Child, the mentor of every parent : Mallika, mine

I have been deferring writing for some time. Every day brings forth so much, worth penning an article a day. Lazy or I can say misplaced priorities, I must say about myself.

Yesterday was a very eventful and memorable day for me! All thanks to our lovely daughter Mallika. She was awarded the scholarship in school for her meritorious work and excellence in Music, through her middle-school, classes 6-8, at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, her school. Music is one of those intelligence that is not so common as maths and sciences, still we usually look down upon. Thankfully at our home, it is appreciated. The right brain enriches the left brain effectiveness and we invest significant time to facilitate the right.

Collecting the scholarship from eminent public servant, Mr. Lakhan Mehrotra formerly Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Government of India

Here are a couple of favourite compositions of the school. The school has many a music album to its credit. Mallika features in the choir..

Yes, over the last six months there has been a concern with her performance in other subjects, especially Maths and Sciences. Mallika is brilliant there too, but interest and passion is lacking. I have been running with her a little more purposefully to infuse the passion. I always feel bad if one does not perform to ones potential. I am sure she would realize hers soon.

What made me introspect more is one more episode that happened last night. We have been talking to Mallika about a great opportunity in a fellowship, Counter Speech Fellowship, that aims to expose a very young mind to a variety of perspectives, especially in the world that is getting influenced by the proliferation of Social Media. We have been having talks with Mallika about her inclinations and engaging interactions over Social Media, both overt and covert, in the last few months. We felt, some of them are not only unproductive but energy sapping and rendering her ineffective.

It was Oct 31st, the last date to fill the form for the Scholarship and time 8pm. When we went through the form, we realized it demands introspection and expression of oneself, not only in words but also she has to design a poster. Mallika was revising for her weekly test scheduled this morning. We spoke to Mallika, whether she would still like to fill the long form for the fellowship. She said she wants to. I just spoke to her broadly about the purpose of the questions and went to my room. She filled the form and did everything to be submitted before she called me to show. I said, if she is happy, just submit. It was almost 11pm.

And this morning I saw a copy of the form that came my way from the fellowship office. When I went through, I felt so inspired by Mallika’s expression, I am still overwhelmed. CHILD IS A MENTOR OF PARENT, Mallika mine. I felt like expressing. Here insights into what our young darling is blossoming into.

What excites you about the Counter Speech Fellowship?

The mind of an adolescent is always a tumultuous one, the heart is one that is often unexpressed and the thoughts are always confused ones. Many feel alone, unsure and weak. Many around us , harm those weaker than themselves to feel powerful. Many seem to feel eyes judgemental eyes on them even in an empty corridor. We are surrounded by individuals who frequently use the term “depressed” to describe their state of mind. People think its a joke and that it is okay to put somebody under a term that is not a very friendly one, something that may be racist ,sexist ,casteist or any other term which makes one feel low and discouraged. A lot of our ideas are influenced by the internet, which may or may not be giving our thoughts the right shape and direction. One always feels the need to be guarded and protected.This is the time of discovering oneself and of self-realisation . People should realize that it is NOT okay to close your eyes and take it or see someone else take it. Your voice, can make a difference.

As I see it, the counter speech fellowship is an opportunity to voice my opinions and engage with others who are my age and who believe that these same set of problems should be tackled. I want to know more about Bullying, Body Positivity, Mental Well being, Embracing Diversity, Safe Spaces Online and Violent Extremism and learn better ways of making people aware of these issues .
This is why the Counter speech fellowship excites me.

Have you held any leadership position at school or outside of it? Tell us about some life lessons from that experience.

Yes, I have held a leadership position before. I have been elected as the representative of my class at school (Sardar Patel Vidyalaya) quite a few times.
Something I learnt while I was a class representative was that, all people are very very different. We all have our own set of likes and dislikes. You cannot control somebody ( it makes them rebel) and you should not take such condescending behaviour either . Everybody’s idea of an ideal individual differs. It is important to respect other’s thoughts as well as have your own opinions which one should have the courage to express. This is what, in my opinion , can make us better. I also think that one can be a good leader only when one listens to other opinions and learns to accommodate others.

The themes for the 2017 Fellowship are: Bullying, Body Positivity, Mental Wellbeing, Embracing Diversity, Creating Safe Spaces Online and Countering Violent Extremism. Tell us about a personal experience that makes you passionate about one or more of these themes.

I come from a modest middle class family. Ever since I was young, I have been taught to share, to include people , to always be open to learning. As a family we travel widely and try to experience and interact with new places and people.

I have attended various workshops on a variety of topics and am interested in the performing arts (I am trained Bharatanatyam dancer, a Carnatic music vocalist and a theatre person).

All my experiences have given me memories which I will cherish forever. But would it have been as memorable if it weren’t for the people? Would it possible to learn so many new things from new places and to gather such experiences randomly?
The beauty of life is in differences. In different cultures, traditions, thoughts , ideas and lives. Differences make our life more exciting , they give us something new to learn, to behold, to try , to explore.
It is funny , that one would feel more at home with their warm and friendly neighbour than a relative who appears to be cold. Relations are made not pre-decided. Diversity should be celebrated. A canvas is more beautiful when it has many colours. 🙂

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What a clarity in the young mind. So much we can facilitate to help her blossom. I shall commit more of myself to facilitate both Mallika and Svwara, along with Indira. God bless every young mind. Love.

Will add videos to this, as and when I find time.

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Encouraging fitness and Fostering collaboration : CL Srijan – Olympics 2017

Health, fitness, stamina, endurance, speed, alacrity are paramount for any individual’s excellence and fostering of team spirit, belonging, oneness, collaboration in the process of realizing the greater vision is the key to organizational excellence.

The Annual Olympic Srijan holds a mirror to each one to take stock of personal health and team health parameters. Here, I managed to capture a few glimpses to stitch into one short film. Enjoy.

“Empowering to Excel,” Season 2, creates more magic at Dibrugrah University, Sept 17

Endeavaours at the Dibrugarh university are adding more magic to the students and the university, empowering them to excel in life. Post my last visit in August, I had shared a short write up, here is the next post. The Videos here share what a human being can gain, how one can transform in life, in just a matter of four days. It is all about the awakening that one goes through, discovering the purposefulness in life and with determination moves in the direction that he or she ought to move.

Enjoy listening to their reflections and sharing of their delightful transformations…

Here is a video that strings together short captures of many participants making their presentations, and engaging in public speaking, for the very first time in life. Look at their confidence.

Every presenter has worked in a group of complete strangers, from other departments of the university, to study an alien topic (the topics they never ever read or studied about – due to poor reading habits), discuss, engage, share and then create a presentation to engage larger public of aliens (other groups).

I gain a lot more inspiration from the whole exercise, as it reinforces my belief that it is possible to bring the transformation in a very short span of time. I believe, I can.

Believing is Seeing : Give your 100%, do not worry about the results – Himanshu Vaishnav, IIM Calcutta

In the next part of the series, ,”Believing is Seeing”, I am going to carry a few personal stories of youngsters who have realized their immediate dream, of securing their admissions in their dream institution. I asked each one of them to write a personal note on

a. What are the key factors that contributed to their success

b. In what ways has the personalized program (PDPP) benefited them

c. What would each like to share with the youngersters who aspire to get into these institutions

Here is a note by Himanshu Vaishnav, who heads to IIM Calcutta (IIMC) this year.

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Career Launcher – A Wingman in my journey to IIM Calcutta

“Sir’, I don’t have any achievements to show, how I’m going to crack IIM interview?”
I asked my Mentor in Career launcher.

2 Months Later
“You have achieved a lot in your life and you should be proud of yourself” – said IIM C interviewer to me.

(A link to my IIM Calcutta interview experience is at bottom)

So what changed in these 2 months? The answer is my attitude towards life.
Let me introduce myself.

WP_20130709_085I’m an average engineer from an average engineering college (YMCAUST Faridabad) with average academics (Average as per IIMs criteria). After completing B.Tech in 2013, I joined Infosys, worked there for 2.5 years, later switched to Genpact. I had given CAT earlier but didn’t score much but I was more confident this time. And I did get a good score and got calls from IIM C, K, L, S.

To be honest, when I started preparing for the CAT, it was more because of a rat race rather than any other reason. So when results came, I got scared how I’m going to convert these calls, and as I had taken a test series earlier from CL, so I joined career launcher for my Interview preparation. And my expectation from the program was that they will teach me exact answers to questions like Why MBA (Most imp question). But it was nowhere close to that.

Later I came to realize why program name is PDP – Personality Development Program instead of GD-PI preparation. Mentor assigned to me were Sreeni Sir. The first class I attended of him was an eye opener for me, he showed a glimpse of how the world is going to change in next 5 to 10 years. And how important it is for us to be aware of these things.

When I wanted to prepare for my interview, he told me to forget about it and first understand myself, introspect and go through my life journey till now. And what are the things that are in my circle of concern and circle of influence? Sreeni Sir always said: MBA should not be an end rather a means to an end.

All the session which I attended – online or offline- of Sreeni Sir, GP Sir, Shivku Sir or anyone had a common theme, they didn’t want to prepare us for an interview but for life. They wanted to find us our goals, our vision in life not just an answer for the interview.

After a lot of introspection, I did find my vision – things I want to do in life and luckily MBA is going to help me achieve me that. But I became sure of one thing, MBA is just a means to achieve that, and even if I’m not going to get selected, I will find another way but still pursue my dream.

I also came to realize an achievement is something you achieve overcoming the hurdles which need not be always some competition with others. I had very humble beginnings but I definitely wasn’t an underachiever. I have become more confident in my abilities.

My perspective towards life has changed a lot in these few months. Now I try to look more into the bigger picture. I try to look at things if they fit according to my values. And this is not something I borrowed from outside, but it was always there inside me and I gained it back.

One of important realization I had is, an MBA interview is not a platform for the interviewer to ask you questions but it’s an opportunity for us to tell them our life story, and from that story, they are going to check how well we know our story and ourselves. Our aptitude has been already checked in the exam, and now they are just going to check our commitment/Attitude towards our life.

There were sessions on the economy, current affairs, and other things as well but for me, most important were the things I have mentioned earlier.

So my advice to all future aspirants is- Find Yourself. Then any interview will be a cakewalk (not necessarily the results 😛 ) And I’m quite sure that people like Satya Sir, Sreeni Sir, GP Sir, Shivku Sir and Gejo Sir can surely help you to move towards the right direction.

click here IIMC Interview Link to know about what I went through in the interview:

Luckily I have converted my IIM C call. And if someone ask me what is one thing that worked for me, My answer is I focused on myself: my story, my journey, my areas of interest and my goals.

Try to give your 100% and don’t worry about results. Even if hadn’t been selected, I would not have been sad or disappointed for more than 2 days and would have started my journey again.

“Always Focus on Character instead of Personality.”
Carpe Diem!!!!

You can reach out to me on below:
Email:
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Believing is Seeing : “In life there is winning and there is losing, both happen. What is never acceptable to me is quitting”. – Beulah, IIMB entrant !

In the next part of the series, ,”Believing is Seeing”, I am going to carry a few personal stories of youngsters who have realized their immediate dream, of securing their admissions in their dream institution. I asked each one of them to write a personal note on

a. What are the key factors that contributed to their success

b. In what ways has the personalized program (PDPP) benefited them

c. What would each like to share with the youngersters who aspire to get into these institutions

Beulah is heading to IIM Bangalore, with over two years of experience in the IT industry behind her.

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JOURNEY TO THE DREAM

As they say “It’s not the destination but the journey that counts”. And now as I stop to step into one of the important landing place of my life, IIM B, I sit and reminisce the journey to this place. The ride has started 6 months prior to the CAT exam. The distance was long and the terrain difficult but the focus was clear, and the destination decided. I did hit some speed breakers and reach some road blocks, but was undeterred. The first few months were stormy as I had to battle to strike the balance between work and preparation. There were sleepless nights and stressful days. There were times when I hit low trying to explore new ways, paths beyond the boundaries and was left completely astray.But I was motivated to the core to not give up. I fueled my engine with the confidence that “I Can and I will”, no matter how many times I fall.

IMG_20160316_162825992For any journey to be successful, one needs a guide leading us in the correct path, helping through the rough and rugged times. And on my journey I did find that guide at Career launcher. The mocks were the perfect trail runs before the CAT exam. I didn’t score high and roar during the mocks. I wasn’t even the topper during any mock. But what was important was the analysis of the mocks. They gave me an idea of the amount of hard work and extra effort that is needed to reach the target. They prepared me for the unpredictable storm, and the icy winds that blow across our minds during the D day. What seemed impossible was only possible because the belief I had and the sincerity in the preparation. No matter what never give up in the middle of the Journey. Powered by the knowledge and driven by confidence I acquired through mock analysis and practice I was able to steer through the CAT Results.

But before I could rejoice and end my trip, I have just realized that the” journey had just begun”. It was not the end of the expedition but the start. The most crucial phase of the endeavor, the interviews, were on the way. To drive them was no child’s play. Myriad questions await and haunt you on the way. And the most hounding was the question why MBA? Finding an answer to this question was very important, not just because I had the impending task of impressing the Panels to reach my Spot(IIM), It was important because I had to answer myself as to why I have to leave a bread-winner, my job and pursue MBA spending lakhs. I had to discover my passion and the real reason behind me embarking on this journey.  I found myself lost in the woods finding an answer, I was not able to nail it down as to why I really want to do an MBA.

Enroute to finding an explanation I met a man who was compelling, motivating and engaging. I happen to meet him through the PDP personalized program. Through his compassionate words and engaging talks he gets the passion out of you, makes you realize your dream, makes you stand out of the herd. Sreeni Sir, an affable and empathetic teacher. He never taught me how to play safe, he taught me how to be different. And this made all the difference. I Jpegwent through one of his lectures as to how to write an SOP. Every word racked my brain and motivated every nerve to think. It was because of him that I have realized my area of interest, the solution to my question. I always wanted to enter Media industry, as I always thought of it as the real business in terms of money in and money out. There is a lot of creative control involved in it. Even though many had reservations, He encouraged me to pick this interest of mine and go forward. He propelled my engines and helped me steer through the interview. He never gave me a short route to answer, but he helped to enjoy the ride by myself. He was the charioteer leading me through the battles called “Interviews”. Filled up with the much needed Confidence I was able to crack the IIM B interview and reach the Destination. All is well that ends well, and I had a happy ending with all the support form CL team. Sreeni sir, Raj Sir and Nanda sir, I can’t pay gratitude to these people enough.

Now as I set sail into another interesting journey and plunge into a sea of challenges ahead I carry with me the words that has always invigorated me.

“In life there is Winning and there is losing and in life both happen. What is never acceptable to me is quitting”.

Always believe in yourself. It Is the repetition of affirmations that’s leads to belief and it’s the belief in you that leads to SUCCESS.

Acceptance

I came across this beautiful note on acceptance, that reminded me of soulfulness.. thought of sharing and having in my notes here.

When we don’t accept an undesired event, it becomes *Anger*;
when we accept it, it becomes *Tolerance.*

When we don’t accept uncertainty,
it becomes *Fear*;
when we accept it,
it becomes *Adventure.*

When we don’t accept other’s bad behaviour towards us,
it becomes *Hatred;*
when we accept it,
it becomes *Forgiveness.*

When we don’t accept other’s Success, it becomes *Jealousy;* when we accept it,
it becomes *Inspiration.*

Acceptance is the key to handling life well.
……… Have a beautiful day.

Building Self, Creating Impact, Enriching Profile

Most of us, in our youth, are enamored of the world around us that is always enticing with its glitters and sparkles. We have so much within! We hardly invest time to think about our self, not to talk of action. It is time each one of us starts doing.

We are all powerful. We can be winners. We can impact big time. We have enough examples around us – from the Prime Minister of the country to very many inspiring people from all walks of life, who are in a continuous pursuit of realizing their purpose, chasing every goal of theirs, passionately. Each one of us can be one such. The last article, ‘Ikigai’, initiates the exercise of finding our purpose and meaning of life. In this article, I am going to share about building our ‘Self’, while contributing to the context we are in, which in turn enriches our profile.

Let us look at the Abraham Maslow’s seminal work on ‘self’, hierarchy of needs. John Antonio brought it into social media context. I am creating a framework that is built upon these.

maslows-heirarchy-building-your-profile-in-real-world-and-social-world-v2-1

 

Every being goes through these phases, termed as hierarchy of human needs –

  1. Physiological needs – Oxygen(air), sleep, quenching thirst and hunger, clothing
  2. Safety and Security needs – Shelter, Protection from vagaries of weather, to safety and stability in life
  3. Belonging – love, affection, relationships and family provide the emotional needs
  4. Esteem – Enhancing and demonstrating Capabilities that builds self-esteem, reputation and status
  5. Self-actualization – Personal fulfillment, in the process contributing to larger good

Physiological and Safety needs are termed as basic needs – that of survival; while the needs of Belonging, Esteem and Self-actualization are termed as social needs. As one quenches the lower level needs, one starts thinking about the next higher level need. The journey is un-ending while it is incredibly enriching too. We grow in the process, while we keep pushing our boundaries, discovering our unknown self. More we push, greater is the realization and impact we cause and higher is the enrichment.

Each one of us, educated, is fortunate to have our basic needs – especially the physiological needs and to a great extent, the safety needs, fulfilled by our family and well wishers. Yes, with self-doubts that question our own capabilities, we may fall short on career or emotional stability. We can equip ourselves to overcome these shortcomings with positivity. Believe in our own selves, have confidence in our abilities and have conviction in our actions. We need to work on our state of mind, constantly, to be positive and purposeful.

Cycle of Excellence

excellence-cycle

Our thoughts are all powerful. Our positive thoughts influence the language, the words we use. Repeated use of the energizing words brings about the compelling action. Compelling actions will result in impactful outcomes, which reinforce the confidence and positive frame of mind. This cycle of excellence is unending. It is transformational. This fuels our journey to realize the infinite potential within.

[In this frame of positivity, it makes imminent sense to establish our profile in the social space – social media – the presence in the virtual space of this ever evolving connected world. Most of us are present in a few of these destinations like Facebook or Instagram to name a few, for fun mostly by sharing some interesting happenings in the form of stories or photos or videos. It is time we think of being in each of these spaces, with all the purposefulness that shall add to our ever evolving self, to aid our realization of the larger picture and public good ]

Once we get on to the cycle of excellence, fuelled by our purposefulness, the social context that we are in, can add that much more. Our family, friends and relationships can give the strength and confidence to head towards our larger vision. In this pursuit, we can connect with people or groups, bodies who work in our space of interest. The engaging conversations with people who share our beliefs and passions builds our community affiliations, that can further reinforce our purposeful and our journey. List out our passions and interests, and look out for people or bodies with whom we can engage to build your journey. Stretch yourselves and reach out, get involved. We need to consciously build these connects and affiliations.

[These affiliations and connects can be further fuelled by being alive and kicking on the social media, in the current context. The social media has the power to make connects in an unimaginable way. It is a double edged sword, and certainly depends on how we put it to use. If used wisely, it can make a big difference to our journey, in the process enriching our profile.

 Think of building your own website or a blog on one of the platforms like wordpress, which is very easy to handle. Be on Linkedin that enables you to connect with professionals in your area of work. Get onto Twitter to follow people, institutions and journals of eminence while sharing your thoughts too. Start engaging and interacting with the connects in a purposeful way. Slowly build your web presence that can build your community and affiliations.]

As you become active in various spaces, engaging with people and involved in activities, voicing your thoughts and opinions while helping others also to grow in the process of your growing, the journey will start becoming more meaningful. This brings more opportunities, more doors open to push your boundaries and to realize greater possibilities and potentials. In the process, knowingly or unknowingly, your brand building is happening.

[Continue to share your learning on your website or blog as a regular process of self-growth. In the connected world, you will be surprised how you create new connections with strangers and friends, who are on their path of excellence; who feel that you resonate with their thoughts and journey. It adds the domino effect to your growth, evolution and excellence. Many an entrepreneurial journey thus began]

As you continue on this journey, you will reach new heights, of course not without a lot of struggles. The struggles are part of every success story. As someone said, “Overnight success is a result of twenty years of slogging.” The struggles actually help you realize that you are more capable and you are on the path to realize the higher goals that you have set for yourself, the big picture will continue to refine itself. Your mission of realizing your potential and goals, will certainly be aided by the profile that you have been building on the social media in more ways than you had ever imagined.

4P FRAMEWORK for showcasing your PROFILE

I shall wind up this article with my 4P framework to share your profile. Kindly dig deep and explore on each of these dimensions to give insights into who you are and will be. Work towards enriching each of these dimensions, by creating opportunities or taking advantage of one. Identify the leadership roles and activities that you have done in each of these dimensions to highlight.

Purpose

 Sharing of your larger vision and purpose conveys your outlook towards life. It conveys the direction you are heading and how your past or present connects to the future.

·         Institutions, employers and employees alike will enjoy seeing what goals a person has. Let these goals be both career oriented and personally oriented, such as scuba dive, rock climbing, music or blogging, shayari…

Professional

 ·   Learning/knowledge – Share the schools that you have attended and every degree or certification that you may have; other courses that you might have pursued beyond your graduation or academic requirements

·   Skills are important because they show Institutions / Employers and networking connections why they should connect with you. They showcase why you would be an asset to the institution/company and to the person. Skills can include leadership, management, organization, communication, hard work and interpersonal skills.

Passions

·         Interests and passions give people a feel of who you are as an individual. This makes people connect to you as a person on a personal level.

·         This also shows you being a keen learner who is not afraid of exploring the unknown;

·         As a very balanced individual with avenues to reduce stress and rejuvenate oneself to be on the path of purposefulness.

Public Good

 This is an opportunity for you to stand apart from other candidates because many people overlook this dimension.

  • Share personally meaningful values, important ones – such as innovation, health, fitness, responsibility, success, challenges or intellect, and share instances of demonstration

·         List your experience and contribution to any form charity work or public good.

Believe in yourselves. Build your profile. Enjoy the journey of realizing your larger purpose.

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