We all know the importance of mentors in life. They often wear many hats – they can help us navigate making tough decisions, they can serve as a sounding board for innovative ideas, or they can simply be figures to look up to from afar. Over the past 10 years, I’ve leaned on many people to coach me and offer their wisdom. I’ve noticed these individuals often fall into one of two categories – those that are close to me, be it family or friends, that I’m able to develop a relationship over time, and others that exist in the public eye whom I simply admire given the intersection of my own passions and their professions.

I’ve always considered my parents, for example, to be role models of the former. Their charisma, openness to new experiences, and endless compassion are qualities I hope to emulate in my own life. But sometimes, it’s vital to reach outside of our immediate network to dream big, feel inspired, and find the courage to gain confidence in our decisions. It’s in these instances where the latter type of mentor plays an integral role – the individuals that seem unattainable to speak with, given their status and fame, but nevertheless we continue to look up to. Jay Shetty has been one of those figures for me for a while now, but the reasons why I find him so fascinating have evolved over time, and recently came as a pleasant surprise. 

I was first introduced to Jay Shetty through his podcast “On Purpose with Jay Shetty,” and became an avid listener, as his advice is poignant, timely, and delivered with non-judgmental compassion.  As I developed a love for his podcast, I became invested in Jay’s personal story. Jay studied to become a Buddhist Monk, and after a series of job rejections, he entered the corporate world where he worked as a Digital Strategy Consultant at Accenture. After Accenture, Jay worked at The Huffington Post, and eventually stepped into his entrepreneurial pursuits, evolving into the figure I know and admire today: the host of the #1 wellness podcast, public speaker, and Chief Purpose Officer at Calm.

After fully learning about his story and reflecting on my own, it became apparent to me that over the past decade, I unintentionally, but gratefully so, have followed in Jay’s footsteps. My long-time passion for yoga led me to complete a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training course in Bali last summer, where I now instruct at CorePower in New York City. At the height of COVID in 2020, I turned a former passion project that originated while I was high school into a mental health podcast called Everyday Endorphins, that focuses on what brings others endorphins / joy in their lives. Throughout college, I contributed to Thrive Global as an Editor-At-Large, publishing articles on mental health and purposeful living. And last but not least, I’m approaching my one-year anniversary of working as a Strategy & Consulting Analyst at Accenture upon graduating school.

Our uncanny similarities in interests and career path not only strengthens the admiration I have for Jay as a mentor, but I now feel even more connected to him. I could only hope to be as successful and accomplished as Jay one day, and often imagine what it would be like to have him as a guest on my own podcast. There are so many questions I’d like to ask, I wouldn’t quite know where to start. All this goes to say that you may just surprise yourself with the mentors you choose to look up to in life, because you never know how they will show up for you or continue to inspire you. And if you’re reading this, Jay – thank you for continuing to spread positivity, love, and wellness to all.


  • Stella Stephanopoulos

    Former Editor-at-Large from Washington University in St. Louis

    Stella Stephanopoulos is a Consulting Analyst at Accenture, Yoga Instructor, and Podcast Host for Everyday Endorphins. She recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where she majored in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and minored in Creative Writing and Organization & Strategic Management. Her passions include creative storytelling, travelling, and finding the best spots in NYC for a matcha.