Upgrade Your Energy and Vitality With Priyamvada

Do you want a first class or economy class life?

When we travel we have a choice. We can be herded like cattle in economy. Or we can pay a lot more to be treated better.

In life we also have the choice.

We can have a vibrant and full experience. Or we can be sluggish and have a dull experience. But this time we pay with our effort and discipline.

The key question is how do you source your energy?

Do you eat junk, sit around a lot and fill your mind with whatever is on your feed? Or do you eat nutritious food, exercise your body and mind?

Priyamvada was travelling through life in economy class.

Until one day she’d had enough and chose to upgrade. Today, she lives a first class life. She runs marathons, eats healthily and is conscious about what she pays attention to.

Now she helps others to upgrade their lives, by making better choices about how they source their energy.

She told me about her journey in today’s podcast episode.



Priyamvada: [00:00:00] On a lot of days I do question myself. I do wonder why am I doing this? I do wonder when I’m running the race to why I’m doing this. And that’s also the time I tell myself that I’m not going to do it again, but it’s really hard, you get out there and then I’m going to pick up my child from school and then I see someone else running.

Priyamvada: I’m like, gosh, I miss it. I need to run more. I 

Rob: thought for a moment you were going to say you go off running and forget your job. 

Priyamvada: Actually, yeah it’s a love hate relationship. I think there are days you love it. There are days you just don’t. Some days I love running.

Priyamvada: Some days I love doing the weights. Some days I don’t want to do anything. But then I also feel when I’m not doing something, like when I’m not actively exercising in some form, whether it’s playing badminton or dancing or running away somewhere or lifting weights, I do feel by 4 p. m. in the evening I can sense that I’m falling into feeling Not so good or not feeling great about myself or don’t have the energy to tackle the next half of the day.

Rob: What happened that made [00:01:00] health and fitness so important to you? 

Priyamvada: I guess for me, health and fitness was always important. I always did it in some form or another. I always put in time. I always put an energy into it. I’ve been doing it for 10, 15 years, but I never gave it the sort of attention that it actually deserved because I just thought it’s, One of those things, you just do it.

Priyamvada: Everybody’s doing it. I had different reasons to do it when I was younger, because I wanted to fit into good clothes. I wanted my waistline to look really tiny. I was enamored by all those glossy magazine covers. And then I thought that’s the standard of beauty and that’s what I should try to fit into.

Priyamvada: So without knowing anything about nutrition, without knowing anything about exercising or it’s other benefits, I would just go to the gym and I would be on the treadmill for an hour, maybe two, as long as I felt like it and I would feel good about myself and say, yeah, I go to the gym every day.

Priyamvada: I work nine to five and then I make time for the gym. But it didn’t really put my soul [00:02:00] into it. I was just doing it for other vanity reasons. So I never enjoyed the benefits of it until I think 2019 end of 2019, early 2020, just before the pandemic hit was when I was falling into this cycle of Being in a job, doing the same thing every day, not really realizing what I’m doing.

Priyamvada: Yes, I have a job. Yes, the money’s coming in. Yes, I got a family. I got a house to live in. I got food to put on my plate, but there’s just something in me that’s not feeling right. 

Priyamvada: I would wake up every morning crying and I would think, Why am I crying? I do. This is what I work towards, right?

Priyamvada: My parents said get good education, get a job, marry. And I’ve done all of that. I’ve ticked all the boxes. I’m young. So why am I feeling so restless? And why am I feeling so unfulfilled? 

Priyamvada: And I didn’t want that feeling anymore. I didn’t want to feel like shit anymore.

Priyamvada: Every morning it’s really hard to, wake up in the morning and not look forward to your day, not wanting to do anything. Every task feels like a [00:03:00] chore. It feels so painful. Oh my God, I need to go to job. Oh my God, I need to get my kids ready to school. Nothing, absolutely nothing interested me.

Priyamvada: And that’s when I slowly started putting pieces of my life together. I started reading a lot. I slowly disconnected from my job. I would sleep very little. I was the classic, “Oh, I sleep only five hours a day”. And that’s enough for me because I’m going out there and getting that corporate role and I’m going to climb that ladder and become that vice president. 

Priyamvada: And this is what successful people do. 

Priyamvada: They sleep less and they work more and maybe that works for a lot of them, but it wasn’t working for me. I was sleep deprived. I was upset and I was doing everything the wrong way. So when I started putting my life back slowly together, by reading, by going out, by studying nutrition, by studying fitness, by actually doing it for the right reasons, I started slowly seeing the positive impact of it. It doesn’t happen overnight. And not to say that as soon as you start, as soon as you start exercising, or [00:04:00] journaling, your life is going to magically change. It’s not going to happen. There will still be days when you feel what am I doing?

Priyamvada: But you got to keep at it, every day. . So you got to just keep doing it every day. You got to keep it. Putting in the efforts every day. And you can start by doing very little. 

Priyamvada: In my case, for example, I started my journaling by writing just three sentences every day, just three, because I had read it works.

Priyamvada: I had no clue how it works. I was like, how can writing something work? How can you writing affirmations work? 

Priyamvada: How can you write you’re grateful for something? And how can that work? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense, but everyone’s saying it works. So I have nothing to lose. So I started slowly.

Priyamvada: Building on my habits, whether it was journaling, whether it was stepping out for a walk, whether it was lifting weights, whether it was understanding nutrition. And then I saw those effects change my life over time, over a couple of years. That’s when I seriously got into it.

Priyamvada: And I thought if it could change my life, It can change. People just don’t realize the benefits. People just think, let me exercise. I am going [00:05:00] to, change the way I look, I’m going to have a teeny tiny waistline, or I’m going to, I don’t know, build muscles, whatever it is, their physical fitness goal is.

Priyamvada: And that’s the only reason people get to it. Whatever else it does to you is absolutely mind blowing. And that is what I’m trying to tell everybody else as well, that look, you can actually have, whether you want to be successful in your corporate career, whether you want to be an entrepreneur, whether you want to be a stay at home parent, whether you want to be a writer, no matter what it is that you want to do in life, there’s nothing that works like mental and physical fitness. Everything else is built on that. That is like your foundation. That’s your base and whatever you want to do, you build on top of that. Cause if that’s not strong, then everything else is going to break. Everything else is going to collapse. 

Rob: I can see the passion. 

Rob: So five years ago basically it seems you were on autopilot, like most of us are, you’re told by society and parents and everything, do this, you do that. And then you find okay, I’m not liking the life it’s left, leaving me with. How long were [00:06:00] you in that period or before you became aware of it? 

Priyamvada: I think I must have been there easily for more than a year, at least two years, because the first one year you actually think something is wrong with you. And you tell yourself, I’m just tired.

Priyamvada: Or I’m not doing it right. Or maybe I’ve just become weak. I need to be stronger if I’m not able to do something. I see other people doing it. So it’s me, it’s my fault. I’m not doing something right. So there’s so much conditioning you grow up with that even when it happens to you, there is this long period of time that you don’t want to accept that it’s happening to you.

Priyamvada: You feel you’re different, you are stronger. It happens only to weaker people or whatever else it is that you have read, right? You don’t believe it when it happens. So I’m pretty sure I must have been in it at least for a year and a half or two for sure until 

Priyamvada: None of it made sense to me. I mean I couldn’t have been weak for so long I couldn’t have been doing it wrong for so long and I couldn’t have been waking up crying every morning [00:07:00] if Other things in my life are going fine, right?

Priyamvada: What is my reason to cry? Why am I feeling so bad? Why? What is it? Am I not healthy? Yes, I am. Do I not have a job? Yeah, I have a job. Do I not have, I have, I can tick off all the boxes. So if you look at Maslow’s hierarchy and the basic needs, food, shelter, clothing I do have it all.

Priyamvada: Do I want to go on a holiday? Do I have the money for it? Yes. Then why is it that I am not feeling up to it? Why is it that none of what I have is making me happy? And it takes a while for you to realize that. Could this be, Am I burning out? Am I not feeling fulfilled? Is there something bigger to this?

Priyamvada: Because even today, when I talk to my parents and nothing against them, I love them and whatever they’ve taught me, I’m here for because of whatever they taught me. Even today, their standards of measuring success because of the society they came from and because of their conditioning and the time that they grew up in, it’s all about, you’ve got to graduate, you’ve got to have a job, and you’ve got to be married by the time you’re 24 or 25, and you’ve got to [00:08:00] have kids by the time you’re 28, and you miss any of those deadlines, or you do anything in the wrong order, oh my god you’re questioned, and you’re banned from the society in a way people look at you like, you know what, she did not do She did not finish her graduation at 21.

Priyamvada: Yeah, she failed and she’s now doing repeating a year and she’s going to miss out on her job. And so when I tell them that I have a marathon and I’m running, they say so who’s going to take care of the kids when you do that? There are two in parenting. There are usually two people.

Priyamvada: Yes, but no one plays as important a role as a mom. I’m like, yeah, but I’m only just gone for a few hours. I’m going to run and come back, but you’re also training. You’re taking away so much time from the kids. Yeah. Maybe you should just stay at home and worry about what’s going to happen with the kids.

Priyamvada: It’s your job. It’s your duty to, bring them up to raise them right, not be running around everywhere in the world. So they still don’t get it. And it’s taken me a while to change that definition of success. Our family WhatsApp group or a [00:09:00] friend’s WhatsApp group, the kind of information that gets exchanged is look, this person bought that house in this location, which has a swimming pool and yay, great for them.

Priyamvada: And I asked my mom, did you tell your cousins or whoever that I ran a marathon? She’s like. No, like, why is it? 

Priyamvada: Who tells people you’re running marathons?

Priyamvada: I don’t even know why you run marathons. She just doesn’t get it. So for me to have grown up in a certain way and for me to understand that there could be Possibly more definitions of success, and it could vary from person to person.

Priyamvada: That itself has taken a while that itself has taken some time. But I’m glad that, whatever happened. Otherwise, I don’t think I would ever reach this point. 

Rob: What I can see is you have a lot of passion and you have a lot of energy, and you have a lot of enthusiasm. 

Priyamvada: Thank you.

Rob: On a scale of one to 10, so 10 is 10 is what you have now? how much did you have back at that 2019? 

Priyamvada: Oh, passion energy, minus five, minus 10. . I didn’t have any. I did nothing. I would be on the couch, [00:10:00] my screen time, my scroll time. It amazed me when I started going on this journey and I read that see how much of time you’re putting into your phone.

Priyamvada: And I was like, two hours, maybe three hours. I couldn’t be doing more than that. I have a job, I have kids, I have so much to do. And then when I actually opened the phone and then it said nine hours, I was like, I’m on the phone for nine hours. That cannot be possible. And then it said, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp.

Priyamvada: It also shows you where are the apps where you’re spending more time. And it absolutely shocked me. I said, it cannot, how, when am I doing this? So I’m just all my waking hours and the time that I’m supposed to be sleeping and the time that I’m supposed to be taking care of my kids or the time that I’m supposed to be doing anything else.

Priyamvada: I am on the phone nine hours a day. It’s a lot of time. It’s more than one third of your day. When you realize something like that It’s scary. And no wonder I had no energy to do anything. No wonder I didn’t feel I had the time to do anything because I was putting it away everywhere else.

Priyamvada: I was trying to [00:11:00] feel good about life, maybe, or I was trying to numb the pain away. Actually by continuously scrolling and by looking at my feed and thinking, Oh my God, look at this person going on a holiday. I need to do that. Oh my God, look at this person. She’s got the perfectly clean house and she’s also a mom of four kids.

Priyamvada: I need to do that. And constantly comparing myself. No wonder I reached the point, where I did. Yeah. So I would put my energy levels definitely in the negative. Back then. 

Rob: That would be a a video of you then and a video now. I think would show.

Priyamvada: Absolutely. Yeah. The way I looked the way I felt it, it all spoke. I also say, your skin, your hair, it all reflects what you’re going in. There was, this was also the time I had so much acne on my face and I went to every dermatologist I knew. And I did all the creams and all the medication and everything they gave me, nothing worked.

Priyamvada: I would every time go to dermatologists and say, why is it? And they would be wondering, this works for even teenagers who have, huge [00:12:00] acne issues because of the hormonal changes they’re going through. Why is it not working for you? 

Priyamvada: But because I was so stressed because I was internalizing so much without even knowing. 

Priyamvada: I do have a picture of my skin before and after. And when I still see it every time I’m feeling, low. And every time I want to know how far I’ve come in life, I still look at that picture. I’m like, Oh my God, look at what I did to myself without even knowing. Look what it made to my skin.

Priyamvada: Look what it did to my face. So yeah, it’s sometimes pretty crazy how much your body is telling you every way it can, whether it’s hair fall, whether it’s the way your skin looks, but all that fat I was putting on. I was really heavy for someone, my height for someone, my age, and for someone who claimed to be walking two hours on the treadmill, I was really heavy because it did nothing to me.

Priyamvada: I was just casually on the treadmill staring away and just walking for no reason, just doing it for the heck of doing it. So it all showed up. It all showed up in the way I look in my physical aspect, in my mental aspect, if you don’t take care of it, the good [00:13:00] and bad, it compounds, and then it starts showing up for sure.

Rob: At some point there was some realization and you said you started reading. So what was the first thing that you did when you start to become aware of how you were feeling and your unhappiness what was the first thing you did? 

Priyamvada: Okay, the first thing I, so the first book I read in this phase was something my friend recommended.

Priyamvada: She said, you should read this book, the power of subconscious mind. It tells you a lot about your subconscious energy and what actually happens in your mind. Maybe it’ll give you an insight into what you’re going through. So I just started reading the book and all the examples in the book, it actually Made it seem very unreal to me, where there are so many examples.

Priyamvada: He talks about how people are looking for love and they find love. People are looking for job and they find job. You just need to start listening to your voice. You need to start building your awareness. You need to speak to your mind and you need to let your mind speak to you. So the first thing I started doing was that actually I started waking up about 45 minutes earlier than usual.

Priyamvada: And [00:14:00] I would just sit in a corner on the couch before anybody else woke up and I would just close my eyes and visualize what I wanted to feel and what I wanted my life to look like. Every time I’ve wanted my life to look in a certain way, but I felt that I’m not smiling. I felt that my jaws are clenching and I’m tensing that up.

Priyamvada: I knew it’s not what I wanted. And I needed that time to self reflect, to build that awareness and to see that, no, that’s not what I’m looking for. It’s not, I want to be happy thinking that I need to buy a house of this size, but I’m somehow not feeling it. I’m not feeling that happiness when I think of the house.

Priyamvada: So what is it that I really want to do? So that was the first thing I did, to wake up every morning and to take the time off for myself before I became anybody else, then I have to call my mom and have to send the kids to school. And then I have to be go be this worker in the office.

Priyamvada: And I have to call my brother and I have to attend to my friend who’s having. So I’m all throughout the day, I’m playing so many roles that [00:15:00] I don’t have time to pause and listen to what my what’s going on in my head. I’m taking in so much information that’s coming from everybody else. It’s coming from so many sources.

Priyamvada: So that point in the day, that 45 minutes in the morning was my time where I really started working on my self awareness to discover what makes me happy, what doesn’t make me happy. And I think that was a starting point for everything else.

 I’m listening to your story and it’s there’s nothing of you in it.

Rob: You’re doing everything that you’re supposed to be doing, but there’s no part of you that’s being nurtured. There’s no part of you that’s been expressed. And yeah, so if you don’t have that, your life is going to be lifeless because there is none of you in it, it’s just being a good kind of robot.

Priyamvada: Yeah, absolutely, for sure, 

Priyamvada: Again, I don’t want to blame anything or anyone, but it’s probably, it probably a lot of it probably also comes from the culture, where you grew up from all the social conditioning that you grew up in.

Priyamvada: I remember this one instance. So I was in graduation and I was an economic student [00:16:00] until the point I hit graduation. I was what you call typically a star student, right? Getting all the A plus grades and. My score was something as bizarre as 98. 5 percent out of 100. So being really in the top league and I could put my admission into any college, any top university, and I would get it.

Priyamvada: So it was all working out and my parents were happy. They would flaunt me everywhere. Oh, look at our daughter. She secured a place in this college. Oh, look at her daughter. She won this competition. And. I was so used to that validation. So if my parents weren’t showing me off, I was, I thought I’m not doing something right.

Priyamvada: I’m supposed to be the star everyone talks about, but then I got into college. And this was the first time I was away from my parents from home. And that was a different life. I saw that was a different life. I experienced so much to do. Nobody controlling me really, nobody saying, hey, it’s 430 in the morning.

Priyamvada: It’s time to wake up and start doing your maths questions. This is the time in the morning you’re active. So [00:17:00] nobody to Tell me anything, absolute free time. And I just did what I wanted to do. I went out, I went for music shows, I went for dramatic shows. I just did whatever made me happy, which basically meant when it was time for me to do my examinations, I failed the paper and the university where I was studying if I failed a paper, You had to stay in the hostel and the hostel admissions were based on your grades.

Priyamvada: So not everybody could get in the hostel. Only students who got good grades could get inside the hostel. And my parents, this was far away from home. So my parents only condition to send me away was you will stay in the hostel that is within the college campus. Because that’s the only place where we feel, you’re safe.

Priyamvada: And I had signed up for it and me failing an exam meant that they kicked me out of hostel, which for my parents meant I had to quit college and I was horrified. When I look back I can laugh at it, but at that point of time, it was the worst horrible thing that could ever happen to me, like failing in an exam in a paper and my parents, they were [00:18:00] distraught, they were upset.

Priyamvada: They wouldn’t go to any social gatherings because they couldn’t talk about me anymore and everyone’s so what’s Priya’s grades this time? Oh, she failed a paper. Can you imagine them saying that? So My conditioning was all about how much external validation you can get how much you can get people to appreciate you How much you can get people to say “oh my god, look at her life. Oh my god. Look at what she’s doing She’s so successful” 

Priyamvada: And I had internalized so much of that while growing up that no wonder I reached this point where I thought if somebody else is not validating what I’m doing, that I’m not successful, which is really not the place to be.

Rob: So you read the book. You started visualizing what you wanted. So tell me a little bit more about what happened next. You started gaining some awareness? 

Priyamvada: Yes, definitely started building awareness for sure.

Priyamvada: I started journaling. I started writing out why I wanted something. And that was one place where I could be really honest with myself, right? When you’re writing, it’s your journal. There’s no external validation. There’s nobody looking in it. [00:19:00] You don’t have to do anything to the world. And I started asking myself, why is it that you want to do this?

Priyamvada: Why is it that you want to do something? Why is it that you want to go after, whatever you want to go after. And that sort of gave me a lot of clarity. It’s funny. So I started by basically experimenting on very small things that would actually be inconsequential in the larger scheme of life to see how this works.

Priyamvada: And I was absolutely blown away. This is one incident I caught everywhere. When I started visualizing, for example I wanted to try something very easy and something that wouldn’t have an impact on my life whatsoever. And one day I said, okay, I want to travel business class.

Priyamvada: I’ve never traveled business class. My parents tell me it’s only for people who have a lot of money and it’s. We don’t have a lot of money, but I want that experience. And then the pandemic happened, couldn’t travel everywhere. And then things opened up and I hadn’t seen my parents in three years. So I was going to go home and I said, okay, I’m going to go in business class.

Priyamvada: And then I looked at tickets. I was like, I cannot afford that. They are [00:20:00] expensive. My parents are right. But I want to go in business class. I do want that experience because I just want to try it out. I want that feeling. I want to know how it is. And I want to experience what it feels like. So every day I would visualize me in business class and, I would imagine all those the flight attendants coming to me and serving me this gorgeous looking dinner plates and me enjoying them, lying flat on the bed, all of this.

Priyamvada: I booked my tickets. I booked them in economy. I’m all set for travel. So my family and me, we head to the airport counter. It’s packed. It’s busy. And we have an infant at that point of time and I’m like, we’re going to miss the flight. So I rushed to the counter and I say, sorry, can you help us check in?

Priyamvada: Because we have an infant and I also need to nurse her. She’s just three months and I cannot stand in this line. So could you please help us out? And she was kind. She said, yes. And then while standing there, I said I know this is too last minute, but Out of curiosity, I just want to know what an upgrade to a business class would cost right now.

Priyamvada: And she looks at me and she says, ma’am, you mean an upgrade to first class? I said no, that’ll [00:21:00] come not right now, but I’m thinking about an upgrade to business class. How much would it cost just for a seat? So I thought maybe just me and my infant could go. And then she looks at my ticket and she looks at me and she said, but ma’am, you are already in business class.

Priyamvada: I said, no, I am in economy class. I am not in business class. And she said no, you are in business class. These are your seats. I said, but I booked them in economy. How did this happen? She said, you must’ve got a message on your phone. We sent it at 8am this morning that you’ve been upgraded. I didn’t have time to check my phone because we were in a rush.

Priyamvada: We needed to get to the airport. I had no idea that message me. And I said, how is this possible? This how can this happen? And she obviously couldn’t get my confusion at that point. She said ma’am. I don’t understand. You not want to travel. Do you want first class? Are you okay? Is something wrong said?

Priyamvada: No just i’m sorry. I couldn’t explain what was going on, but it was Unbelievable. It’s as bizarre as that and from that point on Every little thing that i’ve truly wanted every little thing That I’ve known why I have wanted [00:22:00] it, where my self conscious, where my awareness has been right. It’s worked out in the last three years and I cannot tell this enough to people how much visualization, how much building your self awareness, how much working on yourself actually empowers you to get what you want.

Priyamvada: It’s not magic. It’s something beyond that. You cannot put it in words. You just have to experience it to know how it actually is. Yeah. This is just one example. I could quote a million more that’s happened in life where you would think, how is it even possible? And I thought the same, when I read the book, when I see people say, Oh, you just have, it’s just your energy, it’s what you feel.

Priyamvada: It’s what you put out there. I thought the same. I said, how can it just be energy? Come on, there’s laws, there’s physics. There’s so much science in this world. It just can’t be energy, but it is. It’s so much is yeah. 

Rob: How did the fitness and health become more… first question. Do you now go business Class no. 

Priyamvada: Just was enough. No. I do get upgraded now and then, of course, but I don’t spend my time visualizing just that because I have so much more to [00:23:00] visualize. It’s just an experience I wanted to try. It feels great.

Priyamvada: And yes, at that point of time, my daughter was an infant. So it’s also easier to pay for three tickets as opposed to four business class tickets but then I tell myself that if I’m flying somewhere longer than seven hours, then I think it’s okay to be business class. But if it’s a short flight anything less than that, I do economy.

Priyamvada: But the experience was great. And it just helped me believe more in myself and believe more in whatever I was trying to do. I think that’s what I was trying to achieve. And to your question as to how all of this led to fitness is because fitness is not just how you look, it’s not just the shape of your body.

Priyamvada: It actually starts here in your head. And that translates to every aspect of your life. And that is why that sitting in the morning all by myself that journal, journaling those moments of self awareness, that’s what it helped me build. I realized slowly I got in touch with fitness coach who actually guided me.

Priyamvada: He helped me do the exam. He [00:24:00] also broke down a lot of myths for me. He was able to tell me why walking on the treadmill for two hours was not working, why it was not doing anything for my mind, why it was not doing anything for the way I looked, why I was not fitting into my clothes. Helped me really understand nutrition and not just, oh, eating quinoa is healthy, but if quinoa Is protein but quinoa is also carb loaded protein 

Priyamvada: Avocado is healthy. Yes. It’s healthy fat But if you eat only that then you’re just going to pile on fat and you’ll not get anything else Understand the difference between nutrition and calories understand Why just me going on a salad diet is not going to take my weight away It’s only going to make it come back really hard when it does and all of those aspects help me change my lifestyle, so I started eating healthy And when you start eating healthy, you feel good, when you feel good you think good, when you think good you do good So they’re all connected. 

Priyamvada: It’s a cycle. It cannot work in isolation. You cannot only do your journaling or you cannot only do your visualization and not do the other aspects of it. It all [00:25:00] adds up. It all ties in together.

Priyamvada: When you realize why you want to do something when you visualize your life, you say, okay I want to look a certain way. How do I do it? I do it by exercising four times a week. Okay. I’m a busy mom. I don’t have four times a week. I have two times a week. Okay. So how do I, Okay. Do that two times a week.

Priyamvada: What all do I do those two days when I have to exercise, what kind of food do I need to eat? How much of that food do I need to eat? You start questioning everything that you know, you start wondering about everything, and everything you don’t know and you build your life from there. And which is why I say it all starts up here.

Priyamvada: Even when you want to look physically good, it starts up here because a lot of people say, Okay, I have the time. I’m going to, lift weights five times a week and I’m going to walk, do my 10, 000 steps and then 10 days later they say I got bored or I didn’t feel like doing it anymore.

Priyamvada: Or, hey, I had the social gathering and I couldn’t do it for beyond five days. And that’s when [00:26:00] you are telling yourself and your mind. This is it. This is my limit. I can only do something for five days. I don’t want to do it because if I do anything beyond that, it’s boring. Who eats the same kind of food for 90 days in a row?

Priyamvada: Who walks 10, 000 steps for six months in a row? It’s all the boring stuff that nobody wants to do. Which is why me. You need a strong why, which is why you need your awareness, which is why everything starts up here in the mind, which is where you need to start building things. The example so people question is so you run all those races just to get like a free banana at the end of it.

Priyamvada: I’m like if you put it that way, it sounds really horrible. And it is not a free banana. You have to pay for your shoes. You have to pay for the gels and you have to pay for the entry ticket, but that’s besides the point, right? If you don’t know why you’re doing it, then you will feel like your life is just after that free banana.

Priyamvada: So build up your reason, build up your awareness, figure out why you want to do something. And once you have that strong why, work towards it. You don’t. That builds up your mental stamina, that builds up your [00:27:00] discipline, that builds up your commitment. And when you have these things in control, then everything else will work around it.

Priyamvada: That’s why I say mental and physical, they go together. It all, it’s all one big cohesive unit.

Rob: That’s really interesting for me. So my journey in what I do started 30 years ago and I’d always read. And so by the time I was like I used to read a book at night, so I’d read all the kids stories. I’d read all the teenagers stories. I’d read all the football biographies, I got into the self help, I got into the business books.

Rob: Read all the kind of self help books and that by, in my teenage years. So I looked at fitness as, okay, you want to make the most of everything, make the most of life. And I saw an opportunity in gyms were new. And so I opened up a gym. Although I opened it all up with loans and debt I studied as a nutritionist.

Rob: And. It’s a job that everyone wants to do or like I found almost everyone wants to be in fitness and for me I was bored It was like how quick can I get [00:28:00] someone through there? So I trained as a nutritionist and I was giving people these plans and I was like nobody’s gonna stick You know, no, I saw no one was sticking and the economics of a gym certainly back then was you had to pretty much tie someone to a year’s membership.

Rob: And it was like, I’m selling this year’s membership. But I know statistically, most people are going to quit after three months. It’s interesting for me to see that the way that you came to it is I see there’s so much more life in what you do and so much more passion.

Rob: I was doing it as a business. And it was more, I wanted to scale up a business and it was not, we’re never going to be the vehicle that I was looking for. I have a low tolerance for failure. And so when people weren’t working, I was like, okay, I need to understand why how do people get results? And so this is when I went into therapy. And I ended up doing therapy on everyone who wanted to join the gym. Actually what I found was people weren’t really looking for fitness. They were looking, there was another problem in their life and it was mostly around [00:29:00] relationships.

Rob: It was, they thought that their partner was cheating on them. They were thinking of leaving the relationship. They just got over a breakup. It was mostly for a reason like that. And three months later that problem is gone. And so they don’t have the motivation to go through the pain and the discomfort.

Rob: So anyway, I left the gym with a manager and I closed it down after six years. But that’s really what got me into why what, what do people need? 

Rob: So it’s fascinating for me to see the different journey that you took. The question I have is, given that most people are going to try all these things, they’re going to have the New Year’s resolutions and they’re going to fail.

Rob: How how do you cope with that? And also how do you help people when they get started so that it becomes more sustainable. 

Priyamvada: I always start by having long conversations with them. And understanding again, why is it that they want to do something? What are they looking for?

Priyamvada: What is it that they’re trying to change? 

Priyamvada: Just get to know them more as a person, as opposed to just [00:30:00] say, okay, this is how much you weigh. This is the food that you need to eat. And this is how you’re going to get there. Which is all the scientific way of doing it. But I also I, it would really help for me to understand how they actually, or why they actually want to do what they want to do.

Priyamvada: And then of course, when I am making plans for them, I always not just check their enthusiasm for fitness or how much they want to change their life. But I’m constantly also talking to them about what are your stress levels? What are your energy levels? Like, how did you feel last week? What upset you?

Priyamvada: What did you feel good about? What did you do? Did you look for any kind of food when you felt that way? Or what was your coping mechanism? Have you always been doing it? Helps me understand them more as a person when I’m making their plans. When I’m tailor making their plans when they say, I absolutely cannot do four times a week.

Priyamvada: It is too much for me. Then I give them the realistic picture. I said, that’s fine. You can do only two times a week. That’s also okay. It’s still better than not doing anything, but also know [00:31:00] that whatever it is that you’re aiming for will take that much longer give them the realistic picture.

Priyamvada: It’s not those magazines and those glossy covers, they do a damn good, even social media, they do a damn good job of selling you an ideal body and ideal life. But it takes a lot of discipline, a lot of discipline to actually get there. Women and men function differently. We have different sort of hormones for you to look like that influencer on social media.

Priyamvada: She’s been doing this work for many years. You are going to start doing now. She is 25 years old. You are 45 years old. It is her job to look good. You are a full time parent with four kids. Understand the difference in lifestyle. She probably has four people who do her hair and makeup, somebody to help her, eat those nutritious meals, somebody who does a grocery.

Priyamvada: It’s not the same for you. You have to take our time to go to the grocery store, get those meals, make those meals. Stock those meals, eat those meals, do the dishes. There is a huge difference in [00:32:00] lifestyle. So while it is great to be inspired by others, also know the real side of the story. I am not trying to disappoint you.

Priyamvada: I’m only trying to tell you what is possible and what is possible in how much time can you go on an 1,100, – 1,000 calorie a day diet and lose all that weight really quickly? Yes, you can. Is it sustainable? No, it’s not. It’s all going to come back and then you’re going to feel worse. And then you’re going to feel horrible.

Priyamvada: And then you’re going to think of yourself as a failure because you could not keep that weight off. And then you just get into the cycle of feeling guilty punishing yourself, feeling more guilty, punishing more, it never ends. So it helps me to understand the why, and what I have noticed also in the last couple of years is a lot of people who come to me for coaching.

Priyamvada: Do not come to me in January, they come to me sometime. In Feb or in March when actually the new year high dies down. I don’t know why, I don’t know the exact reason behind why this is [00:33:00] happening as a trend, because I was also one of those consumers who would sign up at the gym for a new membership in December to look good for December 31st and then not go after a certain point.

Priyamvada: But I do notice a lot of people. Don’t come to me in January. It’s always in the months after a lot of them, even mid year, like June, July, August, when there is no connection to new year, when there’s probably some other life shift that has happened, that’s making them do it, which I think is a good thing in a way you’re not actually.

Priyamvada: Waiting for the new year moments to feel like your life is going to magically change into something else after the clock strikes 12.

Rob: Okay. So the key, your key to their success is finding their why. I’m really curious about what your why is in helping people. 

Priyamvada: Actually, someone asked me this yesterday on on LinkedIn. And, he said probably the same person you and me both know him. Saeed asked me this. He said, what’s your dharma?

Priyamvada: And I said, what’s dharma? I know what the word means, but what do you mean by asking me this? He said, what is your purpose like in [00:34:00] life? It was, it came to me so naturally without thinking to tell him my purpose in life is to empower other people to know that they can transform their lives into anything they want and be whoever they want to be through the power of physical and mental fitness, through the power of physical and mental wellbeing, no matter I have lived in so many countries, 

Priyamvada: I have lived in so many cities, my job, my family everything is taking me across so many continents and everywhere I go, yes, people look different people eat different, people celebrate different festivals but all of us at the end of the day only want the same things.

Priyamvada: We all want to be loved. We all want to love. We all want to feel safe. We want to make people who we love, feel safe. We want to be happy. You can go to Africa. You can go to South America, Brazil, U.S. Everywhere. People, no one is going to tell you, I want to wake up feeling crappy in the morning, or I want to wake up feeling like I don’t want to go through the day.

Priyamvada: Everyone wants to wake [00:35:00] up happy. Everyone wants to feel happy. Once the basic needs of food, shelter, and money are taken care of. The basic amount that you need to keep your life sustainable. We all want the same thing, no matter how we look, no matter what our race is, no matter what our caste is, no matter what our religion is, no matter where we come from, what our upbringing is.

Priyamvada: And that is what I want to tell people. That is what I want to empower them with, spread that knowledge. Tell people you are capable, you can do this. And this is not me saying this because everybody says, yes, you can. It’s me showing you how you can telling you showing you all the ways in which you possibly can change your life.

Priyamvada: And once these are sustainable ways, when you start meditating, when you start exercising, when you start journaling, when you start building self awareness, when you visualize, And what it does to your life, it’s very hard for you to go back to not doing that. You will probably happen is you’ll start by meditating two minutes a day and go to five, 10, 15, 20 minutes.

Priyamvada: You will only do more of it. You will never want to do less of it because [00:36:00] how it makes you feel is like it charges you with some super power. And every one of us, we all have it within us. We just don’t give ourselves enough time to bring that out. We numb ourselves. We say, okay, we have to be busy.

Priyamvada: We have to keep running. We have to keep chasing. We have to keep hustling. We have to do so much because everybody’s doing so much. And then you’re not really giving yourself that quiet moment, quiet moments to know who you are, what you want in life. And the only way to get to know this is by physical and mental fitness.

Priyamvada: Physical and mental wellbeing. There is no other way. There’s no money. There’s nothing on eBay or on Amazon or any of those popular sites in the world that you can buy you cannot buy your health, that’s it. 

Rob: That’s interesting because when I look at your profile, you’ve come up through from, it looks like fashion to me, it looks like you.

Rob: Retail 

Priyamvada: industry. Yes. 

Rob: When I look at your profile, it looks like your your interest, cause you talked about, you used to do fitness to fit into the clothes [00:37:00] to, to look like, the cover girl or that. So young Priya was like following, what mom and dad said and what culture said and doing this fit then.

Rob: I’m guessing you were looking at, I don’t know, Vogue or whatever it is. And I want to be like that and trying to match your life to other people’s. Like the glossy magazines is that the journey you took? 

Priyamvada: What do you mean? Match my life to other people? 

Rob: So when I look at you, where you worked at retail, but it was fashion retail, it was high end fashion retail on, on, aspirational about brands was that the life you were aspiring to?

Priyamvada: The younger Priya, maybe the younger Priya, maybe. But after that, I never aspired for it. I never worked towards it. Although I have been working in retail brands. My focus has been more on the business side of it, more on the e commerce side of it. Understanding the numbers, the sales, the growth that bit of it.

Priyamvada: I never consciously worked towards being a part of a certain brand. Definitely [00:38:00] not after I was 27. I can see that for sure. Till that age. Yes. Again, one of those things which I really wanted without knowing why I wanted it. So from the age of 14, I always wanted to work for Ralph Lauren as a brand.

Priyamvada: No idea why don’t ask me at 14 years. I had no, why I just wanted to work because I think that clothes look great. And I wanted to be a part of that, wear great clothes. And I got an opportunity to work for them. That was the only brand where I seriously put in my time and effort to work for them.

Priyamvada: I made my resume. I did everything before that, but after that, no, not really. I have never consciously looked it. The opportunities came my way. If it interested me, I would take it up, but I never consciously worked towards being in a particular brand as such. I would more look for what the role offered me, if it would make me learn something, if it would challenge me to a certain extent, and if I would just not be repeating whatever I’ve been doing for the last three years.

Priyamvada: I think my effort went after 30, especially my efforts were more towards that. [00:39:00] It’s just a coincidence that I have my, those brands on my resume. 

Rob: Okay, so you have a lot of knowledge, you have a lot of passion wondering, have you organized all of that? Is there a kind of model that you work from?

Priyamvada: What do you mean by that? 

Rob: You can organize your, knowledge into, because when you talked about, because what I’m hearing from you is you mentioned Maslow’s and I see that you have an alternative type of Maslow model in you.

Rob: In the ways that you’re talking. 

Rob: Talked about first class business class and economy, I think that’s what you’re talking about in life is I think when people are on autopilot, they live an economy life. They just get herded in and do what they want.

Rob: When you get to business and first class, it’s shaped by what you want. It’s shaped. 

Rob: When you talk about health and fitness, what you’re really talking about is you can live life. Powered like minimal battery life. And I think what, what’s coming across with you is how much energy [00:40:00] and enthusiasm and passion that you have.

Rob: And you have to be in good health to have that. 

Rob: If it were me selling it, I would be looking at do you want to live a first class life or an economy class life? 

Rob: And I think that is all powered by where you get your energy from. If you get your energy from aspirations, social media, junk food you don’t have much.

Rob: And what you’re teaching people is how to get more from themselves. I think 

Priyamvada: I hadn’t thought of it that way at all. But I love that you put it this way and I think I’m going to quote you and use it as well. I think you’re absolutely right. Yeah. If if you don’t know what you want, there’ll always be somebody telling you what you will reach a point in life.

Priyamvada: And it’s not a question of if you will reach that point, it’s a question of when you will reach that point in life where you will question everything that you know, you will question what things mean to you and why you’re doing whatever you’re doing. That is a given if you’re just being told. And if you just follow the herd it’s a given and only you can tell yourself what you want. There’s nobody, not your parents, not your partner, not your [00:41:00] children, not people who love you. No one can tell you what you want in life as much as you can. Only you know yourself, honestly, only you can be truthful to yourself. Your parents can guide you. Yes. Your loved ones can offer you support, but it’s still got to be you.

Priyamvada: It has to be you who has to save yourself, drive yourself. It’s all up to you. There are, million ways to do it. But as I keep saying, the way to get started is by laying your foundation, right? It empowers you so much. It drastically changes your life. And like you said it, it puts you in first class.

Priyamvada: And maybe it even puts you in the pilot seat. You’re flying the plane. It’s your life. And you know where you want to land it. You know what altitude you want to fly at. Maybe there’s another plane that’s flying much higher than you. Maybe you don’t want it. You’re happy cruising at this altitude.

Priyamvada: So you figure out what is it that works for you. And it’s that example I gave you of getting the free banana at the end of a marathon, right? If you [00:42:00] look at it as, I’m running this race for a free banana, then you really won’t be able to run beyond a marathon. But if it’s something else you’re seeking much beyond that, you’ve got your why and you know why you’re doing it.

Priyamvada: A lot of people also ask me Sunday mornings, really all races are on Sunday mornings. Why would you want to ruin your Sunday? It’s a perfect day to sleep in. Who wakes up at 8am to run? I’m like the race is just the final bit of it. Getting there to the starting line for the race at 9am is the final bit that I’m training towards, but there are so many other weekends before that, that I have to wake up and train.

Priyamvada: Not just that I cannot have as much alcohol as other people doing social gatherings because it affects my performance. It affects my training. It affects my metabolism. I cannot stay up late. I cannot be in a party till 1 a. m. 2 a. m. all night. When I hear my friends say, Oh, that was so much fun. We were up till 4 a m. 

Priyamvada: There is this one part of me that says really, but then immediately I know, but that’s not what I want. I’m sure it was fun, but I don’t feel left out [00:43:00] anymore. A younger Priya, someone in the twenties, I would have big FOMO. I would think, Oh my God, they’re all having so much fun. And I’m here sleeping and not doing anything.

Priyamvada: I should have stayed up there. I should have had the alcohol. I should have been up till 5. 00 AM. That is life. So much fun. But only, like I said, only you can eventually tell yourself what truly matters to you. Give yourself that time. Give yourself lots of time to discover yourself and you will know your life can change.

Rob: That’s probably the biggest barrier people have, isn’t it? FOMO. Which is social media and all of those things. Yeah, it’s interesting what you say, because I always, I think the way we think is like a model and we have to break that model. 

Priyamvada: Yeah. 

Rob: For me, there’s something called the think free rebellion.

Rob: I think everyone has to come to that point of rebelling and I can see that’s when your life changed when you took control and rebelled against what everyone said to live your life. 

Rob: So your life changed, I can see like dramatically, the amount of energy and life [00:44:00] that you have compared to what you talked about in the past. But I can imagine you’ve already alluded to that, that it’s difficult for your parents. So how have your relationships changed? 

Priyamvada: Interesting.

Priyamvada: I would say definitely that it hasn’t changed a lot with my dad. My father doesn’t get it, but he respects it. Okay. This is what do you want to do? This is what makes you happy. Fair enough. But it is a bit more difficult with my mom in the sense that we don’t have a common conversation to talk about.

Priyamvada: It’s easier for my mom to talk about. The more obvious social definitions of success. So she finds it very comfortable to say, this person got a job in that company paying so much money and he’s only 30 and he already is a millionaire and he’s got these skills and that’s what put him out there and she’s very comfortable talking about that.

Priyamvada: So then we hit a wall, my mom and me, we hit a wall because after a point, I just say [00:45:00] that’s good for him. That’s really nice. That’s interesting. He’s doing it. And I find it difficult to continue the conversation beyond that. But if she were to, for example, ask me so how was it running the Dubai marathon?

Priyamvada: How did you run so fast or so slow? What are you doing? I could go on and on, but that’s not probably what would help her have conversations, right? 

Priyamvada: So she wouldn’t understand it. She would wonder why I’m spending four hours on a Sunday. In a city like Dubai, running 42 kilometers she still says it’s bad for your knees, it’s bad for your health you’re getting old this is not what you should be doing you should try more yoga, that’s good for the body, all comes from a good place so yes Between my mom and me, for sure we find it difficult to talk beyond certain aspects.

Priyamvada: With my father, it’s been the same. But the one person who has been the most encouraging and with whom I have even bettered my relationship in spite of the distance is my brother. Because probably since we grew up in the same household and with the same set of social conditioning he was a rebel much before me, when [00:46:00] my parents would say be a doctor. He would say, no, I’m going to be an engineer. 

Priyamvada: For me, it was like, if my parents would be a doctor, I’d say, okay, whatever you say, I’m going to be a doctor. So he has seen the evolution in me. He has seen who I was and who I am today. And he’s very supportive of that. He’s always, what is your next race?

Priyamvada: Send me pictures. Did you hit your PB? What are you doing for your training? He talks about all this, right? 

Priyamvada: He invests his time and his energy into knowing what pushes me. And although I haven’t seen him for the last five and a half years we still share that connect. We still share that vibe and we’re in a much better place than we used to be many years ago.

Priyamvada: So it works differently. I think with different people. Some people. Get what you’re doing. And some people don’t. The one aspect of it, which I really enjoy outside of my family relationships is how it’s changed my relationship with my friends. I have been able to get some of them to actually put in time into exercising, right?

Priyamvada: And it’s not because I’m coaching them. It’s not because I gave them a plan. It’s them [00:47:00] just watching me, doing me things. And at some point they would make fun of me. At some point they’d say, who eats like that? That is so boring. That’s oh, come on. There’s so many, there’s fun food in this world.

Priyamvada: Live your life. And I would just smile at them and say, I’m happy you’re eating what you like. And I’m happy, I’m eating what I like. And that was three years ago, cut to today to see them eat the kind of food that I’m eating to, watch them say, Oh no, I got to hit the bed at 10 30 because I wake up at six to, walk for 90 minutes every day that makes me feel good.

Priyamvada: That makes me, even if you can influence one person’s life to see them. Put in that effort to get to bed at 10 30 so that they can wake up at six o’clock. That makes me so happy. It’s not because they’re paying me. It’s not because I’m coaching them. It’s just them trying it out one day, probably because they have been seeing me do it for so long and then seeing the value in it, and now there’s just not able to go back to it.

Priyamvada: So I think that kind of relationship, those kinds of friendships, that really makes me [00:48:00] happy. 

Rob: You’re inspiring the people around you. I’m 

Priyamvada: trying to, yeah. 

Rob: Who inspires you? 

Priyamvada: My dad, my father, for sure. So he’s 70. So my dad, I believe is every self help book you can ever read in this world turned into a human being, everything that you can read. 

Priyamvada: I’ve seen him do things that I never made sense of in my childhood, which I actually want to do now, or which I am doing right now, which makes perfect sense because for example so my dad is a writer by hobby and he worked in a full time government role. So he had his regular nine to five. And then in spite of all of that, he’s written about 50 books in an Indian language and the drawing room in our house, in my parents house is full of all his awards and pictures and meeting different celebrities who are giving him all kinds of awards for the work that he’s put in to change the face of literature.

Priyamvada: And everybody would ask him the same question. You have a nine to five job and you’re also writing books and how are you doing [00:49:00] that? And he would say, I just write every day. And I’ve seen him do that. He would get us to bed. And then he will be writing, even today when he comes home to visit us.

Priyamvada: If I have to take a bathroom break in the middle of the night at 3am, I wake up and I see the lights on somewhere. I know he’s writing. And he says, there’s no, you don’t, you just do it. When you want to do something, it just comes to you. You just do it. And I have seen him therefore say No to so many things which used to really offend people in the beginning.

Priyamvada: Hey, can you come for this social gathering at 11? And he would say, I’m sorry, I cannot, I have to write, but if you’re okay, I would come at 12 and I will be there for 15 minutes. He did that on my wedding day. I’m getting married at 9 AM and he tells my mom, okay, I have nothing to do. She’s getting married.

Priyamvada: There’s somebody making the food. There’s somebody doing the decor. I will come at 8 45 AM because I have things to finish. And my mom is furious. Your daughter, she’s getting married. Can you for one show up? There will be people. So he says, but those people, [00:50:00] you’re there for those people. I’m going to come at nine.

Priyamvada: She’s going to get married. And then I have a meeting with a publisher from 11 to 1130. And my mom still gets furious, right? She doesn’t understand this. She says, how can you do this on your daughter’s wedding day? But that’s how he guards his boundaries. That’s how he says, I’m going to be there for the most important moment of her life.

Priyamvada: And then I’m also going to take care for what’s important to me. Every morning, he goes for a walk an hour. Every evening he’s doing yoga. Every day he’s carrying his book around, right? He calls that his book of random thoughts. And every time he sees an interesting thing on the road, or he meets some interesting people somewhere, he just writes it down.

Priyamvada: He comes home to Netherlands and he knows more about my neighbors in five days than I’ve known about them in five years. He talks about them in first person because he has no ego. He has no barrier. He doesn’t think how do I approach someone? What do I say? He just talks. He goes to somebody he likes what they say what they say to him, and he tells me Robin was telling me that his kids are going to [00:51:00] this school. 

Priyamvada: I say, who’s Robin? You don’t know Robin? The one who lives in house number 87? That’s three houses away from you. I’m like, no, I don’t know Robin and stop talking to random people.

Priyamvada: But he doesn’t think, how do I approach someone? How do I make conversation? What do they think about me? What about my accent? What do I say to them? 

Priyamvada: None of those things. He doesn’t have fear of missing out. He doesn’t have ego. All he does is show up every day to do what he loves doing. And that is writing. And he inspires me every day. 

Priyamvada: Therefore I wish he always tells me though, he apologizes and he says, I wish I had the courage to guide you or to show you that life can be different, but I came from a very different background where my parents couldn’t even afford to buy oil to cook. And so I never wanted to face that and I didn’t want my children to face that.

Priyamvada: So it’s probably why I’m very risk averse and why I didn’t tell you that you can do more in life than the chosen path, but I’m happy that you’re still, which is why I said the relationship with my father is very different [00:52:00] than the one with my mom, but he’s my inspiration. 

Rob: He sounds inspiring.

Rob: So when I look at that from the lens of the think free rebellion, it sounds like your dad went through that maybe younger or, but somewhere he’s defined what he wants from life and how he’s going to get it. Do you think your mom has? 

Priyamvada: No. My mom No, she likes to confirm to. Yeah, she likes to, she does like to fit in.

Priyamvada: It’s important for her. She does not like to stand out. She does not like not at least in the wrong way. She does find it difficult to accept if someone in her social gathering, in her set of people say, hey, you didn’t do this. No she’s not okay breaking the rules.

Priyamvada: But dad, yes. To some extent he even supported me, for example. Was because of him that I was able to go outside home to study in college. I studied economics back then, or maybe even now, I’m not sure. It was not a thing to study. Everybody in school, everybody at home, all my friends, all religious, they were all against me studying economics because they wanted me to study computer science [00:53:00] and become an engineer and follow that path.

Priyamvada: And I was just not interested. I said, I don’t get science. I don’t get engineering. And they would say, but you’re so good. Look at your scores. You got like a 98 in science. I’m like, I got the score because I studied for it. I didn’t get the score because I like it. There’s a huge difference. But it was my father then who said is if economics is what you want to do and if this is the college you want to do it, even if it’s a four hour flight from here will make that happen for you.

Priyamvada: So he’s, if it’s a good cause, he’s always supported and I don’t think I would have been able to do a lot of things in life had he not stood by me. Yeah.

Rob: Okay. So now in terms of how you work with people please tell us a little bit about what you do, what it looks like for someone to work with you 

Priyamvada: with me. Ah, that’s interesting. You mean I don’t know. Should I be praising myself here? I think again I’ve grown as a person. I’ve grown as a leader.

Priyamvada: I had a very different idea of what a leader should be when I started my career, probably because of the kind of leaders I encountered, bossy, always telling you what to do. [00:54:00] Going over everything you do, going over everything you don’t do, picking on your mistakes. Yeah. So I thought I should be at a point in life, in my corporate career, where I will get to be this person who can then tell the employees what to do, what not to do and pick on them and point their mistakes.

Priyamvada: But there was this one manager I worked with and I always quote her. Her name is Alison. I worked with her when I was in Ralph Lauren and she completely changed my idea of what a leader should be like, what a leader should look like. Till I met her. I had no idea what a leader was like, how someone’s supposed to be.

Priyamvada: She was compassionate. She had the empathy. She understood, she gave you room to grow. She showed me off in front of other people. When I did something nice, she didn’t take credit for herself. When there was a larger leadership meeting, she would say, Priya put in this effort and Priya got these results.

Priyamvada: She never made it look like it was her job. She always checked in with me, when we had our one on ones, she showed me that we could have conversations [00:55:00] beyond work. Sometimes she would just ask me, how are you feeling? What are your energy levels? Do you want to discuss work?

Priyamvada: Is there something else going on in your life you want to talk about? And she showed me that a leader can be human. She would do all these tiny little things, for example, buying Christmas gifts for people customized Christmas gifts for people, somebody like the spa, somebody like different variety of cheese or somebody like wine.

Priyamvada: And she would go out and put in, and these are for employees. These are not her family members. And she showed in small ways that you can actually feel, make people feel valued. When I told her that, for personal reasons, I need to relocate to New York and I cannot be in Washington anymore. She helped me find another job, another role within the company in New York.

Priyamvada: She could have said, okay, you can quit, move on in your life. But she actually showed me and what a leader is or who a leader should be. And she opened my mind to that. And I can really say that I take a lot of inspiration from her. And I’ve tried to be the sort of leader I’ve tried to be that sort of leader since then.

Priyamvada: I [00:56:00] don’t micromanage. I let my team do what they like to do. I like to have fun when we are working. Without fun, I think work gets really boring and really dull. I like to know a lot about a lot more about people beyond their job. So I just don’t want to, I just don’t want to know you as a product manager or a designer, what keeps you going, what takes you.

Priyamvada: And I think that somewhere helps you also understand why people do what they do at a job, what motivates them. Cause not everyone’s motivated with money. Everybody’s looking for something in life and that also translates into what they’re looking for in a job. I’ve definitely evolved as a leader.

Rob: When someone shows an interest in, and in nutrition and change in there and going for what I would call a first class life in that terminology you support people going through that in making a change. 

Priyamvada: Absolutely. Yes. Of course if they know their why, absolutely.

Rob: So talk us through maybe other people that you’ve worked with or it might look like for someone to someone who was maybe where you were, five years ago. And [00:57:00] what’s the journey like to get to now?

Priyamvada: I always encounter, I think two different kinds of people. One who think that they want to change. They’re in love with the, Idea of wanting to change, but they really don’t want to put in the effort. So they’ll say, Hey, it’s so great that you’re doing all this. I’ve been thinking that I need to change my nutrition game.

Priyamvada: So can you give me some tips? And then you tell them and say, yeah, but that’s, that’s a bit difficult for me because I got some other obstacle that I cannot clear. Say, okay, so if that’s your obstacle, then maybe you can try doing this. Yeah, but that’s not food that I really enjoy.

Priyamvada: Okay, so you know, then I’d say you’re not looking for solutions. You’re looking for problems to the solutions that I’m giving you. So then you don’t really want to change your nutrition or your fitness or whatever you’re looking for in life, but you think that you want to, it’s like how people say, I’ve always wanted to write a book.

Priyamvada: I think I have it in me. And they say this when they’re 30, they say this when they’re 35, they say this when they’re 40. But then you ask them, so have you written something like a chapter or like? [00:58:00] No, I just don’t find the time, but I’ve always wanted to do it. Then you don’t want to do it. You would think you want to do it.

Priyamvada: And you’re in love with the idea of wanting to do it. But the ones who really want to make the change. And they want to move that needle. They listened, they are coachable, they come back and they say, Hey you told me to eat this sort of food and I tried it for 10 days, but this is what’s happening.

Priyamvada: I’m feeling anxious. I’m feeling low energy levels. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong. Can you guide me? 

Priyamvada: They come back to you and they actually try it out. They actually want to make that change and they do it over a period of time. And then even within that set, there are two different kinds of people, the one who do it for 60 days, 90 days, and then think, this is not working for me, and they just fall off because life happens, and then there are others who just keep at it, and then they keep going.

Priyamvada: The last category is really hard to find. It’s easier to fall off the wagon. It’s easier to not do the difficult things. Yeah, I would definitely now say there are three different kinds of people I meet. One who are not coachable at all, [00:59:00] who are looking for problems to the solutions.

Priyamvada: One who are looking for solutions. They try it, but they’re not able to do it beyond a certain time. And the other ones who really stick to the third category is the smallest. 

Rob: Something similar I found., I would pick people into three groups and I could talk about them being power seekers, people who want to be right there’s peace seekers who just want an easy life and then there’s truth seekers who want to get it right.

Rob: I suppose it all comes down to what you were talking about. It’s really about finding your why. 

Rob: I can see why you work so much on helping people get clear on their why. 

Rob: It’s been fascinating to, to talk to you and I’ve really enjoyed the passion and the energy that you have really comes through and it’s inspiring me.

Rob: I missed the gym yesterday and I was like, Oh, I’ve got to get to the gym today. But I’m going to, I’m going to be more mindful about it. And I’m going to be more mindful on the treadmill and I’m like, okay, we’re nearly at, we’re nearly at five minutes. We’re nearly there.

Rob: Okay. It’s only this much more [01:00:00] and I do fractions in my head of, okay, we’re an eighth of the way through. We’re a quarter of the way through. But I’m going to be. more mindful of that. So someone who wants that enthusiasm, who wants to go through that kind of what I would call the think free rebellion, who wants that first class life, what message would you have for them?

Rob: And if they wanted to reach out and talk to you how is the best way? 

Priyamvada: Okay so my message is always the same get your first foundation right. It’s the only foundation that matters and it doesn’t matter how old or young or what race or what gender you are. Get your first foundation right. Your mental and your physical health is everything that you need.

Priyamvada: And they can find me on LinkedIn. That’s the only social platform I’m on. I am currently not on any other social platform because I stepped away from them a few years ago and I’m enjoying that. I like to, I think for the moment, LinkedIn is where I will be and that’s where they can find me.

Rob: Thank you for your time. It’s been fascinating [01:01:00] to listen and your passion is inspiring. 

Priyamvada: Thank you, Rob. It’s been great talking to you. It’s been great. Your questions are so different and was, I really had fun chatting with you. 

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