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Develop the Mindset, Techniques, and Goals to Optimize Your Life

Payal Kadakia

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  1. 256 pagine
  2. English
  3. ePUB (disponibile sull'app)
  4. Disponibile su iOS e Android
eBook - ePub


Develop the Mindset, Techniques, and Goals to Optimize Your Life

Payal Kadakia

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Introducing The LifePass Method: A unique method of goal setting from the founder of ClassPass that will help you hone in on your feelings, screen out unnecessary distractions, and live a successful and fulfilling life based on your deepest desires. Grant yourself permission to have the life you most want to live. When Payal Kadakia let go of the pressure to achieve a traditional kind of success, she tuned in to her calling and built ClassPass into a billion-dollar business. In LifePass, she shares the unique goal-setting method that not only changed her approach to business but to her life. In LifePass, you will learn how to:
• Focus on what's meaningful to you
• Embrace all parts of your identity
• Push past expectations to hear your own voice
• Turn failure into learning opportunities
• Make money work for you, instead of working for it
• Manage your time guilt free
• Build a supportive tribe of people around you
• Set actionable goals aligned to your dreams You are meant to live an inspired life. LifePass shows you how.

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Part 1

Your Life



What drives you?

It’s ironic that the moment that really launched my life, the exact situation that allowed it to take off, was also one of the lowest moments of my career.
I was working at Bain & Company, a prestigious management consulting firm in New York City, because it seemed like what I was “supposed” to do. When I graduated from MIT in 2005, all of my friends were going into banking or consulting, so I followed suit and applied to those types of jobs as well. When I landed a coveted position that would make my parents proud and look good on my resume, I didn’t give it much thought beyond that.
For two and a half years, I worked hard as an associate consultant. I wanted to do well, get promoted, and rise in the ranks. Then six months before my contract was up for renewal, I was sitting in my manager’s office and, for the first time ever, receiving negative feedback.
“I have to question your reliability and commitment to your clients,” my manager plainly told me, sitting behind her desk. “If you really want to further your career as a consultant, your clients are going to have to come first. I don’t know if that’s the case for you.”
Even though my manager didn’t say it, I knew deep down what she was referring to. In addition to working seventy to eighty hours a week at my consulting job, I was also studying dance, which I had done for most of my life, and performing with a troupe called Bollywood Axion. I spent my nights and weekends rehearsing with the troupe, and about six months before, a big performance had been scheduled on the same day as an important client meeting. I had a visceral reaction when I discovered the conflict. While it felt irresponsible to consider missing the meeting—attendance was typically mandatory—every fiber of my being told me I had to be at the show. There had always been limited opportunities for Indian dancers to perform, and I couldn’t stand the idea of not participating. Plus, this show was to celebrate the opening of a Bollywood exhibit at Madame Tussauds featuring Aishwarya Rai, a huge Bollywood film star I had always admired. I wanted to be a part of it!
I made up my mind that I would go to the event and simply tell my boss that I would miss the meeting. I decided to play it straight, no excuses. I explained that I had a personal dance commitment I had to attend. I added that I wasn’t critical to the work meeting, since I wouldn’t be presenting or interacting directly with the client.
My manager didn’t make a big deal about it at the time. In fact, I thought our discussion went well, and the performance went even better. But now, half a year later, I was paying the price. It had impacted the way my boss saw me and may have made a dent in my career trajectory. I was devastated.
My whole life, I had lived by the book and worked hard to excel at everything. Now it felt like I was being punished for doing what I loved, for falling out of line just once, and I feared my career might suffer as a result. After completing a three-year contract at Bain, most associate consultants went to business school with an offer to return to Bain, while a select few were offered the opportunity to stay on as a consultant without going to business school. Up to then, I thought I was doing well enough that both were potential options, but for the first time, I started to think about what would happen if I didn’t remain at Bain. Several of my friends were taking the GMATs and applying to business school. I had bought study guides for the test but never opened them and never registered for the exam. While business school might have been something to pursue down the road, I knew I didn’t want to go right then. But after my shaky review, was the offer of a full consultant position even going to be an option?
My initial instinct was to dive fully back into work and prove to my boss that I was worthy of staying on as a consultant. But as I worked harder to prove myself, I realized that this effort would only require more hours, increased travel, and far less time for dance, which is what I truly loved doing. This forced me to consider whether becoming a consultant was what I even wanted. I had been set on staying “top bucket” at Bain, but as I thought about what that commitment really meant, I knew it wasn’t my dream job.
I sat with this for a few months during my “externship” with Bain; this is a program that allows you to work in another company and industry for six months. In my temporary post at MTV, I had a little more space to think, and I saw that other career options would give me more time for dance. As I fantasized about leaving work at five or six each night instead of ten, and of being able to dance in the evenings and still have enough time to sleep, I realized my boss was completely right. I wasn’t fully committed to being a consultant. I wasn’t making Bain my everything, because it simply wasn’t enough for me.
My manager wasn’t being harsh in that review. In fact, she was mentoring me. She helped me ask myself some hard questions that put me on the right path. Many people stay at their jobs for years, doing what they feel they are supposed to, without ever asking themselves the hard questions about what they really want. Up until that point in my life, I had made most of my decisions based on what I thought I should do. I performed well in high school in order to get into one of a handful of acceptable colleges, after which I thought my career options amounted to working at either one of the three top consulting firms or the three top banks. This view was so limited, and so wrong! There was a world of options—but I didn’t see them because I was following someone else’s path. I only knew how to succeed by following what was laid out for me. Now, I realized, it was time to chart my own journey.
I finally understood why I had reacted so strongly to that negative review. It stemmed from my own insecurities and desire for external validation. A guaranteed offer to be a consultant wasn’t my life’s goal, or even how I wanted to devote my time. What I wanted was more time to create, dance, and serve others. I wanted the ability to pursue what fulfilled me. I had to find a way to be responsible, make money, and keep moving forward professionally while also opening up more time to pursue my calling. I knew I needed to learn to protect what I loved. No one else was going to do that for me.

Find Your Gift and Give It Away

One of my favorite quotes is now the mantra that I live by. It has been attributed to both William Shakespeare and Pablo Picasso: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose is to give it away.” In other words: Your calling is a passion that exists both for yourself and for the benefit of others. In order for this calling to exist, you must first discover it and then prioritize it.
This is what I hope the example of my story and this book will help you to do. Perhaps you have already had an “aha moment” about your calling or perhaps not. Many people don’t discover their calling until later in life. The good news is that it’s never too late.
Everyone must come to their own
realization in their own way and follow their
own path. We can’t follow someone else’s blueprint.
Our answer lies within us.
I define a calling this way: It is the action we take to fulfill our purpose in life, what we were put on this planet to do and share with the world. The passion for our calling provides the fuel to power us through the inevitable roadblocks that appear. Our calling is what makes life feel worthwhile and helps us reach our highest potential. It is the direction of our true north.
Take a moment to think about what your calling might be and the expectations that others have for you or that you feel have been piled on you. Many people mistake their calling for something their parents told them to pursue or something that is valued by our society. But a true calling isn’t an obligation or responsibility. It isn’t pursued to please someone else. It also isn’t something we simply enjoy or even excel at; it’s not always the easiest path to take. A calling reflects our passion. We feel a magnetic connection to it that serves as our vehicle for giving to others, and that can only be defined by ourselves. This is often the hardest part!
Once I realized that management consulting was not my calling, I had to decide what I did want to do. How did I want to spend my time? What did I want to do with my life? I had never asked myself that before.
I reflected on my connection to dance, something I loved. I knew that dancing was more than a hobby, but I had never been able to pour all of my energy into it due to a handful of different constraints, from not having enough time or money to society’s expectations and my own doubts. A big part of me wondered what would happen if I started to think about it differently, especially because this sense of inspiration and wonder started for me when I was just a small child.
I grew up in the 1980s in a suburban New Jersey town where all the other kids were busy playing with Barbies and watching Sesame Street. I wasn’t interested. Those dolls looked nothing like me and our TV only played the latest Bollywood films on VHS. I was obsessed with the dances in these movies and watched them over and over. I loved to see the emotive women and their intricate dance steps. Each time I rewatched those videos, I memorized the actresses’ every expression and gesture, and then I spent hours replicating them in the mirror.
My parents had immigrated to the United States from India before I was born. They came for education and work, and later sponsored many family members who followed them in search of better opportunities. We often had aunties and uncles staying with us until they found a place of their own. One of those aunties was Tiku Bhabhi, my cousin’s wife. At twenty-one, she was youthful and full of energy, also loved Bollywood films, and looked like me—something I appreciated, since I didn’t look like any of the other kids in my neighborhood. I adored being around her and connecting to where I came from.
When I was five years old, Tiku Bhabhi noticed me dancing along to a movie in our living room and trying my best to imitate the expressions of the woman on the screen. The actress was lovingly mocking her boyfriend and dancing in a lighthearted way to the rhythm of an upbeat, fast-paced song. My Bhabhi, dressed in a T-shirt and pants, stood confidently in front of the TV and told me to copy her as she came alive dancing like the women on the small screen. Over the next hour, she broke down all of the dance moves, showing me exactly how to hold my arms and tilt my head to look more like the actress I admired.
The next day, my whole family got dressed up and went to a huge banquet hall. I don’t remember if it was a wedding or a holiday or a birthday celebration; these events, with hundreds of people from the Indian community, were regular fixtures in my life. Ever since I could walk, I spent the majority of my weekends running around a backyard or outdoor catering venue with dozens of other girls in fancy, embroidered lehenga cholis, arms full of colorful bangles.
At first, this party was no different. But after a little while, the song my Tiku Bhabhi and I had been dancing to, “Kabhi Tu Chhalia Lagta Hai,” came on over the speakers. Without really thinking about it, I walked up to the dance floor and started performing the way she’d taught me. The familiar melody struck a chord within me, and I remember being lost in the music and movements, placing my hand on my chin and moving my head from side to side like a little doll in tempo to the song.
Before I knew what was happening, the large crowd on the dance floor had gathered to watch me as they clapped and cheered with huge smiles on their faces. That night, on the dance floor, I could see that my performance made people happy. That made me feel overcome with joy.
Looking back, I recognize this as the moment I realized on a deep, intuitive level that I could use dance, something I was passionate about, as a vehicle to move other people. I didn’t understand it this way at the time, but performing became one of my callings—a way of using my passion to fulfill a need in the world.
However, just because I found my calling early on didn’t mean that my path was set. We may love something or identify a calling as children, but instead of following that dream into adulthood, we often end up doing what we see as the responsible thing, the mature thing, or what others expect. My adult life started no differently.

What Drives You?| Self-Check Point

We have all experienced moments of pure joy when we are doing something we love so much that we feel completely fulfilled just from doing it. Childhood can be filled with such moments, when we are encouraged to try new things, explore, and play.
Yet as adults, we can let the things we love fall by the wayside. They can get replaced by responsibilities and obligations and the constraints of societal norms: We get married, have kids, get a promotion, and no longer have time to do anything “just for fun.” But it’s critical not to lose our sense of playful joy. We must continue to have these types of moments, which give us more than just joy—they call us powerfully toward our purpose.
To reconnect to your playful side, think of an activity tha...

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