• Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Does Meditation, Journaling Feel Like a Burden? Try Micro-Habits

      Tim, a senior tech leader, recently spent a week at a meditation retreat. When I asked him how he was applying it, he said he didn’t have time. Stephanie, an HR Director, was treating her journaling as an extra chore. Despite its good intention, this advice industry buzzwords often feel like another thing we “should” do. On top of our already overloaded, super crammed life, such expectations create another counter-productive burden. I know these are well researched, proven practice. The only problem is we use those as vitamin pills instead of customizing it to serve our unique style and need. Recently a client, who completed a six months coaching program with me,…

  • Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Cultivating Resilience: Small Acts of Self-Care Goes a Long Way During These Trying Times

    It’s been a few months since we are in the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter how hard it is to accept, this is going to be a new normal for a while. When it started, we threw away our usual routine, scrambled together a makeshift home office (and homeschooling for those who have school-aged kids) as quickly as we could. But after a while, we started feeling tired, depleted, overwhelmed, and all sorts of such feelings. It was not sustainable. During a coaching session last week, I noticed that my client Claire’s energy level was lower than usual even though she was talking about a recent win…

  • Happiness,  productivity,  Stress Management

    Does Home Quarantine Feel Like Someone Gave You a Lemon? Make some Lemonade Using these 3C-s

    We all are going through an enormous challenge. Almost every country in the world is now affected by this COVID-19 pandemic. The way we know life has come to a halt. The leaders, scientists, the medical community, and all the essential service providers are working round the clock to keep us safer. The rest of us are asked to do one thing – stay in our homes to help reduce the spread of this highly contagious virus. In the corporate and businesses, we talk about change regularly – compared to the change we are going through, those seem like a child’s play. Everyone is reacting, coping, adapting in their way…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    “Never Looked Back” – Is a Myth

    Recently I was sharing the story of my career change and someone commented, “…and you never looked back”! I was caught by surprise. The fact is, I did look back, many times. The past 10 years of my new career was anything but easy and many times I doubted and regretted my original decision. That comment invoked a deeper insight in me though. “I never looked back”, gives us the impression that the person found their ultimate path and everything became better afterward. It is like those “lived happily ever after” fairy tales. This is far from reality and I am yet to meet someone with significant successes, who never…

  • Happiness,  productivity,  Success Strategy

    The Myth Of A “Perfect Day”

    There are not many days like this. Yesterday it seemed like an out of the ordinary perfect day for me. Client #1 made significant progress in an area he was stuck for more than a decade, Client #2 got that final word on the well-deserved promotion, Client #3, while finishing up her project said she wanted to work with me for another project. By the end of the day when I arrived at the dentist’s office for regular cleaning. I jokingly said, “I am having such a good day, hope it continues”. She didn’t disappoint. After the exams, she said, “all looks good, keep doing what you have been doing…

  • Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Decisions, Decisions | How I planned and survived my family vacation

    “How can we make good decisions when there is not enough data”? During my seminar a few weeks back, I got this question from a gentleman in the audience. As someone giving the seminar I guess I was supposed to be an “expert” on this! Alas, I could not act as the know-all expert, inspired by Brene Brown, I chose to be a human instead – showed them how sub-optimal my own decision-making process is!  I told them this story. My parents were visiting me; this was their first time in the US so I wanted to show them some landmark. On the same token, I thought that if my…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Personal Brand

    Feeling Stuck? Look into Your Fears

    Feeling stuck in your job? Having a lack of motivation? It is very frustrating when despite all the hard work, you don’t get the deserved recognition. On top when I say, “Focus on your vision”– it could add more fuel to it. Last year during my seminar a gentleman from the audience challenged me, “None of what you are saying works, I tried everything, it doesn’t work!” Though I felt a little awkward, I could sense his disappointment. I also learned something from it. It is not easy to project into the future –  our brain finds it hard to visualize something it doesn’t have the experience about. On the other hand, since…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Organization Politics – How We See It Can Change the Meaning

    “I really like doing my job but I hate politics. When I ask others, everyone says the same thing, they hate politics. If no one likes it then who creates them in the first place”? My friend sighed as she and I were catching up over coffee on a beautiful sunny spring afternoon. We commonly use the term, “politics” to describe an action people engage in to advance their self-interest at the cost of their colleagues’/team’s interest. It is a win-lose game driven by the intention of gaining something for a selfish purpose. As someone spent 20+ years both inside organizations and then coaching organization leaders, I get very curious…

  • Happiness,  Leadership,  Personal Brand,  Uncategorized

    Courage From Within – How Conviction And Trust Can Help

    Growing up I didn’t think I had much courage. One day I saw this quote saying: Courage is not the absence of fear it is acting despite — because something is important to us. That made perfect sense! Fear will always be there and that might be a good thing as it enforces us to prepare well by doing the due diligence. Conviction is an important part of courage. I am able to bring courage because my conviction about the matter is stronger than the fear. 22 years ago, when I first came to the US for my grad school, it was the very first time for me to be in a foreign…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    Reconnect With Self – A Leadership Lesson from CBS’s Madam Secretary

    In an episode of CBS’s Madam Secretary (Meaning of Life, May 13th, 2018), there is a side story where Russell Jackson was prescribed by his doctor to find a relaxing activity because of his heart condition. His intern Stevie was to find something not too “touchy-feely” activity for him. Stevie was going for all the well-researched activities like yoga, meditation, Tai Chi etc, none of which land well with Russell. Stevie’s Dad, Henry McCord came to rescue. He told Stevie, “All these practices are a warm-up for the big question, the Spiritual journey. All his life Russel avoided it. He might drive himself to an early grave trying to avoid it.”…