Monday, September 2, 2019

Six Lessons from Champion Olympians- Viren Rasquinha and Neha Aggarwal

It has to be a special day when you get to moderate a session with two champion Olympians. I got this privilege last week when the former Olympians Viren Rasquinha (Former captain Indian Hockey team) and Neha Aggarwal (First Indian female Olympian for Table Tennis) visited my organization (Citrix).

Left to Right: Viren Rasquinha, Anuj Magazine, Neha Aggarwal
I have been personally supporting Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) for a long time. OGQ's mission is to enable athletes to win Gold medals for India at Olympics. Citrix supports OGQ as well.

After meeting with Viren and Neha, we had organized an employee interaction session with them. Till the last minute, I wasn't aware that I would be moderating the session so it was a sort of last minute plan. But eventually it turned out to be a good one.
Some lively conversations and candid stories from their sporting careers kept the audience engaged, entertained and spellbound. Sports has this unique power that makes comprehension of life lessons effortless. Stories of their formative years, perseverance,to eventual glory & later to reinventing themselves made for some awe-inspiring moments of learning. If I have to summarize a few from today's session, they would be: 1. Believe in yourself when nobody does. 2. Always have a fire in belly and keep the desire to excel always on, especially for the things that matter to you. 3. Have shorter feedback mechanisms. Invest in a trust-worthy coach. Once you have one, be non-judgmental about following his/her advice. 4. Be open to experimentation, especially in the areas of performance that are below par. 5. Be bold to traverse an unchartered path.
6. Eventually, it comes down to 'one percent' efforts that becomes key differentiator in the high-stake environment. All the 'one percents' eventually add up and leads to big results. Above learnings sums up a memorable one hour of interaction that hopefully inspired many in the room. Thanks to Sohini Karmakar (Lead CSR initiatives) for helping organize the session. What are your favorite sporting stories? What did you learn from them.

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