This is a project very close to my heart where I have conversations with people who inspire me on my journey and embody what it means to live a mindful, authentic and meaningful life. I hope their stories and journey inspire you and bring you a tiny bit closer to your own truths, dreams and desires.
Myshkin and I went to college together and I have known him as a happy, adventurous, fearless, kind and empathetic person who is always a joy to be around. He questioned the status quo and didn’t want to do what all of us were aspiring for in college. Fast forward a decade and he is living true to his values and dreams. It’s been an honor knowing him and watching him follow his dreams and serve others along the way. What strikes me most about his journey is his courage to truly be himself, take the risks that many of us would cringe about and most importantly, his humility with all of his absolutely amazing accomplishments (see below!!)
1) How does living consciously manifest in your life?
Regardless of our circumstances in life, each of us always has choices. Living consciously implies introspecting before making choices. The most important thing to realize, of course – that even though there might appear to be a “default” option, the choice to pick the default or pick any other option is ours to make – hopefully after a thoughtful consideration of benefits, costs and risks!
2) What got you inspired to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship when you could have sought a much more traditional and stable career?
In today’s world, I think, increasingly, the notion of a ‘traditional and stable career’ is changing and everyone has be comfortable with change, with movement, with – essentially – innovation and entrepreneurship, whether it is within the guise of a corporation or without. I must confess I never even knew the term “social entrepreneur” when I took the decision to (apparently!) become one. I don’t agree with the term ‘social entrepreneur’ itself and believe the term to be more a ‘flavor of the decade’ product our collective social commentary than of anything with basis in ground reality – fundamentally, an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur is an entrepreneur – but that is a whole other debate! With regards to the logic behind my decision making about my career, this can be accounted for either by a) Temporary insanity or b) Temporary sanity, when I happened to do the introspection suggested in point (1) and unchecked the “default” box in my life 😛
3) Tell us more about your wedding and how that was so non conventional and yet so meaningful to what you and your wife stand for?
My wedding was non-typical of Indian weddings. Unlike the traditional “big fat Indian wedding” which I can only describe with not-so-complimentary words like “a big bore”, “a humungous chore” and “a huge snore!”, my wife and I were married with a scribble on a court document followed by what could have passed for a tea-party at our house, with her parents, my parents and a few close relatives dropping by to say hello over the course of the afternoon. I must thank both sets of parents for graciously agreeing to this much pleasanter way to tying the knot!
4) What comes in the way of your making intentional, conscious choices and what brings you back on track?
Fear – of all kinds! – of failure, of abandonment, of humiliation, of future regrets, etc – gets in the way of making intentional, conscious choices. Fear grips the brain and colors our thinking with panic, blocks out our true selves. I guess each one of us has to find a mechanism, a “trick” to get back to our true selves at the moments of making choices. My trick: I just “zoom out” mentally. At some level of zoom, panic vanishes, as you soar and see the big picture, the “eagle’s eye view” of your decision, yourself, in the interconnected world of people at large.Super trick hack with nitro boosters: Don’t stop there though! I find that if we zoom out sufficiently, we are nothing more than an assorted group of over- grown monkeys (now with great mobile phones!) who happen to habit this slightly bluish green dot, one amongst a great many similar and dissimilar dots that make up the cosmos. Now, take the decision in front of you…
5) As a new dad, what are a few things that you’d like to tell your son about your journey?
I would like to tell him that we are all just incredible lucky to be here on this bluish green dot, and whatever he does, will be OK. So long as he follows 1-4 above, haha!
6) What are some new adventures in the pipeline?
I am working to create a platform that allows anyone with an idea to bring it to reality, without taking a huge amount of personal risk. This is an initiative that will use the power of the social web, the power of the crowd, to help and support high impact ideas. More on this soon!
7) If you had 30 days that you could spend in any way you’d like, what would you do with them?
33%: Spend time with family. Play!
33%: Spend time on learning new things and putting them to the test. More Play!
33%: Eat, drink, sleep!
…so somewhat similar to my current schedule then 😀
8) Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?
One of my favorite one-liners is this one by Groucho Marx: “If you come to a fork in the road …. Take it!”I think it has levels of interpretation beyond the initial humor. It could be interpreted as saying “don’t worry about the definition that is ‘right’ for the first part of the sentence….you are free to make the second part into something a little bit different, a little bit special, by picking the non-default option if you feel like it: And the sentence will be all the more meaningful, thanks to your imagination and courage!”
Myshkin co-founded Biosense, an internationally recognized med-tech company designing and building innovative, disruptive healthcare technologies.
In the past, Myshkin has worked at Mckinsey & Company, on client engagements across the Banking, Technology, Pharma and Healthcare sectors. He has been a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was part of the team that conceptualized and built the Copenhagen Wheel, an innovative electric bicycle concept demoed at the United Nations Climate Summit 2009.
He holds a PhD in Management Information Systems from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Bhopal. His PhD research – on the conditions under which quality emerges in open collaborative platforms like Wikipedia – has been published in the international journal Online Information Review (OIR), and at multiple conferences. He is a regular speaker at global conferences such as TED, Global Insight Network, Autodesk University, St. Gallen’s Symposium, and an advisor to the Inter Institutional Inclusive Innovation Center.
What part of Myshkin’s journey most resonated with you? Let us know in the comment’s below!