Listen to my latest podcast episode:

808: Summertime Dangers & How to Transform Your Health When It’s Hot Outside – with Kashif Khan Copy

TMHS 384: The Science Of Friendship & How Your Community Impacts Your Health – With Guest Dhru Purohit

“We don’t accomplish anything in the world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads form one to another that creates something.” – Sandra Day ‘O Connor 

Our relationships are the most influential thing our health, success, and overall happiness. In fact, having bonds and connections with other humans is critical to thriving. And while social media has made it easier than ever to connect with others, we need to think of it as a complement to our connections instead of a replacement for real human interaction.

On today’s show, you’re going to learn about the role that connections and community can have on your life. Dhru Purohit is here to share how deep and meaningful friendships can help you thrive. You’ll learn how strong relationships can support your well-being, and how connecting with others can help you reach your goals. 

You’ll also hear practical applications to create intentional relationships, and how to prioritize connection in your life. Dhru is fiercely passionate about this subject and its implications, and I know you’re going to find value in his insights. Enjoy! 

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How having a strong and supportive community can help you reach your health goals.
  • The role that human connection plays in our lives, and how it has evolved over time.
  • How to use social media for connection (without letting it replace real interaction!)
  • Why caring what others think is hardwired into our DNA. 
  • How selecting your group of friends is the ultimate form of biohacking. 
  • Why it’s so important to consciously choose your circle of friends.
  • The difference between logistical friends and intentional friends. 
  • Why you should consider taking an inventory of your friends. 
  • The truth about why it’s harder to make friends as an adult. 
  • How making friends is similar to dating.  
  • Two tips for making connections with others. 
  • Where to go to find like-minded individuals.
  • Why deep networking and connection are the key to career satisfaction.
  • How putting others’ dreams and goals first can elevate your life. 
  • What an opt-out event is, and how to integrate it into your schedule. 
  • Why it’s especially important for men to put energy into relationships.   


Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson : Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson and I am so grateful for you tuning in with me today.

This episode is perfectly timed. We're heading into the holiday season and for many of us this is a time where we see friends and family members, connections in our lives that we rarely see. Today you're going to understand on a very, very deep level just how much our connections, our friendships, our community deeply impact our health, happiness and our success in life.

I think that this episode is going to blow your mind. We also have some very practical applications, things that we can implement in our lives to further these connections, to create really healthy and happy relationships. Speaking of the holiday season, my experience is pretty unique.

I grew up in two very distinct households in my life and I remember just being a kid during the holiday season, the thing was, there was like the grown up table and then there was the kids' table. I wanted to be at the big kids' table, the grownups table, because I was the oldest, I was the oldest of my grandparents' grandkids. I just felt like I'm over here herding cats while the adults over there chopping it up, having a good time and I'm over here dealing with the rug rats.

But for me, my early experience was living in my grandmother's household, which part of my family is white and part of my family is black, and so living with my grandmother on the white side, we had different fare, there was different foods.

We had, of course we had the traditional turkey, we had cranberry sauce, but we also had a pickle dish. The pickle tray, do you know about the pickle tray? If not, it might be something you want to look into. So we had a different assortment of pickles, sour, sweet, little bit olives. But we also had pumpkin pie, okay.

Then with my black family, we'd have a turkey as well but there was also chitlins, there was also not pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, so I had this whole spectrum from pumpkin pie to sweet potato, kind of looked the same— not the same. So my growing up, my experience of the holidays was very diverse.

And also, on one side it was very communal, very sociable, not saying that it's perfect, but then the other side it was communal and sociable for a while, but there's a lot of alcohol consumption. And without a doubt, every holiday the police are coming to the Stevenson's house, somebody's been popped off, somebody's fighting.

So early in my life holidays were pretty joyful, later on it was like a crapshoot, never know what is going to happen. But for many of us, again, sometimes we want to "go back" to healthier relationships and bond to those things and sometimes we want to disconnect from the unhealthy side of relationships and family and friends experiences.

But there's a way to go about all of this stuff and I know that many of us can feel conflicted and also restricted from moving beyond our environment and the things that we're exposed to. And so making friends and connections at the level that you want to be at, whether that's wellness, financial, health, whether it's just a happiness quotient, it's not as easy as we might think today more than ever, where we're so kind of disconnected from the social, physical connection with our friends and family and it's much more online.

Now here's the beautiful thing is that our online connections can deeper our connections to people that we see physically as well, it's a way that we can keep in touch, it's just how we utilize it. But we don't want to mistake our online relationships for being the type of relationships that happen in closer proximity, as often as possible.

I've got friends that I might see a few times a year, we have great, deep relationships that immediately connect when we see each other, but we keep in touch via online, whether it's like social media or texting, or whatever the case might be. And so these tools are awesome, but we need to proactively have ourselves around consistently people that help to uplift us and hold us accountable and really help us to be the best version of ourselves.

So no matter what situation you're coming from, with your friends and family, community experience, today's episode is about taking it to another level. We all have a diverse experience of life and I think that that is a super power that we have, if we extract the good things and utilize, absorb those things and then discard the rest.

So I'm so grateful for the way that I came out, my diversity of food, my diversity of eating, my diversity of experiences and character traits that I was exposed to because it's all a part of my character and I get to see, I get to have a beautiful sense of contrast, right, I get to have a beautiful sense of, "I know what I want, and I know what I don't want." So it's truly, truly a great experience.

And speaking of knowing what I don't want— when I was a kid, I don't know about you, but I grew up drinking Kool-Aid but we also, we were kind of broke as well, so again, move it to the environment we had Flavor Aid.

So it wasn't even like the legit Kool-Aid, it was Flavor-Aid, and it didn't quite taste as good, you had to put a little extra sugar and the amount of sugar that we would use, there’s got to be a law against it, there’s got to be some kind of criminal act of like poisoning us out there, but it would be like a cup in like a 2 liter Kool-Aid concoction, you got like a cup or 2 of sugar you just pour it in there.

And that's how I grew up. Or Tang, do you remember Tang? Tang had a little hit you in the right here in the throat a little bit, it had a little tang to it. But for me, we had that experience but Kool-Aid was not very portable, it wasn't very portable unless when I was growing up and going to school, some kids would actually have a bag of Kool-Aid mix with sugar and it was straight just like put the finger in, lick it, all right, it's like they were walking around like that or have some type of an object to be able to dip and eat the Kool-Aid mix with the sugar in the bag, it's a true story.

Other than that, not portable in liquid form until they came out with the Kool-Aid Jammers. Okay, the Kool-Aid Jammers is a little plastic but it was shaped like the Coke bottle, you twist the top squirt it in and that was the portability of Kool-Aid was now upleveled. Since then I have better moved on, or better learned about the dangers, there is I mean artificial colors and flavors in that massive amount of sugar.

Obviously we know that that is not conducive to our health and wellness. But what can we do to get some of these delicious flavor sensations, because what the Kool-Aid package said was strawberry or fruit punch, right but in reality there's 0 percent fruit in the fruit punch, 0 percent strawberry in the strawberry, right. But today that idea has been upleveled because what some of the best companies out there know is that we don't want to try to change society's behavior overnight, we want to upgrade the things that people are already doing.

We know that people are going to drink coffee, let's find a way to upgrade that. If we know that people are going to be drinking fruit punch and so-called juices, let's find a way to upgrade that. And that's what I have with the Red Juice blend with Organifi. So this isn't the artificial flavors and colors that we're used to, we're talking about real cold processed Acai, strawberry, cranberry also medicinal mushrooms are in there as well, like cordyceps.

Blueberry is in there, rounded out to give it a little bit deeper color and what I love about it— they've upgraded the Kool-Aid Jammers and now we have the Go packs, the instant Go packs of Organifi Red juice. I just went on a trip to Phoenix. And guess what I brought with me, guess what I had in my Dora the Explorer backpack, all right, it's not that Dora the Explorer is on my backpack but I'm being like Dora, all right, and so I have my Red juice packets in my backpack; on an airplane, open it up pour it in the bottle, I'm getting a massive infusion of nutrition.

So I was just in Phoenix hanging out with Shaun T who's been a guest on the show. Shaun T is like, I mean talking about a fitness icon, he is the guy. So I was there hanging out with him and his family and twinsanity, he's got twins and it was just awesome, awesome experience. But when I'm traveling now I'm bringing my Organifi Go packs with me and I highly encourage you to do the same thing.

So again, they've got the new Go packs right now, you need to check out that Red juice formula, it's just incredible. Matter of fact, listen to this— I just came across a study and this was from researchers at the University of Michigan, they found that blueberry which is in the Organifi Red juice, blueberries have been found to affect genes related to fat burning.

So it's not just you eat something in it is supposed to do a thing or to manage, how does it actually work? Well, everything in our bodies, our metabolism is regulated by our genes, so this is influencing genes that actually activate fat burning. That's really, really powerful stuff.

And so they also found this was in the Journal of Nutrition showed that the consumption of blueberries was also able to reduce insulin resistance in study participants. I'm just going to leave it at that, that's enough, right there. There are so many different, incredible studies that are finding the efficacy of these really powerful fit fruits and it's again low temperature processed, low sugar, but it tastes yummy.

Organifi Red juice, so head over there, check them out right now, it's you get 20 percent off. That's for 20 percent off. Now let's get to our Apple podcast review of the week.

iTunes review: Another 5-star review titled "The podcast I always turn to" by Gabbyy D. "I've listened to Shawn off and on for a couple of years. If I'm ever feeling down on myself either mentally or physically, The Model Health Shawn always pumps me back up and motivates me to do better. Thank you so much for creating such an incredible podcast."

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, I'm so grateful to always be here for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to pop over to Apple podcasts and leave a review for the show, it means everything to me. And listen, whatever platform you're listening on or if you are in the studio with us watching on YouTube— leave a comment, let me know what you think about this episode, I think you're really, really going to love it. And with no further ado, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day.

Our guest today is Dhru Purohit. And how I first learned about Dhru was years ago, years and years ago before he knew who I was, I saw that he was like an icon and a leader building health and wellness communities really around nutrition and really around this superfood nutrition. This was like early, early years before superfoods became a household name.

And he was just so cool and so insightful and also so welcoming. And when we happened to finally meet each other, he is the person that we would see online that you're going to hear on this episode today, just one of the most insightful brilliant and giving people that I know. And he has one of the top podcasts in the world right now and I'm just really grateful to be able to share this conversation with my good friend Dhru Purohit. Check it out.

One of the things that I admire about you man is your beard.

Dhru Purohit: Thank you.

Shawn Stevenson: You've got an epic beard, man. For years you just had it dialed in.

Dhru Purohit: Well you know, part of that is that— what age did you get facial hair, when did you have a beard?

Shawn Stevenson: I was a youngster, man, I was like 13 maybe when the mustache came in.

Dhru Purohit: I was like 12 years old, full mustache and I had facial hair so early and so just I had a long practice whenever people compliment me on it, but definitely that precision of dialing it in, just years of practice.

Shawn Stevenson: I love it so much. You know what's so crazy, it's like being that young it's like, it's kind of a badge of honor when you're the young kid with the stash Ola you know what I mean?

Dhru Purohit: If you feel a little bit out of place, you feel a little bit out of place, but at the same time too later on you're like, especially I have friends that are like still trying to grow a beard, it takes them like 2 months to get a little bit of peach fuzz. So I feel appreciative of it.

Shawn Stevenson: They got the gaps like Waze app on their face basically. So shout out to young beards. Bro, I am so grateful to have you on, I've really been wanting to talk a lot about this topic, it's something I'm super passionate about. I've said this on the show dozens of times, I believe that our relationships are the most influential thing on our health, on our success in life, on our happiness obviously.

And so I really want to dive into this subject a lot deeper. And so just to start things off, I know it is a big question, but why do you feel and why have you put so much intentionality into community? Why do you feel it's important? Why do you feel that friendships are important?

Dhru Purohit: Absolutely. So first of all thank you for having me here, brother. It was an honor to have you on my podcast and get that conversation going. So here's where my whole methodology and framework came when it came to friendships and community. I've been in the health game since the year 2000, that's when I started making significant shifts in my diet because I was dealing with severe acne.

And I came to a lecture one day and this woman was saying that sometimes when people have an inflammatory relationship with dairy they need to go off of it and that can sometimes help their skin improve, especially if they didn't grow up like white European background where dairy was in their culture.

And when I took dairy out of my diet and I saw my skin clear up and I was making all these changes, like nobody knew a dairy free was back then, nobody knew a gluten free was back then, I had the personal experience of now trying to find people and community members out there that could support me in my health goals.

The second component is like you've had so many experts on the podcast, people that are out there changing lives like yourself and every single person came back and talked about how important it is to have community to support your health goals. In fact, they would say some version of the bigger your goals and dreams are in life, the more you need friendships and community that truly have your back.

And the third thing is that I'm a part owner in a medical clinic, my business partner is Dr. Mark Hyman, we see patients all the time and he also has his clinic and his partnership with the Cleveland Clinic over there.

And I've sent so many people to functional medicine doctors and integrative doctors and I've seen the person who's doing everything right, eating the right diet, doing the right stuff but is struggling because they feel alone or lonely, and I can see it completely derail their progress and their health goals. These are some of the factors of why, besides just our society getting lonelier and lonelier, of why this topic is so important right now.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, I love this so much. And that's ironic because we're more connected than ever, right?

Dhru Purohit: Yeah and I have 2 thoughts on that. Actually the data shows that people who have more friends online, and this was done on face Facebook study, tend to have more friends in person too. The challenge becomes when we trade our online friends for offline connection that's there.

So I don't want to throw social media under the bus because the truth is I wouldn't get a chance to meet you, your lovely wife, your kids if it wasn't for social media connecting us. And some of my deepest, most beautiful friendships have come from first connecting online. But we don't want that to be the only source of connection.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, yeah I totally agree with that, man. And so this is just bringing to bear like there is a lot of data on this, there's a lot of research affirming how important community is. And I heard you mention before there is a Framingham study which I talked about in a different perspective on the show, I think it was in regards to heart disease or something, years ago, But can you talk a little bit about that?

Dhru Purohit: Yeah, for sure. So anybody who's familiar with like the Framingham heart study which was done out of town in Massachusetts, it was a 30-year study where they collected so many different data points amongst this population set that was very connected to each other.

And we've been parsing out, when I say we, the greater scientific community, has been parsing that data out there and coming up with conclusions because it was such a long study, so there are so many different analysis that came out of that.

One interesting study that came out of that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine and it was looking at something that was called, the title of the papers, The Spread of Obesity Through Social Networks, they're not talking about Facebook and Twitter but they're talking about like social networks in person that was there.

And the hypothesis of the researchers was when one friend has a significant gain in weight or becomes obese, does that affect the people around them, does that affect their other friends, does it affect their spouse, does that affect the weight of their parents. Essentially, the researchers are asking is obesity a communicable disease, the same way that we would think of the flu or something else that would be out there.

And this data set which was looking at a population of about 12,000 people between 1971 and 2003 found some interesting conclusions. What they found is that when they looked at parents, kids, spouses and friends group, the biggest influence when one group in that friend network had a significant increase in weight, they saw that the biggest influence was their other close friends.

In fact, you're 57 percent more likely to become obese or gain weight yourself when one of your close friends becomes overweight. Just think about the influence that our community has when it comes to the fundamentals of our health, even more than our spouse, even more than our parents.

Shawn Stevenson: Dang, that's crazy.

Dhru Purohit: And I have some theories on that and they talk about this a little bit in the paper, just think about it socially— when your friends are like, "Oh dude," for anybody that's taken a period of time where they have not gone drinking and they said, "You know what, I don't have alcohol right now, I'm just like in my zone, I'm trying to focus a little bit."

Then a friend comes to you like, "Dude, just come out for Margaritas, it's happy hour, let's just go." We have this thing inside of us our mirror neuron ability where we want to mimic the people that we consider closest to us. So we're going to adopt the behaviors that age old phrase, you become the average of the 5 people around you, now we're seeing that there's actual data that's there.

So in a way something even like obesity. And then you think about it, how does it relate to also income level, positivity, mental health. The people around us influence us all the time and sometimes they have the biggest influence on our life more than anybody else.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, that's facts, that's absolute facts. I just did a post talking about this, we can't help but be influenced by our environment, we can't help it. We are a product of our environment but we're also creators of our environment, if we become aware of it. Because for a lot of us I know that we grow up and just one of the people coming to mind that we had on the show Lori Harder, and she talked about growing up in a family that was obese, an obese family.

And her being in a situation where that was her life and that was her destination as well. And she literally had to remove herself from her family environment and she loves her family, she still loves her family, but it's just the fact that unless we proactively create a new situation, we're probably going to find ourselves in the same place.

And this for me brings up a really important subject which is how did this all come to be in the first place, right? Where today we're we have our little pockets, but we have this broader spectrum of influence, but we evolved, humans evolved in cultures in sub groups of friends and community that we depended on. So let's kind of take a step back and talk about how humanity, like we are dependent, we're codependent creatures, it's in our DNA.

Dhru Purohit: In fact, it's so true, no human being can survive on their own. That's why one of the greatest fears in this day and age is people feeling not liked by others, that's been programmed into our DNA or being ostracized from community or what do other people think about me, because part of that was our DNA, our genetics are designed to say, "Well, if I get kicked out of the community my core survival is at risk."

If you go back far enough, no human being could survive— now it's a different story and we'll get to that, without being part of a village, you couldn't fetch water, chop wood, hunt and survive and create shelter or your chances were greatly diminished if you wanted to have a longer life that was there. So we needed each other.

So reciprocity, a village taking care of each other, looking after each other, having each other’s back, working through conflict was built into the DNA of humanity. Then as technology came and it's brought us so many incredible things and I don't demonize it at all, one of the challenges is where community was baked into our survival we have something interesting happening right now.

We have phones and we have so many things that are beautiful technological advancements that are there, but it's allowing us to not rely on another human being for our survival that we don't know. For example, we have Netflix so we could watch that and we could be entertained by ourselves; we have Uber Eats and we can order food or we can go to a restaurant and yes, we still may be relying on someone to keep the power on for these lights of these microphones, but it's often not somebody that we directly know and have a connection with.

There's somebody in some power plant that's keeping the electricity on but we don't have a direct connection with them, so we are no longer truly reliant on other human beings for the basic survival in the western world that's there. So now, friendship and community is not actually about survival and it being baked in so it's all around us, it's actually about thriving.

And I tell people, people say the biohacking is all about the art and science are changing environment around you to get to an intended result. One of the most incredible biohacks that we have access to is who we surround ourselves with.

Again, the bigger your goals and dreams are in life, if you want to be up to something amazing, if you want to create a bubble around you of resilience so you can withstand all the challenges that come from life, the stresses that are there, the tough times of becoming a father for the first time or a mother for the first time, we need people around us who have our back and could go along with us on that journey, so it's truly about thriving now instead of just survival from before.

Shawn Stevenson: I love this so much, ultimate biohack is really working towards because again, like especially people who listen to this show, the folks that you are connected with, we dive into the nutrition, we dive into the movement practices, sleep is a big thing, but the ultimate thing, the ultimate biohack is our community. And with that said, I think it's important to take a step back and look at you said something really remarkable I want to look past, we're hardwired to care what other people think, right, we're hardwired.

Because evolutionarily speaking, if we were outcasts are not liked by our tribe, this could mean our survival is at risk, whereas today we've got hundreds, thousands potentially millions of people judging us and we oftentimes talk about not caring, you've got to get to a place where you don't care what other people think, but we're hardwired to care. So how do we traverse that that line, man? I would love to hear your perspective on that.

Dhru Purohit: They talk about it in the book Sapiens, the author of that and there's other plenty of books that talk about we are truly hardwired and there's better experts that can break that down further than me. But here's the important aspect of it— we can't just assume that we're not going to care what other people think, it's choosing who we want to put in that bucket of actually valuing their opinion.

Because we don't want to care about what the media says about society and what we think they think about us. We don't want to care about the person that we don't actually have those deep connections with, but we need to choose people intentionally, that inner circle of friends. Now, remember, we can't choose our family and there's that old phrase of "Friends are the family you choose."

So when you create that circle around you and even taking a step back further, most of us are growing up with a type of friend that was just what I call for just conversational purposes like "logistical friends" meaning that you were in the same physical localities with them, you met them in school, you met them at work and you just happened to be in the same geographic region, let's call them like "geographic friends."

Then as a lot of individuals get into like let's say if they pursue a higher education or they are getting into like adulthood, that's the first time that a lot of people start asking about a more important type of friend which is intentional friends. What are your goals and dreams in life? What do you want to do? What's your plan moving forward from here? Is there a vision that you have for your life? Amazing, who do you want to surround yourself with to make that dream more of a reality.

You want to have a hit podcast that's out there, you want to move to LA and you bring your family over and feel settled and connected and be invited to like incredible opportunities and things and be happy and healthy— great, who do I need to surround myself with? Because none of this is happening on our own. So I think it's about choosing and first doing an inventory.

Nothing wrong with the friends that you grew up with, I still am friends with a lot of people that I grew up with, but then ask yourself are they meeting your needs of where you are right now, are they intentional and purposeful friends?

Because when you choose friends intentionally and purposefully, then there's no problem in valuing their opinion and caring what they have to say because you know that they have your back and anything that they share with you or give to you or feedback that's there or even sometimes criticisms which we all need sometimes, it's coming from a place of truly lifting you up for your highest good.

Shawn Stevenson: Yes, yes, yes man I love this so much. Listen for a lot of people, and I know that I've been in this position as well, I had my friends when I was a kid, you know what is so funny it just struck me just right now in this moment, my best friend when I was a kid, his name was Avery and my youngest son's best friend his name is Avery.

And so but it was based on logistical, right, the geographic friends, but we moved around a lot man, we moved in, no joke we moved probably 11 times when I was a kid, same city but my mom not paying bills we got kicked out a lot of places. And so making friends was something I had to learn to do—

Dhru Purohit: Which by the way, if I can interrupt—

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.

Dhru Purohit: I already knew that before you even told me last time on the podcast because you're so welcoming, you're so good at making friends that that's usually an indication of somebody that had to do it for their survival or thriving.

Shawn Stevenson: Dude, that's so powerful. I never thought about it before, man. And I think that for a lot of people who are good at that, they don't think about it, right it's just kind of something that is ingrained in their personality. I never thought about like I had to try to make friends, I just did, like I was in the environment, we find somebody to play with.

And that's kind of how it started off and for many of us as kids like you go next door, "Hey, can Avery come out and play?" But today, as adults, I know that a lot of adults say that it's harder to make friends as adults. Why do you think that is?

Dhru Purohit: Yeah, it's harder because when you were a kid you didn't overthink it and you didn't have a lot of resources, you couldn't drive so you had you the community, you had the people that were in your neighborhood and that's all you had so you either did it or you didn't do it.

As adults, what happens is that first of all, just like you moved a lot as a kid, what happens is that when people become young professionals in this day and age especially, they're moving, once, maybe twice. So now, instead of having the same friends you had in college, whether you went to college in the city that you grew up in or not, you're forced to make friends in a new environment where it's not built into it.

In college or university, if people have gone, it's kind of like everybody is doing a shared experience, everybody is new, everybody is trying to figure it out. Same thing with high school and middle school, you kind of are in a capacity where it is baked into your living. As adults, the place that people have that the most is in the traditional workforce, right, if they're in corporate America or they're working in an office, but that still you're choosing between a very small set of people.

And what you bring up is something very important is that nobody really taught us how as an adult to intentionally make friends. And it turns out that it's a lot like dating— you've got to ask people out which sounds funny to especially a lot of guys, but it's literally you're taking somebody out and you're saying like, "Hey, let's play tennis, let's do this." You're putting out a possibility, an opportunity of hanging out together.

My friend Louis Hals, who I know you also know too, he says, "If you have a hard time imagining, if you're in a town that you don't know a lot of people, you just move there, how do you even begin to find these individuals?" I have 2 tips for those people. One is a quote from Louis and he says, "Go to where people grow." If you have a growth mindset, if you are listening to this podcast and you want to better yourself in every aspect of your life, then you also want friends who are at that same level too.

So in your local town or community where are people going to grow? Is that at local Toastmasters? Is it somebody who's invited to a dinner party of people who are into like a particular book or book club that's there? Where are people going to grow, it could even be that local yoga class or fitness studio, or cross fit or whatever people are into.

The second action item is this— when I hear people say, "I can't find the right friends," or, "I just moved somewhere," or, "I had to fire my old friends because they were toxic," you see a lot of that on Instagram these days, "And I don't have new friends that I've replaced them with." I say, "Think about the last 6 months, pull out a sheet of paper, make a list of just anybody interesting that you met."

Usually when I sit down and I have people pull out a piece of paper and actually make a list and go through their calendar, "Okay, where was I last month, where was I hanging out? You know what, I went to the movies with a buddy of mine and we ran into somebody interesting and they were an author and I thought I always want to write a book one day. I never followed up with that person."

There's somebody interesting in the last 6 months that you met that you didn't follow up with. And if you just followed up with them and put out an invitation to do something, go on a hike, play golf, do yoga, do a workout together, grab coffee, that's step one in making intentional friendships.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, it's so good. Something just popped up and I got to ask you about this. For many people that's the thing, you mentioned toxic friends, and it's a big thing now, people are pointing the finger, they're identifying it. But what tends to happen if we're not aware and if we don't do something about it is that we want growth, we want happiness, we want to better life, we want success and we try to remove ourselves from certain people, certain relationships, but there's a gap there.

And what I found is that if you don't intentionally do something with this gap, you're going to fill it, it is going to get filled with the same type of people, same type of relationships. Has this been something that you've noticed as well with other people?

Dhru Purohit: Absolutely. Or a lot more of what I'm seeing is that people "get rid" of their toxic friendships and they're not filling it, and so what takes the place is loneliness. We are in an epidemic of loneliness that's out there, even people that have tons of followers or friends online, they feel like they don't have people that truly have their back in their world.

So let's talk about that for a second. The problem isn't the toxic friends. I'm going to take a little bit of a counter-culture approach on this— the toxic friends are not the problem, the problem is actually a beautiful thing, which is you're growing.

Have you ever had a friend tell you, "You've changed." "You've changed, now you're in all this, now you're in LA and you think you're better than us," or whatever it might be, everybody who's listening, if you have a growth mindset you've had a friend that's told you've changed.

And the thing is for anybody who's listening, I hope you've changed. I've changed so much, I have evolved and become a better, more whole, more complete, more successful version of who I truly am. And so the change has been part of that process that's there.

So what I really hear when people say and are complaining about toxic friends is I'm hearing a boundaries or an expectation mismatch. You had a homie that you were best friends with in college. You've grown and you're into certain stuff and you're not into other stuff, maybe you don't want to go out drinking more, you don't want to hit the club, you don't want to do this or even more basic, you don't spend your time gossiping and complaining which is how you guys used to bond when you were back in school.

And truly when the person says, "You've changed or you don't hang out with me anymore," first of all we got to realize it's a cry for help, they miss you. They really miss you even if they're obnoxious they really miss you, they just don't know how to say it. And it's okay to pick up the phone and not ghost them and instead say, "Listen, I know that we've kind of gone apart a little bit, I've gotten into this stuff, this is valuable to me, I know you and I are not always into same things.

But these are the few areas of life where I do feel we can still hang out and it's still fun for me, but I don't want to do this and I don't want to do that, and I have the courage and I have enough love for you that I’ve mustered up the courage to tell you directly." Because what ends up happening most of the time is that people just kind of ghost each other. They ghost each other or they just fall apart and then they have these stories that they make up about each other.

So I say pick up the phone and it's okay to tell somebody, especially if they keep on hitting you up and saying, "Why aren't we hanging out any more, you've changed, you've moved on." It's okay to reset and say, "You know what, I love when we work out together.

And if it's cool with you I'd love to do more of that." You don't have to give them brutal honesty or make them feel bad, but you're not leaving it in the dark. And so the second component of that is that while you do that and you've reset the buckets, you don't have to have, if you have a close friend bucket, everybody has buckets of different friends that they have in their life and relationships, you might have just had somebody in the wrong bucket, they were in the close friend bucket but now they're more in like the friend bucket.

They can still be somebody in your world, you don't have to completely fire them unless they truly are a deeply toxic force that is blaming you for stuff and you can't repair that relationship. So that's that's the first thing that I'd say to individuals along with the advice that I gave before of now finding new friendships and new communities and new connection to fill that void that was there.

Shawn Stevenson: I know you've heard it and I know a lot of people listening have heard it, "You've changed." When people say that, say, "Thank you. Thank you for noticing." And this is some really great practical advice because I think that we are either on one end of the extreme or in the relationship or we're out of relationship, and ghosting today is like #ghosting is a big thing.

And so I love that so much, and I've seen places in my life of those examples that you've given where maybe we had a lot more communal time, but that shifted over to like just training together and a little bit less of the other stuff.

And seeing the relationship evolve into something else and not necessarily just ghosting the person. Because I think for a lot of us, especially if you're a "good person" and you see yourself as that, is that we love people, we care about their opinion, we want them to succeed but we also have to keep in mind that you can't want it for somebody else.

And you can love people from a far, you can wish them well, pray for them and you can also transition your relationship. But for me, and this is why I even do this show, the number one thing you can do is to be a good model. And sometimes being a good model does not mean being Casper the Ghost and like ghost people right.

And so man, thank you so much for sharing that and I want to get more into some very, because this is what you do, some very practical applications on how do we build new friendships and great relationships. And we're going to do that right after this quick break, so sit tight we'll be right back.

I was just riding in the car with my family. It was my wife and my 2 sons, Jorden who is 19 and my youngest son Braden who is 8. Jorden was talking about how in his last year of high school he was getting that coffee hitter, like I had no idea that from time to time he would pick up a little bit of that crackbucks, Starbucks.

And he was just like, because he's not really one of those people that likes coffee necessarily, but he was just like, "Some days, you know dad, you like get up and you are just like, 'Well, not today', but then you have that coffee and you're like, 'Today, today is the day'."

And it's so funny because when I was in high school I never saw anybody drink coffee, but before Jorden got his first car, I'd drop him off at school every day and I would see the students just walking in, holding their crackbucks cups, right. It's just like it's being bred into our culture at younger and younger ages.

But the reality is, cultures throughout the world have been enjoying and utilizing coffee for centuries, right, and in childhood. And it's only recently that this mass production. mass quantity, lower quality has become so pervasive.

And so now, not only are you getting the conventional coffee, but you're also getting a lot of toxicity along with it, the mold, the pesticides, the herbicides and this is creating an atmosphere where the benefits, the potential benefits of coffee are now going down and people are just going to it because it's a source of caffeine or it's a source of sugar, right.

Because a lot of people don't even truly enjoy coffee, they love the stuff that's in it, right, the sugar and the cream and those things. But for me, and what I've been really directing people to because I was just not a fan of coffee, is let's get coffee but let's upgrade it, tremendously, by utilizing some of these powerful medicinal mushrooms along with the coffee.

And I do that through Four Sigmatic, and their incredible mushroom formulas, their mushroom coffee. Now when people hear about mushroom coffee, medicinal mushrooms, they might come out, "Well, what kind of mushrooms are those, Shawn?"

I'm not talking about psychedelic mushrooms, I'm not talking about culinary mushrooms; I am talking about the category of medicinal mushrooms. These mushrooms have been utilized, again, literally for centuries and this one, in particular, has documentation from over 2,000 years ago with Cordyceps and now today, what is so beautiful is that we have our clinical evidence to affirm the efficacy that our ancestors knew about many, many centuries ago.

And so this was a study and this was published recently in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, tested 30 healthy test subjects for 6 weeks to record the effects of Cordyceps on their performance in their sport.

And the group that added Cordyceps to their daily regiment had twice the oxygen intake of the control group and this oxygen again is essential for supplying nutrients to your cells, for preventing fatigue and buildup of lactic acid. And another study done by the same group showed that there was an overall 9 percent increase in aerobic activity, in aerobic performance from taking and utilizing Cordyceps.

Now, this is a real whole food, Earth grown nutrient sourced ingredient, this isn't a hyper stimulant which caffeine in and of itself can be. And what Four Sigmatic was able to do is to reduce the amount of caffeine and add in another natural adaptogen and supporter of your energy that really helps to create this balanced energy.

You'll never have those crashes or these strange, crazy coffee jitters that you can get when you utilize Four Sigmagic. So pop over there, check them out, get your hands on some, like yesterday. It's, that's, you get 15 percent off the Cordyceps coffee.

The Lion's Mane coffee, if you really want to focus on that mental fortitude because the Lion's Mane mushroom, this was from the University of Malaya found that Lion's Mane is able to actually create new brain cells, that's right, it has neurogenesis capabilities, literally the creation of new brain cells, and it is found to be neuroprotective and now it's being studied for use for traumatic brain injuries as well.

Wow, like you can't get that from crackbucks, but you can get that from Four Sigmatic. Alright, so pop over there, check them out, for 15 percent off everything. If you're not a fan of coffee, they've got the mushroom coffees and they're just straight mushroom elixirs as well, so whether it's Cordyceps, Lion's Mane, Reishi, you can get the real thing.

Dual extracted, you're not getting this from other companies, they are doing a hot water extract and an alcohol extract to actually get all the nutrients you're looking for. Alright, so pop over there, check them out, Now back to the show.

Shawn Stevenson: Alright, we're back and we're talking with Dhru Purohit and we were just talking about some of the ingredients in creating great relationships and friendships. And what's so crazy is that I bumped into you maybe a year ago walking down the street in Santa Monica and we had been connected online.

I think maybe we saw each other one other time, but you were one of the first people here that just made me feel super welcome and you were like, "Hey, when you guys are dropping into town, I know you are coming in to events or things like this", before we even thought about moving you were like, "Hey we've got a great room at my place and you and your wife are welcome to stay," and I was just like, man, that is like extending an incredible hand, an incredible gift to share your space to share your time like that.

And this is something that I've heard, Rangan who was just on here recently and just feeling such welcoming, you mentioned this about me but a welcoming spirit and welcoming attitude. And so is this something that just is naturally part of your personality, or is this something that you have worked on personally?

Dhru Purohit: Yeah, so there are 2 elements that go into that. The first one is you moved around a lot when you were younger. I also too moved around a lot, my dad got different opportunities, I was born in Nairobi Kenya and my parents had to kind of leave very quickly within a year because of a coup attempt that happened on the day that I was born.

So they came over to US and luckily my dad was able to get sponsored and then qualify for citizenship. And my dad was just doing the immigrant thing, working up the ladder like, "Okay, I don't care if my kids have a bunch of friends over here, I am doing this and I'm trying to make money for them to create a better life so we could send them to school and have a better education."

So we popped around a lot, we moved to Tennessee, Tennessee to Texas, Texas to Delaware and even in Delaware we moved around a couple times as my dad got different promotions over there. So the first thing is that I have such deep empathy for anybody that's the new kid in the room because I've been the new kid in the room.

And if you've ever been the new kid in the room or the person who goes to the party and you're twiddling your thumbs, you know how valuable it is for somebody to come over to you and say, "Hey man I see that you're new, I haven't seen you here before, here's my name, here's what I'm up to tell me a little about yourself."

So just put yourself in somebody else's shoes and just think what would you want in that situation. So that's the first thing. The second thing is I found something very interesting in my life which is when I have other people's back they have my back too. When I look after people, not that I'm doing it to get anything in return, when I look after other people those are the same people that come back and say, "Hey man, I love to have you on my podcast," or do this thing or do that thing and it's not a transactional thing, if it's a transactional thing everybody can see right through it.

And it could even be something that's not even career related, it's just that, "Hey, I make you feel welcome, you meet some new friends, you introduce me to those friends and now all of a sudden my network is better, is bigger, is more connected," that's there. So we've forgotten the fundamental aspect of sort of village style reciprocity.

You knew in the village that you had to look after people because you had this summer your crop field was more but next winter you didn't know what was going to happen, you don't know what was going to go on. So you had to have people's backs because that's the only way to ensure that they had your back too.

And every major leap in my career, for anybody that's listening is like, "You know this all sounds pretty soft, okay, I get it, I have better friendships," let's turn this into like a career conversation. First of all, if you're looking for the job of your dreams, just know that only 50 percent of jobs in America actually get posted online or posted anywhere.

The rest of them come through deep networking and connections, deep networking and connections. The second thing is this, I have a group of guys that meets every Thursday, we call it man morning Thursday, it's a group of all friends that all happen to move to LA around the same time that didn't know anybody else and we just get together they're all business owners, they are all doing something interesting or another, and we're going on a hike for an hour.

You become the average of those people so when you have successful people that you're surrounded with, you get a new idea, you get a new vision of what was possible. So this is why it's so fundamental to integrate this into our beingness. In fact, I tell people that when I meet somebody new, one of the first questions that I'm asking and anybody can steal this is who or what do I know that can help this person make progress in their dreams and goals in life. When you start putting other people first, just notice by extension what that does for your dreams and goals.

Shawn Stevenson: Ah, it's so good, man, so awesome. I've got so many questions that have come up just even from hearing that and the first thing for me is like with your intentionality and the way that you operate and your empathy for the new person in the room, you've got a lot of friends. And so my question first is obviously there's a difference between quantity and quality, right. I love this the Thursday, man morning Thursday?

Dhru Purohit: Man morning Thursday.

Shawn Stevenson: I love that so is that one of the ingredients or strategies that we can utilize to help to deepen our friendships?

Dhru Purohit: Absolutely. So Man Morning Thursday is a type of event that I recommend that people figure out how to integrate into their life, because we're all busy, because we're all doing stuff, we're busy parents, we're busy business owners, we're in a new stage in our life, we just move somewhere, maybe we have a family member that we're taking care of that's sick and so there's demands on our schedule in a way that are higher than ever before.

It's important to have something on your calendar that I call an opt out event. So here's what an opt out event is. Take your close group of people, it can even be one other person and if you're living a busy life with your family, put a reoccurring event on your calendar, it could even be every other month that's there and say that every Thursday, the first Thursday or the first Friday or the first Monday of every other month or the weekend, we're just going to meet up for coffee and talk about what's going on.

And it's a reoccurring event in our Google Calendar and it's assumed that we're all going to be there or that we're both going to go unless if somebody has to opt out of it. What we're trying to do is we're trying to recreate the rituals that we would have in the village.

2 summers ago I went with the Summit Series out to Kenya, it was my first time back since I was born there and we went and stayed with this tribe, they're cousins of the Masai, they're called the Samburu tribe, they're nomadic villages and herdsmen, they herd cattle and camel now.

And you saw that every month there's different rituals and rites of passage that are there in the community and it was something that was known and it was something that everybody in the community was always looking for to. "Oh, on this day here on the new moon we're going to do X. We're going to do Y, we're going to do Z." We always had this in our society now.

One of the challenges with modern day friendships is that it's very difficult, anybody that's been on a group text message thread with a group of friends are trying to get together you see how challenging it is to get everybody together.

And one way to cut through that noise is to have an opt out event, a regularly reoccurring event. So for my group and group of guys that I'm closest to here in LA, that's this Thursday hike in the morning before everybody goes to work, but you can do it in any version or fashion that you want to.

Shawn Stevenson: I love that so much, opt out event. So put a reoccurring event on your calendar and this could even be like you said every other month, but something that creates a ritual.

Dhru Purohit: Totally. And by the way this could be a phone call. You know what I found in talking all these different people about friendship? You mentioned Dr. Rangan Chatterjee, he's one of my good friends and he was on your podcast, it was a great episode by the way.

He said, "What's interesting is that my closest friends actually don't live anywhere close to me". And I was like, "I find that for a lot of people. I find that for a lot of people especially people who just moved." So a recurring event in the calendar could be, "Hey, every 4 months we're just going to hop on the phone on Face Time.

And we're going to have it on the calendar because it's too easy to forget, too many things are going on." So know that if you're somebody that says, "I don't have those friends," great, I gave you tips earlier on how to kind of create that, but also if your closest friend, someone that you actually truly love and genuinely connect with doesn't live around you.

I'm in that same boat too, some of my closest friends don't live in LA, so I have a reocurring event on my calendar where I know to call them and it's a mutual event, it's not just for me it's for them too, we hop on Face Time, "Hey brother, before we talk about highlights and everything, tell me something that you're struggling with right now. Tell me something that you're going through that maybe you haven't opened up with other people."

And you see the value, you see the value in men, it's so important to listen to this because women naturally are so good at opening up and by the way, partly it's because of how their brains are wired differently than men, there is a book "The Female Brain" by this researcher who actually talks about how men's and women's brains are different and the neural pathways and connections inside of it.

So for men especially who traditionally as they get older don't have a best friend, don't have close friends, the loneliest people in America tend to be older men. More so than women and that sort of thing. So having a reoccurring event on your calendar and just being, "Hey, this is what's going on with business and going on in life," we have to work a little bit harder at it as men because we have the tendency not to open up as much as women do , but we need it just as much as they do.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely. And this is something I really admire about my wife, literally it was yesterday she was on a Face Time date and she told me in advance she was like, "I have a date with my friend", shout out to Jelisa who literally lives on the other side of the country on the East Coast, right and so they set aside a time and they do this maybe once a month but they're constantly, I am talking constantly, sending each other these voice texts.

And so I might walk into the kitchen my wife doing something and it seems like she's just doing something but she's actually listening to a message from Jelisa, or I'll catch her leaving messages all the time as well and that's how they stay in touch and deepen the relationship, even though they all see each other very often.

Dhru Purohit: And that's so beautiful and by the way, for anybody who's listening which is going back to your question that I didn't answer which is is it quantity or quality, really friendship and connection is about depth, it's not about quantity, it's about depth. I have some my closest friends for 20, 30 years are people that I just see once a year.

But when we sit down once a year we have that deep, connected conversation, that soulful conversation that recognition of we're not on this rotating rock in the universe by ourselves, we're on this journey with other people, somebody who understands me, gets me, lifts me up, sees the highest version of myself, that's the truest expression of friendship because that goes back to our deepest purpose, why are we here.

And if you're clear or you're getting clear about why you're here, it's actually the friendships that keep you on track, it's the friendships the help you reflect and when you deviate or you gave up on that goal, it's a friendships will come back and say, "Hey dude, I know you put this goal down, I know you've given up on that book or that podcast you want to do or that video or that business you wanted to start, but I am just here to remind you, I could tell you that you're still passionate about it. Don't give up on it, maybe things are crazy right now and you can't do it now, but don't give up on it just yet. I know you can do it."

What's the value of that? What's the value in life of having somebody that has your back that sees that in you. So again, it's not about quantity, you don't have to meet up with people every week or you don't have to have 50 close friends. Everybody's different, but even if you're an introvert, even if you're an introvert, you still need deep, meaningful friendships even if that's just one person in your life that you can be honest with and has your back.

Shawn Stevenson: Yes and we need this to thrive. You mentioned earlier we don't need it for our survival today but we need to thrive and to be our best. And you also mentioned that women tend to be more graceful at this and I want to dive a little bit deeper, because like you said, the loneliness folks in our society today are older men. So why is that? Why do men have a more difficult time?

I understand the wiring of our brain is different, but I think and I'm just going to elude to, I think that this has something to do with our societal conditioning, our preconceived notions. I started this episode off complimenting your beard, you know what I mean, like I think again these are those things that make it a little bit different and instantly create connection is a willingness to not follow the suit of what I was taught growing up.

I was taught to be tough, I was taught to man up, be a man and these things can have different connotations, they can be positive or they can be construed as something negative. But you don't want to seem like you are soft or you know what I mean? So can you talk a little about this why do men tend to have more problems with this?

Dhru Purohit: I think the first thing is that our actual make up and now the nuclear type houses in the suburbs that we're living in, they don't create that automatic sense of community, they don't get create that after work, everybody goes to the center of the town and kind of hangs out.

They don't create a lot of that ingrained connection, that automatic built in connection which is a little bit easier sometimes for men. Anybody who thinks that men are not great at relationships and friendships has never hung out or played in like a sports team because you see young men and older men, I have have friends that are playing the NFL, or people that have been in the military, they're some of the most open about stuff that they're going through, the most comradery that's going on.

Yeah, they may have a little bit of that tough guy approach in the top but they are really good when there's a team that's there that's all reliant on one another. So one, our society is changing. Number 2, alluding to what you talked about is that as people get older men are looked down upon through society, even sometimes it could be their mothers encouraging it, don't cry, it could be their fathers encouraging it, it could be friends are encouraging it, don't cry, don't open up.

And also the other one that we don't talk about enough of like, "Oh, it's going to be weird or am I going to be seen as gay", in the traditional sense whether somebody is homosexual or not, this perceiving of, "Is it feminine for me to go ask somebody like, 'Hey man, I really love the way you show up, we should go hang out sometime.' What am I, hitting on the guy?"

And there's so much there that's baked into society that breaking out of norm and realizing that again, men need connection just as much as women, if they want to thrive. Listen, you want to live a basic life and you're fine with not thriving, not doing stuff, you may look at and say, "You know what, I don't need friendships," okay, great this is not for you.

But if you want to thrive and you want to grow in every element of your life business, career, health, friendships, family, improve your relationship then you actually do need those friendships that are there.

And that's why I think it comes a little bit more automatic to women because again, going back to their brains, they have more neural connections left to right, and again in the book "The Female Brain" you can detail and look into the science that are there and how men's brains are wired a little bit differently than the women's brains. But those are the societal pressures I think that are causing challenges. Can I tell you a quick story?

Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely.

Dhru Purohit: So here's a really interesting story. So in the 1960s there was a group of Italian immigrants that all moved from Italy and started forming a little town in Pennsylvania, it is called Rosetta.

And in this town they maintained a lot of the traditional style of living that they had in Italy, often you would have 3 or 4 generations all living under one roof and what was really interesting is that the men that were part of this community were part of one or more social groups, it could be with the church, it could be with like a lawn bowling group that was there.

What happened is that a local doctor in that town started noticing a trend, he noticed that there was nobody under the age of 55 that had died from a heart attack. And at that time in the US, in the 1960s you had so many people and heart disease was becoming very popular and a lot of people under the age of 55 were dying of heart attacks over there.

And he said this is an anomaly. So out of conference one time over a beer he told a local researcher at a university, "You know what, this is crazy. I live in this town and nobody under the age of 55 has died of a heart attack." And the researcher said, "You know what, let's look into this little bit more."

So they studied the water, the diet, you know, the different components and they were scratching their heads because they could not figure out why somebody under the age of 55 had not died and even the people that had died of a heart disease later on in life, it was half the national average. So this town is a freaking anomaly.

So what they found, and eventually this ended up becoming a term that has been written about before and there's a couple of small documentaries about it called the Rosetta effect, and it's not what they were eating or drinking, it's how they were living. You had individuals that were sharing meals together, in a way they kind of recreated a blue zone in that local population.

And you had families that were sharing meals together and again, going back to the men is which is who they were studying as part of this looking at their heart disease, they saw that these men were connected, they had deep friend groups. They were taking time for meals, they were part of the social groups that were there. Interestingly enough, by the 1970s a lot of the family started living differently as a town started to become modernized, and they had the first person in the early 1970s that died under the age of 55 from a heart attack.

By the time of the 1980's and late 1980's, early 1990's it was now according to the national average. So even for any person that's listening especially for men, if you want to ensure your best health in life moving forward, that's how important friendships and connections are to staying healthy, fit and happy into your later years.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, that's such a good story but it's a real, this is real life example. And wow, that is so cool and again, this is something we overlook. The first thing we do is we look to the food which matters, we look to movement practices which matters, but community is such a big thing.

And I'm so glad that you also brought up the elephant in the room and this idea that we seem weak or that we seem, this term you put in air "gay" if we're proactively seeking relationships. And for me there are two things I had Jay Ferruggia on the show, who stays pretty close to here as well, and he talked about seeing this other guy at the beach.

And if you see Jay, he looks like the toughest guy ever like he looks like he will definitely choke out your mom, right. But he saw this guy at the beach he was like doing something that he was like, "Oh man it's really awesome," and he went over and talked to him at the beach, and he's like, "I know this guy might think I'm hitting on him, but I want to create a connection with this guy," right, because he was looking past this really depriving mindset of connection and relationship.

And for me, and even the word, now we're starting to change like you said as a society, and even seeing with athletes, we're seeing a lot more emotion, we're seeing a lot more tears, we're seeing a lot more connection.

My older son Jorden getting here, he didn't know anybody here in LA. Football team, best friends, like and so crazy like, I think their birthdays are like 2 days apart or something, they almost look the same, but just like he found somebody and they connect and they're always hanging out and laughing and talking and having a good time.

But one of my favorite people on the planet is gay, but he's also one of the toughest, strongest, giving, heartfelt people, Shaun T, right I was just with him and with my wife with him and Scott, his partner at their place. And just redefining what these things mean because it's really stupid, and for us today I think that everybody listening we have the opportunity to usher in change.

And if we're going to truly be happy, especially like we have this epidemic of loneliness specifically more so what's happening with men for us to get, analyze, think about this stuff in your mind because I know it's there, it's highly likely especially if you don't have the relationships that you want, that you have a barrier towards you seeking relationships and like you said, dating, asking another man out. But you don't have to be like, "Hey bro, do you want to go out on a date?

Dhru Purohit: You don’t have to use that word.

Shawn Stevenson: You know what I mean.

Dhru Purohit: But you've got to make proactive.

Shawn Stevenson: Yes, you've got to put yourself out there. And I think that we're probably afraid of rejection, we're probably afraid of coming off the wrong way.

Dhru Purohit: Needy. Like, "I need people," like, "I don't have any friends I need people," there's all these things that go along with it.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. And so just do a self analysis and take a look in your mind and see if there are any labels or preconceived notions that might be disempowering you. And I'm glad you brought it up because a lot of people wouldn't, they wouldn't talk about that, but this is something that is ingrained in us in this culture from childhood.

Again, I mentioned some of the things, some of the terms that were thrown around in my household and it was even worse, some really dirty, some just nasty, reckless things were said as well, that keep you from having relationships with other men. And so man, thank you so much for sharing that and listen, there's been so many nuggets dropped here, so many insights, so many words of encouragement.

Again I love it because you're practical, you've got the evidence but also anecdotally like your life is a reflection of it. And me just bump into you on the street a year ago and to see you extend yourself and I actually genuinely felt it, I genuinely felt like, "Man, I want to hang out with him more."

And for me, like I moved across the country because it's not just you, and I want you to talk about this, is kind of the last thing I want to ask about, you talked a little bit about this but proximity matters, but the depth matters.

So both of us, we have friends who it doesn't matter if it's a year, we get together is just deep, it's depth, right. But what about something else that we can proactively do to put ourselves in the environment of potential connections and friendships and growing broader community?

Dhru Purohit: Yeah. I think that it's always nice when you can find a community that's already set up a little bit. Again, I don't want to knock online because it could even be online sometimes if somebody lives somewhere where they don't feel like they have it, where you can start to learn.

And in this day and age, with the cost of travel going down, it's easier for people to meet up. You might go to a conference somewhere, you went to a Afest which was Mind Valley, I've never been, but like that, there's different communities. Afest, summit series, there's different communities that are out there and when you drop in and you find these soulful connections, those are friendships that last you a lifetime.

So I think the first thing is even deciding whether or not you want to make it a priority, if it's a priority for you to have friends that you can both give to and they can give to you and you guys can help self actualize and self realize and make your dreams in life possible, then you're going to make the effort and energy.

If it's not a priority for you or you if don't understand the connection, you won't make it a priority. And I want to say one thing, there's been, Sanjay Gupta from CNN did a report on this study that had come out earlier this year that there's 3 age groups where loneliness is most likely to peak. the first one is at the age of 20, then it's the age of 50, then is the age of 80.

And all those are very transitional times in people's lives. 20 year leaving college, leaving university or you're out of let's say now you're really becoming like an adult, you're out of the household, you're doing your thing, even if you're not at university. 50 empty nesters, kids are not at home as much, they're off to college, they're somewhere else that might be there.

In this day and age also to, I don't remember exactly the average age of divorce but it's probably around that in the late forty's early fifty's that are there and half people that are married get divorced, so there's those transitions that go along with it. And then 80 years old, you're out of maybe your own house you might be living in a nursing home or you might be getting up some independence and living somewhere else, and I will add another one anecdotally.

A lot of people who listen my podcast, any time that I'm talking about loneliness are new moms especially. Being a new mom can be so lonely, not having that friend group that's there, especially if you've moved somewhere new. Being a mom for the first time and taking care and being still in our society right now the primary person that's maybe choosing to stay home with the kids or being there if the husband or the other partner is working.

So if we look at our time in our life where we're most likely to experience like a deep loneliness— why this is important is that most people if you would ask then they wouldn't say that they have a friendship problem. If you say, "Do you have a friendship problem?" They might say like, "Look, I have a dietary problem, I can't follow it up, I'm overweight," people don't even recognize that it's a problem in the first place.

So being proactive about it will help insulate this in these transitional times that are there in life and when we know that we've made that connection, we can actually go and make it a priority in our life that's there. So be a seeker of friends. Go out there and look around and search asking where are the people that I want to hang out, where are they hanging out right now, and how can I go and become a part of that.

There's a book by Bronnie Ware and she wrote this book, it's called "The 5 Regrets of the Dying". Bronnie was a palliative care nurse who was sitting with people on their deathbed, days, weeks or months before they're about to pass on in hospice care. And she started noticing something interesting is that when people are literally, like literally on their deathbed, they start speaking brutally honest.

They start telling you everything that they regret in life. So she started keeping a notepad with their permission and writing down things that they felt that they regretted. And she noticed a pattern, she noticed that there's 5 things just again and again that kept on coming up amongst these individuals, these hundreds of people that she was sitting with.

One of the top 5 regrets the first regret was, "I wish I had the courage to live the life that I wanted to live, not the life that others wanted me to live." By the way, which friends give you that courage and are part of that, giving you that insulation, giving you that confidence boost to live the life that you want to live and go against your family or society or anybody else telling you to live differently. So that was number one.

The second one was, "I wish I didn't let golden friendships over the year slide by. I was so close that person we lost touch. I never kept in touch that person, I never kept in touch with that golden relationship, I got too busy with life or I got too busy with family and too busy with other stuff and I didn't maintain those friendships."

Imagine if you're on your deathbed if that's one of the top 5 regrets that you have, that tells you that even if you think that friendships and community are not that important right now, chances are you're going to go through a tough time in your life in the future one day and you're going to look up and you are going to wonder, "Who's there that has my back?"

So don't wait for that time, don't wait for that moment that's there. Have the people around you that can give you the resilience to live the best life possible and go after all the dreams that you can imagine for yourself and others.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome man. So you've mentioned a couple of times your incredible podcast, it's just on fire right now. It's called "Broken Brain". "Broken Brain" podcast. So number one, why Broken Brain and what is the podcast about?

Dhru Purohit: Yes, so the podcast is very simple. We want to show people that their brain isn't broken. It's a little misleading because the title is Broken Brain but it's really, it's all about diving deep into the world of mental health, physical health, you know we cover some similar themes that you cover on here, but we really go deeper into like— not deeper than your podcast, I'm just saying deeper in general, we go deep into how our brain is so fundamentally connected to different parts of our body, including confidence. What does the science show about confidence?

Processing difficult emotions and feelings, including parenting. How is your kid's brain fundamentally actually different than what most people think it is and how can we use the effect of mirror neurons to actually be a better parent that's there. So we dive deep into the combination of how our brain health impacts every aspect of our life and that's what the podcast goes into.

Shawn Stevenson: Sweet. And also, of course, you could find his podcast where you're listening to this podcast, whatever platform it's on and can you let everybody know your social media, where can they connect with you online?

Dhru Purohit: Yeah I'm most active probably on Instagram DHRU, everybody calls me Dhru, but it's DHRU. In India if you would say Dhrew but that's a little bit tougher to pronounce over here, so Dhru Purohi, D-H-R-U-P-U-R-O-H-I-T and share a story with me about a time that like friendships matter to you.

Or if you're lonely and you're looking for tips on like how to build that community for you, reach out to me, I try to respond to almost everybody that sends me a message because I'm not big time like you, when I get inundated so I still have a little bit of time to respond to people.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so hit him up on the gram. And man, thank you so much, I've enjoyed this thoroughly and even between takes in in our break just chopping it up and you've just brought so much value to my life, you get my wheels turning, you get me excited. I think everybody else is feeling it as well, so men thank you for being you, man.

Dhru Purohit: Thank you for having me here and I want to say just like you popped into our book launch party that we had a couple weeks ago and you brought your neighbors with you. I had such a good time chatting with them and I want to give a shout out to your neighbors because I could tell that in a short period time of you knowing them, they've really made you guys feel at home here in LA.

And for anybody that's listening, and if you haven't met your neighbors yet or there's somebody that you wanted to meet and connect with and make them feel more welcome, especially if they just moved here, what is the value of that, right, just think about how that fundamentally makes not just you but your wife and your kids feel so much more at home here and not like missing the life that was there, even though you're always going to miss where you came from, but you feel like no you know, this was the right move, I'm so glad that we're here. So shout out to your neighbors, I'm blanking on their names but thank them, I want to thank them for making you guys feel welcome here in LA.

Shawn Stevenson: You're the best man, thank you so much for sharing that man. I will make sure that they listen to this episode as well. Awesome, man, thank you bro, I appreciate it.

Dhru Purohit: Thank you bro, honored to be here.

Shawn Stevenson: Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today I hope you got a lot of value out of this. My wheels are spinning and he just brought up something that a lot of times again, when you are doing something or maybe you're good at something, "good at something" you don't really realize that it's happening.

And bringing my neighbors to the book launch party like, "What?" Like why Shawn did that, it's something that I wouldn't have seen myself doing back in the day. But is that level of connection and intentionality and wanting to spend time with them.

So we actually dropped by the book launch party, grabbed a couple of snacks and then we went to an event called Sneakertopia, this is a shared love that we have between our families for shoes, shoe culture and you know hip hop music and sport.

And it was a really cool event so if you are able to check out Sneakertopia make sure to drop in and check them out. Man, I'm just again, overwhelmed with ideas and I love the fact that he mentioned that this is the ultimate biohack, right our nutrition matters we know this, movement matters, sleep matters, there's so many different things that complete our overall picture of health.

But the ultimate biohack is optimizing your relationships. And he gave some very practical applications on how to do this and one of the things that I loved the most is to put a reoccurring event on your calendar. So maybe this is a weekly thing, maybe it's a every Thursday thing like Dhru does, or maybe this is even a bi-monthly, but it needs to be something, put it on your calendar, if it's not scheduled today it's not real.

We've got so much going on but we can't use our business as an excuse. Everybody's busy, but this again is the ultimate biohack and it feeds into every other aspect of your health and wellness in a positive way. Alright, so again guys make sure to follow Dhru on Instagram, tag him, tag me and let us know what you thought about the episode.

And I appreciate you so much. We've got some powerhouse, epic stuff coming your way very soon, so make sure to stay tuned. Alright, take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well.

And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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