I grew up with four brothers. My father worked in a typical industrial job in the quality department of a textile company in India.
His job was stressful and didn’t pay much, but it was our only source of income, and he was our sole breadwinner. The only thing that mattered for our family back then was making a living no matter what it takes.
The environment was positive but focused on studies and being good to each other. Dad was the decision-maker and my mother’s role was limited to feeding us, taking care of the house and being a good support system for my father.
Also, everyone I knew; cousins, friends, neighbours, women were their family’s support system, and what they did was more of a duty than a choice.
Having no sisters, no female friends and being a shy boy, my engagements with the opposite sex was limited to few good family times with cousin sisters once a year or unimportant banters and rare chats with girls at the school and then at the college.
All in all, I didn’t understand or even know about females.
Here and there, a little bit of friendship and talks kept building up some perception about women but their roles in my life remained more of an enigma.
Then I discovered Ayn Rand and her philosophy!
Her ideology was centred around objectivism, individuality and excellence.
I read everything that she had ever written.
All her books, fiction and nonfiction, various articles whenever I could get my hands on.
I guess, her being a woman touched something very fundamental inside me. I started seeing women as someone who provokes deep thoughts, insights and excellence.
I think that each of us needs to live for our own sake first before we do things for others. This is as true for others as it is for me. I also understood that the only way to have the freedom to be the way I want to be is to not come in between someone else’s own need to have the same freedom.
Looking back, I believe these learnings from Ayn Rand’s work was one of the most fundamental reasons why I ended up having a very deep connection with my partner, who became my second inspiration.
My marriage with Shilpa was the best thing that happened to me!
I had an arranged marriage and we ended up getting engaged the day we met.
As she entered my life, I saw our relationship as partners on a journey rather than someone who will help me be amazing or as a supporter of my ambition or “now I do not have to worry about food etc!”
It was like – “we were both flying together”!
Shilpa later told me that she used to worry about her partner and because of her own belief about her place in the world, she was concerned that she would have to push hard.
But the day, we met – something about me told her that she wouldn’t have to assert her individuality.
It was a small seed! But it grew to be one of the core foundations of our partnership.
A lot of women end up building their life around their partners, their kids, their extended family and become secondary in the family. Many of them learn to spread their wings in their 40s when kids have grown a bit but the damage of their identity being in shadows is often more extensive than they know.
If I could change something in the world about women, it will be that they need to be aware that they do not need to assert their individuality – it is theirs to celebrate every day, based on how they want to live.
And I’m so glad that is exactly how it turned out for us.
I’m not saying it lightly when I say that my wife has been a bigger influencer than my guide and philosopher Ayn Rand or other remarkable people like Tony Robbins, Brandon Burchard, Tom Bileau, Mel Robbins and others.
All the others who influenced me after her – I could get their ideas and implement them because of this one person, who, for me means more than the entire world put together, who is more to me than my parents, who I love deeply or even my two girls whom I am proud of.
One of the biggest reasons I can relate to many women out there is because I did what most of them end up doing. Be a support system.
I was the support system in my past life – for people at work, people at home, for my friends – guess, the positive side of that is the connection I feel with people but it was something that was hurting me because THAT is not how I saw myself.
More importantly, that is not how Shilpa saw me. She knew the depth, she knew the passion, energy and the wish to change the world.
She made me see, who I was – kept me positive for eternity and became my enabler towards the current path of life.
I still remember, I called her 4 years back and said, “I am resigning”.
She did not ask me – why – she knew it – all she said was “good, finally”.
And I leapt into my powerful space.
That day and never looked back. I took up the road less travelled- enabling others and helping them shine.
All that because of this one person, who has been the biggest influencer for me.
And what makes it amazing is that she is driven to contribute, to make a difference to the world and leave her imprints. When I hear her in a coaching call, changing lives; when I see people sending these messages of love and gratitude for what she has created in their lives – it never ceases to amaze me of how fortunate I am to be in the company of someone who has so much to give and yet is so serene, loving and fulfilled.
Shilpa and I will be publishing our second book soon about how power couples can build an exceptional life and many of the stories and details will make it to the chapters in the book. So I will limit the content here by sharing one last message:
The relationship with women should not be about equality, giving them space, or considering them better halves or that they’re a part of our lives.
My message is that if our uniqueness is important to us, and if our freedom is important to us then add it to your basic belief that none of it is possible or complete without a woman being at her 100%.
A canvas just created of light colours or dark colours or a few colours can turn out to be beautiful but it will always be pale in comparison to a painting that captures the essence of all the colours of existence!
And that is possible only if a woman becomes the best expression of who she truly is!
I am glad that my woman is at her best and we both shine together as a