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Age of the life changers

They deliver the much-needed dose of optimism in our lives, they provide solutions and strategies to manage setbacks. Vandana Ramnani catches up with some New Age gurus

education Updated: Aug 12, 2009 14:04 IST
Vandana Ramnani

motivational speakers Pramod and Vijay Batra

Passion for motivation

Are you in need of a good, motivating speech that rewires you and has you raring to have a go at your job and your life again? Father and son duo Pramod and Vijay Batra, both successful motivation experts, will be more than glad to help you out.

Pramod Batra, 73, graduated from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi and did his MBA from the University of Minnesota, US. He got the urge to become a motivational speaker after working in Escorts for 33 years. “What encouraged me to become a full-time motivation expert is not only my fondness for management one-liners but also the fear of what would I do when I retire at 58, he says, adding “This encouraged me to work smarter and harder. This included writing for the house journal, reading management books and learning from corporate experiences,”

Batra’s son Vijay, 47, has an MBA from a US University and was a vice president with a Japanese Bank. He does 15-20 seminars a month and charges something like a lakh per seminar.

Motivators are professionals who share their life experiences with people at gatherings generally comprising employees, trainees and even corporate honchos. They help boost morale and even change the way you think about others and your life. They need to have excellent communication skills and a sense of humour, says Batra. “We can take a horse to the water but it’s the horse which needs to drink,” he adds. As for remuneration, it would depend upon your marketing skills, your contacts and oratorial prowess.

A motivator can earn anything between Rs. 10,000 per month to Rs. 3,00,000 per month. But the sky surely is the limit!

Learning acquired from: Self-learner

Earnings: Anything between Rs 10,000 - Rs 3,00,000 per month


Tarot card reader Seema Midha

All in the tarot cards

The Hanged Man, The Tower, Death, The Devil and the like can actually help you map out your life?

Her fascination for tarot cards goes back to the time when she was majoring in psychology. The intelligent quotient cards were her favourite. One meeting with a US based tarot card reader in Mumbai helped her make up her mind to pursue what she calls a “scientific logical therapy.”

Meet Dr Seema Midha, an Army officer’s wife who’s been a tarot card reader and numerologist since 1999. For her, communication skills, a passion for numbers, a desire to help people and instill confidence in them are musts to become an ace tarot reader. A person pursuing psychology knows the human mind well and is well versed in the art of counselling others and is, therefore, the right candidate to take up reading tarot cards.

College students can take up tarot as a hobby but it’s best to taste life and experience it first-hand before advising others, she says, adding it is important for a card reader to develop trust and enthuse confidence in others before thinking about fees. “One earns well when one earns the trust and the confidence of one’s clients.”

And what about updating one’s knowledge? “I’m updated by the American Tarot Association and its members,” says Midha.

Learning acquired from: Self-interest

Earnings: The sky is the limit

Sujok expert Arti kumar

Sujok specialist

If you're a physiotherapist or an orthopedic surgeon you can use the knowledge of sujok to add value and to get better results in treatment
Absence of a cure for her father-in-law’s frozen shoulder inspired Dr Arti Kumar to take up Sujok, a South Korean natural method of treatment. Since 1996, she’s tried her hand at various therapies – Chinese meridian, acupuncture... But it was in sujok that she found her calling. Today, she's among the few sujok practitioners in the world and also a qualified instructor. Training generally is for six months. She also practices twist therapy.

“I have been practicing this therapy for the last 13 years and have treated patients with cerebral palsy, spine disorders, knee, hip and shoulder joint problems,” she says. The concept and principles are same for both sujok and acupuncture as both are based on Oriental philosophy of Yin-Yang principle and the five elements.

There are numerous tools used for sujok, some of which include micro needles, and an assortment of magnets.

Anybody can learn sujok. It’s a therapy for which one requires a license to practice from the International Sujok Academy, Moscow. “It helps if you're a physiotherapist or an orthopaedic surgeon. You can apply the knowledge to get better results for treatment,” she says.

As for the cost, “It's anything between Rs 500- s 1000 per sitting. The patient visits us generally twice or thrice a week,” she adds.

Learning acquired from: Acupuncture and Sujok Centre, Allahabad

Earnings: Anything between Rs 500- Rs 1000 per sitting

New age guru Dinesh Ghodke

Brand youth

To empower the youth is the greatest challenge, says Dinesh Ghodke
Dinesh Ghodke burnt the midnight oil studying Metallurgy and Material Science at IIT Bombay, worked as a software engineer at Infosys but decided to work towards empowering the youth.

Ghodke pursued the Art of Living course while studying at IIT when he was 19. “That's when I realised that the practical wisdom and powerful techniques that I learned during the workshop could be the very solution to tackle the plight of the youth of our country and elsewhere,” he says.

He loves challenges and adventure and thinks that while climbing a big mountain or jumping out of a plane is adventurous, it’s far more challenging to be able to contribute meaningfully to another individua’s life and bring in a sense of purpose and achievement.

He conducts a range of workshops on Youth Empowerment and Skills (YES!+); yoga and meditation, Mathemagic (to get rid of the irrational fear of maths), SMS (Studies Made Simple), music appreciation and vegetarian cooking. “We also get the youth to actively engage in organising / participating in music, sports, and drama, along with projects of social relevance,” he says.

And how much can one expect to earn as a life changer/ motivator? “I wouldn’t invite people to choose this as a career option just for the money. Yes, you do earn fairly well, however, I have seen people fail miserably at what they set out to do, if their primary motivation is to make money.”

Any training institutes? “I am licensed to teach yoga, meditation and life skills programmes by the Art of Living Foundation. After a two-year stint at Infosys, I have been in this field for the last 15 years and we've reached out to more than 60,000 youth in India,” he adds.

Learning acquired from: Art of Living

Earnings: A fair amount

spiritual guide Nithya shanti

Initiating inner change

A genuine desire to make a difference in people's lives, an open mind, a willingness to learn and challenge the norm make a great motivator, says Nithya Shanti

He’s an MBA from XLRI, an economics and psychology graduate from Fergusson College, Pune, and has lived many years as a Buddhist monk in forest monasteries. Ask Nithya Shanti about what made him lead such an interesting life and he’ll tell you that it was a desire to make a difference in his own life and that of others that led him to become a life changer.

“I had a simple question as a child: How can I be truly happy? How can I help others be happy? This is what put me on the path... The intention to make a difference in my own life and that of others. I began reading books, having discussions with wise people and eventually began to meditate regularly. I did meditation retreats and even taught meditation to children when I was in college. Eventually I decided to become a monk and deepen my understanding even further. It was all a natural progression,” he says.

He sees himself as a catalyst for inner change. Motivators focus on behaviour and attitude change. Spiritual teachers focus on a transformation of the heart and a recognition of one’s true nature.

He works with individuals and groups, children and young adults, spiritual seekers and corporate executives, people with emotional and physical challenges, etc. He moulds his teachings to suit the audience. There are talks, workshops and retreats.

Ask him about how much one can expect to earn as a life changer and he says that he’s willing to ‘pay’ to do what he does. “If one has this attitude then the money will follow. One will earn according to the benefit one is able to offer society. It’s that simple,” he adds.

And the skill sets required are a genuine desire to make a difference in people’s lives, good communication skills, enthusiasm, and deep knowledge of the subject one is passionate about, a sense of humour and most, important, humility.

Learning acquired from: Reading books, having discussions with wise men and meditation

Earnings: One will earn according to the benefit one is able to give society. It's that simple