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After nearly 2 years of presiding over a data science venture, attending Haas School of Business and serving on 3 boards, I have started to learn that balance is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

1. Drink water: Hydration helps us in a plethora of ways. Since my childhood I can recall the multitude of time my parents would scold me and make me take a water bottle to school, karate training and Japanese classes.

2. Eat fruits & vegetables: You may find it surprising, but ever since I lived in Silicon Valley I keep meeting more and more vegetarians that don’t like fruits or vegetables. I’m beyond grateful that I am lactose intolerant, which means I can’t eat most desserts since they either contain milk, cheese or butter. At the beginning, it was extremely hard for me to get used to it – but now I feel blessed for having that discipline.

3. Exercise weekly: We can all attest that our schedules are tight. Nevertheless, find a workout friend, tennis partner or soccer team to relax your physique. Healthy body, healthy mind. It helps you decompress from your work stress too. It also helps your mind be more creative – something very crucial in our world’s economy. It’s also a networking technique: hiking with your potential new advisory board member may be the bonding experience required to bring her onboard. For instance, last month I had the privilege of giving the keynote speech at an ACG Silicon Valley event where I met a banker who played golf. This past week I had one of the most memorable golfing experiences in Oakland with him.

4. The key is always to smile: Remaining hopeful against all odds is crucial for succeeding. Even if people don’t greet you, greet them. If they don’t smile at you, smile to them. If they don’t offer their handshake, offer your handshake. This fourth tip I learned from my uncle David Ardiles who is a team leader at Siemens in Erlangen, Germany.

5. Reach out for help: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Pursue your dreams and create a timeline with tangible goals and key performance indicators. Fight for it and always ask for help. People feel special when you ask for help – humble yourself and reach out to potential mentors, advisors or coaches. No one is born knowing. However, the industry today expects you to learn – learn fast.