7 steps to unlocking the life of your dreams: Puja Puneet's new book tells us how

Sonali Shenoy Published :  18th January 2019 04:24 PM   |   Published :   |  18th January 2019 04:24 PM

Puja Puneet

Puja Puneet is a woman on a mission. “I don’t believe in the word motivation,” says the life coach, who is dropping her first self-help book next week. Titled Unlocking the Golden Cage — the book promises a seven-step route to the life of your dreams. And the fact that Jack Canfield — the man behind Chicken Soup for the Soul — will be stopping by to receive the first copy at the book launch on Monday has us all the more curious to get our hands on a copy.

After training under the likes of self-help heavyweights like John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus), Marie Forleo and Brendon Buchard, as well as the aforementioned Canfield — Puja began her own academy, Life By Design, back in 2011. Since then, she has hosted workshops, graced the Tedx stage, blogged extensively about her message, started her own online course (for aspiring life coaches), and along the lines of her book will launch UTGCx (x stands for experience) in February. The latter is a three-hour session which she says will help you “master the law of attraction so you can 
attract abundance into your life in every sphere”.

While the book promises a guide to unlocking limiting beliefs, what grabbed our attention was that the cover is a love letter of sorts to Puja’s husband of 20 years — by changing her maiden name Gupta to Puneet. “I wanted to give him more credit than just a dedication page in my book. I wanted him to be celebrated along with me each time every time,” she explained in a post on Facebook.

Excerpts from the interview:

Share with us on some of the key practices/habits in your everyday — that will empower women to live better and happier in 2019.
It’s called the Hour of Power:
• 20 minutes of meditation 
• 20 minutes of reading my goals. 
• Writing my top five most important to dos 
• Reading my affirmations 
• Visualising my day 
• Finally, 20 minutes of watching or reading something that inspires me. 

You studied under Jack Canfield. What’s the biggest takeaway that you remember from spending time with the man who gave the world Chicken Soup for the Soul?
Well, he is the most authentic teacher. He only preaches what he practices. Congruency in your personality is very important to him But his greatest gift to me has been his ability to teach complex ideas in the most simple manner through stories ... he is an expert storyteller. 


Quick takes

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I go on a rampage of appreciation inside my mind — like thank you for the blanket, AC, bed, pillow, curtains comfort... for 60 seconds, I just celebrate being happy and alive.  

One app that you love and why.
Beauty plus — it helps me click pictures that look professional from my iPhone and use them
on social media to spread my message.

For people too restless to meditate, you recommend...
Chanting, focus on your breathing, guided meditations from the Internet, keeping still with your eyes open — anything to reduce the number of thoughts per minute and eventually letting yourself feel the calm. 

One self-care practice that guys can try. 
A lot of men are not getting enough acknowledgement from their fathers. I recommend the mirror exercise which is good for self esteem. As you say your name, look into your eyes and list out all the things you did well that day and how proud you feel. But do let your family members know or they will wonder if you have gone cuckoo in the head, and why you are talking to yourself!

The fastest route to happiness is?
It’s not a destination but the journey itself. Imagine yourself as a nuclear plant — it does not have energy, it  generates energy.  In the same way, I believe that we don’t ‘have’ happiness. We have to generate it by either choosing to do things that give us joy or bringing the joy into things 
that we have to do.

Shifting gears to relationships, a lot of marriages have been crumbling off late, both in society and with couples in the public eye. You got married while still in your teens and still post affectionate selfies with your husband on the daily. What’s your secret sauce?
We have a dinner date every Wednesday. And we are disciplined about our relationship — we treat it like a plant — you give it the water, sunlight and soil it needs and watch it blossom. A lot of people come into relationships more with the concept — what can I get? Rather than, what can I give?

We’ve heard that you don’t believe in motivation. How can folks keep their New Year resolutions if they don’t have any?
I believe in missions. When you believe in something beyond yourself or greater than yourself there is an energy you tap into or what many call the flow state. So beyond resolutions, working on your ‘why’ is important.

If I ask you to run home right now, you may not feel motivated.  If I had to tell you it’s on fire — you may hurry up. But if I tell you that your family is stuck inside — no one will need to motivate you. You will run as fast as you can.  Find a reason that inspires you from within. And watch your life go from ordinary to extraordinary.

What’s the most common question you get asked as a life coach?
‘Puja, can you help me find my passion / purpose?’ Let your joy to guide you to do things that are important to you, and you will start to settle the restlessness that comes when you don’t have clarity.

Available from January 14. Priced at Rs 797 (paperback).

sonali@newindianexpress.com | @brightasunshine