The negatives of being too “polite,” when you can communicate effectively, differently.

Last month, I was about to take a taxi to my gym from my usual stop. I waved my hand and a cab stopped and a woman was about to get off. She opened the door and was yelling at the driver. She screamingly said, “how is it my problem that you’re new to the area? Don’t come and drive a taxi when you’re not familiar with the roads or have the right equipment. I am late because of you and you can’t even use the GPS, stupid man.” She slammed the door and told me to not take the taxi. Prejudice and prior experience got the worst of me in that moment, and I thought to myself, “I am sure the taxi driver must have done something and it must be his fault. He may be wanting to make an extra buck and taking the passenger in circles.


However, as I was really getting late for my training session, I stepped into the cab. He told me, “Ma’am, if you’re OK, I am new, I will need directions. I think the GPS is taking me through different routes.” He was really polite. I was surprised by his polite behavior. Two minutes into the ride I realized that he was genuinely the politest man and his GPS, for some reason, WAS actually taking suggesting different routes. He told me if I know a shorter way, I could guide him. He was very new, just 2 days into the job and the city. He was nervous and as I probed further, I realized that he was missing his family and being away from home.

I felt sorry for him and even more so for the lady who sat in the taxi earlier. She must have been having a bad day, to have been so rude and inconsiderate. In this moment, I actually realized that the taxi driver could have spoken back to the lady but he chose not to react much and was stuck at the receiving end of anger. He was too polite to not speak about his real situation and thought it might not be “appropriate” to say anything. As I got to know, he felt that he may sound rude or impolite, if he “argued” with the lady. He felt the only way he could have communicated Continue reading “The negatives of being too “polite,” when you can communicate effectively, differently.”

Is your brain being an ageist? Here’s how you can kick ageism’s ass.

If one thing’s true, it’s the fact that we aren’t getting any younger, chronologically. Hey!!! Don’t get offended by that. It’s a fact. And THAT’s OKAY! But we need to stop telling ourselves that we are too old or too young to do something that we truly desire.

Old Couple.jpg

Recently, a friend of mine and I were talking about hitting our milestone birthday, this year. She started saying that she expected herself to have been so much ahead by now: academically, socially, and even financially. I thought she was doing pretty well, as per what I saw, however, she wasn’t convinced. I remember looking at her and thinking, she’s always been such a spirited, fun woman, who enjoyed her life no matter what bumpers came in the way. Suddenly, she stopped it all. She felt she was too old for anything to accomplish anymore (mind you she’s only turning 30): So, too old to party, or too old to wear the trendy clothes, or even too old start her own company, or even get the job that she most desired (Seriously). Now, obviously my face dropped, because I didn’t expect HER to feel this way. But then I realized we’ve all been there… in this very same situation.

We’ve been made to feel that a certain age is our “peak” whether this belief set in from our immediate family circle, or society at large, or stereotypically by the media… it has been ingrained in us. We think, given a certain age, we need to achieve EVERYTHING or else we’re DOOMED! How silly is that. I completely disagree! All ages are our peaks. We’re doing and can do our best of best, at any given age, if we set Continue reading “Is your brain being an ageist? Here’s how you can kick ageism’s ass.”

Perfectionism is a procrastination syndrome, to not get anything done?

Yesss! That is so true. And I used to be the queen of perfectionism. I would love to tell myself, that even though I had been a perfectionist, I wasn’t a procrastinator (perhaps the world may not perceive me to be, but I was). I used to get a lot of things done easily. I think I still have the knack to do it but I am slowing myself down.


I’m truly a perfectionist at heart. What better example than this very post. I procrastinated it the whole week and kept pushing it to Saturday, because, I felt that I wasn’t ready yet with my best story to put to the world. Had I pushed for my PERFECT story, a bit longer, I would’ve never been able to produce this post at all. That’s the power of “perfectionism based procrastination” as I call it.

Till today, I love making tweaks and changes to my doctoral work, my blogs, my workshop materials, my home decor, my cooking, my emails, my social media posts etc. etc. The list is long. But then, guess what… I still end up finding some proofing mistakes, or spelling mistakes, language errors or something or the other goes wrong, which I could’ve done better. So, what am I really chasing in the name of perfectionism? NOTHING. It is just procrastination. If I ever procrastinated to keep checking in, again and again, I would end up making more Continue reading “Perfectionism is a procrastination syndrome, to not get anything done?”

“My Dream or My Calling or My Passion:” What do those even mean?

I had conducted a small workplace performance research recently, and midst other things, I found that over 50% of people felt that they were in the wrong jobs or doing the work that wasn’t their dream job. Some even felt that they had multiple callings, which they were torn between. In so many cases, these thoughts can cause stress, unhappiness, jealousy, anger and even depression. Yes!!! And one of the biggest reasons for these negative emotions and behavioral patterns is that people are often unable to embrace or accept CHANGE (whether in their immediate/personal environment or social or even economic environment). Basically, when people don’t follow the work or the passion they’re meant to do, the above may happen. Let me explain…


How many times would you have heard this statement?: “Oh! (S)he was so good at this, wonder why (s)he isn’t pursuing that.” Or, someone would say, “I feel my true calling or passion is ___________ but I am stuck in this profession or stuck in life due to my circumstances.” I’ve seen so many people get frustrated with their situations and choices that they forget that there is, ACTUALLY a way out, to do anything that they want. Of course, there may be some trade-offs, which can be measured and evaluated.

Particularly in the context of a career, changes are always very scary. And for obvious reasons, right? We need the money to pay our bills! More often women in many societies have limited choices to make their careers thrive or choose what they’d truly desire. On the other side, men may often just stick around with a particular job they may not be very happy about.

Fear of “career change” is a big issue, in our society at large and we need to Continue reading ““My Dream or My Calling or My Passion:” What do those even mean?”

How being childlike can fuel your happiness, productivity, and creativity.

Have you ever felt elated while playing with water or rain… or smiled from your heart while thowing balloons in the air… or felt relaxed while popping up bubble a wrap… or blowing out water bubbles… or licking icing off the cupcakes… or mindlessly doodling? If the answer is YES to any of it, you too have had fun being childlike. That’s right!

You know, I love being childlike in so many ways because it fuels my creativity, and makes me more productive and of course, makes me so happy! And that’s exactly what this post today talks about.


Before we go any further, let me clarify that there’s a difference between what it means to be childish (which can be deadly) and child like (which is sometimes fun and can really fuel your creativity and productivity). Being childish makes you think that it’s OK to act however you want. But, when you’re childlike you embrace the positive end of the spectrum. When you are childish Continue reading “How being childlike can fuel your happiness, productivity, and creativity.”

How to be compassionate to others, who may be “douche.”

A couple of months back, a coaching client of mine, (an awesome human being, a lovely leader, beautiful businesswoman)… asked me a pretty genuine question. She said, “Priyanka, how can you be “nice” to someone who clearly hates you?” I looked at her for a bit and asked? What exactly happened. She told me, “I have a few folks in my social space, who continuously try to undermine my efforts and think no end of themselves. Recently, I had some big wins with a few personal and professional projects and I got some crazy flak, for reasons I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND. Some even went behind my back to inquire if, I was actually putting in the work to have the wins or was I just flaking it.” I hugged her and told her to “shake it off like T-Swift.” We both laughed about it… but then I shared my own story with her.


Of late, after bringing in a lot of changes in my life and work… I’ve been receiving a lot of flak from various sources. Often I receive indirect flak, regarding my work, my social posts, my workouts, and some other efforts that I’ve been consistently putting towards my own well-being. To give you an example, a person followed me on social media, only to criticize me (I wondered, why would anyone “opt-in,” in the first place if they don’t like someone). Another one was, regarding my fitness journey, a girl who follows me on Instagram, actually went to “check on me” with my trainer, if I was actually doing the work because it felt too good to be true. My trainer and I laughed so hard! It was hilarious!!!! I know!!! But these things happen. People’ve got enough time to NOT do the actual work but condemn those who are actually putting in the effort in different spheres of life.

Of course, by now, we know that these are just the naysayers, the ones who barely produce anything of their own but are the first ones to criticize the efforts of others, for whatever personal reasons. Even though there are many who would genuinely compliment and be happy for you, some can’t be nice. And it is the quintessential human nature to get affected by the naysayers and dwell on it. As Robin Sharma’s puts it, “leave the culture of mediocrity to get into the club of mastery.” As powerful as it may sound, it is quite difficult to practice. And those who do practice it to embrace a positive change, it may not be appreciated by many other. Let’s face it, people don’t respond to change very well.

Nevertheless, we do know that there are manyyyy who would genuinely compliment and be happy for us, for all our hard work and effort… So in this case, there are two kinds of situations, things we can control and things we cannot control. The things we can control are Continue reading “How to be compassionate to others, who may be “douche.””

How relaxation can actually make you more creative and energetic.

I’d always been the type who’d choose to continuously keep working. I took up two jobs when I was just in college, while everyone was having the time of their life: partying and hanging out with friends; I chose to sit back and find ways to either gain more knowledge, or study harder, or earn some money. I was constantly working. I remember my first year was wreck because of this.

I thought all those things, which a lot of my friends and colleagues did were a waste of my time. For this driven nature of mine, I came across as someone who was “snooty” or “snobby” to go out, or even rude, or someone who didn’t wanna make friends. [Well don’t take me wrong, I don’t think what others did was wrong, instead I feel I needed to do things differently. AND, I did make my set of groupies, who really understood why I did what I did. AND till date, I am super thick with them and a call away.]

Woman relaxing lying on a couch at home

But, for a very very very long time, I was the type who would choose to not have “fun”, or go out or really know what it meant to enjoy myself. I didn’t know what relaxation meant. I had a clear vision in my mind and I knew I had to achieve a my goals, faster. This attitude did help me initially, but it drained me completely, after a couple of years. I lost my mojo to work. Because of which, I started questioning myself. I started questioning my ambitions too. In that moment, I realized that I truly needed to sit back, take some time off and truly evaluate what I needed to do.

To truly explain where I’m going with this, I’ll tell you a story. I recently learned how to swim. And I am soooo thankful for my teacher because, I’ve picked up all the strokes quite well, in just one month’s time. I practice them daily. One day, while I was swimming, something hit me. I’d swim better if I am relaxed in water. I knowwww, it isn’t some rocket science or a big revelation, however, it did teach me a big lesson. When we’re in a relaxed state, (which comes from conscious decision making in the moment), we can achieve our targets better and more easily. Our life is fluid like the water, therefore, if we panic more, we don’t allow the environment around us to keep us afloat, instead we allow it to pull us down and drown us. When we are calm in the fluid state, we’re automatically buoyant, so we’re afloat.

After reflecting upon this simple Continue reading “How relaxation can actually make you more creative and energetic.”

Let’s handle criticisms like a pro.

If you’ve ever struggled with criticisms and have found that you feel disheartened, dejected, lost, troubled, agitated, angry, bugged, jealous, even anxious, or have started doubting yourself… then my friend, this post is for you.


Before we head on the juicy stuff, I’ll specify what do I mean by the term “pro.” I’ll borrow the explanation, which Steven Pressfield uses in his books, War of Art and Turning Pro. He uses the word pro as an indicative of ‘a professional.’ When we are a professional, we are ready to leave the amateurish behavior behind us, i.e. we’re ready to deal with every situation in a way as though it pays us forward. And there is no scope for mediocrity, in our pursuit. We are ready to acknowledge the fact that we’re the best at what we pursue, in any sphere of life, which is why we’d hire ourselves to do the job we wanna do. And give it all that we can.

When we are pros, we understand that criticisms are simply comments that we may, or may not, consider. It depends upon the source or even the context. We know that external criticisms are primarily a reflection of that person’s thoughts or inner being. Instead of dwelling on someone’s disapproval, or condemnation, or evaluation, or eve jealousy, we need to truly evaluate how are we dealing with the situation? We know it that the only thing we can change or modify is our thoughts, reaction and action, in any given situation.

Imagine yourself at work Continue reading “Let’s handle criticisms like a pro.”

Turn your negative emotions into positive results.

An ex-colleague came to me for some advice. She felt that she was always irritated with people around her, she was getting jealous of those in her immediate circle within the organization, who’d climbed the ladder and she felt she hadn’t. She said, she didn’t feel good about herself and constantly felt jealous and angry. She told me, “Priyanka I am stuck in my own negativity. I should’ve been further ahead by now.” She’d get so stuck with her own negative emotion that it even affected her work and added to her stress.

Business woman working at desk

I heard her out completely. Then, instead of simply giving her advice I shared a story. Recently, a family member really really close to me commented on my business and lifestyle. He said that I’m constantly in the kitchen and had no other work in life. I was wasting my intellect and time. At that time, I almost got offended [because not only do I run my own independent consultancy, I also do coaching, I’m doing my doctorate, and also taking care of my family & health (for which I, of course, need to be in my healthy kitchen and in the gym. My rituals are pretty much non-negotiable)]. After being angry for the whole day, I realized my negative emotion isn’t taking me anywhere. I also realized it is a reflection of my own insecurities and not his. It was only affecting me. After being in that angry state for a few hours, I turned my anger into a consumable fuel for Continue reading “Turn your negative emotions into positive results.”

Do we [really] need a social media detox?

I’ve been receiving a lot of emails these days with comments and some good questions from people who follow my blog. There was a common pattern that I observed. Apparently, EVERYONE IS SICK OF SOCIAL MEDIA!

Social Media Detox

That is true! And my initial reaction to this was, “Don’t blame it on the social media tools.” People are unable to control their own negative emotions and blaming it on social media. I also questioned myself, “how can people get sick of social media? It is not social media’s fault?” However, I cringed at the thought of this, shook my head and consciously changed my thoughts. I pulled myself back from my “tough” ENTJ personality to really understand the underlying feelings. I immediately reflected upon this, through an empathetic lens, “why would so many people feel irritated with someone else’s posts, pictures, and more?” The most common emotions that emerged from the “social-media-led comparison syndrome” were jealousy, the feeling of not being “good enough,” low self-confidence, less self-worth and in some cases clinical depression (above linked HBR study, states a few more).

I felt like I had to take sides in this argument, whether Continue reading “Do we [really] need a social media detox?”