Three life, business and leadership lessons from living in India

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In 2014 I left the UK, India bound! Within six weeks of deciding to, I was coaching my online clients with my feet nestled in the tropical Goa sand while sipping fresh coconut water and often witnessing the dolphins play and summersault in the distance in the Arabian Sea. While it sounds like a simple strategic move, to avoid the British Winter, anyone who has ever visited India, let alone lived here will know that the moment you book your flight, secure your Visa, and step off the plane, so begin the deep lessons and growth opportunities! Four years have provided me with four lifetimes worth of lessons and teachings, for now though, here are my top three!

Crystal clear communication

You can never be too clear! To communicate clearly to another, you must first be clear with yourself about the desired outcome. There are of course the types of conversations that assist us in processing something that is still unclear, the ones where we must hear our self speak it out loud, and that is fine. It helps to acknowledge the difference between the two types though. When you are engaging in an exchange with someone with the unmistakable intent of gaining a certain result from them or the situation at hand, it’s useful to begin with a few questions. Using questions that will assist you in gathering key pieces of information will help you to set the tone. Then, equipped with the knowledge given to you first hand, you can tailor your requests, communication and expectations to fit with the reality of the situation. Without doing a little initial excavation, we often enter the conversation setting with unrealistic anticipations. I’ll be the last to tell anyone to aim lower or hover in mediocre, however, upgrading is a gradual process, so if our understanding of the reality of the situation is off key, and we attempt to over demand or over expect, we can cause some damage to the relationship whether it be with a colleague, employee, family member or even ourselves. Since communication is how the world ticks, and what relationships are based upon, learning to first explore, understand and then speak can save us time and energy as well as increasing productivity, momentum and in turn results!

Be rigid with your goals but flexible in the execution

Knowing what you want and setting clear goals is an important initial step when starting a new project, initiating positive change or an up level. When you have the specifics of why you want or feel change is needed in mind, and how they will benefit and enhance the current circumstances, your resolve to oversee its actualization through to the end will be sturdier. Your desired outcomes become intertwined with you and you with them, and if you have spent the time to do the groundwork to ensure that they are aligned, authentic and expansive, you’ll find yourself in a highly empowered place with far more scope for success. It does pay to expend the stubbornness of a two-year-old sometimes! However, I have learned that if we become too attached to the systems, methods, timings and details of the voyage, especially if we are also relying on others input and expertise, we will likely end up suffering and struggling unnecessarily. The more responsibility we have and the more we have riding on the results, the higher the likelihood of stress, drama and blunders. Although not easy, practice trusting, delegating and allowing. There’s more than one way to do the same thing and depending on what it is, there’s generally no right or wrong way. When we try to control every minute detail, not only does it kill any joy we may potentially experience, we are also cutting ourselves off from the possibility of results, ideas and outcomes that are even better than we ourselves had initially asked for.

 It’s ok to scale back & re-route

We can get caught up in the flurry of daily life and business that we wake up one day and wonder what the heck happened? It’s common to find ourselves locked into an establishment, structure or system that worked well for us in the past but is no longer supportive of who, where or what we want to be moving forward. Maybe we built the structure of our life, business or career based on familial, cultural or societal expectations. Often things are built based on a certain exterior facade rather than sustainability, compatibility and viability. We easily lose connection with what constitutes an outstanding existence for our self.  It’s never too late to change things around though. Many of our actions, decisions and habits are by default. If we were to ask why we did it, we would have a hard time answering honestly. Explore deeper, accept that things now, now no longer suit you or have stopped working like they used to. If you find you are desiring some changes, there’s no time like today to begin. It is likely to bring about doubts and fears and may send you outside of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it. You don’t have to quit your life and go and live on a tropical beach in India! For you it may mean a gradual career change, starting that passion-based business, maybe your current business system is no longer lucrative. Perhaps it’s swapping your BMW for a car that requires no monthly payment, to work one less day per week, or even simplifying your wardrobe so that mornings become calmer. Whichever it is for you, take notice of yourself, really listen, respect and then with courage go get yours!

For more information, coaching, speaking or consulting enquiries contact maria@upgradewithmariak.com

Maria Karpasitis