15 Questions featuring Thiagi

1. What was your childhood dream?
To live in a chalet in the Swiss Alps, This dream was inspired by reading the English translation of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi.

2. What is your favorite book?
As a child, in addition to Heidi, books by Enid Blyton. Right now, murder mysteries with settings around the world.

3. Who has influenced you most in your life?
Mr Narayanaswami, my third grade teacher, who believed in active, interactive learning.

4. How do you relax?
Reading, writing, and doing magic.

5. Where do you feel most at home?
In Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Neftenbach, Switzerland; and Chennai, India

6. What is your favorite word in a foreign language and what does it mean?
Grüezi. I don’t know exactly what it means, but it makes my Swiss friends smile.

7. What is your favorite music?
Tamil movie pop tunes composed by AK Rahman.

8.Who inspires you?
Critical thinkers who have scientific rigor and a playful attitude.

9. How do you define success?
In my field of training, ensuring that the participants in my workshops outperform me and my expectations.
10. What is your favorite quote by a famous person?
Take playful things seriously and serious things playfully. – Anonymous

11. How would the people closest to you describe you?
I once asked several of my close friends to describe my core traits as a part of a Positive Psychology activity. Here are their descriptive terms: creative, curious, playful, generous, humorous, and continuously learning.

12. How do you motivate people?
By emphasizing the personal value of what they are doing. By giving people choices. By encouraging collaboration. By putting people in a flow state by matching the difficulty level of the task with the competency level of the performer.

13. What does leadership mean to you?
Serving others. Also, discovering and nurturing human universals among the members of a diverse team.

14. Describe happiness in three words. (List three things that make you happy.)

Fulfillment. Being able to use and share my talents.
Positivity. Looking at the bright side of things.
Gratitude. Being thankful to others for helping me become what I am today.

15. What is your favorite part of your job?
Conducting training workshops around the world and discovering how the participants enjoy the interactivity and how they apply what they learned immediately and sustained fashion.


Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan makes a decent living by playing games and encouraging others to play games to improve their personal and professional performance. Born in Chennai, India, Thiagi now lives in Bloomington, Indiana and travels around the world conducting interactive training workshops.

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