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Amit Sood

I am a Life and Career Coach. A corporate dropout and solopreneur who found my purpose after an existential crisis in Deep Transformational Coaching, and a life of conscious downshifting to a slower and simpler living, exploring spiritual alignments guided by the heart. You would have found the old me working hard, long hours, consumed by the 'busyness' of doing one thing after another to upgrade my lifestyle. The externally focused life was rushed, tiresome and superficial, lacking in meaning and spiritu…
Personal Development Coaching
Career Coaching
Communication Coaching
Spiritual Healing
Life Coaching
About Amit Sood

I am a Life and Career Coach. A corporate dropout and solopreneur who found my purpose after an existential crisis in Deep Transformational Coaching, and a life of conscious downshifting to a slower and simpler living, exploring spiritual alignments guided by the heart.

You would have found the old me working hard, long hours, consumed by the 'busyness' of doing one thing after another to upgrade my lifestyle. The externally focused life was rushed, tiresome and superficial, lacking in meaning and spiritually impoverished.

In 2015 I quit my two-and-a-half decade-long corporate, business-development career, to pursue conscious entrepreneurship in coaching. I’ve also been downshifting to simple, slower living while upshifting meaning and spirit. Now, one thing after another that I get to do, is internally focused. Life is easier, more conscious and spiritually fulfilling.

Now, I coach extraordinary professionals who want more from their careers and lives.

Over the years, I have coached over a hundred senior professionals and senior coaches.
I help create Wholesome and Balanced Career Growth and Success.
Take control of Physical, Emotional and Spiritual WELL-BEING, for Life Fulfilment.

My Deep Transformational Coaching can help you
1- Create CAREER CLARITY and DIRECTION
2- Generate CONFIDENCE and SELF-BELIEF
3- NEXT-LEVEL ABILITIES for New Opportunities
4- ALIGNMENT to PURPOSE & SPIRIT gives MEANING to Work
5- VISION of the Future that INSPIRES & ENERGISES
6- CLEAR ROADMAP with SMART GOALS

It might be the time for you too to PAUSE and SLOW DOWN.

  • Conduct a deeper, systematic SELF-ASSESSMENT.
  • REVIEW the DIRECTION of your career and life.
  • Create personal clarity - what you want, and how can you utilise your strengths best in your career.
  • Acquire the new abilities and learnings that you need to take you to the next level of growth.
  • Set a clear, new direction to go beyond stagnation and the rat race.
  • Establish bold new goals. Design a path that is right - just for you.

ICF-accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
Trained with Peter J. Reding (MCC) in the Fulfilment Model
DEEP TRANSFORMATIONAL COACH- mastery with Leon VanderPol at the Center for Transformational Coaching.
Over 25 Landmark Trainings

25 years of international business development experience in leadership positions with, TELCO, JCB, TIL LIMITED, TEREX, CLAAS and SSSIHL.

7 years of practice
On Core Spirit since May 2023
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Articles
Amit Sood
When I was fired

This is about when I got fired. It is the story of how I felt and how it changed me. The purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me.

As an introvert, at the start of my career, sales seemed really daunting. In those early years, I needed to muster a lot of grit to overcome my self-consciousness and do what my job needed. The only way I knew to deal with this personal challenge was through hard work. I was fortunate to have some fantastic bosses and mentors, who encouraged me when I most needed it and put me through some great training programs. In time, it started getting easier, I learned to overcome my hesitation about meeting new people, learned to sell, negotiate hard, and even make some all-right public presentations. Eventually, I was doing quite well. I was promoted, sometimes rapidly, to leadership positions. All these acknowledgements made me bold, perhaps even a bit reckless. So I made some career moves that in hindsight were clearly risky. Then, one day I was suddenly fired.

I felt that I was adding a lot of value to the company. But my boss felt otherwise. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if, the rug had been pulled from under my feet. I remember stopping on the side of the road, unable to drive back from work that day because the tears wouldn’t let me see straight.

I found my next break with an even bigger and better employer almost immediately, and it was at a designation and pay far higher, but something had shifted in me. I found myself confronted with some strange, fundamental questions. Why was I working? Who was I trying to impress? What was the point? Does it make any difference? There had to be something meaningful about life and work. The personal ambition that had kept me going in the past now seemed shallow and even unreal like a mirage that one never gets to.

Now, I look back at those days as perhaps, the most life-defining times of my life. I did work for a few more years in corporate leadership positions but the contemplations of that time eventually helped me discover my calling and purpose in coaching. Let me add that it didn’t happen quickly or easily, the journey of healing and self-discovery took its time, but it was powerfully liberating. Its eventual reward is a kind of ease and clarity in life, that I could not have imagined possible.

It is well-accepted in some Western societies that there is always a risk of getting fired from a private sector job when the business cycle goes down. But in India, it is still not the social norm yet. But our leadership seems to be learning the US-style immediate profit-driven business management far too quickly. Not too long ago, people worked most of their lives at one company, that offered a moderate salary, but good financial security and gave life some stability. But those days are long gone. Uncertainty is the new normal.

Today, the purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me, if it can serve them.

“Why me?”
The first thing that confronted me was- what did I do wrong? When the answer is not too obvious, overthinking and self-criticism do more damage than good. Nor does anger help. I think it serves one better to remember that it can also happen for no fault of oneself. It could be because of the business cycle or maybe others simply worked harder and better. One has to choose to be kind to oneself, for trying however one knew best at that moment. There would be time for work, but first, let some self-love in.

When we resist feeling uncomfortable emotions, they persist.

It’s okay to feel hurt. I found that when you don’t resist feeling painful emotions, they run their course and pass off naturally. It is better to let yourself feel the strong emotions — they come and flow away. Let the healing take its time.

It's better to share with someone in the family or a friend.

Bring them in, and let them see how you feel. You could always tell them that for now, you don’t want their advice, just a strong, supportive heart. They may also be just as worried and fearful about what lies in the future, but it works better to team up and have faith together.

Nurture self-belief and faith.

Do what you need to, to strengthen your self-confidence and faith in your ability to work hard. I’ve learned that we grow only through hard times and challenges. Failures strengthen our character in a way that success simply can’t. When life is sending some struggles your way, it is calling you to be bigger. Who is life calling you to be?

What kind of career would give life meaning?

I was obsessed with this. I did a lot of research- read, attended programs and listened to great speakers talk. This urge to find purpose had become personal, important and urgent. I discovered that confronting it also called for some real courage. I found that we let our jobs define who we are. Mindlessly introducing ourselves to others just by our designations and names of the employers. Now it was time to contemplate ‘Who am I beyond my work?’ Maybe, career is not a complete assessment of our life. Just a part of it. But now how would I introduce myself? I didn’t want to look like a loser. It took me a while to work this out.

Time for some spirituality.

After a somewhat prolonged period of inner conflict, I resigned from my corporate career, trained to become a coach and went to teach at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning- which focused on spiritual education. There are times when we need the kind of truth that can create absolute certainty. But that kind of assurance can only be found deep in our souls. We have to go silently within.

Money is necessary, but not too much is needed.

While living and teaching in the small village town of Puttaparthi, I discovered how easy it is to reduce expenses. It made me feel so much more financially secure. What really matters, costs so little. Even today, as a coach, I make only a fraction of what I earned in my best job, but I live a far richer and more fulfilling life. I respect myself more.

I now feel grateful that I was fired.

It kicked me out of my comfort zone. On my own, I wasn’t willing to grow past my ambition and discover what more life could be. Now I feel that life is easier than how I had made it for myself when I was fighting to make it. Some day you might be grateful for it too.

Take a few days’ break and then get back in action.

Do what you need to do to get back on your feet. Don’t overthink. Stay out of the brooding zone, and in the action zone of life.

If you were picked to be fired from a team, you may like to assess if you neglect developing good relations with those in authority.

I often ask my clients this question, it might serve you to contemplate upon it too- if you were to assess your relationships with people who report to you, and then with the people whom you report to, which of the two groups do you feel you have better relations with? Almost every client of mine said that they have had better relationships with their subordinates in most of their past jobs. If that’s how it is for you too, don’t you think you need to contemplate what keeps you from having warm and mutually supportive relationships with your bosses?

Invest in your growth and development.

Your company or your bosses wouldn’t be able to invest in you or in the development of your career beyond how it directly serves them. You will have to set aside a certain amount of money and time every year to upskill and to develop the competencies, even wisdom and demeanour that your future career and life require. If you’ve been neglecting this, it might be time to correct it. Talk to a coach.

Make a fresh start.

Maybe you don’t belong where you are not valued. Perhaps your skills and attitudes don’t agree with that job, see if you are better off exploring other work options. The Service-dominant logic now suggests that all careers and businesses are fundamental services. See if you’d like to contemplate- who could benefit from your presence, with your help and love? That’s how you’d find your purpose.

There are many ways to make a living, but not all would fulfil you.

Trust life. Aim big.

Amit Sood
Reclaim your Self-Expression

Once, there existed a realm of innocence in which the spirit soared boundlessly. You were but a little soul, full of delightful clumsiness and playful silliness, yet you revelled in the freedom of your self-expression. Your laughter resonated from the depths of your being, the tears were rivers of genuine emotion that can not be contained. Unrestrained and fearless, you bared your soul to everyone, embracing every aspect of yourself with open arms.

But as time marched on, a shift occurred and concerns about how you appear to others began to emerge. Self-consciousness took hold, and new desires to appear smart, wise, and faultless emerged.

We human beings are kind of wired to be admired. We want to look good. We want people to think well of us. — Werner Erhard

Now it no longer seemed appropriate to express your emotions fully just as they arose. As self-doubt took a seat by your side, casting its shadows of hesitation you began to hold yourself back, second-guessing every expression. You became cautious, reluctant to reveal all of yourself to others. Even your expressions of love and admiration became cautious and restrained, and not as free expressions of the heart.

And so, today, you have honed the art of eloquence, masterfully discussing important topics, but the real you remains hidden. Even when your impressive articulations and knowledge win you admiration, deep down, you feel that no one really gets you. The outward confidence conceals the self-doubts and vulnerabilities underneath.

You have held yourself back for so long that you wonder if you can still let yourself go. If you can even remember the taste of complete self-expression, the exhilaration of unbridled release.

There is a yearning for someone who can truly see and accept the real you, someone who loves and supports you unconditionally without the need for impressing or convincing.

Yet, amidst the ebb and flow of life, there are rare, precious moments when you set yourself free and let others witness your humanity — your ordinary weaknesses, vulnerabilities, anxieties and needs. In those extraordinary instances, you unabashedly reveal the raw, imperfect beauty of your humanness. You speak your truth without swallowing your words, without holding back and set yourself free to laugh as loud as it comes and cry if the tears come. Sometimes embrace the same old naughtiness and innocence, and love is expressed fearlessly.

Recently, I had the joyful privilege of experiencing this breathtaking transformation in a workshop where together, we embarked on a sacred journey to explore the heights of our potential as human beings.

First, we confronted the barriers that hold us back from daring to be the best we can be as parents, spouses and work colleagues. Our fears, the patterns of our past and our self-doubts.

Then, we forged a pact to face them together. Took a committed stand to support each other, as everyone dares to aim for our highest and best ways of being.

Next, we contemplated the kind of openness and supportive energy we needed between us to explore our highest potential and commit to it. We vowed to cocreate it and nurture between us a space of openness, ease and generosity in which everyone would listen from their hearts to support and appreciate other’s little steps of self-development.

In the safety of this space of deep human connections and intimacy, authenticity began to emerge and flourish. Someone began sharing their human vulnerabilities and frailties — the aspects of ourselves that usually remain concealed from the world. It encouraged others. I shared the lighthearted tale of my wife’s loving gesture, gifting me a new suit for the workshop, only for us to forget to have my trousers tailored, leaving me with comically long pants as I now stood leading the discussion. Then, another courageous soul shared the tales of their humble beginnings, once a source of embarrassment that now became a testament to their strength. A remarkable woman unmasked her inner struggles, revealing the mismatch between her tough exterior and the tender heart that resided within.

Can you fathom the energy of profound ease, genuine connection and authenticity that permeated the room?
Everyone was free, deeply connected and committed to our highest ways of being human. All that was left to do was to fill in the details — turn them into small steps and simple goals.

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.”— Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

As we embark on the journey of complete self-expression, we must cultivate acceptance and love for every facet of our being. Particularly embracing those parts of ourselves, our roots, or our past that we have judged poorly or held in low esteem.

As soon as we are open about what we fear might embarrass us, they lose significance. Such things have power over us only as long as we give them significance by keeping them hidden. Authentic sharing of our vulnerabilities instantly sets us free.

“The truth will set you free. It will kick your ass first, but then it will set you free.” — Brene Brown

Try it. In the boundlessness of your self-expression, your heart shall soar, ignited by the energies of authenticity. Your willingness to be vulnerable will encourage so many others to explore new freedom in openness.

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” — Brene Brown

Amit Sood
Are You Judging Those Who Ask for Help?

Do you feel comfortable asking for help? Or do you find it easier to offer help rather than seek it for yourself?

Many people feel they are happy to assist when asked for help. However, if you inquire whether it is equally easy for them to ask for help, their response is often negative. It seems that it is easier for us to give help than ask for it. Why?

What Brene Brown says about this might take you by surprise-

“When you can not ask for help without self-judgement, you are never really offering to help without judgement.

When you can not accept and ask for help without self-judgement, then when you offer other people help, you are always doing so with judgement. Always! Because you have attached judgement to asking for help.

When you extract ‘worthiness’ for helping people, that's judgement. When you don’t extract worthiness and you think ‘I am just helping you because one day I am going to need help’ — that’s connection, that’s vulnerability.” - Brene Brown

In other words, if we don’t experience the same freedom to request and accept help as we do when offering it, it indicates that we have elevated the act of giving help to a slightly superior position compared to receiving it.

Even well-intentioned quotes that depict helping as “reaching down” inadvertently contribute to this perception. For instance, consider the quote by John Holmes: “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” While this quote intends to convey the value of helping others, it unintentionally reinforces the notion of superiority associated with giving help.

In our perception, there is a subtle judgment towards those who ask and receive. We tend to view the giver as slightly better, more virtuous, and superior. This inauthentic mindset allows us to derive a sense of superiority from giving help. That’s inauthentic generosity.

If we haven’t let go of this judgment, if we haven’t freed ourselves to ask for help, then our act of helping others becomes a means to reinforce this superiority. If we take a moment to pause and reflect, it is not too difficult to detect this sentiment within our hearts.

To truly embody generosity, we must also be willing to take and request help. In this perspective, allowing someone to assist us is an act of generosity as well. By letting others contribute, we grant them the opportunity to feel good about themselves, knowing that they could be of help to us. We give them a chance to become a bigger and more compassionate human being. However, it's important to consider the comfort level of those we approach for support.
However, asking for help may not come easily if we have unknowingly attached judgment to it. Or you may find yourself only willing to accept specific types of assistance or only from certain individuals. To cultivate authentic generosity in our service to others, we need to challenge ourselves to seek help in all areas where we are willing to offer support. It helps to remember that no one can accomplish everything alone.
By embracing the idea that asking for assistance is a virtuous act, we can break free from the unconscious judgment that hinders our ability to receive help and create a genuine atmosphere of mutual support.

"When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed."― Maya Angelou

Amit Sood
When I was fired

When I was fired

This is about when I got fired. It is the story of how I felt and how it changed me. The purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me.
As an introvert, at the start of my career, sales seemed really daunting. In those early years, I needed to muster a lot of grit to overcome my self-consciousness and do what my job needed. The only way I knew to deal with this personal challenge was through hard work. I was fortunate to have some fantastic bosses and mentors, who encouraged me when I most needed it and put me through some great training programs. In time, it started getting easier, I learned to overcome my hesitation about meeting new people, learned to sell, negotiate hard, and even make some all-right public presentations. Eventually, I was doing quite well. I was promoted, sometimes rapidly, to leadership positions. All these acknowledgements made me bold, perhaps even a bit reckless. So I made some career moves that in hindsight were clearly risky. Then, one day I was suddenly fired.

I felt that I was adding a lot of value to the company. But my boss felt otherwise. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if, the rug had been pulled from under my feet. I remember stopping on the side of the road, unable to drive back from work that day because the tears wouldn’t let me see straight.

I found my next break with an even bigger and better employer almost immediately, and it was at a designation and pay far higher, but something had shifted in me. I found myself confronted with some strange, fundamental questions. Why was I working? Who was I trying to impress? What was the point? Does it make any difference? There had to be something meaningful about life and work. The personal ambition that had kept me going in the past now seemed shallow and even unreal like a mirage that one never gets to.

Now, I look back at those days as perhaps, the most life-defining times of my life. I did work for a few more years in corporate leadership positions but the contemplations of that time eventually helped me discover my calling and purpose in coaching. Let me add that it didn’t happen quickly or easily, the journey of healing and self-discovery took its time, but it was powerfully liberating. Its eventual reward is a kind of ease and clarity in life, that I could not have imagined possible.

It is well-accepted in some Western societies that there is always a risk of getting fired from a private sector job when the business cycle goes down. But in India, it is still not the social norm yet. But our leadership seems to be learning the US-style immediate profit-driven business management far too quickly. Not too long ago, people worked most of their lives at one company, that offered a moderate salary, but good financial security and gave life some stability. But those days are long gone. Uncertainty is the new normal.

Today, the purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me, if it can serve them.

“Why me?”
The first thing that confronted me was- what did I do wrong? When the answer is not too obvious, overthinking and self-criticism do more damage than good. Nor does anger help. I think it serves one better to remember that it can also happen for no fault of oneself. It could be because of the business cycle or maybe others simply worked harder and better. One has to choose to be kind to oneself, for trying however one knew best at that moment. There would be time for work, but first, let some self-love in.

When we resist feeling uncomfortable emotions, they persist.

It’s okay to feel hurt. I found that when you don’t resist feeling painful emotions, they run their course and pass off naturally. It is better to let yourself feel the strong emotions — they come and flow away. Let the healing take its time.

It's better to share with someone in the family or a friend.

Bring them in, and let them see how you feel. You could always tell them that for now, you don’t want their advice, just a strong, supportive heart. They may also be just as worried and fearful about what lies in the future, but it works better to team up and have faith together.

Nurture self-belief and faith.

Do what you need to, to strengthen your self-confidence and faith in your ability to work hard. I’ve learned that we grow only through hard times and challenges. Failures strengthen our character in a way that success simply can’t. When life is sending some struggles your way, it is calling you to be bigger. Who is life calling you to be?

What kind of career would give life meaning?

I was obsessed with this. I did a lot of research- read, attended programs and listened to great speakers talk. This urge to find purpose had become personal, important and urgent. I discovered that confronting it also called for some real courage. I found that we let our jobs define who we are. Mindlessly introducing ourselves to others just by our designations and names of the employers. Now it was time to contemplate ‘Who am I beyond my work?’ Maybe, career is not a complete assessment of our life. Just a part of it. But now how would I introduce myself? I didn’t want to look like a loser. It took me a while to work this out.

Time for some spirituality.

After a somewhat prolonged period of inner conflict, I resigned from my corporate career, trained to become a coach and went to teach at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning- which focused on spiritual education. There are times when we need the kind of truth that can create absolute certainty. But that kind of assurance that can only be found deep in our soul. We have to go silently within.

Money is necessary, but not too much is needed.

While living and teaching in the small village town of Puttaparthi, I discovered how easy it is to reduce expenses. It made me feel so much more financially secure. What really matters, costs so little. Even today, as a coach, I make only a fraction of what I earned in my best job, but I live a far richer and more fulfilling life. I respect myself more.

I now feel grateful that I was fired.

It kicked me out of my comfort zone. On my own, I wasn’t willing to grow past my ambition and discover what more life could be. Now I feel that life is easier than how I had made it for myself when I was fighting to make it. Some day you might be grateful for it too.

Take a few days’ break and then get back in action.

Do what you need to do to get back on your feet. Don’t overthink. Stay out of the brooding zone, stay in the action zone of life.

If you were picked to be fired from a team, you may like to assess if you neglect developing good relations with those in authority.

I often ask my clients this question, it might serve you to contemplate upon it too- if you were to assess your relationships with people who report to you, and then with the people whom you report to, which of the two groups do you feel you have better relations with? Almost every client of mine said that they have had better relationships with their subordinates in most of their past jobs. If that’s how it is for you too, don’t you think you need to contemplate what keeps you from having warm and mutually supportive relationships with your bosses?

Invest in your growth and development.

Your company or your bosses wouldn’t be able to invest in you or in the development of your career beyond how it directly serves them. You will have to set aside a certain amount of money and time every year to upskill and to develop the competencies, even wisdom and demeanour that your future career and life require. If you’ve been neglecting this, it might be time to correct it. Talk to a coach.

Make a fresh start.

Maybe you don’t belong where you are not valued. Perhaps your skills and attitudes don’t agree with that job, see if you are better off exploring other work options. The Service-dominant logic now suggests that all careers and businesses are fundamental services. See if you’d like to contemplate- who could benefit from your presence, with your help and love? That’s how you’d find your purpose.

There are many ways to make a living, but not all would fulfil you.
Trust life. Aim big.

Amit Sood
Slow down

Everything is happening faster

In these times of instant gratification, our lives reflect a hurried rushed and busy mindset. Faster seems better. We are thinking, talking and doing things faster. We eat, walk and drive fast. And how quickly do folk type messages on their phones!

Our ability to be patient, to wait and allow something to simply take its time is diminishing. Being hurried also generates stress. Whenever anything takes 'far too long' there is unease, frustration and disappointment.

It's a race against time

There is so much to be done in such little time. We must get it done quickly. Being late has repercussions. Getting stuff done has priority over ease and joyful engagement. The time when it has all been done would be the time to rest and relax. This seems to be our mindset. But it never gets done.

It never ends

You work hard on a typical workday, looking forward to the weekend or a vacation. But when you are so used to scurrying about, switching to slower gear on a weekend seems unnatural. It makes you uneasy.

So, you go through your career working hard, looking forward to retiring someday when you finally have enough. Then you can put your feet up and really relax.
But the beauty of life must be experienced and appreciated now. Or we miss the opportunity altogether.

Hurried life feels shallow

When we are rushed, we look without appreciating. There's little space for love. When we are hurried love doesn't get the time it needs to touch and move the heart. The feeling cannot be fleetingly felt. They need time to permeate our being.

Our heart yearns for ease and spaciousness

The heart can sense that life has a natural, slower rhythm that is more optimal for your inner well-being. Harmonizing with it feels calming and easeful. It craves more space - to just be.

Life has a gentler rhythm'

When you attune with the rhythm of life and spirit you will notice that it has its own unique character: it's flowing, grounded, nourishing, energizing, sustaining and more life-giving than the speed at which modern day life moves.' - Leon VandePol in A Shift in Being

The heart craves what slowing down can offer. It wants to savour each moment.

Fear of slowing down

Intuitively value inner peace and tranquillity. Yet there is comfort in the familiar busyness. There is a certain anxiety that prevents us from slowing down. Fear of missing out. There is a nagging urge to do something or the other all the time. It is incredibly hard to be still and silent even for a brief while. Makes us uneasy.

Breathe slower

Make time to sit quietly sometimes. Breathe deeper and more easefully. It would calm you down. Imagine taking a fresh, gentle and spacious breath all the way into your heart. Keep your mental focus there it helps to imagine that your heart-centred breathing is energising the heart. Gentle spacious and slow breathing can ease away this anxiety. As you breathe, permit yourself some inner silence and stillness. Just watch if there is an inner urge to disturb it. Don't go with it but feel it, be with it. Let your gentle breath and the light of your heart heal it away.

Spaciousness

When you allow yourself to slow down, a kind of spaciousness opens within that is not there when you are rushing. When let yourself sync with the gentler rhythms of life, the universe and the Source, it would slow your thoughts down and help your body relax. As you quieten the noise, open yourself and let in some silent, stillness you would find yourself discovering new energies within. In silence, an easeful space would open in which your heart can guide you inward towards your deeper, truer self.

'Right now in this moment, there is nowhere to get to, nothing better to be achieved, nothing that must be changed in order for things to be 'better'. When we slow down, breathe spaciously and deeply, quieten the noise and move into greater stillness, more of what Spirit and soul can offer can rise into our awareness.' -Leon VandePol in his book 'A Shift in Being'

Slowing down unburdens you

You feel less overwhelmed. It eases away the clamour and makes work and life seem more manageable.

It sets you free
It gives you the time you need to pause. You stop. 'Deal with nothing at all' just for a moment. Then, take up one thing at a time.

Declutters

Slowing down tidies up the inner clutter. It creates the room you need to contemplate and create inner clarity. And take decisions with conviction.

Enhances focus

We are most resourceful when we are fully engaged with the one task in front of us. We are at our best when other items on the to-do list are not nagging us. In such moments of a mindful flow, all our senses are engaged. That is when we deliver our best work.

Creativity needs you to release the urgency

Rushing about only leaves room for linear thinking. In hurry, we may get much done, but it does not feel fulfilling, perhaps because it is not the expression of the soul's deepest creative expression. We need to slow down to access the depths of our creative selves.

When we are hurrying about, who has the time to care?

Daniel Goleman, author of the landmark book 'Emotional Intelligence' talks of an experiment conducted with the students of theology. The students were asked to prepare for a sermon, and then go to deliver it in the next building. Half of the students were told to prepare the sermon on the parable of the good Samaritan - the man who stopped to help a stranger on the side of the road, while the other half were given random topics. Later, as the students walked to the other building to deliver the sermon, they all passed by a man bent over, moaning in pain, clearly needing attention.
Some students stopped to help. Many didn't. Surprisingly, it didn't matter if the students had been reflecting on the parable of the good Samaritan or not. What determined whether or not they stopped to help was how much time pressure they were under. How hurried they were.

Our level of busyness affects our ability to care for others.

When we have slowed down we connect more authentically and more deeply.

Dale Carnegie recounts a touching story in his bestselling book 'How to Win Friends and Influence People.' One evening, Millie Esposito was in the kitchen with her little son, Robert. After a brief discussion of something that was on his mind, little Robert said something that touched his mother deeply. "Mom, I know that you love me very much," he said. Mrs Esposito was surprised by his comment and asked if he had any doubts about her love. Robert responded: "No, but I really know you love me because whenever I want to talk to you about something you stop whatever you are doing and listen to me."

Powerful Listening is an act of Generosity

When we are in a rush, or preoccupied, we are unable to listen very deeply. When we are hurried, we don't connect with others. We don't pay attention to their need for care or empathy.

Just Be

Take a few deep, slow breaths. Slow down even further. As you do this, notice what shifting to an even deeper rhythm feels like. Sense the wavelength of the new rhythm, the easing of your presence within it, the relaxation of your muscles, the dissipation of tension, the expansion of your heart, and the softening of your belly.
With each breath, you take, slow it all down more and more. Let go of all thoughts or expectations and simply enjoy the harmonious energy that is arising within you at this very moment. There is nowhere to go, nothing that must be attained or completed.*

Amit Sood
It may be the time to revamp your Self-concept

How empowered and free we feel in response to our view of the world determines how confidently we engage with it and express ourselves in life. Do you sense a shift in how you want to describe yourself, your relationship with the world and your life?
Self-actualisation is about reclaiming one’s full potential and setting it free out of one’s commitment to personal fulfilment. Based on what is beginning to show up in your consciousness, does it feel like it is time to review what is your place in the world and what is your work here? If that is the case, it may be time for a makeover.

**Bad experiences often turn into limiting mental frameworks that limit you till you confront them and heal them away. **When we have difficult or painful experiences, the emotions that seem too strong and overwhelming to deal with at the time are blocked by the mind and set aside to be dealt with when we can. Simultaneously, the mind also installs an instinctive defensive avoidance to safeguard us from similar hurts in future. Now, we avoid situations and conversations that can reconnect with the same painful emotions. Over time, these patterns of responses become automatic and subconscious and firm up into a framework of behaviours. Limiting beliefs go along with these behaviours to justify them.

The patterns in which we interpret the impacts of people and situations upon us shape our beliefs about others and the world at large, this forms our worldview. Along with our worldview, goes a corresponding view of oneself that is our self-concept.

How empowered and free we feel in response to our view of the world determines how confidently we engage and express ourselves in life. Remaining unquestioned, our worldview and self-concept set limits upon our fulfilment.
While most of such subconscious conditionings are overcome along the way, some hide in our blind zones and their impact can be subtle yet serious and substantial.

Here are some examples-

  • Having had a bad experience with a water sport early in life, one may develop a fear-based aversion to swimming and hold beliefs that justify it-‘I can’t swim. It is an unnecessary risk.’

  • If one had a bad childhood experience of performing in front of people, like- say while reciting a poem one got a hurtful response, then avoidance of that pain may cause one to subconsciously avoid public speaking all through life. ‘Public speaking is not for me. I just don't have it in me.’ Eventually if one does not confront the fear, it can cause hesitation in accepting career opportunities that need engaging with crowds. Unconsciously, one may self-sabotage growth opportunities.

  • Having experienced bullying people are uneasy in the presence of authority. Simple exchanges with superiors at work seem much like dealing with a bully. ‘My boss is such a poor listener, He doesn’t respect people. He singles me out.’

  • Some people may go to any lengths to avoid conflicts or difficult conversations or negotiations. ‘Raising this topic might lead to an unpleasant discussion, possibly even an argument. What is the point? Let us see how we can accommodate.’

  • Some people are far too self-conscious and would go to any length to seek approval. When saying *‘no’ *becomes a challenge, one is frequently caught in commitments that one would prefer to avoid. While trying to please both, one finds oneself stuck between a demanding boss and unrelenting subordinates.

  • People who had been disappointed or deeply hurt in past relationships, close their hearts to the possibility of finding a fulfilling relationship. Now, the genuine seems inauthentic. ‘What does he want from me?’

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ― Stephen Chbosky

  • Facing or seeing someone else face a financial challenge, can trap one in a scarcity mindset, in which one is driven to gather and hoard money even at a cost of mental peace, health and family. The mindset of seeking security and reassurance from money holds a vast majority captive today. Money is the means to obtain the resources necessary for life, it is itself not the primary necessity. Fear of not having enough money seems to control and drive our lives.

According to a Capital One CreditWise survey, 73% of Americans rank their finances as the №1 stress in life.

  • When fears run life, one feels an internal pressure to succeed at all costs. Work instead of an easeful opportunity to express seems stressful and life feels tiresome.

Negative mindsets can only hold us as long as we avoid confronting them.

What we perceive is not an accurate representation of reality. Einstein pointed out to Heisenberg in 1926, that building a theory on observable facts is illogical. In truth, it is the theory that determines what we are capable of observing. Our brains are predisposed to recognize only the patterns that were previously created and reinforced. It is almost impossible to observe the world or our situation, without our past experience colouring it. The lens of the past through which we view the world influences what we are able to perceive.

“Man keeps looking for a truth that fits his reality."- Werner Erhard

Our past experiences colour everything — whatever we hear and see. All that we observe is based on the patterns that our brain can recognise, based on what it has stored in the past. The points of view that we have formed in the past distort and shape everything we see.

“Reality is frequently inaccurate.”― Douglas Adams

People only seem the way they do. Our past experiences heavily influence how we look at people and interpret our situations. Different people perceive the very same person differently based on their past with similar people. The same also goes with situations. Some people deal with the same situation more resourcefully than others.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” ― Anaïs Nin

But in time, life slowly expands our wisdom and the heart begins to sense new, wiser ways of making meaning of what happened. You feel less attached to the view you have had of the situation. Then you see that you have a choice, a say in how the world occurs to you. You can change the view you have of yourself, how you view the situation and how life seems to you and how the world and others seem to you.

“To know that you are a prisoner of your mind is the dawn of wisdom.”— Nisargadatta Maharaj

Life invites you to take responsibility for your worldview. When you are willing to consider that you are creating your own view a new vista of life opens. Your willingness to take ownership of how things appear and to be the cause of how everything seems begins to generate a new view of life in which everything is being shaped by your interpretation. You have a say. Your situations and the world now stop appearing as being fixed and out of your control.

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”― George Orwell

Step out of the universe of Assessments

We live in a realm of Assessments. In their brilliant book ‘The Art of Possibility’, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander talk of a World of Measurements. The present-day’s default worldview is the one in which the world appears as a cold, indifferent and tough place, in which life is about battling with challenges. Every resource is scarce– time, money, power, love, inner strength and energy. In pursuit and hope for a better future, everyone strives to collect and accumulate resources and competes for opportunities, attention and approval. Life of such strife puts you in the mode of persistent assessments and comparisons. All stories and movies, even children’s tales feature themes of struggle through peril, overcoming obstacles, and triumphing over adversity. In all this winning and losing, success is not assured. The comfort of victory is fleeting but the pain of failure is profound and long-lasting. The outlook generates stress and ever-present anxiety. A subtle mistrust prevails even among friends and loved ones. In the lurking danger of disappointment and hurt, there is a pervasive need for vigilance. Caution and cleverness are essential to survive.

“In the measurement world, you set a goal and strive for it. In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold.”― Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility

Take a moment to examine how your thoughts reflect a mindset of assessments-

Which aspects of my mindset reflect a survival mindset that reflects scarcity, comparison competition, attachment and anxiety?
Am I good enough? Is what I have enough? Are others doing better than me? How can I win?

When will it be enough?

Ask yourself- ‘is it enough yet?’
Keep confronting this question till you can see how ridiculous this mindset is. Till it makes you laugh.

“Enough is realising that an insatiable appetite for more will push you to the point of regret.” — Morgan Housel, the Psychology of Money

Heal your heart

This worldview and mindset of assessments had been shaped by disappointments of the past that hurt your heart. The pain had closed and hardened it.

But now, you intuitively sense that the world and life seemed tougher than they actually are. You sense that you can heal your heart and drop the survival mindset. Practices like gentle, heart-centred breathing are useful. A good coach or therapist can help. Gently as it heals to ease, your heart will open to new possibilities. Then life would once again touch and move you with its abundance, beauty and joy.

“When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”― Milan Kundera

Open yourself to a Life of Possibilities

Beyond the life of survival and the mindset of assessments, there is a boundless universe of endless possibilities.

Here, life offers a dazzling array of experiences, opportunities and a variety of shimmering movements in which new things are always becoming possible. It beckons you to embrace curiosity and wonder and to engage joyfully without worrying about scarcity or survival.

Here, you want to have faith. There is a spontaneous willingness to dream and imagine with an open mind- what is possible? You want to take chances and take bold actions to manifest them.

You sense the ease with which everything is interconnected in harmony and interdependence. Everything supports everything else. Everyone serves everyone else. It feels fine to drop the strife for accumulation, to harmonise with the grace of simplicity. Experiences of abundance with no need to possess, own or control, evoke spontaneous generosity and an urge to share. Intuitively, you sense the comforting warmth of an awareness that everything will work out fine. You feel that you are cared for and loved. You are drawn to support others and love. To serve selflessly. Life becomes a joyful journey of shared joy.

Examine your world-view and self-concept

Examine how you describe yourself, others, your situation, the world and your life.

  • Which are the fixed ways in which you seem to describe yourself and the world or others? List both the positive and negative aspects.
  • Examine which of these descriptions don’t serve you. Drop the negative. Stop talking about yourself, others, your situation, the world and of your life in that negative way.
  • Create opposite positive affirmations. Practice affirmations to create your new reality and new views about yourself, others, your situation, the world and your life.
    For example, if you were earlier describing yourself as short-tempered and impatient, use your will to affirm yourself as the opposite- “I am patient, soft-spoken and affectionate.”

Or if an aspect of your life was not working, like, if you are someone who has been neglecting your wellness, affirm that you are now becoming so much more disciplined about your wellness.

Examine how you describe others in your life.

Choose to create a new view and affirm its reality. Repeat the affirmation. Allow it to express itself more in your life and become your reality.

If you sense a lack of love and understanding in a relationship, affirm that there is kindness, understanding and love even though it is yet unexpressed fully.

However, if you find someone particularly angry and hurtful, it may be an aspect where there may be a need for some emotional healing. Some of your past emotional injuries may be making some of the behaviours of this person far too painful and even evoking fear and anxiety. When the emotional response is automatic and instinctive, you may want to take up deeper emotional healing. Deep coaching can change your view of yourself, your view of the situation and life, and your view of others in your world, as it has done for so many others.

Amit Sood
This is it! Commit.

**** This is it! Bring all of your commitment to this moment.
Open your heart to it. Engage completely with the task at hand. Relish whatever is here, in front of you.
This is it! This is all there is to life. This moment. Open your heart to receive it fully. It does not get any better.
But, we can’t seem to be able to bring all of our commitment to anything. It seems like a risk to dedicate ourselves completely to anything. This noncommittal way of being in which we don't give our heart and soul to anything, will not fulfil us.
The rewards of embracing 100% commitment are immense. It might be easier than it seems. One does not need to do something very different or extraordinary. We only have to let go of being the half-committed person that we were being and let our heart lead us to ‘be’ 100% committed — here and now, to whatever is at hand, at the moment.
This is what our heart craves too.****

We don’t commit

We can’t seem to be able to bring all of our commitment to anything or dedicate ourselves completely to anything just doing ‘the best we could’ -a reasonably sufficient measure of sincerity, that we have come to deem satisfactory. Even the expression ‘the best we could’ betrays our unwillingness to take complete responsibility, as if it wasn’t really up to us to give our all. We just couldn’t have.

You’ve been holding yourself back

With a little introspection you can see that in all of your commitments, you hold yourself back. Even in your commitment to the relationships that matter, to your work, the spiritual quest, or to hobbies that could give your self-expression, you keep some of your commitment in reserve.

Wishing and hoping

Without committing ourselves, we hope and wish that things would turn out fine anyhow, on their own. After all in our hearts, we are good people — that ought to be worth something!

But the truth is that if we can’t bring ourselves to commit to what is at hand, then our participation in it is incomplete and inauthentic. Not worth much.

You used to commit yourself when you were younger

When you were young you always gave your all, but then you hurt yourself — really bad. Like, got squashed! Then, you decide to be cautious, not give your all to anything, anyone. Never brought all of your commitment to any table. Don’t want to risk it all again like that.

It feels risky to commit

When we consider committing ourselves to something completely, it feels like we are taking a risk. It feels like being a warrior going to battle. “I am not sure I’m ready to go that far.”

What is at risk while making an absolutely total commitment? Ourselves! Our mediocrity. The puny ego self that we have been calling ‘me’. The habitual, average and reasonable way of being that has become our comfort zone. We have become so comfortable in this small, powerless, non-committal way of being that the thought of letting it go invokes anxiety. It feels like we are putting ourselves at risk. We have let ourselves become this averageness. We have allowed ourselves to stay non-comital for so long that it has become our average way of being. We have become so deeply attached to it that it seems discomforting to commit to anything.

You don’t bring all of your commitment to your relationships, your work, to anything. Holding your aces close to your chest. Waiting for the right moment or someone right or some great task that will deserve all of your commitment. This doesn’t deserve all that you can commit. Not these people, not this moment, not this task. Something is not just right yet.

This doesn’t deserve it?
You play like it’s a practice game yet. Holding back, waiting for the real thing. All this doesn’t seem perfectly lined up just yet. It seems better to put off making a total commitment to some time in the future. Perhaps there would be some future day when something would really deserve my total commitment. Not today. Not this relationship. Not this work. Not yet. This is just an ordinary moment. It doesn’t really deserve all of your commitment. ‘I will commit when it really matters. What if all of my aces are used up when the one — the right moment shows up?’

So, you put it off yet again, deciding to wait for the right moment, the right partner, the right people at work, the right task, and the right circumstances. Living like this is just a practice version of life.

Practice life

Practice job. Practice marriage. Practice friends. Practice life. Saving yourself for the real one. The special one.

What are you holding back?

Can you see what is it that you are keeping from those you love? From your work? What is it that you are keeping, holding back from life? It is yourself! You don’t bring all of yourself to anything.

Can you see what this wait is costing you?

A life of no commitments is an unfulfilled life

What kind of life is it in which one does not commit to anything fully? Never putting our heart and soul into anything. How mediocre does this life of partial commitments feel? Does your heart feel complete in staying noncommittal? Does living this level of engagement make you feel alive? When it ends, perhaps it might make sense to have them write on our gravestones —
‘They saved themselves for the best to come. It hasn’t come yet.’

Confront your avoidance of commitment

Be authentic to yourself about your avoidance of commitment. Bring yourself to confront how unfulfilling it feels to stay non-committal and disengaged. You have evaded confronting that it does not complete you. Enough of this side-stepping. If you can confront how unfulfilling it feels, you may be able to develop enough resolve to free yourself of this mediocre way of being.

There is nothing more special coming

The best is in front of you right now. There is no other special relationship coming. Your life’s mission might be in front of you. You just missed another opportunity to commit. Play now, with all your chips. That tomorrow that you have been waiting for will never come. There is nothing better coming. The moment is here — waiting for you to commit.

This is it!

If you commit now, you might discover that simple things moments are actually extraordinary. See what is here in front of you. You may get hurt But that’s life. It is risky. Yet, this is all there is. There is really nothing more to life. It really doesn’t get any better. This is it! Life. Here, now. In all its glory and magnificence. Commit! Give yourself to it.

It is liberating and natural to commit fully

If you can bring yourself to be committed fully, you let loose extraordinary passion and energy. As soon as you let go of holding back and you are free. Your integrity and congruence of purpose would energise you. You would light up, glowing with conviction, clarity, passion and energy.

Commitment is easier than it seems

Let go. Put this inauthentic, incomplete way of remaining small at risk. It will seem risky because you are stepping out from the shadows of ordinary, average living.

It does not need you to do something very different or extraordinary

You only have to bring yourself to be a different kind of person, here and now. You just have to choose to be the kind of person who brings 100% commitment to everything you engage with — one thing at a time. You choose to show up to live more fully. With a greater commitment to whatever is in front of you. As a ‘100% person’.

Commit to just this one thing at a time, one moment at a time

Try it. It feels great! If we can raise from deep within, an extraordinary resolve to give nothing less than our absolute best to this one moment, we tap into a more powerful source of confidence. What others perceive as confidence, is actually your energy, commitment to the cause and passion with which you engage with it.

Let go of your noncommital way of being

You mindlessly carry the burden of being who you were from your past till now, into your future.

‘How can I be any different from how I was till now?’

We are not our past. Every morning we wake up fresh and empty. Then, we dig out our past ways of being from our memory and start repeating them in the future.

You are not your past

You have let yourself remain chained to the past versions of yourself. Break those chains! Free yourself from who you were. Embrace that you are not defined by who you were in the past. Snap out of your old way of being. It can not impede your progress if you don’t bring it from the past and dump it upon your future.

Sculpt a new way of being

Stand in the present moment, ready to recreate yourself anew. Notice here and now, there is no past — there is nothing here! Just an open possibility of being anyone you choose. Start afresh. The future is not written yet. Use your powerful intention to sculpt a new way of being. Choose to be the kind of person who brings 100% commitment to everything you engage with. Affirm who you are going to be in the future. Say it out loud-
“I commit 100%. To these relationships that matter. To this work that is on my table. I commit to what is here, now — in front of me.”

Begin the thrilling game of 100% Commitment

If the idea of bringing 100% commitment to life resonates with you, you can choose to play this game continuously. Ongoingly, catch yourself not committing again and again. Take it one step at a time, and bring unwavering dedication to each aspect of your life, one thing at a time, one moment at a time. Pour your heart and soul into each endeavour and you’ll witness a powerful transformation.

Being someone who commits fully is liberating

It fills your heart with energy and passion and others will perceive your powerful presence as confidence. It becomes your new, powerful way of being.

Being Present

In this vibrant symphony of life, your interactions with others hold immense transformative power. The simplest way to start this practice is to pause for a moment and reflect —Am I truly and fully present when engaging with my loved ones, colleagues, or friends?

Confront that when you are with your children, your spouse or friends, you don’t really pay full attention to them. You don’t pay attention to their concerns and ambitions. You are physically there but often mentally distant. You hear them but don’t really listen in a way in which their humanness can touch, move or inspire your heart. Confront that this way of being is inauthentic.

Make a personal commitment to listen to them and notice their smiles, laughs and pauses. You will need to pause to give attention to the depth of their feelings and connect with them deeply and powerfully, in a way in which it really moves you, and brings you to want to make a difference to them. You will have to start by catching yourself when you are not listening deeply and not being fully present. That would create authenticity. Then you can give them the gift of your authentic, unwavering attention and commitment.

Relationships become richer, your understanding deepens and wisdom expands

When you begin to pay attention and let yourself be genuinely concerned about others, you become free of your self-obsession, it is liberating. With authenticity, your self-confidence blossoms.

Commit to something bigger

Embracing a deep commitment to something bigger than your personal ambitions brings a sense of purpose to your life and work. You will have the joy of making a difference in the lives of others. You will become a beacon of inspiration and a role model for those around you.

Commitment is the foundation of genuine confidence

The rewards of embracing 100% commitment are immense. It opens, beyond the confines of ordinary existence, a realm of true confidence in which comparisons lose relevance, the past loses its grip and authenticity thrives.

It would fulfil your heart

Being extraordinarily committed is a way of being that captivates and inspires. Set off on this remarkable journey, and watch as your life transforms into a vibrant tapestry of unshakable confidence and limitless possibilities.

This is what your heart craves.

‘No intention is ever totally materialized without commitment. Commitment, by virtue of its presence alone, is that quality which will determine whether you will keep your word and make happen what you said is going to happen, or not. Commitment is what allows you to make happen what you said is going to happen because commitment is the ultimate context of keeping your word. Commitment fosters completion, nurtures it, it is what makes completion real and sanctifies it. When you are willing to be committed, when you are willing to create commitment, you begin to notice that without commitment, nothing really works. When you are willing to have all of it work out, it is likely to.' — Werner Erhard

Amit Sood
When the heart is open, the life is lit

When the heart was open and free, life was lit.

Everything was exciting and colourful. Everything called out to you. Engaged you. There was so much beauty around, it took your breath away.

Every day, someone stole your heart. The only way to love was to do it fully. You held nothing back. When it was time to hug, the arms opened so wide, that they could pull in anyone and hold them in forever.

You cared and not just for some people. Anyone’s suffering seemed yours. Anything that was sad moved you to tears. But just for now.

When the heart was open, anyone could reach out and touch it. Anything could move you. Make you laugh and cry so hard.

You were free to dream. When you had no goals, anything was possible. Such was life. Shimmering with possibilities, and vibrant with colours and emotions. You gave all of yourself to it. And it gave all of itself to you. You were alive. Lit up. You were still young. Not yet smart.

Then, they got you

‘You laugh so loud.’

‘Wipe those tears.’

‘Love is rare. It must be veiled, selective and reciprocal.’

Here, they said, meet this new feeling- fear.

‘Don’t do that. There are consequences.’
‘Have new concerns’ -they said. ‘How does it look? Is this appropriate? What will they say?’

‘Doubt everyone.’

You learned to hold yourself back. Watch your every move. Till nothing flowed free. Neither the laughter nor tears. Heart no longer felt free to love completely. Even the breath is heavy. It doesn’t feel as easeful as it once did.

‘Toil. This is life’ they said. ‘Try harder.’

But it doesn’t ring true to your heart. It has known freedom. What’s natural and spontaneous is calling. Life should be easeful. It senses the calling of freedom to love, feel, care and express fully yet again. Freedom to give itself away.

It will not let you rest till you set it free. Might as well let your heart open.

Amit Sood
Just 5 minutes of Journaling can change your life

Research on journaling suggests that it can help you organize your life and work, improve your focus, and reduce stress and anxiety. Why not start this new pathbreaking habit? Write whatever comes to mind. You don’t have to write long if you prefer to keep it brief. Give this a try-

Before you begin slow down, pause. Take a few spacious, calming breaths. Take a few moments to connect with your Source of wisdom, strength and healing. Just let in some peace and love. Permit yourself a smile if you like. Let your reflections touch, move and inspire you. You’d be surprised at the difference it makes to you.

Contemplate just these 3 prompts and write whatever arises in the heart-

Before you begin slow down. Pause. Take a few spacious, calming breaths. Take a few moments to connect with your inner Source of wisdom, strength and healing. Then, read each of these prompts and contemplate in silence, then write whatever arises in the heart. You don’t have to write long if you prefer to keep your writing brief.

1. What am I called to appreciate more?

What am I called to love even more? Be more grateful for? Acknowledge more fully? What am I called to celebrate today about myself, about life and about my people? What can I bring myself to feel complete, content and satisfied about? What am I being asked to accept, let in and allow to emerge and grow?

2. What is life asking me to let go of?

What new wisdom do I sense arising in the tranquillity of my heart? What has life been trying to teach me? Every setback is a celebration of my resilience, an opportunity to learn something altogether new, a chance to love and a prompt to let go of some old way of trying. Sometimes what is most difficult to release is our attachment to our point of view - our view of ourselves, our rigid view of others or of the situation.

3. Who am I called to be?

What kind of person does life want me to be? (Eg. are you feeling inspired to be more calm, kind or action-oriented?) Who shall I be that when I look towards myself I‘d be genuinely proud of myself and feel fulfilled?
What way of being wants to be expressed more fully?
Which old way of being wants to be let go of?

Write every day. The best times are immediately after you wake up in the morning and just before going to bed at night.

Amit Sood
Being complete

Imagine being fully satisfied — completely and deeply satisfied.

It is not easy in a world in which we believe we must stay hungry and stay foolish and compete for opportunity and resources. Yet, see if you can bring yourself to visualise and imagine a moment when you really feel satisfied. Perhaps, this evokes the circumstances that need to align in order to make you truly happy. See if you can challenge yourself, just as a thought experiment, to imagine, just for this moment, that you have indeed fulfilled all your desires — even the most audacious ones.

Imagine looking at others and you found arising in you no sense of judgement or even assessment. You have generosity, spaciousness and empathy for them all. You are able to let them be exactly as they are, just for now.

When you looked at yourself, you were able to be tolerant, kind and spacious to your own flaws and bring compassion, generosity and even love to yourself. Imagine that just for the moment, you are able to let go of all thoughts comparisons and assessments of how you ought to be and release any need to be different, able to let yourself be as you are.

Picture yourself having completed all your tasks, and done them to your complete satisfaction. Everything is finally finished. You are done. You can finally rest, feeling satisfied.

As you immerse yourself in this feeling of satisfaction, permit yourself to gently and effortlessly slow down. Let in some inner ease. Release all your concerns, just for now. Let go of everything.

If any anxiety or inner discomfort arises, disturbing your tranquillity, don’t resist it. If a fear emerges -that you may be neglecting, or overlooking something that matters, don’t resist it either. Let the fear exist without judgment. Acknowledge its presence, experience it, and stay with it. Just let it be. Give it room. Be with it. Let yourself have your compassion and love.

Relax. Give yourself space to breathe calmly — with even more ease and spaciousness. Connect with your inner silence. Bring yourself to just be. Let the thinking slow down. Slow everything down, as if you are gently bringing yourself to rest in silent stillness.

Now, as you settle down in this feeling, embrace this sensation, bring your attention to your heart and sense how it feels.

This is completion. Fulfilment. A sense of being whole, complete and perfect. It is your birthright. Being complete does not depend upon circumstances. Whenever you can allow yourself to simply be, you can access it within. It is the essence of who you are.

“The experience of being yourself is innately satisfying. If who you really are does not give you the experience of health, happiness, love and full self-expression — or ‘aliveness’ — then that is not who you really are. When you experience yourself as yourself, that experience is innately satisfying. The experience of the self as the self is the experience of satisfaction.

Satisfaction is not ‘out there’. It cannot be brought in. You will never get satisfied. It cannot be done. When you want more and different or better, that is gratification, and while that is gratifying, we always want even more or even better. Satisfaction is completion, being complete — what has been called ‘the peace that passeth all understanding’. It is a condition of well-being — a sense of wholeness and of being complete right now — a context of certainty that right now is completely all right as right now and that the next moment will similarly be, fully itself. Not a judgment of good or bad, right or wrong, just what is.”

-Werner Erhard

Amit Sood
When I was fired

This is about when I got fired. It is the story of how I felt and how it changed me. The purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me.

As an introvert, at the start of my career, sales seemed really daunting. In those early years, I needed to muster a lot of grit to overcome my self-consciousness and do what my job needed. The only way I knew to deal with this personal challenge was through hard work. I was fortunate to have some fantastic bosses and mentors, who encouraged me when I most needed it and put me through some great training programs. In time, it started getting easier, I learned to overcome my hesitation about meeting new people, learned to sell, negotiate hard, and even make some all-right public presentations. Eventually, I was doing quite well. I was promoted, sometimes rapidly, to leadership positions. All these acknowledgements made me bold, perhaps even a bit reckless. So I made some career moves that in hindsight were clearly risky. Then, one day I was suddenly fired.

I felt that I was adding a lot of value to the company. But my boss felt otherwise. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if, the rug had been pulled from under my feet. I remember stopping on the side of the road, unable to drive back from work that day because the tears wouldn’t let me see straight.

I found my next break with an even bigger and better employer almost immediately, and it was at a designation and pay far higher, but something had shifted in me. I found myself confronted with some strange, fundamental questions. Why was I working? Who was I trying to impress? What was the point? Does it make any difference? There had to be something meaningful about life and work. The personal ambition that had kept me going in the past now seemed shallow and even unreal like a mirage that one never gets to.

Now, I look back at those days as perhaps, the most life-defining times of my life. I did work for a few more years in corporate leadership positions but the contemplations of that time eventually helped me discover my calling and purpose in coaching. Let me add that it didn’t happen quickly or easily, the journey of healing and self-discovery took its time, but it was powerfully liberating. Its eventual reward is a kind of ease and clarity in life, that I could not have imagined possible.

It is well-accepted in some Western societies that there is always a risk of getting fired from a private sector job when the business cycle goes down. But in India, it is still not the social norm yet. But our leadership seems to be learning the US-style immediate profit-driven business management far too quickly. Not too long ago, people worked most of their lives at one company, that offered a moderate salary, but good financial security and gave life some stability. But those days are long gone. Uncertainty is the new normal.

Today, the purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me, if it can serve them.

“Why me?”

The first thing that confronted me was- what did I do wrong? When the answer is not too obvious, overthinking and self-criticism do more damage than good. Nor does anger help. I think it serves one better to remember that it can also happen for no fault of oneself. It could be because of the business cycle or maybe others simply worked harder and better. One has to choose to be kind to oneself, for trying however one knew best at that moment. There would be time for work, but first, let some self-love in.

When we resist feeling uncomfortable emotions, they persist.

It’s okay to feel hurt. I found that when you don’t resist feeling painful emotions, they run their course and pass off naturally. It is better to let yourself feel the strong emotions — they come and flow away. Let the healing take its time.

It's better to share with someone in the family or a friend.

Bring them in, and let them see how you feel. You could always tell them that for now, you don’t want their advice, just a strong, supportive heart. They may also be just as worried and fearful about what lies in the future, but it works better to team up and have faith together.

Nurture self-belief and faith.

Do what you need to, to strengthen your self-confidence and faith in your ability to work hard. I’ve learned that we grow only through hard times and challenges. Failures strengthen our character in a way that success simply can’t. When life is sending some struggles your way, it is calling you to be bigger. Who is life calling you to be?

What kind of career would give life meaning?

I was obsessed with this. I did a lot of research- read, attended programs and listened to great speakers talk. This urge to find purpose had become personal, important and urgent. I discovered that confronting it also called for some real courage. I found that we let our jobs define who we are. Mindlessly introducing ourselves to others just by our designations and names of the employers. Now it was time to contemplate ‘Who am I beyond my work?’ Maybe, career is not a complete assessment of our life. Just a part of it. But now how would I introduce myself? I didn’t want to look like a loser. It took me a while to work this out.

Time for some spirituality.

After a somewhat prolonged period of inner conflict, I resigned from my corporate career, trained to become a coach and went to teach at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning- which focused on spiritual education. There are times when we need the kind of truth that can create absolute certainty. But that kind of assurance that can only be found deep in our soul. We have to go silently within.

Money is necessary, but not too much is needed.

While living and teaching in the small village town of Puttaparthi, I discovered how easy it is to reduce expenses. It made me feel so much more financially secure. What really matters, costs so little. Even today, as a coach, I make only a fraction of what I earned in my best job, but I live a far richer and more fulfilling life. I respect myself more.

I now feel grateful that I was fired.

It kicked me out of my comfort zone. On my own, I wasn’t willing to grow past my ambition and discover what more life could be. Now I feel that life is easier than how I had made it for myself when I was fighting to make it. Some day you might be grateful for it too.

Take a few days’ break and then get back in action.

Do what you need to do to get back on your feet. Don’t overthink. Stay out of the brooding zone, stay in the action zone of life.

If you were picked to be fired from a team, you may like to assess if you neglect developing good relations with those in authority.

I often ask my clients this question, it might serve you to contemplate upon it too- if you were to assess your relationships with people who report to you, and then with the people whom you report to, which of the two groups do you feel you have better relations with? Almost every client of mine said that they have had better relationships with their subordinates in most of their past jobs. If that’s how it is for you too, don’t you think you need to contemplate what keeps you from having warm and mutually supportive relationships with your bosses?

Invest in your growth and development.

Your company or your bosses wouldn’t be able to invest in you or in the development of your career beyond how it directly serves them. You will have to set aside a certain amount of money and time every year to upskill and to develop the competencies, even wisdom and demeanour that your future career and life require. If you’ve been neglecting this, it might be time to correct it. Talk to a coach.

Make a fresh start.

Maybe you don’t belong where you are not valued. Perhaps your skills and attitudes don’t agree with that job, see if you are better off exploring other work options. The Service-dominant logic now suggests that all careers and businesses are fundamental services. See if you’d like to contemplate- who could benefit from your presence, with your help and love? That’s how you’d find your purpose.

There are many ways to make a living, but not all would fulfil you.

Trust life. Aim big.

Amit Sood
When I was fired

When I was fired#

This is about when I got fired. It is the story of how I felt and how it changed me. The purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me.

As an introvert, at the start of my career, sales seemed really daunting. In those early years, I needed to muster a lot of grit to overcome my self-consciousness and do what my job needed. The only way I knew to deal with this personal challenge was through hard work. I was fortunate to have some fantastic bosses and mentors, who encouraged me when I most needed it and put me through some great training programs. In time, it started getting easier, I learned to overcome my hesitation about meeting new people, learned to sell, negotiate hard, and even make some all-right public presentations. Eventually, I was doing quite well. I was promoted, sometimes rapidly, to leadership positions. All these acknowledgements made me bold, perhaps even a bit reckless. So I made some career moves that in hindsight were clearly risky. Then, one day I was suddenly fired.

I felt that I was adding a lot of value to the company. But my boss felt otherwise. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if, the rug had been pulled from under my feet. I remember stopping on the side of the road, unable to drive back from work that day because the tears wouldn’t let me see straight.

I found my next break with an even bigger and better employer almost immediately, and it was at a designation and pay far higher, but something had shifted in me. I found myself confronted with some strange, fundamental questions. Why was I working? Who was I trying to impress? What was the point? Does it make any difference? There had to be something meaningful about life and work. The personal ambition that had kept me going in the past now seemed shallow and even unreal like a mirage that one never gets to.

Now, I look back at those days as perhaps, the most life-defining times of my life. I did work for a few more years in corporate leadership positions but the contemplations of that time eventually helped me discover my calling and purpose in coaching. Let me add that it didn’t happen quickly or easily, the journey of healing and self-discovery took its time, but it was powerfully liberating. Its eventual reward is a kind of ease and clarity in life, that I could not have imagined possible.

It is well-accepted in some Western societies that there is always a risk of getting fired from a private sector job when the business cycle goes down. But in India, it is still not the social norm yet. But our leadership seems to be learning the US-style immediate profit-driven business management far too quickly. Not too long ago, people worked most of their lives at one company, that offered a moderate salary, but good financial security and gave life some stability. But those days are long gone. Uncertainty is the new normal.

Today, the purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me, if it can serve them.

“Why me?”
The first thing that confronted me was- what did I do wrong? When the answer is not too obvious, overthinking and self-criticism do more damage than good. Nor does anger help. I think it serves one better to remember that it can also happen for no fault of oneself. It could be because of the business cycle or maybe others simply worked harder and better. One has to choose to be kind to oneself, for trying however one knew best at that moment. There would be time for work, but first, let some self-love in.

When we resist feeling uncomfortable emotions, they persist.

It’s okay to feel hurt. I found that when you don’t resist feeling painful emotions, they run their course and pass off naturally. It is better to let yourself feel the strong emotions — they come and flow away. Let the healing take its time.

It's better to share with someone in the family or a friend.

Bring them in, and let them see how you feel. You could always tell them that for now, you don’t want their advice, just a strong, supportive heart. They may also be just as worried and fearful about what lies in the future, but it works better to team up and have faith together.

Nurture self-belief and faith.

Do what you need to, to strengthen your self-confidence and faith in your ability to work hard. I’ve learned that we grow only through hard times and challenges. Failures strengthen our character in a way that success simply can’t. When life is sending some struggles your way, it is calling you to be bigger. Who is life calling you to be?

What kind of career would give life meaning?

I was obsessed with this. I did a lot of research- read, attended programs and listened to great speakers talk. This urge to find purpose had become personal, important and urgent. I discovered that confronting it also called for some real courage. I found that we let our jobs define who we are. Mindlessly introducing ourselves to others just by our designations and names of the employers. Now it was time to contemplate ‘Who am I beyond my work?’ Maybe, career is not a complete assessment of our life. Just a part of it. But now how would I introduce myself? I didn’t want to look like a loser. It took me a while to work this out.

Time for some spirituality.

After a somewhat prolonged period of inner conflict, I resigned from my corporate career, trained to become a coach and went to teach at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning- which focused on spiritual education. There are times when we need the kind of truth that can create absolute certainty. But that kind of assurance that can only be found deep in our soul. We have to go silently within.

Money is necessary, but not too much is needed.

While living and teaching in the small village town of Puttaparthi, I discovered how easy it is to reduce expenses. It made me feel so much more financially secure. What really matters, costs so little. Even today, as a coach, I make only a fraction of what I earned in my best job, but I live a far richer and more fulfilling life. I respect myself more.

I now feel grateful that I was fired.

It kicked me out of my comfort zone. On my own, I wasn’t willing to grow past my ambition and discover what more life could be. Now I feel that life is easier than how I had made it for myself when I was fighting to make it. Some day you might be grateful for it too.

Take a few days’ break and then get back in action.

Do what you need to do to get back on your feet. Don’t overthink. Stay out of the brooding zone, stay in the action zone of life.

If you were picked to be fired from a team, you may like to assess if you neglect developing good relations with those in authority.

I often ask my clients this question, it might serve you to contemplate upon it too- if you were to assess your relationships with people who report to you, and then with the people whom you report to, which of the two groups do you feel you have better relations with? Almost every client of mine said that they have had better relationships with their subordinates in most of their past jobs. If that’s how it is for you too, don’t you think you need to contemplate what keeps you from having warm and mutually supportive relationships with your bosses?

Invest in your growth and development.

Your company or your bosses wouldn’t be able to invest in you or in the development of your career beyond how it directly serves them. You will have to set aside a certain amount of money and time every year to upskill and to develop the competencies, even wisdom and demeanour that your future career and life require. If you’ve been neglecting this, it might be time to correct it. Talk to a coach.

Make a fresh start.

Maybe you don’t belong where you are not valued. Perhaps your skills and attitudes don’t agree with that job, see if you are better off exploring other work options. The Service-dominant logic now suggests that all careers and businesses are fundamental services. See if you’d like to contemplate- who could benefit from your presence, with your help and love? That’s how you’d find your purpose.

There are many ways to make a living, but not all would fulfil you.

Trust life. Aim big.

Amit Sood
Slow down

Everything is happening faster

In these times of instant gratification, our lives reflect a hurried rushed and busy mindset. Faster seems better. We are thinking, talking and doing things faster. We eat, walk and drive fast. And how quickly do folk type messages on their phones!

Our ability to be patient, to wait and allow something to simply take its time is diminishing. Being hurried also generates stress. Whenever anything takes ‘far too long’ there is unease, frustration and disappointment.

It’s a race against time

There is so much to be done in such little time. We must get it done quickly. Being late has repercussions. Getting stuff done has priority over ease and joyful engagement. The time when it has all been done would be the time to rest and relax. This seems to be our mindset. But it never gets done.

It never ends

You work hard on a typical workday, looking forward to the weekend or a vacation. But when you are so used to scurrying about, switching to slower gear on a weekend seems unnatural. It makes you uneasy.

So, you go through your career working hard, looking forward to retiring someday when you finally have enough. Then you can put your feet up and really relax.

But the beauty of life must be experienced and appreciated now. Or we miss the opportunity altogether.

Hurried life feels shallow

When we are rushed, we look without appreciating. There’s little space for love. When we are hurried love doesn’t get the time it needs to touch and move the heart. The feeling cannot be fleetingly felt. They need time to permeate our being.

Our heart yearns for ease and spaciousness

The heart can sense that life has a natural, slower rhythm that is more optimal for your inner well-being. Harmonizing with it feels calming and easeful. It craves more space — to just be.

Life has a gentler rhythm

‘When you attune with the rhythm of life and spirit you will notice that it has its own unique character: it’s flowing, grounded, nourishing, energizing, sustaining and more life-giving than the speed at which modern day life moves.’ — Leon VandePol in A Shift in Being

The heart craves what slowing down can offer. It wants to savour each moment.

Fear of slowing down

Intuitively value inner peace and tranquillity. Yet there is comfort in the familiar busyness. There is a certain anxiety that prevents us from slowing down. Fear of missing out. There is a nagging urge to do something or the other all the time. It is incredibly hard to be still and silent even for a brief while. Makes us uneasy.

Breathe slower

Make time to sit quietly sometimes. Breathe deeper and more easefully. It would calm you down. Imagine taking a fresh, gentle and spacious breath all the way into your heart. Keep your mental focus there it helps to imagine that your heart-centred breathing is energising the heart. Gentle spacious and slow breathing can ease away this anxiety. As you breathe, permit yourself some inner silence and stillness. Just watch if there is an inner urge to disturb it. Don’t go with it but feel it, be with it. Let your gentle breath and the light of your heart heal it away.

Spaciousness

When you allow yourself to slow down, a kind of spaciousness opens within that is not there when you are rushing. When let yourself sync with the gentler rhythms of life, the universe and the Source, it would slow your thoughts down and help your body relax. As you quieten the noise, open yourself and let in some silent, stillness you would find yourself discovering new energies within. In silence, an easeful space would open in which your heart can guide you inward towards your deeper, truer self.

‘Right now, in this moment, there is nowhere to get to, nothing better to be achieved, nothing that must be changed in order for things to be ‘better’. When we slow down, breathe spaciously and deeply, quieten the noise and move into greater stillness, more of what Spirit and soul can offer can rise into our awareness.’ -Leon VandePol in A Shift in Being

Slowing down unburdens you

You feel less overwhelmed. It eases away the clamour and makes work and life seem more manageable.

It sets you free

It gives you the time you need to pause. You stop. ‘Deal with nothing at all’ just for a moment. Then, take up one thing at a time.

Declutters

Slowing down tidies up the inner clutter. It creates the room you need to contemplate and create inner clarity. And take decisions with conviction.

Enhances focus

We are most resourceful when we are fully engaged with the one task in front of us. We are at our best when other items on the to-do list are not nagging us. In such moments of a mindful flow, all our senses are engaged. That is when we deliver our best work.

Creativity needs you to release the urgency

Rushing about only leaves room for linear thinking. In hurry, we may get much done, but it does not feel fulfilling, perhaps because it is not the expression of the soul’s deepest creative expression. We need to slow down to access the depths of our creative selves.
**
When we are hurrying about, who has the time to care?**

Daniel Goleman the author of the landmark book 'Emotional Intelligence' talks of an experiment conducted with the students of theology. The students were asked to prepare for a sermon, and then go to deliver it in the next building. Half of the students were told to prepare the sermon on the parable of the good Samaritan — the man who stopped to help a stranger on the side of the road, while the other half were given random topics. Later, as the students walked to the other building to deliver the sermon, they all passed by a man bent over, moaning in pain, clearly needing attention.

Some students stopped to help. Many didn’t. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter if the students had been reflecting on the parable of the good Samaritan or not. What determined whether or not they stopped to help was how much time pressure they were under. How hurried they were.

Our level of busyness affects our ability to care for others.

When we have slowed down we connect more authentically and more deeply.

Dale Carnegie the famous author recounts a touching story in his bestselling book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ One evening, Millie Esposito was in the kitchen with her little son, Robert. After a brief discussion of something that was on his mind, little Robert said something that touched his mother deeply. “Mom, I know that you love me very much,” he said. Mrs Esposito was surprised by his comment and asked if he had any doubts about her love. Robert responded: “No, but I really know you love me because whenever I want to talk to you about something you stop whatever you are doing and listen to me.”

Powerful Listening is an act of Generosity

When we are in a rush, or preoccupied, we are unable to listen very deeply. When we are hurried, we don’t connect with others. We don’t pay attention to their need for care or empathy.

Just Be

Take a few deep, slow breaths. Slow down even further whatever rhythm you are currently experiencing. As you do this, notice what shifting to an even deeper rhythm feels like. Sense the wavelength of the new rhythm, the easing of your presence within it, the relaxation of your muscles, the dissipation of tension, the expansion of your heart, and the softening of your belly.

With each breath, you take, slow it all down more and more. Let go of all thoughts or expectations and simply enjoy the harmonious energy that is arising within you at this very moment. There is nowhere to go, nothing that must be attained or completed.

'Your being is your doing' -Leon VanderPol

Amit Sood
Design a powerful Personal Vision

Here‘s why you need a Personal Vision
There was once a man sentenced to life imprisonment. Life in the jail was bleak. He could not see a future that he could look forward to. The mornings brought no new hopes. It was the jail routine - day after day. He didn’t feel like making any effort to stay fit, look good, learn a new skill or do anything new or creative.

Then, one day a jail-mate came running to him and told him that a new law had been passed. He could be free in two years.

Now, as if the Sun began to shine for him. He started looking forward to the future. He was now taking care of his health and appearance. He even started learning new skills that he could use when he was free.

What made such a difference? This man was still in jail and was going to be there for two long years. Yet something new now was possible. This shift in his view of the future, even though two years away, was enough to make him jump off his bed and live better today.

“The way you show up in the present is given by the future you live into.” — Werner Erhard

Your personal vision of your future defines the limits of what you see as possible. If you can’t even see something as possible, you are unlikely to work at it. It is no wonder that without an inspiring future, life seems uninspiring, dull and insipid. Like a pattern repeating itself.

Do yourself a favour and check, what is the future that you’re ‘living into’? What does you ‘ default future’ look like? Where are you headed in three, five and ten years? Does it excite you?

Benefits of having a powerful Personal Vision
Your personal vision tells you about the desires of your deepest self, your hopes and preferences which are often neglected in the rush of daily life. It is an act of SELF-LOVE.
It creates CLARITY about how you’d love your life and career to turn out. Just this raised awareness can powerfully impact your future.
It works like an inner guiding light for making important DECISIONS in life and career. You feel more in CONTROL.
Vision is the personal compass that gives you a better sense of your DIRECTION for your long, medium and short-term career and life goals.
When your vision includes all the aspects of your life- professional, personal, health and spiritual, you aim for a WHOLISTIC, BALANCED LIFE.
It MOTIVATES you in tough times.
Finally, the exciting vision inspires and invites you to engage energetically and optimistically, with passion. You have your creative juices flowing as you are passionately pulled into action and hard work.
Design your Personal vision in 10 Steps

  1. Personal Vision is not a goal, a road map or a plan
    It serves a different, yet the powerful purpose of filling you with hope and inspiration. Realism is not brave and powerful enough to inspire. It is bound by the limits of what has been seen as possible. But the future is unwritten, an open possibility. Anything is possible, beyond the confines of limiting beliefs, beyond what you have seen others accomplish. A powerful vision is formed in the mind and heart that are truly free.

Vision has to be exciting, pathbreaking and outrageous. Like the flights of imaginations of little children.

Your vision is the answer to the question — ‘What if…?’

  1. Vision has to be Outrageous!
    Even if it seems impossible, the possibility itself touches you deeply, moves your heart and inspires you, makes your heart soar. So challenge yourself to muster the courage to dream way past the reasonable- of an outrageous future that would truly light you up!

‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’ — T S Elliot

  1. You choose to hold your Created vision, knowing that it is Unrealistic
    It is outrageous. Yet, having created the vision, the dream and the possibility you choose to hold it, knowing fully well that it is only a created possibility. You hold it because it is your creation and it inspires, even if it is not realistic. Just as a possibility that inspires, and gives you energy and direction. This is enough to make it your compass.

  2. It's not an escape plan
    Your vision is not an escape plan from some aspect of the present that you hate. It is not about “not this”. It is your ‘going towards’ dream, not an ‘away from’ goal.

Describe in positives- what you’d love to have in your life and career.

  1. It's not an “I’ll be happy when…” goal
    It is also not a goal that you accomplish someday, and then you’d be happy. It is about defining what kind of life would bring you great satisfaction, and fulfil you if you had it now.

Your personal vision is a new version of reality described in the present tense.

  1. Think of EXPERIENCES, not Ownership
    Shift the focus from owning stuff or money to experiencing life. Rat-race is all about working hard today and collecting money and stuff to enjoy ‘some day’ in the future. In the life of rush and routine, we neglect to relish simple, heart-warming life experiences. Your powerful personal vision is made of simple and great experiences that light up your heart.

  2. Visualise the perfect YOU
    It is personal. It says something deep, meaningful and intimate about you. What lights you up, makes your heart sing and smile deeply with satisfaction. It describes the true you — the most radiant version of your core self, the most complete version of you.

“Your Being is Your doing” — Leon VanderPol

Who would you love to be? How would you love to be known? What would best describe you when they look at you living the life that you are genuinely proud of? What best describes your personality, way of being, qualities, character and attitudes? And how you interact with others- your behaviours, appearances and demeanour.

Describe yourself in terms of your values and priorities. What do you care about and work for, in each of these aspects of life-

Your profession. As who you are to your family (as a spouse, parent, sibling, off-spring etc.). Pertaining to health and well-being. Your spirituality. And in the areas of your other creative interest etc.

  1. Visualise your LIFE
    Imagine that you are living a truly fulfilling and radiant life you love. When you look back at the beauty of this life from a distant future, you’re filled with a deep sense of fulfilment and admiration. Now hold that imagination and describe your vision of such a life. You could start with this —

My vision is that I am living such a beautiful, radiant life that I can feel in my how my heart lights up just looking back at it.

What would describe the most perfect life of your vision?

Where do live? What does your ideal home look like?

Create the vision of how, where and with whom you love to experience the life of your dreams. What best describes your relationships? Who else is there in your circle? The interests you share, and the topics you talk about.

  1. Visualise your AVERAGE, ROUTINE PERFECT DAY
    Your life is made up of days — one at a time.

Just for this work, think beyond limitations. Imagine that you have ample money, time, the ideal job and resources, and have no worry about what others think of you. And answer this-

How would you live your most perfect, routine day? Imagine the perfect day, one that you‘d be willing to live every day of your life. Look in your past for clues - what makes you happy in a way that you look back with a sense of deep satisfaction.

Include whatever you’ve always wanted to have in your routine. Describe the day in detail with the experiences you love to create as the day passes. Include how it would make you feel.

When and where did you wake up in the morning? Who do you have your breakfast with? What shared interests do you talk about? What do you do next? How do you spend your day? What do you do throughout the day? Where? With whom?

The perfect day is also brilliantly productive, healthy and filled with expression and experiences of love, happiness and generosity. Talk about the routine that fulfils you.

  1. Focus on the END GOAL of your EXISTENCE
    A great champion chess player focuses on a move several moves in the future. A great pool player also focused on a difficult shot several shots away, concerned with placing the cue ball correctly for that difficult shot.

How far in the future are you focused?

When you are creating your vision, where are you focused? What are your concerns? Are they about accomplishing great things that help you get rich or look admirable and successful? Or, are you concerned about the purpose — the end goal of your existence? Your raison d’être — the purpose of your life. A great personal vision has a ‘Why’ that originates in the core of your soul and drives your heart.

How does your life, your way of being and living, impact the lives of others you touch?

It will be worth your while to do this work in detail.
Create your personal vision and redefine what is possible for yourself.

Fill yourself with optimism. Draw energy and strength from your commitment to honour yourself with this life. Resolve to rise to your highest and truest potential. Create a powerful personal vision. You owe yourself the dream life. Don’t compromise.

Amit Sood
Design a powerful Personal Vision

Here‘s why you need a Personal Vision

*There was once a man sentenced to life imprisonment. Life in the jail was bleak. He could not see a future that he could look forward to. The mornings brought no new hopes. It was the jail routine - day after day. He didn’t feel like making any effort to stay fit, look good, learn a new skill or do anything new or creative.

Then, one day a jail-mate came running to him and told him that a new law had been passed. He could be free in two years.

Now, as if the Sun began to shine for him. He started looking forward to the future. He was now taking care of his health and appearance. He even started learning new skills that he could use when he was free.*

What made such a difference? This man was still in jail and was going to be there for two long years. Yet something new now was possible. This shift in his view of the future, even though two years away, was enough to make him jump off his bed and live better today.

“The way you show up in the present is given by the future you live into.” — Werner Erhard

Your personal vision of your future defines the limits of what you see as possible. If you can’t even see something as possible, you are unlikely to work at it. It is no wonder that without an inspiring future, life seems uninspiring, dull and insipid. Like a pattern repeating itself.

Do yourself a favour and check, what is the future that you’re ‘living into’? What does you ‘ default future’ look like? Where are you headed in three, five and ten years? Does it excite you?

Benefits of having a powerful Personal Vision

  • Your personal vision tells you about the desires of your deepest self, your hopes and preferences which are often neglected in the rush of daily life. It is an act of SELF-LOVE.
  • It creates CLARITY about how you’d love your life and career to turn out. Just this raised awareness can powerfully impact your future.
  • It works like an inner guiding light for making important DECISIONS in life and career. You feel more in CONTROL.
  • Vision is the personal compass that gives you a better sense of your DIRECTION for your long, medium and short-term career and life goals.
  • When your vision includes all the aspects of your life- professional, personal, health and spiritual, you aim for a WHOLISTIC, BALANCED LIFE.
  • It MOTIVATES you in tough times.
  • Finally, the exciting vision inspires and invites you to engage energetically and optimistically, with passion. You have your creative juices flowing as you are passionately pulled into action and hard work.

Design your Personal vision in 10 Steps####

1. Personal Vision is not a goal, a road map or a plan

It serves a different, yet powerful purpose of filling you with hope and inspiration. Realism is not brave and powerful enough to inspire. It is bound by the limits of what has been seen as possible. But the future is unwritten, an open possibility. Anything is possible, beyond the confines of limiting beliefs, beyond what you have seen others accomplish. A powerful vision is formed in the mind and heart that are truly free.

Vision has to be exciting, pathbreaking and outrageous. Like the flights of imaginations of little children.

Your vision is the answer to the question — ‘What if…?’

2. Vision has to be Outrageous!

Even if it seems impossible, the possibility itself touches you deeply moves your heart and inspires you, makes your heart soar. So challenge yourself to muster the courage to dream way past the reasonable- of an outrageous future that would truly light you up!

‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.’ — T S Elliot

3. You choose to hold your Created vision, knowing that it is Unrealistic

It is outrageous. Yet, having created the vision, the dream and the possibility you choose to hold it, knowing fully well that it is only a created possibility. You hold it because it is your creation and it inspires, even if it is not realistic. Just as a possibility that inspires, and gives you energy and direction. This is enough to make it your compass.

4. It's not an escape plan

Your vision is not an escape plan from some aspect of the present that you hate. It is not about “not this”. It is your ‘going towards’ dream, not an ‘away from...’ goal. Describe in positives- what you’d love to have in your life and career.

5. It's not an “I’ll be happy when…” goal

It is also not a goal that you accomplish someday, and then you’d be happy. It is about defining what kind of life would bring you great satisfaction, and fulfil you if you had it now.

Your personal vision is a new version of reality described in the present tense.

6. Think of EXPERIENCES, not Ownership

Shift the focus from owning stuff or money to experiencing life. Rat-race is all about working hard today and collecting money and stuff to enjoy ‘some day’ in the future. In the life of rush and routine, we neglect to relish simple, heart-warming life experiences. Your powerful personal vision is made of simple and great experiences that light up your heart.

7. Visualise the perfect YOU

It is personal. It says something deep, meaningful and intimate about you. What lights you up, makes your heart sing and smile deeply with satisfaction. It describes the true you — the most radiant version of your core self, the most complete version of you.

“Your Being is Your doing” — Leon VanderPol

Who would you love to be? How would you love to be known? What would best describe you when they look at you living the life that you are genuinely proud of? What best describes your personality, way of being, qualities, character and attitudes? And how you interact with others- your behaviours, appearances and demeanour.

Describe yourself in terms of your values and priorities. What do you care about and work for, in each of these aspects of life-

Your profession. As who you are to your family (as a spouse, parent, sibling, off-spring etc.). Pertaining to health and well-being. Your spirituality. And in the areas of your other creative interest etc.

8. Visualise your LIFE

Imagine that you are living a truly fulfilling and radiant life you love. When you look back at the beauty of this life from a distant future, you’re filled with a deep sense of fulfilment and admiration. Now hold that imagination and describe your vision of such a life. You could start with this —

*My vision is that I am living such a beautiful, radiant life that I can feel in my how my heart lights up just looking back at it.

What would describe the most perfect life of your vision?

Where do live? What does your ideal home look like?

Create the vision of how, where and with whom you love to experience the life of your dreams. What best describes your relationships? Who else is there in your circle? The interests you share, and the topics you talk about.*

9. Visualise your AVERAGE, ROUTINE PERFECT DAY

Your life is made up of days — one at a time.

Just for this work, think beyond limitations. Imagine that you have ample money, time, the ideal job and resources, and have no worry about what others think of you. And answer this-

How would you live your most perfect, routine day? Imagine the perfect day, one that you‘d be willing to live every day of your life. Look in your past for clues - what makes you happy in a way that you look back with a sense of deep satisfaction.

Include whatever you’ve always wanted to have in your routine. Describe the day in detail with the experiences you love to create as the day passes. Include how it would make you feel.

When and where did you wake up in the morning? Who do you have your breakfast with? What shared interests do you talk about? What do you do next? How do you spend your day? What do you do throughout the day? Where? With whom?

The perfect day is also brilliantly productive, healthy and filled with expression and experiences of love, happiness and generosity. Talk about the routine that fulfils you.

10. Focus on the END GOAL of your EXISTENCE

A great champion chess player focuses on a move several moves in the future. A great pool player also focused on a difficult shot several shots away, concerned with placing the cue ball correctly for that difficult shot.

How far in the future are you focused?

When you are creating your vision, where are you focused? What are your concerns? Are they about accomplishing great things that help you get rich or look admirable and successful? Or, are you concerned about the purpose — the end goal of your existence? Your raison d’être — the purpose of your life. A great personal vision has a ‘Why’ that originates in the core of your soul and drives your heart.

How does your life, your way of being and living, impact the lives of others you touch?

It will be worth your while to do this work in detail.####

Create your personal vision and redefine what is possible for yourself.

Fill yourself with optimism. Draw energy and strength from your commitment to honour yourself with this life. Resolve to rise to your highest and truest potential. Create a powerful personal vision. You owe yourself the dream life. Don’t compromise.

Amit Sood
When I got fired

This is about when I got fired. It is the story of how I felt and how it changed me. The purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me.

As an introvert, at the start of my career, sales seemed really daunting. In those early years, I needed to muster a lot of grit to overcome my self-consciousness and do what my job needed. The only way I knew to deal with this personal challenge was through hard work. I was fortunate to have some fantastic bosses and mentors, who encouraged me when I most needed it and put me through some great training programs. In time, it started getting easier, I learned to overcome my hesitation about meeting new people, learned to sell, negotiate hard, and even make some all-right public presentations. Eventually, I was doing quite well. I was promoted, sometimes rapidly, to leadership positions. All these acknowledgements made me bold, perhaps even a bit reckless. So I made some career moves that in hindsight were clearly risky. Then, one day I was suddenly fired.

I felt that I was adding a lot of value to the company. But my boss felt otherwise. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if, the rug had been pulled from under my feet. I remember stopping on the side of the road, unable to drive back from work that day because the tears wouldn’t let me see straight.

I found my next break with an even bigger and better employer almost immediately, and it was at a designation and pay far higher, but something had shifted in me. I found myself confronted with some strange, fundamental questions. Why was I working? Who was I trying to impress? What was the point? Does it make any difference? There had to be something meaningful about life and work. The personal ambition that had kept me going in the past now seemed shallow and even unreal like a mirage that one never gets to.

Now, I look back at those days as perhaps, the most life-defining times of my life. I did work for a few more years in corporate leadership positions but the contemplations of that time eventually helped me discover my calling and purpose in coaching. Let me add that it didn’t happen quickly or easily, the journey of healing and self-discovery took its time, but it was powerfully liberating. Its eventual reward is a kind of ease and clarity in life, that I could not have imagined possible.

It is well-accepted in some Western societies that there is always a risk of getting fired from a private sector job when the business cycle goes down. But in India, it is still not the social norm yet. But our leadership seems to be learning the US-style immediate profit-driven business management far too quickly. Not too long ago, people worked most of their lives at one company, that offered a moderate salary, but good financial security and gave life some stability. But those days are long gone. Uncertainty is the new normal.

Today, the purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me, if it can serve them.

Why me?

The first thing that confronted me was- what did I do wrong? When the answer is not too obvious, overthinking and self-criticism do more damage than good. Nor does anger help. I think it serves one better to remember that it can also happen for no fault of oneself. It could be because of the business cycle or maybe others simply worked harder and better. One has to choose to be kind to oneself, for trying however one knew best at that moment. There would be time for work, but first, let some self-love in.

When we resist feeling uncomfortable emotions, they persist.

It’s okay to feel hurt. I found that when you don’t resist feeling painful emotions, they run their course and pass off naturally. It is better to let yourself feel the strong emotions — they come and flow away. Let the healing take its time.

It's better to share with someone in the family or a friend.

Bring them in, and let them see how you feel. You could always tell them that for now, you don’t want their advice, just a strong, supportive heart. They may also be just as worried and fearful about what lies in the future, but it works better to team up and have faith together.

Nurture self-belief and faith.

Do what you need to, to strengthen your self-confidence and faith in your ability to work hard. I’ve learned that we grow only through hard times and challenges. Failures strengthen our character in a way that success simply can’t. When life is sending some struggles your way, it is calling you to be bigger. Who is life calling you to be?

What kind of career would give life meaning?

I was obsessed with this. I did a lot of research- read, attended programs and listened to great speakers talk. This urge to find purpose had become personal, important and urgent. I discovered that confronting it also called for some real courage. I found that we let our jobs define who we are. Mindlessly introducing ourselves to others just by our designations and names of the employers. Now it was time to contemplate *‘who am I beyond my work?’ Maybe, career is not a complete assessment of our life. Just a part of it. But now how would I introduce myself? *I didn’t want to look like a loser. It took me a while to work this out.

Time for some spirituality.

After a somewhat prolonged period of inner conflict, I resigned from my corporate career, trained to become a coach and went to teach at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning- which focused on spiritual education. There are times when we need the kind of truth that can create absolute certainty. But that kind of assurance that can only be found deep in our soul. We have to go silently within.

Money is necessary, but not too much is needed.

While living and teaching in the small village town of Puttaparthi, I discovered how easy it is to reduce expenses. It made me feel so much more financially secure. What really matters, costs so little. Even today, as a coach, I make only a fraction of what I earned in my best job, but I live a far richer and more fulfilling life. I respect myself more.

I now feel grateful that I was fired.

It kicked me out of my comfort zone. On my own, I wasn’t willing to grow past my ambition and discover what more life could be. Now I feel that life is easier than how I had made it for myself when I was fighting to make it. Some day you might be grateful for it too.

Take a few days’ break and then get back in action. Do what you need to do to get back on your feet. Don’t overthink. Stay out of the ‘brooding zone’, stay in the ‘action zone’ of life.

If you were picked to be fired from a team, you may like to assess if you neglect developing good relations with those in authority.

I often ask my clients this question, it might serve you to contemplate upon it too- if you were to assess your relationships with people who report to you, and then with the people whom you report to, which of the two groups do you feel you have better relations with? Almost every client of mine said that they have had better relationships with their subordinates in most of their past jobs. If that’s how it is for you too, don’t you think you need to contemplate what keeps you from having warm and mutually supportive relationships with your bosses?

Invest in your growth and development.

Your company or your bosses wouldn’t be able to invest in you or in the development of your career beyond how it directly serves them. You will have to set aside a certain amount of money and time every year to upskill and to develop the competencies, even wisdom and demeanour that your future career and life require. If you’ve been neglecting this, it might be time to correct it. Talk to a coach.

**Make a fresh start.
**
Maybe you don’t belong where you are not valued. Perhaps your skills and attitudes don’t agree with that job, see if you are better off exploring other work options. The Service-dominant logic now suggests that all careers and businesses are fundamental services. See if you’d like to contemplate- who could benefit from your presence, with your help and love? That’s how you’d find your purpose.

There are many ways to make a living, but not all would fulfil you.

Trust life. Aim big.

Amit Sood
Willpower is a matter of the heart

** Motivation is a matter of the heart.** If you want your employees or students to be engaged with their work energetically, enthusiastically, and creatively, you must learn to engage their hearts and feelings.

**If your job feels like hard work to you, naturally it’s a sign that your heart isn’t in it. **But the answer is not in stopping it altogether, it’s possible that your heart is seeking emotional healing and a deeper reconnection with purpose.

**Work doesn’t have to be hard. ** When you’re feeling great about what you’re doing, you’re capable of persistent effort and extraordinary feats with ease. But if resentment creeps in, the same task becomes burdensome.

**Unfortunately, our educational system and parenting practices kill curiosity and transform learning into drudgery. **Children are forced into an educational context in which studying is a necessity for survival and success. These fear-driven reasons drain the joy out of learning. The mentality of when you’ve made it, you can rest hardly inspires anyone to persist with great enthusiasm or creativity. The same pattern is repeated in the workplace. People spend their lives working hard to build reserves that they can spend during vacation or after retirement.

**You may be able to force yourself to work on something you don’t like for a while, it’s unlikely to be sustainable. **The 'ego depletion' research and subsequent work suggest that willpower is an exhausting resource if your resentment brings you to that emotional mindset.

Willpower works like emotion, and we need to listen to our willpower just as we should listen to our emotions — as a source of insight.

In his Harvard Business Review article Nir Eyal, the former Stanford lecturer and author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, argues that our feelings are our body’s way of conveying information that our conscious minds might miss. He writes -

“Our flagging energies and wandering minds are trying to tell us something. We can power through tasks that we don’t enjoy for a while, but we’ll never be our best if we ignore what our feelings are telling us.”

Rewards and punishment don’t work well if the goal is to nurture enthusiasm and creativity in learning or work. In his remarkable book Why We Do We Do, psychologist, Edward Deci writes that-

“Rewards and punishments may get students to do what we want them to do, but they also undermine students’ intrinsic motivation.”

Motivation is a matter of the heart

If you want your students or employees to be engaged with their work energetically, enthusiastically, and creatively, you must learn to engage their hearts and feelings. Examine what is turning them off emotionally and weed it out of your culture. Bring back love, genuine care, and curiosity, and develop a culture in which human connections and self-expression are nurtured. Otherwise, you’ll have their time, but not their hearts.

If you’re an employee or a student and want to enjoy and do persistently well at your work or studies, discover a higher purpose for them and connect with it emotionally. Consider a cause bigger than serving your own ambitions, one that can give meaning and purpose to your work.

  • Whose well-being can you bring yourself to be concerned about?
  • Whose lives do you want to make better?

It’s okay if you can’t bring yourself to be concerned about the entire society. Start by developing a deep concern and commitment for your family or even for yourself. If you want to be happy yourself so that you can share your ease with others, that can be a meaningful purpose as well, provided you connect with it soulfully.

Amit Sood
When I got fired

This is about when I got fired. It is the story of how I felt and how it changed me. The purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me.

As an introvert, at the start of my career, sales seemed really daunting. In those early years, I needed to muster a lot of grit to overcome my self-consciousness and do what my job needed. The only way I knew to deal with this personal challenge was through hard work. I was fortunate to have some fantastic bosses and mentors, who encouraged me when I most needed it and put me through some great training programs. In time, it started getting easier, I learned to overcome my hesitation about meeting new people, learned to sell, negotiate hard, and even make some all-right public presentations. Eventually, I was doing quite well. I was promoted, sometimes rapidly, to leadership positions. All these acknowledgements made me bold, perhaps even a bit reckless. So I made some career moves that in hindsight were clearly risky. Then, one day I was suddenly fired.

I felt that I was adding a lot of value to the company. But my boss felt otherwise. I couldn’t believe it. It was as if, the rug had been pulled from under my feet. I remember stopping on the side of the road, unable to drive back from work that day because the tears wouldn’t let me see straight.

I found my next break with an even bigger and better employer almost immediately, and it was at a designation and pay far higher, but something had shifted in me. I found myself confronted with some strange, fundamental questions. Why was I working? Who was I trying to impress? What was the point? Does it make any difference? There had to be something meaningful about life and work. The personal ambition that had kept me going in the past now seemed shallow and even unreal like a mirage that one never gets to.

Now, I look back at those days as perhaps, the most life-defining times of my life. I did work for a few more years in corporate leadership positions but the contemplations of that time eventually helped me discover my calling and purpose in coaching. Let me add that it didn’t happen quickly or easily, the journey of healing and self-discovery took its time, but it was powerfully liberating. Its eventual reward is a kind of ease and clarity in life, that I could not have imagined possible.

It is well-accepted in some Western societies that there is always a risk of getting fired from a private sector job when the business cycle goes down. But in India, it is still not the social norm yet. But our leadership seems to be learning the US-style immediate profit-driven business management far too quickly. Not too long ago, people worked most of their lives at one company, that offered a moderate salary, but good financial security and gave life some stability. But those days are long gone. Uncertainty is the new normal.

Today, the purpose of my writing is to share with the men and women who are getting fired for no fault of theirs, what I went through and what worked for me, if it can serve them.

“Why me?”

The first thing that confronted me was- what did I do wrong? When the answer is not too obvious, overthinking and self-criticism do more damage than good. Nor does anger help. I think it serves one better to remember that it can also happen for no fault of oneself. It could be because of the business cycle or maybe others simply worked harder and better. One has to choose to be kind to oneself, for trying however one knew best at that moment. There would be time for work, but first, let some self-love in.

When we resist feeling uncomfortable emotions, they persist.

It’s okay to feel hurt. I found that when you don’t resist feeling painful emotions, they run their course and pass off naturally. It is better to let yourself feel the strong emotions — they come and flow away. Let the healing take its time.
**
It's better to share with someone in the family or a friend.**

Bring them in, and let them see how you feel. You could always tell them that for now, you don’t want their advice, just a strong, supportive heart. They may also be just as worried and fearful about what lies in the future, but it works better to team up and have faith together.

Nurture self-belief and faith.

Do what you need to, to strengthen your self-confidence and faith in your ability to work hard. I’ve learned that we grow only through hard times and challenges. Failures strengthen our character in a way that success simply can’t. When life is sending some struggles your way, it is calling you to be bigger. Who is life calling you to be?

What kind of career would give life meaning?

I was obsessed with this. I did a lot of research- read, attended programs and listened to great speakers talk. This urge to find purpose had become personal, important and urgent. I discovered that confronting it also called for some real courage. I found that we let our jobs define who we are. Mindlessly introducing ourselves to others just by our designations and names of the employers. Now it was time to contemplate *‘who am I beyond my work?’ *Maybe, career is not a complete assessment of our life. Just a part of it. But now how would I introduce myself? I didn’t want to look like a loser. It took me a while to work this out.

Time for some spirituality.

After a somewhat prolonged period of inner conflict, I resigned from my corporate career, trained to become a coach and went to teach at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning- which focused on spiritual education. There are times when we need the kind of truth that can create absolute certainty. But that kind of assurance that can only be found deep in our soul. We have to go silently within.

Money is necessary, but not too much is needed.

While living and teaching in the small village town of Puttaparthi, I discovered how easy it is to reduce expenses. It made me feel so much more financially secure. What really matters, costs so little. Even today, as a coach, I make only a fraction of what I earned in my best job, but I live a far richer and more fulfilling life. I respect myself more.

I now feel grateful that I was fired. It kicked me out of my comfort zone. On my own, I wasn’t willing to grow past my ambition and discover what more life could be. Now I feel that life is easier than how I had made it for myself when I was fighting to make it. Some day you might be grateful for it too.

Take a few days break and then get back in action. Do what you need to do to get back on your feet. Don’t overthink. Stay out of the ‘brooding zone’, stay in the ‘action zone’ of life.

If you were picked to be fired from a team, you may like to assess if you neglect developing good relations with those in authority.

I often ask my clients this question, it might serve you to contemplate upon it too- if you were to assess your relationships with people who report to you, and then with the people whom you report to, which of the two groups do you feel you have better relations with? Almost every client of mine said that they have had better relationships with their subordinates in most of their past jobs. If that’s how it is for you too, don’t you think you need to contemplate what keeps you from having warm and mutually supportive relationships with your bosses?

Invest in your growth and development.

Your company or your bosses wouldn’t be able to invest in you or in the development of your career beyond how it directly serves them. You will have to set aside a certain amount of money and time every year to upskill and to develop the competencies, even wisdom and demeanour that your future career and life require. If you’ve been neglecting this, it might be time to correct it. Talk to a coach.

Make a fresh start.

Maybe you don’t belong where you are not valued. Perhaps your skills and attitudes don’t agree with that job, see if you are better off exploring other work options. The Service-dominant logic now suggests that all careers and businesses are fundamental services. See if you’d like to contemplate- who could benefit from your presence, with your help and love? That’s how you’d find your purpose.

There are many ways to make a living, but not all would fulfil you.

Trust life.

Aim big.

Amit Sood
When facing uncertainty, go to your heart

Change is the only constant

In a world in constant flux, the human mind longs for stability and clarity. The intellect struggles to accept that endless change is inevitable, ubiquitous, and eternal. All one can do is to go along and learn to change with the changing world.

Going through a traumatic experience, such as losing a job, an important relationship or one’s health shakes the very foundation of our existence and sets us, with an even-greater urgency, on a quest to rebuild the lost sense of stability and security. People strive for security by building reserves of wealth, sustained success, and health. But, the certainty that the possibility of having all our ducks in a row is not only elusive but also the satisfaction from it is fleeting.

The soul yearns for reassurance that transcends circumstances and takes one beyond the agitations that our perception generate and doubts of the mind. Smart logic and intellectual answers don’t cut it. It must also reassure the uneasiness in the heart.

Slow down

We must begin with efforts to slow down the mind if it is rushing from one thought to another. With a nagging urge to do something all the time, it is incredibly hard to be still and silent, even briefly. If we could take a few moments to slow down and breathe gently, we might be able to permit ourselves the spacious silence that lets us recreate inner ease and reconnect with the comforting gentleness in our heart.

Surrender control

Release the urgency to figure it all out. Suspend the need to work everything out right away. Instead, settle down in the quiet reassurance of the heart that is beyond the comprehension of logic and intellect.

Try this — slow down, sit calmly, and take some gentle, easeful, and spacious breaths deep into your heart. Keep your mental focus in the zone of your heart and breathe. It helps to imagine that your heart-centred breathing is energizing the heart. Gentle, spacious, and slow breathing will ease away your anxiety. Permit yourself some inner silence and stillness. Allow yourself to feel any inner urge that rises to disturb this stillness, but do not act on it. Instead, give it your spacious attention. Let the gentle breath and the light of the heart heal it away. Settle down into a comforting space in your heart.

This is the way of the heart

Let go of the need for certainty and let in the acceptance that life is ever-changing. Find comfort in the present moment, and just respond just to what is here now. If we can release the need to bring predictability to every aspect of life, we may be able to let go of the tiresome urge to control and place our trust in the gentle unfolding of the universe’s plan, which can neither be forced nor rushed. Let yourself be guided into the future that is emerging. Cooperating with the future is where certainty lies, and the way to access it is through the heart.

By letting yourself descend into the gentle comfort of your heart, you can find certainty in the depths of your soul. That is where you can discover your purpose, which gives meaning to your work, a sense of belonging, and a connection to something greater than yourself. Letting go of control does not take you away from the action. Instead, you learn to cooperate with the emerging, inevitable future and work with its new possibilities, towards an easeful life that is in alignment with your deepest desires and your soul’s purpose.

Amit Sood
Slow down

Everything is happening faster

In these times of instant gratification, our lives reflect a hurried rushed and busy mindset. Faster seems better. We are thinking, talking and doing things faster. We eat, walk and drive fast. And how quickly do folk type messages on their phones!

Our ability to be patient, to wait and allow something to simply take its time is diminishing. Being hurried also generates stress. Whenever anything takes ‘far too long’ there is unease, frustration and disappointment.

It’s a race against time

There is so much to be done in such little time. We must get it done quickly. Being late has repercussions. Getting stuff done has priority over ease and joyful engagement. The time when it has all been done would be the time to rest and relax. This seems to be our mindset. But it never gets done.

It never ends

You work hard on a typical workday, looking forward to the weekend or a vacation. But when you are so used to scurrying about, switching to slower gear on a weekend seems unnatural. It makes you uneasy.

So, you go through your career working hard, looking forward to retiring someday when you finally have enough. Then you can put your feet up and really relax.

But the beauty of life must be experienced and appreciated now. Or we miss the opportunity altogether.

Hurried life feels shallow

When we are rushed, we look without appreciating. There’s little space for love. When we are hurried love doesn’t get the time it needs to touch and move the heart. The feeling cannot be fleetingly felt. They need time to permeate our being.

Our heart yearns for ease and spaciousness

The heart can sense that life has a natural, slower rhythm that is more optimal for your inner well-being. Harmonizing with it feels calming and easeful. It craves more space — to just be.

Life has a gentler rhythm

‘When you attune with the rhythm of life and spirit you will notice that it has its own unique character: it’s flowing, grounded, nourishing, energizing, sustaining and more life-giving than the speed at which modern day life moves.’ — Leon VandePol in A Shift in Being

The heart craves what slowing down can offer. It wants to savour each moment.

Fear of slowing down

Intuitively value inner peace and tranquillity. Yet there is comfort in the familiar busyness. There is a certain anxiety that prevents us from slowing down. Fear of missing out. There is a nagging urge to do something or the other all the time. It is incredibly hard to be still and silent even for a brief while. Makes us uneasy.

Breathe slower

Make time to sit quietly sometimes. Breathe deeper and more easefully. It would calm you down. Imagine taking a fresh, gentle and spacious breath all the way into your heart. Keep your mental focus there it helps to imagine that your heart-centred breathing is energising the heart. Gentle spacious and slow breathing can ease away this anxiety. As you breathe, permit yourself some inner silence and stillness. Just watch if there is an inner urge to disturb it. Don’t go with it but feel it, be with it. Let your gentle breath and the light of your heart heal it away.

Perhaps this recording of a brief 6-minute meditation can help you.

Spaciousness

When you allow yourself to slow down, a kind of spaciousness opens within that is not there when you are rushing. When let yourself sync with the gentler rhythms of life, the universe and the Source, it would slow your thoughts down and help your body relax. As you quieten the noise, open yourself and let in some silent, stillness you would find yourself discovering new energies within. In silence, an easeful space would open in which your heart can guide you inward towards your deeper, truer self.

‘Right now in this moment, there is nowhere to get to, nothing better to be achieved, nothing that must be changed in order for things to be ‘better’. When we slow down, breathe spaciously and deeply, quieten the noise and move into greater stillness, more of what Spirit and soul can offer can rise into our awareness.’ -Leon VandePol in A Shift in Being

Slowing down unburdens you

You feel less overwhelmed. It eases away the clamour and makes work and life seem more manageable.

It sets you free

It gives you the time you need to pause. You stop. ‘Deal with nothing at all’ just for a moment. Then, take up one thing at a time.

Declutters

Slowing down tidies up the inner clutter. It creates the room you need to contemplate and create inner clarity. And take decisions with conviction.

Enhances focus

We are most resourceful when we are fully engaged with the one task in front of us. We are at our best when other items on the to-do list are not nagging us. In such moments of a mindful flow, all our senses are engaged. That is when we deliver our best work.

Creativity needs you to release the urgency

Rushing about only leaves room for linear thinking. In hurry, we may get much done, but it does not feel fulfilling, perhaps because it is not the expression of the soul’s deepest creative expression. We need to slow down to access the depths of our creative selves.

When we are hurrying about, who has the time to care?

Daniel Goleman talks of an experiment conducted with the students of theology. The students were asked to prepare for a sermon, and then go to deliver it in the next building. Half of the students were told to prepare the sermon on the parable of the good Samaritan — the man who stopped to help a stranger on the side of the road, while the other half were given random topics. Later, as the students walked to the other building to deliver the sermon, they all passed by a man bent over, moaning in pain, clearly needing attention.

Some students stopped to help. Many didn’t. Surprisingly, it didn’t matter if the students had been reflecting on the parable of the good Samaritan or not. What determined whether or not they stopped to help was how much time pressure they were under. How hurried they were.

Our level of busyness affects our ability to care for others.

When we have slowed down we connect more authentically and more deeply

Dale Carnegie recounts a touching story in his bestselling book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ One evening, Millie Esposito was in the kitchen with her little son, Robert. After a brief discussion of something that was on his mind, little Robert said something that touched his mother deeply. “Mom, I know that you love me very much,” he said. Mrs Esposito was surprised by his comment and asked if he had any doubts about her love. Robert responded: “No, but I really know you love me because whenever I want to talk to you about something you stop whatever you are doing and listen to me.”

Powerful Listening is an act of Generosity

When we are in a rush, or preoccupied, we are unable to listen very deeply. When we are hurried, we don’t connect with others. We don’t pay attention to their need for care or empathy.

‘Just Be

Take a few deep, slow breaths. Slow down even further the rhythm you are currently experiencing. As you do this, notice what shifting to an even deeper rhythm feels like. Sense the wavelength of the new rhythm, the easing of your presence within it, the relaxation of your muscles, the dissipation of tension, the expansion of your heart, and the softening of your belly.

With each breath, you take, slow it all down more and more. Let go of all thoughts or expectations and simply enjoy the harmonious energy that is arising within you at this very moment. There is nowhere to go, nothing that must be attained or completed.

'Slow It All Down and Sync with the Rhythm of Life and Spirit' is the first of the nine practices of deep transformative coaching in Leon VanderPol’s landmark book ‘A Shift in Being’.

Amit Sood
Who am I Being?

Contemplating ‘who you are being’ draws you inwards and invites you to be more congruent with your true self. The idea of ‘being’ is a subtle yet profound aspect of oneself that is the foundation of all that is evident about an individual, such as their personality, actions, and words. It can set you on a path to self-discovery and fulfilment. Being seems to be a verb (how are you being) and a noun (who are you being). It calls for a closer examination.

Self-awareness

Think of ‘who you are being’ as the framework that shapes everything you do and say, like a screen in a movie theatre or a blackboard on which you write with chalk. By influencing how you think, act, and respond to the world around you, this overarching context sets the stage for your behaviour, personality, and presence. It is the sum total of your self-consciousness and exploring it can raise self-awareness and help you understand yourself.

  • When I look towards myself, what is the all-encompassing expression of my selfhood that I discover?
  • Which thoughts, evolving beliefs and shifting stories come together to form my sense of identity, or my ‘I-ness’?”
  • How do my emotions, actions, and expressions shape my identity? Are these patterns an authentic reflection of who I am?

Who was I being

As you turn your gaze towards yourself, what you find first is your self-concept — the story that you tell yourself about who you are. You may also see some imperfections or flaws.

But clearly, this impression of the self is shaped by the past, based on what you have seen yourself think, do, feel and accomplish. It ought to be possible to free yourself from it if you can snap out of the past and bring yourself to the present. Then, you would be able to see that the person you have been up until now is not the person you need to be in the future. The past is gone, and you have the freedom to reinvent yourself from the very next moment. You are free if you don’t burden yourself with the remembrances from your past and bind yourself to the old way of being.

How can I be someone I truly honour?

Recognizing that you have the power to transform, you can choose to take responsibility for who you are going to be. You have the ability to shape yourself into a new person — the one you admire and respect. You notice that ‘Being’ is an evolving, dynamic idea.

  • Who must I be to be the best version of myself?
  • What new ways of being, do I want to embrace, and which aspects of my old self do I need to let go of?
  • Who does my heart want me to be?

Contemplation of who your heart truly desires you to be, calls for you towards greater alignment and congruence with your core. Being more integrated with your true self. The reflection also draws your focus inwards. Perhaps, aligning with your heart’s desires can help you become the version of yourself you approve of and lead you towards a more fulfilling life. And, you find that it enhances your ease, self-assuredness, conviction and confidence. Perhaps, others notice that something is different about you. You seem more clear and centred.

Being with others

Being has an element of being ‘out there’, with others. Martin Heidegger called it dasein- ‘being there’.

You can’t be in isolation of who you see yourself being with others, and who can see reflecting as in others’ eyes. Contemplation of your way being of also shifts how you engage with others and ‘who’ you show up as in your relationships and conversations. You begin to be more spacious, generous and less demanding.

Authenticity

You feel the urge to shed the persona that you’ve been projecting and want to embrace authenticity, without any reservation or compromise. This calls for courage, but as you experiment with being more open and vulnerable, you realize that it is setting you free. You feel lighter and more self-expressed. Gradually, you stop holding yourself back, till you refuse to settle for anything less than the most authentic expression of your most genuine self.

It brings extraordinary ease as you are no longer burdened with the pressure of maintaining an external facade of an artificial persona. Others are interested. You seem real and authentic. They can see reflections of themselves in what you share and they want the ease you seem to have.

Being Love

Your inner ease also allows greater compassion for yourself as well as for all others. You spontaneously care more for others’ predicaments, listen more deeply and connect with greater empathy. Your heart wants to open to love and to express itself by helping. As you yield to it more and more, the heart heals away the hesitations that were holding it back from unconditional love and its natural expression in service.

Self-realisation

Before long, you begin to discover that ‘Being’ actually points you in the direction of ‘who’ you are- the real Self. And it is already perfect, pristine and incomprehensibly magnificent. It does not shift, evolve, or require improvement. You sense that you are already complete. And that the self which is changing and improving is your ego-linked identity. The realisation of your real Self as a peaceful, blissful radiance, eases away the strife, seeking and struggle. You can now let yourself be.

This is the real reward of the contemplation of being. The new goal now is to embrace and cherish this truth fully and to settle down in it. Let it radiate as love unbridled.

Heart takes over

Doing, controlling and exerting now wants to make way for allowing and appreciating. You find yourself more willing to have the flow of life take you where it is time for you to go. You find yourself saying ‘yes’ more often. The actions flow more gracefully as you surrender the resistance to ‘what wants to happen’.

You no longer need to have it ‘your way’. Little more every day, you learn to have faith and release the need to have it all clear in advance, the need to have a plan. You let your heart sense ‘wants to emerge’ and then lead the way and assert itself more and express more passionately, more fully. You feel more alive than ever.

You are only focused on keeping the ego-linked intellectual mind out of the way. The extraordinary wisdom that now radiates does not seem yours. You realise that through your own heart, it is the Source leading. Doership makes way for gratitude and your accomplishments bring more humility. Others saw you in action, but it was all Heart.

Not being

Persistently, the silence calls you inwards. To be more subtle and still. Embracing gratitude eases away the assertion of will, the Source leads through your heart. Gradually the desire to create an impact or be remarkable fades and even the need to be noticed becomes less urgent.

Little by little, day by day, you surrender your individual self and its pursuits. Letting go of your need to exist and be. Happy as the stream that is surrendering itself to the Ocean. You are letting go of who you were being, to be who you truly are.

All things are born of being, being is born of non-being. — Tao Te Ching

Beyond the thinking, being self

Contemplation on Being is an exercise that invites you beyond the thinking self towards the real Self that you are. The empty consciousness which is the foundation of all thinking, speaking and doing. Pure awareness, looking and observing.

Pure Being

Your foundation is Pure Being. Its nature is fundamental bliss. The sweet empty absolute. You are that placid, calm and pure space. The backdrop on which all things appear. The screen that supports the drama. It is subtle and quality-less but we can slowly learn to be in its stillness.

‘Be’ open. Observing yourself acutely. Yet not forming any opinions whatsoever.

You might find that you visit yourself for a moment and but again catch yourself lost in your thoughts. Resisting thinking is thinking too, now there’s a Catch-22. Love is the only recourse. Be kind to your thinking self. Have self-love for the thinking part of you. It is learning to slow down and be still in Itself.

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