Post my second cancer in 2014/2015, my life’s journey has been stimulating and the hunger to feel successful was always playing on my mind and the confusion was partially linked to the fact that I was defining success based on the past.

Whilst reading Robert Holden’s Authentic Success I came across an enlightening paragraph:

“True success is about speed and time for reflecting, about pace and patience, about action and inspiration, about now and tomorrow.”

I reflected and asked the best friend within me what does success mean for me at this point in my life and the clarity came!

“I can apply the wisdom of ‘real’ experience and know that life can be vigorous, privileged and harmonious, and I can give myself permission to follow my dreams.”

My clients often ask me, is there a magical formula for appreciating and feeling harmonious with life. We all like a magical pill for instant solutions. Though, I have to say that it is a dynamic process and part of every day life. One has to take care of three key aspects to feel and live ‘Success’.

1. Physical Intelligence, how do we manage energy. What is our relationship with our body? Do you feel aliveness, is there a constant flow of energy and do you know when to take rest and what nutrition suits you. There is a dearth of literature, research and advice on nutrition, important to explore and know what suits your body and lifestyle.

I was fortunate to spend a day with Dr Andrew Weil and he said something wonderful to me: “trust your body’s intelligence and listen to what it requires.”

2. Emotional Intelligence, this is the relationship with one’s own heart. Emotions have always intrigued psychologists and in the past two decades, psychologists have intensively studied happiness and recently economists and neuroscientists have also joined the party. Psychologist Ed Diener’s research shows that the frequency of positive experiences is a much better predictor of happiness than is the intensity of positive experiences. It is the small stuff that creates lasting happiness. What are the trivia things that create joy? I was recently asked this question and my response was Andre Rieu’s music and watching roses bloom in my garden. In the quest of making big happy things happen, the small things are forgotten! It is important to know what are the small joy giving moments.

3. Resilience Intelligence, there is a lot of buzz on resilience and I have chosen to call it intelligence. We go through life and the memory of how we overcome tough times is subdued or forgotten. Martin Seligman, the Positive Psychology pioneer says that to ‘build resilience,’ talking to oneself is a good intervention. Challenging the low energy or down beat thinking with high energy and positive outlook can retrain the brain. During both my cancers, I have found three mental routines that helped to build and sustain resilience.

· Living with purpose and intent, giving my life a meaning and ensuring that each day has a success factor.

· Life loves me exercise as designed by Louise Hay and Robert Holden.

· Meditation/mindfulness, a daily 20-30 minute routine. Research in many spheres shows that the brain shifts focus and gets in touch high energy memories and this helps to deal with the stress.

Defiining success beyond cancer sets a compass for well being and life. How success is defined influences the mindset, and most importantly how the everyday journey of life feels. Very often the eagerness of reaching a destination or a goal takes over and the ‘soul fullness’ of life becomes sublime as destination addiction takes over. Inevitably the compass of success is very personal, though there are the core ingredients authenticity, purpose, growth and being present with life.


Harvard Business Review Press Emotional Intelligence Series

Hay House Loveability Robert Holden

Hay House Success Intelligence Robert Holden

Hay House Life Loves Me Loiuse Hay and Robert Holden

Huthinson IKIGAI Hector Gargia and Francesc Mirales


  • Anjana Nathwani

    Cancer Well Being, Yoga, Ayurveda, Mentor, Meditation&Mindfulness Teacher, Advisory Board Member

    Athena Learning Academy

    I am a two time cancer survivor and believe that the pause of cancer opens new avenues to thrive in life. I work globally and am also visiting faculty with universities. I am a yoga therapist  specialising is well being programmes for cancer patients and thrivers.  I am currently studying Ayurveda in relation to cancer and neuroscience.