“Happiness Comes From Within” -- My name means “happiness and joy” in the Indian language (Sanskrit) and I have always loved to help people, am always driven, and positive. I don’t take setbacks too hard. When I see people experiencing hardship and challenges (whether it’s cultural, personal, career, etc.), I always try to find the bright side of things. I get up every morning by choosing the attitude I want to bring to the day. Ninety percent of what happens to me is how I react to it, and only ten percent is circumstance. When it comes to style, swim with the current. When it comes to principles, stand like a rock.
Authenticity and attitude are keywords I live by. I don’t think I’ve done anything good or great in life, but I know I can sleep well at night. My parents are deceased, but I hope they are proud of me. I don’t have kids, but I hope I’m a decent wife, role model, human being, manager.
My inspiration in life was my mother. She was my best friend, went through a lot in life, and was always smiling. She was the most loved by everyone in the family. My dad would always joke with me as we were growing up, “if you can fit into the small toe of your mother’s shoe, consider yourself having done something good in your life.”
She inspired me to be a good human being. It doesn’t matter what life throws at you, she would tell me “don’t get bitter, don’t get down, and don’t blame others.” She made me a stronger person to realize that although bad things happen in life, you can’t live your life blaming others. Unfortunately, she died in my 20s, but she built that inner strength in me.
After her, the next person of inspiration would be my husband. We are very connected. As much as he’s my biggest critic, I appreciate that because he’s making me a better person. He’s the first one to call me out if I’ve done something wrong. It’s important to build that inner strength and resilience for anything that life throws at you.
Take the strengths of your culture and marry it with the strengths of this country. Yes, we have racism, discrimination, and we still don’t have a woman president; but there is a goodness coming from the core people of this country, everyone coming from different countries and cultures. This is a country that has a lot of strengths. When it comes to style, swim with the current. But there are certain core things from your own culture you can bring to this environment. Asians are creative and dynamic. We can make great leaders. But, sometimes our own cultures hold us back. So take the strengths of our cultures of origin and the strengths of this country to be authentically you.
Speak up for others and yourself. I speak up because I want to sleep well at night. I want to feel like I did the right thing. There are times I did not, and I feel bad about it. I want to do the right thing. I like to bring the positive and being able to bring a smile to someone’s face. In the business world, sometimes you have to be “shrewd” and act a certain way. However, my authenticity is what has helped me succeed, as opposed to becoming a political pawn in the business world. If I assimilated and played the game, maybe I would have risen the ranks more, but my mother would not have been proud of me and I would not be happy. Success is not defined by titles and roles.
Finally, listen to others. Everyone has a story and be grateful and humbled that they shared theirs with you.