Friday, April 18, 2014

MY PERSONAL JOURNEY: fueled by Passion and Purpose

Dad, will you kill Mr. Bhatti and go to jail?

Have you ever been treated unfairly? Have you ever been insulted in public? Can just one five-minute incident change your life forever?

The tussle: I come from a Delhi-based family of Civil Servants (both my parents were civil servants). Curiously enough, my family epitomized a very modern lifestyle coupled with an equally regressive outlook towards life—truckloads of ill-gotten money, luxury brands, foreign trips, club-memberships, insistence on the right knife & fork, impeccable social-standing, swank house (felt more like a prison), farmhouse-parties, an army of domestic-servants, imported cars—the lot. All that life meant to them was ‘beating others’ in the social pecking-order. But they were stuck in a time-warp when it came to having different or unique opinions. They found even laughing at themselves scandalous. I am sure that, throughout their working lives, my parents never consciously thought about having a positive impact on even one person. They were just mouthpieces of the government and the society around them. I never found them having any original or fresh ideas. Among their peer group, meeting one person was the same as meeting all of them. No one had any fresh perspectives on life. Consequently, life was extremely boring during my early years. Perhaps this explains why (throughout my life) I have always craved the company of people who were unique in some way: passionate, rebellious, liberated, witty, iconoclastic, defiant, politically-incorrect, controversial, free-willed—the lot. I was always fascinated by the unknown because the known was really boring. I just wanted to break free from the prison. But the more I tried to speak to people, the more ‘stuck’ I found them.

The turning point of my life: I was born on 28th June, 1974. In my family, right from an early age, ‘reading’ and ‘speaking’ were encouraged. When I was in the 5th Std., I got my first opportunity to speak on stage. It was for the school’s annual day. My parents were really excited. We (children) were to stage a small play based on a story of human, spirit, and tiger. I was chosen as the narrator as I had a clear voice. Our Arts (Drawing, Dramatics, and Fine Arts) teacher Mr. Satinder Bhatti had prepared us for 2 weeks.

At about 40, Mr. Bhatti, a tall and slender man, had an impeccable sartorial elegance (looked quite like Navjot Singh Sidhu). He was a perfectionist. He would lose his temper even while dealing with ten-year-olds who didn’t even know what performing on stage actually meant. Oddly enough, I had been a victim of his slapping many times in the past. He put us through a grinding two-week practice. He relented only when he was doubly sure that there would be no screw-ups on stage.

Finally the day arrived—the day I won’t forget all my life. We all reached backstage and were anxiously waiting. Ours was the third group. I tried to peek at the audience of more than 500 people from behind the stage.  It looked jam-packed with people—parents, teachers, the school principal, and the chief guest.

If you had been sitting in the audience, you would have witnessed something that you would have never forgotten all your life. At our turn, the compère announced: “Please welcome 5th C with their brilliant play.” The audience gave us kids a huge round of applause. As the narrator, I had to start.

I started: “Good afternoon to all of you.” Just at this very moment, there was a sound of an electrical fault: I heard a ‘booommm’ sound and saw some sparks on the background wall. Suddenly my mind was off the script. I blanked out. Completely! The entire auditorium went “SHHHHHHH!!!” And then the crowd went into a whispering mode.

Mr. Bhatti came up on stage, looked down at me with threatening gestures and blurted: “SPEAK!!!” Suddenly he snatched the mike from my hand and told the audience, “I apologize for this. We will start in just a minute.”

He started shouting: “SPEAK!!!! What are you waiting for?”

When I couldn’t recollect my lines, he started:

“It is useless to teach you. You can’t remember even four lines. My dog is better than you. He can learn in one shot.”

Suddenly, in front of 500+ people, he went into an overdrive of abuses in Hindi and Punjabi.  I looked up, staring at him in disbelief.

Again he went: “Kya, ghoor kya raha hai?”    He slapped me and pushed me so hard that I fell on the stage.

“Never come on stage in your lifetime. Zindagi mein bhool se bhi kabhi apna muh mat kholna.

I had failed in my first-ever public appearance—in front of 500+ students, parents, teachers, and the chief guest. But to me, the failure didn’t mean anything. What got to me was the insult. He had insulted me in front of 500+ people.

I was ANGRY! And I was HURT!

The insult was so intense that all I wanted to do was prove Mr. Bhatti wrong. But, strangely, I was torn between two absolutely conflicting emotions: the intense desire to speak on stage again versus the fear of failing again. Except for my parents and BD (following his request, I am not at liberty to disclose the name of this gentleman), I barely remember speaking to anyone at all. For seven years, I didn’t go to school. Deep inside, the desire to prove Mr. Bhatti wrong still kept simmering from time to time but the FEAR kept winning.

As they say, “everything happens for a reason” and “you can connect the dots only looking backwards” … today I feel extremely fortunate to have experienced such an incident early in life.

At that moment, the chief guest Mr. BD (coincidentally, he was a junior colleague / friend of my father) stood up and went on stage. He said, “This was a barbaric treatment. Teachers are supposed to encourage students. I promise you Mr. Bhatti. I know this boy and his family. This boy will come back and speak better than any of your students. I will train him personally and show you. From today, he is going to be my student.”

Seething within, Mr. Bhatti left the stage without saying anything.

My father went up to the principal furiously (he has always been hot-tempered) and shouted:

“Mujhe Bhatti chahiye!!! Abhi!!! Main uska sar fod doonga!!! Bhale hi mujhe jail ho jaaye!!!”

The principal went up on stage and apologized for the unfortunate incident. The event was called off.

I ran up to my parents and all I kept on saying was: “I won’t ever go to school. Teachers are bad people.”

My exams were approaching. With great reluctance, I wrote the exams. During that time, BD came to our house frequently. He convinced my parents that I needed to divert my attention. My parents trusted BD blindly.

After the exams, once summer vacations started, BD took me to his place for 2 weeks. He took me to the movies / superstores / libraries etc. He asked me to forget it all. I would promise: “YES. I won’t ever talk about it.” And after 10 minutes, I would again ask innocently: “Will Dad really kill Mr. Bhatti and go to jail?”

BD told me a story about how he had been ditched by his girlfriend and how he had spent many months of his life totally devastated. He had become totally negative, filled with hatred for the girl. Finally he read an article by Shakti Gawain, which had a line: “Nobody ever died of a snake-bite. People die of venom.” This statement had such a profound impact on him that he forgave the girl and, since that day, had achieved remarkable successes in life. He tried to explain the same to me. It was not Mr. Bhatti’s words but the hatred for the man that was killing me. He wanted me to read that article, so he took me to a library where he had spent many years reading and preparing some of his best works. He told me: “Whenever I am in Delhi, I spend at least 4 hours each day in this library.”

My parents thought that this phase would pass and that I would soon forget all about the incident. But I was clear: “I won’t go to school.” I liked BD’s company so much (ironically, he was 29 and I was 10) that I wanted to meet him daily. BD developed in me the habit of reading to obsessional levels. Every evening he would tell me the book I was supposed to read the next day, give me the summary of the book beforehand, and pique my curiosity to the level that I couldn’t wait to get started with the book. My driver would drop me off at the library at 11 am. Each day, I would read the book that BD had asked me to, and, when he would arrive in the evening, he would give me more wisdom about the same book. He would fill all the learning gaps and suggest the next book. Three months of summer vacation were spent like this.

One thing that no other person could have taught me: the ability to connect the dots. I will give you one example to explain how he gave me this ability. Initially just to divert my attention, BD took me to some movies, superstores, and libraries. During one such visit to a Superstore, he picked up a Nestlé chocolate and this is how the conversation went:

BD: “What is this?”
Me: “A chocolate.”
BD: “Tell me more.”
Me: “Nestlé is quite yummy. My favorite.”
BD: “MORE!”
Me: “I don’t know.”
BD: “Read the wrapper fully. What do you find?”
Me: ……
BD: “I asked you something.”
Me: ……
BD: “Which country is it from?”
Me: “I am not sure.”
BD: “It is given on the wrapper?”
Me: “Oh yes! Switzerland.”
BD: “What do you know about Switzerland?”
Me: “Ya! You told me that Silsila (the movie that we had watched a few days ago) was shot there.”
BD: “(almost pulling his hair) What else do you know about it?”
Me: “NOTHING!”
BD: “Where is Switzerland?”
Me: “I don’t know. But I don’t think it is in India.”
BD: “It is in Western Europe.”
Me: “OK!”
BD: (fuming) “I expect a question.”
Me: “What question?”
BD: (shouting) “I said, ‘Western Europe.’”
Me: “So?”
BD: “If I say ‘Western Europe’, how is it possible that the question ‘Western!? So there must be something called Eastern Europe, otherwise why give it the name ‘Western’? not come to your mind? Where is your focus?”
Me: “I never thought of it.”
BD: “There is a big division in the world these days because of this. You have to know this.”
Me: “OK!”
BD: “This is not a physical division but an ideological division. The world is ideologically divided into two parts.”
Me: “What is ideological?”
BD: “Based on belief, thought, idea. Not based on borders. See! You live in the same house but you don’t like some things your parents say, right? So it is not a physical division, but an ideological one. Imagine you have a brother and a sister. If your sister supports your stand if your brother sides with your parents, it will not create any physical divide but an ideological one. The world calls it the Cold War.”
Me: “So who are the two sides here?”


BD gave me the most fascinating account of the entire history of the last 70 years (from 1914 to 1984), WW-I, WW-II, The League Of Nations, The Treaty of Versailles, Hitler’s rise to power, The Bipolar World, The Division of Germany, The Berlin Wall, The Cold War, The Formation of UN, Communism, Capitalism, The Russian Revolution, The Formation of China & Taiwan, The Formation of Israel, Arab-Israel conflict, the Iron Curtain, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Afghanistan Crisis, US versus USSR, the Arms Race, The Yom-Kippur War, The Oil Shocks of 1973 and 1979, OPEC and its role … PLUS … at least a hundred more such stories.

Which other teacher in the world can connect a Nestlé wrapper to such a fascinating account of World History?

Just to give you one more example of what a great mentor can do for you:

On another day, he picked up a Coca Cola bottle (it used to be an imported product then), he asked me similar questions.

BD: “What is this?”
Me: “Coca Cola! Should I read the bottle fully?”
BD: (nodded)
Me: “Atlanta, GA. What’s GA?”
BD: “It is Georgia.”
Me: “Oh! The country near Russia you told me about?”
BD: “No! This Georgia is different.”
Me: “You mean there are two Georgias?”
BD: “YES! This one is in the US.”
Me: “How can two places have the same name? If I say, I am going to Georgia, how will you know which one?”
BD: (big grin on his face) “You have a lot to learn. OK! What else do you know about Coca Cola?”
Me: “It is good but thoda teekha hota hai.
BD: “I mean The Coca Cola Company.”
Me: “I wonder what they put in this drink.”
BD: “It is the biggest brand in the world.”
Me: “What is a brand?”
BD: “OK! If I ask you about butter, what comes to your mind?”
Me: “Amul. I love paranthas with it.”
BD: “Exactly! So Amul is a brand. It is a big brand because it comes to your mind first when you think of butter.”
Me: “So, ‘brand’ means ‘famous’?”
BD: Not exactly! But, in a way, you can say so.”
Me: “So Coca Cola is so famous?”

BD: “Yes! It is sold in more than 100 countries around the world, and the symbol of ‘Coca Cola’ is the most recognized word in the English Language. Even when Russia and America are enemies, Coca Cola is sold inside the Russian Parliament. That’s why the Coca Cola logo is considered the symbol of the victory of capitalism around the world.”
Me: “REALLY! How did it become so big?”

BD: “The power of Positioning.”
Me: “Means!”

Then BD gave me the entire history of Coca Cola’s success. How a small pharmaceutical brand (started in 1886, about a hundred years ago) that used to contain cocaine earlier went on to become a massive brand fascinated me no end. He told three things that amuse me even till date:

1.      The fact that the design of the Coca Cola bottle was inspired by a woman’s skirt (the ‘hobble-skirt’ design) intrigued me no end.
2.   The fact that there is nothing secret about the Coke formula but the company has always publicized it as such. It says that Coca Cola has a secret magic formula that is hidden in two parts of Trust Bank’s locker in the US. The two top executives of the company know only half the formula each. That’s why they don’t travel together on the same plane (this is a myth created by the company).
3.      The fact about how Coca Cola was made the official free drink of all American soldiers during the Second World War, an action that resulted in making the company truly global. It had to open bottling plants wherever the American army went, especially all over Europe, automatically making the brand truly global. He also told me about how American soldiers (who were the winners of the war) got a celebrity status in the US in the 1940s. Since the soldiers drank Coke (because they had been addicted to this “free” drink) and the people in the US wanted to emulate their war heroes, they also started drinking Coca Cola as a symbol of victory. This is how sugared water was positioned to become the number one brand in the world.

BD used to tell me dozens of such stories every day.

Why would you want to go to the boring school after such fascinating lessons?

*************

Once July approached, my parents raised the issue of school again. And I threw the same lines: “No school! No teachers!” I held my ground. “Even if you kill me, I won’t go to school.”

BD explained to my parents: “Let him take his time. For the time being, enroll him in a school where attendance is not compulsory. Give me six months. I will fix the issue.”

Finally, my parents enrolled me in a shady school. To them this was the biggest anticlimax – my elder sister studied in an International School and I was enrolled in a school that didn’t even bother about attendance.

The strangest thing: BD secretly admired me for having stood my ground in front of my parents. To me, this was quite SHOCKING. He showed me two quotes from Vivekananda:

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life—think of it, dream of it, and live that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, and every part of your body be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. Consult your heart, not others, and then follow its dictates. Let it be so great, so strong, that there may be nothing else left in the mind; no place for anything else, no time for anything else. Whenever we attain a higher vision, the lower vision disappears of itself. This is the way to success.”

This quote sums up passion, focus, perseverance, excellence, vision, mission, purpose, and boldness.

“Each great work has to pass through three stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood. Have you got the will to surmount mountain-high obstructions? If the whole world stands against you—sword in hand—would you still dare to do what you think is right?”

This quote sums up REBELLION – fearlessness – the readiness to change the world.

As an example, he told me the story of Raja Ram Mohan Roy. He asked me: “When that man (more than a century ago) could stand against the entire world for championing causes as rebellious as abolition of the Sati system, idol worship, child marriage, caste-system etc., you can surely do exactly what your heart says is correct. Rebellion is the name of the game. Not going to school doesn’t mean a bad life. Face your parents (and the whole world) with the utmost rebellion if you think what you are doing is right. NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, always follow your heart.”

Nothing could have been more coincidental. Earlier in the same year, Apple had unveiled its most historic campaign – the Macintosh. BD showed me a recent issue of The Economist with the cover having pictures of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. It read: “Will dropouts rule this world?”

He told me their stories in detail. While talking about Steve Jobs, he also drifted into the Objectivist approach to life. He spoke about Howard Roark in The Fountainhead and about Dagny Taggart and John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. He also shared the story of Ayn Rand (how she had moved from Russia to America and her entire philosophy). Finally I was convinced that formal education had nothing to do with high-stakes life-success.

He gave me a success formula to evaluate whatever I was to do in life later:


Passion: Are you insanely passionate about your work? Are you able to transmit your passion and positive energy to others?

Impact: Are you impacting people, lives, careers, businesses etc. in a big way? Are you creating immense value for the people / world? Are you impacting lives, careers, businesses, relationships directly?

Excellence: Are you the “best-in-their-world”? Are you in the top-one-percent (excellence) in your domain?

Money: Do you make satisfactory money?

The answer is a thumping ‘NO’ for almost all of us.

Imagine what the world will be if the answer to all the questions above could be a huge ‘YES!’

I wanted such a life for myself – at the intersection of all the four circles. From that day onwards, PASSION and REBELLION have been my watchwords for life.

Things settled a bit back home as my parents gradually calmed down. All this while, once a week, I had a personal tutor at home who would teach me all the school subjects. Apparently, I topped the school in the annual exam of 6th Std. (Imagine the level of the school!  I scored 47% and still topped). This was my biggest bargaining counter with my parents. I finally told them: “I will write the exams but won’t go to school even in 7th Std.” Apparently, they had no choice but to reluctantly acquiesce.

One of the best things that happened: all the three people around me encouraged the habit of reading. And I took a fancy to it. In the absence of school (that would have gobbled up 8-10 hours each day receiving useless knowledge that makes no sense when it comes to success in life), I was receiving life-success lessons from a super-achiever-genius-maverick. At 30, BD epitomized success like nobody else. This Economic Advisor to many Governments was extremely well-read, personified Howard Roark, and was a maverick professor (an author, a brilliant speaker, and enjoyed many other accolades).

I celebrated the fact that I didn’t have to go to school: I had enough time to just dig myself into books and read for hours on end. Practical life-success lessons from the most successful people in the world were handed out to me in the form of absolutely fascinating stories. ON A PLATTER!  And thus started my life’s biggest love-affair—an affair with books—that continues unabated till date. I relished every single book I read. I could read and understand these books because BD used to give me a complete backdrop about each book before asking me to read it.

The books / publications that left the biggest impression on me: The Harvard Business Review, The Economist, Pirates of the Valley, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, Positioning, Cosmos, The Dragons of Eden, Future Shock, Power Shift, Third Wave, Bertrand Russell’s Philosophy Collection (35 books), and all the books by Tom Peters. Each of these books was absolutely elevating. With the passage of each book, I felt much more ‘enriched’ and ‘ready’.

As I read more and more complex stuff, I faced two problems: poor vocabulary and low reading speed through tough texts. I got so bugged by my poor vocabulary that I bought The Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary and, in the next six months, remembered it almost fully with the proper usage of each word. My problem of vocabulary was solved, once and for all.

To fix the problem of slow comprehension, BD suggested that I gain a basic idea about most of the basic human disciplines: business, economics, marketing, biology, history, evolution, paleontology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, astronomy, literature, science & technology—the works. This was a catch-22. To learn these disciplines, I had to comprehend tough texts fast. And to comprehend fast, I had to know these disciplines.

BD suggested a different approach. He enrolled me into a video library. It contained a huge collection of documentaries on almost every subject on this planet. As per BD’s suggestion, I would rent one video-cassette per day and watch it fully. Also, he suggested watching all the foreign programs on TV. It took me a few years but I must say that I have never made a better investment in my life.

Watching British comedies on TV was an extraordinary investment. Apart from humor, I learnt about global politics, the roots of the European crisis, investment banking, and a zillion other disciplines from ‘Yes Minister’, about the retail industry / customer service from ‘Are You Being Served / Fawlty Towers’, about WW-II and the last hundred years of world history from ‘Allo Allo’, about complete 360 degree shades of human psychology from ‘Porridge’ etc. Also, the documentaries proved extremely useful. For Instance, imagine watching a three-hour documentary on The Kalahari Desert. No geography or science book can match that learning. I ended up watching more than 500 documentaries on almost every subject in the world. THE BEST INVESTMENT OF MY LIFE! Reading became a cakewalk after this investment. My overdrive with books had catapulted into the highest orbit. Between 14 and 18 years of age, I read more than 200 books per year on almost all disciplines.

I loved BD’s reason for making reading the ultimate hobby: I can’t still forget what he once told me when I asked “WHY READING?”

BD’s answer: “Someone who has written a good nonfiction book must have been a good reader. Now let’s say this person had read 100 good books before planning to write one. Obviously they would have wanted to put their best learnings into the first book. So in effect, this person would have tried to give you the wisdom of at least a hundred great books in their book. So if you read one great book, you indirectly receive the wisdom of at least a hundred great books automatically.”

Since then, reading has been my all-time-favorite hobby. It feels magical. Getting into the mind of someone who has radically different perspectives on the world is sheer adrenaline, kick-starting my brain to connect disparate dots of information to make a symphonic meaning. Reading the work of someone who is more knowledgeable, more skillful, and more accomplished gives me ecstatic exhilaration. I can spend countless hours with great books.

BUT I couldn’t talk to anyone. It was not shyness. It was fear. The more I tried to speak, the more I would go deeper into my world of books / documentaries / TV / writing.

My biggest blow came when, in 1990, BD left the country for a few years on an assignment. I felt devastated. It was like losing my parent. He was everything to me: friend, philosopher, guide, mentor, and coach. The only guiding force in my life was gone.

In BD’s absence, my parents got a grip on my weird ways and asked me to apply for Engineering. I have no clue why I listened to them and complied. In 1991, I finished my XII, and joined Engineering (in July 1991).

College was a complete disaster; it was as if I had come from a different planet. Prior to college, for seven long years, I had forgotten things such as classes, teachers, friends, teamwork, bullying, gossip … the lot. I found it very difficult to adjust.

I failed every single subject in my first semester (this must have been a record in the history of the college). As per the rules of the college, I was expelled for six months. Strangely, I felt really good and relieved. I thought I wouldn’t have to come to college, after all. One good thing did happen, though: I made a friend, my classmate Sarang—my first breakthrough in seven years.

In January 1992, Sarang once called me over to his place. While we were chatting, I heard a huge debate going on in the other room. I was fascinated and just walked into the other room. Sarang’s father and one of his friends were discussing the issue of oil prices. Both of them were professors at the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), the best business-school in Delhi.

IMAGINE … can your destiny change in a single moment? FOREVER!!

I have no clue what came over me in that moment.

While they were blaming liberalization (that the government had recently initiated in 1991) for the high cost of oil, I unwittingly said:

BLAME HITLER FOR THE HIGH PRICE OF OIL.

[This line … just one legendary line … changed my destiny. Completely!!! Seven years spent with books and documentaries conspired together to change my destiny in a single moment.]

Turning to me, both of them reacted as if I was eating spiders. Sarang’s dad (Prof. RM – like the other gentleman, this person also requested me not to share his name) said, “Sandeep, do you realize what you just said? Tumhari tabeeyat to theek hai? How is Hitler related to this mess that the Indian Government has created?”

And I explained the entire thing:

Hitler → Concentration Camps → Genocide → persecution of Jews → Jews fleeing to Jerusalem in millions → formation of the UN in 1945 → formation of Israel in 1948 → raw deal to the Palestinian Arabs → US / UN favor to Israel → Israel, the fighting nation → simultaneous fighting on five borders and winning → US direct support to Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 → Arabs angry → Oil Embargo on the Western world by OPEC (predominantly Arabs) Oil Crisis → Oil Shock of 1973 → prices increased to 6 times the base price within one year → no rollback on prices since then → the base changed from X  to 6X—the entire humanity is still paying a huge price for Hitler’s atrocities.

These two gentlemen, along with Sarang, were completely engrossed, leaning on my each word with absolutely rapt attention. Once I finished, after a long silence, RM spoke: “Sandeep, I am amazed. Where did you learn all this? I am a B-School professor and I keep interacting with the smartest people in this country, but I haven’t ever heard anything as fascinating, not even remotely as fascinating, as this.” (Hinting to the other professor) What do you think?”       

The other professor said, “RM can be possibly excused because he is a professor of Marketing. But I teach Economics. And I must confess: I am feeling as if I know nothing about the subject. You should come to the college and share this with our students. I am serious. In 18 years of my teaching career, I am yet to hear a more interesting insight.”

Both of them wanted to know more about me. I told them about the books, documentaries, and my extreme interest in at least a dozen disciplines.

That day, I had a six-hour long discussion with two of the sharpest people in the city of Delhi. I spoke about almost all the disciplines I had been exposed to. To me, what I spoke wasn’t important. It wasn’t important that they were impressed. The only important thing was that I could speak for hours to two strangers. You may not be able to empathize here because you probably can’t imagine how big a victory this was for me. Seven and a half years of “clamming-up” and the pain that had accompanied that feeling all along the line—all the trauma—was suddenly gone. It was as if I had been released from a dark-prison cell after many years.

This was clearly my day – the happiest day of my life.                

RM called me over the next day and asked me to address the students at the college.

Picture this for a second: You are reminded of the most horrendous past and are asked to re-live it!!!

I froze dead in my tracks! “NO!! Over my dead body! I can’t speak in public.” And he was puzzled. “WHY???” I told him the entire Mr. Bhatti episode. I told him that the mere mention of ‘speaking to a group’ completely ‘throws’ me.

He counseled me: “See, yesterday you spoke to three people. Could you have spoken if Sarang’s mother, your parents, and two mores professors also had been present?” I said, “Yes.” He convinced me that if I could speak to eight people, I could speak to eighty people as well. He promised me: “I will make sure that you will speak extremely effectively in front of the group. Even if it takes months of training, I am ready to train you personally.” He even called up my parents and told them the same. They couldn’t have been more ecstatic.

And thus began my training sessions! For the next two and a half months, every single day, I practiced and delivered as per RM’s instructions. He never made me feel like a junior student, someone he was helping to tide over a problem. I felt more comfortable in his presence than in Sarang’s or BD’s or my parents’. This man had something magnetic about him. He could make me feel like an equal, like a million dollars. Apart from the training, we would discuss marketing, branding, positioning, and ad campaigns. Almost daily he would say, “Kotler sucks”, and would get a chuckle from me. On March 29 I told him, “I think I am ready to go on stage.”

The stage was set. He had publicized me so much that everyone was looking forward to some gems of wisdom from this genius child-prodigy. The audience was about 125 people (including my parents). I was the youngest person in the room. I was supposed to speak for 15-20 minutes. As I was introduced, I heard a deafening applause. As I had been trained, I started: “Imagine if the book Das Kapital had not been written, what would have the world been like?” Well, just to encourage me, some professors responded: X, Y, Z would have happened. But the perspective I gave shook the students completely. I received applause after applause.

Now I know that initially they applauded just to encourage a 17 year old. But after 15 minutes their applause turned genuine. The content was completely unheard of by them – breathtakingly fresh perspectives on the current global economic, political, and military scenario, positioning, branding, psychology, triune model of the human brain, entrepreneurship and almost all that I had learnt in so many years. I was unstoppable. It was as if someone had opened the floodgates of an overflowing dam. I left the audience completely mesmerized by my content. My delivery was extremely raw but the content alone had the power to completely spellbind them. The 20-minute session went on for more than 200 minutes. They were lapping it up. And I was completely unstoppable. As the speech came to a close, RM asked the audience, “Should this boy come for more such sessions?” Everyone said, “YEEESSSSSS!!!” This was my moment of reckoning.

Till date, I don’t think I have had a happier day. Both my parents were jubilant. I hadn’t seen them this happy earlier. Their ‘worthless’ son had achieved something after all. My parents told RM: “You did the unthinkable. You should get an award.” And RM said something that I have never forgotten: “I have never reached for a trophy. I have always reached for a life.” During that conversation with my parents RM showed them a card with three quotes. He said that his life was personified in these three sentences:

“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”
“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”
“The most valuable gift you can offer someone is yourself.”

WHAT A PERSON! I wonder about these lines all the time, and continue to apply them in my businesses.

RM deserved all the credit for the spectacle that I had achieved. Why would anyone sacrifice three months of his own life to remove my fear of speaking? He had nothing to gain. Still he went out of his way to help me so much. I couldn’t have believed such a story if anyone else had told me the same. I would have discarded it as an OTT movie-script. On the one hand, there was Mr. Bhatti, who could spoil someone’s life in just five minutes, and on the other, there was Prof RM who could give the same person his life back. He also rekindled my Harvard-dream, something that had been forgotten after BD had left. “You deserve to go to Harvard”, said a proud RM. The impact of this man on my persona was indelible. From an introverted-fearful, I was becoming an extrovert-fearless.

That day, I decided to be a trainer, a coach, a guide. My future was chosen in a moment. I didn’t know what to do or how to achieve my goal. But I had to impact lives. I had to touch lives. It felt as if this is what I had been sent to do on this planet.

In the meanwhile, Sarang (who was a regular in his second semester) told me that the HOD of our department had threatened that it was compulsory to attend his tuitions to pass irrespective of preparedness levels. If you didn’t pay him, no matter how good you were, you would fail. If you paid him, you would pass, even if you were to leave the answer-book blank. You had to study only if you wanted to get great marks. In order to pass, you had to just pay him and forget about everything, including attendance. You didn’t have to go and attend his tuition classes, either. Talk about the fairness of the system!!

My second innings at college was sensational. As Sarang had made my speaking triumph public, I was hailed as a celebrity among students. I also made four very close friends (Bhavna, the daughter of an extremely successful entrepreneur, Anil – from an army background, Rohit – a US based NRI, and Vikram – a UK based NRI). All of us shared a common interest: extremely diverse reading. None of us attended a single class from the 2nd to the 8th semester. 

For one year, all five of us did nothing except sit outside the classes daily and talk for hours on dozens of issues. Each discussion was a heated debate, with none of us ready to concede an inch. Truly electric and edifying! On most days, the debates would continue well past college hours. Every day, we would go back with a feeling of having learnt something significant. Life couldn’t have been better.

But this was college; back home another incident once again changed the course of my life forever. My father had a colleague who had always been an extremely honest civil servant throughout his career. He and my father were part of an assignment together. The entire operation reeked of extreme irregularities, malpractices, and corruption, and virtually everyone in the government was neck-deep in this morass. Somebody blew the whistle and the case came up for hearing in the Tribunal. The two officers were questioned. Despite knowing that his colleague was absolutely honest, my father sided with the government, an action that de facto proved his colleague dishonest. My father sided with corruption as he too was neck-deep into all wrong practices himself. This honest officer was found ‘guilty’ and was suspended from the Service. He couldn’t bear this stigma and hanged himself. At that time, the government virtually owned the media. The news was hushed and never caught any public attention. But this jolted me. COMPLETELY!

I developed an extremely strong antipathy towards this whole system that my parents were part of (painfully, my mother also sided with my father). I raised hell. Absolute hell! How could my father live in peace after what he had done? He had (virtually) murdered a colleague. It was never clear to me as to why such talented people as my parents had to resort to corruption. They could have chosen any career for themselves. They could surely have been honest and held their heads high. But to no avail. There were counter-arguments in the house trying to convince me: “You can’t be copybook-honest; honesty only brings you the sidelines. Honest people are crushed under the feet.”

This was completely unacceptable to me. It was unimaginable for me to live under the same roof. I was disgusted beyond redemption. I wrote a note and just left home.

Enter the real-world! From the silver-spoon, velvet-glove world to ‘the streets’ in a matter of hours! For the next one month, I lived with an old servant of ours who had started driving an auto-rickshaw after leaving our house. He lived with all sorts of workers. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing or where I was, but, out of a sense of loyalty, this servant of ours told my parents about my whereabouts despite my strong resistance. But I could easily ward off their sympathy. For the next one month, I did everything I could just to sustain myself. I waited tables, delivered pizzas, drove auto-rickshaws, ported trolleys (at the airport), and even moved bricks at construction sites.

I loved it all. Absolutely! During one such pizza-delivery, as a kid opened the door, I saw XI Std. Physics and Mathematics books lying on the shoe-rack. And I unwittingly rattled off the entire syllabus. The kid couldn’t believe his ears. He sighed: “Bhaiya, aap ko yeh sab kaise aata hai?” and I said: “I am doing engineering.” He looked completely lost (he was preparing for engineering himself). He called his parents and told them the same. They asked me to come in and showed some curiosity. I told them my story. They were completely bowled over by my knowledge of English and Math. They asked me something completely unexpected: “Could you teach Varun (the son) Mathematics? We are anyway looking for a tutor. We can pay you Rs. 100 per hour (the standard rate for tutors in Delhi then).” HUNDRED RUPEES AN HOUR?

I wasn’t making that much money even by working for the entire day. I immediately agreed. As per Varun, I did an extremely good job of teaching Math and he drummed up the news among all his friends. Soon I was teaching 12 of Varun’s friends in a group. Seeing this, a local training center hired me to teach Mathematics on a ‘50-50-sharing-basis’ to the students of XI / XII / Engineering Entrance Tests. This center had hundreds of students. Soon I was making up to Rs. 35,000 per month (which was more than my parents’ combined official salary at that time).

BACK TO COLLEGE: All four of my friends were aiming to write the CAT (the Common Admission Test) and go to the IIMs. But I was smitten by Harvard. Strangely, till just a few years ago, Harvard accepted candidates without work-experience. I wrote the GMAT and got a perfect 800/800. There was no counselor in Delhi. So I went to Mumbai to meet the most renowned study-abroad consultant in India. This guy fumed looking at my ignorance. “What kind of a student are you? What homework have you done? Don’t you know that work-experience is compulsory for HBS? And you have written the GMAT and nurtured your HBS dream without knowing this basic fact? And you have even traveled to Mumbai to meet me? I am appalled at your abject ignorance of basic facts.” He sent me back with a truckload of fleas in my ear. I felt SHATTERED!!!

But whom could I have blamed except myself? I didn’t have a clue in the world as to what to do next? I met RM and he suggested that I consider the IIMs instead. Around the same time, Bhavna shared an incident from Shashi Tharoor’s life, detailing how he had spent a full year when he was 12. He made it a point to read one book a day and to finish exactly 365 books in a year. And he did finish 365 books. This was indeed inspirational. Bhavna and I decided to read one book each daily and discuss it in the evening. Both of us joined a library and finished 608 carefully chosen books (together) in 365 days. Although our target was 730 books combined, we still felt thrilled to have accumulated the knowledge / wisdom of 608 books in one year.

In the meanwhile, I also became receptive to the idea of the IIMs and the CAT. I joined a CAT Training institute for its test series and topped in three consecutive mock tests. The chairman of the company called me and offered me a very well-paying job. Because I wanted to get into training, I thought everything around me was conspiring to take me there. I immediately said yes. The job gave me a 360-degree exposure to the functioning of a large Education Company. I never sat for any on-campus placement at college. I was clear: “When my ultimate goal is to become a trainer, why work in a company that is not into Education and Training?”

The experience came in extremely handy when I ran my own businesses. I was exposed to some of the most fascinating situations when I worked in Sales under our National Sales Head. On my first day in Sales, I faced a life-threatening situation (a man with a gun!) but negotiated it really well.

Once this company called Barry John (the leading acting and dramatics coach in India) to conduct a one-day training workshop for trainers. I was extremely fascinated by his entire approach and joined his school in Noida for a month-long training. The results were spectacular. Someone at his school suggested that I try standup comedy (this, according to him, was the best solution to remove any inhibitions from anyone’s personality). I read a few books on standup comedy (Judy Carter’s book was clearly the best) and prepared my own content. I had already developed quite a few funny bones, thanks to my friend Anil (the wittiest person I have ever met). His sarcasm, wit, satire, insults, and puns were exemplary. Anil made me rehearse for my first show, a mere 15 minutes. It came out ‘ok’ but not great. He helped me tweak my content and delivery. Finally I thought of just diving in front of a live audience.

I volunteered to do my shows free-of-cost at the swankiest club in Delhi (I had been a waiter here before, so I used some contacts to get the entry). The who’s who of the city were part of this really posh place. With deep skepticism, they allowed me 15 minutes. After getting good feedback, I got to do the shows every Friday. I became quite popular during this time. I did 14 consecutive weekly shows spanning 3 months.

When I told RM about my standup comedy, he suggested something really unusual. He asked me to approach these successful people and just ask for 15 minutes of their time. He even gave me the lines that I used with each of them.

“Hello Sir / Ma’am, I am just starting out in my life. You are so successful. I request you to give me just 15 minutes of your time and tell me what I should do to become as successful as you?” I asked 62 people and all of them agreed. I could finally talk to 51 of them. I interviewed Entrepreneurs, Entertainers, Artists, Politicians, Bureaucrats, Authors, Sportspersons, Musicians —all sorts of successful people. My objective was to understand the PSYCHOLOGY of success and winning. One more thing happened as a result of interviewing these people: I could talk to any stranger in the world. I became a true extrovert. The learnings from these people proved more valuable than what the top 10 MBAs in the world combined could have taught me. Absolutely crucial life-success lessons were handed out to me on a platter.

One thing that was common to all these people was: PASSION. They were passionate to a fault about what they did. An irrational internal drive (Junoon) for what they chose to do was manifest in each of them.

***

I often wonder: “How many people go through life in such kaleidoscopic colors by the age of 22?” For most people, life till 22 means school, college, classes, exams, studies, parties, gossip, relationships, sports, movies, music, dance, and finally a decent-paying job that they love to hate.

I wrote the CAT and made it to IIMA. I thought this would be an end to my roller-coaster life. But it wasn’t to be. Life had extremely exciting plans in store for me.

In the first week itself, I was disenchanted with everything at IIMA – a place where not an iota of real entrepreneurship was ever talked about. I wanted to run away.

Something inside me wanted to revolt. People told me that this was the stupidest idea that they had ever heard in their lives. I persisted amidst the cacophony of dissenting voices from friends, peers, seniors, faculty, administration—everyone.

I learnt one important lesson that day: The biggest battle in the world is the battle inside your own mind when you have to take a really BOLD decision.

What catalyzed my decision?

1.      The wisdom gained from 51 successful people. Nothing that would be taught in a two-year MBA at IIMA matched the success-lessons that I had learnt from these people.

2.      At IIMA, for one day, you could sit in any of the second-year classroom sessions and decide your electives in advance. I sat in the ‘Entrepreneurship’ class that was offered as an elective in the second year. It was ATROCIOUS. Imagine a professor who had never seen the outside world (had never even worked for a company as an employee, let alone been an entrepreneur) teaching you the theoretical concepts about entrepreneurship! Could anything else be a worse learning experience?

3.      I didn’t like anything—people, peers, faculty—nothing. I hated the idea of grades. For instance, could the guy who topped the quiz / exam in Economics actually contribute to the Macroeconomic policy of the country better than the rest of the class could? I had a day-long discussion with him and he admitted to knowing nothing about the complexity of national-policy decisions. But he had the biggest tag to back it: IIMA’s Economics topper.

4.      What was the point of a tag if it didn’t enable one to sell even a packet of Nirma better than the guy who had spent some time on the field selling it? If the purpose of life was to make mindless Spreadsheet(s) or PowerPoint(s), I didn’t want to be a part of the bandwagon. I wanted to impact people directly.

5.      The quote: ‘‘Each great work has to pass through three stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood. Have you got the will to surmount mountain-high obstructions? If the whole world stands against you—sword in hand—would you still dare to do what you think is right?’’

Finally I did the unthinkable. I put up a formal application to leave the school. This was my moment of decision. And as Tony Robbins says:

IT IS IN YOUR MOMENTS OF DECISIONS THAT YOUR DESTINY IS SHAPED!!!

That day, for the first time, I could fully relate to this quote. My destiny indeed got shaped in this moment of decision. I was ecstatic that I could finally take such a bold decision.

Starting July 1996, for the next three years, I ran my first Solopreneurship venture (a CAT, GMAT, and GRE Training Center) at Ahmedabad. I did really well by every stretch of the imagination. In less than 3 years, I trained 3357 students, produced scintillating results, shaped careers, impacted lives, and saved enough (despite my extremely wild spending habits in those days) to easily afford a 5-year career-break. At this juncture, I desperately wanted to travel the world.

For the record: After the first year in business, I visited my old school, gave the Principal a cheque of Rs. 100,000 as donation, and spoke on the school stage as a successful entrepreneur. Life had come full circle for me. After I told the Principal about the barbaric treatment at the hands of Mr. Bhatti, the Principal called Mr. Bhatti and introduced him to me and left the room. I told Mr. Bhatti the entire story of my life. He remembered the incident perfectly well. He was profusely apologetic. I just said: “THANK YOU SIR! Without your insult, I wouldn’t have been the person I am today.” That day, I felt a sense of unprecedented calm.

I sold my center to the franchisee of another CAT-Training company and, in turn, got a handsome golden-handshake for giving the franchisee a competition-free market and an extremely booming center from day-one.

In the meanwhile, I got addicted to investing. The thrill of the stock-market was just insane; it made me a true adrenaline-junkie. I did well on numerous occasions, but lost all the money when I once traded in oil derivatives.  All the money was gone in a single day.

I had to earn to survive even for the next month. After a lot of effort, through some referral, I managed to get a job (I happened to join the dotcom bandwagon). I joined Britannica as Chief Content Officer for its India Operations. I excelled in my work from day one. My reading habit of more than a decade paid off handsomely. I won seven excellence awards in seven months. I shot through the ranks and was shifted to London. Though I was probably earning much more than I could have dreamt of in any job, I still felt a void within. I just wanted to travel the world. One day, as part of compulsory training offered by the company, I attended a conference – The Future of Emerging Markets – at the London Business School. This event, too, prompted a ‘moment of decision’.

A part of me wanted to resign immediately but somehow I wasn’t fully sure. My boss made every attempt to retain me, to the extent of tripling my salary and offering me a stake in the company + ESOP. As he ratcheted up the stakes, the decision to leave got tougher and tougher. Although I had realized that I wasn’t meant to work for a company or a boss ever in my life, somehow this decision wasn’t easy for me. I discussed this with a friend and she called me an idiot to even contemplate refusing the offer my boss had made. I even cried that day – my first in more than a decade. The next day, the same friend called me up and said: “You are so smitten by the new idea that nothing will be able to keep you at your present company. No matter how hard your boss tries to retain you and whatever salary he offers, just go for your dream. “YOUR DREAM IS NOT FOR SALE.”

F*CK!!! What a profound statement this was! This one line meant the world to me. Quitting was painless after this. The next day, I QUIT, without feeling an iota of fear, guilt, or remorse, and came back to India. I got really hooked to the idea of Emerging Markets. I could mix business with travel. I took a formal online course in Emerging Markets and just loved the excitement this field had to offer. I started my second entrepreneurial venture, and in the next four years, I got the opportunity to travel all around the world.

****

One of my biggest failures: I completely misread a person – failed to understand her completely. Love and loss!

The root of the problem was that whenever I met a person, I would somehow convey (implicitly or explicitly) that I was not interested in knowing their past, especially the messy, sad, or sloppy details. Whenever I met people, life was all about laughter, fun, and wit. I never shared my past, either.  This habit culminated into a perfect copybook instance of “love and loss”.

When I started working on emerging markets, my first assignment was with a UK-based Lifestyle Company that wanted to foray into emerging markets, especially Asian markets. The assignment was challenging and I loved every moment of it. I needed to hire someone who would have worked in lifestyle, fashion, retail, and marketing. In September 2000, through some referral, I hired a partner, Kanika.  She was extremely rebellious, feisty, and passionate—my perfect match. We worked together on some of the most wonderful projects and traveled the world on our assignments. We planned a vacation together in Hawaii if we were to crack Rs. 1 crore in 3 months. She worked endless hours making presentations, plans, pitches and the whole gamut of consulting shenanigans. 24x7, life was absolute fun; we just worked hard and partied harder. I handled the content and she handled the operations.

We clicked like a house on fire. She became my most intimate partner. Soon it turned into an intense relationship. She gave her 100% to both her work and our relationship. Our conversations were always intelligent, funny, and witty. We would sit together and talk in puns for hours; it was so much fun – so much fun – that the darker side never surfaced.

We went to the US to crack a deal with an online-content company that was looking to develop channel partners in India and other Asian markets, and decided to move straight to Hawaii after the deal. While we were staying at the Ritz-Carlton, she happened to ask me, “I barely know about your childhood.” And I told her the story of my failure on stage and the entire trauma that I had undergone for seven long years. And I just happened to say, “You can’t imagine what I went through.” This was the turning point.

She started crying. She told me that I had no idea of what she had gone through. She revealed that she had had a really bad past. As a youngster, she had been abused by some men in her family.

This is one thing I can’t stand! No matter what! Such people should be lynched and hanged in public.

The next few weeks were extremely traumatic.

The next day, I pacified her, left her at the hotel, and went to meet the client. When I came back, I found that she had slit her wrist at three places and had to be hospitalized. For the first time, I saw so much blood— a white bed-sheet completely bloodstained. I reached the hospital and found that she had gone into acute depression. You would have heard the doctor say: “Sandeep, this is a vital blow. She ain’t getting fine soon.”

I was devastated. I really cursed myself for never tapping into her world. For a few days, I couldn’t sleep even a wink. After a couple of days, when she regained her senses, she told me that she had always been receiving psychiatric treatment, had had a history of chronic drug (substance) abuse since the age of 16, and had a very tough relationship with her family.

For the first time in my life, I felt helpless. Nothing worked for about 20 days. She was under acute depression. In the meanwhile, I made the final presentation to the client and bombed miserably. We lost the client at that very moment. In such a state, traveling back home wasn’t possible. She could go violent anytime. And her violent phases were extremely ugly. So much so that she could pick up a knife and kill herself or anyone in front of her.

I couldn’t sleep much, and on one such sleepless night I watched Anthony Robbins’ infomercial. He claimed to cure depression in just 5 minutes. This caught my fancy. I had heard all great things about Tony Robbins and I found that this could be the best hope for an otherwise miserable life. He was going to do his next event in Florida after seven days.

So if you had been with me, you would have been sitting in the front row (reserved for the victims and their attendants) at the Orange County Convention Center in Florida.

Robbins is a great guy. Just superb! He breaks your pattern. If you have been sad, he would ask you about the time when you were happy. If you are suffering from a disease, he would ask the time when you felt the healthiest in your life. At about 12:30, he called her out.

So she’s on the stage in front of 5000 people. And Robbins asks her: “what makes you so unhappy?”

She starts crying, re-living her horrendous past.

And I am feeling miserable. I am cursing myself to have come here. And suddenly Robbins breaks her pattern.

He asks: “have you ever had an explosive orgasm?”

She goes “haaan… ???” with a strangely quizzical look on her face.

That’s a change of state. She goes from depression to a different state that is not depression any more.

She says, “Yes.”

Robbins asks, “Could you describe how it felt? Could you re-live that experience?”

She is like: “I can’t do that.” So he asks 5000 people in the room, “Can she tell us about her experience?” And everyone goes “YAAYYYY.”

And she starts telling the entire peaking experience in “When-Harry-Met-Sally” style. And I am wondering, “What’s happening?”

*********

She became all fine. In a matter of five minutes, he changed her life. That evening, I saw my partner back to life, absolutely springing back to the feisty Kanika that I had known. It was as if every bad experience had been deleted from her memory.

Next day, Robbins asked: “what would you dare to do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Whoa! What a profound statement!

I couldn’t sleep that night. I remembered a similar statement Jim Collins asks in his book Good to Great: “If you have 20 million dollars in the bank and just 10 years to live, what would you dare to do? Do that NOW.”

Looking at Robbins, I thought: “look at the positive impact you can have by being a Professional Speaker. You can change lives.” I decided: “I will change people’s lives. Even if I can change one life, it will be worth the effort.” I decided to be a professional speaker and make people more knowledgeable, entrepreneurial, and BOLD. I have always been indebted to the most impactful person I have ever seen in my life: TONY ROBBINS.

And I was not alone. Tony left such an impact on Kanika that even she wanted to be a Professional Speaker and help people. We just needed to wrap up a few assignments in India. She didn’t want me to wait to start. So we decided that I would stay in the US to get trained on Professional Speaking while she would handle the company in India for a few months to wrap up all the unfinished work as soon as possible. Every day we would exchange messages / calls just to talk about one thing: speaking and impacting people.

I started to look for avenues to get into professional speaking in the US. After a huge effort, I got one speaking engagement, and I screwed it up royally! And seriously I needed help.

I found out (by extensive research) that Patricia Fripp was the best Professional Speaking coach in the world.

I called her and said, “Ms. Fripp, I would like to be coached by you.”
She asked, “Are you sure?”
I said, “Yes! I have done my research, AND you are the absolute best.”
She asked, “Do you know how much I charge?”
I said, “It doesn’t matter.”
She said, “It is a good attitude. That will be $14,000 per day.”

(“I am pretty happy with the skills I have.”)

So many times we see the price of doing something but we don’t see the cost of not doing it.

She said, “Perhaps you are not ready yet.”

I asked, “Could you evaluate one of my speeches and accordingly tell me how much training I will need?”

I thought, “She would find me okay and I would need to change me a bit here and there.”

I sent her the video. And she called me, “Sandeep, I have gone through your video, AND … Darling!  You need me. If money is a concern, come and join one of my workshops that charges $4000.”

So I spent $4000 attending her single-day workshop in Vegas. I realized that I knew nothing – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – about Professional Speaking.

That day I learnt a very important lesson in life: Although I was good, I couldn’t be complacent with what I had – learning never stops. I was not even one percent compared to her. What got me here won’t get me there.

****

Kanika was completely fine for quite some time. We would exchange mails / call each other multiple times each day and nurture our Professional Speaking dream.

She took to drugs again and developed meningitis. This claimed her life.

I had no clue of any of these ghastly developments. I couldn’t get through to her for many days. Her phone was always unreachable. I didn’t know any of her family members / acquaintances. This made me almost delirious. I had absolutely no idea as to what was going on. I called my clients and office assistant but nobody seemed to care. Frantically, I packed my stuff and boarded the next flight to India. Still, nobody seemed to have a freakin’ clue.

I kept dialing her number like a mad man but to no avail. After 12 days, someone picked up. It was her elder brother. It emerged that she was no more. And he narrated what had happened.

“One day, she ended up having a massive argument with dad and completely lost control. She went back to the same mess that had almost finished her life: drugs. She overdid it and developed severe meningitis. Within 12 hours, she was no more.”

I was so blank that you could have knocked me down with a feather! The whole world had been slammed shut on me.

The next few months were really hard. Eventually I could somehow reconcile to the inevitable loss but one thing kept on haunting me and I needed some answers. Even after six months, I couldn’t get over WHY she did what she did. Why do we behave so irrationally? Why do we do things that make no sense? Why can we not control our behavior? Why can we not behave rationally?

I read almost everything about human behavior but almost all of it seemed like complete psychobabble—totally unconvincing. Just one book made some sense. It was the only book that talked about the role of the human brain / evolution in human behavior. Finally, there was light at the end of the tunnel, lots of it. As I surfed / read more on Brain Science, Evolutionary Neurobiology, Cognitive Sciences, The Triune Model of the brain—the works, everything started to make complete sense. The concept of the Triune Model of the brain is so powerful and intriguing that it leaves you completely ‘fulfilled’ with all the answers. I finally got all my answers. And I was raring to share this with the world.

My professional speaking career couldn’t take off abroad. But in India, I started speaking regularly. My perspectives were so rebellious that I always ended up knocking down deeply-entrenched beliefs and impacting people for a massive change in their lives. This went on for four years across India.

One such assignment took me to Bangalore. It was a startup festival. The place was absolutely buzzing with energy with thousands of wannabe startup junkies receiving success-lessons from already-successful entrepreneurs. I heard someone talking about Marketing and Sales. It was the worst session I had ever attended in my entire life. I was supposed to address the same group later in the day on the idea of Solopreneurship (nobody else had ever spoken of it in India).

But after hearing the previous speaker, I couldn’t resist changing my topic last minute. I spoke about how conventional marketing was dead and how Mr. Kotler made absolutely no sense. I spoke about the real decision-maker in the human body: the old brain / the reptilian brain. I gave them an absolutely earth-shattering perspective about Positioning, Marketing, Sales, and Branding. The basis of this whole idea was rooted in brain-science. People were absolutely enamored. It related so much to them and their businesses that I had a record 700+ people staying up until the wee hours in the morning to speak to me. I had found my mojo. I shifted to Bangalore and became a Corporate Storytelling Coach.

Prior to this, life had involved so much travel for me that I wanted a break from my travels. While talking to a startup client, the story of ‘how-my-Harvard-dream-was-shattered’ came up. And she was really intrigued. She was herself planning to write the GMAT and apply to top B-schools. I also told her about my prior experience in CAT, GMAT, and GRE training. She suggested opening a GMAT training center. She convinced me that I could impact many people in Bangalore by making their dream of an Ivy-League education come true. It sounded exciting. As I wanted a break from my travels, this seemed to be a good career option. Before I decided to take the plunge, I wrote the GMAT myself (on 23rd November 2007) and got a 770 score (this was without a minute of preparation). Later I applied to two of the programs at Harvard (MBA and Doctoral) and made it to both. J

Life had come full circle. But my charm of a B-school had been completely lost.

I started training students for the GMAT and, in a matter of just three months, the popularity of my training reached stratospheric levels (I was the only GMAT trainer in India who had an official 99th percentile score report to showcase). I trained a record number of students with absolutely spectacular, gravity-defying results. I made 99th percentile (760-800 range) scores common lingo in India. So much so that when my students got a 750, they felt awful and wanted to retake the test.

*****

After having spent many years of my life as a successful Solopreneur, I luckily chanced upon the life- and career-changing book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink. After reading this book, I realized that I had wrongly prided myself for being a completely logical, linear, and mathematical person, and that I was fundamentally a right-brained person but had been working for many years in areas that accentuated the application of my left-brain. In this book Daniel Pink emphasizes the important of six right-brained attributes for big-ticket successes (design, story, empathy, symphony, meaning, and play).

Mathematics, logic, language, and reasoning, coupled with my information-base about the world, had made me successful thus far but this book made me realize that, by embracing these six attributes, I could expand my sphere of influence a thousand-fold. As suggested in the book, I attended various storytelling festivals in the world. I learnt the biggest lesson of my life: for big-ticket successes, my smarts had to be matched by my storytelling ability; nostalgia could no longer be my business model.

In a single day, this book made me go from ‘data to design’, from ‘stats to stories', from ‘segments to symphony’, from ‘math to meaning', from ‘ego to empathy’ and from ‘proving to playing'.

Using the learnings from the book, I launched a number of courses:

·         Life without a Boss – the complete Solopreneurship course. The effect of this course was madness personified. Within months, hundreds of people quit their cushy (but lousy) jobs to live the life of their dreams.

·         Know the World in 24 Hours: In 2011, during her ISB-interview, one of my brightest students, Rashmi, couldn’t answer a simple question about the European Financial Crisis (read the full story in the chapter on Perspectives). This pained me a lot; I wanted to solve this epidemic called ‘lack-of-reading-and-perspectives’. And I launched Know the World in 24 Hours.  My students at Harvard, Kellogg, MIT, Wharton, Booth, Columbia etc. absolutely vouched for this course. The impact was so massive that they started calling it the compulsory 24-hour MBA before the optional 24-month MBA.

·         B.O.L.D. Most women I met as my clients lacked one thing for sure: they were not BOLD and entrepreneurial. To this effect, I launched my course B.O.L.D. – Beware of Lady Dynamites – a complete blueprint for women Solopreneurs. The success of this program surpassed all my expectations. More about this program at the end of this chapter!

The massive response to these programs can only be experienced in these video testimonials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hmR4qO0whY

·         N.E.U.R.O.-Seduction: Whenever I guided my startup clients, I found them woefully lacking in the idea of Positioning, Marketing, Branding, Selling, and Personal Storytelling. To this effect, I launched the course N.E.U.R.O.-Seduction. I believe it to be the most powerful idea for business, career, and personal life. In no time, this program took my corporate trainings global. For this topic (as well as for Storytelling), I have been invited to speak in the US, the UK, France, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and of course India.

Are you gorgeous or ballistic?

Just 2 years ago, if someone had told me that I could earn $10,000 per hour, I would have laughed it off as a cruel joke on my capabilities.

But in September 2012, what I saw in London took my breath away. I saw some Professional Speakers making $1mn in a single day (by selling their Speaking Products from stage) and impacting thousands of lives.

Something just consumed me at that moment. I was completely enveloped by the new overpowering emotion; I had to be on such a stage. No matter what / how, this was the space I HAD TO be in. But to design a Speaking Product, I had to find a problem that I could justifiably solve. And the problem was lying there, in full glory. Whenever I met my clients, almost always I heard a sob-story about how they hated their bosses, how they wanted to break free, and how their jobs totally sucked.

They spoke about their passions but had no clue about how to convert their passions into profitable businesses. On the contrary, I believe that any passion can be converted into a flourishing business while helping the world in a big way. I had categorically identified a problem and a potential solution; even the book in your hands elaborates the same model: From Passion to Profits. You share your passion and I (and now this book) will tell you how to turn that passion into a profitable business.

So I gave myself a larger-than-life goal. For the first time in life, I announced to all my contacts that in June 2013 I would deliver a 2-day seminar called Million Dollar Solopreneur (MDS). In a single day, more than 600 people registered. And I had a huge challenge in front of me:

·         I had to find a way to mesmerize more than 600 people for two full days (18 hours of Power Speaking).
·         I had to give people relevant content, tools, and strategies that would actually enable them to become dollar-millionaires.
·         I had to give them a tangible step-by-step millionaire blueprint.
·         I had to learn all the skills of Professional Speaking and apply each of them in real-time in front of so many people.
·         I had to come across as an absolute authority on my subject but still come across as warm, approachable, funny, witty, ‘in-the-moment’, and extremely comfortable in my own skin.
·         I had to learn all the delivery skills for large stages.
·         I had to prepare all the content + collaterals (Power-Points, Handouts etc.)
·         I had to market the event so well that 600+ people would actually attend it.
·         I had to lace each of my sessions with numerous stories and a lot of humor.
·         I had to keep them absolutely hooked, leaning on each word of mine for two full days.
·         I had to present the talk so effectively that people would sell all my future offerings to themselves.
·         I had to oversee all the operational aspects of organizing such a big event.
·         I also wanted to collect on-the-spot high-emotion video feedback.

And I had nothing ready. Neither the skill, nor the content, nor the delivery, nor the stories, nor the jokes; for a rational person, this would have meant a perfect copybook example a career-suicide (of an already well-established career).

All I had with me was this irrational PASSION—this obsession, this insanity, this sheer lust, this absolutely overpowering emotion—that I had to master this skill and cut into the amazing world of Professional Speaking.

AND, on June 15th and 16th 2013, I did manage to pull off the biggest extravaganza of my career with terrific élan and gusto. I conducted the event and was able to accomplish all the aforementioned points and more.  Some moments of the event are captured here:



In less than 12 months, dozens of MDS-participants have created massive incomes and loads of free time. They love what they do, travel around the world, and are impacting this world in a big way. All these people have turned Professional Speakers / Authors / Trainers / Consultants / Premium Coaches / Video Product Sellers in some uniquely claimed topics. These people are living in the dream-patch of their lives.

Here’s some feedback collected LIVE (on the spot):


Some of the snippets from the program can be seen here:


When the unimaginable happened:

What happened in May 2013 (even before MDS in June 2013) was not even in the wildest of my dreams. After spending more than Rs. 50 lakh and after qualifying nine rounds of evaluations, I was invited to present my 90-minute talk at the Public Speakers’ University, London and the Professional Speakers’ Academy, London.




I presented in front of more than 1000 globally-renowned Professional Speakers, and my speech about my copyrighted model Tri-Summit Storytelling System (Sandeep’s 25-Step Formula for Electrifying Storytelling) was evaluated as the best speech of the year. I was offered £10,000 (almost Rs. 10 lakh) for the 90-minute speech. As a result, I was invited to become the resident Ace-Mentor at The Professional Speakers Academy, London, the biggest Professional Speaking Circuit in the world.


Receiving the Ace Mentorship Certification / Invitation at PSA, London

This membership opened the floodgates of opportunities around the world. I also created my video products that (today) continue to sell quite handsomely.

As a next step, I launched another ambitious offering: Jet-Set SpeakerBe the Millionaire Messenger.

The response to Jet-Set Speaker has been the best—breathtakingly incredible—among all my courses. People have gone on record (on camera) saying that they have not received any education even one-hundredth as great as this—ever in their lives.

Watch the following videos to experience it yourself:



The Founder of Professional Speakers Academy, London liked my Jet-Set Speaker course so much that he purchased the entire model with all its seven components from me. Now this product is offered at both the Public Speakers University and the Professional Speakers Academy as part of their various courses.

Has your worldview ever been completely knocked out of alignment?

When I launched any of the aforementioned courses, I heard the same rant again and again from many of the prospective Solopreneurs:

“My work life sucks! I don't love my job. I am just putting in hours and I don't bloody care so long as I get my paychecks in time. If I had a choice, I would run away today and do something that I LOVE doing. I have tried my hand at a hundred things. Anything I start, I don’t do it for long. I give up on my passions again and again. I get inspired, and then I get lazy again. I hate workday mornings.”

At least fifty people I know run training-programs on the lines of ‘Follow Your Passion’. Most of what they say is stale, clichéd, misleading, or downright useless. To make matters worse, on most days, I find them lacking in passion for anything in their own lives. How has something so crucial (passion) become one of the most misunderstood topics of the modern era?

I find the following lines completely clichéd:

·         “Demand more from yourself than anyone else could ever expect.”
·         “Why live an ordinary life when you can live an extraordinary one?”
·         “Let there be no difference between what you CAN do and what you WILL do.”

Somehow these lines sound great but are never able to motivate people to take action. They don’t have the power to move you because they fail to arouse any emotion. They address you at the level of logic. And passion knows no logic. It is one of the two strongest emotions (the other being fear). Passion is completely irrational and instinctive. That’s why all the rah-rah passion theories make ‘zilch’ sense.

Now, this is what Tony Robbins says about Passion (he just nails it):

·         “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals—that is, goals that do not inspire them.”
·         “Passion is the genesis of genius. If we can generate the right emotion inside of us, we can get ourselves to do anything.”
·         “Passion is something that consumes you, something that automatically makes you drop 99 things and focus on just one thing, something that makes you love your self-time, and something that makes you stop multitasking.”

Do you notice the word emotion? Remember the root of all these words: Motion, Emotion, Motivation, and Motive—all have the same root meaning ‘movement’. So if your so-called passion fails to move you (or others) to take action, it is actually not passion.

Confession time: By 2012, after having spent 16 years of my career as a Serial-Solopreneur, it would have been fair to assume (on my part) that I knew a thing or two about the word ‘passion’. After all, I had read / watched almost every conceivable resource written / spoken about passion. But ironically, at the age of 38, three things (rather, three tight slaps on my existence) changed my entire understanding of my deeply-entrenched Passion Hypothesis.

1.     I happened to read the book Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin. This book proved to be an absolute myth-blaster for my understanding of passion. I could relate to every word of this book, especially after conducting MDS. Chapter 11 of this book Where Does the Passion Come From?” can change your life. It completely changed mine.

2.     I read another book So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport. This is the best-ever counter to the lame ‘find-your-passion’ hypothesis. This book debunks all the myths about rah-rah passion theories and talks about passion in terms of skill-development / a larger-than-life goal. For the first time in my life, something written about passion resonated with me so deeply.

3.     I also watched one of the rarest of rare video clips of Steve Jobs (wearing shortsJ) addressing his key stakeholders and advertising agencies. In this seven-minute video, Jobs explains what lies at the core of Apple. And the way he explained “Passion” and the entire Apple’s historic 1997 campaign just BLEW ME AWAY. This single seven-minute clip changed something substantial about my life.

For the first time, any advice on ‘passion’ made complete practical sense. The advice was: Tie your passion to a challenge, a competence, a skill—a whole new level of mastery.
Thanks to this one line, since 2012, my obsession for mastering absolutely insane challenges has seen a multiple-fold jump. Challenges such as the thrill of acquiring the supremely challenging skill of Professional Speaking have been fueling my passion. This strong, instinctive emotion called passion, in its truest form, is an insanely strong emotion. If channeled properly, passion can move mountains. It can make people kill (or go for the moon). After reading these three resources and seeing the direct, massive impact in my life, I came up with my own version of passion hypothesis: The 5C’s of Passion Drivers: Competence, Challenge, Creative Expression, Congruence, and Contribution:

·         Competence refers to developing new skills, learning new things. This is the biggest driver of passion.

Your competence level determines what you will pay attention to: when you don’t feel competent, you tend not to pay attention to bigger challenges and opportunities—because you don’t feel you can handle them.

Your competence level determines your choice of tasks and activities: when you feel capable and confident, you are willing to take on harder tasks. This generally leads to more learning and more success at work. If you feel incapable, you focus on the easier tasks and quickly become a slave to safety.

Your competence level determines your effort level: hard workers believe they can create positive outcomes with their effort, so they try harder. Expert performance studies have shown again and again that if you believe you are competent, you will work harder (and smarter).

Your competence level determines how adaptable and resilient you will be: this one has surprising implications for how stressful you will be in life and at work. If you trust your abilities and are more willing to adjust your course if something isn’t working, you will get up faster when knocked down.

Your competence level determines whether you will lead or follow: People who believe in themselves and their abilities take the reins at work and in life. They feel competent to handle challenges because they trust they will figure out the challenge as they pursue a new, grander vision. Sadly, if you don’t trust your abilities, you can rarely see a grand vision for yourself or others, let alone actively, consistently, and courageously chase it.

·         Challenge allows you to stretch your present capabilities.

·         Creative Expression enables you to freely express yourself – your identity, your free-flowing thoughts, your rebellious ideas – these may include speaking, writing, drawing, painting, acting, dancing, singing, performing, cracking a deal, the works

·         Congruence empowers you to be exactly the same outside as you are inside, where you can totally drop your guard, where you need no pretense or guardedness

·         Contribution: If you really want to put a dent in the universe, your purpose must drive your passion.

So, if you really want your passion to operate at super-peak levels, give yourself a three to six-month long concrete goal that stretches you and makes you develop exactly one skill, and announce it to the world as a future offering: a session, a program, a video, a write-up, a story. Then for the next three to six months, you are sorted. Each moment will be spent passionately.  By the end of these three to six months, hop on to mastering another challenging skill – and so on. Here are a few pointers about exactly how to pick a new skill, challenge, or goal:

J  Intrinsic Value: Is this goal or activity something you are passionate about, would enjoy doing, and feel proud about? Would you do this regardless of extrinsic rewards like money, status, recognition, or power?

J  Autonomy: Will you have decision-making authority in this pursuit? You need to feel as though you are in control and able to make things happen. No approval should be required for even one thing.

J  Future Identity: Is this goal or activity relevant to your future identity, to how you see yourself, and to what you see yourself doing over the long-term in the future?

J  Utilitarian Value: Is this goal or activity something that will lead to a useful outcome for you? Will you get something useful in life out of doing this?

J  Delay Time: How long do you have to wait to get the benefits of trying and achieving? Is this goal or activity going to have quick and recognizable results that you can enjoy soon? Human beings are horrible when it comes to delayed gratification, and the longer we have to wait, the less our motivation to learn and try becomes.

A case in point is how I learned the complete art and science of Professional Speaking:

The first thing I did was search the best Professional Speaking / Public Speaking / Storytelling Coaches in the world. In a single day, I ordered 44 video / audio products (worth more than Rs. 34 lakh) from some of the best names in the business.

And thus started my 90-days of PURE LUST (yes, it was an obsessive involvement) – I spent close to 16 hours each day watching (or listening to) each of the programs, making notes, practicing, recording myself, reviewing my tapes, and finessing my skills. I spent more than 800 hours trying to master this skill. My madness reached such a level that even brushing my teeth, bathing, eating, or sleeping seemed like an absolute waste of time. Call it a dopamine- or an adrenaline rush, or what you will, but a full-blown orgasm wouldn’t feel even one-tenth as orgasmic. I enjoyed the process so much that, 24*7, I visualized myself on that stage. The whole world had ceased to matter. I didn’t speak to virtually anyone for months! I could kill to speak on that stage! I typed the following words in my phone and read each word aloud every morning, visualizing my upcoming live-stage performance as I read each word:

·         Energized
·         Superb
·         Gorgeous
·         Raring
·         Smashing
·         Unstoppable
·         Fascinated
·         Turbocharged
·         Ecstatic
·         Impassioned
·         Fabulous
·         Ballistic
·         Tremendous
·         Awesome
·         Excellent
·         Dynamite
·         Magical
·         Vibrant
·         Exuberant
·         Exhilarated
·         Killer
·         Incredible
·         Phenomenal
·         Jazzed
·         Stoked
·         Laser-like
·         Enthralled
·         Enraptured
·         Passionate
·         Compelled
·         Driven
·         Spectacular
·         Extraordinary
·         Monumental
·         Invincible
·         Soaring
·         Explosive
·         Brilliant
·         Booming
·         Insanely great
·         Over the moon
·         Doesn’t get any better
·         Cosmically charged

The products that I watched / listened to were:

Patricia Fripp (the best Professional Speaking Coach in the world):
1.      Become a Speaking Star (along with five other speakers)
2.      Compelling Stories
3.      Help! I Have to Give a Speech
4.      How to Build a Profitable Speaking and Consulting Business
5.      How to Get, Keep and Deserve Your Customers
6.      Meetings - Fun and Exciting
7.      Preparing and Presenting Powerful Talks
8.      Presentation Skills: Hollywood Style
9.      Super Sales Presentations
10.  Write It and They Will Pay
11.  Create Your Keynote by Next Week (with Darren Lacroix)

Darren Lacroix:
1.      Connect
2.      Healing, Hope, and Humor
3.      Get More Laughs by Next Week
4.      Say What
5.      The Path to Powerful Presentations – How I Went from Chump to Champ
6.      You Can Do This
7.      Hope
8.      YouTube It

Ed Tate:

Energize, Educate, and Entertain

7 World Champions of Public Speaking Together:

Connect With Any Audience

Craig Valentine:

1.      Edge of Their Seats Storytelling home study course
2.      Create Your Killer Keynote
3.      Dynamic Delivery Devices
4.      Speak and Prosper
5.      7-Step Presentation Toolkit
6.      Advanced Speaking Course
7.      Better Selling Through Storytelling
8.      Live from LA
9.      Live from MIT
10.  Starter Pack
11.  World Class Product Creation
12.  Own The Stage (with Darren Lacroix)

Andy Harrington:

1.      Elite Coaching Program
2.      Winning Webinars
3.      Marketing Mastery
4.      Power To Achieve

Roger Love:

1.      The Perfect Voice
2.      Vocal Power
3.      The World’s Greatest Speaker Training (with Brendon Burchard and Bo Eason)

Bo Eason:

Personal Story Powerpack

Toastmasters:

1.      25 Years of World Champions of Public Speaking – International Speech Contest – Positions 1, 2, and 3 – overall 75 speeches
2.      20 Years of Humor – 20 Humorous Speeches
3.      20 Years of Keynote – 20 Keynote Speeches

Just to give you a secret, Patricia Fripp’s products genuinely stood out as the very best.

___

To sum it up, if you truly want to fire your passion, give yourself a large goal and announce it to the world. Go out on a limb, develop a new skill, overcome a new challenge, and fire your PASSION all over again. The world can’t wait to see you perform J … Passionately!

My life’s current mission: I want to create more and more dollar-millionaires in this world using The Solopreneur Blueprint”.

In retrospect: If I hadn’t read the book A Whole New Mind, none of these programs would have ever seen the light of the day. Thank you Daniel Pink!

TODAY:

Every year, I spend an equivalent of eight months reading books, attending courses / events / webinars, meeting interesting people, traveling, and having scintillating conversations. LEARNING has never stopped. My life’s philosophy can be summarized in just two words: Student Always!

As a Solopreneur, I have had the best roller-coaster joyride of my life. There hasn’t been even a single dull moment in my life in the last 18 years.

To add to the thrill, every year I offer one completely unprecedented program that has never been offered by anyone else anywhere in the world; this philosophy has been the single most crucial driving force in my life so far. The journey has been outrageous fun — pure orgasm!

Latest from me:


I feel happy and proud to tell you that in just the last 30 days (during June 2014), the following have happened for me:

  1. My book Million-Dollar Solopreneur got published. Launching on June 28th (my 40th birthday) during the event.
  2. I have been invited to speak at six TEDx platforms.
  3. I have been chosen (without applying) for a UN Sponsored REX (Right Every Wrong) Global Fellows Award. This was the proudest moment of my life.





Phew! That’s about My Personal Journey.

Back to you: What are you waiting for in your life?


PS: Attaching the two mails (TEDx / UN Sponsored Award). Imagine all this for yourself.

Sandeep,

I hope this message finds you well. I'm honored to invite you to speak at TEDx, an independently organized TED event happening in October. 2014. I am a huge fan of your work, your beliefs and the way you are (so impressive at the things you do) and would be so excited if you would join us.

TEDx is a full-day event being curated by me, with an audience of about 1000. Our goal is to bring together bright minds to give talks that are idea-focused, and on a wide range of subjects, to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke conversations that matter.

Your talk would be filmed and an edit will be hosted on the TEDx YouTube channel. Just as with all speakers, we would work together ahead of time to craft the talk. Your talk could be up to 18 minutes, on any themes or topics you're interested in.

TEDx is tentatively scheduled for 8th October, 2014. We believe your voice would be a critical addition to the TEDx stage. Please let us know by 15th July whether or not you’d be interested in speaking. Thank you for reading, and we very much look forward to hearing from you.

Best,
Shashank Mishra
Curator

***********

Dear Mr Sandeep

Namaste

REX KARMAVEER GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP in partnership with CtrlS, iCONGO, VSO and Karmaveer Chakra (Instituted in partnership with the United Nations to encourage proactive citizenship), helps life-changing innovators from around the globe to integrate within the REX and Karmaveer community. It helps them share their impactful ideas for action with a million audiences and transform lives through projects and ideas of hope. REX Karmaveer Global Fellowships shall be inclusive of people who are making a difference in technology, innovation, entertainment, media, design, performing arts, architecture, engineering, aviation, creative arts, Fine arts, sciences and humanities. RKGF shall also comprise of writers & authors, journalists, activists, whistle-blowers, students, NGO leaders, CSR professionals, investment bankers, entrepreneurs, fundraisers, humane business strategists, leadership coaches, educationists, citizens from the armed & police forces, government leaders & bureaucrats, diplomats, engineers, consultants, entertainers and people from several other disciplines & sectors. REX Karmaveer Global Fellows evolve from many knowledge disciplines that reflect the diversity the fellowships. At RKGF we choose an eclectic combine of people, which includes everyone from life-changing innovators, brave crusaders and soldiers of peace & justice to integrate within the REX and KARMAVEER community for sharing their thought provoking ideas for action with millions of people across the globe for transforming lives through social impact projects and ideas for action. RKGF comprises of people who believe that knowledge is power and power must be shared to create a balance of power in the today’s knowledge age. All fellows must value learning, traditional wisdom and sharing knowledge. RKGF is an ecosystem where we learn and mentor each other by keeping an open mind for learning and sharing wisdom and progressive knowledge for mutual advantage and the common cause of creating a better, just, humane, egalitarian world. Here, at RKGF we need to value learning, knowledge & traditional Eastern wisdom and best practices from western philosophy as our real wealth and award.

After announcing the nominations over social media, we have already received overwhelming response and 10s of hundred applications in the last few months. However besides inviting applications, we also nominate and choose some people through the diligent research efforts of our volunteers and recommendations of erstwhile fellows from the past 2 cadres.

You are one such person who is our CHOSEN hero and champion of change and have been nominated and chosen in approval with all our erstwhile fellows and board members. TheREX KARMAVEER GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP is managed, led, funded and sustained through the efforts and support of all our fellows and is driven by a few  conveners who are also RexKarmaveer Global Fellows. (Kindly browse through the booklet made for the fellowships nomination last year. This is a labour of love created and written by fellows as appended in this link and we sharing this purely for reference to give you a feel of the fellowships and the ethos of the fellowship.  http://www.rexideas.com/REX%20Fellows%201st%20Cadre.pdf ).

We choose our fellows with utmost DILIGENCE and are very careful about the fellows we choose to bring in to our ecosystem. People who are chosen for our fellowships are champions of change in their own right and are either doing something to bring about social change with their noble work or are walking the path less trodden by choosing innovative vocations that helps create a mindset change in society for the greater good with their noble thoughts and actions. You are one such person in whom we have seen immense potential as our fellow for all the great work you are doing to lead change for the better. Since you have been chosen you shall not only be bestowed with our prestigious fellowship but also receive the Karmaveer Chakra award. This award is not given to people who SELF-APPLY through social media or over the internet and only given to people who we have nominated and chosen through our research and network.

You shall be bestowed with the Rex Karmaveer Global Fellowship and Karmaveer Chakra award at the REX CONCLiVE 2015 scheduled to be held in Delhi from 21st to 23rd March, 2015. REX CONCLiVE (earlier called the RIGHT every WRONG conclave) is the first and foremost wisdom forums in the world that focuses on social good and impact for the betterment of society with simple ideas for Action. Curated by Jeroninio (Jerry) Almeida, REXhas now inspired several other similar forums for social good across the world. Every year theREX CONCLiVE attracts the best of Rock-star speakers and alternative performers who then get promoted extensively through social media and our website which has an outreach to over 15 million people globally.

Over the years the CONCLiVE has generated huge interest and through our ticketing partners Kyazoonga, several people sign up as delegates after paying us the attendance fees. The attendance fees decided by our auditors this year for the forum are Rs. 1,50,000 for the entire 3 day wisdom forum, Rs. 50,000 for the Awards ceremony and Rs. 75,000 for the Leadership Workshop to be held on 24th March, 2015. You as our esteemed fellow shall be able to attend this forum with one companion of your choice (our fellows last year requested for being able to bring in one companion) absolutely free and shall have the opportunity to network for long lasting partnerships and share wisdom and learning with like-minded champions of change from across the globe. Here is what some people had to say about the wisdom they acquired at the Rex CONCLiVE.

The most simple, dignified and austere learning forum and awards program I ever attended. The wisdom from all the people who are doing great work at the grassroots was very humbling. – Ms. Anu Aga (Captain of Industry and now a RajyaSabha member)  

Serving as the Indian Ambassador to several countries, Kavita and I have attended several learning forums at Harvard in the US, British Columbia in Canada and University of Peace in Costa Rica. However we are both simply enlightened with the learning we have acquired in the past 2 Right every Wrong Conclaves. This is the real wisdom and learning which the topmost Universities do not offer. To paraphrase Socrates “The Right every Wrong conclave bring truths out of others for the betterment of self & society.” – Ambassador Mr. J. C Sharma (Ministry of External Affairs) said this after he attended the first 2 Conclaves of 2006 and 2007 with his wife Ms. Kavita Sharma who was the Principal of Hindu College at that time.

When Jerry presents his stories and thoughts, one gets insights from thousands of books, places, people and villages -Dr. Amartya Sen - Nobel Laureate, Economist and Author.

To conclude you are requested to acknowledge receipt of this mail. We shall then send your nomination kit by email to you.  You may also visit www.rexideas.com and www.karmaveerglobalawards.com and browse through to understand the REX philosophy in more detail. Please also do join us on the Rex- Ideas for Action page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Rexideas for daily doses of inspiration.

Congratulations on being chosen for our fellowships and award.

Thank you
Col (Retd)  Sanjeev Dutta
REX Convener & Just Another Volunteer | International Confederation of NGOs | www.iCONGO.in  | Together as ONE we can RIGHT every WRONG  |
iCONGO believes that it is not mindless & arrogant charity but humble & involved social justice that is wanting in our world . We passionately work with PEOPLE across the globe, for encouraging social justice through citizen action with a vision of creating a just, humane, egalitarian and responsible society. On the other end, we work with the PEOPLE SECTOR (i.e. the NGOs which are rapidly losing out on credibility today), to reclaim and preserve public trust for the people sector. We have constantly endeavored and  taken the less trodden path, to encourage more involvement of citizens with social issues and created movements like The Joy of Giving, RIGHT every WRONG, Karmayuga and Karmaveer movement and inspired other socially relevant ideas with our thought leadership. This TV story by CNBC on iCONGO shall tell you about our mission in just 9 minutes. Watch Video 



Sandeep's Laugh Riot - 2003-2013 - Across India



Know The World In 24 Hours
Break Free - Celebrate Yourself - Live Your Bliss!

Check more than 150 comments by the participants of the first batch of this course to understand the LIFE-CHANGING IMPACT this course has had on them: their careers, their lives, their relationships, their risk-taking appetite, their passion, their work, their incomes, their happiness, their boldness, their persona, and their overall existence.

165 comments:


  1. Nice initiative Sandeep. Glad to see you iniative something new after 5x!

    However, I'm not completely surprised at the response you received from IIM students though I believe that there may still be students who have perspectives but would have felt intimididated by your presence and kept quiet :)

    My experience after being in a Bschool (not an IIM and not in India as you know) is that to gain perspective, you need to be in a position to relate theory to situations that you have already experienced first hand.

    To gain perspectives of business strategy or positioning in such a way that you can actually contribute towards it, you should be able to link it back to what you have seen and experienced and then think about the alternative paths that could've been chosen. How exactly would you expect a 22-23 year old with 2 years of corporate exposure to actually come across so many diverse situations in reality? (which also explained the best students I studied with were not the young yuppies with the highest gmats but the 35-40 year olds with more exposure to the world and who had lead from the front strategising, building brands and running organisational division).

    Swallowing definitions and models by Kotler or Porter or anybody else on what it strategy, positioning, differentiation or any such concepts doesn't really teach you anything unless you can visualise how this can be applied in the real environment.

    Business education has become just another title that you can attach to your name (and a ticket to larger paypacket?). No point blaming the students from IIMs, they are only what the system wants them to be; students with the best analytical ability among their peers. Perspective, who asked for it anyway?

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  2. I completely agree with you Roji. I have faced the same problems whenever I have tried to educate people ... too detached from real-life situations. And, they can't be blamed (as I later realized :) ).

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  3. super stuff .. I have attended some part of this . Sandeep is an amazing source of knowledge .. Way to go..

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  4. Sandeep sir

    Yet another superb write up!! This is what I have been waiting for all this while! 5X metamorphosing into something really big! The fire you created within us will never be doused nonetheless, at times we fail to channelize it in the right manner. Kudos to you sir!

    I quite agree with Roji and moreover those of us, who were a part of the 5X program know what the world looks like when we see it through your eyes, else we can only seek solace in 'Ignorance is bliss'! Great initiative sir, given that people like me are a product or a by-product of the system nevertheless, it's never too late to change the system but the 'change' starts with us! It is purely coincidental that I was planning to see you soon, with a few things in mind and I have now got another great reason to do that! I literally worship you and I have always believed that if I personally know someone who is trying to bring about a radical change in the manner the current generation sees, thinks and speaks about the world we live in, it's none other than YOU!

    All the best sir! Way to go!!

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  5. The write up is just wonderful - everytime you have something to say there is so much depth in it; no wonder this took you a good 2-3 months Sandeep.
    I am sure the two new courses offered will be a great success as most of your courses are !
    Wish to be a part of it and also let my friends know of this so that they too can benefit from your 'know-how' of doing things.

    And yes I hope people attending the courses will eventually have their own individual perspective rather than your perspective ( just for a laugh )!

    Cheers.

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  6. Hello Sandeep,

    your recent experience again show cases that professional education is not mature enough to help the students enough to excel in real world and fails to provide the right perspective required to aim and achieve high.

    This methodology of learning has to be included in the academic curricula in school as well as places of higher learning.

    Appreciate your initiative to plug holes in the system. I am looking forward to joining the sessions.

    Regards,
    Srini

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  7. Sandeep,
    Great Initiative. I respect you on the bold steps you take
    "You call a spade a bloody shovel"..
    I am completely bowled over on your thoughts and perspective about personal positioning. So very true. Yes need clear thinking and thought process to even have a basic meaningful conversation forget about achieving anything.
    I firmly believe Passion derives everything else. Passion Quotient makes all the difference..
    On the same lines, people talk about work life balance and Rat race blah blah blah... Why do u have to think of balance if you love what you doing?
    How many of us need such life lessons? Honestly there was no place to go. It is very easy to crib about the society and the education system and move on. Not many ask themselves about their own contributions back.
    I would love to be part of..
    See you soon.

    Cheers
    -Anjana

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  8. Sandeep - you've already had an impact on me with the gmat classes

    cant wait for this to begin -- got to go now you have bombarded us with homework this week ;-)

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  9. Another BLASPHEMOUS course!!!
    You sure have mastered the art of presenting things and selling it.
    As your own blog says "If you can communicate it in a way that people pay for it, you are a rockstar; if not, you have no business being an entrepreneur"
    You definitely are one big Rockstar
    Plenty more to learn then but only after WE knock down GMAT.

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  10. Hello Sandeep,

    Great writing !! Having myself passed out of MBA school recently, I totally agree with your views. I currently live in Germany and I was wondering how can I be part of such great learning.

    If you can come up with online course it would be great.

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  11. Hi Shobha,

    Thanks for the wonderful words ... I will definitely come up with an online version in times to come. I am really glad that a lot of my ex-students from ISB, IIMs, and even from a lot of global MBAs find each word of what is written in the blog absolutely true. If the education system is not doing the job, I am ready to do the same, and possibly, at lower than even one-hundredth the cost. :)

    Do update me where you did your MBA from (send a mail).

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  12. Hi Sandeep,

    Great move. Happy to see the 5X reloaded as BOLD. Looking ahead to participate.

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  13. Hi sandeep...

    I am an invisible admirer of you ... Your Ivy-Gmat blog is like a magic wind in my life. It changed me personally a lot . I find peace, passion , motivation and a kind of extreme jubilation when I read your story. There is no day in my life without visiting your blog from past one year. I was expecting something great from you, apart from GMAT. Now you came up with a great thing. I wish it will change many peoples lives. I am eagerly waiting to participate. I wish you can come up with a thing like KHAN ACADEMY by Salman Khan.

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  14. Hi Sandeep,

    Totally blown away as always.

    I remember experiencing the 5X initiative, the first version of this. Without any doubts, it's the best "mind orgasm" I have experienced till date. "Best mind orgasm" is probably an understatement. It has been a big win for me personally, professionally and monetarily. Wish great success to this program and I am sure you'll enjoy it.

    No magic to 16K, just coincidental. really? :) I thought you weren't sarcastic :P

    I second to Partha totally. I cannot get more lucky to find a guru, mentor, teacher and friend in one person. Meeting you is the best thing that has happened in my life.

    Sincerely,
    Nitin.

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  15. Hi Sandeep,

    just a day to go to unveil the curtains. I have never experienced such an excitement, be it on result day or my first day at work. The entire week went so quickly just to see what is there in store for next 8 weeks. Looking forward for an extraordinary life transforming sessions from YOU !!!

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  16. Hi Sandeep

    The first session was mindblowing! I never imagined a session could be so exciting as this one. I could relate to many of the perspectives you elaborated, with my own life. "Perspective Vs Reality", "Personal Positioning", "Triggers to Emotions" were just superb, and a take-away for a lifetime.

    waiting for the next session,
    Suraj

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  17. after your mail last night, I left all my inhibitions behind and came to attend the session. As I have already gone through your blog, I knew something about "Positioning", but trust me when I saw first slide with the brands, I thought this session gonna be roller-coaster ride for me because there was nothing related to healthcare industry. I work in a research domain into science field (to be specific Chemistry), I have not heard the word, I have not experienced the phenomenon called "Positioning", "Trigger". All I do is molecules, diseases and how to cure them. But, the way you have simplified the term is amazing. The reason behind joining GMAT or This Course has got some meaning today and I am sure in weeks to come this course will definitely equip me with all necessary ingredients required not only for my MBA but also as a person to position myself in the domain.

    "3-hour" momentum you carry continuously without any break, hats off to your extraordinary energy level till the end.
    Please suggest some books towards the end so that I can refer to it for some more understanding (as a Home-Work).

    Thank you very much, I am looking forward to the next funfilled, knowledge overflowed sessions.

    Regards,

    Prasad

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  18. Hi Sandeep,

    Firstly, Thanks a lot for letting me come and attend the first session. I was actually supposed to leave bangalore last week. But your write up about the course was so powerful, that it forced me to extend my stay by a week.

    And as expected, it was well worth it. If I had any way to stay for the remaining sessions, I really would. Basically, what you explained about branding and positioning yourself is what we would already know about, and very easily overlook it. But the way you put it across, and the intensity with which you deliver the message would even force a wall to think about it. It was an eye-opener session in every sense.

    Am still trying to figure out answers for some of your questions:
    "Why would I buy coke or pepsi, when I very well known that am paying for sugared water?"
    "Why would I believe I cannot do something in a normal situation, and if you make it a do-or-die situation, I know i can do it without any hesitation. Why so?"
    And the fact that I cant get answers to it yet, proves that its only those 7 triggers that are at work here.

    This one session will change the way that I take decisions going forward. And also the way I project myself to others.

    Thanks,

    Jerry.

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    1. Jerry,

      I am glad that we had a little chat about this as well. Also, any kind of appreciation for all the hard work that I put in my preparations matters so much more when I see such genuine appreciation.

      I am rediscovering humility with each interaction. Humility first; humility always.

      Just one thing: never ask people what you should be doing. Take gut-based decisions. Your gut is smarter than you.

      Read the book: Screw It, Let's Do It by Richard Branson. He says he takes a maximum of 60 seconds to decide even for the biggest decisions of his life ... such as starting Virgin Atlantic Airlines. He doesn't believe in data and research.

      The same goes for me. If I listen to people, I will face at least a hundred detractors every day. So the philosophy is: Just Do It.

      Delete
  19. Hi Sandeep,

    This is the first time I have seen you in person. All thanks to my brother... :) The session was magnificent, very inspiring and thought provoking... just loved it! I realized your passion trigger when you went non-stop for 3.5 hours without taking a break...! I have heard your passion goes much more beyond that.

    You have enriched the session with your personal life experiences which makes it all the more special. I can read many autobiographies but seeing you talk about your life and the decisions that shaped you as a person makes me think more on my goal than my problems.

    Woow... that was one wonderful session! I am still in the hangover of it. I understand to be in this hangover for long I need to implement the triggers. With your guidance I am sure I will find mine in some time.

    Looking for more... Now that you have raised the bar!

    Request:
    Is it possible to share the presentation? I couldn't note the 3 main points for every trigger.


    Thanks & Best Regards,
    Anand Patil

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    1. Anand,

      What do I say? I am speechless. This is the best appreciation I have had in ages.

      As regards passion, I am sure if you love your work, there is no tiredness. I could have gone on for 12 hours in the same fashion. It is not about some superman-like energy but about LOVING your job so much.

      I am glad to have you in my course. Way to go.

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  20. Hi Sandeep,
    You have aroused all the possible triggers in me. I quit my job PSU after reading your story. I don't know whether you are ruining my life or taking it to a next level. I hope its the later. Your one sentence about earning 10 lakhs in the next 30 days made a huge impact on my thinking. Without any extra skill sets you made believe that I can earn so much. I feel the first session itself is already worth more than what I paid to you for all the sessions.

    Thanks and Best Regards
    Vishwanath

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  21. I feel goosebumps as I read this ... thanks Vishwanath ... I am not sure how to react. This is priceless. All the effort that I put in trying to be of some help to someone becomes much more glorious every time I see such genuine appreciation. If there is god, my god bless you in your life ... in each endeavor. I will try to beat myself in every new outing in life. Each day I will try to better myself ... this is beyond money, career, or fame. This is about IMPACT.

    Thanks mate ... I will cherish this forever.

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  22. Hi Sandeep,
    First of all thank you letting me sit through the session it was amazing. I have never read or heard anything like it. The session for me has started to sink in only slowly and since Sunday whenever i am interacting with people or watching TV its like OMG OMG i know what triggers are being used.Interesting revelations. The magnitude to which the triggers affect us in every day life are astounding. It has again encouraged me to introspect a lot and i must say its a great journey that has begun with brand new eyes.
    The session was gripping through out but i think we could have had some moments in between to reflect and absorb :)
    I cant wait for the next session.
    I am looking forward to more interactions with you.Your energy is infectious.

    Cheers,
    Neha

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    1. Thanks for the feedback Neha ... I will incorporate all this in the coming sessions.

      Also, it has been great knowing you. You exude an immense amount of energy and enthusiasm and your ideas are really refreshing.

      Delete
  23. Sandeep,

    Although I was a bit jetlagged, The session was powerful enough to jolt me out of my sleeplessness. It was a very engaging, simple yet powerful session.
    I have been thinking about the triggers in every aspect of life since then. Passion has been the biggest and powerful trigger in my life... The session gave me valuable inputs on how to infuse the same. I am yet to try that out.
    The session was great in recognizing other triggers which I never paid attention to.. for eg:mystique, alarm..
    I cant agree more on trust. Most valuable asset of our lives.
    Last but not the least, Rebellion is one such trigger other than Passion that I very closely relate to.. My answer to the question in the exercise what triggers do u arouse in others: Rebellion was one of the top most.. My initial reaction on this topic was isn't it a negative asset ? Thats the way I always felt. My concern will be more from guy vs girl point of view, how does someone (Preferably male boss, male friend) look at someone (a girl) who is such a rebel? threat? Your discussion on how to infuse Rebellion was very subtle and doable action items. I can't wait to apply to my daily life and see the reaction and end result. Maybe this is one topic that I can talk in depth with you on how passion and rebellion combination work for a girl.

    Look forward to the next session...

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  24. Thanks for such a candid and threadbare analysis Anjana ... we may surely have a talk sometime about this.

    As I have already told you, you have inspired me in many many ways and I mean it. I am yet to find someone who shed her inhibitions and had a great time doing so. Never trade your rebellion with anything else.

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  25. Hi Sandeep,

    I remember the first time I had read about you and your blog a year and half back. I was glued to my laptop screen. I had not missed a single word and it had taken me more than 3 hours at one stretch (Yeah, I remember studying it and not just reading!). in the end, I had gladly told myself "See...Howard Roark actually exists!!" :)
    No word could ever come close to defining the kind of person you are and perfection you try to achieve. The session last Sunday was absolutely brilliant. Your take and perspective on things and life in general are just so fresh and new. Be it the concept of Universal triggers, the reason we should make our goals so big, positioning, religion, what makes humans superior...you know I can just go on!
    I liked how each of your stories unfolded so many lessons. I had always contemplated whether rationality is superior to emotions. You were so right in saying emotions are always at work!

    They say "A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience". I am so happy to have experienced so many such moments in just one session.
    Sir, I think you should write a book (Seriously!).

    Thank you for all the influence and for trying to make the world a smarter place:)

    Regards
    Vivek Patil.

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  26. I am seriously overwhelmed Vivek. I always knew of the impact I create on people's thought process but this comment is an absolute revelation.

    I am glad that I am able to pass on my life-learnings in a very engaging, simple, fun, and easy-to-use way ... my only objective is to give people a way to think about themselves and their careers very differently.

    People bother about steady money whenever there is a thought of taking a fresh look at their careers. Little do they realize that money always follows if you do a good job and make the world take a note of it.

    Keep the comments pouring in after each session. It will be my honor and privilege to read each of these.

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  27. Sandeep,
    Thank you. It is such an honor truly..
    I super like your comment on Money... Its True.. Money always follows if you do a good job and make the world take a note of it.
    I must have mentioned it to you earlier. Would love to hear your thoughts..
    Humans mostly risk averse, we engage in building safetynet over safety net before taking a plunge. When you take such precaution to avoid failure, one does not accomplish anything. People dont give your best. Sometimes in order to win, you take a risk meaning jumping without safety harness.
    is it not?

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  28. I couldn't agree more Anjana. I can cite my example. I have never done my math about how much I am going to earn to start with. Money is a by-product of good work.

    I have believed in just one thing: your profession must be an extension of your 3P's: Passion, Prowess, Persona ... if you make your profession an extension of your Passion (you LOVE your work), prowess (you are among the best in the world at your work), and personality (your profession is an extension of your personality), you will never feel as if you were "working". Whenever I take up a new assignment, I always think:

    1. Whether this task can "engage" me completely ... mentally, emotionally, and intellectually. I should be so "engrossed" and "lost" in the task that I forget my sense of space and time for hours on a roll. I should feel completely "in the zone" and "orgasmic" while doing something. It should be "blissful". I wouldn't trade that moment with anything else, no matter how appealing the thing is, in the traditional sense of the word.

    2. Whether I feel a sense of mastery or learning doing this ... I must feel I am learning all the time. ALL THE TIME. This is possibly why I can read for countless number of hours. I have read for 41 hours at a stretch once. My typical reading stretches are easily 8-10 hours. Reading gives me a complete sense of "bliss". So does speaking.

    3. Whether the work involves impact or not. For my profession, I have never done anything that doesn't involve direct, visible, and significant impact on people, their lives, or their careers.

    4. Whether I could do this specific task without money. If yes, then I think whether I could make make money in it. If the answer is yes, I jump into it ... whether I eventually make money or not is not something that I bother too much about. I have known one lesson for more than 20 years, though: with the right positioning anything can be sold (imagine Coca Cola). What I offer is thousands of times more valuable than sugared water. So I do stand a chance.

    I would like to know your views :)

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  29. Being down lately, at the end of the first session, there was this indescribable feeling of hope. Hope that I can make something good out of my life.

    Even though the words are very less, I thank you a lot for inspiring & planting the seed of hope. I can't thank you enough.

    As Vivek mentioned earlier, you should definitely write a book. Reach out more people. There are lot of people who need you, your inspiration & your way of thinking.

    Thanks once again. Was a blessing in disguise :)

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    1. Thanks Sunil for these words ... I know for a fact the 'hope' is the single biggest catalyst in all human endeavors. May you achieve your 'mojo' with this course.

      Delete
  30. Hi Sandeep,
    It's been an extraordinary experience to be associated with someone like you who knows it very clear what he's pursuing in life. Most of the today's youth is unaware of how to pursue what they love to do and accomplish their aspirations. You are no doubt enabling people to dream and desire, and make it happen. I can say that I've recognized many of my latent triggers after attending your session. When I met you the first time I wasn't very sure of how it would be, but you are one of the very few people by whom I'm highly inspired. And I really hope that we can do some amazing work in the future.

    Regards,
    Sharmin

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    1. It has been great knowing you Sharmin. I love the fact that you like the unbounded craziness in people ... the irrationality of human spirit to achieve the impossible, and the joy of achieving something out-of-the-ordinary.

      What you mentioned to me about your so-called 'crazy' friends and what attracts you in people really enamored me to you.

      I am sure some great work awaits us.

      Delete
  31. Hello Sandeep,

    I know I have missed something really big by not attending this session. But, I know for sure that I will make it to the second batch(I hope this is good enough a pressure for you to start another batch after the current one concludes :P).
    I cant tell you how many times I read your blog. I feel rejuvenated each time I read it. I joined IVY to help me through GMAT, but, in due course, my brain seemed to have woken up from deep dreamless slumber. The best thing that happened is knowing you. I do not know if I am going to join a business school and it is not the priority now for me, but, one thing I am very sure of, for the first time in my life, is to change my perspective towards life, a gift. I am going to better it and live it my way. Rid myself of fear. Thanks to you. I am taking one step at a time.
    I realized that I am not ready for MBA yet. I have to set things right with my life before I pursue this dream. I am not sure if I will continue with my rigorous preparations for GMAT, but it will happen one day and I feel that it can wait for the moment. No regrets at all. I know your materials will help even if you might not allow me to take the recorded sessions after few months ;-)

    Thanks a tonne for listening, understanding and... everything :-). Will see you in the next batch. :-)

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  32. I am overwhelmed and touched Smitha ... all I can say is that you did the right thing by following your heart. I still say:

    BREAK FREE ... LIVE YOUR BLISS.

    Don't bother about people ... think about yourself. People will always detract ... that's the way of the world. So why listen? Why explain? Why justify? Do your own thing and stand for your failures and successes totally on your own.

    I am proud that you took the right decisions.

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  33. Dear Sandeep,



    I Should thank my friend Mr Bala, who introduced you. Meeting you is the best that happened in my life. After reading your blog, it just took only few minutes for me to decide to be in our association. That was the quickest decision i made in my life. Nothing else other than your blog would have made me travel 8 week ends from Hyderabad to Bangalore. Though i did not do good in GMAT (i did not complete all that you asked us to do to get 770), your mails about 5x feed back sessions aroused my interest and i was desperately looking for such session.....

    To my fortune you started this course and made me to travel 8 weekends from Hyderabad to Bangalore again.

    I always wonder your Authority on the content in what ever you do....The most impressive aspect of your session is the value you give to the time. Each second of your session is worth. I haven't seen any one in my life so far giving such power packed informative session for 3 hours. Its absolutely amazing.

    While i was working as a scientist with defence, i started my own company.... I was wondering whether I can build a world class company?
    if it has to be so what should i do ?
    I always had a fear about my success if i quit my job completely and build my own business.

    I strongly believe that your session do build the courage.


    The first session answered some of my deep concerned un answered questions so far. What ever you said about the triggers were absolutely true...Though i was wondering about the people who are doing great , i have never realised that they are making these triggers working for them...I am sure i would not have got this information even i would have spend few years researching this topic with out attending your session.

    your session gave me a sense of confidence about Building a great organization. Looking forward with excitement for future sessions.



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  34. Nagendra,

    I never knew all that you have written in the comment above :)

    I am really glad and speechless to know what you wrote. I am glad to have had some impact in your life. I will strive to do even better, breaking my own record each time.

    Do keep the comments pouring in.

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  35. Sandeep Sir,

    I am not sure how to describe this. Just before the session started, we had a short chat about whether should I attend this or not -- and you told me - if you attend this, then your focus for doing MBA might change - and that is what is happening now. For this whole week, Every day I started my work after reading the hardcopy you provided .... and my day was never the same. Frankly speaking, it is actually spoiling me .... not sure how do I feel --- it seems people are FAKING themselves (as am not able to believe - what I say to them is actually being well recognized and getting noticed ... only because of the points you gave around P-P-P-M-A-..). Now am eagerly awaiting for the second session and for sure, I should say this ---- U R AMAZING!!!!

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  36. I am not sure how to react ... I told you so ... the session can be really hard-hitting and may involve re-alignment of anyone's goal. I just want you to focus on your test even as you attend all the sessions.

    Thanks for the compliment, by the way :)

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  37. Hello Sandeep,
    The session was hilarious throughout. In your GMAT sessions, I used to think “Is Sandeep always serious” and this session has answered me; In fact I have seen a different angle of yours.
    Your quotes have motivated me a lot esp. “Make your goals so compelling that problems seem insignificant”. Believe me, I stopped paying attention to some petty problems which seemed very huge earlier. Also your principle of X, X/2 and 10X is thought provoking. Actually the best thing about you , in fact than the material you provide, is that you make me see very very difficult things so simple.Before attending your GMAT session any score above 750 seemed almost impossible, but after going through the debriefs you share, 750 seems reachable target. Same is the case with theories of your session such as X , X/2 and 10X.
    Although I felt that the session was wrapped quickly in the end as we were running short of time, the whole session was very good. Also the one minute videos had some messages in the end, such as the 3 principles for those Passion, Power etc…I could not make a note of them. If you can share that information, it would be great.

    Looking forward for your sessions.

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    1. I am surprised to know that you feel I am always serious. In fact, it is the opposite.

      Thanks Sanjeev ... I am sure there is a lot for in store for you in both the courses.

      Some really great sessions await you.

      I will surely share parts of the presentation with you.

      Delete
  38. Sandeep .. I have never left a comment in any of your blogs… this is my first one.. so here it goes!

    I don't want to speak about how I met you and how the journey was after that (since it would take some space in this blog). For me the first session was special because you asked me the best question ever I’ve faced in my life (If my earning were to go to x/2…?) That made me realize that despite me feeling that I am working my a** off there are still things I can do. Thinking about your ten lakhs question made me realize how deep into my shell I have gone.

    Thanks for taking this initiative. For me this session is all about knowing what I do not know and building from there.

    I look forward to having some more real eye-openers.

    P.S. – You are not a bad actor at all!!!

    Regards,

    BG

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    1. Hi ... I can assure you that I am a good actor. I have always been but it took your genius to identify this talent of mine.

      I am sure you will find each session more impactful than the other.

      Hope to see a great transformation in you :)

      Delete
  39. Dear Sandeep

    Sorry for the late feedback but it has been difficult to put my thoughts into words!
    You have not only been a wonderful,absolutely intelligent human-being but a great mentor to me from the time I have understood the true need for one in my life..
    Rousseau said-"Man is born free but is everywhere in chains" but I feel man has made the choice to be chained for life..
    There are a handful who live life like an unchained melody and only one whom I have personally interacted with--YOU.
    I joined IVY about a year and a half ago..as a student..I have had a kaleidoscopic life ever since..
    Yes,the same old story..engg degree ,9-5 IT job followed by a 1 year HR stint and still not satisfied..
    MBA was the only answer!!But,I could never get myself to give the exam..
    And then I had the wonderful opportunity of working with you..
    Sandeep you are the best boss ever!!
    I could have never written this for any other boss I worked for in the past!
    GMAT was never my dream but it was definitely the road more travelled..the sure-shot success route as the statistics revealed..
    Did that mean that I had to give the exam too??
    Or was I to pursue my dreams even though the results were not tangible??
    I loved interacting in general and being a counsellor at IVY has been the most rewarding experience so far..
    The best thing that I learned from "Know the world in 24 hours" session is -"Why do we try to fit in when we are born to stand out?"
    The effect was profound.This session is phenomenal..nothing short of starting a mass movement against everything which is a standard..
    My mind has been trying to figure out which are the triggers I must use to my benefit while doing what Im truly passionate about(with ofcourse monetary gains;))..
    Im sure we have often thought about these triggers but making a course out of it is nothing short of pure ingenuity..
    Kudos to your maverick talents and look forward to some more unexpected and mind-boggling sessions which keep us glued throughout!!
    Just for the record--As an HR executive,I have myself organized and seen tons of professional training sessions for the employees but not one has been this powerful!


    Correction!!

    It aint't any Professional training session..its something else..life transforming session!

    Warm Regards,

    Pia/Peony

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmmm ... What do I say? You have always made me believe that the day you find true calling and the day you get rid of your laziness, the world will be your oyster. You have it in you to make it really really big with your life and career. Just don't get mired in wrong priorities ... you have it in you to rule the world like a princess with whatever you LOVE to do. The only thing absent is the unveiling of the profession that you may truly LOVE.

      Let's say, if you had started about movie-blogging about five years ago and had created followers, I am sure that by now you would have had international recognition as a film-critic to reckon with. Possibly you would have been offered a fabulous assignment of critiquing movies by a media house.

      You live and love films ... this could have been your way of finding out your calling, fueling it, and making money while traveling and being a celeb in your own right.

      I am sure you have a winsome persona ... the magnetism in you truly captivates the eye ... but you need to explore this side of yours to a great professional advantage.

      Thirdly, you communicate really well. You must leverage this skill of yours to your advantage as much as you can.

      I can help you find out your true calling and suggest what to do ... but the sheer amount of laziness and procrastination that you bring to the table as a by-product of your presence has to be kicked in the groin ... you can be a rockstar provided you kick some of your detrimental habits.

      All in all, it has been great working with you. I wish you all the best.

      Delete
  40. Hi Sandeep,
    As I’ve mentioned in my personal emails to you, I missed the 5X by 7 days and waited all along for the next 'uninhibited kickass learning' opportunity which has now been presented in the form of KTWI24H.

    Talking about the first session, there could not have been a stronger opening statement than - “Make my goals so compelling, so big, so inspiring that my problems seem insignificant in comparison” to kick-start this journey. This one line has really charged me up to sideline the mundane and focus on scaling myself up (5X,10X and on). I knew these sessions will shake us to come out of our shell and challenge us to express ourselves, and hence I was convinced to bring my wife along to ensure the adrenaline rush is in the family and not just in me.

    Positioning is indeed crucial to personal and collective success in a crowded marketplace like today's. I’m fighting at my workplace with perceptions and really needed this dose to come up with a positioning strategy that moves me towards my aspirational state. Many of us are surely not cut out for a typical IT Services regimen, and I’m definitely one of them. I’m looking forward to begin my entrepreneurial journey and these sessions are surely going to get me on that path sooner than I could have, on my own.
    I’m certain ‘RUSH’ will be kickass and I’m ready to be thrashed and bruised tomorrow.

    Best Regards,
    Shashank & Dipti Saxena

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad to read this comment Shashank and Dipti ... you have summed up the essence of the course in just one a couple of hundred words.

      I am sure you will have a completely unbelievable transformation in you really soon.

      May your entrepreneurial journey take fruit with these sessions ... AMEN!!

      Delete
  41. Hi Sandeep,
    I am a man with short attention span especially when it comes to reading. I am not a voracious reader but I always look for ways to keep myself updated. Moment I read your blog, i realized that this was a perfect session for me to learn more with less efforts :-). With my limited interaction with you in Ivy GMAT, I knew you were quiet informed and thorough professional cum Guru. I was sure you will do complete justice to these sessions and you showed that right at the first session.
    3.5hrs Session was completely worth every minute. It was quiet informative; inspiring and thought provoking.
    I have had my own share of entrepreneurial stint but never had i thought abt using triggers to enhance business. Your first session was truly a Mind fuck, if not Mind orgasmic (I am confident that subsequent sessions will do that to me :-))...
    It’s a great pleasure to have known you and feel blessed to be part of these sessions.
    P: S - Your 10x earning question has really jolted me but i think it would have been more effective and complete, if you had shared some case studies/ real life stories as to how and who has done it. It would be nice to hear more case studies or even some reference reading on each of the topics

    Thanks
    Lakshman.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Dear Sandeep sir

    It's quite unlike me but given the tough and unprecedented things that I had to encounter during the last week, I just got a bit late in sharing my thoughts about the first 'dose' of 'Knowing the world'. First of all, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me an opportunity to stand on the same dais [from where you 'enlighten' souls like me] and address a bevy of brilliant, daring and intelligent minds and in a way kick-off ‘KTWI24H’.:-) I am certain it would be the only occasion that I could match you in some way and I don't have enough words to express how I felt on the day, at that moment and even now. As I mentioned in my address before the inaugural session, I left my ailing mother at the hospital to attend the session. Let me tell you sir, I would not have done that for anybody else on this planet, absolutely nobody, howsoever big! In fact such is your importance in my life that even my family respects you to the core and they were the ones who did not want me to miss even a single word of your ‘message’.

    Sir, I can write a blog dedicated to you, leave alone posting a comment! I have always believed that knowing you is certainly one of the best things that have happened to me and the most significant, perhaps next to my being born itself! This is no exaggeration by any standards given the world we live in, the society we are brought up and the ‘education’ we get. YOU are that 'Eureka moment'... that 'watershed event'... that 'Tipping point' of my life that I may as well define it [my life] as 'Pre-Sandeep Gupta' and 'Post-Sandeep Gupta'. If I were to pick a few points from the first session, I would say, my goals keep getting bigger and bigger with every passing day now and my problems look so customary that I relish them at times. Even though, I have never really been a 'trying-to-fit-in-when-I-could-stand-out' kind of person in life, but the manner in which I go about things these days is a ‘road less travelled’. The tempo, the gusto and everything else is so very different! Let me tell you sir, all the '7 Triggers’ that you mentioned were created the day I bumped into your blog and bolstered once I met you… it was just an epiphany on Sunday! [my comment exceeds 4096 characters..duh! To be continued.]

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Partha! I have to say this: I haven't found anyone who is a bigger admirer of mine than you. You have gone beyond what it means to like someone, adore someone, or love someone. This kind of appreciation is nothing short of devotion.

      I really hope you achieve all that you ever wish to achieve.

      Delete
  43. [continued…]I can never have enough words to express my love, respect and admiration for you sir. It would also be an understatement to say that I am obsessed with you, for the way you have transformed me and that evolution would be eternal! You are the greatest maverick... perfectionist... genius that I have personally known. 'Mr. Positioning', you couldn't have positioned yourself better for me. I mean it! Now, how many would leave their hospitalized mothers [not completely out of danger] to attend a 3-hour session? I am proud to say that I could and it only testifies to the kind of impact you have had on me as an individual. No wonder people quit their cosy jobs, shuttle between cities on weekends to get a bit of 'enlightenment’ and do all sorts of 'crazy' yet the 'right' things in life!

    Sir, to be honest there hasn't been a single week, if not a day, that has passed without me reading your blog! Also, to my knowledge I haven't missed a single debrief that you shared or any comment that people post about you, since the day I have known you. Now I am sure you won't believe if I say I feel as if I have achieved something every time you accomplish something - be it a Harvard call for a doctoral program or IVY-GMAT making ‘mockery of numbers’ with the 99-percentilers. I would reiterate, you are my Steve Jobs... my Howard Roark... my gut... my adrenalin... my Bhagwad Gita... my Bible, it might sound blasphemous but that's what you do and that's what you have actually done to me and perhaps a zillion others like me! Since the last couple of years, there's hardly been anyone with whom I have not discussed you. This post might seem to be an exaltation of sorts; nonetheless, I am very much in my senses and I have always felt the same ever since I met you! Sir, I don't want to write much about what I felt about the first session as people have already written so much and I corroborate the words of each one of them. Now it’s all about the 7 triggers 24x7.:-) I am eagerly looking forward to 7 more Sundays of 'absolute bliss' and 'pure enlightenment'. The 'Concentrated Gyan'[I should rather get this term copyrighted for you] that you are spreading is the most tangible and the single-most effective way, that I know as of today, that can change the way our society thinks, this generation acts and the people live. Kudos Sandeep Gupta for daring to take things head-on, if there is someone who could do it, it is only YOU!

    'Devotionally' yours
    Partha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do I say after this what you have said ... "I would reiterate, you are my Steve Jobs... my Howard Roark... my gut... my adrenaline... my Bhagwad Gita..."

      I just feel so so humbled and touched. I am not sure whether I even deserve such appreciation.

      Be aware of only one reality: your career is your signature. Only you can own it. Fully. Unconditionally. And unapologetically.

      Delete
  44. Dear Sandeep,

    In continuation to my first mail to you on July 21st, in response to your frustration seen at the level of knowledge at premier B-schools of India, I want you to know, I am definitely sure, I am in the right place at the right time being a part of this session.

    I believe these sessions will greatly benefit participants who have a sense of uneasiness on the atrocities that our corporate and social societies have come to believe and pursue. Most people in the world conclude and debate on issues with little or no knowledge about some of the best piece of information and experiences. I without doubt can conclude your sessions can provide we the 50 odd fortunate ones the opportunities to make that difference in the society.

    It is an honor and gratitude for me to be a part of your session.

    I expect more from the remaining 7 sessions and no less.

    Regards,
    Suchindra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suchindra for such a wonderful comment. I have read it at least 20 times. I really can relate to the line: "Most people in the world conclude and debate on issues with little or no knowledge about some of the best piece of information and experiences."

      I assure you that I will put my soul into trying to meet your expectations. Keep these comments pouring in. Cheers.

      Delete
  45. Hi Sandeep,
    Last session was just great. Though most of the things in your lecture were known to us, but knowing makes no difference!!!!. How to apply things are more important.
    I am aroused with the 3P + MART. Finding better ways to implement it.
    The big pick for me was the 5 positive things about the person whom you hate?. This is viral to me now. Thanks.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baiju,

      I have always observed that your takeaways from my sessions are really unique and quite different. I am sure all of us see life from different colors.

      I thank you to have reposed your faith you me the second time. I assure you that you are in for the best joyride of your life.

      Delete
  46. Dear Sandeep,


    A Humble Request...Please move the institute near any Heart's Specialist Hospital !!! It is a warning indeed :)


    Its 3 am in the morning and as they said "Dream is not what you see in sleep, dream is the thing which does not let you sleep", yeah, it was good to read but it is very difficult to experience at 3 am in the morning. But still I am happy that I am not getting sleep today, thanks to the 2nd Dangerous Session. I was almost certain that I would make the right decision by the end of 8th session, perhaps, 2nd session is what I was looking for. I figured out where the problem was and now I am looking forward for the solutions to come up with.

    The session, followed by some part of the book "Business Model You", I downloaded immediately, made me realize where I went wrong in my career choices so far. 10 people I admire in my life have no MBA degree and have not studied abroad (needless to say YOU are one of them), they do not even work in a 9-5 shift, this blasted my Blind Faith in these people. Just admiring is of no use, I must follow the dream they show me every time I see them or read about them. Today's session has shattered so many disbelief's about me, I am much more clear about what I really want from life, because if I can earn without Loving my job today then I can definitely earn much more with the job which I love. I must say, it is not only about earning rather it is about "Fulfillment". Watching 3 Idiots was just entertainment but KTWI24H is an experience, it has meaning, it has got to do something about life seriously. Autonomy, mastery and purpose were hillarious to know about and also the thought that "your decisions on yesturday's perspective would not create any Future" are the high points of the sessions followed by the Most People vs Me and that table of "Right-Left".


    So far, I just attended the sessions (GMAT or 2 sessions) and haven't had any interaction with you personally, but now I am looking forward for speaking with you on the KTWI24H. Thank you very much for taking this initiative and giving us a platform which is impossible to even think of in today's life that too here in Bangalore.


    Looking forward to the next Inflammable sessions :)


    Regards,


    Prasad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prasad,

      What do I say? Each time I read your comment, I realize that my desire to outperform myself just becomes tenfold.

      I am really overwhelmed and overjoyed to know that you have had the right kind of impact in your life after attending the sessions.

      I have tried to pour all my lifetime learnings into each of the sessions. I am super-elated to know that things are bearing the right kind of fruit.

      Delete
  47. Sandeep,

    It was great session.. I am itching to take action... I am confident I will find my calling and will have courage to take action towards it...
    Your session further strengthen my thoughts about mental barriers we put into our own head and very happily delete,distort and generalize and move on... I cant agree better on the concept "I cant get thru my door" club..
    Damn I need to get out of my OWN way...

    I read this somewhere and live by it even more now..

    "Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am really glad to see some really powerful lines from you. I totally believe in each word you have written.

      This is a group of special 50 people. We will create the impact for the world to notice.

      Never, ever settle for someone else's average.

      Reject mediocrity.

      Ruin the bell curve.

      I have said this before: I consider you my role-model when it comes to shedding one's inhibitions.

      Just keep challenging yourself. Things will be just great.

      Delete
  48. Dear Sandeep,

    I am very happy to see this line in your presentation:
    “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
    -Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.

    I liked it not only because it inspires us to find our calling, but also because this was the first line of my resignation letter at Infosys. Now as an entrepreneur, I can completely understand the magical talisman of ‘Do what you love’.

    For the past 8 years I am actively reading / listening to motivational, sales and personality development coaches such as Zig Ziglar, Robin Sharma, and Brian Tracy. But your content & delivery was very unique and inspiring.

    After this session I believed I am more equipped with knowledge to see ‘what makes great people / company Great’. I am beginning to understand what are the traits that make a person / company the best in their class?

    Now, I will use this knowledge to create my own company best in its class. That is my biggest take away.

    I want to sincerely thank you for starting this specialized program for improving our life. Looking forward to more such high voltage sessions from you.

    You are making an IMPACT on me. A BIG IMPACT!!
    Keep inspiring!!

    Paras Lohani

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have interacted a lot before Paras. And each time, I have found some great buzz in you - a desire to outdo yourself and to create something of your own.

      I request you to read a few books for sure. Your life will change completely. And for the better. I am posting the titles in a separate comment below.

      Delete
  49. For all the participants of this course,

    I recommend these books to all of you. You have to read them without fail:

    1. "Drive" by Daniel Pink
    2. "People Buy You" by Jeb Blount
    3. "A Whole New Mind" by Daniel Pink (this book changed me completely)
    4. "Business Model You" by Tim Clark
    5. "Mojo" by Marshall Goldsmith
    6. "Fascinate" by Sally Hogshead
    7. "The Innovation Secrets Of Steve Jobs" by Carmine Gallo
    8. "Zag" by Marty Neumeier

    Each of these books can change you completely.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Sandeep,

    Its been almost a week since the start of this session though my entrepreneurial stint is just about to come of the closet but my energy whether its at workplace or home it has rose 10 times.....really dont know how to thank you for boosting our confidence in believing ourselves......its the best thing happened with me!!!!It needs to be telecasted on television....I just told my friends about this program......AWESOME WAS THE WORD!!!
    They regretted being in Delhi.....thats what they said!!!!
    SUPERB WORK SANDEEP....:)
    Thanks,
    Priyank

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am really glad you liked it Priyank. I also noticed one thing. You are not the one who accepts even 99% ... you need to have 100% of what you do. This is a wonderfully kickass attitude to carry.

      I am so happy to know the reactions when you described the program to your friends ... I will surely do something like this in Delhi as well.

      Delete
  51. Sandeep,

    In 36 years, nobody has had an impact on me the way you have - not even to the tune of one-hundredth. People who are not sure of themselves put me off no end. To see you in action is watching someone who has defied every norm in the rule-book, someone who has the power to change lives by his sheer ability to write or speak, someone who can voice soul-stirring lines that challenge the entire existence of the lesser beings, someone who has the passion to speak for almost 200 minutes without dropping even an ounce of energy, someone who can speak on a zillion topics with absolute authority, and someone who is so supremely confident of himself that others have no choice but to look at you in awe, admiration, and reverence.

    I watched the first video yesterday and the second video today. I could relate to Power and Rebellion (and to prestige to some extent). If others have these, I am magnetically drawn to them. Although you said that your triggers are passion and rebellion, I think I associate you more with power.

    I love the fact that you are so so so sure of yourself. It seems that you are sure of winning each time you try to do something - it is as if you are someone who knows that failure is not an option. I love the fact that you never seek opinions. You know deep within what you are and how you want to achieve what you want. To me you are RUTHLESSLY SURE. SIGH!!

    To me, your great achievements are not the scores you have got or the lives you have shaped or the impact you have had on people or the kind of trainer you are ... it is that you bloody don't care about doing the unthinkable (the way you dropped out of IIMA). To me, this is the potent combo of rebellion and prestige. To live life above the dogfight. Man, this is something! If I could someday have the balls to move out like this out of my mess (whatever little mess still remains in my life), my work, my relationships etc. without thinking about the after-effects, I would be able to look at myself in the mirror with an unmistakable vanity.

    The third thing that really makes me admire you is success. People who are unsure, keep tinkering, and somehow are not clear whether they will win in the end are not worth emulating. Who in the world can create a course out of having read some books and create both impact and money, while having all the ingredients of work (passion and skill) intact? KUDOS!

    You have even aroused the mystique trigger in me. I am intrigued to know more about you ... much more. I feel I know barely anything about you.

    You will be surprised to know one thing: "I don't seek trust at all." I won't mind being cheated by someone who is ruthlessly sure and successful. I seek rebellion and power over trust. It doesn't matter whether I can trust someone ... all that matters is that whether I can admire someone. I would travel to the North Pole to meet someone with Power and Rebellion - such people arouse absolutely unbridled passion in me.

    On the other hand, when I analyzed what I offer to the world, my answers will be passion and rebellion. I don't promise power, prestige, mystique, alarm, or trust.

    I have read the "about you" in your Facebook profile innumerable times ... each time I feel I am relishing just reading about you. I love witty people. I am sure I will not bump into someone with a parallel wit in this lifetime. Although you do come across as very businesslike in your test-prep classes, I can make out you have an exceedingly mordant wit.

    After watching the second video (it was more impactful than the first), I have decided to quit my job that pays me Rs. 60 lakh per annum. To hell with the moronic world.

    I am sure I am going to have many sleepless nights figuring out my true calling. I don't want to rot here for even one extra minute.

    Thanks Sandeep for such a BOLD transformation in me in just 2 days. Every minute spent watching you in action is BLISSFUL.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Sandeep,

    After reading the entire mail, I have two perspectives of looking at this, which I'd like to talk about in detail:

    Well you said: "I am defined by passion, rebellion, trust, and wit. I am not defined by power, prestige, mystique, or alarm." from your reply to Richa's blog. I'd like to bring it to your attention that I feel that PASSION, REBELLION, TRUST AND WIT are incomplete without POWER, PRESTIGE, MYSTIQUE OR ALARM!! If you put in some deep thoughts, with PASSION and REBELLION comes POWER. Similarly, PRESTIGE too does come with REBELLION and TRUST!! Had they not been interlinked, you wouldn't be there discussing the 7 triggers (PPPMART). So rather that calling you RUTHLESS (with due respect to everyone), I would say that "YOU HAVE A CONTROLLED APPROACH TOWARDS OFFENCE" (Hope you get that right). You are warm and patient, failures couldn't make you submissive or suppressed, because you chose to be like that. It's all in the way you treat your life as!!!
    2. On the personal front, as much as I know of you, I can agree with Richa to a certain extent. There is a well-known saying in Hindi if you have heard this one: "Jab aap kisiko uske dharm se alag karne ki koshish karoge, woh aapko apna dharm bana lega" So let me explain this a bit profoundly. There is no doubt in the fact that you're doing a great job by teaching entrepreneurial skills to people by the "word of mouth" or "blogs", which have had a tremendous effect on me also. So when you are trying to arouse the best out of everyone and help them identify their own skills from the 7 triggers which everyone has, you have actually deprived them of what they intially were.......(to get them right ofcourse :)) So if you think from that rationale, yes I think you could also be ruthless to some extent. And so POWER, PRESTIGE, MYSTIQUE OR ALARM could definitely be your triggers!!!

    "FACIO ERGO SUM" :This is what I would say you are!! (And yes, I'm trying to arouse some MYSTIQUE through this one :), as that is one of my triggers :) )

    Let me know of what you think of this interpretation!! Would love to discuss it with you in more detail.

    Regards,
    Sharmin

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Sandeep,

    I want to tell you, I have been suffering since you last class!

    My blood pressure must have been the highest all my life, my mind must have been using the most number of brain cells while it is proving its existence and I am restless. What have you done!! Are you sure that we normal human beings can dream, aim and achieve our dreams. I was not sure myself! Not 'until now'.

    BUT, you are making me feel, I am unique and I can breathe the best air I want to breathe.

    I was stuck between three key elements in my life, GMAT (attempted thrice, including twice before I attended your incredible GMAT classes - But never good enough to reach my dream top 5 B-schools), my career (hate my present job, money, power, and what not. I know, I am worth more) and lastly my own business.

    Being a 29+ old guy, father of a infant daughter, I felt complied to have an insurance, pay my bills on time, bring acceptability to my family and other cliched stuff. I was being way too civilized. Or must I say, too debt oriented rather than 'equity' oriented.

    But all that has changed for two factors, one YOU (I do not know what is that suppose to mean in my life, but its just you) and another my long lasting hunger for knowledge (I want to learn what ever there is to learn). It is an explosive combination!

    I want to be the most radiant sun filled with highest energy and light. I want to have an ability to create the same with everyone I meet. I do not know how, but, I will surely find out how, soon, VERY SOON.

    I have decided to put a hold on my B-School aspirations for now, and only put attendance at my workplace until I shape my business plan. I want to start, I want to be a FIRE-STARTER..

    Next time, I see you, I want to touch your hand, to know whether I really met you as any other normal human being I meet everyday, or were you super human (I do not want to parallel you to God, as I do not feel his existence, esp. during my last 5 tough years).

    My soul fire, that was just 'lit' all these years, I want to ignite it, with the most powerful nuclear bomb, nah! a super-nova..

    Regards,
    Suchindra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suchindra,

      I don't think I have ever received such a comment by anyone. I am so glad to know that you are all fired up to achieve more in life, do whatever it takes, and are thinking about doing so by taking some radical steps. I am sure you will achieve much more by following your heart.

      Go for it!

      All the good words that you have mentioned make me humble, raring to go and help people more and more. I am for real and am a very ordinary mortal (a simple human being who just follows his heart and his own mind). If you think this sets me apart, so be it.

      All the very best from the bottom of my heart and I assure you that even luck will be on your side if you pour your heart into your dream :)

      Delete
  54. Dear Sandeep,

    on Ivy-Gmat blog, you started with "There is nothing special about me; but there is something exceptionally special about the techniques you learn from me; you receive the same tools and strategies that helped me get the perfect scores time and again".
    it goes on and on..."YOU can get such scores with us provided you put in the requisite effort", there you go...You did not mention that you have a magic wand and score above 770 will automatically come once someone register for the exam.
    You asked to follow the strategies that worked well with you, in classes we have seen you pouring your heart into the course, you want everyone to Excel, everyone to Stand out. There is "Passion".

    During the classes or after that untill I join KNWI24H, I never tried to analyse you as a trainer (I may be wrong)as you have kept all the cards open. When one go to temple one do not look into credibility of God, how that God is, how much he/she will answer my questions, if he/she is unable to answer then I will go to some other. It is just a "Trust", the "Trust" you developed right from the first class of GMAT. It has increased so much over the next 8 weeks and soared in First Class of KNTWI24H when you defined the success story of your own.
    for me a day before when you asked me to join the class without thinking about the course fees, neither you nor anyone from institute has asked me about it yet so what can I say about that? Even God's darshan requires money today.

    See, I could find two triggers, Passion & Trust. But in all these days I have not seen something like MYSTIQUE or POWER in you.

    If someone to give a 5 minute speech he/she need to spend atleast 7 days for it then just imagine for 3 hrs?...180 minutes it must be around 252 days + Energy...it is Not Power, its again a PASSION...only passion can do that.

    As I said earlier, I am able to sort out few things about my career, and I am sure (rather Confident) that I will be able to design a Trailer of my Career by the end of 8th week. There are 100s of "Self-Help" books available in market, people always say he is my favourite author, I loved this book, and same people go nowhere in their career? Sandeep, you again gave a reason to read the books. It is like Books should be sold by prescription, and I am obligued to read these books which you have prescribed for betterment because it has something to do with Me. Now I will not say he is my fav. author, this is my fav. book But I will Proudly say "This Book Changed Me"...because of Sandeep. Earlier I compared you with God and now with Doctor, you do not have both the degrees but I still admire you.

    Let me sign out for now...thanks for reading till the end :)

    Regards,

    Prasad

    Regards,

    Prasad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prasad,

      Each time I see your comment, I really pinch myself and check whether I am really capable of arousing such an earth-shattering change in people. Such genuine (from the bottom of your heart) is a rarity in every sense of the word. I will cherish it for a long time.

      As you mentioned that passion and trust define me; I totally agree.

      I hope you have a trailer of what you want from life sooner than 8 weeks.

      Keep pouring your heart into your dream :)

      Delete
  55. Hi Sandeep,

    After attending the first session, I had just one response: "Picking up blown pieces of mind from floor"!

    The session has already received unprecedented success as evident from the previous comments. So I thought that rather than reiterating, let me add a slightly different angle of analysis.

    I work in one of the world's leading Tech companies and let me throw some light on the present state of corporate training. I have attended umpteen corporate thought-leadership training, think-differently sessions, branding sessions, motivational training and so many other different managerial training Now I understand how much time I wasted on those substandard sessions that are branded as best in the corporate league and cost the business houses plenty but cannot explain the fundamentals and the basics. The presentations are soulless and non-interactive (forget humor). All you have in most of the trainings is a set of executives listening to some jargons, cliched phrases (as chanted by the "best" trainers) in sleepy state of mind.

    Cut to a scene in a room somewhere in Bangalore where you don't have touch-pad controlled AC, you don't have the latest corporate audio-visual devices, you don't have the cushioned ergonomic friendly chairs, you don't have a voice-recognizable coffee machine or any other corporate comforts but what you have is a person (to me BEST in India) holding a mike and taking you in the journey of life that you will remember for ever. For me the session is a cult, a revolution. I am fortunate that I am part of this session, a session that is changing my life.

    I would urge the other attendees to spread the words. My way of looking at it is: more than helping the session, you will help your friend whom you are inspiring to join.

    All greatest silicon valley ventures started in small garages or rooms. This session is run in a not-so-big setup. I would request Sandeep not to shift to a so called "grand" hub. So many of us are tired of attending worthless session in the grandest of corporate rooms. Let our "the-bold-you" session be sweet and different it its own way :)

    Small complaint though: I am yet to receive any classroom comm/video mailers.
    Please add my email: sanjeev82c@gmail.com

    Looking forward to the next sessions.

    Thanks,
    Sanjeev

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sanjeev,

      What can I say? You have taken my breath away by presenting such a 'sad' state of affairs in the corporate training sessions of such large companies.

      I really thank you for sharing such a comment ... I request you to come and address our group once.

      I am really sorry for the mails not being received by you. Profound apologies :)

      I am glad that you feel that I am setting a new standard. The desire to beat myself has become even more profound now :)

      Thanks a lot. This fresh perspective has invigorated me beyond description.

      Delete
  56. Hi Sandeep,

    The second session was awesome, amazing and it did change a lot of things for me. I didn't realize 3 hours were up so soon. I believe you are not doing any kind of hypnotism. After your sessions, I feel that I can take up any challenge put on to me. The confidence that you induce and make your success look so feasible is really astounding.

    After the session on "change", I am feeling more positive about the changes that are awaiting me in the early next year. I am sure to do the 10 points you have mentioned in the mail to make the changes in my career more effective. I believe in you when you say that I will get something concrete out of it. I shall talk to you in person about the change in my career I am going to take. For sure, every statement of your session is going to help me during that phase of my life.

    You have captured my imagination, my opinions. I can only pay respect to you by implementing the techniques suggested by you. As I believe words are of no use if I praise you now, with the "high adrenaline" feeling I get attending your sessions, and don't implement your techniques.

    The best time/money I have ever spent is for your sessions. For the first time I am feeling the significance of money otherwise I didn't have anything to give you in return for the life changing sessions that you are conducting.

    Looking forward for your next session...!


    Best Regards,
    Anand Patil

    ReplyDelete
  57. Anand,

    Thanks for the update ... I am sure you will come out with something sensational after the steps you follow.

    I really was overwhelmed when I read the last lines (I didn't have anything to give you in return for the life changing sessions that you are conducting) ... this is some appreciation.

    Cheers ... I am sure you will 'transform' your life.

    ReplyDelete
  58. The sessions are zen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Siddharth,

      Could you elaborate on this? I am not sure what you felt when you wrote this.

      Sandeep

      Delete
    2. Sir,

      Your sessions take me from the stage of knowing to the stage of understanding. Knowing and understanding are two different things. For example, when you ask why euro crises is not getting resolved, many would 'know' what euro crises is but to get to the crux of it requires 'right understanding'. Many might 'know' what life(n.) is but many don't live(v.) with right understanding. Knowing is born out of conditioning. Understanding is born out of realization. And your sessions take us to that stage.

      Delete
  59. Siddharth,

    I am so glad that you rate my sessions beyond "knowing". My sole intention is to give you a way of thinking that will remain with you for a lifetime. These perspectives make you more perceptive to day-to-day business- and life-decisions. Once you understand the issues 360 degrees, your own decisions become much better.

    I would rate anyone's learning complete when most of his/her gut-based decisions (the ones taken instantaneously) actually prove right. Right because, in those 30-60 seconds, s/he would have processed all the information that people take years (it's true; sometimes people take years to take a decision) to take.

    Amazing point-of-view. Keep going :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Sandeep,

    This is my first comment on your blog as I am a late bloomer to the list of your admirers - and admire I do ... Nobody has had even one-hundredth as much impact on my mind as you have. As the above comment said: "picking up the blown-away pieces of my mind from the floor." I would go a step further: I think my mind can't be pieced together now. It has undergone an irreversible transformation.

    I have had no interaction with you but have watched about 9 hours of your videos (the first three sessions of BOLD). And I must say just one thing: everything that I have done in life so far seems meaningless and trivial. What you said made so much sense that I have decided to take control of my life from now on. This will indeed mean some really audacious career moves on my part but I am sure each moment spent trying to figure out what I LOVE will culminate into a superbly power-packed future - a future in which MY passion, MY personality, and MY prowess will yield MY profits. WOW!! How I wish I could have such an existence right from now. I have never been shy of any amount of hard-work but have realized one thing. If you are fundamentally doing the wrong thing or are doing the right thing the wrong way, you can never be happy no matter what you do. I totally HATE my work, am living from paycheck-to-paycheck, have no zest in life for the work I am expected to do, and have had many failed relationships. I used to be a really creative child but feel that I have lost each of my skills with absolute perfection and have trusted too many wrong people along the way. I always sought approval, became too dependent on people, and could never dare to think different. The strangest thing is that looking at me from the outside, no one can say that I am this messed up. In their view, I am smart, travel abroad frequently, have a great job, great looks, and a lot of fan-following. BUT I feel like a complete loser as I have buried "the-true-me" somewhere and am living someone else's life.

    I have no "passion" for my work.

    I have no "power" to change things or to suggest a new idea. It is never accepted.

    I have no "prestige" at work. I am one of the thousands of faceless contributors. I do have some prestige outside work, though.

    I have no "mystique" about my work. Each day there is no variation, no challenge, and no fun. Nothing different to look forward to for months together.

    I can't showcase "rebellion" at work. I will be shot. I have to comply with whatever I am asked to do. Just toe the line.

    I don't "trust" my workplace fundamentally.

    The only thing present is "alarm". Every day is a panic attack. I freeze under deadlines and can't even think. I just perform like a mindless drone.

    I want to "break free" and "live my bliss". I want to be a thought leader like you.

    You have a breathtakingly bold and different approach to life - many people can claim to be different and beyond the ordinary but NOONE ... I mean it ... NOONE ... in the world lives life the way you do ... completely maverick style on your own terms with an absolute love and unparalleled skill for your work. I am envious!!!

    If everyone in this country could decide to live life like you, imagine what this country could become. Nobody could stop us from becoming a superpower then. The way you live life is truly amazing - an impact that is "un-delete-able" from my memory even when I am dead. What I really like about your sessions is the fact that you don't mince words just to please people.

    One request: help me become someone like you. Someone who "bloody" doesn't care about the world.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi Sandeep,

    I am really afraid of writing comments here, I feel embarrassed to have not known all these facts about the global chess board before. I think I would not dare to comment after next sessions so that I will not be feeling guilty of my poor takings on global issues. Of course, my profession leaves me no time to think of all these things and till now I thought I am not supposed to (being a scientist, lost in my own world of discovery & so on) but the session was an eye opener. I am living in a parallel world at the moment, one at work and other at Ivy and not surprisingly I am inclined towards Ivy a bit more. As usual, I am left with lot more questions on the global chess board and I hope the next session will address that as well. In fact, for the first time on Monday, I could read the news on middle east because so far my interest of reading news paper was just to read few things about sport, city and some time pass things. What else I can say? Mostly, words will always fail to describe my deep emotional gratitude towards you for enriching and broadening the horizon of knowledge. It is hard to get just by reading books or news paper but once you elaborate it with your uniqueness then the Arab spring crisis also looks very easy to understand :)and I think by next session many of us would be able to solve Eurozone up to some extent :)

    Looking forward to the next session...41 hours to go...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prasad,

      I am so glad to receive this feedback. I am trying to give you a holistic perspective of the world as on date. I am sure there is a lot more to know and savor. But I want to give you a framework to think for a lifetime. This is precisely the objective.

      I promise that the next few sessions will also be really eye-opening and absolutely engaging.

      Keep the feedback and the comments flowing :)

      Delete
  62. Sandeep sir

    I can never have enough of your 'wisdom', the 'enlightenment' that I get. I am not sure, how many do this, but before I comment, I make sure that I go through each of the comments preceding mine. I definitely could relate to many of the things that Simran has mentioned. In fact I am quite lucky to have 'got' you so early in life, given that some people keep languishing without even a half-baked mentor. Live in a false world, doing all the mundane stuffs yet swagger like a king.. to pity with them, and I'm surrounded by such 'self-proclaimed kings' all around. It sucks..it surely does! Nevertheless, it's not about them anymore, it's about me.. and it's all because of you! I now have the courage to go penniless (momentarily maybe) in pursuit of my dreams (in fact I have already started) than be tethered to my 'circumstances'.

    Since I missed out commenting on the last two sessions [2 & 3], I would, in short, like to emphasize that the way you described things on the way a human mind functions or we things was incredible! I am currently reading 'A whole new mind' and can very well relate to a few things you covered during the session.

    The session on leadership was expected to great and it truly was FAN-TAS-TIC!! If I can recollect a few specific points, you somewhere mentioned that you improved you oratory skills while watching a cricket matches with the TV muted...amazing; I got goose bumps, since I did exactly the same and would go on to win a state-level cricket commentary contest. Somewhere, I feel that if you [your characteristic traits and persona] were to be 'diluted' 500 times or 1000 times.. rather brought to the most crudest of forms, it would perhaps be me. I know that's blasphemous to say, being a student of yours.. nonetheless I can be, at best, a caricature of yours, yet I say this since I have been discussing you and your thoughts, at least 2 hours a day with anybody I could get hold of [Laughter]! It might sound funny, yet it's true. I wish to see you write a book on leadership soon and related subjects soon.. it would be nothing short of a reference manual for all our wannabe leaders and perhaps a panacea for the 'half-baked' ones.. the souls in a state of delusion. It sucks to be led by such people. I'm not cribbing anyways.. May God be with them.
    Now on to the 'Global Chess Board'..this sessions as well as the upcoming one would always be a challenging one for one and all. In a sense that, these topics are so volatile and keep you on your toes every single day. One can miss them at the cost of being labeled 'illiterate'! I have been discussing some facets that you explained and let me tell you nobody, absolutely none, could come up with an explanation that could have pleased you! To stretch it further, some grown-ups still have that 'eternal' query: Why don't we print currency notes in large numbers and bail the country out of a crisis? About the counterfeited notes making an entry into our system, [courtesy our neighbours] some had to say that it's aimed at diminishing our country's IMAGE on the global map! Thank God I am better informed and more importantly, now have the urge to know things (I always had) which nobody could explain to my satisfaction until a certain Sandeep Gupta happened. People reading this comment would be wondering, whether this guy would ever stop? My sincere apologies to them; if it's Sandeep Gupta I am writing about then even ages won't suffice.

    You are a fountainhead of knowledge, who I have personally known. The holistic picture you portray on a given subject is pristine. Looking forward to tomorrow's session and get enchanted further. I say this even though I have already been a part of the '5X' program. Thank you sir!

    yours

    Partha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OH MY GOD! You have taken the admiration to a completely different orbit. I am so glad that you are not following the herd any more.

      I have just believed in one thing all my life: if you are not happy doing what you are doing, you gotta change what you are doing, no matter what the world thinks of you or of your decision.

      Also, if we understand human behavior well enough (through the triune brain model), I am sure life will be a lot easier.

      As regards what others know and believe, there is no need to worry. You will always have the KNOWs and the KNOW-NOTs (if I could coin and use such expressions). So revel in the fact that you don't belong to the majority of the numskulls around but don't try to change them all. The effort is futile most of the times.

      Do let me know about the other things that you wanted to talk about. And sorry for the late reply.

      Delete
  63. I'm loving it... :)

    I'm very glad I registered for this course. Can't express my feelings or thoughts like others (not good at that). All I can say is I'm very happy I'm attending this course & hope will make good use of the information I'm gaining from this course.

    Make a difference to the world we live in.

    Thanks Sandeep :) really mean it :) Your directions are very helpful. You have changed my perception about the world I/we live in.

    And also hope we keep our greed in check so that we won't destroy ourselves and the world we live in :)

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Sandeep,
    Last session about modern Human was fantabulous. All my life I have been trying to be rationale and more rationale (for which I got a job where they treat me as a commodity) except my decision of quitting my job which was purely an emotional decision for which I was labelled as a fool by most of the people around me. I didn't know what to do after quitting the job but I accomplished many tasks which I didn't even think, while working, I would do them in my life time. we made a feature film titled 'TRIP', conducted workshop 'Igniting Minds' for 60+ students for final year engineering college students, raised more Rs.5 lakhs for shri ramana maharshi academy for the blind. All these would not have happened had I not read your blog, had i not attended your sessions.
    you have given me a total different perspective of this world. I really liked the sentence "the bigger the problem the bigger the opportunity" Now I am not seeing the problems I am just seeing the opportunities.

    Vishwanath

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vishwanath,

      Each time I read a feedback from you, I get goosebumps. Very few people are fortunate to receive a genuine, heartfelt appreciation from others. I am really fortunate in this regard. I can assure you that the yardstick by which you take decisions can't be people around you. People will always laugh and label. That's why they are neither happy nor successful. I am glad you took an impulse decision. I want to share all my learnings with all the participants and after each session, I realize that there is so much more that I can share if there is no time constraint.
      I am extremely sure you will get the choicest of rewards for the decisions you have taken.

      Delete
  65. Hi Sandeep,

    God is Man’s greatest creation or Man is God’s greatest creation? I believed in later so strongly that when I heard the word in the class it just passed over me and I thought I am not going to change my perception about what I believed in my life so far. Having grown up in all “Adhyatmic” environments in my life it will take me some time to divert my mind on the topic. I have some of the best literature of “Adhyatma” with me which I read every time or for me it is a routine. The session on “Modern Human” helped me in modernizing my approach in more practical way. When you said that after this session we will see the results in just 10 mins, I had no doubt about that and during my travel from class to home I observed some of the people riding recklessly and instead of getting angry on them(which I as usually) I just smiled and thought which category are they from .
    Thank you very much for the up gradation of my knowledge and perspective. Though I am reading the literature for a long time there were many questions in my mind which were left unanswered for a long time now. Meeting you is a part of my destiny and hence I am thankful to the destiny as well. I feel very fortunate to have known you and got many of my answers during the journey of KTWI24H. Why we cannot create Facebook or Google because the future creators get hired during his/her graduation by these big companies well before this genius even think of creating something new on his own. I feel even more fortunate that “Sandeep” did not follow the routine of engineering/MBA graduates and started KTWI24H otherwise I would have missed one of the biggest opportunities of learning.
    I am short of adjectives to praise you and English words cannot describe the Indian emotions which I am going through.
    Thank you Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Prasad,

    I know where you are coming from. I have never believed in any sacred-cows in my life just because others (close people, society, and so-called experts) believe in them vehemently. I can demolish any irrational belief system shred-by-shred.

    The lesson is: the irrationality people possess can be leveraged very very successfully if you possess the following attributes:

    1. You can think rationally most of the times.

    2. You know that others will not think rationally most of the times.

    Just because something like religion or god has been passed on from generations to generations doesn't mean you need to believe in it.

    Imagine childhood stories. We are told that all animals talk. But upon growing up, when we find all the evidence to the contrary, we no longer believe the "sloppy" logic we were tendered.

    The same goes for every sacred cow. So don't try to change the world. Let it hold on to the irrationality. You should become rational (for the most part) and cash in on the irrationality in others.

    Emotions are great but only positive emotions. So have lots of positive emotions (such as passion for your work) and always rely on the fact that the world will never be rational. That's where opportunity exists. You as a service-provider can't have negative emotion. So what's negative emotion? The answer is: any emotion that is a net loss.

    Never expect that people are rational. This is the biggest mistake you can make in your life and career.

    Sandeep

    ReplyDelete
  67. Sandeep sir

    The session had its effect one me in the first 10 minutes and I am sure, it would continue to have its effect for the next 10 years and beyond! It has to be "THE" session of KTWI24H! As I told you, this is undoubtedly the USP of the entire program; I say this without an iota of doubt!

    "Modern Human" is well and truly a modern take on a few 'ancient' topics. It is an extraordinary coverage of some very ordinary, yet intriguing stuffs that we come across during our lives.

    Let me recapitulate a few points, which completely put me in a different orbit altogether.

    # The rational mind Vs the irrational mind
    # The Triune Brain [I am doing a bit of 'research' on it now]. - the 'FFF' theory
    # What makes human beings so unique as a species?
    # What could be the possible limit of technology?
    # Sports - a manifestation of organized aggression. Why Horror movies, Road rages, crimes etc.??
    # The "Brain Workout exercise". Simply wonderful! In fact, the Economist Magazine subscription theory had kept me thinking for a week before the session.
    # How Richard Branson and the likes possibly think and take decisions?
    # Why we prefer less choices?
    # Why do we so readily make "New year Resolutions" and break them with equal ease?
    # Making connections: Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom. Philosophy-to-Mathematics
    # Psychology depicted though the layers of Onion
    # The Four waves of evolution
    # No 'adequate' biological change
    # Why/How marriage possibly became an institution?
    # 'Taming the fire' [and not the fire is an invention] - amazing observation! Stupendous explanation!! The hallmark of your programs, be it the 5X or now, KTWI24H
    # India's future - young population a bane or a boon? What lies ahead?
    # "The Art of Getting it Wrong" a remarkable compilation indeed (even if it was borrowed). Just WOW!!
    # "Designer babies", 'Man-machine Unison'
    # EMOTIONS

    and the list goes on..

    I bet if one were to just try being a copycat of yours sir and come up with something like KTWI24H, "Modern Human" is perhaps the last thing that would strike one. How on this earth would one conceive that such an "out-of-the-world" topic could be covered under a course that reads: "Know the world..."!:-)

    Let me end by quoting you from your response to Prasad's comment above.

    "Emotions are great but only positive emotions. So have lots of positive emotions (such as passion for your work) and always rely on the fact that the world will never be rational. That's where opportunity exists. You as a service-provider can't have negative emotion. So what's negative emotion? The answer is: any emotion that is a net loss.

    Never expect that people are rational. This is the biggest mistake you can make in your life and career."

    A few priceless, eye-opening lines indeed! A bit of me is already metamorphosed since last Sunday, I mean it!
    A Mind-blowing (pun intended), an absolutely fantabulous, power-packed session it was indeed! A gargantuan take-away for one and all.

    Take a bow sir.. for being able to conjure a session like this.. and more importantly for being able to do justice to it. For me, you have always been and perhaps you would always be, a prototype of, now famous, "Modern Human".

    ReplyDelete
  68. Partha,

    It seems that there is no limit to admiration that you can shower on something if you start liking it once. You have praised me to skies at each of my initiatives. Let me tell you what I think: I feel elated and blessed to have a student like you. Take a BOW!

    Regarding the session: the combined understanding of the three disciplines: evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and psychology (along with anthropology to some extent) gives you an extraordinary edge as a professional - an artist, a scientist, a financial analyst, a doctor, an entrepreneur, an entertainer, a trainer, a politician, a writer, an engineer, or what have you!

    Keep exploring these topics and I am sure you will evolve every single day and love looking at life from a different lens. And, you can turn all this in more and more money as well, if you please.

    Sandeep

    ReplyDelete
  69. Thank you very much Sandeep for extending the session over the blog. I am out of that zone from last 7-8 years & some how I was able to overcome those behavior, but, at the same time I always expected people around me to be rational and there I did a mistake. The session blown off that belief and believe me I feel much more relieved now, a vision crystal clear :). Now Only One Session to Go leaving behind an Everlasting Confidence, a Fantastic Joy Ride from last two months, I must say that this is an "Era of Endless Happiness"-These sessions should have been continued for some more time with much more dimensions.
    Just One Example, today when I speak in office I feel the difference. I met an MBA-deputy manager who did not know who is "Peter Drucker" and when I asked about "Jack Welch" two of them (Both MBA's) said "He was someone at GE". I feel blessed that I attended KTWI24H. The impact of these 24 hours will last forever but still :Yeh Dil Maange More" :) :)

    Best Wishes,

    Prasad

    ReplyDelete
  70. Prasad,

    I am sure you will keep having revelations of the same learning every day. And with the passage of time, your understanding of things will become clearer ... this is a never-ending process.

    You say that the course should run longer and should cover even more aspects. I can conduct a 240-hour course rather than a 24-hour course ... but I am sure you needn't attend such sessions. Beyond this point, it is about developing them further with your own self-effort.

    You will surely have a completely different life after these sessions.

    Sandeep

    ReplyDelete
  71. Sir,

    KNTW24H has been one of the best things that has happened to me. Through this course, I've learnt so many things which probably I cannot learn anywhere else. This course has been eye-opening, perspective building, personality shaping and also destructive (of preconceived incorrect notions). I'm very fortunate for having met you.

    Siddharth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Siddharth,

      I am really glad that the program helped you. I have been completely unstinting in sharing absolutely everything I have known and believed for all my life.

      I am quite grateful to you and all the fellow participants that this course could be of some help.

      Delete
  72. Dear Sandeep,

    The course has enough impact for life change. I have many personal learning from this course. Your idea of positioning is really meaningful and i suddenly started finding this working behind many so called good brands. i am using these tools to build our brand.

    Your idea of leadership and the message you gave about the self centric changes one has to do are absolutely life changing. Though i read some books about leadership, i never got the idea so sharp and straight into my mind. This session is useful for me in years to come as my team is growing in large number.

    Your story telling session was real eye opener and revealed the secret behind many successful public speeches and presentations. The learning from this single session is enough to win at many places. I started making stories to convey my ideas. Hope to see the results soon.

    Thank you very much for all these sessions. What to say about you...as usual you proved it time and again..you are always beyond the expectations in delivery. You have been keeping all your promises. Your commitment and drive to make us implement what has been thought is priceless. Thank you once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nagendra,

      Personal Positioning, Seven Triggers, Personal Leadership, Storytelling, Triune Brain, and the whole idea about how we are wired to think, act, and behave ... the idea of the most memorable and emphatic communication ... I can just go on and on ... but, to get to the point, the impact of such attributes / skills / knowledge can't be overemphasized.

      Thanks once again for being extremely generous in showering the praise.

      One more thing: I would also like you to tell me the impact that the "knowledge sessions" had on you.

      Delete
  73. In the midst of a storm, struck by a direful lightning, and with a smothered heart, as she woke up to realize that her life is going haywire, bestowed with a strong and sturdy head, with striking capabilities, she knows that this is not the end of a so-wished blissful life, this would be a new beginning…

    Tired with an office full of procedural minded L-directed thinkers, and no room for innovative Right-brainers, she hears of IVY GMAT Training by Sandeep Gupta. It seemed like a good source of interest as it would eventually lead to a better life! She goes and meets him, driven with all enthusiasm, and realises what exactly it is to be remarkable. This was the birth of a new PURPLE COW!! A new IDEA!! A new aphrodisiac, an interest that led her to quit her job and start something on her own.

    Today, she has not only found a new self, but a woman with rejuvenated, rehabilitated and a reverred personality, and is pretty well-known in her friends circle. She is about be an entrepreneur, a theatre artiste, and soon to join the GMAT training at IVY!!

    What led to this remarkable transformation, is the question I ponder upon, as I ask myself! "Know the world in 24 hours" has been an obvious contributor to boost my confidence, realise my latent potential, and a desire to be different, to make a difference to my individuality and to others'... I realised in the first session itself that my true triggers are REBELLION, PASSION, PRESTIGE (a desire). Starting from reckoning one's personal positioning to world history, from finance and investments to the modern human, from being money-minded(money-honey) to story-telling, I feel like you've done complete justice, and have left an indelible mark upon my life!! Probably, it is not enough to express my gratitude in words, but it will surely reflect upon my life as my career proceeds ahead... I can't thank you enough for being a trainer, a mentor, a friend as I excogitate about the last 2 months. Seems like it is indeed going to be a very HAPPY NEW YEAR for me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sharmin,

      It has been great to know you. I am sure the rebel in you just refuses to die. That's the most endearing quality of yours.

      A few things that I will suggest:

      1. Be more concrete about what you want to do and achieve. As discussed in our last meeting, you must make sure you have a very concrete plan to achieve what you want to.

      2. Focus on one idea at a time. Don't keep wandering.

      3. Think about one thing always: "will people pay for this?"

      Some scintillating success awaits you. I am glad I met you. Keep going!

      Delete
  74. Hello Sir,

    First of all, I apologize for the delay in commenting on the blog.
    Its been an amazing experience being present in the sessions of
    Know the World in 24hrs. I came without any expectations since this was the first time i would be attending any session with you. I agreed to do so after i heard about you from my friend and read your blog.
    And i must say that there are very few people who have so much knowledge about so many things and who know how to put it forward in the right way.
    Its been wonderful not just by learning from the sessions but also by the way you u have delivered your points. And that too in such short durations.If it were not for these sessions i would have been ignorant about so many things that actualy matter,that make all the difference in life.
    Its been really motivating and gives us a great insight about how to look at things thats happening around and act on it,respond to it in the right way and learn from every little thing around.
    The sessions were just amazing,fun,motivational and filled with practical ideas that can be applied instantly.
    Thanks a lot for sharing with us what u have learnt throughtout your life and putting the world on a platter.
    Its given me a whole new perspective in life.
    Thanks again!!

    Abishek

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abishek,

      Thanks a lot for the feedback. I am so glad that you liked the session. Also, I am even more glad to see that you see so much direct application of what you learnt instantly.

      Keep looking at life from an explorer's lens ... and you will never be bored with it.

      Delete
  75. Hello Sir,
    I was so impressed by the movie ‘Schindler’s List’ that I remember researching about Oscar Schindler’s life. All through, one question intrigued me: ‘Why did Oscar Schindler risk everything to save people?’ I agree he was just being human, but I thought there was more to it. I concluded that there was no real convincing reason. He himself has never been able to clearly explain. Even Steven Spielberg confessed ‘It is impossible to crack that Enigma’. I derived ‘We don’t really need to know all the answers to life or actions’. Sometimes it is better not to over-analyze. Of course only sometimes!! :)
    You sure are wondering if I am way off the context here or may be commenting on a wrong forum! Well, when I see you struggle and work so hard to uplift our lives, the same question crosses my mind. Why? Well, I choose not to ask you that question. Experience sometimes is so much better than analysis.
    I was clear about one thing even before I joined the course – At least in the near future, I do not want to be an Entrepreneur. I have planned a few other things for myself before that. However, my expectation from the course was to see the world through your eyes, gain perspectives and knowledge from the person I have come to adore so much. The course did a lot more than just meeting those expectations – it lifted me to heights and exposed me to thoughts I never knew existed.
    There have been very few moments in my life when I lost the sense of time. These are the moments I live for, moments when everything else ceases to matter. I am glad to have innumerable such moments throughout the course KYWI24H. The sessions on change, triggers, positioning, world economics, modern human, communication (you know I can go on)… just blew me away! I respect myself even more for having attended your course.
    I have always been your admirer and will continue to be for the rest of my life.

    Just one thing, as I mentioned in my previous mail to you (apart from the questions), it would be nice to have a ‘QnA’ session on the last day. I am sure we will have a lot of learning there too…:)

    Sir, THANK YOU for adding a great deal of meaning to my life.

    Vivek

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vivek,

      You have put me on a pedestal that is hard for me to believe (I definitely think I don't deserve this praise).

      But more important than that, this line by you: "Experience sometimes is so much better than analysis" is the summary of my life.

      The other line that blew me away ... BLEW ME AWAY ... is: "I respect myself even more for having attended your course." What an observation ... KILLER!

      I will cherish having had you as my student. Your takeaways from the course are simply path-breaking.

      Delete
  76. Sandeep,

    My last comment did manage to create some furore and did raise many eyebrows. But I have to say something: I still stand by what I said. The reason: I have watched all the sessions of yours. And my belief about has gotten even stronger. But now I associate you with Passion, Power, Prestige, Mystique, Trust, and Rebellion. I don't associate you with Alarm.

    Coming to me: what change happened in me after following your program? I have already quit my job. I have decided to travel for the next 3 months (want to come along?) ... my idea of an ideal holiday is identical to yours: Open quite space near a river / coast, a hammock, great weather, plenty of red wine, some great books, and a friend (like you) with whom I can have absolutely knock-out-punch kind of conversations. I mean it! I seriously mean it.

    I am sure I will figure out what want to do. The thought is already in my head but I want to be with myself and wallow in the moment. Not intending to rush it at all.

    Here is what I want to become. I want to be a professional public speaker. This is fixed. All I need to fix is the domain. And what better coach than you to take on such a journey.

    I would pay 10 lakh Rupees just to attend the 8th session: The Storyteller You. It blew my mind. It gave me the confidence to go out and become a public speaker.

    I know it is extremely tough ... well-nigh impossible ... but I will live by one aspiration for the days to come: To beat Sandeep Gupta at Speaking ... even if it takes me a decade, I am up for it.

    I hope to beat you at speaking, storytelling, deliver, stage-presence, humor, timing, and the million associations that you can conjure up just at the drop of a hat. KUDOS!

    You have some serious competition coming your way, Mr. Gupta. Brace yourself.

    Love,

    Richa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richa, Were you on your red-wine high when you wrote this? I am amazed by what you wrote. Your idea of a vacation is similar to mine (mine? how do you know what I like to do on a vacation?) I am sure I have never shared this with any of my students. But congrats and all the luck ... this is the first time a student of mine has written to me (that she wants to beat me). I am elated at the very thought of it. Keep it up. If you need any help, I am there. But I would like to take a rain-check on the vacation ;) I would rather vacation alone. Thanks for the invite, anyway.

      Delete
  77. When we started with KTWI2H, after two sessions I spoke to my wife about it and said that I am thinking seriously about my present job profile and I may quit or change it as soon as possible. She was shocked considering the fact that I am married for just over six months, it was expected. She was very apprehensive about the programme and thought that this guy called “Sandeep” is going to spoil my husband’s career. We had some arguments over it the following week and in stead of stretching it for long I came out of some idea. I asked her that she was planning to do some course in finance and the same course is actually not available in Bangalore & only one institute in Pune offers that. It was her home town so she was delighted to go back and I was delighted that I will be all alone to think constructively as well.   She is about to come back within a week now.
    I thought I would write to you after few days as after lot of thinking and mind boggling, I was able to take a “decision” about my career and communicated it in my office. Thanks a lot Sandeep, for these 8 wonderful life transforming sessions. 2 years ago in a casual conversation, one of my earlier manager asked me whether I have any plan B ready for my future. I had no clue about what was he speaking but somewhere I thought that he was right. Though, I had no idea about my plan B, I had no clue where to start & how to go all out to achieve it. I spent so much time in thinking but nothing came out and it was just a waste of time. Thanks for KTWI2H, I could figure out many things about myself and the things which I need to do in days to come. Last week, unexpectedly, my manager asked me that two years from now where do I see myself? I am very much prepared and within a fraction of second I told him that I will not be working with him for long and I would not be working in the same domain anymore. I am in my present domain for last 7 years and the way he reacted was quite expected as no one from my profession would have spoken to him the way I did. For a while he thought I was joking but the casual conversation has taken a serious turn, I told him how serious I am and asked him to talk to his superiors about it. Now I am awaiting the reply from management about it. I am not “Expecting”, I do not have any “Hope”, but I am having a good time, I do not have any kind of burden on myself anymore. I am not even worried about anything as KTWI24H has filled me with lot of confidence; it is hard to believe that I am not a person what I was before Oct.21st anymore. Application of session on “Modern Human” in office is all entertaining; I am having a good laugh in office due to the clear concepts of rational-irrational, right-left brain, liner thinking. Also, I am using a storyteller session for my own development.
    Let’s see, what happens in next couple of days or a month, but I am already living my life like a king. I have no worries, in fact all problems seems very tiny now because you have asked to “Make Your Goal So Big, So Compelling”. I am prepared for everything which is coming my way; I have decided to stand out. I am not an “Adjective” or “Phrases” guy so can’t praise you with lots of adjectives & phrases. But a humble & kind thank you. I wish, many more people in this overcrowded world would benefit from sessions like KTWI24H.
    Tons of Wishes n Care
    Now n Always,

    Prasad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prasad,

      I had no clue that all this had been happening all this while - so much water under the bridge.

      I am glad that you are not stressed anymore. I can assure you that you will end up taking some really 'maverick' decisions soon.

      Cheers and all the very best.

      Delete
  78. --- START OF TESTIMONIAL ---

    Before KTW24H I was light years BEHIND reality.
    After KTW24H I am well AHEAD of tomorrow.
    What happens in between is MAGIC !!!

    Yes, these are the Sandeep's magical sessions that will transpire the REALITY to you instantly. KTW24H has helped me make better, concrete choices.
    I am seriously working on starting up something soon. Without Sandeep’s sessions all plans would have remained as planning stage forever. His sessions have enabled me to stop planning and start GETTING THINGS DONE.
    I can’t write anything more about the sessions as everybody has talked everything about it.

    Finally, take my advice – Please take up KTW24H and JUST FEEL IT.

    --- END OF TESTIMONIAL ---

    Personally, whenever I go to Sandeep’s classes, I get a feeling that there is a board saying “HOWARD ROARK – The Architect” etched strongly. People who understand the depth of “The Fountainhead” can see where I am coming from.

    Regards,
    Ajay

    ReplyDelete
  79. Ajay,

    Fantastic lines in the end ... "Personally, whenever I go to Sandeep’s classes, I get a feeling that there is a board saying “HOWARD ROARK – The Architect” etched strongly. People who understand the depth of “The Fountainhead” can see where I am coming from."

    WHOA! This is some serious appreciation.

    I wouldn't shy away from saying that I definitely think I personify Howard Roark ... The Fountainhead is / was / has been (and forever will be) the most impactful book I read and I immediately resonated so much with Roark that any other kind of existence would have been worthless.

    My lifelong learnings from The Fountainhead:

    1. Have very strong convictions (obviously extremely unconventional) about what you do. Never compromise your belief / value system.

    2. One can live life absolutely on one’s own terms. One person can take on the whole world.

    3. Excellence (being the “best in the world” at what one does). You must belong to the top 1% talent in the world at whatever you choose to do. Or else, your existence is absolutely ‘third-rate’.

    4. Money will follow you if you follow your love, convictions, excellence, integrity, and courage.

    5. Free-market capitalism is absolutely necessary to unleash the entrepreneur in you. The animal spirits needed to create something insanely great could never flourish in socialism.

    ******

    I would like to know what idea you are working on. Great to know that you have taken the initiative.

    Cheers, Sandeep

    ReplyDelete
  80. Hi Sandeep,

    Let me first thank you for giving us an excellent eye opening session and it was a privilege listening to a knowledgeable person like
    you, thanks Sandeep!!

    The session had seeds of thought embedded in my mind, mostly with respect to my thought process in general and the outlook towards my career.
    It has inspired me to think of the possibilities of attaching a economic engine to the things that I really love to do / have a drive from within, also to get rid of the inertia, of getting out from our comfortable zone - 'change'.

    The thoughts about the ingredients on how to evolve an idea into a successful business solution and money would eventually be the by product of the success and not a motivator in itself was inspiring.

    The effect of the session; it has kick started a new phase in my life and hopefully I would be able to end up doing what I love to
    and live my life to the fullest!!

    Cheers,
    Sandeepz.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thanks Sandeepz - is this how people call you? :) - for the comment.

    The things that you have mentioned are definitely crucial - basically three ingredients have to be married ... passion, excellence, and an economic engine. But it can't be money alone.

    All the best for your future. Do share what the effect of the knowledge sessions was.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hello Sandeep

    I am 26 now and have been watching cricket from past 16 years.All these years I am big fan of one guy, one brand i.e SRT. I had a feeling till I met you that nobody can match him in his passion and determination levels. But after knowing and interacting with you i found that the burning passion and confidence which I adore in Sachin is overflowing in you too. As I am attending your sessions one after other, trying out different paths, i started realizing true "me"..

    I already mentioned the impact you had on me even before joining this course. I used to come from chennai every weekend not to listen to your OCTAVE, PRIMEX etc techniques but to listen to your stories which you share during the classes at times. I was overjoyed to know that you were launching a course to share your experiences and knowledge. SRT may have disappointed his fans some times but you never disappointed me(except once when you put videos in your GMAT class for one Quant session) and matched all my expectations.
    Each KTW24 session is an eye opener and unique in its own way. It gave me confidence that I can debate on any intellectual topic with anyone.

    Thank you Sandeep.
    -
    Vishwanath

    ReplyDelete
  83. Vishwanath,

    Each time I read a feedback from you, I ask myself: "Am I really worth such admiration?" I mean being compared to Tendulkar in any way is one of the most florid compliments I could have dreamt of.

    I am fascinated by how you have internalized the learnings from the course. Imagine the joy of a trainer when his student says to him: "It gave me confidence that I can debate on any intellectual topic with anyone." WOW! This is absolutely to die for.

    Keep on spreading what you learnt here and I am sure that we can turn the world into a better place.

    Sandeep

    ReplyDelete
  84. i will be most disappointed with myself if i cant use these sessions to bring out my own instincts about leading my life my own way .
    Sandeep , i believe i need more from you . I think that investment in yourself brings meaning into your life and investment in world brings money into your life . Investment to some extent was done through your classes , now its time to reap the benefits .
    The first thing about your sessions when i was about to start was " SOMETHING AWESOME " And Now the last one would be " Are you Inspired to take the challenge "

    I am thankful to you and all the participants for making the session so interactive and useful .
    Regards
    Chandan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chandan,

      First of all, a huge thanks for giving the suggestions in the separate mail. I am really glad.

      The way you have encapsulated your feedback is really impressive ... from SOMETHING AWESOME to ARE YOU INSPIRED TO TAKE THE CHALLENGE.

      WOW ... keep the tussle between the right and the left brain going. I am sure your right brain will win.

      As you have mentioned in the mail: "I must say that the last session was awesome! there was a WOW!! factor in it." I thank you for such a generous praise.

      Do keep me updated with the developments in your life. Cheers.

      Delete
  85. Hi Sandeep Sir,

    I want to share with you one of the conversations I had with my friend whom I met after a long time.

    My Friend: "You seem to have different perspective on things around you and you are taking quite unusual steps in your life...! What happened?"

    I: "Yes, it is true. It has been a revelation of ME to me. I mean what I can do... the ability in me to perform better has been revealed to me.
    I am just trying to apply the techniques and get in action."

    My Friend: "What you mean by techniques?"
    I: "Techniques to perform better and to live the life of your dreams if one can practice them correctly."

    MF: "I don't think just by mere techniques you can start living the life of your dreams"
    I: "Yes.. you can! These are not any techniques these are Sandeep Gupta's techniques... which have been tried and tested again and again on himself. You will know the result of them when you meet him".

    MF: "Who is Sandeep Gupta and what have you learnt from him?"
    I: "I can't start to tell who Sandeep Gupta is because that requires a lot of time to answer. I can tell you what I have learnt from him."

    MF(reluctantly... raising his eyebrows): "Well... Ok"
    I: "I attended his classes on Know The World In 24 Hours."

    MF:"You mean in a day! You can know the world... what the ...???"
    I( Laughs...): "Buddy, it was 3 hours session every Sunday. Other way of saying the same thing."

    MF:"Hmm... Ok tell me how was it?"
    I(energized... all pumped up):"After the first two sessions on "Triggers", "Change" I was sensing some mutation happening in my brain cells... and then through out the body. Some kind of energy following out. I could see the road to become what I want in life more clearly. The abstract words like Great, Good, Power, Passion etc started making more sense to me. Things were getting clearer. There was one session on "Modern Human", it just blew me away again. The reasoning, the perspectives I learnt in this session, I felt adrenaline rush in my body. Understanding of human behavior is so vital to any business - I had never thought of this. Above all just knowing that I can make huge impact on people around me with my decisions and my behavior has been so enlightening. Now that I have the tools I am thinking why am I wasting my time in this office..."

    MF:"Come on man... these things will remain for some time and then go... I know of that!"
    I:"Yes true, only if you have not started to work on those. This time I have taken the step to start working on these techniques and practices.
    So this time I am just going to make it happen. Just going to do it! I am going to do it because I have seen the result in Sandeep, a human too"

    MF:"I see... just attending those sessions I see so much of difference in you... I mean in the talking and the actions you are taking. Earlier you used to talk less..."
    I smile and in the state of oblivion I am in one of the Sir's classes.

    Sandeep Sir it has been life changing sessions for me. Life changing in true sense! I will not thank you now but will with my actions. As Action speaks more than words!

    [Note: The above friend of mine represents me before attending your sessions.]


    Best Regards,
    Anand Patil

    ReplyDelete
  86. Anand,

    You have already become a storyteller, it seems. The description was superb. Really superb.

    Also, it goes to show how seriously you are taking this entire learning.

    As I suggested, you have to talk more and more, and have to be willing to share your ideas. You have so much content backing you, anyway.

    I hope the meeting helped. I hope to see a changed person the next time I meet you.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Dear Sandeep.

    Thank you for the the best program I have ever enrolled for, better than 4 years of engineering combined. As mentioned in the last session, I would call this program "MLM" (Masters-In-Life-Management).

    Every leader and influential speakers should start doing what you do - introduce an idea/concept, show a direction, and then demonstrate how to use it - classic example is the email you sent on story telling. Communication is meant to be simple and effective, but it unnecessarily made complex. I think much of your mastery over communication has to do with your vast teaching experience, you show how things can be done, the teacher in you wants ideas to get embedded in people's mind.

    Each concept/ideas taught by you has BLASTED!!! my mind. You have been the biggest disruption in my life. I am still trying to cope up with the new Sanja (I call NeoSanja) in me. NeoSanja is an antithesis to 'I'.

    NeoSanja thinks - screw it, lets do it, while 'I' in me thinks - play safe, don't speak up, don't oppose, don't rebel, because as a kid it was told "The loudest duck gets shot first".

    NeoSanja wants to come out, break the shell, feel the fresh air, go for the kill, take a leap and fly high. While the 'I' in me wants to settle down in the (dis)comfort of its cocoon.

    'I' preaches Better-Be-Safe-Than-Sorry, 'NeoSanja' counters "WHATS THAT" ?

    I am not sure how the story unfolds, whether 'I' will be heavy over NeoSanja. But this time, I hope and I pray lord that 'I' looses.

    Best wishes and regards,
    (Neo)Sanja
    "Do what you believe in, believe in what you do"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sanja,

      I am sure that NeoSanja will win. I am quite sure of this.

      Thanks a lot for the appreciation you have showered here and in the class (when you said, "Sandeep knows everything." This can't be the truth, as nobody in the world knows everything. But this goes to show the impact this program had on you ... you call it the best thing ever ... better than 4 years of engineering combined.

      This time the "I" in you will lose and the "NeoSanja" will definitely soar high.

      All the very best for life.

      Sandeep

      Delete
  88. Hi Sandeep,

    The sessions have been eye opener to me.. I cant believe the world that I was living in without knowing such amazing things...be it the universal triggers or the world politics or the financials.. The best of all has been the story telling techniques... Beautifully directed and delivered by you..
    My only contention to myself will be on my next steps. The program had a huge impact on me... I must say every session got me thinking thru such directions that my brain never went earlier.
    Sometimes I am lack of words to explain the strength and my mental state that I attained after the sessions... I will give it a try to explain with an analogy.
    I am a huge Harry Potter fan, Watching HP movies and reading HP books gives me all time high... I could relate to each of your sessions to those HP books/movies... Each session opened a new level of thinking/information/Magic, In each session you uncovered the existence of most powerful objects(magic) from your life and learnings. It ended beautifully with your lessons bundled in a amazing piece of magic yet multiple layers of magic within it...It was your learnings/thoughts win over my stubborn mind. Just like Harry potter's win over the Lord Voldemort who haunted Harry all thru the his life.
    I was literally in a different world at the end of the session thinking of innumerable possibilities...
    Ok the movie ends and so the sessions ended... Lots of take away but Action item pending from me... Let me stop at this point and work on those..
    Until then keep inspiring folks...
    You are the best

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What an analysis Anjana ... totally top-drawer. The idea of my classes being compared to HP novels and movies is absolutely novel, refreshing, and fascinating.

      I am sure you will definitely shape a superb destiny for yourself very soon.

      I would love to believe that my sessions are magical (as you said above). This is really really top-quality appreciation.

      As I have already suggested, try to work out a business model around fitness. You will really succeed.

      Delete
  89. Hello Sandeep,
    As I said in the last session of the course, it was for the first time I volunteered to address a gathering. It was just because I could not hold myself from sharing my experiences of the course with the attendees.
    Though I am getting good monetary benefits from my current job, most of the time especially on my salary day I am afflicted with the fact that I am not giving 100% to my current job, but I can see you relishing every task you take up and I realized the biggest difference is PASSION. Unfortunately, I never realized what I am passionate about and the only reason behind I joining your session was to figure out my passion. So I was baffled with the content of your first session and for the same reason I asked you how can I depict the content in my resume. Only in the second session I realized that your aim in conducting the course was much beyond. Not just one can figure-out his passion but also can achieve enough, addressing one’s passion. The content of your course is unique just like you. I am sure I cannot come across such splendid principles anywhere else – Positioning, Presentation skills and especially Universal Attraction triggers. I started applying many of those in my daily routines. Believe me the thrust to thrive has been ignited and the desire to stand apart has been accelerated.
    Earlier I never set my targets high. But by attending your GMAT classes and more importantly following your guidelines, I realized that anything high can be aimed and of course achieved- you stand as a perfect example for that. The KTW24H course content always reflected the same. It is easy to find a lecturer but not that easy to find a passionate, determined maverick like you. Some time back when I saw your Gtalk status message as “Harvard interview on XXXX date”, I really got scared of missing you and I was very relieved after your confirmation of not joining.
    Your craving to carve other’s career is greatly admirable and people like you will fall under the category of “Social Reformers” as they too influence and reform the society. Whenever I come up with a business idea even after holding an MBA degree, will sure come to you for your suggestions- as I am pleased by the way how you welcome and encourage such people- and also will watch your videos of this course once again.
    My personal opinion is that the tenure of each-day class could be extended by about an hour so that your immense knowledge can be shared more extensively.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sanjeev,

      I pinched myself to see whether I was really reading what was written above or whether the feeling was sheer delusion.

      I have never read this kind of admiration so it took me some time to reflect on it and understand the full gravity of it. It is so heartfelt that the vibes can resonate and I can hear them buzzing in my mind.

      On the personal front, I am glad that the sessions helped you in a big way. I will be more than glad to be of any help that I can render - before or after your MBA.

      Go for it ... life is waiting to be devoured.

      Delete
  90. The course was a real eye opener. For me the highlight of the course was the insight that you gave us into Psychology and into world affairs. As you had mentioned the course really does give me a strong foundation to connect the dots and today when I pick up the newspaper I am able to understand things in a much better perspective. You really have given me a lot of confidence to face the world and I feel that I have the foundation ready to further build up my knowledge. I believe it surely is a mistake if I am satisfied with the knowledge I have gained after attending your session and I truly believe that it should be seen as a stepping stone to gain knowledge.

    I have already started implementing the things that were discussed and I feel a lot more assured of me and my abilities. I have known you for some time now and I am not surprised by the sky high standards that you have set for the course. I hope there will be more of such initiatives in future.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Sandeep,

    I have read each of the books suggested above in the same order.

    In summary: each of these books elevated me as if I was reborn with the reading of each. Exhilarating experiences each.

    I will detail as to how each book helped me in the comments below.

    ReplyDelete
  92. 1. "DRIVE" by Daniel Pink:

    This book is sensational. SENSATIONAL.

    After attending the second session of the course and after reading this book, I just wished I could be 15 again and re-live my life the way this book goes on to suggest. Sandeep, I want to know one thing, though. Dan wrote this book just last year. How have you lived your entire life modeled after this book?

    Who was your mentor? what has gone into shaping your life? How did you never fall for the rut? I am so intrigued to all these answers but you don't seem to share them, least of all with me.

    This is what the book is about. Dan talks about three fulfillments from your work.

    1. Autonomy over four T's: Task, Time, Technique, and Team ... what a powerful idea indeed!

    Task: only you decide what you do.
    Time: only you decide when to work on the task you have taken up.
    Technique: only you decide how you work.
    Team: only you decide whom you work with.

    WHOA!

    2. Mastery: When you do something, you must must enjoy the work so much that your sense of space-time disappears. The work itself (and not the rewards of the work) should be the reward. You must feel "in-the-zone" ... as if taking your skill to a supra-superlative level each time. What an Idea!

    3. Purpose: If we work only for instrumental reasons (because we need money, comfort etc.), we will always feel a void within. We must work for intrinsic reasons (fundamental reasons) ... not because the work will give money ... it should be something like: this is what you were born to do. The larger than yourself / money purpose must be felt each time you step on to do something. As Sandeep calls it: impactful work. Money will indeed follow. Money must be an offshoot (a by-product) of what we do, not the driver (purpose) itself.

    First of all ... I envy Sandeep so much because he has been able to live his life this way all his life.

    Second, I curse my existence so much ... why didn't I live my life this way? Why did I get stuck in the rut of the corporate and ruin 36 years of my life?

    I am going to change my life ... forever. In fact, it has already changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazing Explanation Richa, in three points too, as taught by Sandeep.

      Delete
  93. 2. People Buy You by Jeb Blount:

    This is a toweringly seminal work. Absolutely impactful. I am sure my interactions with people will never be the same again. Jeb suggests how you need to interact with people whether you are in sales or negotiation or client servicing or even when you are talking to friends or colleagues or delivering a talk.

    This is one book that forced me to thing my day-to-day life. I found how wrong I was in living my life in all my interactions.

    After reading this book, I had concrete answers as to:

    1. how I went wrong in dozens of relationships.
    2. how I blew up some of the biggest deals.
    3. how I rubbed so many people the wrong way and why so many people just walked away from me, professionally and personally.
    4. how I have ruined my chances with so many prospective people.
    5. how I can fix everything NOW.

    Some seriously thought-provoking stuff.

    One question for Sandeep (if you care to answer): though you seem to live your life as per the book Drive, I don't think you personify the embodiment of this book in your personal life. How would you react to this?

    But WHAT A BOOK ... WHAT A BOOK. This book, if implemented correctly, can simply transform your people skills to an indescribable level.

    Business and life will never be the same again. Such is the impact of this book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richa, You are making me impatient to grab this book and be one with the author...Thanks.

      Delete
  94. 3. A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

    Sandeep praised this book so many times throughout the course that it seems inconsequential to talk about it now. But this book needs a very special mention. A very special mention because it is the second biggest reason (the first is Sandeep, of course) for a completely different shift to a different career. Imagine someone after spending 14 glorious (????) years in Finance and Investment Banking suddenly embarking upon the journey to become a full-time professional speaker. This book will go down in history (for the next hundred years and more) as the most impacting career-changing book. Daniel Pink deserves all the praise in the world possible.

    Now I get what Sandeep meant when he said 'from stats to stories', 'from math to mojo', 'from data to design', 'from proving to playing' and from 'I-have-to-do to I-love-to-do'. Daniel Pink: you get my highest admiration that I have for any living being on this planet.

    One thing: I would like Sandeep to describe how this book actually changed Sandeep ... he has been telling this changed him completely. But HOW.

    I have discovered that I am fundamentally a right-brained person who has worked for more than 14 years in a strictly left-brained job. What a waste. It was fascinating to know how Dan dismissed the idea of linear-thinking jobs using AAA model (abundance, automation, asia). I am going to master each of the six attributes (design, story, empathy, symphony, meaning, and play) in my speaking career.

    After reading this book, I have only one thought. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION if you implement this book.

    ReplyDelete
  95. 4. Business Model You:

    I felt as if this book was written only for one person: ME ... only ME. And the beauty is that each person on this planet can feel the same while reading this outstanding work.

    Good that I read this book after reading A Whole New Mind.

    Each of the six elements is present in the book in abundance:

    Design: the design of the book is breathtaking.

    Story: the books is full of such inspiring stories that you just feel like calling up your boss in the middle of the book and telling "SORRY, I am living my bliss. I am out of the rut."

    Empathy: what more proof do you need than the feeling that the book was written only for me?

    Symphony: this book addresses the big-picture of your life. What are you meant to do? What is your fundamental calling? It addresses the larger questions ... so 100% marks on symphony, the big picture.

    Meaning: your life will become 100% meaningful if you can follow this book. The most meaningful text one can ever read.

    Play: how people have chucked their corporate careers to take up professions such as dog-runners ... they wanted to play and ... playing they are.

    I wonder how people get the idea to collaborate with more than 300+ people to work on this book. There is so much exciting stuff happening in this world. I am completely floored by this book.

    Most importantly, you can reshape your life just after reading this book. It is not a theoretical treatise. It is the most ready-to-implement tool. The exercises in the book make you reflect, react, and regret your earlier life.

    This deserves a standing ovation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richa, Thanks for your inspiring summary of the book.
      There is another book: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. How is it???

      Delete
  96. 5. "Mojo" by Marshall Goldsmith:

    when I started reading this book, I was transformed to a different world. I visualized myself on a big stage delivering a life-impacting talk. That was my (virtual) MOJO moment.

    Take a bow Marshall. What a piece of work! I actually came up with 23 instances of my life that I could describe my MOJO moments. And imagine what: none of them came from the workplace.

    In all these moments, I could see my power of communication winning me the moments. MOJO is the book that must be compulsory reading before people join their first work assignment.

    I can go on and on praising this book. I would just say one thing: if I have thought about becoming a speaker, it is only because of this book (and also because of Sandeep - I want to beat him at communicating even if it takes me a decade).

    Sandeep: how do you get to read these books when the whole world is wrapped up in such substandard mediocrity?

    One final question? Can you list your mojo moments? I would like to know all such moments from your life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now,I am thinking how unfortunate I am, not able to meet you during the course. I don't know your ID, here is mine, It would be great, if you can send me a request.

      God Bless You,
      Santosujit Mohanty (Santosh),
      Your Friend's Twitter: https://twitter.com/wmohanty
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/w.santosujit.mohanty

      Delete
  97. 6. "FASCINATE" by Sally Hogshead:

    Let me just say one thing: There is no book that has impacted me more or will ever impact me more than this book. The best book of my lifetime.

    Sandeep: one confession ... while I was reading this book, I saw you in every chapter and in every concept made in the book. If you had written a book in your life, it should have been just this book. You epitomize this book. This is POSITIONING ON STEROIDS.

    ReplyDelete
  98. 7. "The Innovation Secrets Of Steve Jobs" by Carmine Gallo:

    Outstanding work! Sandeep, I fail to believe one thing: every book you lay your hands on turns out to be worth its weight in gold (and beyond). How did you develop this uncanny knack of picking the right books? In my case, if I buy 20 books, only one turns out good and worth-reading. But each book you have suggested can take you above the dogfight. HOW?

    Coming to the book: The seven secrets given in this book are absolutely riveting.

    Do what You Love
    Kick-Start Your Brain
    Put a Dent in the Universe
    Sell Dreams, Not Products
    Say NO to 1,000 Things
    Create Insanely Great Experiences
    Master the Message

    All of you must read this book. MUST. And this is not about electronics, or gadgets, or manufacturing ... this is like: someone living A Whole New Mind (Dan's book) in every breath. Carmine, I also read your other books (free downloads from the net). '10 Secrets of World's Greatest Presenters' and 'The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs'. These books are ZEN.

    One thing though: Sandeep's class on Storytelling was far far better than these 2 books combined.

    As of now, there is only one storyteller: Sandeep ...

    BUT there will be only one storyteller in the future: Richa (myself). I promise you that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the Best Richa, Do invite me to your first session.

      Delete
  99. 8. "Zag" by Marty Neumeier

    One suggestion: never start a business without reading this book.

    What have you done to my mind Sandeep. It just exploded after reading this book.

    When you said: "I do one completely different thing every year that no one in the world has ever done before." I could relate every word to this book.

    What are all these people made of? I think if I was born in a library and had kept on reading all my life and hadn't done anything else (school, college, job, personal life), I would still not have had such knowledge and perspectives? I can only aspire to become someone like these authors. I am not sure how many lifetimes will be required for this.

    The book's main plank is: when everyone zigs, you should zag.

    That means: do something so so so remarkably different and unique that there is no option in front of the world except BUYING you.

    Don't ever start any business before reading this book.

    ReplyDelete
  100. 9. "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin: Sandeep suggested this book in the mail and showed it in the class. This book is a master-class work.

    Seth's blog is the most-read marketing blog in the world. And it is no exaggeration to say that he is the best in the business.

    About this book: this book is about differentiation, positioning, and the ZAG idea (see my previous review). And, in my view, Seth just nails it so well that if you need to read just one book on positioning, this must be it.

    What's a Purple Cow? Purple cow is a remarkable idea ... something that has never been tried before. Something so distinct and distinctive that the world has no choice but to admire the idea in awe.

    The beauty of the book is its simplicity and the small size. Superb work Seth. Kudos!

    I think each of the 15 entrepreneurship ventures that Sandeep has taken up in the past can be surely called Purple Cows.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hello Sandeep,
    This is one of the best courses I have attended. The course was an eye opener in more than one ways. Starting from the 1st session “ The Brand You”, which started the ball rolling right to the 8th “Story Teller You “, each session increased my knowledge by leaps and bounds.
    I got to know what it takes a person/company to brand itself. The example you gave about IVY GMAT made it clear that it really works. The ease through which you explained the global power chessboard was amazing. The way a modern human thinks and his/her thought process was really mind boggling. To be honest I fell in the trap while doing those exercises. In the session on “Story Teller You “, I not only learnt on how to weave a story but also learnt how to communicate effectively. Here, I also learnt how much of effort you effort had gone in making this course (know your world in 24hours).The only caveat I found during the session is how I am going to use the learning’s effectively. I have now got high quality ingredients that have to be moulded into a fine product.
    Through words it is difficult to capture the impact of the course has had on me.
    Regards
    Sunil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunil,

      I am so glad that you benefited from this course immensely. Good to know all this from you as we haven't interacted much earlier.

      I have just poured my heart out in the course. I think the sessions on triggers, storytelling, and psychology were your biggest takeaways (as it seems).

      No doubt, there is a lot of effort involved in creating something like this ... but I can tell you one thing. Each moment is so thrilling that the feeling is unmistakably orgasmic, no matter how much time I spend preparing for a session or how much effort it takes to prepare for and deliver each session. I am "IN THE ZONE" while working.

      Thanks for such warm appreciation. The next steps will definitely materialize, sooner than later.

      Delete
  102. Sandeep,

    The impact of the course is visible in me. Let me tell 3 stories after the course, i was travelling back
    from kochi to home,the person sitting next to me was a professor in a management college and they are sending
    their students to china for the internship,i have asked him, why china?

    He said china is "good" to see with the developments!!!!. During the conversation, gave him an insight i got from
    the course about china, starting from spending 1bn$ a day for developement, half of world's cement consumption,
    metal consumption, shanghai skylines, 105 GW additional electricity generation, teaching english in stadiums,
    1.5 tr$ US treasury bonds. He was floored by my knowledge about china and got an invitation to take a session.
    Thanks for this awesome knowledge transistion.

    Secondly, Our core competency is in the mobile apps development, and we got lead from one of the leading ivf
    (test tube babies) company to develop a client server application. All my partners are turned down this offer as
    it was not part of our core competency.I had some intution,gut feeling that we need to do this project. Went
    ahead with the discussion and we are doing the POC, if successful, its a gold mine. They have 500+ customers
    and all of them are going to use this.I shall update you on this.

    Thirdly, We got another lead from a tier1 company,one of their client project is in trouble, and need
    someone to reinitiate. They gave us a contract of 150 pages with SLA's and terms and conditions.
    I have discussed this with you infact and you suggested to ask the following 3 questions :
    1. what does our gut say?
    2. can we really really service this client well?
    3. will the client make our life more stressful by putting illogical demands?

    We were happy to say NO to them, though its a high budget project.

    Thanks to richa for a clean review of all the books. am yet to complete the books.

    Warm Regards,
    Baiju.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baiju,

      I can already see you in action ... you even started with "3 stories". I am so glad that you are seeing a direct practical application of whatever you learnt. I am sure this makes makes your learning more authentic and enjoyable.

      You will keep seeing the benefit of the course throughout your working life.

      Delete
  103. Dear Sandeep,

    I must really Thank you for offering such a wonderful course. I have never heard of any such workshop or course which offers so much Value in covering varied subjects one should be aware of. After completing the course my perspective on each subject is refined so much that I don't look at things in the same way i did before the course, be it be Career, Personal Branding, and World Economy etc... It was an amazing course overall.

    Only thing i felt disappointed is that this course was limited to 24 hours, i know there is so much value you can offer and i dont mind attending 48 hours or even 62 hours.. So please come up with your next course soon and i will be the first one to enroll..

    Regards,

    Karthik

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karthik,

      I am really glad that the course helped you directly. You too expressed a desire to be a professional speaker.

      Thanks for the feedback .. I will keep in mind the number of hours.

      Keep speaking up.

      Delete
  104. Sandeep sir


    I AM NOT WELL, SINCE I HAVE NOW BECOME AN INSOMNIAC!! The cause and effect follows.

    It was a conscious delay on my part, in sharing my views. I was waiting for my 'Triune Brain' to settle down a bit it, as it has been 'shaken' like never before and all the learning to sink in! This is 'hypnosis' of some kind.. no matter which 'Triggers' you summoned! It's been a few weeks since KTWI24H 'officially' got over.. but the reality is, it is just a 'beginning'! You have kindled the 'fire' within all of us [and re-kindled within me]!!

    If I tagged the 'Modern Human' as the USP of the 8-Sunday program… I would say 'The Art of Storytelling' was pathbreaking! It was as if a mystery or a suspense was revealed, when you shared all those 'Rules & Dos'. Alfred Hitchcock must be proud, somewhere up above, watching you sir! Intriguing stuff indeed - it was all there, yet seemed so novel! You're a seasoned MAGICIAN sir in the context of professional speaking - Content, Manner, Delivery.. just immaculate! What's amazing is you can still better yourself which you keep doing! I wonder if at all there would be a day when you would cease to surprise me!

    P.A.R.T.S has got into my bloodstream now; the 'record' keeps playing [involuntarily] in my sub-conscious! I have analyzed so many movies ever since. I have tried critiquing over two dozen speakers on TED and Youtube. I have been trying to recollect all the Best Sellers that I have read till date. My endeavour has been to put all my learning into practice. No matter what I write or speak now.. I keep asking myself 'Am I doing it right?' The 9Cs have equally intrigued me. I must add, what a COMPLEMENTING MAIL you wrote that followed the session - you have always been so obsessed with mastery! WOW!!

    It certainly was a 'super show' sir - a befitting finale to an amazing series! You busted some of the 'grand' myths about public-speaking - be it body language or eye contact. I could finally understand HOW and WHY you differed from the hitherto 'seasoned' speakers. It doesn't matter for how many years people know you, I can bet my life on one thing - YOU WOULD NEVER FALL SHORT OF SURPRISING PEOPLE! How else could someone make people hold their breathe in complete awe.. watching a few slides, beautifully interwoven with the 'base flow' of the topic. My jaw literally dropped while I gazed at the 'SCRABBLE' ad; Anjana may testify to that, as we kept looking at each, totally amazed! [..to be continued as my comments never fit in at one go, you need to share the blame.]

    ReplyDelete
  105. YOU made me realise why all my life I have loved stories and Print Ads so much! In fact, I am building my own collection of 'Insanely Great' Print Ads, which I have promised to share with you; perhaps the only way I could have 'repaid' you in some measure. We all do love stories or such marvellous Print ads; only two kinds of people might differ with me on that - the MENTALLY CHALLENGED and the DEAD! But WHY are we so WIRED for STORIES? Only SANDEEP GUPTA could have ever told me! I would like to quote from one of the earlier comments on this blog: "I am proud of myself, for being a part of such a program."

    What else can I say as to what KTWI24H has done to me and what it could possible do to someone in my shoes! Anjana said it, so has Sharmin! Richa didn't differ..neither did Prasad, Sandeep, Baiju or Sanja!! There must be a reason when people say "You know EVERYTHING"… more importantly, YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK [hang on]… AND ACT!! It's not surprising either to see you being ' likened to Oskar Schindler!


    I must confess, you are the only person who I won't mind copying shamelessly! Deep within, I want to match you somehow.. doesn't matter if it takes days, months or years - it should happen! That's all that counts!!

    A man is known by the company he keeps, they say; you are going to be known by the number of lives you 'tTrRaAnNsSfFoOrRmMeEdD'! Take a bow sir! [a standing ovation]

    - Partha

    P.S : I dedicate the last session of KTWI24H to my grannies!:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most crucial thing about this comment (actually, the 2 previous comments combined) is that it is so heartfelt that I can personally (not vicariously) feel the stir that you are going through (in first person).

      But I am happy for the fact that the course was not about appreciation alone. It was about ACTION. And I see that every word that you have written reeks of (if I can use such a negative word to describe a positive change) ACTION.

      Partha, your time to take a bow from me. Such implementation is what I want from every participant.

      Delete
  106. Dear Sandeep,
    Thanks for giving us an opportunity to be a part of KTWI24H program. You’ve really established yourself as a pioneer in “inter-disciplinary learning” which in my view is going to be the education of tomorrow. Giving a macro view on various key themes and connecting the dots with unique perspectives, made this program really a first-of-its-kind. The amount of effort that would have gone in designing such a program, organizing its content and perspectives, positioning it in such a unique manner and delivering it with absolute passion and professionalism translated into life’s best ‘uninhibited kickass learning’.

    Design and delivery of sessions especially - modern human, geo-political landscape, capitalism and investing were world-class – which reinforced your authority on multi-disciplinary topics.

    A highly instigative session on arousing the entrepreneur in oneself (RISK) underlined your unrelenting passion that made such a complex yet comprehensive program possible.

    The only thing that I felt could be done differently is to include the key points of Session 3 (Personal/ Global Leadership) into the first and second session, and replace it with a session (possibly on defining moments of World History) to be included in Part 2 (Informed YOU) series.

    I am confident that this program has done enough to help me start my entrepreneurial journey sooner than I would have actually been able to; given the corporate life we get sucked into.

    Salute to the coach, this program is life-changing!
    Wish you the best in life always!
    Shashank Saxena
    Oct-Dec 2012, KTWI24H

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hello Sir,

    Although am a bit late here, am sure I will have thousand unsaid things (even after providing my feedback)that am feeling after attending the course but can't explain them here. Can you imagine the impact on me if I say - I haven't been able to absorb the session on "7 Triggers" till date; leave apart utilizing all those 8 sessions completely in my career.
    Am not yet over with thinking about examples of how much a person/organization can succeed even if they are able to fully exploit even 3 or 4 triggers.


    I still remember you told me - "after attending this session, you will have to rethink about attending GMAT classes". And you were totally right.

    Being completely sucked by corporate politics and the everyday 9to5 boredom, am yet to decide on my next move but one thing is for sure, that my life wouldn't be the same from now on wards. Taking risks, utilizing the triggers and being a storyteller are things which will be with me forever.

    I can absolutely relate with the comments of few of my mates above.

    Probably, everybody needs a "Sandeep Gupta" moment in their life TO KNOW WHAT LIFE IS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  108. I have always believed in the following statement “ One is a data point, two is a line and three is a pattern”. I was very impressed from the first class, but I held on to my thoughts : never to put it on your blog or inform you about it. One thing that I was amazed with is your perspective. You helped me understand the bigger picture of marketing, world economy. As I said to you, you made reading the economist a pleasure. It has become one of my favorite activity. I watch advertisements with a different perspective , analyzing why some of them catch our attention and why we close our eyes to the rest of them. If I have to say it in a single word through these session, " informed " would come really close. Your classes were brilliant although I would have loved it if you had spent some more time on shares trading.

    Amith G

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amith,

      Thanks for the feedback. I am glad you can see a visible change in yourself.

      Also, I will surely incorporate your suggestion in the next set of classes.

      You must read the book The Dhandho Investor by Mohnish Pabrai.

      Delete
  109. Hi Sandeep,

    I normally stay miles away from trainers/coaches who try to tell me 'what to do'. I've always felt that they are trying to 'sell' something that I don’t need, under the garb of 'helping' me. And most of the time I was right. But I'm pleased to say that meeting you and attending KYWI24H changed that completely!

    I must give a bit of my background for the benefit of those reading this comment - I've been working as a business journalist for a well known media outfit for over four years now. Naturally I felt that I knew most things that are worth knowing and have witnessed all of the recent economic milestones for India and the world. But still, when you first told me about the course I instinctively felt that I must attend. The fact that we have always had such open, engaging conversations, every bit of which I have truly enjoyed, including your insightful, even if contrarian, views played a huge role in drawing me :) Without doubt you are someone I could talk to about diverse topics and expect well-thought out comments, not the usual me-too ones!

    I came in expecting to hear some interesting insights that would deepen my knowledge... which it did. But it didn't just stop there!! The course design, your no-nonsense approach, the ease with which you moved from one topic to another, debunked several myths I'd had... what stumped me was not just the breadth of your knowledge, but your passion, delivery, and ease around vastly diverse topics, and the smoothness with which you connected the dots. I've told you this earlier - you drew lines where I thought none was possible. Yes I knew about many of these nuggets. But my knowledge was largely theoretical, and you personalized this theory. Listening to you was like reading a well-crafted novel or a gripping movie; you wouldn't want to miss even a minute of it! It didn't just thrive on what happened; but on why and how. It's all well to give a solitary splendid talk, but to do that session after session, week after week is a testimony to your genius!! The course completely inspired me to play a more active role in the way I map my professional goals!

    Many people might still wonder as to what's the point in attending a course when you can just read it up on the net. The difference your course makes is this - What we read up and assimilate as theory might help us win debates, but won't help us win in real life, as that kind of theory doesn't move or inspire us. But your stunning delivery and personalized account make these random bits of info come alive! It fired my own passion and curiosity, broadening the window with which I looked at the world and my own career. No, the course wasn't a magic pill that took away all the day-to-day challenges at work. Rather, it empowered me so much that I and in fact the whole bunch of us were just raring to go, safe in the knowledge that we were miles ahead of competition!!! And all it took was 24hrs to make that difference.

    And now, I feel a deep pull to be part of the economic transformation that we are witnessing in the world - not just as a journalist who tracks and reports the going-ons, but by being an active contributor, a stakeholder and an entrepreneur. I learnt that entrepreneurship is not just about starting a company; it's the lens through which you view life!! All I can say is that, there are two kinds of speakers/coaches - Those who know a lot but can't articulate well enough. And those who speak so well that you are on a high momentarily, but come down to mundane reality with no action points to follow up. You are a rare mix of someone with superior knowledge and articulation, and your sessions push people to take action!

    I'm so glad that I attended the sessions and urge those reading this blog to attend your courses too. It would make a big difference to the quality of their lives. You really are the best! :)

    Best Wishes,
    Vineetha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vineetha,

      Knowing you has been one of the best things to have happened to me since I came to Bangalore. I have always admired certain qualities of yours:

      1. Rebellion: Passing out of engineering school and joining an institute in journalism, joining CNBC-TV18 as a business journalist, thinking of nothing less than a Harvard Education, and defying every norm in the rule-book have enamored me to you like nobody's business. As I have always said in my classes, rebellion is my ultimate trigger. And your rebellious streak is simply irrestible.

      2. Commitment to the cause: the kind of dedication that you have toward your work is absolutely infectious. This is passion personified!

      3. Ambition: I love the surefire and unmistakable ambition in you. You want to have the power to change things. And I love your fascination with power.

      Your command of the English language and your impeccable communication skills - the icing on the cake.

      So coming from you, the above comment means a lot. You have seen more CEOs than have most CEOs themselves, have attended more meetings with top-honchos than one could ever dream of, have seen the inside world of journalism, PR (the dirty little secret), VC pitches, and all the sordid minutiae with a personal lens.

      So, if the course had some takeaway for even you, I am sure it has a takeaway for almost everyone on this planet.

      Keep inspiring people.

      Delete
  110. Hello Sandeep,

    Firstly thank you for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this superb set of sessions that really catapulted me into a new state of mind and success.

    I have personally found each and every sessions to be a critical piece in my puzzle for excellence in life.

    I was stuck in a mundane rut of daily routine with an deep desire to be extraordinarily unique in my work, and life but without having a concrete direction to achieve them or do something about it.

    I have been directly benefited, starting with your very first session on 'Brand you'. For me the biggest forces were a few people who are close to me and their happiness. Realized I have badly positioned myself in their perspective to create an environment of happiness and create an environment for success in life. But, instead had positioned myself for disaster waiting to tip off.

    My personal key take away, was the ability to channelize all my interests and dreams which were wandering in different directions and channelizing them by picking a direction I want to head and making them work for me. I feel the ability to control and the capability to create my destiny and the journey towards it.

    Since the first session till date, I have achieved a level happiness in my personal and professional life, created a template or a framework for excellent career, taken an important career change (got a new job in my dream industry, which I felt was not achievable unless some drastic skills upgrade), got my personal life in order, am back to reading great literature, picked up a superb work-life routine, bungee jumped from 150ft (calculated my risks, and conquered my fear. Part my my long term framework), ran a 10km run within 60 min (60min was always a mental block even after running 7 such 10km runs before in last 3 years), become more confident and clear about my life, than I ever was.

    I have never felt so liberated in my life before. Period!

    Thank you Sandeep Gupta for making my life feel worth it!

    Wish you the best in all your endeavors and hope you reach your 100% every-time.

    Note: As discussed with you, I would love to see more and more sensible Indians being a part of your sessions. I see a vibrant and economically strong India with the knowledge and skills you shared with us. Average knowledge base of a nation is important for the right environment to grow.

    Regards,
    Suchindra Kanakanapalya
    KTWI24H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also want to mention, I feel very lonely with the amount of knowledge or the cadence of energy I have now. But totally enjoying it. Waiting to put it in action.

      Cheers!

      Delete
    2. Suchindra,

      Impact is my muse. And what better testimony than this? I feel so elated that you (a son, a husband, a father, and a corporate executive) felt a deep transformation in every sense of your being.

      Hardly any participants of a course take decisive action to change things about their own lives after hearing a speaker; even if one is a good speaker, most of the times s/he may just receive an applause. And, once the speech is over, people forget all about it in just 48 hours. Audience members usually take no action even after hearing the best of the best speakers.

      I feel extremely fortunate that all my participants take concrete steps to change somethings about them after attending any of my courses.

      I don't speak for ovations. I speak for transformations.

      Cheers!

      Delete
  111. As many of my classmates know that I have recently quit Infosys to start my own company (www.B2BSalesArrow.com), which specializes in B2B Business Development, Sales enablement & Channel Sales, I was aggressively looking for practical tools that can arm me to handle the challenges of an emerging entrepreneurship.

    It was an amazing experience to attend Sandeep’s ‘Around the world in 24 hours’. The plethora of knowledge that was spoon-feeded to us was mind blowing.

    Major Impact on me and my company:-

    1. Won 2 deals: In addition to my domain knowledge, I extensively applied the insights shared by Sandeep (especially about 7 triggers). It helped me to better position me and my company.

    2. Converted 1 rejection to approval: Again applying the concepts of Sandeep, I converted 1 rejection (from my prospects) to a win.

    3. Converted 1 approval to rejection: Wearied it may sound, but it was true. As an emerging entrepreneur one should know when to say ‘No’.
    After one of my prospecting meeting with the CEO, I had a conversation with Sandeep then I realized that this was a misfit opportunity. Although my prospect has said yes, I said ‘No’. Being able to reject was an empowering experience as it gave me a lot of confidence.

    4. Sandeep changed the way Infosys has taught me about Business & Sales: No doubt Infosys was a wonderful working experience, where I got the opportunity to interact with the very best sales guys in the IT world, but there were some loopholes in my learning which got corrected in the class. Now, rather than looking at profit, I started focusing on building relationship as suggested by “People buy you” by Jeb Blount (one of the many books Sandeep recommended us to read).

    5. Handling rejection: For an entrepreneur life is tough, very tough. The examples and case studies discussed in the class gave me the belief that it is not unusual. His thoughts on ‘Why the Outliers matters? ’ and ’The psychology of Mediocrity’ proved the silver lining for me.

    6. Changed My Company’s Tag line: Just after the 2nd class, I took this critical step. Initially I had written ‘Adding value to businesses, but now I have changed to ‘Nurturing Sales with Passion’. In one of the recent NASSCOM event one Japanese CEO told me that he really liked my tag line. Since then I have received a lot of comments from both my clients and prospects. I know I have put the right TADKA.

    7. Fortifying my company presentation: After the last class, I was blown away by the power of articulation. Sandeep taught us the ingredients of great speech and writing. He then showed how it has been used by him and other great leaders such as Steve Jobs. Following this I have decided to write a new corporate presentation for my company.

    These are the Tangible benefits that I have received. However, there are many Intangible benefits that will be difficult to quantify. Nevertheless, I will share them in my next post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paras,

      I am happy that you had so many SPECIFIC takeaways from the course. It is great to see that a budding entrepreneur could get practical, ready-to-implement "tools" and strategies that actually helped to take some really correct decisions very early in your career.

      I really like this comment as it is about specific benefits. Can't wait to see your next comment.

      Keep going!

      Delete
  112. Many thank Master Blaster.
    Finally, KTWI24H worked.
    The courageous decision "Helped" :-):-):-)
    Just got the confirmation from management that I will be shifted to P. M. Department from Feb.1
    I have spent 8 yrs into Basic Research (aka SCIENTIST to be specific) & off late I felt Stagnant in my career but "Sandeep" came to my rescue :-)
    I cannot believe what is happening right now. You have a invisible magic wand, which you have used to pump in the confidence & courage in us. I never imagined 6 months back that I would ever change my domain at all, I just felt helpless. But I am relieved now. This change will give me some more time to work on the dream of creating something on own.
    I just had one thing in my mind i.e. “Fear”, whether it is a right time to talk to at this point of time in my career. But then I thought if it is not NOW then WHEN? And then I went ahead with the decision and this “Fear” was outperformed by the confidence you pumped in the sessions. At the same time I was not sure how am I going to communicate this with my wife considering her apprehensions over domain change and all. She always spoke to me that “Sandeep” is spoiling career, but today for the first time she too said “Thanks” 
    I cannot believe that this thing has happened to me. It is still a dream that I can take such an extreme step. I could not have done this 6 months back or say before KTWI24H but yes, I can proudly to say that “Sandeep” helped me to identify my strengths, my weaknesses and gave me a courage and required confidence.
    I will be blank in my new domain except for the fact that I will be working with some of the known faces in office but I am confident that it will not take much time to learn and adapt to the new domain and credit is all yours Sandeep. I expect (read Request) you will guide me in this new journey as well, suggest some books though.
    I don’t have any other word but a little…Thanks…I thank you from bottom of my heart and my heart has no bottom so please consider the deepness of it.
    With best wishes,
    Prasad

    ReplyDelete
  113. Hi Sir,

    I am really impressed and inspired by the feedback videos.

    I want to take your sessions, can I the link of the course details and the next batch schedule. I am based in Hyderabad, I know there are no sessions conducted in Hyderabad, I will travel to Bangalore or Delhi to attend the classes.

    Awaiting for your response.

    Regards,
    Bhanu Prasad,
    Shobha's Entertainments.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Hullo Sandeep,

    I just happened to stumble upon this blog through the top one percent site. I was looking up GMAT preparation and may I add here that I never was a GMAT person, in fact not an MBA person at all. But, after having spent 3 years in a so called MNC, being spread too thin, I quit (it’s been a while now) and thought that if salaries are to get infinitely better, it has to be an MBA for me. And from being a person who always said “It’s not my thing, period!”, I am (or should I say WAS- I’ve read some crazily exciting, hope-inducing things here today) actually seriously considering writing the GMAT and doing an MBA from a top notch institute.

    But then, like I said, I come here to see what coaching I can take, and read these amazing things, and feel that there is hope yet. That I don’t need to do something I dislike in order to earn a pile and THEN turn around and do things I enjoy, after some years. That I can both DO what I love and EARN through it.

    I believe things happen for a reason. I live in another city and yet looked for GMAT centres in Bangalore and the result is me spending hours reading the blog entries. Stumbling upon this blog happened at a great time in my life- I NEEDED this. As I NEED to URGENTLY attend your courses. Reading some lines made me recall how vehemently my brain used to reject the very idea of ME doing an MBA. And now, after 3 years, I’m jaded enough to give it a shot, even though I know I may not enjoy it so much as to make a career out of it. That, and banks exams. ‘Nuff said.

    Could you please tell me WHEN and WHERE your courses are going to take place next? The ‘Know the world in 24 hours’ and ‘B.O.L.D.’ and MMS? I’ll be travelling to attend them, and shall have to book my tickets and accommodation in advance. PLEASE post it as soon as you possibly can. There is a tide in the affairs of men (and this woman), and I know something big is going to happen out of it.
    I wasn’t sure whether to ask this at the top one percent (that being mostly GMAT oriented) email id or here; so here it is. Keeping my eyes absolutely peeled for your reply.

    Much hope,
    Simr


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Simr,

      Thanks for the comment. Could you share your email ID / number with me at sandeepgupta01@gmail.com ? I would love to speak with you once.

      Delete