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Motivation comes from within: Shishir Srivastava

Updated: Jul 04, 2010, 14:01 PM IST

It is very difficult to succeed in life if you lack motivation. The will power to achieve something comes from within and that will power is called motivation. These days, attending motivational speeches and resorting to self help books have become very common, but people often wonder if they really help you in staying focused and attaining success.

In an exclusive chat’s Sharique N Siddiquie motivational guru and author of ‘The Eight Powers within You: Your Guide to Success’, Shishir Srivastava speaks about his book, motivational factors and inner powers of a human being.

Sharique: This is your first book. How did you get the idea of writing a book?

Shishir: In the year 2000, I saw a magazine in my office carrying a photograph of the UN Headquarters, New York. I was attracted to it and wanted to be there but had no money or clue about how I could reach there. I kept visualizing myself standing next to the UN building for a long time. In 2003, I applied for a travel grant for a peace education conference in Germany and it was approved. In Germany, I made friends with people from different countries and after this began a series of travels to many countries, all sponsored by the organizers.

Finally, in July 2005, I was invited to the Global Conflict Prevention Conference that was taking place at United Nations Headquarters. Not only did I reach the UN HQ in New York, but also got a chance to address the audience in the General Assembly on the issue of child rights.

This experience helped me gain great confidence in the ‘Power of Imagination’ that exists in me, and gradually I realized that it does in all human beings.

Throughout my prayers, meditations and research, I kept exploring what makes people successful and what do successful people have in common and found the answers. My salary grew many folds during this time and while coming up the hard way, I discovered that we all have not one but many powers within us and those who use their powers within effectively, become successful.

I was passionate to share my message with people across the globe and help them develop their potential by empowering them with success mantras. While on a flight to Japan in November 2005, I got the idea of writing ‘The Eight Powers within You’ and started writing immediately on my computer. This is how the book started! It took me about three years to complete the manuscript and one year in getting it published.

Sharique: How will you describe ‘The Eight Powers within You’?

Shishir: It is a self-help book that empowers the reader with time-tested techniques for achieving personal success and fulfillment. The book has insights about cotemporary personalities such as President Obama, Bill Gates, Kiran Bedi, A R Rahman, E. Sreedharan and many others, who have become successful by using their ‘eight powers’. The illustrations, anecdotes empowering exercises, affirmations and practical tips in the book serve as ready reference and make it an interesting reading.

The book builds the individual’s confidence in his abilities to be a self-dependent and self-motivated person. The content of the book is concise yet concrete to enhance the self-esteem and confidence of the reader. If one wants to pursue the path of success, all they need to do is take a decision to turn their life around by following the proven techniques given in this book.

Sharique:There are a lot of books that deal with positive thinking and motivation. How is your book different?

Shishir: While most of the business self-help books are either narratives or focus mostly on ‘why’ and ‘what’, ‘The Eight Powers within You: Your Guide to Success’ contains practical tips that guide the readers on ‘how to’ live a life of their dreams. This book can be treated as a ready step-by-step self-help study course.

Sharique: You are a motivational speaker and also a writer. Do you think these talks really work?

Shishir: Yes, they certainly work if one works upon them! Many people read and listen to motivate themselves and often take little or no action to change their lives. Some people expect result instantaneously which is also unrealistic. In order to set high goals and accomplish them, it may take anything between three to five or more years, so one has to be patient and persevering.

Self-improvement and motivation certainly work if you are ready to commit yourself to improving yourself daily, little by little. Just as bathing won’t last forever, so does motivation. Therefore you have to daily motivate yourself and take action to make little improvements upon your attitudes and skills. Even if you improve 1% daily for three years in a row, you would have made more than 1000% improvement! The more you improve yourself, your results will also improve manifold.

Sharique: It is often said that motivation comes from within. Then how do motivational speeches and books help?

Shishir: You are right, motivation is certainly an inside phenomenon. However, the universe outside and the universe inside are the reflection of each other. Just as something inside affects things outside, things on the outside affect you inside as well. Did you ever notice how your mood changes when you hear some exciting music? All your cells start vibrating with the same frequency and you feel so lively! Words, said or written, affect us. Motivational speeches and books charge you with a positive spirit and help you stay up to face life’s challenges.

Sharique:One thing that everybody wants to know is what it takes to succeed?

Shishir: Well, let us define success first. Success can be best defined as ‘doing what you love to do, when you want to do it and doing it to the best of your ability’. Success in any field is dependent not on a single factor, but many, and most of these are acquired. It depends upon the magnitude of your goals, your expectations, attitude, character, skills and above all the amount of hard work you put in developing the positive side of these traits. You must remain focused on ‘what you want’ and keep thinking ‘how to get it’ for a long time and you will be successful.

Sharique:Tell us something about your personal life.

Shishir: I come from a middle-class family and had a very challenging youth. The financial condition of my family was not good and it was difficult for my parents to provide for my studies after Grade 12. In 1994, I appeared for the National Defense Academy examination and qualified the SSB interview in the first attempt. I opted for the Indian Navy, hoping that the government would cover all my expenses.

I successfully completed my training at the Naval Academy (1995-1998) and joined Indian Navy as an executive officer in 1999. Back at home, my father’s kidneys had stopped functioning and my mother was alone with my younger sister in Lucknow and my elder brother was struggling in Delhi for securing a job. Finally, I decided to quit the Navy and come back to Lucknow to be with my family. While coming back I realized that I had a greater purpose to fulfill.

It was in December 1999, three months after leaving Navy, that I happened to meet my idol from school days -- Dr Jagdish Gandhi, the founder of my alma mater – City Montessori School (CMS) in Lucknow. Dr Gandhi urged me to join CMS and work with him for world peace, to which I readily agreed. At age 23, I joined CMS in January 2000. Since then, I have been conducting several conferences, workshops, training programmes, events and collaborating with organizations to create defences of peace in the mind of young and adults alike.

Sharique:What motivates Shishir Srivastava?

Shishir: My mission is to empower people of our country and world by developing their potential through my writing, speeches and training. I feel motivated when I take action on my mission. When I see people achieving their goals, it is very satisfying to know that I have made some difference in their life.

Sharique: Any other books lined up…..

Shishir: Yes. I see that people everywhere are having a tough time to keep themselves motivated on a daily basis. I am writing my second book on the subject of daily motivation and hope that it should be out by next year.