Indian-American motivational leadership speaker, executive and business coach and CEO of Success Is Within Leadership, Inc, Payal Nanjiani has risen to prominence by delivering high energy leadership wisdom which aims to tell that success in corporate and business world can be achieved with both speed and serenity regardless of their circumstance or economy. Her motto? “Success is within.”  

“I had never planned to become a motivational leadership speaker, coach and an author,” she says. “I had always been a people’s person. When I started to deeply notice that my techniques are helping people solve their work-life and business problems and is getting them results, is when I began to consider this seriously.”

“Throughout my career, I have learnt that one may have the best of resources and skillsets but they cannot help you become successful if you do not know the right techniques and if you do not understand the science of achievement.”

“I am a firm believer that success does not discriminate between gender, colour or titles. It only sees if you are interested or truly committed.”

Nanjiani answers the Thrive Questionnaire. Excerpts:

Thrive Global India: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?

Payal Nanjiani: I practise a technique that I have taught leaders and entrepreneurs globally. It is called the power of five. It has elements that I have designed for a successful life. One of the elements is gratitude. As soon as I open my eyes, I sit on my bed for five minutes. I thank God for the day I have been blessed with. I promise myself to deliver my best today in whatever I undertake, regardless of the situation.

This is followed by self-reflection. During this time, for five minutes I identify three results I’m committed to achieving today and how I can be of service.

Finally, I drink a glass of warm water and start my day with 90 minute yoga and meditation. This is a routine I repeat daily. It allows a steady state that enables me to be more effective through the day.

TGI: How do you unplug and recharge?

PN: For me, unplug and recharge is a daily process and I do it in two simple ways—I have a smile on my face and live in the moment as much as possible. Until I got it, I practised keeping a smile on my face while typing, while reading, while walking and even while sleeping. Smiling sends powerful messages, not only to other people but to your brain and even your cells. Our mind is wired to run towards negativity. Smiling sends a message to the mind that helps release the tension and creates a happiness loop. Living in the moment helps to save your energy and use it more productively.

TGI: What’s your favourite well-being tip?

PN: Take charge of the self. Something my father inculcated in me since childhood. Well-being is an inside job and to experience continuous well-being you need to work on the inner-self. You need to invest time on yourself. Many people shy away from the term “self-care” because they assume the notion is founded on ideas of selfishness or a lack of caring about others.

On the contrary, self-care is essential to our lives. When you’re able to care for yourself physically, emotionally and mentally, you become better able to pursue your goals and enrich the lives of the people around you. Our society stresses on indulging the self in luxurious spas, going on a shopping spree, taking vacations to exotic locations or spending on eating out for one’s well-being.

Now, I am not against all of this. In fact I enjoy these too in my life.  While a good book and a hammock in the shade may reduce stress, they don’t produce widgets. Start working on the inner self and you will see a major change in your results. I am a big advocate of taking out time for yourself each day to make yourself mentally strong and raise your inner leadership capacity.

TGI: Tell us about your relationship with your phone.

PN: Thankfully I have a healthy relationship with my phone. We both do not disturb each other for long hours. We spend only quality time together.

TGI: How do you deal with negativity?

PN: Negativity in society and business world has always existed. It’s just that today we have easy and more access to negativity. All of this influences our results as it starts by our self-defeating thoughts.

For me, because my day starts with the Power of Five, it helps me stay in control of my emotions. I believe that when we raise our own leadership capacity, we operate at a higher frequency. At that frequency level, negativity cannot disturb you to a great length. You carry this frequency and what I call ‘aura’ with you everywhere. It helps you to effectively deal with negativity.

TGI: When was the last time you felt burned out?

PN: When I did not travel for months together, I did feel burnt out. Travelling, and speaking with people is the biggest stress buster for me. I travel a lot. I travel to talk to people, to know their problems and goals. I believe in the realism of success. I also love watching movies—both Bollywood and Hollywood.

TGI: What would you do on an ideal day?

PN: Doing exactly what I am doing now—working and making people successful. I believe in the concept of dharma and karma. While name, fame and money are agile, work is not. It is the only constant that stays with you while you are struggling and even when it seems you’ve made it. My work gives me happiness each day.

TGI: How do you incorporate well-being into your daily life?

PN: I believe in the adage ‘Health is wealth’. In fact in my upcoming book there is an entire chapter dedicated to the importance of health and well-being in the corporate world. I set aside 90 minute in the morning and one hour in the evening for physical and mental well-being. Apart from that I believe in eating right and light to keep my energy level high.  

TGI: How much sleep do you generally get? Do you notice any change in your performance on the days of less sleep?

PN: Around six to seven hours daily. Yes, my performance tends to drop on days I haven’t slept well. How much sleep you get is more important for your success and health than you realise. The most underrated aspect of success and productivity is sleep.

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  • Founded in 2016 by Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global is the world’s largest well-being media platform. Since its launch in October 2018, Thrive Global India has received over 40 million visitors. Our media platform Our focus is on well-being and productivity, emphasising real experiences and unique storytelling. Through articles, videos, and podcasts featuring business leaders, scientists, athletes, entertainers and new role models of success, we add a new dimension to the global conversation of wellness. Our stories discuss daily challenges, people’s personal journeys of how they thrive, and recommend solutions to bring purpose and wonder into our worlds. We realise that the struggles of our everyday life—stress, burnout, exhaustion, apathy, technological addiction—can be intimidatingly broad and numerous. And it’s only through lived and shared experiences of people, combined with expert data and science-based solutions, that we can achieve actual, dramatic results that help us live and work well. Our enterprise solutions There is a pervasive belief that burnout is the price we must pay for success, but research has shown it is a delusion. As a matter of fact, by prioritising our well-being, we pave way for a healthier, productive life with enhanced efficiency, decision making and creativity. Through our assessments, corporate workshops, digital engagement solutions and more, we bring to you science-backed well-being and performance-enhancing strategies, proven to help individuals and teams thrive.