Entrepreneur Anu Acharya talks about how avoiding fads and consistency have been key to her well-being. Acharya is the founder and CEO of Mapmygenome, a molecular diagnostics company that offers personalised health solutions based on genetic tests to help people get to know more about themselves. Excerpts from an interview:
Thrive Global India: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Anu Acharya: I stretch and meditate for a bit. While checking my emails and messages I take a cup of tea (and finally wake up). Exercise is a must for 45 minutes or so before getting ready to go to work.
TGI: How do you unplug and recharge?
AA: The best way to unplug is to get away from the phone. While I let my phone charge I do some reading, exercise, socialise or just sleep. It can be difficult to get away from your phone but I make a conscious effort these days.
I also love travelling and writing poetry as it helps me unplug completely. In most cities I travel, I wander around feeling the energy in the air. When something strikes me positively or negatively I like to pen my thoughts down.
TGI: What’s your favourite well-being tip?
AA: Do things that you can continue doing over a long period of time. Make healthy eating part of your lifestyle, not just a fad diet. Moving around is essential, so if you cannot get to a gym, do something that makes you walk every day—like walk to the train or take the stairs. And if none of those work, then turn on the music and dance.
TGI: Tell us about your relationship with your phone.
AA: It is a very important part of my life as it helps me respond quickly to everyone. I hate keeping pending tasks so the phone is critical to my personality.
But having said that, I do enjoy when I don’t have the phone with me, like in aeroplanes. I am also trying hard to leave my phone in my room before heading to meetings.
TGI: How do you deal with negativity on social media?
AA: Like everything else in life—with a smile!
I remember once there were trolls about a tweet on the movie Padmaavat. Sadly this was one of my most seen tweets compared to my tweets on genomics and other topics. I used the opportunity to pitch our product with the tweet.
TGI: When was the last time you felt burned out?
AA: I don’t remember feeling burnt out. I don’t get stressed easily. There are challenges every day but there are also surprises and joy in the life of an entrepreneur.
TGI: What would you do on an ideal day?
AA: Assuming that I wake up with a clean inbox and get lots of orders automatically for Genomepatri; I would like to be on the beach or the mountains—connected yet disconnected.
Look at nature, trek, and my thoughts would be automatically written (provided I wanted them to) into completing my unfinished book.
TGI: How do you incorporate well-being into your daily life?
AA: I eat healthily and stay active. The best way I learnt is to do something small that you can continue to do for a lifetime. I could be doing yoga, walking, rowing or dancing; being active is an important part of my life. I do things that naturally keep me active along with going to the gym so that even if I couldn’t I would get some exercise.
Socialisation is known to be the best well-being habit. I like to spend time with my family and friends and just being myself.
TGI: What benefit do these habits have on your ability to perform?
AA: I can do a 20-hour work day with just four hours of sleep—however, I am trying to change—travel for several days in a month, and still stay positive and confident in the toughest of the situations. My genes have a significant role to play in this and so does my lifestyle.
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