The most successful individuals in our world all know that despite all their determination and hard work they need a balance in their lives with activities of leisure. Everyone needs a vacation and everyone needs to let go a little bit, otherwise they risk having a complete physical and mental meltdown. How does that old saying go again, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
The expert software engineer at Capital One, Shilpa Jindal, knows this and she knows how to alleviate the burdens of her work with a regular regiment of indulging in some of her favorite hobbies like: cooking, watching her favorite movies, hiking across beautiful landscapes, climbing mountains and skydiving through the open skies.
Shilpa, when pressed, offered up that it was her love of nature that opened her up to some of the activities she so much enjoys. She says “I guess I like adventure, and I love nature. I think it’s in my nature of loving challenges.”
One of the craziest places she has ever hiked? North Carolina’s Grandfather Mountain, a natural treasure that has been open to the public since 2008. It was a massive challenge as it stands at a staggering 5,946 feet above sea level, but she found the climb rather easy—it was the descent that proved most difficult. The massive size of the mountain allows for a plethora of caves and niches; it also hosts at least sixteen distinct ecological communities, offering an inordinate amount of differing groups of flora and fauna.
It is challenges like this, and a love of the natural world, that leads Shilpa to undertaking unique and thrilling journeys all over the world. This includes adventures across the ground as well as treks through the white puffy clouds when she skydives!
Feeling the wind through her hair, falling over hundreds of miles per hour through the sky, taking in the gorgeous cityscape beneath her, these were only a few of the perks to skydiving she found. A thrilling experience that had been sitting on her bucket list and finally scratched off when she took the plunge, a cathartic adventure everyone should undergo at least once in their lifetime.
It is not all about epic climbs and high flying exploits for Shilpa Jindal however, sometimes a little relaxation at home is the only soul soothing that needs to be undergone. This allows for Shilpa to enjoy one of her favorite pastimes: cooking. Although she usually is preparing Indian food she fancies herself a chimera-chef, trying her hand at Mexican, Italian or anything that has a little spice to it.
One of her most favorite meals to prepare is chicken biryani. A traditional South Asian dish that she enjoys making with an addition of nuts, saffron and tons of spices! She roasts vegetables, cooks up rice and slow cooks the chickens, putting layers of deliciousness and sprinkling spices in between to make a fantastic meal that definitely hits the spot of a growling tummy.
It is not only about relaxing with food when you are in the comfort of your own home though, she also finds joy, like so many of us do, with movies! Some of her favorites include: The Avengers, Captain America, The Princess Bride, Insidious and The Orphan.
She enjoys action, thriller and horror movies movies because it allows the escape from reality. You immerse yourself into the narrative and forget the trappings of everyday life, able to just enjoy the story and enjoy the ride of the story. She finds it fun to just sit back, relax and fall into the fancy of fiction.
There certainly is a difference between the breathtaking beauty found while hiking the The Grandfather Mountain of North Dakota and cooking up a batch of chicken biryani, or the adrenaline thrill-ride of skydiving versus the seat-jumping horror of The Orphan, but all of these activities are activities of leisure. They allow her to unplug herself from the constant go, go, go of her career and let her recharge her brain.
This is definitely a behavior we should all be practicing, making sure to take a step back from all the rigors of our profession to stop and smell the roses or see them from thousands of feet in the air…