Why Aashish Kumar’s New Quality of Life Feels Like Magic

The Director at Mastercard shares the simple lifestyle changes that allowed him to drastically improve his physical health and tap into joy.

I’m a believer in the Microstep philosophy, and as such I’ve incorporated many Microsteps into my daily routines. To improve my sleep, I do a quick gratitude for the day before I go to bed, followed by a visualization of my main goals. This ensures that I do not go to sleep with any baggage. I also put away all electronic devices an hour before going to bed to ensure that their blue light does not interfere with my ability to fall asleep.

I’ve noticed that many folks in my virtual meetings are often multitasking — chatting, reading emails and replying, etc. — while they are in a meeting. I resist the urge to do that and focus on a singular task before finishing and moving to the next. I don’t believe that multitasking really works! To stay organized, I practice my prioritization exercise early in the morning when I first check my emails. I only note down the urgent and important tasks. I do not write down my entire task list, as that can be overwhelming — at the end of the day this just leads to feelings of non-achievement because I didn’t finish so many of them!

I also do intense physical exercises early in the morning followed by a short meditation (exercise really helps in meditation), during which I send positive thoughts to myself and others, especially those with whom I might be having issues at the time. This is a great way I’ve found to connect with myself and others. I also feel that talking to my team when they are low and giving them time to rest and recover has helped me connect with my team better and made them more motivated to give their best.

I began my well-being journey because I developed multiple health issues a few years back due to my lifestyle — long sitting hours, not much exercise, and frequent munching. I felt tired all through the day and experienced terrible back pain. Due to the lower back pain, I wasn’t able to pick up my 2-year-old daughter when she used to come running to me! I felt terrible about it and realized that I needed to change my way of life. That’s when I did a lot of research, attended many workshops with various experts, masters, yogis, and gurus, and started practicing Microsteps. Thrive gave me more structure for what I wanted to do and I was able to change my quality of life drastically. I am now able to lift my daughter (who is much bigger now!) but also my wife! I am able to do handstands, headstands, and so many things which feel like magic to me given that there was a time that I couldn’t lift even a small kid! Playing with my kids and listening to them is the most joyful experience I’ve ever had. It helps me get over everything and keeps me joyful!

I recently attended one of Thrive’s Well-being Leadership Journeys. The most important thing I learned from Thrive was “thinking about my thinking.” This means that I am able to observe my reactions to situations and I am able to question them, rather than drowning in them. This has ensured that I know when my thoughts are going awry and that I am able to do the Reset to find my center!

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