Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Good Lessons Learned from a Chance Meeting with Utkarsh Rai

'Believe in Magic': this phrase caught my attention during a recent reading session with my son on a flight back to Bangalore. Both of us were taking turns to read a few pages of the book 'Geronimo Stilton - The Kingdom of Fantasy". The reason that phrase caught my attention wasn't just because of the richness and the meaning that phrase brought but also because it lead my mind to a recent interaction with one of finest leaders i have known.

I have known Utkarsh Rai for quite sometime, not personally but through his various public appearances, in panel talks and as a speaker. So when i got a chance to interact with him person, i couldn't let go of the opportunity. He has recently written a book named: The Fitness Currency: At Any Stage, At Any Age
I had a few exchanges, sharing comments about the book over social media that eventually led to this interaction.

I learned a few things that i wanted to share briefly here as below.

Always believe that something good is about to happen:

One of the things he shared during the conversation was this phrase:
"Always believe that something good is about to happen".

This is the phrase my attention drew towards while reading the book with my kid. I would explain the context in which he said this phrase in the next point, but in many ways i think believing in the positive phrases becomes a self-fulfilling prophecies. Funnily, this is true for most of the negative reinforcements that happens in our minds.
Our thoughts aren't stateless like HTTP is, they tend to have a positive state or a negative one. Left unchecked, the state naturally tend to gravitate towards negative one. Avoid that. Always believe in the magic that is about to happen.

Disrupt life, when the time is appropriate:

Utkarsh shared about his current life choices and used a phrase that "I have disrupted myself'. He said this as he had chosen an unchartered path where he was trying all that he wanted. As he was headed towards a future that was exciting yet unknown, he chose to respond to situation by believing that something good was always about to happen.

Leaving his lucrative job, he was trying his hand at different things like becoming an executive (certified) coach, becoming an actor, an accomplished author, trying to solidify online presence by creating online snippets of his book, among a few other things.
One of things that i had asked him during my online interactions was:

"About 40% done with the book, Utkarsh. Have an different kind of observation, indirectly related to book. I know that a thousands of people join gym mostly for health, fitness, which many achieve. But I was thinking about your motivation levels that you didn't just attain fitness but succeeded in being a thought leader (with this book as an example) in a field totally unknown to you. This is what I find amazing. At what stage in your journey did you think you should write this book ? Going by narrative in the book, appears like you were taking notes everyday about the conversations and learnings."
And i still find it amazing to see such rare ability to think big while mastering an unknown skill.

Master things you feel you are not good at:

As one of the passing mention in the conversation, he said that I want to do things that I feel I am not good at. He not only said this but also backed it up by saying that he as learned Kannada 60-70% even though he considered himself not good at learning languages. He said he did acting while in school, something he is working to rekindle. He hadn't done gym all his life but started that a couple of years (or less) back and ended up writing a book.
All of us have one life- either we can choose to live a routine, template like life not wiling to pick-up battle to beat inner demons or we live like kings, always willing to pick-up fight with the demons of mind who are working overtime to pull us back. He certainly chose the latter strategy to lead his life.

Even though it was for 30 min or so but it was a very enriching conversation for me. He was brutally honest at several instances such as admitting that the fact that he has photo-memory often comes in the way of his leading people (as people get impression that he always remembers their mistakes :-)). Another instance of such honesty was when he admitted that he tends to draw his energy from meeting people, which is something he misses in his current chosen path.

A memorable meeting for me and hopefully it was first of many such interactions in the future.


Roxanne Newcastle said...

Thanks for sharing Anuj, great read.

lisa said...

a nice share thank you worked..