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As perfectly quoted,

"Success is not final and failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."

TEDx is an event that helps attendees to have an amazing time, to network and learn beyond their field or interest and expand their knowledge, in order to create more clarity about life. I attended one such Ted Talk organized by NMIMS Hyderabad at Radisso on 27th January, 2019 where many inspiring people from different walks of life talked about the journey from their struggles to success and how they never gave up and kept themselves focused on achieving whatever they wanted.

As we all walked around the auditorium and grabbed our seats, waiting for the event to start, the speakers walked up the stage one by one and narrated few inspiring stories from their life.

Speaker 1: Manish Kumar Tyagi

In a world where people live in the comfort zone of the clock, he decided to make an impact in the lives of others by stepping out of the comfort zone and try doing things differently from what has been taught to do all our lives.

Worked as a commander in Indian Navy before he decided to become a successful stand up comedian in 2014. People judged him a lot on the choice he made and gave him their ready-made advices but he chose to step out of his stereotype and do something different.

India is 128th in the happiness index in the world and he chose to be in stand-up comedy because he thought it was very important to be able to spread happiness and heal the world because laughter is the best medicine.

He said, "The point is that the baggage you carry all along and the stereotypes that comes with it holds you back from being yourself."

He made a choice to be able to change himself by breaking a lot of stereotypes, dropping all the baggage, taking care of all the negative emotions which he had been groomed all his life, reinforced himself with thoughts, being with people who are nice to him, trust him, believe him and make him happy because he has only one life and he wanted to make an impact by not being in the 98% of the people who live in their comfort zones.

Speaker 2: Sonali Swami

Being a woman and a mother of 2 kids, she is recognized as one among the top 10 body builders of the country and had been a remarkable example of change. Her dad was in army so she got the 3Ds from him - Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

All throughout her life she was an average student, with low self esteem, not an ambitious child, never had a dream, never had a career, all she wanted was to become like her mom - a homemaker so she went ahead and completed her hotel management degree. Her parents got a great proposal and she got married.

After marriage she moved to Bangalore. Within an year she had put on almost 12kilos and she was literally panicking and shattered. She felt like she was the worst looking person ever and did not wanted to step out. That's when she decided to take control of her life, its not about looking good, its not about the physical appearance, she was just not feeling good about herself and if she is not feeling good about herself then how is she going to connect with the people around her.

Since she was very passionate about dancing, she started giving dance lessons to kids. Dancing was fun but she never considered it as a fitness thing, it was more of distressing herself but when she got introduced to fitness, she realized the importance of strength training, cardiovascular endurance, agility and mobility.

The weight training sessions literally killed her but that entire experience was really amazing, she felt so good about it. In 2014 she participated in a physique competition in India. A married woman, a mother standing in front of 1000s of people judged wearing probably a bikini or shorts and not to forget the potential backlash from the society and the family.

She mustered up the courage to make that choice and her husband supported her in every aspect. She participated and won it. She continued winning many competitions and she did not wanted to do it for herself but for all the other women who think that their lives are over, their lives are revolving around their families and they tend to take a back seat.

She wanted to tell women that they have to take care of themselves, they should be their first priority. Change is inevitable but how do you embrace it and evolve as a better, stronger, fitter person like she is #FitAt43, by being that change she wanted to see in others.

Speaker 3: Manvinder Singh Gohil

Indian prince and maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat, he is the only royalty to come out as Gay in 2006. He is the perfect epitome of courage because of his efforts and steps taken towards the welfare of LGBT community.

6th September, 2018 was a very historic day not only for India but for the entire world where supreme court of India declared that section 377 of the Indian penal code needs to be amended.

What is Section 377?

The definition says, "Even a married man and a woman with consent of each other in the privacy of their bedroom if they are having sex and that sexual act is not leading to producing a child, both the married man and woman could go to jail for 10 years. There is also an interpretation of this very law which says that masturbation is also a crime."

So he knocked the doors of high court and then the supreme court and challenged the case and all the religious leaders went against him and called him mentally ill and abnormal. We are a homosocial country. It is only till we are in closet, we are fine. The moment a person like him said he is gay the problem starts.

His parents threw him out of his house, tried to disinherit him from the ancestral property because he spoke the truth.

He just thanked his parents for doing this to him as the news reached internationally and he was invited to speak as a guest in the Oprah's Show thrice.

Oprah asked him, when he came out of the house and spoke about his sexuality weren't he scared of the police that they would come and arrest him. He said, "First of all to be gay in India was never a crime, it was the homosexual act which was the crime and not only the homosexual, even the heterosexual act is also a crime. There were lot of misconceptions."

Even US has patted back of the govt of India for making such a progressive judgement because for the first time in the history the human rights of the Indian citizens have been recognized and it was a total defeat of hypocrisy and victory of humanity.

These were the four fundamental rights guaranteed to us by Indian Constitution that were challenged in supreme court which section 377 was depriving us:

"Right to Equality, Privacy, To Live with Dignity and Respect, Not to be discriminated."

He is very glad that the youth and students from different colleges reach out to him and he is been working with the ministry of education to develop a course on introducing sex education and LGBT issues into the textbooks of colleges because students need to know about the change of laws in our country, why these laws has been changed? why don't we have laws based on our ideologies but based on Victorian ideologies?

He concluded that "LGBT rights are human rights and these rights cannot be just won in the court rooms but in the hearts and minds of people we live with."

Speaker 4: Satyarup Siddhanta

The president and founder of ABETO - "A better tomorrow foundation", a techie, a motivational speaker and an environmentalist, being awarded as the highest state award in the field of mountaineering, also the first person to play National Anthem of India on flute in Antarctica.

Recently he made a world record by being the youngest in the world to climb both the 7 summits (the highest mountain of all the 7 continents) and the 7 volcanic summits (the highest volcano in all the continents). He is an accidental mountaineer as he was an asthmatic kid who could not even run 100 meters without an inhaler.

The first medal he received was from the West Bengal State government for climbing Mt Everest, the highest mountaineering award, it was a dream that he always wanted to achieve since 2010 after seeing Mt Everest from the base camp. So in 2016 he re-created all his dreams and was all set on the final push.

After seeing people falling, dying in front of him, as he reached to the top of the south summit, his left eye went blind. Just 10 minutes after that at 8800 meters which is called the dead zone his oxygen mask malfunctioned. He could not breathe anymore so he took of the mask to breathe natural oxygen which was 1/3rd of the normal level and was not enough for the human body to perform.

As he continued, he realized that his muscles will start to cramp soon if he does not get proper oxygen. He wanted help and was shocked that at that altitude people were being very selfish and found it very difficult to give away their only life support to someone else. He knew it that he might die now, given a choice let him summit and die rather than die here.

Finally one of his friend agreed to share the oxygen mask with him and he got all the energy in his body and just knew that he has to reach the top at any cost, finish it off and return the mask to his friend. As he reached the summit, three of his cameras malfunctioned because of the cold.

Everything went for a toss as nobody will believe they have summited because they can't take the picture. As his friend arrived he knew that he has to return the mask now and while going back he might die. With a disbelief he looked at his friend and realized that he was using his mask as the sun came out and the oxygen cylinder's blocked pipe was melted.

But the story is not about how he was saved from dying, it was about At that point of time when his only life support system was gone what made him not to panic at 8800 meters? How he managed to be that fearless that he does not even care that he is dying?

The answer was, "Entire childhood he was asthmatic and had that breathless situation so when that happened at 8800 meters, it was not something new happening to him. He still get goosebumps thinking that he had only one regret his whole life that he was being asthmatic in his childhood and could not live a normal life and that saved his life now."

Thus it is important to look beyond what is happening like "If there is a white page and we put a black dot on it. People just focus on the black dot forgetting that there is 99% white space around it. "So if we shift our focus a little bit life will be much more magical. Life has its ups and downs, if we can appreciate music that has ups and downs then why can't we appreciate life that way. You just have one life, live it.

Speaker 5: Juhi Godambe

A 24 years old entrepreneur who is been an inspiration to youngsters in India. Started her career as a fashion blogger, she founded her own brand, "Arabella". Today she travel the world to create content around her lifestyle for the followers to keep them engaged. She wears clothes from designers that she always dreamt of wearing, she goes to events and fashion shows that she always wanted to be at.

It all started with a shy girl who really wanted to be somebody and today she is not the same girl that she used to be. Most of her viewers today think she is really a confident girl who can do anything, say anything she wants, but clearly that's not true. So what made her change so drastically? Her answer to that is Life Happened, Experiences Happened and she evolved as a person.

After completing her internship as a fashion stylist she realized that - she wanted to be her own boss. She has won cosmopolitan lifestyle blogger last year in 2018. She went to New York with Maybelline as an Indian Influencer in fashion week. She represents Nike India for lot of their launches. She has a following of 2 lakh 60 thousand on Instagram.

She really believes that, "You have got one life and you should live with no regrets. If you feel that you love something and if it has the slightest chance, give it a shot because you never know where its gonna take you. So live what you believe." and that's what she did.

Speaker 6: Suhani Shah

Known as the mentalist, she is the only female who has been fascinating India as a magician for about past two decades. She started by performing a magic trick on stage and all were amazed to see her performance. She made her debut at the age of 7 in the field of magic and since then no looking back for her.

During her career she has travelled extensively across the world for her performances, talks and trainings and has never ceased to amaze and mesmerize her audiences. She talked about one of the incidents that changed her life and touched her really well.

During a Q&A session a girl happened to ask her, "How do I find my passion? How do I identify that one thing that I am sure I am going to do rest of my life?". To this question she answered with a question, "In order to find your passion how many things have you tried?" and the girl went all blank and this happens to most of us.

Finding a passion is hard, its a process, its like a relationship with work and just like any other relationship it requires effort to make things work out. There are a lot of people who live life without passion and the reason she believes is that although they acknowledge that it is important to do what you love but they also realize it requires genuine work to figure it out and they are not ready to do that.

How did she find her passion? As a kid she was into performing stage shows, she was Gujarat state level swimmer, she had done basic diploma in computers, she loved studying, she loved playing badminton, she loved everything that her brother who is 5 years older to her did.

One fine day she was watching TV and she saw some magic performance. She was curious and wanted to indulge herself in that art. So at the age of 7 she performed her first ever magic show. The feeling she achieved by being on stage and performing in front of people, she could not compare it to anything, it was just a pure bliss for her and hence she decided to continue performing.

Our life is like a buffet which has all these varieties and we have not tried many but we are expecting to find that one thing that we are passionate about. How is that possible? We need to start exploring ourselves in a way that help us identify what we can take up next.

A lot of us are not able to find what we are passionate about because we have too little life experience, also we are so conditioned by the society, by parents, by lack of knowledge, by limiting beliefs of our friends, even the ones that we develop for ourselves, due to which we have lost connect with our own self.

If we realize what we really are and what is that we want out of our life, our passion will be clearly visible, glaring at us. So, finding a passion is all about self-exploration, its about connecting with your own self and identifying who you really are as a person.

Also, one does not need to be great at something in order to find their passion. There are only a few successful people who are best at something. All others are usually a good mix of some effective talents that they are mediocre at but they know how to use it in the best possible way. An interesting combination of not so good skills can also make you somebody very great in what you want to do.

Individual skills are common, combinations are rare and she considers herself as a combination. She considers herself as a mediocre magician, mediocre mind reader, mediocre public speaker, mediocre psychologist, mediocre performer but she definitely considers herself as a great combination of all of it.

The basic idea over here is say YES to life. Say YES to things that come your way. Get out of your box, explore new things in life like read new books, listen to new music, travel as diverse places as you can because the more you travel, the more you see what the world has for you.

Meet new people, when you meet new people, you share ideas, share experiences, you get new learnings, new perspectives. So say YES to new things in life.

Lastly don't forget to stay connected with yourself, spend sometime in silence pondering over your life decisions, your life choices, your likes and dislikes. Every now and then keep questioning yourself with some interesting questions like, "Am I really happy with what I am doing?", "Do I need a vacation right now?", "Do I need to make a little shift in my lifestyle?" and many other questions that keeps you connected with your true inner self.

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