“Change always begins within ourselves,” said Maria Shriver as she opened the 18th live experience as part of Architects of Change: The Conversation Series. Shriver sat down with hip-hop entrepreneur, social activist and bestselling author Russell Simmons at the UCLA Anderson School of Management for a discussion about his latest book The Happy Vegan, his lifestyle choices that include daily meditation and yoga practices, his successful career and his greater purpose.
[Watch more videos of Architects of Change LIVE including conversations with Seth & Lauren Rogen, DeVon Franklin & Meagan Good, Shonda Rhimes, Ann Romney, Patrick Kennedy and Cindy Crawford, among others]
Shriver began by asking Simmons to share how his personal changes have affected his professional life. He explained that happiness must come from within. “Money won’t make you happy, as you know, or success won’t make you happy. But happy will make you money,” Simmons said, “Happiness comes from the inside. It’s attractive. Needing nothing does attract everything.” Watch more for his tips on how to succeed in business and in life:
Another key to success, he told Shriver, is faith and persistence– both are important to find your passion and purpose.
“Faith is critical. Everyone quits. Your path will take you, and it will evolve maybe, but you never fail until you quit,” Simmons continued. “You put your head down and you work until completion. And there will be a lot of setbacks…. I have never had a success in under 5 years.” Watch for more about his past trials and errors that led to his entrepreneurial wins:
Simmons also spoke about how he uses his voice for social good, especially since his voice travels as a celebrity. Shriver asked him why he wrote an open letter to Donald Trump. “In the letter, you said his language his hurtful, his language was divisive, and you asked him to stop because language is important…”
“I never thought it was as much as [now],” he responded. “When you’re running for president, and you say things that incite hate, it’s scary… He’s already done his damage, a great part of it.”
Watch more to see why Simmons said he would prefer it if Kim Kardashian were president over Trump:
Simmons also went into great detail about how going vegan made him healthier and happier. He explained the impact our lack of compassion to animals is having on the country, on sustainability and on the environment, and he urged everyone to use the power of their vote on this, and other, issues. And as he described to Shriver and the audience some of his upcoming projects, including opening a Yoga studio in Los Angeles, he explained that he’s nowhere hear done. “I want to do more. Obviously, I’m not ready to check out. I want to do more stuff.” He then led everyone in a three-minute meditation exercise, encouraging those watching to begin a daily practice.
To watch the full conversation, including more on his decision to eat vegan, his commitment to yoga and meditation, and his future plans, click here.