• Career satisfaction,  EQ,  Happiness,  Leadership,  Success Strategy

    What A Car Can Teach Us About A Successful Career

    I was talking to Andrea, a leader in a big corporate here in the Seattle area. Very smart and hardworking she was, her resume spoke for itself. As a senior director role in this new job, she was facing some challenges. The main feedback was, others didn’t know what value she was bringing to the organization, they were not aware of her contribution. The solution in her mind was simple. Only if she had the skill of being vocal in meetings she would have been prolific enough to blow her own horn. Deep inside though she was not feeling confident about her contribution either. All her time was spent getting…

  • Career satisfaction,  Happiness,  Success Strategy

    Everyone And Their Mother Is Talking About “Coaching” – What Is It Really?

    It will be rare to find someone who never heard “coaching” and yet it is one of the most overloaded terms today. Starting from sports coaching, tutoring or mentoring a junior professional, coaching bears a very diverse context. One common denominator though is about helping another person getting better at some skill. In the professional world, coaching is becoming more common in recent years. And that is where it could use little more clarity. According to the International Coach Federation(ICF), coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The basic premise is, the person being coached is whole,…

  • 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…

  • The author on a spring afternoon in Seattle
    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…