Breaking down Big Goals into Smaller Steps Helps Achieve More

Educationist and entrepreneur Sheetal Ansal on her secret to success.

Living in a vibrant emerging market such as India, we face many challenges and gain benefits that are unique to our country. The cut and thrust of rapid growth, the complex needs of our people and the responsibility to get things right can weigh as heavy challenges on an entrepreneurial mother, wife and daughter as you try to play a diverse set of roles in difficult circumstances.

In such a world, it is crucial to embrace the strength that originates from constantly learning from your experiences and failures. Such an approach has given me the drive to become the person I am today. By focusing on self-improvement, I can be my best self when working hard towards shaping the minds of the youth of our country and positively impacting their lives through Ansal University.

As an old adage says: “If you start good, you end better.” Following this principle, I make sure that I start my day with a peaceful and optimistic state of mind. When I get out of bed, I always spend 30 minutes on self-reflection and collect my thoughts, followed by 15 minutes of Twin Heart Meditation. This gives me the calmness I need for the hectic day ahead.

Our lives are disrupted in unique and unpredictable ways by technology every single day. In such a dynamic world, it is essential to draw firm lines between our public and private lives to keep the mind relaxed so that it can work the hardest when it needs to.

As most of us spend an increasing amount of time looking at screens, our minds can become distracted and drained. To overcome this, I take short breaks of 20 minutes, three times every day. I use this time to focus on Buddhist chanting that helps me achieve a sense of Zen and keep my thinking clear during increasingly hectic schedules. I find that Buddhist chanting recharges me with positivity and the ability to maintain a perfectly calm mind.

I believe that the food we ingest on a daily basis has a notable impact on the way we think and approach the world. Eating healthy is key to keeping a healthy mind. By finding equilibrium within, I am able to better approach the world around me. I always aim to think positively and plan methodically.

A simple system I use, that I have discovered to be extremely efficient, is to break down long-term goals into smaller goals that are achievable daily, weekly or monthly. This allows you to focus on long-term benefits while being gratified for achieving smaller, more easily achievable steps.

As most of us undeniably are, I am also addicted to my phone. While I don’t believe we are addicted to the device itself, we are rather addicted to the instant access it provides us to our friends, family and work. Moving from a phone to a laptop is often feeding that same addiction through an alternate medium.

To ensure that I take a break from screens, I always spend one hour a day with my family when I do not look at any screens and spend the last hour before bed in the same way. Instead of scrolling through social media before dozing off, I choose instead to spend some time analysing how my day went, collecting my ideas and planning for the next morning.

An optimistic approach to life is something I consider to be vital to my well-being. I shun negativity whenever possible. I find it to be destructive and it is often intended to be so. Though negativity can never be wholly driven out, I believe it the simplest to hope for the best but absolutely always prepare for the worst.

Maintaining the right attitude, absorbing the wisdom and perspective of others and trying to do better every new day are my mantras to success.

Everything in life is guided by consistency, discipline and choices. It is about discovery and learning what you previously did not know. As part my development plan for Ansal University, I have been increasingly focused on drawing knowledge from international sources and institutions. Having recently met with many institutions offering cutting-edge, technology-driven courses in management, robotics, architecture, design and engineering, I found myself at the forefront of a new generation of knowledge. This is what drives me to be a responsible ‘edupreneur’ of the modern era.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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