Does Being A Topper Take You To The Top?

Being a topper my entire life, I have indeed made me and my parents proud. But at one point in time, I had to ask myself, “Is this all what you are?” I had never stepped out; I had always been surrounded by my school books, tuition classes and lecture notes. Stepping out for me happened when I first attended a workshop on NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) after which I was able to get a glimpse of what life could be outside of academics. NLP gave me the power to tap into my own inner true potential. Understand that uniqueness in me. I had just started going for fests when I learnt NLP and it helped me grow immensely by leaps on bounds as a confident individual. I became more powerful and confident while on such competitions. My journey that began at the first NLP workshop ensured that I was no more…just the topper in academics. I discovered a whole different side of me that had so much to offer me…other than academics. I discovered Photography, Festing, Dramatics, Nature, Adventure, Languages, Writing and Coaching were things that made me happy. Things that gave me power and a true feeling of accomplishment.

This was when I had the real answer to the question, “Does being a Topper take you to the top?” It didn’t! Stepping out and understanding the real me, things that actually connect with me, things that I know I’m happy doing, those are the things that indeed took me to the top. I was no more under the false impression that marks were everything. This one decision of mine to step out and work on my personal development has worked wonders for me and today, along with being an avid photographer, a nature & adventure enthusiast and a pursuer of languages, I also am a topper and I truly feel that I am at the top … in the actual sense!

It is high time everyone understands today that getting the best scores in class, obtaining a bachelor’s with distinction and completing a master’s from a world class university isn’t what’s going to make one the best. In fact, if you look at most of the successful people today none of them were toppers in class. All of them started young and most were dropouts. Look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobbs, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson, every one of them were dropouts. None of them bothered about a typical school education and they stepped out. I don’t expect you to dropout. Warren Buffet didn’t but he stepped. He bought his first stock at the age of 11. He started young. I started at 16, you can too!

Let me tell you, it is completely in your hands to step out, grab opportunities of growth and development and be open to learning. This is what will take you to the top. So when do you think is the perfect time to step out? I’ll answer that for you. NOW! Don’t stick to the routine. Do what you love and you’ll be happy!

To all parents out there, is your child actually at the top? It’s time for you to allow them to take the first step towards doing what makes them happy and powerful! I’m sure you don’t want them to be at the top of a delusional mountain, right? You want them to be successful in life and have a great future? Correct? The encourage them to step out and grab that future. Now! 

Sagar R Gangwani

Ideation Coach.

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Communication is not just Language!

A lot of people today believe that the words and the language that they use make up the entire experience of communication. They base the results of Communication only on them and so when they fail, they look at changing only the kind of words that they are using. This might have a small change in results that might not even be permanent. So it is important for everyone to understand the fact that Communication is much more than only the language and words. They have a very minimalistic role to play. The choice of Language and Words makes up only 7% of communication. The larger part of Communication is divided into two other important aspects of ‘HOW’ you use Language and Words. 32% is the Tonality of speech and a whopping 55% entirely is the Body Language.
The best example that one could use to illustrate this is that of a pet! Fortunately or unfortunately, them lacking the ability of Language has made them depend completely upon their voice, its tone and their Body Language. How does a pet owner know that the pet wants to be let free? How does one know that the pet is sad or in an extremely excited mood? By its body language! A happy dog will always run after you in search for a cuddle or a pat or a treat!
A baby too for example, the only way a mother knows why it is crying is either through the baby’s tone of cry or its body language of being irritated, sleepy, hungry or even in pain!
To a very great extent, the results of communication depend on the Tone and Body Language of the Communicator. If he communicates Courage and Pride through his Body Language, then that is what’s going to get communicated. Imagine a person who is extremely angry and goes to a group of people and says, “Hey friends, I’m Angry!” with a smile on his face! It’s very obvious that his friends are not going to take him seriously. In a similar situation, If the same person goes up to a group and in a firm voice, with a grin on his face says, “I’m pissed, Stay away!”; I’m sure everyone’s going to do so, because that anger is being communicated through his Body Language, Tonality and his Facial Expressions.
And so, Communication does not just consist of language, it doesn’t just deal with WHAT, but to a major extent, with the ‘HOW’ part! Body Language is a marvellous thing to study and be aware of! Being in control of one’s own body language gives one the ability to communicate better, with greater Power and Conviction. The perfect mix of all these 3 components makes the experience a more powerful and a lasting reference!

Sagar R Gangwani
Ideation Coach

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A Child’s View

I came across a very touching story recently and I would like to share it with you. So here goes…

One day, a father took his son on a trip to show him how the poor people lived so that the son may learn and appreciate the things that he has in his own life. He made arrangements to spend a few days in a farm with a poor family. While returning home, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” to which the son replied “It was great dad”. Then the father asked him if he see how the poor people lived ? To which he replied, “Oh yes !”. Then the father asked him about what he learnt from this trip and the son answered with awe in his voice.

“We have one dog, they have four !! We only have a pool in the middle of our garden and they have a
creek that has no end ! We only have lanterns in our garden but they have the stars ! We have a patio that reaches the front yard and they have the horizon. We have a small piece of land and they have fields that are beyond sight ! We have servants who serve us but they serve others ! We buy our food but they grow theirs. We have walls to protect us but they have friends to protect them !”

Then the son ended it off by adding gratefully “ Thank you dad … for showing me how poor we are !” . The father was speechless !

This is how a child views life before all the conditions of ‘success’ are put up by society and start to sink in his/her head. I have been studying children and have worked with a lot of them for almost four years now and have always been amazed at their perspective at things. They never cease to amaze me. I have had tremendous growth in terms of leadership and character because of this so I recommend interacting with children atleast once a week to refresh your ideas on life and the world !

Just be open the listening to them and you will be amazed !

Amit Punjabi
Founder & Life Coach

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I recently met over several people who had a problem with the word DISCIPLINE. The problem was that people kept telling them that they lack DISCIPLINE at what ever they do and because of this feedback that they kept getting often their performance at their work kept falling down. After having a conversation with these people I realized that the reason this word kept pulling them down is because they did not have any clarity on this word DISCIPLINE. One of them even said “What the hell do they mean by Discipline ? Is this a military camp ? Do they expect me to work with my finger on my lips?” This is when I decided to design a new module on this word and broke down this word for these people so that this word now motivates them and shows them the simple steps towards having DISCIPLINE.

No work can be your best if you are not DEDICATED to it. Take parents for example, the only thing that helps them create a great future for their child is their DEDICATION towards the child’s growth. Be it in sports, academics or any other thing. It is their DEDICATION that shows that they only want the best for their child. So if you want people to see your best at what ever you do first do it with DEDICATION.

People tend to follow only those leaders who’s character portray’s INTEGRITY. In other words people who value time (their own & others as well) and stick to their words. For example, when I set up an appointment with a client for 9 am in the morning, I just make sure that I am there by 8:55 am. This automatically shows my client my commitment towards their growth & my value for their time and therefore makes the client open to listening to my ideas. So if you want your ideas to be heard and given credibility… Develop INTEGRITY.

Another thing that makes you a valuable person at any organization is your drive to SUCCEED. I have met people who have great ideas but the problem was that no one wants to use them. The reason was that these people used the phrase “This idea could work or help.” This phrase does not show your confidence or power in that idea. If you could just re-phrase this and say “This could get us the SUCCESS we want” people will automatically want to listen more about the idea. This is because SUCCESS is the word that grabs the attention of the most important people in the organization.

You may have all the right things in your resume and your character but if you do not portray COURAGE none of it will count. I remember meeting a person who on the second day of his job walked up to his boss and said “I have a few ideas that will help this team perform their best and get the organization brilliant results. It would help all of us grow if you would just give me a chance to share them.” Only 2 out of his 24 ideas were taken into consideration but the boss and everybody in the top management were always ready to listen to him because his character portrayed COURAGE. I like to call it the fuel for growth. So if you think you are great have the COURAGE to say it out loud.

Another key to show people your value is to develop INTEREST in their vision and growth. No matter who you talk to, everybody has one question in mind, “What is in it for me?”. The only way people would start being open to taking your support or feedback is when they know that you are also INTERESTED in their personal growth and vision. So take INTEREST in your team’s personal goals.

You can never go further in any field without having support from PEOPLE. Once you have completed the previous step (INTEREST) it will become easy for you to get PEOPLE on board to work with you on your interests and vision. PEOPLE are the best source of stimulus when it comes to creativity and innovation at work. So brainstorm and come up with ideas when you are with your team.

I have seen a lot of people loose their influence among their subordinates because of their attitude towards LEARNING. You must have heard a lot of people on top positions say “I already know”. Leaders work from the paradigm of “LEARN AND GROW”. It does not matter weather the person talking to you is a junior at work or a cousin who is 20 years younger to you, if you want to keep growing, it is important for you to keep yourself open to LEARNING from everyone who is willing to share their thoughts with you.

As mentioned in the Last step, its important for you to LEARN from everyone who is willing to share their thoughts with you. But its not necessary for you to use the LEARNING the way you got it. As you already know, the dictionary meaning of INVESTIGATE – inquire in detail. This is a very important step for a person towards taking smart decisions. Before you implement anything you have learned, its important for you to get into details and understand the different ways to implement and develop the same learning even further.

This step becomes automatic once you have taken actions on the previous steps. NURTURING is nothing but bringing up your skills with all the learning you receive. NURTURING helps you transform the environment you work and live in. I had a subject in college “Business Studies” and many of my friends and relatives in other colleges found this subject really tough but every student in my class was able to get brilliant grades in this subject. The reason being our lecturer Mrs. Suman Nayak. Her way of teaching was to get ideas from us (Her Students) on what would be an effective way for us to learn. By subconsciously following all the previous steps she had automatically and naturally NURTURED our growth in the subject and also our growth as LEADERS.

This is the one step where most people have a problem. I’m sure you already know that it is a scientifically proven fact that children learn and act faster than the adults. The reason is that children are always excited while they are doing almost anything. If you want to be your best at work or what ever you do you have got to be EXCITED about the results you want to get, The process, the environment and the people you are working with. Also you have got to show and express your excitement as well. This could be a simple smile, a corny joke, an excited hop or a full on jump high in the air with a crazy move !. So JUST BE EXCITED.

Combine all the above and put it in practice and then you will understand the full potential of ‘Discipline.’

Amit Punjabi
Founder & Life Coach

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Change to GROW!

Why is change in one’s environment important for growth?
Everybody knows that the only thing constant in our lives is quite ironically change. Change can
vary from something as simple as taking a new route to your office due to a road block or a
drastic change such as moving to another city altogether. And every time you go through a
change, be it small or a life altering one… there is always scope for growth. What converts this
scope into actual growth is one’s perspective about change!

While some people thrive due to change, others crumble. And what sets them apart is their
perspective on change. Now what influences one’s perspective on change? According to a
study conducted by scientists, it is extremely vital for a student to shift his/her seat in class on a
day to day basis. This enables the student to have a different take on the same subject which
makes it easier for them to analyze the different angles in play by looking at it from a different
angle(Quite literally).

Now you must be wondering how a change in one’s physical position can alter his/her
psychological position? This is because according to the same study conducted; the brain, body
and mind are part of the same cybernetic structure. Which means when there’s a change made
in one, there’s automatically a change in the others.

To put things into perspective… When a young girl finds a caterpillar inside a classroom, it is
easy for her to look at it as a creepy crawler and cringe. But when she finds the same caterpillar
on a trek in the forest, the creepy caterpillar suddenly turns into the creature that’s one day
going to be a beautiful butterfly! Now did the caterpillar change? Of course not. But there was a
change in her perspective about the caterpillar due to a change in her environment.

A lot of people want to grow as professionals, leaders and human beings but aren’t able to for a
long time. What they don’t understand is that growth requires an environment that fosters it.
That nurtures it. And the faster that they change their environment, the faster can they access
this growth available to them. As an adventure Coach I know this because a lot of participants
that have come for my camps have taken back a lot of growth and learnings due to a change in
their environment. Sometimes they take back the same learning that their parents/boss/friends
had repeatedly spoken to them about earlier. But the realisation about the same only came to
them after they came for camp, I.e, when there was a change in the environment.

So you must remember that growth requires consistent change in your environment that fosters
and nurtures it. So don’t be afraid to go through change…

Maanav Kapai
Adventure Coach

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Change in Leadership

I have been associated with the industry of training and coaching for almost a decade now and have helped thousands of individuals transform the way they achieve results. I have found that there is one thing which most of the clients that I have worked with look for.

A lot of them want progress, a lot of them want growth, while a lot others want development. If you realize – all these things mentioned above boil down to just one thing – CHANGE! Everybody wants change. A caterpillar transforming to a butterfly is change, a sapling growing into a tree is change, moving from one challenge to another is change. In leadership, change and facilitating change is what makes success happen.

You cannot afford to be the same person you were last year because if you have not changed, you have not grown. Now change can either just happen or can be facilitated. Most changes that just happen leave you flabbergasted simply because you were not prepared for it. And in leadership, if you are not prepared for change then you will never be able to use that change as an opportunity to grow. When you decide to facilitate change, you are not only prepared for it but in control of it. You then are in complete control of harnessing the power of change. So decide what changes do you want within and around you in 2016. Even if your 2015 was great your 2016 must not be the same, it deserves to be much better. And to make it better, the best thing you can do is to be absolutely clear about the changes you want, stop waiting for it and step up to facilitate it.

Hope you make a brilliant 2016.

Amit Punjabi
Sankalp Academy

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