Deepali Maheshwari’s journey from the traditional CA & CS space to becoming a Life Coach
Q1. How did this girl from Gorakhpur land up in St. Xavier’s, Calcutta for her B. Com. hons?
Ans: I think it was just a universal conspiracy that I landed in Calcutta. I just wanted to go to the best college for commerce and generally SRCC tops the list and Xavier’s would be somewhere around second or third, and 2010 when I was looking for my college, Xavier’s went up the list so my dad said you always wanted to go for the no.1 college then why don’t you go to Xavier’s and Calcutta is going to be a nice city for you, so I just took a call like that and went ahead with St. Xavier’s.
Q2. Then you took the run of the mill path which a commerce graduate takes, like CA, CS, was that again a default choice?
Ans: When I was evaluating the line, there were other options, probably good or bad. Why I chose CA and CS along with it is because I thought I thought CA would help me understand important prevailing systems in India as I am a huge finance lover, so I thought it would help me understanding tax, finance, law, all of it would be covered in that in detail, and if I do CS probably I will understand law more and how things are happening at company level. So I thought it would give me a very good exposure to the knowledge I was looking for and it just sounded interesting to me and that’s why I took it.
Q3. Share your experiences at Mind Map. How did this entire transformation happen?
Ans: Since my school days, I was very good at teaching and all my friends would come to me even if they are not understanding something about life, about studies, they would just come up to me and I would just explain them and they always would be happy with it. Even in college days I had this knack for teaching, maybe telling people anything that matters. I was a little well-connected through my friends and other people and I got this call from Mind Map that they want to work with me and they want to hire me as a trainer to the few of their projects and see how things go ahead. So I took up some projects that related to F&A that was my domain finance, also communication and behavioral skills. I just thought I was naturally good at it and obviously some assistance from their side helped me in having that breakthrough. Then it just opened up, I started working like a trainer for them, taking up multiple projects, doing F&A, comms. and behavioral skills training for multiple clients. We were engaging with a lot of BPO companies and we were doing lot of AP, AR, payroll, all these kinds of trainings. The kind of knowledge I had, almost 80% of that was applied over there and the rest I got from Mind Map. That’s how it worked out to me very naturally as if I knew the subject. So I started working as a trainer. Also I created a lot of materials for Mind Map which we worked with other clients. That’s how it worked and it kept on rolling.
Q4. Did you have to source deals for them or did you just go out there as a trainer?
Ans: We mostly had clients at place and we had so many projects already with them that sourcing of the client was never required. We had projects which were like 2–4 months long so once you complete one project you had another one coming up in the pipeline. It was more of a delivery standpoint that I was involved, end to end discussions with clients, delivering the trainings and getting the right feedbacks and then implementing any kind of changes that were needed, all of that I was doing while being engaged with the projects.
Q5. You then went for TatTvamAsi which is being a life coach. How did you realise that you were cut out for a career as a life coach?
Ans: How it happened to me is slightly a longer story. Since childhood, I have always been the topper of my class, whatever I would do I would always get full marks in that, all the teachers would appreciate me for whatever I am doing but seeing all of that, getting all those marks, always standing on top, it never gave me any kind of happiness. I just thought that anybody can do, even if slight intelligence you apply you can achieve this and I never got happy. What made me happy was whenever I went inside and solved a riddle of my life or help somebody solve their riddle of life or any kind of emotional support I gave people, that gave me a kick since I was young and it has been a journey. Even when I was in college, even when I was with Mind Map doing trainings, I still was engaged on a personal level with a lot of people not online or having a profile online, but a lot of people whom I knew, in coaching them in their life, helping them come out of their career struggles, emotional struggles and all of that. In all those people since they had very good experience with me told me why don’t I become a life coach, because somehow they really connected with me and I have always solved their problems and understand deeper realities of things. So I thought of considering it and I never thought so much about it because I was on the run doing it for people. Later on I realised if I want to reach out to people who are not connected to me and if I want to help new people, definitely I need to have a platform, brand name, some workshops that I am running so that was always there, it just came in the picture because I wanted to reach out to more people and that’s how I started this journey of TatTvamAsi where I want to do workshops with people and help them understand what they are and what they are capable of and how can they actually connect with their inner self and all of these really brings a shine on my face, so I felt it was my life purpose I have to do this and even if I do a 3-day workshop, 10 hours every day, I will not get tired, there will be a spark on my face. That’s how it happened.
Q6. How is it to scratch beyond the surface and getting into the psych of an individual trying to understand why the individual is in a particular emotional state?
Ans: How it works is, once you know yourself very deeply, the kind of being that you are, the kind of existence that you are is what is reflected outside in the world. That is the science behind this. Almost a decade has passed I have been into different forms of spiritual practices, meditations and researches that I have done, lot of scriptures I have read and I am just trying to understand myself more and I went down myself. What happened is something gets activated inside you. when you meet people, you know what challenges they are having when they are talking to you, it’s just a natural capability that you develop. By knowing yourself, you know others, it was said by some great philosopher. That’s what happens when you are in this journey, and that’s what happened for me. I just started knowing myself and the people around me and that helped me in actually understanding what kind of psyche we have, how do we operate, where are we failing, what do we do so that we can go ahead in the right direction? So all of that started falling into place just because I was getting clarity on what I am, and when I say what I am, I don’t mean I am Deepali and I started knowing myself. That is just a tag I am wearing in this life of mine, but what is beneath that tag, what is the life which is sustaining inside me? What is the science behind that, what is the spirituality behind that, how do we connect in the world with everybody, how is the concept of oneness working with every individual and what I am is actually reflecting other around me every moment of my life? So all of that became very obvious in my life and I guess that assistance of a life coach just started working through me without putting in any kind of efforts in that direction.
Q7. Do you have instances where people come back to you and tell you that you have changed their lives?
Ans: A lot of people, even after all the workshops that I have done every person has just written how their life has just changed just by attending a workshop or doing a consultation with me or any kind of services that they are taking from me, and they all keep asking when is my next workshop, we want to attend it. So it is I guess more than pretty exciting for me, I can feel I am living the purpose of my life and I am just so happy, so that really is worthy.
Q8. Without revealing the names, give us an example of what kind of a person what emotional state came to you, what happened and how that person changed?
Ans: I will tell you about a friend of mine. She had a bad experience in her family, her husband used to beat her and her in-laws used to make her feel that she’s like a dustbin in the house and her own parents were bound for some reasons so they could not help her. She got kids and she and the kids both were getting beaten up by the laws house. So she reached out to me and I helped her just for a week and she said that she feels like she has taken birth now and now she’s able to actually understand what happened with her in all those years of her life and she was around 40 maybe and she actually came up and she was shocked at whatever happened. Her kids are now feeling better and I guess everyday she would tell me how thankful she is for all that I had done for her. Even if I talk about students, students have come back to me and they are like I am able to study, because suddenly the pressure of study has gone and there is some kind of life in my studies because of whatever you have told us about studies. So all that is really working out and people are feeling that change and it just keeps me going.
Q9. Does age pose a challenge since you are in your late 20s?
Ans: First of all I would not put myself in the space of Sadhguru and Shree Shree, they are doing tremendous work, maybe I am doing 10% of what they are doing. Secondly, if you look at it from a very common point of view, maybe age is a restriction, but if you google and figure out some stories which are running these days on the news channels, so many youngsters are achieving more than people who are of 40s and 50s age, like Tanmay Bakshi, he was in IBM then he got an offer from Google, just a 15 year old and a cloud champion. I was recently reading an article, a kid of 5 years old from Canada started a business of bow ties, and he is earning millions of dollars. So what I am trying to say is I guess it’s not about the age, it’s about your purpose of being born and sometimes there are kids in the world they just realise what they are born for and they start doing it. Now in my case, my space is a little spiritual and scientific and more of personal coaching which obviously a lot of grey-haired people do, so that’s why it’s difficult, but I have seen if people hear of me maybe they will think of me as too young to be doing this but I have seen whenever they have had a conversation with me even for 2 minutes, they have come for the workshop. So if you look at me in terms of age, definitely nobody is going to believe it but if we have a conversation, whatever people have done with me and whatever conversation they have had, they have always come back, they have got referrals, we have helped a lot of people through those channels. So age is not really a problem for me now but yes, from a common point of view you can say that.
Q10. If I were to look at being a life coach as a career, how is this career from an engagement perspective, financial stability perspective, from getting famous, what would be your take on that?
Ans: First of all, what is the objective of becoming a life coach. Like you said, there’s a plethora of life coaches in the market and they want to become popular through whatever they are doing. If the objective is to just give a motivational session to people, and motivate them to understand more about life or whatever they are doing, I guess they are many people, and if you want to become like them, I really don’t guarantee what kind of fame or money that you will earn, because it depends on how you speak and how much are people buying you. but if I look in the second space of things, if you are really out there with a genuine objective, something that you have realised in your life through your practices, and that has changed your life entirely, has changed people whoever has come in contact with you, if you really want to help people, then obviously there’s a market. So many people need help, and if we look at the population of the world, it’s almost 7 billion, so obviously I cannot reach out to 7 billion people. So if more people come out with that understanding, with that realization that they are there in the market to support, definitely people would listen to them. For the first engagement you can fool around, but once people come in contact with you, they know whether you are genuine or not and the second time they won’t turn up. So this market is there only for people who really want to bring about a change and not just get famous. I think fame should be secondary, it will eventually come with your work, work is more important.
The monetary part depends on what kind of experience you can get people. If you have a very strong foundation and if you really understand things, I am sure people would love to pay for your workshops and attend it no matter what you are charging because they know the end result is going to be amazing. Don’t fake around saying I am a motivational speaker. I am not a motivational speaker that I want to say about myself. Whenever people tell me we have a stage, we need a motivational speaker, would you do it? I tell them if you call me a motivational speaker, I will definitely not do it. I really believe in bringing a change than just motivating people because the science of motivation is such, once you motivate a person, that person is just motivated about 6–8 hours a day, probably till next day morning. Later than that, the motivation fades away and you go back to your own patterns and beliefs that are there in your brain because that has been there for a long time and motivation is just a passing wind, it goes off. So we don’t believe in motivating people at all, we really believe in bringing the truth out, telling them what they are, making them understand what life is, what universe is, what reality is, and help changing their life, break their patterns, break their limiting beliefs, do something, don’t just speak about it by actually experiencing. So my workshops are more experiential than just talking so that’s how it goes.
Q11. What would be your advice to youngsters who are facing a lot of stress due to their academic pressures? Is stress normal?
Ans: Stress definitely is not normal. How competitive exams are taking a toll on the students, the solution is in the question. They call it competitive and the word itself is very challenging to students. If you just tell your child to go and just sit for the exam, the child surely won’t feel any stress of excelling or failing, but when you tell your kid to appear for an exam, you give that feeling that hardly any number of people is coming out of the exam so you are going to sit for an exam out of which only 1% come out with flying colors, so that feeling is already given now that feeling is the competition. Very briefly I will tell you what happened in my life. When I was in my school, nobody told me this but I had this naturally in my mind, for every exam I used to study in my own, way write in my own way, never cared about marks and I used to be very happy. I never competed in anybody in my class. There used to instances when my teachers used to tell me to compete with others, I always told them the other person is getting the marks according to what he wrote, I got the marks for what I wrote. They used to be shocked at my casual approach, but it was not a casual approach. I always believed in not thinking of competition and that’s how I excelled in my life. The main problem is the objective that it is competitive. Why can’t we have this in our mind that we are going for an exam giving our best. That’s it. With that open mindset if you go, even if you don’t know the answers, since you don’t have stress, you will be able to think something and write. The whole problem is that you have stress, you get nervous and you don’t know what to write, you are constantly thinking whether you will pass or not. How about taking the experience of the question?
The other thing is, our body was not manufactured to take stress, because if you understand even the science of our body, 97% of the diseases that humans have comes from stress. It shows that our body was never designed to take stress. It is designed to take air, water, food, not stress. We are manufactured for wellness, peace, happiness, so when you put in a foreign element in your body, definitely it will take a toll on you. Stress is something that we take, but we have the choice of not taking it.
Q12. What’s your own mental, physical and spiritual regime?
Ans: For physical fitness, I believe in yoga. I have been doing yoga since a young age and that really helps me in balancing my body with my mind and for spirituality, I have been a meditator for a long time and I know when I meditate and start my day how is it different from other days when I don’t meditate. So meditation is a very important part of my regime. How I work with my mind is whenever I am in a situation, I always think it as a third person in that situation. I always look at situations as a third person and it’s always easy for me to go through it.
Q13. How do people start their journey on self-empowerment? What is the kind of impact do you think can happen in the life of an individual because of your workshops? What is your modus operandi?
Ans: The meaning of TatTvamAsi is “you are that”. ‘That’ means the powerful light, the powerful being that you are. Under TatTvamAsi we have various workshops, they are designed in a way to first let you understand who you are and how are you behaving in your life and who are the people around you, how are you engaging with them in creating a reality and if you change your perception, how does your reality change. So we work on those lines and then there are levels of workshop. Once you are done with level 1, say, there’s level 2, where we help you revive your brain by helping you with practices which actually breaks your sub-conscious patterns and any kind of limiting beliefs that you have in your life. Generally, the modus operandi is, I would explain certain concepts which are very important in an interactive way, we do activities which give them a take-away, meditations, there are a lot of meditations in the world but your body needs what is very important. So looking at challenges, looking at what they are suffering from, we try to give them a particular thing to do which helps them in overcoming that particular peace. For example, if somebody has concentration issues, we have a way of 5-minute meditation that the person can do in a particular way that enhances concentration. So there will be different things, different products for different people depending upon their issues. It would end with a personal coaching where I will may be give them a 21-day plan or a 10-day plan which they have to follow to come out of their particular pattern. Everything is action-oriented, nothing is knowledge-oriented that I will just share the knowledge and end the session. We try to convert our knowledge into action.
Q14. What are your final thoughts for youngsters coming across this interview?
Ans: What we need to do as youngsters is that we always need to understand whatever we are experiencing outside, be it a failure, be it an emotional flux, it’s all coming from within. We all created that. If we can believe in concepts, it gives us the remote control in our hand, we can change our beliefs to match the enhanced reality. So whenever you are in a situation: 1. Don’t blame it on others, 2. Whenever you are appearing for an exam, don’t think it’s competitive, it is competitive but if you want to give your best don’t think it is competitive and that’s when you will excel because you will bring out your potential on the paper, 3. If we live more consciously, everything in our life can change. A lot of things in my life changed because I believed in it, I consciously changed a lot of negative habits, negativities inside me, and it made me excel in every direction. So I understood the switch to success, the switch to love, the switch to better family, every switch is inside. We just don’t know how to turn it on. If you know how to turn it on, you have abundance in life in everywhere, and that can happen only when you go for your inside journey in true sense through some practices. If you go deeper inside you, every possibility is possible.