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The Gate To Human Emotions

With Dee Gupta

Published on: Jun 1, 2018

We seldom ask ourselves, “Does this work make me feel fulfilled? Does it align with who I am, what I want to do, and how I want to express myself to the world?” As Asians, most of us focus on making money. We think that having money will solve all our problems. Dee Gupta was born in India, grew up in Africa, and has been in US for 11 years now. She studied engineering and went on to become a programmer at Microsoft for about ten years. She realized that her upbringing and environment had given her the dream of working at Microsoft, but that it wasn’t truly her own. She spent years figuring out what her true calling was. She attended many conferences, seminars and workshops, watched lots of videos, read lots of books, and finally realized that she wanted to explore human emotions and find a way to help people live peaceful, happy, joyful and loving lives. Learn about her transformation story as she switched her life path, left her job, and became a full time life coach.

When I came to America, I heard the average American would change their career at least seven times in their life. I was surprised to hear that because most of us who live in an Asian country will not change our career after we are 25 years old. Most people I knew have only one career in their entire life. Why? Because Asian, we view changing career as a sign of weakness. You must be doing a bad job and that is why you had to change. We seldom ask ourselves, “Does this work make me feel fulfilled? Does it align with who I am and what I want to do and how I want to express myself to the world?” As Asian, most of us focus on making money. We think that having money will solve all our problems. Our next guest, Dee Gupta is an example of someone who had the courage to change direction in her life early on and choose to do something different from what she has been trained on.

Dee was born in India and grew up in Africa. Then she came back to India to study engineering from a prestigious university. She then got hired to work for Microsoft as a programmer. Working as a programmer for Microsoft was her dream job at the time, but after ten years with this company, she felt that the job no longer fulfilled her soul. She started to take outside classes, seminars, read books, hiring coaches, and finally, she realized that she was always fascinated about human emotions. She wants to find a way to help people live peacefully, happy, joyful, and loving lives. Naturally, she quit her job and became a life coach. Now, she is coaching technical professionals between 35 and 55 years old, men and women who are looking to get clear on their goals and achieve their goals by facing fears and work through mental blocks.

The Gate To Human Emotions with Dee Gupta

We are fortunate to have our guest, Dee Gupta, all the way from Africa. She’s moved here to United States about eleven years. Welcome, Dee.

Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.

Tell us about your life in Africa? Who or what have shaped you to become who you are today?

Let me tell you a little bit about me. I’m Indian by birth and culture but my parents are Indian. I was born in India but I was only six months old when I moved to Africa. My dad found a job in advertisement in the newspaper and he applied and got the job. He up and moved, went down there first with my mom and me to Kenya and that’s where I got my travel bug from because my parents used to love to travel. I was there in Kenya for the first eight years of my life and then we moved to Botswana and I completed my high school there. It was quite a ride. There were many ups and downs. There were two years in school when I was bullied because I was in an international school and I was painfully shy and an introvert. I didn’t know how to talk to people and that was my biggest problem. I grew out of that now but after that particular school, when I was in my next school, I started finally finding friends and I started finding my voice a little bit. The main thing that I found was when I finally went back to India after that to do my engineering, that’s when I learned how to connect to people and how to be a part of a group. That’s when I truly found my voice.

Who shaped you to become who you are today? Who or what? 

They’re my parents. My parents had a huge influence on me when I was growing up and I believed everything that they told me. I loved everything that they told me. Even though I grew in Botswana, they were very Indian, so I grew up in a very Indian way. Unlike most Indians there who grew up in Botswana. I could speak the language flawlessly because they would not speak to me in any other language other than Hindi. We were sheltered and we were mostly around other Indians and they created such a big desire for me to go back to India. After I finished my schooling, I decided to go back to India rather than come to the US because everybody else around me either would go to South Africa for further studies or they would come to the US. I decided to go back to India. That was a very good decision for me. It worked out great. They shift my life until then. When I went to India I became a big rebel. I completely turned around and I did not agree with anything of the values that I grew up with except of course the values of being honest, authentic, and real. Those I kept but otherwise a lot of them I completely turned around after they went back to India.

Another person that was a huge influence in my life was this scholar who used to live in the 1600s or something. I read a book of his and I was completely blown away by him. He is truly a genius. He is so smart, so intelligent. One of his teachings was that, he said that before you give anything up or before you say no to anything, try it out. Try it out with all your heart and all your soul. Don’t say no because of what you think it is. Try it out before you say no. That has shaped almost everything I have done since then. I decided to try out religion when I was still in Botswana. I tried that out for two years. I love trying out new things and that has come from that one sentence that I read in his book. It is amazing how a book can transform your life or the person, the sentence or an idea can transform your life. He did that in a big way for me.

You were giggling when you say, “I was rebellious when I lived in India.” Give us some example of being rebellious in India. You were very young, right? 

I was young. I just left high school and I went to engineering. My parents sent me to India so that I would learn the Indian culture, which was the more conservative culture that my parents grew up in themselves. I went to India and I became completely liberal. I became an atheist. I stopped believing in God. I went to watch movies with guys that were friends. All of that was completely opposite to what my parents expected I would become when I went to India.

What is the norm over there in India right now? How are people raised over there?

The biggest value in India is education. Nothing is more important than education and nothing is more important than making something of your life. That is where I got caught up as well. I’m glad I went through that journey. In India or in the Indian culture, everyone believes that if you want to be respected in society, then you have to make money. The best way to do that or almost the only two ways to do that are either you become a doctor or you become an engineer. Usually, it’s software engineer. That’s why you will see so many software engineers that are Indians is because that is how we grow up believing that these are basically the only two real options available to us. My parents told me that I could be anything I wanted to be and I could do anything that I wanted to do. They were open with what I wanted to do or how I wanted to live my life. I picked up on this dream of becoming a software developer because of my environment. That’s what I went after and that’s why I did engineering as well from India. That is the main thing about India is that education is key. It’s crucial, it’s extremely important. For the most part, it’s limited to this. It’s changing now, but this is where it’s mainly it.

Majority of the Asian countries, that’s their value, the education. I see a lot of parents who sacrifice their lives just to support the child’s education.

It was very surprising to me when I came to US and I realized that if there is a student here that is studying and getting good grades then they’re ridiculed and called nerds. In India those are the most popular kids. Everyone wants to be friends with them. It’s opposite.

Did you have any role model growing up?

The biggest role model that I had were my parents. My inherent values haven’t changed, so those came from them. My inherent values of being honest, being real, telling the truth. Those values were shaped by my parents.

What about now? Do you have any role model?

I have lots of role models now. My biggest role model is Tony Robbins. I want to learn as much as I can from him because there are many people out there that I respect and trust, but Tony Robbins is one of those people that doesn’t go into a lot of the woo factor. He’s very scientific and he keeps things to a very scientific way. If you listen to him, you realize that he’s done a lot of research and he knows what he’s talking about. He can make changes quickly in people’s lives. He is the one that I’m trying to constantly emulate. He’s the one that I’m always listening to on videos or courses or I have all the seminars that I bought. He is definitely my role model right now.

Did you work with a coach before?

Yes, I have hired many coaches so far. I’ve had one coach that helped me and she transformed my life in just a few sessions. She was the one who basically got me to truly believe that I can do it, that I can be great, other than Tony Robbins. I attended one of his seminars, the basic one, the Unleash the Power Within. Him and then this other coach, they both helped me get to this deep belief that yes, I can make it.

Thus, inspiring you to become a coach, so that you can pay forward.

The inspiration for how I became a coach is different. I moved to US after my engineering. I did three years of work there and I moved to US on an H4 visa and I did not have a work visa. Everyone in the Asian community knows about the H4 visa. I could not work, that was not a work visa. I was there at home for about a year and a half and I spent that time learning how to code. I did my engineering in chemical engineering, not software engineering, so I did not know how to code. I taught myself how to code and I joined Microsoft and I was thrilled. I thought that was it. I thought I could not be happier. It was my dream. I wanted to work at Microsoft. I did not want to move to other software companies.

I did not want to move to Google. It was just Microsoft. I thought I was going to be there for twenty, 30 years or the rest of my life pretty much. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that that was not right for me. Maybe less than two years. Because it was the safe thing to do, it gave me security, it gave me good money, it gave me great benefits, I hung on to it for the longest time. I kept doing a lot of conferences, seminars. I read books. I tried to figure out what I want to do and what will give me fulfillment. It was through that process that I was watching this random video. I don’t even remember who it was very well who spoke in that video, but it was a seven minute video on goal setting on YouTube. I watched that and that gave me this huge big breakthrough that that is what I want to do.

Human Emotions: I didn’t even know what a life coach was, but I knew that I wanted to be in the motivational space.

I wanted to become a motivational speaker, or I want to be in the motivational space. I want to do what she is doing and she has made a career out of it and I can also make a career out of it. By then I hadn’t even heard of Tony Robbins or I hadn’t ever had a coach. I didn’t even know what a life coach was, but I knew that I wanted to be in the motivational space. It suddenly opened this world up to me that it can be a career because I have been doing this all my life. I’ve been motivating my friends to get better jobs, to learn how to drive a car, to do whatever they wanted to do. I started was a personality thing and the software was the career. This made me realize that I could make this a career. That’s why I had this breakthrough. Even after that, it took me a year to finally leave my job. Even when I left my job, I did not know that life coach was a career and it was a possibility. I knew that it would be something in the motivational space. I hired a coach who did not work for me well. He suggested that I can become a life coach and I took that suggestion and I’ve not looked back since, so here I am.

Who did you get certified with as a life coach? 

I did the course through one of the oldest institutes of coaching called Coaches Training Institute, also known as CTI. That is one of the best institutes for coaching. They have written a book that many other coaching institutes use.

When you came to America, did you have to learn to adapt here? 

Yes, I did grow up in Africa, so I had an inkling. It wasn’t that much of a culture shock. I did have to adapt and the biggest thing that I had to adapt with was the fact that I couldn’t work. I was sitting at home for one and a half years going stir crazy, trying to figure out what to do with my time. I was learning how to code. I was teaching myself how to code, but I didn’t know when I would get my visa and I didn’t know how long it would take. Every year, I would apply and every year they would get rejected because it was a lottery system. It was very painful. It was extremely painful for one and a half years. Finally when I did, I was all ready to go back to India. I was all ready to give up and go back to India. Finally when I got my visa, I applied at Microsoft and I got the job. Then things became much calmer and much smoother for a while.

You did not experience any cultural difficulties living here?

I didn’t experience a cultural shock, but I did experience a lack of friends. I came from there and I didn’t know anybody. Even though I had grown up in Botswana, I had mostly had Indian friends around me. That’s what I even ended up even here as well. I ended up just having Indian friends around me and that was not good. That did not give me a good feeling because I felt I wasn’t integrating very well with the society here, with culture here. I was cocooning myself a little bit. That also took a while. It took me a long time to, first of all, find friends in the first place, which ended up being mostly Indian. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve truly managed to find really good, excellent American friends.

What was your life’s priority growing up and has it been changed since then?

I have pivoted in my life in big ways a few times. When I was growing up, my life priority was basically to get a software job, like literally it was to work at a company like Microsoft to do work and to get a software job, to be married, to live the regular life. I did not want to become an entrepreneur. I did not want to do anything different. I was very adventurous. When I went to India, I pivoted there in terms of my belief system in terms of religion. I started becoming a little more of an extrovert around there, although I was still introvert for a while and then I became an atheist. It was about two, three years ago when I finally switched in a big way to decide that I don’t want to be in a job anymore. I don’t want to be in the basic software thing where everyone is. I want to find my own true calling and I want to start my own business. That was a huge, big pivot for me. My priority now is to learn like crazy about how the human mind works, how emotions work, and then help my clients figure out how to transform their lives from a fear-based living to a courage-based and more fulfilling lives.

Now, it’s about embracing the deep longing that I have and finding ways to fulfill them. It’s about moving away from the need, fear, and desire for security. What I believe is that our brain has this little organ called the amygdala, which is our fear center. That is where all the anxiety, stress, and fear come from. The main purpose of this, the main purpose of our mind is to look for problems. The mind is a bodyguard. What is the purpose of a bodyguard? Is it to keep us happy? No. Is it to help us find love? No. The only purpose of a bodyguard is to keep us safe. The mind constantly looks for problems. That is true for everyone. My life’s priorities right now is to help people identify these bad habits of always looking for problems and let people understand that it’s a good thing. It’s a safe thing to live a fulfilled life.

It is okay to take risks. It is okay to do things that make us happy. We all so happily just settle for peace. We think that peace is the ultimate goal. Peace is the starting point. Peace is the absence of fear. Once we have peace, then my job is to help people understand that we can go to joy, we can go to love, we can go to bliss and we do not have to be held back by our bodyguard. If the bodyguard had its way, we would always be at home when we would never step out of the house. My biggest priority in life is to help people understand that we can live free, more fulfilled life and we can find peace, love, joy and bliss.

What makes you feel at peace?

What makes me feel happy is a lot of things. One of the biggest things is surrounding myself with amazing people. Especially after I become a coach and I started my own business, I’ve networked a lot more and I found incredible people in my life. I’ve found such amazing people that I’m completely blessed. Spending time with them is great. I have different groups of friends, so I have my business networking friends. I love hiking, so I have hiking friends. Spending time with people, connecting and finding ways to be of service, and helping them out when they need it and that is the most fulfilling thing is the love and connection with my friends. It is one of my biggest values. When I feel that I can help in some way, then I feel that my life has meaning. That gives me a whole lot of satisfaction.

What makes me happy also is going for a daily walk to a lake near my house. That lake is about a mile away from my house and it takes me about fifteen, twenty minutes depending on how fast I walk. I love the walk and I love sitting by the lake and when the sun is out, and I live in Seattle so the sun isn’t always out, but when it’s out I would sit there, meditate or do nothing. Sit there and watch the water and it’s the best feeling in the whole world. I have heard somebody saying that if you go for a walk outside every day for an hour, it’s almost impossible for you to feel depressed. That might be true because I do that and I love it. I feel good when I’m walking.

Another thing that makes me feel great is hiking. I go hiking pretty much every Sunday, unless there is something that came up or unless I’m out of town. That is one of the biggest things. When I’m here, I will do that no matter what. I did the toughest hike I’ve done this year so far. My legs are still hurting and I love it, but it makes me feel good that my muscles are becoming stronger and I’m becoming stronger. I can go for a tougher hike because of this. It is extremely satisfying to be out in nature and to improve my pace. I have tried many other activities. I’ve tried running. I did a half marathon but it didn’t give me anywhere near the satisfaction that hiking gives me. That is one of the big things.

Another thing that I love is learning. I read books, I will go to conferences and I will listen to podcasts or videos and it is amazing when I hear something, like that video that I watched two years ago that completely shifted my life. That happens all the time. It may not happen in such a big way, but it is those little shifts that happen every day that are the true basis of transformation many times. You don’t have to have this huge, big, massive shift in your brain in order for it to be profound. All those tiny little shifts that happen every day, they build up to completely transform you and in ten years you can be the master of where you are because of those little tiny shifts. I love those and I will watch videos and I will journal about it. Then when I go back to my old journals, read my old journals and figure out where I was and how much I’ve grown since then, it is satisfying and it feels great. That ties into the person that I mentioned. He said, “Try everything with your full heart and soul before you say no to it.” I love trying new things and trying on new ideas. It’s not just trying new activities, but if I get new ideas from videos I would try it on and I will see how it feels and work with it for a few days and then either accept it or give it up.

Do you have any suggestions for people who are working? How can they achieve the balance between work, life, families, and self?

At the end of the day, it’s a choice. At Microsoft, for example, it was clear that if you worked crazy and if you work smart, as well along with it, then you were more likely to get a promotion and you are likely to get it faster. It is a matter of making a decision, prioritizing what you want in life, prioritizing that you want a family or you want kids and make a decision. How much do I value this? I love numbers and I love rating from one to five. You can rate them like how important it is spending time with family, with spouses, with kids and how important is it to get a promotion and how important is it to do other personal development work or however many fields we have. It is a matter of prioritizing and then making a decision that it is okay if I don’t get this promotion and the next one yet. I can wait for one and a half years maybe. I can delay it by six months, but I will spend time when I go home from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM or whatever the time is. I would spend that with my kids and then I would work afterwards if I have any more work remaining. It is a matter of living with purpose, thinking about it, being intentional about it and thinking what is it that I want from life and what am I willing to do for it. That’s what I would say. Also, knowing that you really truly can have it all. You can have a great, satisfying, fulfilling career along with having a good family life. You figure out the right way to work and the smart way to work.

That’s what we, as a life coach, do. We guide people to find their values, their priorities, and managing those so that they can make the informative decision. What are your top three priorities? What are your top three goals in life right now?

One is to become a master at my field, like become a master coach and learn how to transform people quickly, effectively. Learn what it takes. Learn the tools to transform them quickly and have it be lasting. That is my top goal is to become a master at that. It takes 10,000 hours, so I’m on my way there. The second top priority for me is to hike all over the world. I am doing the Grand Canyon hike and I’m doing a Mount Saint Helens hike and an Enchantments. It’s near Seattle. I want to go to Kilimanjaro and do some other hikes like that. I want to hike all over the world. Eventually, scuba dive all over the world as well. The third top priority for me is to nurture my relationships, my friendships, and build a very strong community of people that are there. A very strong community of people. I have my friends that are a little bit fragmented, so maybe bring them together and build a very good, strong community of friends that support each other.

What things have you done that you’re proud of?

The biggest thing that I’ve done that I’m proud of is I left my job without knowing what I’m going to do. I knew that I’m going to start a business, that it’s going to be in the motivational space somewhere. I did not have any clue about what exactly it’s going to be. I am extremely proud of the fact that I had the courage to leave the security of the benefits and everything of Microsoft and starting my coaching business. Start a business without knowing what it was and then eventually, I figured out coaching. When you have this belief that you’re going to do something, then you will figure it out, you’ll figure out how. Now, I’m there and I’m a life coach and I’m so happy and fulfilled. That is the biggest thing.

I’m proud of the half marathon that I did a couple of years ago. I went to Nepal hiking all by myself, about three or four years ago. I did the eleven-day hike. I did the Annapurna Circuit. I’m proud of designing my life. I’m proud of being who I am right now. I’m proud of the fact that I don’t regret things that I have done. I know that I have made some bad decisions, but I have learned from it and I’m grateful for that experience. My life is where I want it to be. It’s well crafted. It’s well designed. It’s everything. Every person in my life is somebody that I want in my life. Every activity that I do is an activity that I want to do. My career, my job, my business is where I want it to be. I’m proud of the fact that I’m not living life on autopilot. I’m not existing through life, I’m designing it and I’m surrounding myself with positive, amazing people. It’s a good life.

Human Emotions: Every person in my life is somebody that I want in my life. Every activity that I do is an activity that I want to do.

What does the word ‘power’ mean to you?

When of I think of power, I think of personal power. I think of strength, courage, and being in a situation where somebody says something to you, to hurt you or try to hurt you, and it doesn’t even bother you a little bit. You know who you are and you know strength comes from within you. You’re not giving other people that power to hurt you because you know where you are. That is what power means to me. It is something that comes, it’s not about just seeing something or reacting or not reacting or pretending this is real. This comes from within and it truly doesn’t bother you even for a millisecond it doesn’t bother you. You just laugh it off. That’s what power is. Power is knowing that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Power is having faith in yourself, having the belief in yourself that you are capable of it, that you’re good and that you can do great things in your life. Power is the ability to go after it. Power is what eventually gets you to achieve it through all the failures that you will definitely go through. Power, it’s courage. Courage to fail and courage to go through it.

What are your top three advices that you want to share with women in this community?

The first advice I would give is for people who were in my situation where they came here and they didn’t immediately have work visas, they’re lost and confused about what to do, I would say be patient and use your time effectively. One of my biggest rules of thumb is there is no bad decision. Think about it a little bit about what you want to do, make a decision, go after it, and do it. It may turn out to be wrong, that’s okay. You can pivot, you can change. When you do something, when you start something and you fail, then you gain more clarity about what the right path is as opposed to just sitting there confused and not knowing what to do. That’s the first advice I would give is make a decision, pick apart, make a decision and go after it. Follow it and then keep your mind open to pivoting and don’t feel bad about the fact that it didn’t work but be grateful for the fact that that you now know that that is one thing that doesn’t work.

The second advice I would give is many Asian women fall into the trap of wanting security and money and giving up fulfillment for that security. My advice is spend some time introspecting and journaling and figure out what you want to do. Don’t follow the rat race. Don’t just follow money. Money will give you something, absolutely. Microsoft gave me so much money, so much security that I could buy whatever I wanted and it was a great feeling, but I was miserable. At the end of the day, money is absolutely necessary but go beyond that a little bit. Find your path, find your authentic path. Have the courage to dig deep, have the courage to give up that fear, because giving up that fear is scary. Have the courage to give up that fear, dig and figure out what you want to do and go after that.

The third advice is keep your mind positive. I would say don’t look for discrimination because if you look for something, you will find it. I don’t know what the belief system of my leaders is but I’m talking more about the law of attraction. If you’re constantly thinking about discrimination or worrying about it, then you’re going to have it. Don’t think about it. Don’t look for it. Don’t worry about it because I have not faced that much discrimination here. That’s because I was not looking for it and I was not expecting it. It never happened. It helps.

Human Emotions: Don’t stay within your own society, don’t stay within your own cocoon safe spot, integrate with people here and the culture here.

With Asian women, people expect you to be intelligent because everyone from there usually goes in good jobs. People already expect you to be intelligent in America that is something that you have going for you. You just have the confidence in yourself that you are good, be positive and you will find that Americans have so much to offer. It is truly a place where dreams true. Don’t stay within your own society, don’t stay within your own cocoon safe spot, integrate with people here and the culture here and you will find a world of knowledge and understanding. The integrity, the authenticity, the desire to live a truly fulfilled life, these are values that many Americans have in abundance and will do really well to learn these crucial values for a fulfilling life from Americans, by integrating in their society and integrating with them instead of being safe. That’s my advice.

Thank you for those valuable advices that you have. You’re wonderful. How do our audience reach you or keep in touch with you?

My website is Dee.Coach. You can go there, and my phone number is there. You can contact me from there. You can connect with me on Facebook, @deepikaguptacoach.

Thank you for being here, Dee, and listening to your wisdom. I really admire you. As young as you are, you are very mature and very wise. Until next time, thank you. 

Thank you so much, Kimchi. Thank you for having me on your show.

You’re welcome. 

What are the life tips that you found from listening to this podcast? For me, I will try to get out of my house every day and walk at least 30 minutes or so to strengthen my body as well as to balance my emotion. What about you? What will you try on today? Let me hear your thoughts. Until next time, live life loud. 

Links Mentioned:

Episode Quotes

"Before you give anything up or before you say no to anything, try it out. Try it out with all your heart and all your soul."

"I have heard somebody saying that if you go for a walk outside every day for an hour, it’s almost impossible for you to feel depressed."

"Power, it’s courage. Courage to fail and courage to go through it."

About Dee Gupta

Deepika Gupta (I want to be introduced as Dee Gupta)
Dee Gupta is born in India, grew up in Africa, and have been in US for 11 years now. She studied engineering from India from a highly prestigious university, and went on to become a programmer at Microsoft for about ten years. She realized that my upbringing and environment had given her the dream of working at Microsoft, and that it wasn’t truly her own. She spent years figuring out what her true calling was. She attended many conferences, seminars and workshops, watched lots of videos, read lots of books, and finally realized that she wanted to explore human emotions and find a way to help people live peaceful, happy, joyful and loving lives! Therefore she switched my life path, left her job, and became a full time life coach.
She coach tech professionals, between 35 and 55, men or women, looking to get clear on their goals, and help them along their process of achieving their goals through their fears and mental blocks.




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