Bound by Stories

The future lies in emotional intelligence


Vaidehi Dhakate

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou

Mr. Shekhar Vijayan, an author, motivational speaker, and radio jockey, started his talk at NSoJ auditorium referencing this quote and left the audience filled with passion and zeal.

Mr. Vijayan believes that emotional intelligence is all about storytelling. If one cannot connect with people through stories, one cannot survive. Stories must resonate, build trust and fill on with gratitude. “In today’s world, you need to be relevant but also aware”.

He said: “Due to the pandemic, we have reached a stage in life where we’ve lost the habit of appreciating people (in public). The world has become toxic.” Thus, in today’s world, honesty and openness are important, unlike on social media where people hide their true selves. He believes that godliness lies within, and went on to share an anecdote to explain the concept of a spiritual quotient.

Mr. Vijayan had climbed Mt. Kailash and realized that there was a connection between the mountains and human beings. When one of the locals told him to count from 20 to 1, he initially refused, but eventually counted and blacked out at 10. But there’s a saying amongst the locals that on Mt. Kailash nobody dies. Mr. Vijayan concluded his story by saying that- “when you are in an honest place, nature can tell you who is the boss.”

Mr. Shekhar, being a travel enthusiast, insisted on travelling, meeting new people, creating, collaborating, and respecting others, because everybody has a story. He questioned the audience about what is more important - the journey, destination, or company. To everyone’s surprise, he said it’s the company that is important.

When surrounded by people, emotions come out, be it kindness, humility, compassion, etc. There will be a plethora of opportunities but energy and inspiration come from others. If we keep worrying about competitions, we will forget ourselves in the process.

Mr. Vijayan also emphasized the importance of learning from mistakes and failures. “There will be good days, bad days, worse days, but it is about how you manage your bad days.” He believes the future will have emotional scientists like present-day data scientists.

When asked about who he considers a mentor, Mr. Vijayan used a safety jacket as an example. “A mentor is like a safety jacket when you jump out of the aeroplane because you know that you will land on the ground safe and sound. (A mentor is) Somebody who doesn’t judge you. He has your back.”

“It’s your ability which counts. I will fail today but I will succeed tomorrow or I will win today and fail tomorrow. I am ready for both. I will come back strong.”

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