You can win, too
You can win, too
Bestselling author of You Can Win, Shiv Khera is also a successful entrepreneur, as founder of Qualified Learning Systems USA, a business consultant to several MNCs, and an educator. Excerpts from an interview.
Where did you do your schooling and how did those experiences lead to motivational speaking?
I did my schooling at Modern School and graduation at Shri Ram College in Delhi. I was never studious. I was more into sports than academics. I failed my Class X exam, but in my higher secondary board, I achieved first division. During school, I used to play polo. The sportsman spirit was inculcated by that experience. It taught me that failing doesn't mean that you are a failure. Failing only built my resolve to turn a setback into a comeback. I consider my principal and my mother as great role models and mentors.
How do you think the Indian education system can improve?
NASSCOM did a study which showed that 90 per cent of the graduates are not employable. Obviously, something is wrong. The remaining 10 per cent also has doubtful employability credentials. Ninety per cent of what is being taught is not used and 90 per cent of what is required is not being taught. The Indian education system should strongly emphasise on holistic education. A major component of holistic education is value-based moral education. Educating the mind without morals is creating a menace in society. Skill development without self-development is useless.
How can students stay motivated on their chosen career track without giving in to peer pressure, especially in India, where STEM fields are typically given more value?
Motivation is like fire. Unless you keep adding fuel, fire dies out. Just like how our bodies need food every day, our minds need positive thoughts to stay motivated. Otherwise, we all slip back. Mental toughness is built the same way as physical toughness - gradually, over a period. There is no substitute. It is true that during one's formative years, peer pressure plays an important role. This is where parental guidance becomes crucial so that the child develops his or her identity and doesn't need peers to dictate it. STEM fields are more vocational and teach a person how to make a living. To succeed in life, one needs the right attitude and values to apply skills learnt- this brings competence. Skill + Will = Competence. We need both skill and will in life. One without the other will not work.
Motivational speaking as a career - should students first succeed in a traditional career before attempting it?
Motivational careers are not chosen by memorising speeches. Motivational speaking comes more as an offshoot than as a career chosen . It is a result of having achieved certain heights in any field. It takes a lot of conviction and commitment. Audiences are quite astute. They can distinguish between the genuine and the fake. People believe more in what they see than what they hear. You need to reach certain heights in whatever field you are, to be a good role model and a mentor.
What advice would you give to those starting out?
Don't worry about competition. Live by one cardinal rule - give more than what you get to your family, organisation, customer and society.
If you do so, you will become the competition. Make all your decisions keeping a long-term perspective in view. Learn to accept short-term pain for long-term gain. Live by the values of integrity, respect and responsibility.
Your trademark is, "Winners don't do different things. They do things differently." Could you elaborate on how students can apply this?
Not only should you do what you like, but learn to like what you ought to do. Winners form the habit of doing things the less successful don't like to do. What the things the less successful don't like to do are the same things winners don't like to do - but the winners do them anyway.
The less successful don't like to work hard. Winners don't like to work hard either, but they work hard anyway. They always put in that extra effort even when it hurts.