My Life Mantra

“If not me, who? If not now, when?” These words by John Lewis could well have been written for me for they are my life mantra. So, let me tell you a little about my life’s journey – of how I have constantly yearned to learn, never wanting to stop.

I am a lawyer. And I chose to study law after getting married and having three children. The unquenchable desire to accomplish something worthwhile in life (albeit a bit late), perhaps came from having been a merit list student (8th in India in the 12th board exams). Though it wasn’t easy to get back to studying after a hiatus of 10 years or be the odd one out at law campus, my convictions and support from my family, gave me the courage to set out for the life I dreamt of.

After graduating with flying colours, I became a corporate lawyer. I worked for some of the top Fortune 100 companies of the world – travelling extensively, helping my company grow globally, and stepping up the corporate ladder. My life changed as I became confident, enriched and in a sense, liberated.

However, even as success came my way, most of the time I felt unsettled (its something I feel sad about even now). Imagine spending 15 years of your life trying to be a success and when you achieve it, you realise the person you have become is not the person you want to be!

You see, back then I didn’t know how to achieve anything big in life while also honouring myself as a woman by being myself; doing things in my own unique way; taking time for my relationships; and letting my creativity flow. I was buttoned up, serious and thought I had to act in a certain inauthentic way – pleasing people, being formal and appearing aggressive. I guess, it was because those were the examples around me and the standards set by society.

I realised that it wasn’t for me, and rather than continuing to feel like a victim, I decided to take responsibility for my life. A change had to be made if I wanted to be happy, so after 15 years of struggling in my high salaried and comfortable job – I let it all go and quit to go back to studying again.

This time round, it was to get my certification as an Image Consultant and Soft Skills trainer. I really enjoyed this phase of learning new things, making new friends and gaining knowledge. It motivated me at the age of 50 to launch my consultancy enterprise by the name of, “Smart Souls”, thus providing me with a wonderful opportunity to be interactive, creative and excited.

As for my legal skills, they evolved along with me as I continued to provide independent legal services with a niche focus on laws pertaining to the sexual harassment of women at the workplace (POSH). I train people on the subject whilst trying to create awareness. Recently, I got my certification in Mediation Advocacy in order to begin my innings in the field of alternate dispute resolution.

The only constant in life is change, and with the quest to learn – the sky is the limit. Being a keen believer in natural products and Ayurveda, I always enjoyed preparing and using kitchen grown produce for the health and body. My latest project, for which I’ve joined hands with my friend (doctor in Ayurveda), is a line of natural and organic beauty and wellness products. The Kitchen Factory (TKF) is a work of passion that is very close to the heart.

My life may have been a bit unplanned, but it has turned out just fine. Spending time and effort on things that fuel me has given me a greater sense of purpose and made me realise that we all have to be our own heroes. The ability to flex and change along with life’s circumstances and express gratitude to those who have helped in your journey – it is a wonderful way to live, wouldn’t you agree?

Priya Khanna
Priya Khanna

Priya Khanna is an Advocate and a Legal Consultant. She provides independent consultancy services with a niche focus on laws pertaining to sexual harassment and other related intra-work place disputes. Also a certified Image Consultant of Soft Skills, Priya is a creative and versatile professional with a proven record of achievements. She was awarded with the prestigious recognition of a “Woman of Excellence” at the Women Economic Forum in April 2018 at New Delhi.  

18 thoughts on “My Life Mantra”

  1. I never knew all this about you Nan till I went through your post today. So Happy & Proud of you .God bless with success your life in future also.anything I can be of your help will love to do. Bless you always with love. Masi

    1. Your being around is the biggest help and strength. Thank you for your kind words, Masi. Lots of love.

  2. What an honest account of your life journey. How you have adapted and moulded yourself through the years is truly commendable. Your quest to learn and explore is worth emulating. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. You are my biggest inspiration, Shil. We all just love the way we are evolving and supporting each other. Thank you. Lots of love.

  3. The only constant is change….Well said. How you have accepted to move on and flow with your change, more importantly recognise that it’s time to move on and not stay in that comfort of familiarity,is a true sign of your inner strength and self love.
    More power to you. A beautiful autobiography.

    1. You know how much we get restless to do what we want to do 🙂 That’s all there is, moving on and enjoying what we do. Glad we have each other to hold on to during our transitions. Thank you for being there. Lots of love.

  4. Naan, so proud of your ability to keep learning and doing new things and all so well! Love and best wishes!

    1. Yes, bhaiya, it’s been risky yet exciting. Wouldn’t have had it any other way. So much more to do.. Cant wait. This family just forces you to enjoy life. Thank you. Lots of love.

  5. Wonderful to read about your journey thru life enjoy reading it n getting to know so much about you best wishes

    1. Thank you Gugs, may we continue to enjoy our lives and celebrate our ups and downs with each other. Time is running out.. Lots of catching up to do. Love, love.

  6. Priya Khanna you are a reservoir of myriad talents and competencies. Life is not meant to be one straight road but meandering turns and curves along the way. How one chooses to monitor and steer them makes all the difference. What has stood you in good stead to make the right choices is your rock solid foundation of unwavering values of “Quest for learning” and “Being yourself -Authenticity.” You proved at every stage that learning continues throughout our lives. You chose “Carpe Diem” and used every opportunity as a stepping stone. You were courageous to give up what did not agree with your intrinsic authenticity. You are a multi faceted diamond that sparkles in so many dimensions. Continue to share your brilliance because you are not just your own hero as you say but a hero to many others particularly women who struggle to win over their circumstances. So proud of you ❤️.

    1. I’m proud to be your sister. Infact, my family is my biggest strength. So much to learn from each one. Carpe Diem is your mantra, and I’m just trying to keep pace with it. Loving the journey. Thank you for such a wonderful feedback. Lots of love.

  7. Wow ! I’ve known you since you were born but how little one really gets to know about the other till it’s communicated. So happy and proud to learn about so many of your achievements. Keep going doing things you enjoy. Age is just a no so don’t bother. It’s your own spirit that has to remain young.
    I’m so glad that change is constant . I don’t like monotony however beautiful it may be . But then that’s me !🤗

    1. If I can be half as enterprising and zealous as you, I would feel more accomplished 🙂 it’s the gene pool that’s working in my favor I think. Thank you masi for being so encouraging. Lots of love.

  8. Beautifully put, Priya. Its a wonderful feeling to be able to look back at your choices with pride. Had the pleasure of working with you. More power to you!! Keep shining 😊 best, Anjuli

    1. Anjuli, to see your comment here was very touching. I’ve seen how you have done it all, and so well. It was my honor to work with you. Thank you for your support. Wish you good luck always.

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