I believe strongly in dreams. I am also wary of the day, when I would stop dreaming. Since, it is the dreams, which give me energy to welcome every day with enthusiasm. Dreams basically keep me alive. This world is full of wonderful stories of people, who dared to dream and also fulfill the same. If people would not have dared to dream, the world would have never evolved to be where it is now. We see so many technological advancements around us, we enjoy so many conveniences in life, everything is a result of somebody’s dream. Twenty years back, we would not have imagined that we could connect with the whole world at a click of a button on our laptop, but that is a reality today. This reinforces my belief that one must dream for self and the world.
I am sure, our growing up years and its experiences count a lot in shaping us, our dreams and fulfillment of dreams. I was always a dreamer and I never shied away from dreaming. My dreams were never in isolation though, it always got support from loved ones and mentors. Probably I am lucky.
I remember, I was taking a seminar for final year MBA students in an Institute on ‘Success Secrets’. This topic is usually of great interest to participants, since who on this earth does not want to be successful. As the session moved further, one student got up and asked me: “Please provide us with some inputs on how to become successful on my own, and I don’t have to give credit to anybody for this, I can own my success completely”. I replied to his disappointment: “It is impossible, since whatever you are today, it is the collective contribution of many known and unknown people. To take you out successfully from mother’s womb, a doctor and a midwife were required. Then, your upbringing, your value system, your life, everything is influenced by lot of people in your lives. So, whatever you are or whatever you would become, you have to inevitably give credits to others associated with your life.” Although he was not prepared for my answer, but he could easily gather what I was trying to convey.
Yes, I strongly believe in the fact that today, “I am what I am because of You”. I had been advised wisely by many loved ones in my life, because of which I am what I am today. Probably I could have never expressed or thanked them enough for making me what I am. This is a perfect opportunity to let you know regarding those angels of my life, whose advice mattered, whose words mattered, whose guidance / counselling mattered, because, it is due to them, I am what I am. I would let you know what my dream was at a later stage in this article, for now, let me introduce to the angels of my life and also take you through my journey where different advices at different phases of lives resulted in my transformation.
My Papa – Late N. Narayan: “Intellectual growth and Physical agility are two sides of the same coin” I remember, as a child when I used to stay with my parents, it was a rule in my house that, I was supposed to go out and play outdoors every evening. I used to play almost everything, be it cricket, football, cycling, kho-kho, kabaddi, badminton or my typical girly games of gudda-guddi. One evening, when Papa came from office, he found me at home during the evening hours (I was probably 6 years old then). He literally pushed me out of house to go out and play. When I came back, I enquired, why he was so particular about my everyday playing. He said: Physical agility is very important, since it not only keeps you healthy, but also stimulates your brain. I have followed his advice till date, I keep myself physically agile. I have also observed that whenever I have faltered, it has affected my health too. So, I do take care to allocate some time everyday for my physical activities too, since physical agility and mental health are in fact complementary.
On one hand, when Papa was particular about my getting involved in sports or physical activities, he always used to say that education is must. One would gain respect, if one is educated. He also used to say that learning is an ongoing process in life. I have adopted his advice in my life. Even after finishing formal education, my process of learning has never stopped. I learn from everything around me. And I strongly believe his statement that Education is a must.
My Professor in St. Jospeh’s College, Kerala – Rev. Sister Treasa Parokaren: “People can understand you only to the extent you let them”
There was a phase in my life, when I was away from my parents, and certain circumstances and the events in my life had made me withdraw into my shell. It was my final year graduation, and I had become complete introvert in those years. One day my Mathematics professor cum hostel warden Sr. Treasa called me into her room and started casually chatting with me. Once she felt that I was comfortable, she told me mildly: “Bindu, you are a wonderful human being, but how the world would know, if you don’t interact with them at all.” I expressed my discomfort and complexes in interacting with fellow students and others. But, she entrusted with a task of interacting with atleast 2 persons every day and report to her too. Initially I was uncomfortable, but that is where my journey of ‘Connect Inside Out’ started. Today, I am in a profession, where I have to interact with the world every moment as a Life Coach, and I find myself pretty comfortable doing that. Unless and until, I connect with people, how can they connect with me. This advice of hers has transformed me. I gained back my confidence to move out of my shell and connect with the world.
My Professional Guru Mr. Pravin Bhalerao: “Let fear not conquer you”
I used to be very timid in my first job. I always was in awe of authority figures in my life. I used to get scared the moment I used to be called by seniors to their cabin. I worked upon a particular project, and my immediate superior Mr. Pravin Bhalerao was very impressed with my work. So, as a token of appreciation, he took me to the Executive Director Mr. Shakti Mukjherjee’s cabin. I was shivering due to fear. I was unable to utter any word. Mr. Mukherjee said: Why you are afraid, you have done awesome work. Mr. Bhalerao added: Let fear not conquer you. This incident transformed me in my professional life, I just focus on giving my best to any project or work, I don’t allow fears to conquer me, rather I prepare myself to fight my fears.
My Business Partner and Friend Thomas Mathews: “You are very Good, be yourself, you can do it”
Even though, I started connecting with the world, when I started donning the role of a Life Coach as part of my profession, there were moments initially, when I used to just freeze prior to a training programme. I used to feel blank, in spite of having authority of the contents. Thomas used to come to my rescue with his encouraging words: You are very good, be yourself, you can do it.” These words used to be so magical that I used to enter the training platform with new found energy.
My Brother Vinod Menon: “Pursue what gives you happiness”
My brother is a man of less words. Standing with me like a rock solid system in every ups and downs of my life, he always conveyed one thing to me – Pursue what gives you happiness. Yes, he encouraged me to follow my dreams, be it of being an entrepreneur or a blogger. He has never questioned my decisions, but always shared his version or opinion about a situation. With this angel in my life, I feel absolutely secure, protected and taken care off. His confidence in me and support has always helped me to pursue what gives me happiness.
My Mother Ms. Leela Narayan: “Focus and Just do it”
She being a great emotional anchor of mine tells me always to focus on whatever I do. She says that she would take care of everything else at home, make me free from regular domestic matters so that I can focus on my dreams and just do it. I owe a lot to her.
You as readers might be wondering that instead of writing about big dreams or aspirations, I have mentioned philosophies or the advises received from my dear ones at different phases of my life. Yes, these have governed my life so far and made me what I am. As promised in the beginning part of this article that I would talk about my dream or what I aspired to become in the later part of this article, let me now talk about what I actually dreamt of or what my aspirations were.
In fact, our dreams are the very purpose of our existence. I always used to wonder, what I would become in my life. The key advise which facilitated my journey comes from my Papa.
Key advise from Papa: “Be a good Human Being”
This key advise actually drive me in my life. I believe that this is the basis of my existence. I can’t claim that I have achieved this dream of my father, but I am certainly in the process of becoming a good human being. I might be ‘Anybody’ or ‘Somebody’ in life, my profession may define me, my materialistic success may define me, but what matters in the end is how good human being I am. I might don various roles in my life, both personally and professionally, but the underlying fact or the dream is to be good human being and be a change catalyst for the world too. I understand the fact that my dream of being a good human being is a continual journey.
I wanted to mention about so many other angels also, who have taken care of me. I bow to you all (who are mentioned here and also those who are not mentioned here), for making me what I am. “I am what I am because of You”. Thank you all the wonderful angels of my life from the bottom of my heart!