Childhood and Early Life:
Thanks a lot! Yes, the journey has been challenging yet beautiful so far. It gives a great sense of achievement to be able to contribute to my own small space. I have been a boarder throughout; my parents sent me to a boarding school when I was around five. Life there was self-supporting and self-governing in some sense. The best piece about that frame of life was that we were empowered to a level that we could and had to take our own decisions even at that age. We learned the importance of sharing, caring, and being for each other. We recognized that we could survive anything if we were in it together. That perspective always had a particular spot in my head and life.
"PEOPLE ARE EVERYTHING" that in a way became the motto. HR as a career was not an intentional move; that's the first job I got when I was ready to settle for any enabling function. Staying there was a choice as I realized that I could add value and learn being there. I just started enjoying the journey and never questioned the final destination. I am not too mechanical in approach; I can't do monotonous and mundane things every day without learning anything new, and this behavior triggered the need to explore more functions along with HR, and that's how admin, travel, IT, PMO, RMG, and other enabling departments got added to the list.
Failures and Learning Lessons:
Being a single mother, being the only female executive member in the company, being the only child whose parents wanted to see her as an engineer or a doctor, I was inclined more towards management, not being perfect with departments where I don't have professional degrees but heading those functions and expert team members and many more. So how did I handle it? Primarily with the help of people!
I believed in myself and the people around me. I was always fortunate enough to have great support from my people- family, friends, team, colleagues, managers, house helps, and others. They were all there when I needed them, and I think the given support at the right time equipped me to manage obstacles and focus on relevant issues and the purpose of my life.
I have always followed few simple steps to handle all the challenges:
a. Identify: what is under my control and what's not
b. Have plans, not just a plan. No matter how perfect your "THE PLAN" maybe.
c. Discuss it with people and seek help
d. Never Give up. Keep trying!
So far, this has helped well.
Balancing Passion with Profession:
If anything falls on your passion list, you will be capable enough to find time for the same. I won't say I can strike a classic balance, but I have succeeded in finding time for everything I love. Sometimes, it's two months of uncompromising work and no travel or photography. And that's ok! Your mind must accept that you love doing certain things, and you will take them up as and when possible. As far as you are not giving up, your mind and heart will support and happily wait for that break. So, we must keep things alive within and never ignore or miss the chances to explore and experience. One, I don't miss any. Two, I plan, so if not every time, I end up doing what I thought of doing most of the time.
Role of Passion in driving Mental Growth and Happiness:
I would say anything that gives
you "the kick," not just the excitement but peace, relaxation, happiness,
is good for mental health- any space that you can name as “your space’ even if it’s
overly crowded. The only criteria is, one should be able to live and love to be
in that space. My mom loves writing and reading, so be at home, in a resort, or
a safari jeep; she is writing, reading, or thinking about it, which gives her
the happiness that she needs. I believe everyone should find their SPARK; few
may have one, few may have many. The problem is when we try and find spark in
activities that others are enjoying. No harm in exploring and experimenting,
but sooner you find your spark, the better it will be. It's the most crucial
part to look for happiness and find it, rather than seek anything else.
The Work-Life Balance:
The mantra is in accepting that the perfect “work-life balance" is an illusion. When I take care of something, others will suffer in some way or another. The better way out is to accept and understand that I can't be a superwoman or a supermom. There will be days when I will fail at my work, and there will be instances when my daughter will miss me. But if my life and preferences are by choice where I wish to work well, be a good mom, have a life for self, follow my passion; I have to find the right pockets for each of my role, and I should give my 100% there on those days then. What happens to the other positions on the other days? That's what I meant when I said, "PEOPLE ARE EVERYTHING," have a great support system in place; only they can replicate you that well when needed. I am blessed to have amazing people around me, so instead of a magic mantra, I may say MAGICAL PEOPLE!
Mentors in Life:
My mother is a true
inspiration. She always told me that "interdependency is important as we
are a part of society but never forget independence as well. We need to coexist
in the defined system, but the self-core should be strong enough to survive
alone if needed". She never over guided me; whenever I went to her with a
problem she would tell me two things: 1. I am there so don't worry 2. What do
you think the solution or solutions can be? She always told me that it's ok not
to get the best or any solution but at least think about the problem, consider
if there was no one around what you would do, and think if you have to own it,
how would you deal with it. I feel a true mentor is the one who listens to you,
understands you, is there for you to support and care for but would never take
away your ability to think, act and own. I have learned these from my maa,
which is why she is my best Mentor.