffet. So these people who've achieved so much materially actually are all talking about, you know, exactly this ethos and this idea mm-hmm. that you, you know, what you will do is, you know, embrace certain pursuit because you have deep passion for it and are are drawn to wanting to pursue excellence in it.

(14:44): But then you put your ego aside and your chaus aside and your hungers aside and magical things start to happen, you know, as a result. And so, so yeah, I know, to your point, I mean the, the shift that happens, the more you do the inner work, is that what you realize? I mean, you know, there, there is a, there's a nun that I have deep regard for, you know, she was, you know, coming from the, you know, salt Lake City, Utah, kind of, you know, area, and then ultimately took a Indian monastic name called Dema, you know, mother of Compassion Dema. She wrote a book called Only Love. And in that she talks about, she says, you know, these things that we are looking for in humanity, for fame and for, uh, immortality and for power and wealth and, you know, and sensory pleasure and happiness on the outside, why do we hunger for those things?

(15:30): It's because all those things are the natural assets, the natural things that are owned by your soul, you know, by your spirit. That's who you are at your core. And so intuitively, you know that soul is crying out that core in you is crying out for these things because that's what it is. But we end up like looking for them, you know, kind of like on, on the outside, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, but when we turn the attention within, we have practices like gratitude, appreciation, compassion, prayer, mindfulness, transcendence. When we work on these practices, then we naturally start to feel from within a wholeness, a reassurance, a sense of joy and, and love and peace and clarity of thought, you know, emerging. And then we don't feel the need to have to very tightly keep the grip on, you know, how's this person behaving, you know, towards me, or, you know, whether I'm getting that promotion or not, or how, how many more zeroes am I adding to my bank account? And of course, you wanna live a good life, and of course you wanna have a harmony and engagement with people, and of course you wanna pursue a good cause and influence and inspire people, but you're not doing that from a place of neediness or personal advertisement, you know, you're doing it out of service to a noble cause.

John Jantsch (16:39): So as anybody who has taken a journey like this where you realize this is a lifelong pursuit, this isn't something, you read a book and you're just like, flip a switch, right? It's on. So where if, if somebody comes to you and, and they have struggled with this idea in the past, they accept the idea, but they've struggled with it, where do you tell them to start? I mean, is there like one energy to focus on as opposed to getting overwhelmed and trying to do it all?

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (17:03): Yeah. So I have in my book a chapter called Living with Growth, and if you were to, you know, go into that chapter, there is a fifth stage in it. And in that fifth stage, I talk about sort of chipping away a little bit at your excess stone to get to that pure and beautiful statue that lies at the very core of a being. You know, that's how Michelangelo described the process of sculpting. You know, that like, hey, a sculptor doesn't do anything. 'cause it's like the statue, the beautiful form is already within the stone, you know, all you gotta do is like, you know, chip away at the excess. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that's, you know, how you and I can think about ourselves that we have this ideal form and all of life is about chipping away at the excess to get to that form, and that we, and we are the sculptors in a sense of our own, you know, character and our own beam.

(17:46): Then there is a practice I give there, which has been inspired by the Saint Ignition practice, who called the examine. And in order to make it a little bit more sort of interfaith and secular in nature, I've called it your core review. And I would encourage us, you know, if you're open to it, I've had this be now implemented by, you know, several hundreds of executives and students, you know, in my class and beyond. And it's a 10 minute practice. It invites you to do a little bit of introspection every day. It's not as much an examination of your behavior as it is an examination of your consciousness, an examination of your consciousness. Where was my consciousness today? What thoughts and feelings did I allow myself, you know, to entertain in my, in my heart and mind? And how did that translate into the right or the wrong behavior?

(18:27): What can I learn from it? And how can I now look forward to the next 24 hours to show up as the best version of myself? The core review, it's been so heartwarming for me to see the kind of, you know, silent but pivotal transformations that, uh, a simple discipline of honest, open conversation with your own hire being done on a daily basis for a just a few small minutes a day, how it ends up having such a beautiful impact on the rest of our day. Because it's not that, you know, there are some bad guys and then there are good guys in the world, you know, you know, this is the model that says every one of us has within us, you know, the bad wolf and the good wolf, and which one are we gonna feed ? And you start doing a little bit of that watering of that sort of good wolf plant inside you and, you know, magical things happen.

John Jantsch (19:12): Well, Dr. Wadhwa, I want to thank you for stopping by the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, when you wanna invite people where they can connect with you and obviously, uh, find more about Inner Mastery Outer Impact.

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (19:23): Yeah, thank you John, for having me. It's been really beautiful to spend this time with you. There's the book, as you mentioned, that has been now released in paperback, uh, as well in a Mastery Outer Impact. There is my personal website,, H I T E N D R You'll see some of my blogs there, my own podcast. And then there is a newsletter that you can sign up, you know, there as well, which I send out once a week. It's usually is a story with a certain insight or a precept or yeah, some, something that you can carry over into your own life. And then if you're drawn to institutionally the work we do with organizations, then Mentora Institute is the organization that I founded to do leadership and culture work around these themes and, you know, five energies with organizations.

John Jantsch (20:07): Awesome. Well, again, appreciate you taking a few moments to stop by the podcast and hopefully we'll run into you, uh, one of these days, uh, out there on the road.

Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa (20:15): Wonderful, much look forward to that, John, and all the best to you and to our listeners. Godspeed.

John Jantsch (20:19): Hey, and one final thing before you go. You know how I talk about marketing strategy, strategy before tactics? Well, sometimes it can be hard to understand where you stand in that, what needs to be done with regard to creating a marketing strategy. So we created a free tool for you. It's called the Marketing Strategy Assessment. You can find it,, dot co. Check out our free marketing and learn where you are with your strategy today. That's just marketing I'd love to chat with you about the results that you get.


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