Season 4
37 Minutes

E117 | Mohit Mukherjee | How I Find Peace In A Troubled World

Mohit Mukherjee is the Founding Director of the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education, which he launched in 2006. UPeace is a UN-established university based in Costa Rica; it is the only UN-affiliated institution devoted exclusively for peace education.

Mohit, who holds a M.Ed. in International Education from Harvard, is a passionate educator in the areas of Social Entrepreneurship, Positive Leadership, and Organizational Happiness. His professional background includes management consulting, teaching high school, leading a venture-funded private-public partnership, and being VP of Programs at an incubator for social entrepreneurs.

Each March, Mohit hosts a Global World Happiness Summit at UPeace in partnership with The World Happiness Foundation. He was born in Greece to Indian parents. While he currently lives in the United States, he can often be found in Costa Rica at the physical home of UPEACE.

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Mohit Mukherjee  00:00

Sometimes there’s an over commercialization of positive emotions that you know, if you have this great meal, you’re going to feel happy or if you go on this great holiday, you’re going to feel happy. And I think some of the research and positive emotions also it’s so interesting to look at Barbara Fredrickson, amongst other psychologists have looked at kind of the some of the positive emotions that we experienced the most, you know, an example that comes to mind is gratitude.

Achim Nowak  00:27

Welcome to the MY FOURTH ACT PODCAST. I’m your host, Achim Nowak, and I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold, and unexpected lives. If you like what you hear, please subscribe on any major podcast platform, so you won’t miss a single one of my inspiring guests. And please consider posting an appreciative review. Let’s get started. I’m just delighted to welcome Mohit Mukherjee to the MY FOURTH ACT PODCAST. Mohit is the founding director of the UPS center for executive education, which he launched in 2006. He is a passionate educator in the areas of social entrepreneurship, positive leadership and organizational happiness. Well, his professional background includes management consulting, teaching high school, leading a venture funded private public partnership, and being the VP of programs for an incubator for Social Entrepreneurs. Mohit is a person of the world he was born in Greece to Indian parents, He currently lives in the United States. But you can very often find him in Costa Rica, because that is the physical home of UPS. So welcome. Mohit,

Mohit Mukherjee  01:53

thank you very much again, for this opportunity. I

Achim Nowak  01:57

will be looking forward to this conversation, because we’re going to touch on some areas that I’m personally really interested in. I already mentioned that you’re born of Indian parents, you grew up in Greece. So when you think of growing up, and I know that you’d like me, traveled with your family with different countries, when you were thinking about what you wanted to be as an adult and what you wanted to do, what were you thinking at that time?

Mohit Mukherjee  02:22

I recently I found an essay that I had written when I think I was in 10 years old. And I think the theme of the essay was if you became very wealthy, what would you do? It was interesting, because part of the mix of what I wrote in the essay was I would stay active, I really enjoyed sports. And I said, I would continue to find time, even though my life has gotten very busy to play tennis, which I do. Another aspect of that was the context. You know, I have a lot of money, and I was supporting a hospital in that essay. But I think of the idea of making a positive impact was something that I thought of early on. And then I did love the idea of something that involved travel, meeting people from different parts of the world, my dad worked for an airline. That’s what took us around, we’ve actually moved seven or eight times in my first 18 years and every time a different country. So I always had this notion that I’m going to be somebody who’s exposed to different parts of the world cultures and people I think central to that words, people from different cultures and parts of the world. Probably one last component to it that came a little later on maybe not, you know, I had for years when I was in Geneva, I was eight to 12 years old when I lived in Switzerland and I had two different homeroom teachers or class teachers and small classes. I think my classroom was about 14 or 15 kids. And it’s the same teacher for virtually all the classes except for maybe art and Jim. And I had excellent teacher, they really, truly felt like they loved what they did. And so early on, I thought, hey, I want to love what I do and be I think the field of education is where I belong, even though I ended up not going back getting there directly. So those are a few of the things that that I remember wanting to grow up to be even though I came as you probably know, I’m still wondering, what do I want to really grow up?

Achim Nowak  04:26

Well, some people might say that growing up is overrated. What struck me in your answer, and I had the same experience is that when we have great teachers who inspire us who, who are great educators, number one, the impact on us, but it can also really bring out desires and us to do good in the world because we are with people who know how to do it for us. So it’s really powerful, isn’t it? Absolutely. Now, I already gave a little preview of some of the things you’ve done and I want to spend a lot of time talking about ups and this sent out of executive education that you started, which is, I think a really bold move that you made. But when I mentioned that your high school teacher for a while, and obviously we just talked about teachers, I’ve also done some teaching in schools. In my experience, it can be a wonderful or it can be absolutely horrendous or hellish. So when you reflect on your time in high school, what stands out for you, as somebody who’s still in a way educating people from that experience, I

Mohit Mukherjee  05:29

definitely went in to high school teaching, without really any formal training. Let me see what’s the other thing I went in with my blinders on? In the sense that the arc for me to get to teaching high school was to my first job was in management consulting, I was at a big consulting company in San Francisco, I did that for three years, they offered me the option to come back after during my business school, which they would pay for, at that point, I did have the option of fortunately of taking a sabbatical year, as long as I invested that year in doing something that would eventually relate back to the consulting firm, assuming I stayed with them. So I decided I was going to learn Spanish, but learn Spanish, I put in quotes, because really, it was an excuse for me to take a year off. And that’s when I started initially teaching English, I moved to Ecuador, so I could learn Spanish teach English. And quickly, I realized that I really enjoyed being in that teaching environment. But teaching English is one thing, it was very small group, people were there because they really wanted to learn, I got this job in an international school in Ecuador teaching high school. And I must say, I had completely underestimated what it is like to have a group of let’s say, 2417 year olds who have to take physics as a graduation requirements, and have them love at least some aspects about physics, right? That was a huge challenge. I got much better at it over time, I was terrible at it. I think in my first six months doing it, I struggled through it, I definitely thought about that this was a terrible choice I made and and I realized that I was there not for advancing the content, knowledge of physics. But really, it was about the connection with the students the impact I could have. And I think a very critical age. And I realized that physics was just a vehicle for me to be in the classroom. And to have those interactions. I grew to understand that in that context of being with students, as one can establish that care and connection, it allowed me to transform what was initially tough relationship where they saw me as the person who stood between them and graduation unless they got the class. And frankly, the training I got with so I did that full time for two years before I applied to grad school. But it really trained me well for actually working with executives, because executives also have short attention spans, they want to know why what’s happening is going to be relevant and meaningful. And working with high school students actually trained me very well for the environment I find myself in now. So I’m very grateful for that. Chuck, start, since

Achim Nowak  08:13

I do work with executives as well, I totally get the thoughts that you’re connecting here. Before we talk about the central your credit ups, it might be great for you to give our listeners who don’t know what you pieces. Yeah. What is your piece? I know it’s in Costa Rica. But what’s its mission? What does it stand for?

Mohit Mukherjee  08:33

Back in 1980, when the cold was raging, the United Nations through a resolution decided that we need a university whose focus is on educating leaders who could change the world, right. And that’s the short mission to change the world in a positive way. And the idea was that this university should focus on graduate programs. And Costa Rica really became the host country for the University for Peace because Costa Rica is a country that abolished its army now over 60 years ago. It’s also a country that really has a vision for sustainable development. And I could go into that more. But the short of it is that if you look at Costa Rica’s policies around protecting its natural resources, while continuing to develop economically, it’s done a marvelous job of doing that. So Costa Rica became the host country, for this international, I would say international vision, right. It’s a vision that we need a generation of leaders who really see that the greatest aspiration that they have for themselves and for the world is how do I actually work some of these issues that are obstacles to peace. That story happened now, what, almost 45 years ago? First

Achim Nowak  09:55

of all, it’s an extraordinary mission that the world needs I’m delighted that UPS exists in a beautiful place like Costa Rica. But what I’m thinking as I’m listening to the thing, it takes I’m gonna use sort of a word I know from it takes a certain chutzpah to you to go there and say, Hey, I’d like to start a center for executive education here. Tell us the story of Did you know somebody there? How did you end up connecting there?

Mohit Mukherjee  10:23

Yeah, actually, right after my graduate studies, in 2001, I actually got an offer to join an organization called the Earth Charter initiative. And the Earth Charter initiative, again, very lofty mission, the idea that you know, why one human family with a common destiny. So I loved the principles of the charter, I was the education program manager, guess where the earth charters international headquarters were located, in Costa Rica, on the campus of the University for Peace. Here, I show up my first day to my new job at the Earth Charter, and I discover the University for Peace. This is now 2002. At that time, there’s about 22 graduate students at the university. So really, it’s struggling to kind of grow its programs, partly because the university is not funded through the United Nations. It’s self funded. Over the course of a couple of years, when I was full time at the charter, I really got to know the University for Peace, I saw its potential that wasn’t being realized. I got to know some of the students and what was missing in the curriculum also. And initially, I took my risk look like this Achim, I offered to teach a class at the University around this concept of social entrepreneurship. It was called Social Entrepreneurship making it happen. And that’s the feedback I’ve been getting from students that were missing kind of going from this idealistic courses to well, what am I going to do? That was my sweet spot. And, frankly, I really enjoyed the role of working with graduate students. And these graduate students ranged from 2324 to about 45 years old. And that’s when I realized there was an opportunity to do more than teach an elective course to the graduate student that the university had a potential to host a lot more people who didn’t have one year to do a graduate program. So I put together a proposal to the university to start the Center for executive education. It didn’t involve leaving my job at the Earth Charter, it happened the timing couldn’t have been better in the sense and I’m smile when I say that, in the sense my wife was pregnant with our first child, the university said, you know, Mohit, great idea, we think you’re going to do a good job, but we don’t have a budget to hire you to, you know, take a leap of faith. So yeah, it was a big leap of faith taken. I’m still grateful for my young wife at that time to support me, she believed in me, I had, frankly, those couple of courses I taught at UPS, there was so much energy around it, that it came at some point, I just wanted to do more of that kind of work. It was relatively easy. I followed my heart. Yeah, that was now 18 years ago,

Achim Nowak  13:03

following our heart is great message. Certainly, this is my fourth podcast, which is I will listen to all people who have been successful. And there’s more that the heart is guiding them to do. So you’re a wonderful role model in that way. Another thought I have I know you’re in graduate school, you went to Harvard, that’s a prestigious place. They also do executive education at Harvard. And here you are in this small place in Costa Rica doing your own thing. I would imagine that people must have asked you, how is what you doing different from what a school like Harvard does? Well, you just got your masters and and how do you differentiate yourself as in a way that you’re a social entrepreneur? When you start at the center? How can you say, Well, this is how we’re different from all those other places? You

Mohit Mukherjee  13:51

know, great question. And I think, even when I reflect my answer, I think there are a couple of things that come up for me. One is, I do believe that innovation doesn’t have to be completely new and different, but it’s often offering something that similar, but in a new geography or a new setting. I was definitely influenced by executive ed programs that were existing in terms of more in terms of the format of how would they run these courses? You know, these are busy executives who already typically have graduate degrees, you know, why should they take time out to and so I did do some benchmarking of existing programs. I did a couple of partnerships to but really, the all of our programs through the executive Ed Center that I started central to any course that we had was this idea of how do you make a positive impact on the world? Right? There was some overlap. I think, especially with the Graduate School of Education at Harvard, they had some losses, thinking about educators and kind of even issues of diversity and equity. Back then they were more US centered. The audience’s that we were able to attract to the University for Peace, I think look quite different. They were quite global. In terms of backgrounds. I think the first course we offered was called nonprofit leadership and certainly not the first nonprofit leadership course, to be offered. But I think it was quite unique in terms of both the group that came together for that course, the first course I’ll never forget, as well as our approach, right? It involved stepping out into the garden of UPS, circling up throwing a ball, while everybody has a chance to reflect on something. So I think I did take some of the pedagogical approaches that I felt were powerful, often not done at exec ed programs at Harvard, even though Harvard is sometimes coming up with these white papers on transformational learning. Do you think in the end, it was something quite unique, but certainly it was, as far as I know, in Costa Rica at the time, there was not anything similar and certainly not, in terms of if one wanted to engage with UPS in those days, but had to somehow find one’s way into a full time graduate program and move to Costa Rica, which limited its reach. So yeah, within a few years, we had many more people going through the executive ed programs, as all the graduate programs, the graduate programs also expanded, you know, now we have about 150 Students enrolled full time that up across several graduate programs. But at the Center for executive education, we work with many hundreds of people every year.

Achim Nowak  16:32

First of all, very cool, as I’m listening to you, it’s very inspiring what you created. I know you I’m aware of you through a mutual friend named Luis Guyardo. Yes, is founded the World Happiness Foundation. And he started collaborating with you, and you’re collaborating with each other. And you put on this annual event called the gross global happiness Summit, in beginning of March, which I think of as World Happiness month as designated by the United Nations, the World Happiness day. So there are a lot of dots that you connect, I said in my introduction, that you are interested in organizational happiness as one of your passions, happiness as an amazing word. It’s not an easy word, because we all experience it differently. In a very complex world. You know, there are some parts of the world where, and I spend a lot of time at least think of wars and Gaza and places like that, where I’ve been, like, how are you happy there? So I’m asking you an impossible question. But if you played with the word happiness a little bit, because we’re recording this, a little while before the gross global happiness Summit, which you’re holding at UPS? How do you see happiness? What does it mean to you either personally or systemically?

Mohit Mukherjee  17:50

I’m going to go back to the framework that comes from Dr. Martin Seligman. I think it was my first deep dive into the subject. And that framework is the acronym is perma. And what what really Martin Seligman, a school of researchers that he collaborates with, I’ve tried to think about what what are the pillars of well being right. And the P stands for Positive emotions, those are the ones that we are more aware of, you know, I would say that sometimes there’s an over commercialization of positive emotions that, you know, if you have this great meal, you’re going to feel happy. Or if you go on this great holiday, you’re going to feel happy. And I think some of the research and positive emotions also, it’s so interesting to look at Barbara Fredrickson, amongst other psychologists that have looked at kind of the some of the positive emotions that we experienced the most, you know, an example that comes to mind is gratitude. So gratitude is a positive emotion, we can cultivate it at any point, it’s a choice, right? If you’re alive, you have something to be grateful for. Going back to some of the most difficult situations that I have personally found myself in, and that I can imagine people going through now people who have experienced loss, people who are experiencing very difficult conditions. I don’t think this is easy. The idea of what can you wake up in the morning and be grateful for? Right, and I came, I think, if you’re breathing, that’s a great starting point, right? So again, moments and times when I found myself under enough stress that I’ve not been able to function easily on the task at hand, I do find that a positive emotion like gratitude really allows me to reset so that’s some great research and positive emotions. And that’s the pillar of well being that perhaps we can most easily relate to it matches kind of the smiley face even though that’s so quite limited, but then the E of permas engagement it’s knowing your strengths and using them the RS relationships, positive relationships, nurturing them, the M is meaning a sense that your life matters and has impact in the as per my achievement, a sense that you’re getting better at the things that matter to you. I find in my exposure to different positive psychologists, speakers, researchers, when I’ve heard interesting frameworks and thoughts about well being and flourishing at the end to meet the perma still I go back to as it works for me. And I give myself the option to do a perma plus, right. I think my sense of vitality, my sense of health, somehow really affects my well being. So that’s the plus for me, it might be different for you. But again, I this is probably not new to many of our listeners who have delved into the science of happiness. And I find that I love the idea of what’s beyond perma. Let’s co create. And I find for now, I find myself going back to times when I’m feeling strangely not the way I want to feel. I find that the perma map provides me most of the time, a good sense of what’s up what’s wrong, what’s missing? Where do I need to double down? Yeah, so

Achim Nowak  21:09

I appreciate this primer on Martin Seligman work. If there are listeners who haven’t checked him out, he’s considered one of the fathers of positive psychology. And what you just described is tangible with many entry points for all of us. One of the people who I’ve also had on my podcast, who I know very well as Raj Laguna Tong, and he, I love the title of his book, and I liked you to play with this is if you’re so smart, why aren’t you happy? And this is true for us. So for us at times in our lives, because you’re a smart person, I’m a smart person, we’re very accomplished. And there are moments when we don’t feel all of that right. From your conversation with Raj, he’s part of the gross global happiness summit every year. And from the book, if you extrapolate something from that, like wisdom that might be interesting, in relationship to the work you do together.

Mohit Mukherjee  22:07

Yeah, I really enjoy Raj. For many reasons. He is a very smart guy. And I think the title of his book, you know, if you’re so smart, one to happier, really hits it on the head. Yeah, I’ve read the book, seen Rajan action many times. And what I love also about him, is, I can see how he’s doing things very intentionally, that make him happy, that don’t fit somehow, the he’s an engineer, he’s an Indian engineer, teaching at top business school, right. And that’s like a certain mold and mindset. And he’s actually doing what he preaches some of the things that are hard to do. So the research might say, at a certain income level, more money has very, very marginal impact on your happiness. And only if you spend the money in certain ways, you do much better spending more time with your friends, or sleeping a little bit more or being more active. And yet, there’s a dominant paradigm Akeem in our society that more money is good. If you’re, whether you’re going to sleep better at night, or whatever, or you know, if you live to 120. So most people I know, would if they have to go to Timbuktu, but the price is right, they will do it. They live on their you know, 20th anniversary and things. And so it does take it takes, it’s hard because this often smart people are given opportunities in those opportunities. If they do well, they’re given more opportunities. So the treadmill only starts going faster. So you might be exposed to the research and happiness, you might feel miserable and under slept and stressed. And you cannot still get off that treadmill because there’s enough noise that’s telling you, hey, what, you know what, you’re really successful. So I think it’s a tragedy. I think it’s a tragedy that so many people are living stressed out lives, and I’m missing things that they knew are important to them, because they’re distracted by all the messages around. You’re important. Your bank account is more than whatever the flavor is, right? It doesn’t. It’s not always money. So yes, I recommend the book. It’s hard to do. But it’s such a great reminder of some of the things we know make us happier. Yeah. You’ve

Achim Nowak  24:28

already alluded to some but I want to just drill down so what do you do when you need to get off the treadmill? Because on the surface let me suppose this council unglamorous you live in South Florida you’re Costa Rica. This requires some travel back and forth. Right could be fun, but could also be really stressful.

Mohit Mukherjee  24:46

Yeah, you know, I must say I they candidly and frankly, I struggle with what should I call it? It’s bordering on anxiety sometimes. Right? It’s when I care Are a lot about the things I take on. So I don’t want to and I care a lot about my relationships with people. So I don’t want to let down people, I don’t want to deliver something that is lower than the expectation somebody who trusted me had, I don’t want to disappoint an audience who, you know, is expecting something or hoping for something and I don’t deliver, I do put quite a bit of anxiety on myself. And I do have coping mechanisms for those which I go to frequently more frequently than I’d like. But at the same time, I think what I’ve successfully done over time is I don’t take on way too much. I’d rather take on things that I know I’m taking them on, I tend to look forward to them until it gets to that crunch time it with people I respect or like or want to be around. But I tend not to over schedule myself. The exception is definitely my mother lives in India, my brother in London, and sometimes making sure that I’m spending time with family and things means Yeah, I come back on a flight. And the next day I’m on another flight. So the travel has sometimes felt a little bit much. But I must say, when I left Management Consulting at age 25, part of it is I did look down the road because they did make a very attractive offer to me. And I saw the partners in the firm, which is about as high as you can go. And they definitely had lives that I felt were super overcommitted. And actually, it was a badge of honor, right? Like, how many miles you’ve flown and all of that. I just realized, yeah, that is not who I aspire to be the and again, I just want to make sure I make this clear. For some people, I think, perma if did their permit, some of those partners would be like I’m doing exactly what I want. Mohit, you know, this is engaging is a great tool if it wasn’t for me. And I’m fortunate that I realized that fairly young right now, I think the mix of things that I take on, really, I feel I have much more say much more intention. And sometimes you’re right, it gets a little bit much. And because I want to try to do a good job, I put some anxiety on myself that I shouldn’t. It’s clear

Achim Nowak  27:10

as I’m listening to you that you’ve already dipped your toes into many different professional arenas, the current playground, you’ve been in for a while now. And this is a podcast about next acts, different acts are the things they that you secretly think about go, Oh, here’s another thing I like to do at some point, maybe not tomorrow, but I want to explore this or this might make me happy if I tried it. Any thoughts floating around? If you haven’t done yet?

Mohit Mukherjee  27:38

Yeah, so the story here, my closest friend in Costa Rica, introduced me to a very good friend of his Dave Evans was in California. And this happened about 1213 years ago. Now Dave Evans was teaching a class called is your calling, calling at Berkeley and chance to be a guest speaker in his class. And he asked me a wonderful question around if I could time travel back to the age of his students, what advice would I give myself? So in any case, I really appreciated the the relationship that started that David Evans went on to write a book with another author called Designing your life. It’s using design thinking to principles really think about Yeah, what do you want to do when you grow up? What do you want to be for people who are at all ages, including it became a really core class at Stanford. So he was our guest, one of our keynote speakers at the last gross global happiness in Costa Rica almost exactly a year ago, heard his wonderful keynote attended his workshop. And in his workshop, he had us do the Odyssey plan, which is what is the thing that you’re doing your primary life? What is that completely went away? Like you can’t do anything close to education again, you know, what would be that second life and then he had us do a third one all fairly fast. I really appreciated the activity, the idea behind it, there’s many of us inside of us, we’ve had to make choices. So that being said, I generally do find myself thinking about wouldn’t it be fun? I love

Achim Nowak  29:10

that phrase. Wouldn’t it be fun? Wouldn’t it be fun

Mohit Mukherjee  29:14

if I did whatever was necessary in terms of classes training, but if I got to be an improv comedian, a stand up comedian, right? And again, it came out of this activity. My wife tells me please, Mohit, don’t go there. But but so started me thinking, but like, why is it that humor is something I so appreciate, and I’ve been thinking about it for nearly a year now. And trying more and more to play with humor to incorporate it into my regular courses into my interactions. You know what humor helps really connect and sometimes my humor cannot hit and it’s culturally also human. It’s definitely so the short of it is because I have it set have a sense that I have quite a lot of leeway in my role as co director now of the Center for executive education, from teaching classes, to partnerships to starting a summit, I try to take these other things that I feel are interesting and bring them into the work I do. And happiness is one of them. Frankly, it started off as something very personal. I had moved to Florida from Costa Rica and was finding myself on the surface, everything was great, not, but I wasn’t feeling myself. And that’s when I read Martin Seligman, his book on authentic happiness. And I realized that the research had really helped me name what I was missing. I felt that this needed to be part of our curriculum, my courses. So the long answer is, yes, there are other things and humor being one of them. I’ve, over time, I’ve tried to incorporate them into the work I do. There’s

Achim Nowak  30:54

so much wisdom in what you said, and I’m wearing my executive coaching hat as you’re talking and say with all of my coach, very successful people, and one thing I helped them always to do is to show up with what I call a lighter touch, a lighter touch always works better than a heavier touch, and you figure out what that light touches. But the former acting coach in me, I used to train actors in New York, the worst thing you can say to an actor is that she or he doesn’t have a range. And actors continue to go to act unless they have a range. And you’re playing with your range as a human being and how you present yourself to the world, which is really cool and tapping stuff inside of you. So you’re doing some wonderful modeling for the people you teach. I love it.

Mohit Mukherjee  31:37

Thank you. That’s great.

Achim Nowak  31:39

Well, we wrap up, I mentioned the gross global happiness Summit. It’s happening in March, you’re collaborating with some people I love. Please make a shameless plug for this event. And what’s wonderful about it to our listeners. Yeah,

Mohit Mukherjee  31:54

I would almost use the title of Rogers book. So if you’re so smart, why aren’t you happier? Or could you be even happier? Really, it’s a three day event much eight to 10. At campus, the University football, it’s a beautiful campus, the environment is really quite conducive to unplugging from the usual, you know, day to day concerns. We do have a couple of keynotes, Sonia Lubinski, from who’s you know, started really thinking about this topic when no one was talking about it decades ago now. But more than the keynote speaker, it is great. We do create a very intimate environment where you can choose the sessions you go to that we don’t officially have tracks. But organizational happiness or happiness at work is definitely one of the themes that we see a lot. Anyone who thinks of themselves as an educator, there’s a lot around how do you bring this into education at any level? Of course, everyone, at the end of the day, personally wants to know, what are some tools? What are some practices, so that’s certainly part of our menu, the relationships that you can imagine people who decide, okay, I’m going to go to Costa Rica for a happiness Summit, it attracts a certain kind of person, so the relationships formed. And just wonderful to see. So yes, invitation to come and join. What is coming in between you and happiness? Otherwise, I get to see you in Costa Rica and just over a month, or of course, we offer it in 2025. Two, I know some for a lot of people, you need a little bit more planning. It’s not going away.

Achim Nowak  33:32

Final question. What is something you know about life right now that you didn’t know when you were a young man or boy growing up? And if you had a chance, you could whisper it into young, Mohit ear? What would you want him to know not to change the course of his life? But just as a wiser version of Mohit, what would you tell him?

Mohit Mukherjee  33:52

It’s something that you heard me say, and you’ve been coaching your clients to around the No, the way it comes up for me is not taking myself too seriously. Right. And I think when I refer to some level of anxiety around that I haven’t because I’m front of groups a lot virtually and in person, I’ve not been able to shake that I put that down as hey, you know, I care. And I want to be well prepared, and I want to be in service of but I think I take myself a little too seriously. I think every time I realize that I’m really I reconnect with gratitude, the what a great position to be able to share certain things with certain audiences who want to be there, they’re not there. For me that therefore, you know, the context, the message and the more I get out of that, the lighter touch that you talked about, and I think maybe if I had thought about that 20 years ago, more I’d be at a slightly different place now but I’m still working on it. And again, maybe part of it is yeah, like you said, I wouldn’t want to change anything because now I can actually can relate to people But who do have anxiety because I suffer from it too. And that allows me to connect with many people I wouldn’t otherwise. There were times where people would talk to me about something they’re going through and I came, I felt like I’ve never experienced what they experience and my wife gets terrible migraines. I don’t get migraines, so I can’t really know what she’s going through, for example, but the other things that because of not having as lighter touches I want it connects me with people. So yeah, I wouldn’t change it. But I would have given myself that advice couple of decades ago. Oh, I appreciate

Achim Nowak  35:31

that very generous reflection. Where would you like to send people terms of social media dissemination of your work, who want to learn more about you or the up center for executive education or the gross verbal happiness Summit? Where should they go?

Mohit Mukherjee  35:46

Yeah, thanks for asking. So so if you typed in UPS center for executive education, it would certainly come up the URL is www dot center si n t r e dot ups, u p ac dot O R G center is spelled C and T ra instead of T R. But yeah, that would be great. And there you would find our upcoming courses, the gross global happiness. And if you sign up, we do have every two weeks we have a three thought Thursday. So it’d be wonderful for some of you to connect there.

Achim Nowak  36:21

Thank you so much for the gift of this conversation. I so appreciate it. Likewise,

Mohit Mukherjee  36:26

me too. Thank you very, very much for hosting me.

Achim Nowak  36:32

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the mind for the ACT podcast. If you liked what you have heard, please like us and leave a review on your preferred podcast platforms. And if you would like to engage more deeply in fourth act conversations, check out the mastermind page at Achim It’s what fourth actors like you engage in riveting conversation with other fourth actors? See you there. And bye for now.


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