3.45 am January 29 2017. An early 40s woman and a mother of two teenagers wakes up to get ready for her 1st Marathon for the year. Marathon done with great joy and timing. After all, it was for a cause as well. The Famous Pinkathon in India. At 2 pm she is at a college conducting an energizing workshop for the youth on ‘The Day I Decided to be a Leader’. Meet Anu Krishna the woman who has cracked the code on how to live a happy AND meaningful life!
I had a chance to have a long conversation to understand her secret to living a life with happiness and meaningfulness*. I started by asking how she managed to attend both the marathon and the workshop on the same day. A week before the event, Anu was wondering whether she could really make it. And she thought how can I do ‘this’ as well as ‘that’. She checked with the college whether she can conduct the workshop in the afternoon instead of morning and they were more than happy to reschedule it! What is interesting about Anu’s life is that this is just one of the many instances in her life where happiness and meaningfulness found its match on the same day!
I have always wondered whether a person’s daily habits, rituals and the way they manage it have a direct correlation to their happiness and purpose. To test my hypothesis, I asked Anu on her daily habits and rituals. Here it goes:
I could sense that each and every task that Anu takes up in a day is ‘not’ a task for her. If we were to imagine the task as a jar, Anu’s task jar will be filled with equal portions of giving, love, living in the moment, passion and purpose.
To connect the dots, I asked Anu to take me through her time machine. At age 4, she started to learn Carnatic music and continued to learn for 10 years! Around the same time, her Grandpa introduced her to the world of English by narrating stories from the books of PG Wodehouse, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens and others. She could still recollect some of the lines from Anna Karenina, written by her favorite author Leo Tolstoy! Few words Grandpa embedded in her brain were ‘Goodness’ and ‘ Imagination’ by reading happy or nice parts in the story and leaving out the darker sides of the story because he knew that she will be able to read it later on and grasp it better. As far as ‘ Imagination’ goes, she always used to play with words and imagine characters while Grandpa was narrating stories to her. Her Grandpa has played a huge role in finding her passion for English and has been a guiding force throughout her life and career. The liberal arts streams of English and Music have laid a solid foundation for what she wanted to do later in life.
Anu says her true calling as a Life Coach happened when, “ Many years ago, I had some life altering moments and lost few loved ones. Suddenly, I felt as though I have lost my own identity. Being a very private person, I decided to deal with my emotions and feelings by turning to philosophy. Luckily I also had a great family support who are very spiritual and I could lean on them. During that phase, surprisingly I did not get into depression. While going through this life transition, it became clear to me that if I was going through a powerful transition in my life, others too would be going through at some point in their lives and how would they be dealing with it. During this time I was introduced to Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP by someone close to us. I started reading and applying NLP on myself. Gradually, I could sense my own transformation and my loved ones also started noticing it. My calling became stronger and I was convinced that I am here to help people create the life that they want. I immediately enrolled for the NLP course to become a full-time Life Coach”.
Anu’s passion for words led her to found Word Weave. Within a short span of time, her authentic approach to coaching and the ‘no timer’ concept has helped her win many clients and impact hundreds of children, youth, and adults. Anu believes and practices the mantra of ‘ Life is all about having fun’! This has become quite infectious among her clients, friends, and family.
Anu finds that working with women and children have given her tremendous satisfaction. Her pet projects are ‘Re-creating Self-Identity’ for individuals based on her own experiences in life and ‘Creative Expressions’ project for Children evolved out of her passion as a Writer. A new project she has recently launched is called ‘ Heart to Heart’ Project wherein anyone can call her anonymously for a short period and pour their heart out.
Anu’s passion for words has translated into articles for print and online journals. She has won awards for her short stories. By integrating her Passion for words and the Purpose to help people create the life they want she has embarked on a book project focused on integrating NLP in everyone’s lives. The main objective of the book is to offer perspectives through short stories and improve the quality of thinking thereby breaking the patterns of not so useful thoughts leading to better actions and a wholesome life.
While her Grandpa’s influence helped her find her imagination and passion for English, Anu says her purpose of serving people came from ‘ My Parents raised me with values that translated into always helping anyone in need’.
The remarkable transformation of Anu in two decades [ the 20s to 40s] is very inspiring and motivating for all of us. From a shy to a homely to a confident and successful woman leading a Happy AND Meaningful Life!
*Reference: An article by Scott Barry Kaufman in Scientific American on the subject of The differences between happiness and meaning in life indicates that optimal well-being consists of both happiness and meaning in our lives. The article quotes another research study on this: “Years of research on the psychology of well-being have demonstrated that often human beings are happiest when they are engaged in meaningful pursuits and virtuous activities.”
This post by Partha Iyengar was first published in Huffington Post