In keeping with SAMHIN’s mission of greater dialogue on mental health in South Asians and highlight the important work of others, we invited Astha Shukla, an accomplished musician and certified life coach to tell us about life coaching.

Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you, it can only come from you – Buddha

Isn’t pursuit of happiness one of our most basic and ongoing quests? However, this endeavor often becomes challenging, because our lives are made up of multiple dimensions such as health (physical and mental), professional success, relationships etc. As we are busy trying to juggle these various facets, most often our original goal of happiness and harmony becomes elusive.

To better understand this, let’s take a look at the journey most of us experience as we go through life. We learn lessons at home and school which teach us about the world we live in and how to navigate it. Unfortunately, something we often learn very little about, is the world within. Each one of us is a unique product of our innate nature and the environment and times we grew up in. Thus, we can never be truly happy, until we recognize ourselves and our individual purpose in life.

This is where life coaching plays a very important role. The way I see it, life coaching is primarily about two steps: self-discovery and self-development.

The first stage of discovery requires delving deep within ourselves to examine the multiple aspects of our life and identify the ones we are fairly satisfied with and those where we would like to see improvement. Taking stock in this manner brings to light issues that we may be unaware of but are sources of unhappiness and discontent. The way physical decluttering creates order and space for the things that matter to us, this awareness opens up a path towards removing some of the mental obstacles and clutter and focusing on the things that bring us joy.

The second stage of development involves identifying certain objectives based on their meaningfulness to us and how they will enhance our joy and contentment. After setting up these concrete and achievable goals, we design a roadmap to move towards them. This allows us to analyze our real and imagined roadblocks and overcome them. This in turn, lets us evolve and create a more fulfilling life that is aligned with our actual needs and choices.

To make this process clearer, I have come up with an abbreviation PICK, because I believe that life coaching helps you PICK the kind of life you want to lead.

  • Promoting self-discovery and awareness
  • Identifying the areas where improvement is desired and setting goals
  • Creating a plan for achieving these objectives
  • Keep reviewing and refining this process

As a trained and certified life coach, I have learned that coaching makes us question and challenge our limiting beliefs and leads to new revelations and awareness, finally bringing us closer to our goals. Having experienced these benefits firsthand, it gives me great joy to work with and help anyone who wants to go forward on their journey of self-discovery and development. To attain true happiness and contentment, let us try to create a life that is built around our unique preferences, circumstances and personality.

As the great Sufi poet Rumi said – Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth!

Astha ShuklaBy Astha Shukla
Hindustani music performer and teacher, trained and certified life coach



Feature image by Geralt on Pixabay.

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