Hopping from one flight to another, a sense of emptiness gnawed at Rajiv Vij. He was 39, already a managing director with a global corporate and considered successful in every which way that mattered. But it didn't seem enough. He began to question whether his labours added any value to the world he lived in and went back to meditation, ensuring he took an hour out for it every day. Soon, he found his true calling and dumped his career to start a new innings. Eight years later, Vij is now a life coach based in Singapore.
"I was ready for the change," says Vij, who coaches leaders, CEOs and individuals all over the world. Comparing the decision to skydiving, he says, "When you are sitting on a plane that takes you to say 12,000-14,000 feet high, you ask yourself, why am I doing this? I was perfectly happy on terra firma having ice cream with my family. But, the moment you jump, the feeling is exhilarating."
As a life coach, he works with people on a one-on-one basis to help them make positive changes in their lives. The underlying belief is that every person has the answer to their questions, dilemmas and challenges; a coach just helps them discover themselves and find these answers to the myriad aspects of life — leadership, relationships, work-life balance, stress, spiritual questions and so forth.
In a bid to reach out to more people, Vij started a blog and has now written a book titled Discovering Your Sweet Spot, a gripping, lucid read that touches upon many layers of self discovery, relationships and meditation among other subjects. The book is an attempt to help readers discover the secret to happiness and simplifying life.
He believes the book is a reflection of his collective experiences and personal growth. "I learnt so much while I wrote the book and I believe I have more books in me. While Discovering Your Sweet Spot focuses on finding your way to happiness, I may work on a book on leadership next."
After working as a life-coach for the last eight years, Vij believes he has found his true calling. Living life on his own terms, Vij believes and embodies his mantra of self-awareness, self responsibility and clarity of purpose.
A Delhi boy, who studied at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi and later at the Indian Institute of Management-Kolkata, Vij explains the reasons behind his decision to leave his successful, corporate career. "I realised that though I had been working I had not become less anxious or less fearful. Ultimately, I realised that professional success did not automatically translate to happiness." When he decided to quit his job, his wife and children were supportive but several well wishers advised him against the move.
"Children are simple and my kids were excited about it from the word go. People did warn me that life coaching might not catch on in the Indian subcontinent where there is no tradition of counseling and people are not used to being open about their feelings. I took all their feedback and went ahead with my plan," he says.
"Life is much simpler now compared to what it was like earlier," says Vij. "I coach for six hours daily and since I work from home I have been actively involved in my children's lives during their growing-up years." Vij values the time he got with his children even more, as his 18-year-old son is preparing to head to college now.