There is no pause button in our life anymore. Even when we try to slow down, the ambient noise – like the Red “here’s what you are missing” button on the #LinkedIn tab, draws us back in. And we continue our warp speed journey. Except, what if our journey has changed along the way but we never realized it? And the destination has different coordinates than when we set forth in our youth. How do we realized that reconfiguration happened in our lives?

I spent a long 20 minutes (hey, between tweets that’s all the time I got) deliberating on this and decided there was enough here to spend a few chronicling my course correction that happened along my life path.

WYSSGSSG – When You See Something Good Say Something Good. This has become a calling for me. Whether it is Captain Jason Lopez of United Airlines, my barber David Lopez or Nhu the hardwood contractor. Each of them inspired me and I learnt so much from them that I had to write and hopefully inspire more goodness.

When I come to a fork I take it – For years, I would not even recognize a fork in the road, much less take it. Along the way, I stared experimenting, taking chances, not worrying about the judgmental universe. Starting with taking Dorie Clark’s course, a shot at mini-stardom with the Undercover Rockstar singing experiment, conducting a purpose class with the cleverly (modesty is my middle name) titled #iPoP – In Pursuit of Purpose – coaching experiment. #RiskOn

Give back with a vengeance – If I haven’t connected my latest podcast guest with three more that she could benefit from knowing, I feel the podcast is incomplete. A thank you note with everyone I interact with (this is so hard with so much distraction but I try and remember). If I learn something of value, finding the right group to share that with immediately.

Don’t worry about perfection, share with abandon as long as it is not about my egotistical self – My Indian accent or grammatically suspect sentence formation has not prevented me from sharing what I believe is important. Typical videos on topics related to privacy like intrusive apps on our smartphones or posts to ensure a person market fit by testing your marketability by interviewing periodically before it is too late are all ways I like to share. And the focus is never on me.

Meeting new people with no agenda of mine – This was hard. I am no extrovert so meeting new people – virtual or physical – was always intimidating. Not anymore. Because every interaction is how do I make it better for the other person? So, the pressure is off me since I do not worry about what I can plunder for furthering my own goals.

There is no tech without tech+ethics – This has become my calling. For over two decades I rarely thought about tech and ethics. It was all tech, first-to-market, competitive advantage, instrumenting the customer…. And then I realized it was wrong. Especially in this day and age with every business becoming a tech business. And I had to shine a bright light in my own small way through seeking speaking engagements (wow, I can tell you a thing or two about the rejections and no-responses I had for months before the tide started to turn) and writing to amplify this pressing need.

Aggressively seeking out Ikigai – This is a WIP. But until a few years ago, I did not believe this was possible. Ikigai is a Japanese concept with four intersecting circles – What I am good at, What they pay me for, What I love to do, What the world needs. But I was convinced there were really three worlds. #1 – What I was good at and what they pay me for. #2- And then there was what I love to do. #3 And in the distant horizon – if I ever get there – what the world needs. And then I embraced the 6 things noted above. And Ikigai happened. With my mission statement at the cynosure of the four intersecting circles.

Empathize, Educate, Empower.

And I am fully embracing the fact there will be changes ahead. That’s the only way I know how to operate now. #Grateful.



    Empathy, Education, Empowerment

    Mine is a typical Indian immigrant story: an Engineer who became an Engineering Manager, who grew antsy and segued into Product Management then rose to VP and SVP. During those years I fancied I was innovating and experimenting, but in reality I was wearing a corporate straitjacket. Constrained by my industry’s insular mindset, I became a slave to the definition of my job. Inevitably, I ended up dissatisfied. So, I did something unusual for a man in my position: I stopped to reflect. I searched my life and talents for what was fulfilling and had purpose. I discovered I enjoyed storytelling to promote understanding. I loved mentoring and helping people become the best version of themselves. Importantly, I realized I was still passionate about the tech industry, particularly the issues surrounding privacy and ethics. Today, I’m pursuing my passions. I like to think of myself as an accelerator of technology and positivity. I’m the COO of UberKnowledge, bringing cybersecurity awareness and training to demographics that are underrepresented in the industry. I speak at conferences highlighting the need for a sharper focus on the ethics surrounding the technology industry.  I write articles and blog posts using analogy to simplify technology trends and complex topics like AI and IoT. I host podcasts with CISOs and other industry experts. The purpose of these is not to sell snake oil or products but to bridge the chasm between security vendors and customers so that the real problems can be solved to make the world a safer place. Underpinning all of these efforts is my belief that life’s purpose for us all is simply to connect. And the best way to do that is through generous and positive gestures.