• Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Are You a Mom, Thinking of Going Back to Work?

    Rebecca was a 39-year-old woman and a mother of two (8 and 10). She had a college degree and a 10-year of mid-level corporate experience. Rebecca was happily married to her husband Bob who made a handsome six-figure income, they were comfortably living an upper-middle-class life in a suburban town in the Seattle area. The only downside, Rebecca took an 8-year break after she had her second child and she was feeling lost about how to go back to work. It was clear that making money was not the main concern for Rebecca. Though some income of her own would have helped her self-esteem, “I want to have something to use…

  • Happiness,  Success Strategy,  Time Management

    Time Is Fixed But Energy Is Not

    “There’s not enough time.” “Time is running out.” “I wish I had more time.” These are complaints we hear frequently. High-performing, high-achieving professionals often come to me for better time-management strategies. There are 24 fixed hours in a day, and after applying all kinds of self-depriving techniques we can find at most 12–16 hours of available time on a given day. How it is even possible to do more? Time is fixed for everyone from the Dalai Lama to Barack Obama. I feel helpless! But wait, maybe we are looking at the wrong place. Think about a very productive, fulfilling day of your normal life (pick a good day, not…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Aspirations – Find Your Own Unique One

    Few years back we went to Zion national park in Utah. We hiked on a mountain in the scorching 80 degree heat. The destination was the “upper pool” a small body of water with a sandy beach. As we reached there, we savored the moment of achievement by cheering and taking pictures. But my 6-year old and her friend didn’t seem to care – they got something more exciting – the wet sand! To a 6-year old the wet sand and the possibility of sand castles seemed much more fascinating than my measure of achievement. We often forget that – instead of finding our own unique aspirations – we limit ourselves…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Looking Back: Five Years of My New Career and Life

    Today is the 5th anniversary of my post-Microsoft life :). Hard to believe how time flies! It was not just a new career I wanted to pursue; I also wanted to be part of the neighborhood I lived in. Being someone coming from a totally different culture and moving towards an even more unknown career I had to go through a steep learning curve many take for granted.  Today I decided to take a pause and celebrate by reflecting on the past five years of my life. Other than completing the coach training to obtain a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and Associated Certified Coach(ACC), here is a snapshot of what…

  • Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Optimize Yourself With a Mind-Body Connection

    On the first day of my coach training class the instructor gave us a meditation exercise. The purpose was to be ready and present for the session. As someone coming from the high paced, left brained,  hardcore technology field I was not able to appreciate it much. Noticing my breathing and the body parts seemed totally nonintellectual!  To make things even worse, she asked us to imagine forming a circle with our ancestors and dance with them – I totally checked out and waited impatiently till she came back to reality. 4 years after, as a coach and a workshop facilitator now I have learned to appreciate the value of mind-body…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    There Is More Than One Reality – Choose That Serves

    “Reality is reality, there is no point to sugar coat it “– a friend of mine uttered with a great sigh! I agree and there is more. It reminded me of the story of a young woman, Irene, who didn’t try to sugar coat a gloom “reality”. Instead she chose to focus on another reality –It turned her around from being stuck to being successful. When Irene reached out to me during February this year, she had been feeling stuck. She was not able to make any progress in her PhD thesis for a very long time, every time she tried to force her, it backfired. Her thoughts/ideas got crippled by…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness

    Career Satisfaction: What is in your way?

    “Not enough time”, “Not enough support from others”, “Lack of ideas”, topped the list for my survey question: “What is in your way of having more satisfaction from your career”. All these seem correct and expected. It would be wonderful if these external factors of time and support were resolved so you and I could flourish. But alas, the sad truth – “We cannot choose our external circumstances” has already been revealed by Epictetus, a Greek philosopher 2000 years ago. I guess he actually wanted to say that sometimes we can choose but not always. So what is the big deal about it? The deal is, if I desperately want to…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    “What do I Want” is a Hard Question

    A few weeks back I was giving a talk at a big tech company about focusing on the vision. As usual, someone asked this basic question- “I don’t know what my vision is”! I am not surprised. This was my question only a few years ago. Over the years, by resolving my own dilemma and by working with my clients, I found a few ways to address this. Why it is hard? While growing up we were given standards to meet, tasks to accomplish. We were rewarded to achieve hard challenges, to score higher than others. Things we did for our own pleasure (if any) was a privilege and was not…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Know your Strengths, Capitalize on Them

    Too many times companies send employees to trainings to fix the areas of weaknesses, we expect people to be well rounded to be successful. The fact is excellent performers are hardly “well rounded”, they are sharp. The difference between an excellent performer and an average performer is that the former ones are aware of their strengths and are cultivating it through their day to day work whereas the later ones are spending time and energy in places other than their strengths. What I Mean by Strength 1. An activity is your strength when are able to do it consistently, repeatedly, happily and successfully. 2. You don’t have strength in every…

  • Happiness

    Focus on Your Vision: A Positive Approach to Life’s Challenges

    [Key point: I have described  how vision focus works as a great parenting tool for me. It not only helps to manage the current situation more gracefully, it gives a greater clarity and builds a more sustainable foundation for the future.] I am preparing for the seminar next week on this topic for a tech company. No matter how professionally savvy audience I address, I always get a few parenting questions (specially from the Moms). A typical one: “How can I teach my 8 year old to be responsible enough to keep his room clean”?  I candidly admit that it is a work in progress for me as well. I…