“Be a volunteer, leader and a change-maker!” This forms the motto of Anurag’s work and life. Dreams play an important role in shaping the mission of his life journey. He believes in the power of dreams and encourages every individual to find and follow their dreams. A software engineer by education; a teacher, an educationist and a trainer by profession; a dreamer and a traveler by passion; and committed earth volunteer by responsibility, he has contributed exceptionally in the field of volunteering, education, environment, leadership and sustainability. He conceptualized the idea of ‘The Family of Global Volunteers’ to create an experiential learning platform for children during his Teach for India fellowship. He has ventured from the deserts of Rajasthan, where he belongs, to the icy cold majestic land of Antarctica with Sir Robert Swan and 2041 team.
He has an incredible potential to inspire people, transform ideas and lead the change. His strong belief in the potential of the children, positive attitude and potential to inspire young people makes him a wonderful role model. His lifestyle, contagious enthusiasm and energy, and the values he conveys play a vital role in inspiring people to act and become active participants in their work and communities. Holding an extremely hopeful and positive attitude towards life, he practices quiet time and seeks inspiration from his inner voice as he strongly believes that leadership comes from within through personal change.
The idea of personal transformation (yeah! for the first time), it appealed to me – how does that look like? I was curious to know and learn; how does that start and sustain longer? Everyone have setbacks in life, but the process of reflection helps us to move ahead. So, here is a piece of reflection over my ongoing journey proudly living on that idea. I do make mistakes, but now I have that courage to seek (or ask) solutions for challenges and by process of honest self-introspection (or guided-reflection). Imagine an individual who is living for living, studying for studying and working for working without knowing the true essence of the actions or purpose behind the hard efforts he is putting into it. That individual could possibly be me.
“A line --------------- (a scalar quantity) evolved into a ray ------------------> (a vector quantity)". By this mathematical jargon, I mean to say this process of evaluating our life and actions on absolute moral standards gave me the path or the direction to move or the lost faith or the self confidence. For others, it could be something which may decide that course of life and how do you want to pursue that journey. A ‘line’ is ‘without direction’ and a ‘ray’ is ‘with direction’, and a fixed-segment based definition is out of bounds for me; that just doesn’t matches my personality. It has been a conditional journey (with some expectations laid before). It started a few years ago with the condition that I will gain back my lost faith and confidence in my actions and it has been an incredible journey so far where I realized that just such conditions do not justify my close and dear association with MRA. It is the idea and people, the inspiring stories of individuals and role-models, the stories which leave you with powerful questions to reflect and seek for solutions, drives back to MRA and work to build a stronger movement within and outside. P.S.: How can I forget to mention the natural beauty of Asia Plateau?
In the process of filtering the dirt off – it prepares us to think consciously to filter and wash off our dirt (ugly actions) and to produce a cleaner, brighter, fresher and organic lotus blossoming within us. Also, it gave me that bandwidth where I can spent that “quality-time” just with myself and nature to look back into those broken threads of family relationships, kinship, or friendship. It guides me to take those immediate steps to re-bond and bring them all together. This process of local or global change begins at the personal level when the courage you show and challenge yourself to take that small peace-building and gap-bridging initiative with your actions. This place reminds me every time of the commitments I have made to myself and the goals to achieve and helps me to introspect and reflect back into my actions to achieve them and refine them.
Personally, it strengthens my belief into that process of giving that additional trust factor which may result into positive actions and overall a constructive impact in our life as well as in the life of others. The choice we make is to live this life on those standards of absolute moral and ethical values which carves a sustainable life style.
This journey always helped me in exploring myself (a little more than ever). I got introduced with this Gandhian idea where we believe change begins with oneself and how much it helped me as an individual to think, to find solutions or response, meeting those situations where I felt “something” is stopping me to do this and what was that “something” stopping me? It was my “personal ego”, which I carry always on the top of my head and which stopped me to face my own shortcomings. I am sure, it always happens with you too. It is not just the courage that you need, to face your own shortcomings, but doing something about it – by giving back that, what we have cheated others of, seeking to rebuild broken relationships, forgiving those who’ve humiliated us, apologizing to those we’ve exploited, ending out addictions and personal injustices. That is how begins the paradigm shift in mindsets of people when they start looking for solution-oriented personal transformation.
Sometimes even when I lose consistency in my actions, I reflect back as to where it is coming from. A constant guidance comes from my inner voice; an incoming ray of hope in despair is how I feel being here and being the part of this movement.
Whenever the real-time dark clouds of ugly thoughts started hindering in my path (to achieve something), the simple principles of honest introspection and a framework of absolute moral standards - purity, honesty, unselfishness and love, played a significant role by measuring my actions and thoughts on those absolute value parameters. Here, we build those relationships of unconditional love and care which is not bounded by any socioeconomic, religious, nationalities, cross-boundary, linguistic or cultural barriers. In those 8 days, we build a nation of multi-race and multi-faith people who work towards change, locally or globally, by starting with a change in their own lives. This 8 day bon voyage begins at Asia Plateau (AP – Initiatives of Change’s International Training Centre located at Panchgani, Maharashtra, India) where diverse youth gather to observe long hours of silence, just to be with ourselves, to look within, to hear those broken relationships from within and act on it. The process of 8 days will help you to learn to live life on uncompromising values, making your own life discipline-centered and making it a phenomenal experience for you.
This 8 day bon voyage begins at Asia Plateau (AP – Initiatives of Change’s International Training Centre located at Panchgani, Maharashtra, India) where diverse youth gather to observe long hours of silence, just to be with ourselves, to look within, to hear those broken relationships from within and act on it. The process of 8 days will help you to learn to live life on uncompromising values, making your own life discipline-centered and making it a phenomenal experience for you.
Two takeaways for me after LMAD YC 2010 were re-strengthened self-belief and self-confidence. It gives that final humane touch to your identity which reflects when you speak or socialize. If we listen consistently, honestly and quietly to that 'inner voice', we can find our part in transformation and healing in our home, workplace, community, and neighborhood or wherever we go. I don’t know from where it is coming, May be this piece of writing lacks an adhered specific format, but it’s coming straight from the heart - it is not just few words I am sharing or jotting down about my journey. I don’t want to make the reader feel this, “He is just got stuck into the words". I will ask you to come, experience it and take away your own personal story of change.
Hope to see you soon.
With a heart full of gratitude,
If you want to write back, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org