7 life steps that led me to #Ikigai

There is no pause button in our life anymore. Even when we try to slow down, the ambient noise – like the Red “here’s what you are missing” button on the #LinkedIn tab, draws us back in. And we continue our warp speed journey. Except, what if our journey has changed along the way but […]

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There is no pause button in our life anymore. Even when we try to slow down, the ambient noise – like the Red “here’s what you are missing” button on the #LinkedIn tab, draws us back in. And we continue our warp speed journey. Except, what if our journey has changed along the way but we never realized it? And the destination has different coordinates than when we set forth in our youth. How do we realized that reconfiguration happened in our lives?

I spent a long 20 minutes (hey, between tweets that’s all the time I got) deliberating on this and decided there was enough here to spend a few chronicling my course correction that happened along my life path.

WYSSGSSG – When You See Something Good Say Something Good. This has become a calling for me. Whether it is Captain Jason Lopez of United Airlines, my barber David Lopez or Nhu the hardwood contractor. Each of them inspired me and I learnt so much from them that I had to write and hopefully inspire more goodness.

When I come to a fork I take it – For years, I would not even recognize a fork in the road, much less take it. Along the way, I stared experimenting, taking chances, not worrying about the judgmental universe. Starting with taking Dorie Clark’s course, a shot at mini-stardom with the Undercover Rockstar singing experiment, conducting a purpose class with the cleverly (modesty is my middle name) titled #iPoP – In Pursuit of Purpose – coaching experiment. #RiskOn

Give back with a vengeance – If I haven’t connected my latest podcast guest with three more that she could benefit from knowing, I feel the podcast is incomplete. A thank you note with everyone I interact with (this is so hard with so much distraction but I try and remember). If I learn something of value, finding the right group to share that with immediately.

Don’t worry about perfection, share with abandon as long as it is not about my egotistical self – My Indian accent or grammatically suspect sentence formation has not prevented me from sharing what I believe is important. Typical videos on topics related to privacy like intrusive apps on our smartphones or posts to ensure a person market fit by testing your marketability by interviewing periodically before it is too late are all ways I like to share. And the focus is never on me.

Meeting new people with no agenda of mine – This was hard. I am no extrovert so meeting new people – virtual or physical – was always intimidating. Not anymore. Because every interaction is how do I make it better for the other person? So, the pressure is off me since I do not worry about what I can plunder for furthering my own goals.

There is no tech without tech+ethics – This has become my calling. For over two decades I rarely thought about tech and ethics. It was all tech, first-to-market, competitive advantage, instrumenting the customer…. And then I realized it was wrong. Especially in this day and age with every business becoming a tech business. And I had to shine a bright light in my own small way through seeking speaking engagements (wow, I can tell you a thing or two about the rejections and no-responses I had for months before the tide started to turn) and writing to amplify this pressing need.

Aggressively seeking out Ikigai – This is a WIP. But until a few years ago, I did not believe this was possible. Ikigai is a Japanese concept with four intersecting circles – What I am good at, What they pay me for, What I love to do, What the world needs. But I was convinced there were really three worlds. #1 – What I was good at and what they pay me for. #2- And then there was what I love to do. #3 And in the distant horizon – if I ever get there – what the world needs. And then I embraced the 6 things noted above. And Ikigai happened. With my mission statement at the cynosure of the four intersecting circles.

Empathize, Educate, Empower.

And I am fully embracing the fact there will be changes ahead. That’s the only way I know how to operate now. #Grateful.

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