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Of the last decade and the next

So I turned 30 just 2 days  ago; and I’m writing this post talking about what my 20’s turned out to be like and what I’m committing to in my 30’s. More than being a post, this is a dedication to a lot of people who made the decade what it was suppose to be. I know that the last decade has been great because when I sat and looked back at it I realized that not once did I get the thought of “I wish” it was different or I had done it differently. I was happy looking back at the last decade because I realized that everything that I have done in the last decade, I did because I wanted to do it. I was not forced or rather I did not let anyone force me into doing anything that I did not want to do and honestly, that is what being in your 20’s is all about. It’s about putting ourselves in a position of owning everything we do – the decisions, the mistakes, the failures, the successes, the journey.

I consider myself lucky because I had the right people around me by the time I turned 20. I had friends who did not just hang out with me to have fun but spent time with each other knowing our dreams and do what ever little was possible on pushing each other towards achieving them. I had the freedom from my family to make my own mistakes, learn, do better and achieve success. More importantly, I had a mentor just before I turned 20, the person who introduced me to NLP, a tool and set of skills that would give me the ability to change and design my own life. My mentor actually helped me realize what I truly wanted for myself and then coached me to have the courage and ability to do something about it. I remember when I had just started Sankalp Academy with my wife and then girlfriend Kiarha, Ashlesh (my mentor) took a walk with me and told me “there will be times where things may not seem to work and achieving your goals or dreams may seem really hard, You just stay at it and I know you will find a way to make it work, Just stay at it!” If it were not for those words, then Kiahra, myself and the academy would have never been able to come this far. My mentor gave my past decade a brilliant kick-start and along the way I met many more people who kept pushing me forward. Whenever I needed something, I had someone around to help me with it. When I doubted my capability, my sister Priyu made me realize and believe that I could actually do anything very effectively and powerfully. When I felt down and lacked strength, Kiahra showed immense amount of patience in giving me the support and strength to bounce back, when I behaved like a victim, my friends Varun & Swati kicked my butt.
When I started Sankalp, I did not even know how to send a good professional e mail and my friend Niki always came to my rescue. Niki even designed our first logo, our first letterhead and our first certificate template. Now you know why I consider myself lucky.
There are a lot more people to acknowledge but that would require a lot more posts. However, a loud shout out to my mentor Charles for making this journey even more effective and a lot of fun and of course to mum and dad for having the faith.

Coming to a very important point, I had stepped into my 20’s with a clear outcome. It was not about all the clichés like just make money, buy a house, a car etc etc. it was about making a name, an identity by making a difference and I am so happy and content that I was able to do that. I got listed as an expert on entrepreneurship & leadership in many publications, got good media visibility and acknowledgement and also authored a book that became a best seller. I had heard many times before I turned 20 that the 20’s would be about making a name; you can make all the money in the world as you keep growing but your 20’s will be about building character. I’m glad I focused purely on that and everyone around me helped me keep that focus. Of course they were a lot of challenges in the journey, but that is what made it better and made me better. If it were not for the people who let me down and made my life hard, I would have never known how strong I could be. So even to them, thank you for being there and playing the role that you did, for it has helped me be more, do more & achieve more.

So for any of you who are in your 20’s now, make this decade of your life about building character. It will turn out to be better than what you can imagine. Purely speaking out of experience ☺.

Now coming to the next decade. I surely have a lot more roles to play now than I did when I turned 20. I’m a husband, a father, a mentor, a consultant and a lot more keeps getting added to the list. Instead of listing down my dreams and goals for my 30’s, I’m just going to share the out come. Since my last decade was about making a difference it only makes sense for the next one to be about making a mark and facilitating growth. I don’t hope but I know that I will bring immense growth and I will create impact and leave a lasting mark on a lot of lives this decade. This decade, I will be a role model for I have a lot of people counting on me to grow and add value. This decade I will make you even more proud not just as an entrepreneur, a leader or a mentor but as a person. Many people have played great roles during my last decade and a lot of them will play even bigger roles in my next one.

The last decade was great and I’m all geared up for the next one!

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The Importance of a mentor in your life

I grew up hearing to the sloka “Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Gurudevo Maheshwara” which in Sanskrit meant Guru is in all forms of god. During my early education I lived up to learning from every teacher and had high respect for each of them. The key to learning is an open mind and hard work. So, I did both which helped me get knowledge powerful to lead a life. I had amazing teachers and my respect to all of them through all phase of life. But since I am sharing about a mentor, there is very key difference between the two.

Key difference between Teacher and a Mentor

– Teachers are instrumental in imparting knowledge which is key to be aware about the subjects in life but a mentor makes you take action on the knowledge to let you have experience of your own to lead

– Teacher shares the content so you understand, but a mentor will ask you to give an example of your own.

– One Teacher will teach a group of students, but a mentor does it one to one.

– Teaching is a job, but mentoring is a role with responsibility.

– Teacher will give you grades but mentor will bring out all the shades in you.

So, through my journey of starting 2 business ventures Honeymoon Havens and MarkYourTrails, I learnt the importance of having a mentor in life. Its been a roller coaster ride for last 5 years and I must admit everybody needs a mentor for sure. So, for all those who looking to have mentors would suggest its key to have right mentor.

– He who can understand you completely.
– He who is not making you feel comfortable but is focused to create results for you.
– He who makes you do more than you can think you can.
– He who will make efforts to evolve you through a process than just talks.
– He who speaks less and make you do more.

So, go out there and make a decision of having a mentor who can help you walk the path to reach your goals. All the best..!!! Learn, Experience, Succeed.

Chetan Yallapurkar
Honeymoon Havens &

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Take it on your EGO!

Every teacher was once a student. Every professional was once an amateur. Every champion was once a novice. And every winner was once a loser.


Loss, failure and rejection are all part and parcel of life. All inevitable. But staying down and bouncing back is not. Every successful personality knows that you fail a lot more times that you succeed. And during times of failure people take a decision. A very important unconscious decision of either staying down or getting back up and fighting. But some people take this decision to a whole new level… of not just overcoming the failure but completely turning things around for themselves:


Amitabh Bacchan, for example, a man who is loved for his voice was once rejected by an All India Radio Station because they did not like his voice. Today he holds a Trademarked Sound to his voice.


Michael Jordan, who didn’t make it to his high school basketball team ended up becoming the greatest player of all time. Today he’s not only the greatest, but also a self made Billionaire.


The Beatles, who were rejected by a recording studio because the studio believed their music was “not in time” ended up selling over a 100 million copies of their music. Today they’re considered the best band to have existed.


All these people failed initially. Some of which might have been major setbacks or even breaking points for some people. But these guys all had something common that made them who they are in our minds today… EGO. Each one of them had a certain attitude to deal with what was flung at them. Without this attitude, none of these winners would’ve become winners in the first place, they would’ve stayed as losers. Their ego is what set them apart and helped them rise from the ashes and conquer the world.


Now call it arrogance or attitude… it is all at the end of the day linked to ego. And if these leaders hadn’t taken their losses, rejections or failures to their egos, we wouldn’t have even heard of their names.


So next time life throws something unexpected  at you, shove it all back with your ego. Because it’s one of the best boosts available. And remember… it is not a bad thing taking losses to your ego. It’s exactly what will set you apart from the rest.


Maanav Kapai – Adventure Coach


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How Beliefs Shape who we are

If there is one thing I’ve realised in my journey as a coach, it is that sometimes the best learning is found in the most unexpected place.

There is one particular topic that has been very intriguing to me from the past few months and it all started in the middle of a heated debate.  The debate was a result of a conversation with my mentor about how everything was going wrong with the world. While I kept talking about all the things that are horrible, my mentor kept talking about things that are going great. Determined to prove my point, I kept coming up with example after example of the awful things we witness on a daily basis. And that is when it happened – he stopped me right in the middle of the conversation and asked “There are two things you can believe in – Either that everything around you is awful and leading nowhere or that great things are happening or just about to happen – What do you want to believe in? because what you believe in is what you will receive.”

As ideal and utopian as it sounded to me at that point, I decided to give it a try. The next time I was in a conversation about how we as humans are destroying nature to the point of our own extinction (Yes, we have such conversations!) , I firmly held my ground and expressed that there would never be a point in time where we would completely destroy what’s around us. We’re a species with immeasurable intelligence and we’ll evolve to make things better for us. Today, my facebook timeline stands testimony to the number of articles and pieces of information I’ve come across after that day about how technology has evolved to create better environmental and living conditions!  I received what I believed in!

My faith in this theory was further confirmed by two real – life incidents I heard from Mr. Muniallappa, an army survival trainer who helps with our Adventure Leadership camps.  On one of Mr. Muniallappa’s expeditions, a trekker unfortunately was bitten by a completely harmless, non venomous snake. The  trekker was extremely petrified about the snake bite even though he was reassured multiple times that it was harmless. The trekker passed away in the next few hours.

The second story I heard from him was also about a trekker but on a different expedition. A man from Russia had come down to India to explore the adventure sports available here. On the trek, the man was bitten by a King Cobra which is an extremely venomous snake. The instructors knew full well that they had very little time to act. They gave him first aid and rushed him to the hospital.  The man not only made it to the hospital alive, he lives today, 6 months after the incident. Such is the power of belief!

The more you believe in the results that you want to see, the more likely are you to find those results. When you want to succeed, you need to take your focus away from stories of failure, politics and corruption and focus instead on how people faced challenges and succeeded. If you want to make a relationship work, stop dreading about things that can go wrong and think about experiences you want to go through together and grow. If you want to be rich, move your focus away from the dwindling bank account to the ways in which money is coming your way!

Like my story began, you have two choices – What do you choose to believe in? What you believe, you receive.


Shiksha K Sharma

Communication Strategist

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5 Life Lessons From Tom And Jerry!

One of the most iconic cartoon television series has got be Tom And Jerry, which has made not just my generation but my parents as well as my grandparents laugh until our stomachs have hurt.

We thoroughly enjoyed the antics of Tom And Jerry, which always left us in splits during our childhood days. It was almost a daily routine to watch the two characters run after each other for their lives but ironically at the same time were also best friends.The fight took us through a roller-coaster of a joy ride. However, amidst all the fun we might have missed out on important life lessons which the series taught us. Here are some more reasons for you to love the series even more:

  1. Size Doesn’t Matter : The first thing this show ever taught me was that size doesn’t matter. It is merely a number. Strength and power do not correlate with physical size but come from our minds. Jerry who is almost 10 times smaller would always come out on top irrespective of what Tom threw at him. How? Because he utilised his genius to come out with some really kick-ass comeback ideas. Despite being just a tiny mouse, Jerry would always take Tom to school.
  2. Attitude Is The Key : Tom made me realise that no matter how many times Jerry ‘hit a six to his googly’, Tom always had another trick up his sleeve, and another, and another, and an… You get my point. The fact that these googlies never worked is a different story all together, but the point is Tom never gave up. Because he had a superb never-say-no attitude which made him rise up ONE MORE TIME. He rose up more times than he fell. ATTITUDE is key!
  3. Look At The Bigger Picture : A lot of times Tom And Jerry had to keep their rivalry at bay to team up against a bigger opponent, which was the only way of emerging victorious. Sometimes, one can’t always choose the person he/she wants to work with. In such situations it’s vital to keep one’s emotions in check and know the overall outcome that needs to be achieved. Tom And Jerry fought only when they were alone but when they had to face a common enemy they clubbed together to become a strong team.
  4. Learn From Your Experiences : If you notice closely, Tom will never use the same technique twice to trap Jerry. He failed many times, but he only came to the conclusion that these tricks didn’t work and scrapped them. He never came back with the same trick twice. He did not allow it limit his thinking. As Thomas Edison said, “I came to know about 999 ways which won’t work.” Hence next time you make a mistake, learn from it and make sure you don’t repeat it, because the 2nd time will be out of choice, not chance.
  5. Enjoy! : The most important thing I learnt from the series is to enjoy every moment. No matter how bad the circumstances or how horrible the experiences, both Tom And Jerry were always content. All it took for them to be happy in life was a roof above their heads, food in their bellies and one true friend/nemesis! And oh yes…one last prank still to play !Here’s to one of the best cartoon series to have ever been created which not only made us all roll on the floor with laughter but gave us great learnings about life too!

Maanav R Kapai

Adventure Coach

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4 Athletes that’ll put ANY of your excuses to shame!

For a sports fan it’s very common to have a role model who is the best of the best, the superstars, or the legends. It‘s always easy to look up to the likes of Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali or Sachin Tendulkar. And almost always some of the MOST inspiring athletes are never even heard of because they lie in the shadows of these legends. Don’t get me wrong – these legends certainly deserve ALL the attention, ALL the glory and ALL the fame as they’ve transcended and impacted the game more than they can ever know… I’m personally a HUGE fan of each myself. But let’s take time out to draw inspiration from a few lesser known but extremely powerful athletes!

Juan Jose Mendez: Juan José Méndez Fernández is a Paralympic Spanish Cyclist. He lost his left arm and most of his left leg in a motorcycle crash. This man was able to win several medals in his sports career including an Olympic Bronze. Yup…all this WITHOUT an arm and leg. Let that sink in now! Although he never won a Gold Medal until now, his victories in sports and real life are an example of how disabilities can’t stop a person who just WANTS to succeed.


CS Santosh : CS Santosh might not be the traditional “athlete” but in my opinion, he is one of the most inspirational sports persons out there. He’s a motocross rider and rally racer. One of the only few to come out of India and the ONLY Indian to participate and complete the Dakar Rally, i.e, the world’s toughest race! 9000 kms, 14 days and the world’s toughest and most treacherous terrains.

The reasons why I find him so inspirational being a biker myself is because he is one man who just doesn’t let ANY form of obstacle stop him from achieving his goals. He completed the Dakar Rally with an injured shoulder, a bleeding nose, a broken toe and countless cuts and bruises. It reached a point at the end of every day where CS Santosh was too exhausted to even get off his bike. Was all the pain and suffering worth it? I wouldn’t know! But he certainly inspired a ton of motocross riders in India and has paved their future in the sport.


TEAM HOYT: Team Hoyt is a father and son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt who have competed together in numerous races – including marathons and Ironman Triathlons. The son, Rick has cerebral palsy and during the race Dick pulls Rick in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat in the front of a bicycle when they cycle, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.In the past 30 years they’ve completed over 255 triathlons, 7 iron mans and 72 full marathons. The duo has single-handedly shifted the physically disabled community’s mindset on how to lead a powerful life. ENOUGH SAID.



Mary Abigail “Abby” Wambach: Let’s put aside the eternal argument about who’s a better player – Ronaldo or Messi – and let’s talk about a football player who deserves the same amount, if not more, recognition as those two. Abby Wambach is an American retired soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. As a forward, she currently stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals.

My favourite story of her is when one time the US Women’s team was trailing Mexico 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier and in the 90th minute of the game Abby went up for a header and got her head split open… but instead of laying on the floor for 20 minutes and barraging the ref for a red card against the Mexican player, she just sat up, got her forehead stapled shut (Yes… STAPLED SHUT!) and then walked off the pitch on her own two feet!! Only to come back on after two minutes to try and win the game for her country!


Talk about tough. Talk about grit. Talk about giving it your all. This is that. And If this isn’t inspirational to you… Then nothing can be!

So the next time you make stupid reasons to justify why you can’t do something or feel yourself giving into your excuses or let your circumstances take control of the way you produce results… REMEMBER THESE GUYS!

Maanav Kapai
Adventure Coach
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Five Leadership Lessons From The Rocky Series!

The Rocky series is one of the most powerful and inspiring movie series that I have ever come across. At times, it feels like no matter how much learning you extract from it, there is always some more to go back for. I have personally learnt so much from it. Here are my Top Five Leadership Lessons from Rocky :

1) The Importance of Having a Mentor : The Rocky series is about the greatest heavyweight champion in the world, Rocky. It is about how Rocky fights all odds – poverty, crime, bad circumstances and emerges a champion every single time.

However, without a Mentor, without Mickey, no matter how brilliant Rocky was, he remained a nobody. Mickey coached him to get out of all his excuses and transformed him to become the winner he was born to be. Similarly, in our lives as well, no matter what our talent, what our brilliancy, without direction it leads us nowhere. That is where a mentor comes into place to coach us and direct us into being the best that we can be. Go find your Mickey!

2) Who you are today, is an absolute choice : Who was Rocky when Apollo, the world champion, first challenged him to a match? A small-time boxer who had to work for loan sharks to earn a living. He had never fought in a match that big. What made him think that he could fight a world champion?
Even then, Rocky said yes, he said yes to the match. When all the odds were stacked against him, Rocky chose to say yes and worked his way to be the best. And as everyone who has seen the movie knows, Rocky went the distance and that very match changed his life forever.

In life, we find so many opportunities to say no, so many reasons to not do something, but in those times, it is completely up to us to find that courage and make that choice to say a yes. Who you are today is a result of what you’ve chosen in the past and who you will be in the future depends on the choice you are making today.

3) The greatest of people face failure : By Rocky 3, Rocky was the world champion. He was the best -unbeaten and unbeatable. Rocky had everything that a person leading a successful life has. Unfortunately, he let that get to him and it resulted in one of the most embarrassing losses that Rocky faced. He even lost Mickey in that fight. This loss impacted Rocky so much that somewhere he even lost faith in his ability.

However, he decided that this wasn’t who he was going to be. He trained with Apollo, he did everything he could to get back up on his feet and he fought Clubber again. This time, Rocky won.
It is never about the failures that we face. Everybody faces failure at one or multiple times in life. It is what you do when you are faced with failure that sets you apart. Do you choose to stay put down or get back up?

4) When a Leader says something, he practices it too : Rocky Balboa is the final movie of the Rocky series and traces the life of Rocky after retirement. In the movie, during one of the conversations that Rocky has with his son, he tells him that it isn’t about how hard you hit. Life is about how hard you get hit and still move forward. How much you can take and still keep moving forward.

While it is easy for a person to say that to someone else, my highlight was the fact that at the end of the movie, he remembers his own words and actually puts them into practice. Rocky never just said things to inspire, he actually implemented everything he said to his own life first. That I think is the mark of a true leader. Because, words without a back up of actions to support them eventually fall apart.

5) In the end, faith will pull you through : Rocky had complete faith in who he was. Even though there was a time he lost some of it, he made sure he earns that faith back. Every time Rocky fell down, it was his immense faith in who he was that let him get back up.

Even the story behind how Rocky was made in the first place is so inspiring and full of faith. It had to take all the faith that Sylvester Stallone had in himself and his abilities, to refuse to sell the rights of his movie despite the absolute poverty that he was facing at that time.

No matter what life throws at you, it is your belief in yourself that will always get you back up.
And in Rocky’s words “Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.”

Shiksha K. Sharma
Communication Strategeist

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The Importance of Metaphors

I have always been a Virat Kohli fan. What makes me appreciate him so much is his absolute passion for the sport. Not only is he an explosive batsman… But he completely dominates the bowling line up with so much class. And what sets him apart from the rest is that he does this so consistently.

Very recently I was watching one of his interviews and the journalist asked him about his diet and why he eats slightly less than what a professional athlete must be eating… And his answer really inspired me! It moved me to be honest. That’s when I started noticing that most successful people that are on the top of their game have powerful metaphors attached to their belief systems. There is a direct co-relation between a person’s success and his/her metaphor for their field.

Here are a few metaphors of various alphas of various fields:

1 .Virat Kohli, Captain of The Royal Challengers Bangalore – When the journalist asked Virat about the secret to his multiple T20 centuries in this year’s IPL edition: “I have started eating less to stay hungry for runs.”



2. Nick Young, Small Forward of the Los Angeles Lakers – When he averaged a career high 18 points in the 2014-15 season he Tweeted – “No tats on the right arm Strictly for buckets



3.Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group and Multi billionaire on missing a very profitable business opportunity in Russia – “Then again, as I have said before: opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one coming!



4. Elon Musk, Founder of Space X, Tesla & Solar City on How to be an effective inventor of simplified products – “Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.



5. 50 Cent – Famous American Rapper with a net worth of over 140 million USD in 2014 – When a press reporter boldly asked 50 Cent when he sleeps, 50 Cent responded quickly… “Sleep, sleep is for those people who are broke.”


50 cent

The reason all these people are so immensely successful is because of the metaphors they use which form a large part of their belief system. Look for the things in your life which you value or are passionate about and build a powerful metaphor! And what if you can’t? What if you aren’t able to? Then use a metaphor someone you look upto uses! Make your beliefs powerful!


Maanav Kapai

Adventure Coach

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