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Straight talk on success

PUNCH LINES, motivational talks, and theories on success. They all sound a lot different to those who have read his famous book "You can win". But hearing its author Shiv Khera speak was not any different. His famous punch line "Winners don't do different things, but they do things differently," and much more on success was in store for those who came to attend his programme.

It was `straight talk' on success and motivation. But for a change he was not conducting a personality development programme. Nor was he addressing businessmen and managers. This time though Khera was talking to an altogether different audience-the youth from the city. The platform: "Youth Power India 2003", put together by Rotary Club of Coimbatore Texcity. The idea: to motivate the youth in the city.

Why did he decide to address them? Khera comes with yet another punch line. "Though the youth do not form cent per cent population, they are cent per cent future of the country." The venue, Hindusthan College of Arts and Science, was packed with youth. It was not just the youth. Teachers, school students and a whole lot of others too came for the event. Is he just rephrasing sentences and giving it in a new form?

Khera disagrees with this notion. "I am neither redefining definitions nor playing with words," he tells quite emphatically and continues with his punch lines. He refers to the phrase `business ethics'. He believes that there is nothing called business ethics. If you are in business you have to follow ethics is his argument. What is the inspiration behind his famous book "You can win" and how does he manage to motivate others?

The tough times that he had to undergo in his life made him learn the harder side of life. "There was a time when I did not have money to buy even milk. After my migration I was washing cars to make a living in Canada. Later, I was selling vacuum cleaners. Then I got into several businesses," he says. These experiences provided the inspiration.

What makes someone a winner? "Talkers talk, doers do, and that's the difference between winners and losers." Why do people face problems? "We do not have business problems. What we have are people problems. If we take care of people problems, most of our business problems would get solved," he insists.

Khera says that winners do three things differently. "Winners have the habit of doing things that losers don't like to do," he states. Secondly, "they always put in that extra effort even when it hurts. Winners analyse, sympathise and theorise, but they never rationalise," he states.

What is success after all? He comes with his own explanation. When you look at the lives of successful people you will find that "success is a series of positive decisions while failure is a series of negative decisions," he contends. "Many consultants keep telling people what to do. But most people know what to do. What is missing is motivation. You cannot motivate others. You can only inspire others to motivate themselves."

Straight talk on success

He also talked about inter-personal relationships. Self-esteem is the "way we feel about ourselves." And people do not deal with us just because we are smart. "It is because they are comfortable with us," he quips.

"Too many crackpots wait for the jackpot. But you do not get it that way." According to him vision is the ability to see the invisible. Does one need to compromise on values to be successful? Not at all, he says. In the U.S., Arthur Andersen, a nine billion dollar company went out of business in just a few days purely on the question of values, he says.

Apart from coining famous punch lines Khera gave a new meaning to the existing ones. We all know that practice makes a man perfect. But, Khera does not believe so. "Practice makes permanent whatever you perfect."

Jealousy, fatalistic attitude and indifferent mindset lead to inferiority complex, he says. His talk was interspersed with his trademark "yes, no" questions. And the punch lines kept pouring in. "Mistakes are not the end of the world. But repeating them is."

After "You can win", Khera has written "Living with honour", which was released a few weeks ago. This book is about success and social responsibility.

Khera speak

"WE DO not have business problems. What we have are people problems. If we take care of people problems, most of our business problems would get solved."

Straight talk on success

"WINNERS HAVE the habit of doing things that losers don't like to do,"

"WINNERS ANALYSE, sympathise and theorise, but they never rationalise"

"PRACTICE MAKES permanent whatever you perfect."

"MOST PEOPLE know what to do. What is missing is motivation. You cannot motivate others. You can only inspire others to motivate themselves."

"MISTAKES ARE not the end of the world. But repeating them is."

Flying high

"KEEP YOUR eyes wide open" came the announcement. Soon almost everyone in the crowd looked up. This was not the impressive `Surya Kirans' that you get to see during the air shows.

Straight talk on success

The fly-past by the Indian Air Force (IAF) was meant just to pep up interest.

Three MI-8 helicopters soared past followed by the AN-32, the transport aircraft, known as the "workhorse" of the IAF. There was also a stall displaying the IAF's weaponry and fighter aircraft.

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