In today’s episode, we will be narrating to you the interesting story of an IAS who later served as Vice-Chancellor of SGT University in Gurgaon, Haryana and is currently he is working in a regulatory body of real estate in the state of Uttar Pradesh but all this while he still never forgot to live his passion, helped others through it and followed his heart. Retired IAS Balvinder Kumar shared his experience with us that how he made this possible to live his passion and help others not only being in force but on a personal level as well.
Read the detailed interview of then IAS and now a motivational speaker and writer Balvinder Kumar with NLC Assistant Editor Lakshika Thakur.
Q. After working as an IAS, how is your new journey which is completely different from your previous role?
Since long back I had a keen interest in reading and writing and first tried my hand on it ten years back. When in 2007, I got suspended for a few months, and because I had plenty of free time with me, this is when I started painting and created around 100 pieces. Simultaneously, I also ventured into spiritual and neuroscience reading as per my interest which was quite spontaneous. Though, I am still not a retired person as I am working as a member of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority of Uttar Pradesh so whenever I get leisure time I indulge myself in writing. To date, I have written four books on science and spirituality. After authoring these books now I even thought to start writing articles for a layman to develop that understanding and implement it in their lives.
Q. What made you write on the topic of Positive Aging?
What I believe is one should have an expanded awareness. Until and unless you understand the intricacies of life you can’t lead a healthy life. Especially due to aging people face several problems and live a highly habitual and conditioned life which also restricts our thinking, behavior, emotions, and actions which also hinders our growth and development. The aftermath of retirement is not so exciting, we don’t get to encounter new things but just leave a repetitive life. So what I wanted to convey through my writings is that if you want to live longer, you should not only lead an active life with a good diet but also experience and learn new things every day, a ‘Mantra’ from slow aging and happy life.
Q. How according to you can the economically backward families maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle?
From a good diet, I mean to avoid intake of unhealthy food such as sugar and fats in large quantities. So, this way I think a healthy diet can be afforded by most of the people barring people who are extremely poor and for the ones who possibly can, awareness regarding the topic is very important. About 70% of the people die due to many severe diseases namely heart and lung diseases, cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc which are acquired due to an unbalanced lifestyle. And in fact, it is contradictory that who have comparatively more money or belongs to high class lives a healthy lifestyle but it is basically your mindset what kind of diet you consume and how active you are living your life i.e. regularly doing physical and mental exercises. What I see even if people exercise regularly, for an instance they walk regularly do it half-heartedly rather than doing it whole-heartedly which is very beneficial for the heart. So at last I want to emphasize three major things, i.e. to lead an active life by regularly exercising, to have a balanced and healthy diet and not the least to experience and explore new things, to work on our passion and interests.
Q. What do you emphasize more to support or motivate people with your thoughts and ideas?
I generally emphasize two major things, i.e. to come out of your comfort zones and try and explore new things and expand our awareness. More than 90% of people lead a very habitual and repetitive lifestyle and they don’t want to come out of their comfort zones with the fear of failure or fear of taking risks. Due to this they plentiful opportunities which are otherwise available everywhere. Also, one should have a focused life. There is also a very old saying that “We are, What We Think!” because once you know your purpose in life, you will work intentionally and consciously to achieve your goal or purpose in life and will one day accomplish it.
Q. What ways have you basically adopted or think to adopt to motivate or offer help to especially younger people in this new age media?
I realized that most of us are indulged in far more interesting things that are going on in our social lives. Especially social media has a huge impact on most of the people these days. Especially the younger section of our society is far more engaged in it due to interesting and the exposed environment of social media they get on their plate and getting exposure to a plethora of interesting content out there, no one would be interested to shift to something which is comparatively less interesting or catchy. In this new media age, getting someone’s attention is not an easy deal to crack. So, as an alternative to that, I started publishing articles of maximal 30 minutes reading on my website with catchy layout and pictures.
Q. Do you remember any personal experience or any memory of speaking especially to younger people or if you ever received any different reactions from them?
I have a number of times interacted with various university/college students. For a few months, I was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of SGT University, Gurugram and during that period I took many sessions motivational speaking with them. So, I even understand the dilemma of the younger people or the students that in the limited available time they want to spend it being on social media, in fact, these days most of the tasks are handled using mobile sets and social media which is also a distraction to them. Even if you will offer someone a good amount of money in exchange of not using their mobile phones for a single day, no one will be accepting that offer(chuckles) which highlights one of the major issues with the younger generations that they are unable to decrease their activities on mobile phones or social media.
You can read all the writings, books, articles, etc. by Mr. Balvinder Kumar on his website balvinder.org
Q. Do you believe social media/new age media is responsible for most of the people facing depression, stress, or anxiety?
As I said, there is plentiful digital distraction due to which our mind remains unfocused and moves in multiple directions. The distracted or restless mind is very unhappy and unhealthy which later arouses in someone a feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction and results in possible cases of depression and anxiety which are increasing every day. It is extremely difficult to engage younger people in activities other than spending time on social media. All over the world cases of depressions are increasing sharply due to the same reason and the widely affected group includes school, university, and college students and this pandemic is an add-on for aggravating their depression and anxiety issues.
Q. After so many years of being a motivational speaker & writer, how do you feel about having so much experience in this field now?
One becomes more contented and conscious about their thoughts, getting more aware of themselves and their emotions increase their level of satisfaction in life and keep them at ease. In fact, I also practice meditation for the same, which keeps me happy to lead a healthy and happy life.
Q. Is there any other dream or desire which you think is still left to be achieved or you think you are missing out because it is said that a person never retires?
I think I have achieved everything that one wishes for (chuckles) and now I am a very contented and satisfied person.
Q. Is there anything that you would like to convey to our readers?
Everyone should become habitual to mental and physical exercises and stay healthy. There are a number of distractions and issues nowadays which take a toll on someone’s mental status so to keep up with that and stay healthy is a crucial part to emphasize.