Deepak Chopra does not work on the weekends and sleeps by 10pm Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Sharjah: Deepak Chopra, an Indian-American author and alternative medicine advocate, who is a leading guest at the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), has a principle he never abandons.

“The one principle that I follow every day is laughter and play. It is a human story and it travels with me every day, everywhere,” he told Gulf News in an interview on the sidelines of SIBF.

Chopra, a doctor by profession and founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, was speaking in the context of the future of wellness.

He said: “It is a biological expression of how we experience everyday existence. Essentially, every experience of ours, every sensation, every perception, every image, every thought, can now be mapped out biologically. It has neural correlates, biological correlates, metabolic correlates, and also genetic activity correlates. All this is actually leading to a new era of well-being which is very precise and predictable. What is more it is participatory and it means your participation is also a process.”

Chopra added that less than five per cent of disease-related gene mutations are fully penetrant.

“Even for that now there are new technologies coming up like gene editing. The rest of our wellbeing depends on things like sleep, managing stress exercise, mind body coordination, emotional resilience in relationships.”

Resistance versus flow

He said the future of well-being is very bright.

“You cannot change somebody’s mindset unless they are aware that they have a problem. So the first step to change is self-awareness. Then you realise that all the stress around you is actually a rush to conform and it is resistance to what is happening right now. The opposite is flow. In that same line, the best use of imagination is creativity,” said Chopra, who is making his second visit to the Fair.

“The Sharjah Book Fair is a very important festival with a great diversity of writers and speakers. I am looking forward to speaking to a great gathering at the Festival.”

‘Laws of success’

His 1994 self-help book ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ is an insight on how our biology cells behave - which has come into relevance particularly now as we live in the pandemic era.

“When you were a fertilised egg, one cell divided itself 50 times and now you have a body of these cells. So the first spiritual law is awareness for it has infinite possibilities, infinite creativity.”

The second spiritual law of success is about giving and receiving which allows circulation. The third law is karma (the law of cause and effect), but it is actually our conscious choice making.

The fourth law is intention; without intention, we do not do anything.

The fifth law is the law of least effort of energy and expenditure of energy; sixth is detachment. “If you really want something, you have to detach from it.”

And the final law is called Dharma or the purpose in life.

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Daily routine

“I wake up around 4 or 5am. I practice meditation, breathing and yoga for about two hours. I work from 9-to-5 or sometimes from 11am to 5pm. I do not work on weekends and I go to sleep by 10pm,” Chopra said.