But behind the highlight reel, I was sick.
I had been diagnosed with cancer, and after my surgeries, just as I thought I was on the road to recovery, a neurological illness hit. I had to make the most difficult decision of my life. I left the company and I moved my life back home to Canada. I started from scratch.
It was the kindest thing I’ve ever done for myself. It was the first moment I fully took ownership of my life and health. I honoured the severity of my experiences, I investigated the stresses and traumas that contributed to my physical state, and I showed up for myself and for the healing. I began to transform my habits, and ultimately my future. I began to do the work I needed to do to realize my true potential — I was no longer chasing the external validation that New York and startup life gave me.
"What breaks your heart?" Glennon Doyle Melton asked this question at an event I attended a few years ago, and it's stuck with me ever since. She explained that what breaks our heart is the single best identifier of the work we’re meant to do in the world. She suggests that we should move toward the heartbreak, not away from it.
What I realized throughout my year of healing is that what breaks my heart is unrealized potential. The unrealized potential of millions of girls and women around the world who don’t have access to the same privileges that lift me up as an Indo-Canadian woman. The unrealized potential of people of colour who struggle to navigate complex social, political, and economic systems built without them in mind. The unrealized potential of everyone who has been conditioned to view success in the most narrow and conventional of lenses.
That question gave me the fire I needed to change my own life, and to devote my work to changing others’ lives in the same way. What broke my heart last year was my own unrealized potential, and the barriers that were in place in my mind keeping me from my destiny. Through this process, I realized that I’m here on this earth to remind you of your potential, and I’m here to reflect the excellence that’s already inside you.
Today, I run KoMedia and Komal Minhas Inc., the companies of my dreams. I invest in startups and media productions that are changing the world, and plan kickass live events with my team. I travel the world speaking to people about tapping into their true potential, and doing the groundwork they need to do to get there. I live with my fiancé Mitch on a rural acreage outside of Ottawa with room to breathe and roots growing.
From the ground up, I’ve rebuilt a life I want to show up for. A life I’m happy to own. I’m setting the foundation for reaching a level of true purpose and fulfilment I know I’m destined for.