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Meghashyam Chirravoori
Meghashyam Chirravoori

Meghashyam Chirravoori

Head, Personal-development-is-fun.com, SherlockHolmes-fan.com and Grammar Gang

Personal Development Is Fun

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I think one thing is essential - providing positive reinforcement and encouraging students to do what excites them.
Let me explain. Currently, students are given a lot of negative feedback unless they are exceptionally talented. But most students are average and they are criticised, coaxed to do better etc. This creates a strong belief in the minds of most students that they are no good, that they are not worthy. After having interacted with many students at IIT and other places, I've seen that many students are afraid of speaking on stage, afraid of expressing their opinions, afraid of standing out. If a student is afraid of doing something on his own, he will only end up being a cog in the wheel when he grows up. I therefore feel that genuine appreciation at every stage - by parents, teachers and mentors is very essential. It will make the student realize that it is OK for him to think for himself. When people truly think about what their heart says, development skyrockets.
Favorite Books and Articles
The Kindness of Strangers by Mike McIntyre. The book chronicles Mike's journey across America without any money. It was startling to read how Mike had enough money but chose to carry zero dollars on his trip. Mike did successfully complete his journey in 6 weeks. That made me realize how much our social conditioning values money and other essentials like a TV, a home, a car etc. It made me realize (if only for some moments) that joy lies in being grateful right now and not necessarily in acquiring things. Acquiring things can be exciting but you can't depend on only them for joy.
Family Background
My parents were born and brought up in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh. They settled in Chandigarh however where I was brought up. My childhood had both southern and northern influences and I am glad about this because this helped me to not get extremely attached to set patterns if thinking.

I am the only child of my parents. This helped me become interested in reading since a young age (since there was nothing else to do :)).
My father is a scientist and my mother is a Professor. Being from an academic background, both of them were naturally surprised when I told them about my interest in personal growth and entrepreneurship.
Favorite subject
English without doubt. That sounds weird coming from an IIT grad but then I have LOVED communication and creative expression since being a child. I've loved reading and writing essays and poems. The interest translated into some awards and marks when I was a child and now I am also an English grammar teacher myself - which completes the cycle.
First Job Expectation
I am currently not looking for a job. If I did look for one, this is what would be important:
1 The work itself should be exciting and should expose me to new situations frequently

2 The company should have a free, trusting, creativity boosting work culture

3 The job should teach me something on a monthly basis at least - a job becomes stale without new learnings
Most proud accomplishment
If I had to choose one, I would choose being declared first in Chandigarh in creative writing in 2000. I was asked to write many stories, essays, paragraphs etc and I wrote everything in the form of a poem. I consider it to be an important accomplishment because I expressed my creativity completely and wholly and was recognised for it as well. That was satisfying.
Career Expectations
I am currently the creator of 2 websites, so I can talk about what changes I expect in the world of the Internet/ technology to take place.
1 More and more people will access the Internet on their mobile phones
2 Apps will become stunningly popular and everyone and their cat will have an app
3 E books will become more popular than real books and many more people will start using e-readers and e reading apps.
Time Management
I ask myself - will this help me with this year's goals? If yes, it gets top priority. I set goals for the year in advance. I believe this is important if anything significant has to be achieved through the course of the year. Otherwise it is easy to be busy and get nothing that you truly desire done at the end of the year.
About Myself
I graduated from IIT Roorkee in 2009. I wanted to do something different that excited me, so I did not sit for campus placements. I started Personal-development-is-fun.com - an inspirational website where I write about what I learn everyday. I've been conducting and sharing experiments related to fear, meditation, goals etc on the site since 2009. I could not successfully turn this website into a business, so I eventually did take up a job. After working at a conventional post-IIT job for 3 years, I again quit in May 2012 because I wanted to work on something more exciting on my terms.

In 2013, I started a website called Sherlockholmes-fan.com. I also started offline grammar and vocabulary classes for children along with my wife Krupa (I had fallen in love and gotten married in the years after college).

Currently entrepreneurship (both online and offline) excites me. I still remain a personal growth enthusiast and share what I learn at personal-development-is-fun.com.
Challenges facing by students
Balancing the pressure to get a job and be market ready with doing what excites them and pursuing it. If a student is very excited by an idea and wants to experiment with it, can he do it? Or should he give in and do something that will make him instant money? That's the challenge.
Most influenced factor
Steve Pavlina from StevePavlina.com has been a great influence. Reading some articles made me think - is it important to constrain yourself and choose something that is in demand? Could I not start with what excited me first and then think about demand? This influenced my career path.
Spare time activities
I read mystery novels and non-fiction that excites me in my free time. I also like to meditate or feel gratitude for what I have sometimes. I love watching funny or interesting shows on YouTube as well.
Most flourishing college experience
I organized and anchored many debates and quizzes at college. One of the quizzes was part of the college cultural festival and had participants from across north India. The quiz was a success and I loved organizing it. I also learn how to entertain an audience, faced my fears and connected with many new people - all this made it very rewarding.
My uniqueness
I am fascinated by the idea of facing my fears. If I am afraid of something, I will generally try to do that thing. This does not happen every time but it does leads to many new learning.

Another unique trait is my insistence on honesty, especially in situations where telling a lie could give me a profit. I would not say that I've never lied ever, but most of the time I refuse to lie even if it is something inconsequential like telling someone ' I am busy right now' when I am not. For instance I told a friend who wanted to meet me that I did not feel like meeting him that day. I said it lovingly and without any harshness but I did not lie and say 'I am caught up and so I can't meet you'.
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