The Journey from Finding Our Passion to Becoming Our Best Version

A Conversation with Dr Uttara Pattanaik

Dr Uttara, an ICF certified Coach enables organizations/teams/Individuals to be their best version. Let us find out how.

Dr Amit-How does one identify one’s passion?

Dr Uttara- Have you heard of “Ikigai”? Japanese say, Finding and igniting your “Ikigai” or a sense of purpose is the key to living a long happy life. According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. An ikigai is essentially your reason for BEING or the reason to wake up every morning. This is similar to passion but holds a strong "purposeful" connotation. Ikigai is also believed to be the union of 4 elements: What you love doing, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

According to Ikigai, passion is the outcome of “What you love doing” + “What you are good at (your strengths)” with an overarching purpose, that acts a guiding light throughout your life’s journey. There may be many things that you are good at and also enjoy doing, but there may be few things that give you deep satisfaction, inner joy and a sense of timelessness. These activities when performed for long hours, even in difficult situations or in challenging environments, may drain you physically, but stimulates you mentally, fill your heart with fulfillment, joy, containment, a sense of calmness and you look forward to do it again. This may be your passion. Discovering your passion requires deep reflection, soul searching, self-awareness, willingness to take risk and explore. It is an inward journey that may seem challenging in the beginning, but definitely worth exploring. Locating our source of happiness and meaning to life is something that we owe to ourselves.

Dr Amit-How many of us really know who we are and what does that actually mean?

Dr Uttara- Have you noticed that if you ask a person, “Tell me something about yourself”, most people will tell you what they do, but hardly anyone will tell you who they actually are! More I am working with people, I am realizing that very few people are aware about who they are, what defines them, what is their identity. Think of a huge Banyan tree…what do you see? Trunk, branches, leaves, flower, fruit etc. right? Will this tree be standing strong with all its beauty and magnanimity, if its roots are not healthy? NO. Similarly, our inner self or who we are is made up of our purpose, values, principles, unique strengths…..that each individual is bestowed with. That is our roots; our core that defines us….which remains more or less same, no matter how old we are or what titles we have. We call it our BEING. Strangely, we invest all our energy in building our DOING. We forget that if we are self-aware, or familiar with our BEING, nurture our BEING, we can easily self regulate or manage ourselves well in all kinds of situation, creating magic in our DOING. In most cases, we do not know who we are and therefore unable to take care of our BEING. When our BEING dies or suffers, the DOING automatically is messed up. When you are suffering inside, mentally upset, confused, sad, angry or depressed, how can you do something well? Both self-awareness and self-regulation are two important aspects of emotional intelligence.

Dr Amit- Are people basically good or bad?

Dr Uttara-I personally feel, each individual is a good person, is powerful and has good intent, set of values and principles. But he/she may not be aware of his/her own resources or lacks a life purpose. It is only a situation that drives them to behave in a specific manner. Because they are unaware of their inner-self, do not have a purpose, they are not able to regulate their own behavior. That’s why coaching can transform people because it helps an individual to connect with the inner resources, identify the purpose, values, overcome fears / self-limiting beliefs, shift perspectives and create the world of possibilities enabling the individual to be their best version.

Dr Amit-Limiting beliefs are often an obstacle in human performance. How do we rewire the human beliefs?

Dr Uttara-Self-limiting beliefs inhibits one’s growth. They stop us from attaining our goals. Most of us have certain self-limiting beliefs which we may have picked up over the years from social conditioning through people we trust, or our own mental constructs based on our experiences. And few coincidental personal experiences and failures further reinforce those beliefs. We gradually build the walls of self-limiting beliefs, brick by brick in our mind and they tend to become unbreakable. Overcoming self-limiting belief is liberating and helps us to win the inner game that can create a new world of possibilities.

Coaching helps a person to identify the self-limiting beliefs, accept that you have it, understand what it does to you, untangle the knots to have a deeper insight regarding the origin of it and supports the coachee to overcome it slowly and make impossible possible. This is a liberating experience and we owe it to ourselves to free ourselves from our own self-limiting beliefs and be our best version.

Brief Profile

Dr. Uttara Pattanaik is an ICF Certified Leadership & Life Coach, Mentor, Personal Mastery Expert and a Strategic Leadership Advisor. She is the founder of Uttara Pattanaik Consulting Services (UPCS), a organization that enables organizations/teams/Individuals to be their best version. Prior to her entrepreneurial journey, Uttara worked for 18 years in healthcare industry in senior leadership positions at national & international levels. She leverages her business, leadership, diversity experiences coupled with coaching and NLP skills to enable people to maximize their full potential.


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