This Guy Made Me Happy…Without Actually Trying to Make Me Happy
Would you like to meet someone who can give you the right direction, make you happy and show you your true self…without asking for anything in return?
I have been using LinkedIn actively for just over a month now…I had my LinkedIn account since a few years but I always had a softer spot for Facebook as I had largely found LinkedIn to be a boring place where everyone tries to sell something or the other. Turns out that, in LinkedIn or any other social platform for that matter, you ALWAYS have a choice: to weed out all the hardcore salespeople and… actually follow those who provide REAL value – like the guy I am going to talk about in this article.
Even if indirectly, Milind Kher is the guy who motivated me to start using LinkedIn again. It all started when he mentioned about LinkedInLocal Pune on Facebook (and I being interested on meeting new people, was really hooked) and I asked him how can I get notified about these events…even went to the extent of asking him if I could get notified of these events on Facebook! You can imagine how much I was into Facebook…in fact I so wish LinkedIn offers a way to let me login to my account using my Facebook account…that would be like wishing that Amazon starts accepting PayTM as a mode of payment someday, but hey, one can always dream right? Soon I made a lot of connections and then I came across this guy who wrote a story about how he had faced several calamities in life which were of catastrophic nature and still remained happy. Although I would like to call him a ‘Happiness coach’ I failed to categorize him as one. The reason being, he is, well, DIFFERENT.
I am a member of a Facebook group of healers and therapists; almost every day someone posts an ad there, touting his or her coaching businesses. But I rarely interact with any of them because I could see that 90% of them are doing it not to help others but to make some quick cash. This guy, however, did not even mention that he was a coach or a trainer; he was merely sharing the story of his life on LinkedIn. I thought to myself; this guy must be real; he seems to have gone through worse times than I have been and perhaps I can learn from him.
Quite coincidentally, I was visiting Pune for the first time in my life to attend a workshop so I requested this guy to meet me. I would say that I was lucky, because this guy, in his own words, rarely goes out to meet anybody; rather people come to meet him at his place; he described himself as someone who is not too deep into ‘socializing’. There was a lack of internet connectivity at the place where the workshop was happening…I could not call up this guy to co-ordinate with him and when I did get connected with him, it turned out that he was stuck in the worst kind of traffic jam -like he has never been in life! Eventually we met at the workshop; I did not even know he was standing at a corner until he said "I have been waiting here for you since 5 minutes now."
I was shaken for a while but then quickly introduced him to the young trainer at the workshop as a ‘happiness coach’; I also added that he was very popular on LinkedIn. The young trainer, surprisingly, apologized to him for not knowing him, and quite amusingly he retorted that since he is not a movie celebrity, she is not expected to know him anyway.
The first thing I noticed about him is that, rather than accepting status quo, he questioned it. I had the best masala Idlis I ever had (the small restaurant is just a few steps away from Leafy Trails in Pune, in case anyone is looking for directions) with him. This is where he told me that there are people who don’t want to meet him for the second time because they don’t like to hear the truth. I completely agreed with him; I related to him the story of a corporate trainer who once told me that he made lakhs of rupees by telling lies to his clients, but the day he started telling them truths, he became a struggler with fewer clients. This happiness coach then asked me: "So it is your choice, do you want to make money or be real?" He gave me some other lessons as well, such as:
a) A writer needs to write: Sometimes it becomes necessary for others to point out simple stuff to you that is common sense. On one hand, it is true that a writer has to WRITE in order to be called a writer; on the other hand, it is equally true that writing is the hardest thing to do for a writer, any writer for that matter, which was how the term called ‘writer’s block’, came into existence. This is something that my social skills coach had pointed out to me before, but this guy put it in a way that I could finally see the truth for myself; that unless I write consistently on a regular basis, no one will know my creative side and ergo, very few would bother to connect with me even if I were ready to write on a pro bono basis.
b) One should not compare themselves with celebrities or other successful people: He next showed me pictures of a couple of celebrities he had shared the stage with or were his childhood friends. Then he asked me:
"Should I compare myself with them? They are big people now. Should I feel bad about it?"
I was unsure about what to say, then I said "No, "still unsure about whether the answer was correct.
"Because your talent is different than theirs?"
c) One should live life before becoming a life coach: At the same time, he said he would prefer a coach who is senior in age. He told me, "One should LIVE life to gather the experience necessary to become a life coach. I just love how these people make money." Although I am someone who does not believe in ageism or gerontocracy (I have known several people younger than I am having more experience with ladies than I do, to give you an example; if you are smart enough you can get a lot of experience even in a short time) one thing I definitely agree with him is that many, if not all, have started this ‘life coaching business’ just to make quick cash with some lecture or other; it is no coincidence that most of these life coaches are married (happily or not, I don’t know) with kids…even a stupid person will tell you that a married person has more expenses to deal with compared to a bachelor. Which reminds me of a political discussion that I happened to overhear while waiting at Mumbai CSMT station patiently for my Pune bound train:
Person A: You know, this BJP party headed by Narendra Modi is really honest. They seldom steal from government coffers.
Person B: Why would they? Many of them are bachelors. The person who would make you steal (wife) is just not there.
Which also reminds me of a certain custom in the small town I used to live in way back. When the parents became fed up trying to convince their son to look for a job (the son being a lazy, carefree person who is more interested in merry making than earning a living) they would use the ULTIMATE Indian solution on him: get him married. It did not matter how the girl looked like (unfortunately quite a number of my peers were married off to rather ugly girls because getting a good looking girl is quite difficult there; I never found one myself to begin with) as long as she bought in some considerable dowry with her (sadly none of the wives there ever bought a car as dowry for their husband, or at least the husband could have made a decent living by driving an Ola or Uber), I can tell you that. Not surprisingly, I could see the same lad (who never went for a job interview before) running for one interview after another, day after day, as soon as the "bou bhaat" was completed.
Sometimes I think I made the right decision to stay separately from my parents; our conflicts notwithstanding, if I had lived a few years more with them then maybe my story won’t have been much different: a job to run for in a crowded local train and having an ugly wife at home.
Anyways it was Ramesh Ji who really asked me to write an article describing our meeting so that is what I did (“You will become famous after this,” he said in a tongue-in-cheek manner). I hope I have not bored you too much today. More boring articles will follow soon; you can subscribe to my blog using RSS or stay connected with me on social media if you wish to be informed of the same. I would suggest that you try to fix a meetup with him if you want to find some direction in life; you may or may not like what he will tell you, so it is important to keep an open mind.
Many thanks to Ramesh Sood for coming all the way to meet me, and best wishes on your Goa tour. I just added our meetup in my gratitude journal.