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It’s very hard to put out in words about the person you admire because it is completely altogether a different feeling when you have consumed so much from your mentor, it is difficult to pin point on some particularities
Well, it was a dream come true to work with him and learn so much, I never in the wildest of dreams imagined that I would get an opportunity to work with him
It was definitely like a fan boy moment for me
That’s when I really understood the real power of our subconscious mind.
When we genuinely wish for anything and not only wish but get hard to strive to get closer and take actions for the same, nothing would be impossible.
Ultimately, the efforts must be relentless
Having the right mentor is very important in life, to which you can surrender
At first, you need to surrender and through his teachings is where you find yourself
So at the end of the day you end up following your inner voice, your instincts
There is no way that you will tend to copy him but understand his teachings, process it through your brains and then when it final comes out of you it would be the most potent form of idea or thoughts.
The major challenge lies and where most people hold themselves back is from surrendering
They have the fears of
What if I get carried away with a particular thought process?
What if I lose my own identity in this process?
What if I fail?
What if I start to design like him?
How would I step back into my shoes?
There will be many ‘what if’, ‘what if’s’ stopping you from moving forward
Instead you replaces the ‘What if’s’ by ‘Why not’s’, things can work
They say that,
If you want to learn from people you look up to just observe how they behave, think, talk to others, operate their business etc.
Here are the top 11 things (both professional and personal) I learned from my mentor
1. Profound Knowledge (Avid Reader)
Be it architecture, design, culture, history, life etc. and guess what; he has it all with him. The idea in this which intricates me is how he uses all the learning’s of different aspects of life into design
2. Simple Human
I have had the opportunity to work with him closely, during which I discovered that he is a human of “Simple living and High Thinking”
All energies only concentrated towards design.
3. Integrating Nature Into Built Spaces
A great practioner of Nature as a Therapy, this is nothing to do with medical terms but using the power of nature to stimulate your senses.
Incorporating nature by bridging the gap of what is outside is inside.
So you do not feel the transition from open space to entering a built form.
4. Man with a humungous energy
A designer’s life most often faces a mental overload and tends to drain energy out of you.
But the most fascinating thing I have observed is his energy levels throughout the day, month, and years is the same as it was yesterday.
A powerhouse of positive energy
5. Positive Powerhouse
Our Physical behaviour is an outcome of the thought process that is running through our mind
Being a designer, it is obvious that due to relentless struggles in design the feeling of negativity starts to rise quickly and comes out in the form of negative actions
Handling negative thoughts, actions are far more the most difficult thing to overcome.
When you are stuck in the same situation you look up to your mentor, how he handles them
We start to imagine some mysterious things behind it
But, instead of making it to mysterious he makes it extremely simple of negating the word negativity out of your dictionary and seeing at each and every thing in life, design in only a positive way
So the word negativity doesn’t even exist in his books
I still remember a situation where, a very famous architect was trying to criticise his work in his presence
And the very obvious reason would be to give a rebound shot
But instead he chose to be humble and take it in a positive way with his own set of arguments
This was enough to shock everyone (like me per say) around with his kind gesture.
There is also a saying,
“When you look at things negatively, everything will appear negative to you but when you look at is positively there is no question of negative curve rising”
6. People in Centre Approach
The first approach even before starting to think about a space, he always places the human in centre of design and starts to think backwards of how one would feel in this space, what will he discover once he moves his foot forward or backward, how will he feel the wind coming, the light falling on him.
Why I resonate with this approach is that fortunately Architecture and Design is a process in which there is an end user unlike painters or artists to whom we have to cater.
Well, I may not be wrong to define his personality in one word which is ‘abundance’
Abundance of knowledge,
Abundance of ideas,
Abundance of positivity,
Abundance of groundedness,
Abundance of energy,
Abundance of power,
Abundance of inspirations,
Abundance of self-discipline,
Abundance of giving value,
And much more….
But, Abundance has become a very costly word today
It’s because we operate from a scarcity mind set
The Top #1 thing that comes to mind is, what if I give my friend the top 1 idea in my mind
There is a fabulous quote by Zig Ziglar which says,
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
8. Mentor with a lions heart
They often say “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
When you give more than you have in your pocket, you receive more than you imagine.
His heart is always open to offerings than takings
He often helps his student’s with work which in itself is quite a big move.
9. Everything can become inspiration
The human being’s existence, from non-living things, people moving around, activities taking place around to the objects that we use can become a source of inspiration.
It is fascinating to see how animals, pulled out drawers, an opened pomegranate, dreams in the night turn into built forms.
And the peculiarity of this is that he is damn successful in bringing all these ideas into reality in agreement with the end user
Dreaming about ideas is the easiest part which each one is capable of, but the real game lies in converting that top idea into reality in measurable terms
“A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.” – Louis Kahn
He is the true genius and very few people actually are, in crafting a immeasurable idea to manifest in a measurable form and adding a more humanistic approach in the most sympathetic way possible.
10. Monk Like Discipline
The most common statement that can be heard is “I want to stand out from the crowd”.
Following this we purposely try to do things differently and achieve small success
We get glued to small successes so much that we cannot resist our temptations without thinking about the long term goals
Long term goals are the ones which are required to succeed in business
Long term goals are driven by self-discipline
Self-Discipline acts as a driving force to your success
This is the ultimate formula that I discovered from him the most
You got to perform today, tomorrow and continue to until your last breath
He has been following this and performing consistently for years
Winners are fueled by discipline, NOT by temptations.
11. Competition does not exist
In the world full of rat race today, everyone is trying to compete with each other.
In the process of competition, we forget the real us
But the truth is,
Actually Competition does not exist
It only exists in our mind
There is room for everyone
There is enough available in the market to serve for
Each one of them has their unique style and can bring out the best flavour out
You only feel the competition when there is something wrong in your business.
You have to be in your cocoon and just be the better version of you each day
Amongst all, this would be the greatest lesson which I learnt from him.
Most people think it is difficult to find a mentor, but actually it is as simple as the values, ideas, intentions that you resonate with in the long run.
I’ve been blessed to discover such a mentor at the very start of my career.
I have studied many great architects, designers and people from other professions too, but what I find more intriguing about him is that apart from being a great architect he is a great human being too with his roots grounded to kindness.
One of my favourite quotes by him would surely be,
“Architecture is a process of falling in love with an idea and a relentless fight for its realization. But in this process, one never seems to capture what one wants and hence the process goes on and on”. – Sanjay Mohe
Do you think it is important to have a mentor who can show you the path?
Who are your mentors and what have you learnt from them?
Let me know below what you feel about it?