People who never gave up
I’m not suggesting failure is something we should strive towards, quite the opposite! Realistically failure is a necessary part of life at times, and the best way to handle it is to learn from it.
I know that I’ve made more than my share of mistakes during my career, as well as in my personal life, and they’ve taught me valuable lessons. Some of the most successful and smartest people I know were able to take setbacks and turn them into positives.
The world is full of these ‘successful failures’. Join the tribe and turn your life around too!
Jyotsna Kaur Habibullah
Jyotsna Kaur Habibullah
To rise like a phoenix from the ashes means to emerge from a catastrophe stronger, smarter and more powerful.
Come back soon to book sessions with these amazing inspiring people just like you and me!
Zumba with Zini
This is a story of Perseverance and Patience. This is the story of Zini.
Zini was born with two left feet! She was never a dancer as a child or even as an adult. She felt extremely awkward when she was asked to dance at wedding parties as a kid or as a teenager… Fast forward that to a few decades plus two kids later .. she started discovering her love for dance. She attended her first Zumba class in a local gym in 2015 and fell in love with the concept of Dance Fitness! In January 2016, she attended a Zumba Instructor training and got licensed to teach it out of pure love and excitement for the format but not really with the intention of teaching it anytime soon. To her surprise and encouragement from her neighborhood friends.. she launched her first Zumba®️ & Bollywood Dance Fitness class in September 2016 in a local community center. See attached pic!
A successful class so early in her Zumba career seemed too good to be true.. and yes that’s exactly what it was.. too good to be true.. After just 4 months into teaching, she sustained a foot injury and was out of commission for 7 long months! These were the longest 7 months of her life. She lost all her following / all her students except one very loyal student who stayed with her and is still with her to this very day.. her name is Gail and Gail told her : “Zini, I’ll be there when you start teaching again!”
Zini’s family and friends advised her not to go back into teaching this high impact format so as to not sustain any more injuries, however Zini’s love for dance drew her back into teaching Zumba and BollyX - The Bollywood Workout once again at the same community center - this time with a very small student base since she had lost all her following.
She wanted to try something new and changed her class location and started renting out the reception area at a friend’s “batting cage” to teach her classes .. this place had no air conditioning, no wood floors, was small and not a very attractive place for a dance fitness class. However, her class numbers started to grow here once again until the space to accommodate students started running out! She quickly moved her class to a local gym called Anytime Fitness where she was able to accommodate her growing class as well as offer them a better environment to workout in!
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, she didn’t stop teaching a single day.. she quickly transitioned her classes onto Zoom to keep her students active, healthy and fit during the pandemic which they were very grateful for. She kept the classes absolutely FREE since a lot of people had lost their jobs due to the pandemic and also opened up the class to the rest of the world and not just her local students. People from India, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Europe, the East coast, Central US and the Bay Area, CA started joining her.
Little did she know that the pandemic would last so long and after 19 months of teaching Free classes, she has recently starting accepting payment for her classes.
Ever since Zini first started teaching in 2016, she has been involved with fundraising for various non-profit organizations for causes that are near and dear to her heart. She has done multiple in person and online fundraisers for local as well as non local non profits like India Friends Association, Ekal Vidyalaya, Sankara Eye Foundation, Vibha, One Track International, One Earth and most recently for SciArtsRUs and Artabilities 4 All - a non profit which supports differently Abled artists. She not only fundraises for such organizations but also donates her month’s earnings to these organizations as a way of giving back to the community. She is glad she’s able to use her dancing and teaching skills to support these causes that help people in need.
In her own words: “As long as I can dance, I will continue supporting good causes and giving back to the community!”
Jute For Life
Anjali Singh is a first-generation entrepreneur. She was born is Bhopal and brought up in Lucknow. She went to Carmel Convent, IT College and finally did her MBA from Lucknow University.
After her MBA, Anjali took up various private jobs. In 2009, frustrated of her private job, and a strong social desire to help empower and employ women, she quit her job and formed an association for Jute Artisans. Women were trained on jute projects with the help of National Jute Board and were felicitated with a certificate from the government of India. It wasn’t an easy task. She faced several hardships which included convincing women from rural area to work with her and getting raw material to manufacture the products. Her deep-rooted intolerance to poverty, and problems faced by women and children of underprivileged society, kept her motivated even in the hardest of times.
She started this with only one woman ready to join her but by her constant efforts, today she has more that 500 women employed. When these women could not come out of the village, she took the workspace to the village. There was no stopping her. She has been responsible for uplifting and improving the life of all of these women.
Other than adding value to the lives of numerous women, she has also helped the environment by spreading the use of jute bags and eliminating plastic. Her jute bags are customisable and made with utmost care.
She firmly believes in the Chinese proverb “Don’t give the Bread but Give the art of earning Bread” and today she is one of those because of whom 500+ families earn their livelihood or add to their family income. Her organization now gets mentoring support from Netherlands-based organization “Women on Wings”.
Recently Anjali launched a brand for jute products by the name of JUTE FOR LIFE.
After 9 years of dedicated efforts, Anjali has received several awards including SIDBI ET India MSE Award 2019 – Best Employment Generating MSE, JCI Young Person of India 2019, Women Shine Award 2019 for Social Innovation by CWE, Gandhi Kutir Award 2019, Women of Excellence by All Ladies League, Anarkali Devi Rangbharti Samman by Honorable Governor, Techno Entrepreneur Award by Ministry of Science and Technology, FICCI Ladies Organization Woman Award for Social Entrepreneurship, Eastern Bhoomika Award 2017, Women Outstanding Achiever Award 2017 by Lucknow Management Association, Shan-e-Awadh Samman and many more.
Because of her successful entrepreneurial journey, she has been assigned the position of CHERIE BLAIR FOUNDATION MENTOR for giving her expertise to other struggling social entrepreneurs anywhere in the world.
Her work has been covered by almost all leading Newspapers and also documentaries made by Times Now, ETV, Green TV and Samachar Plus.
Through Social Media footprints, US Embassy Economic Officers identified and approached her for assessment and the report has been submitted to Washington DC Economic Empowerment Wing for study.
FICCI FLO has certified “Jute for Life” as “Preferred Work Place for Women”.
“Jute for Life” Case Study has been published in Serbian Journal and recently it was selected by The CASE CENTRE, IIM Ahmadabad for study.
Anjali's latest achievement is that, she has received a government grant of INR 4.47 Cr for project SFURTI which will make the organisation the biggest in India in the Jute manufacturing sector where 1000+ women will get employment under one roof.
During her jail project, she gave employment to a lot of undertrials and convicted women. She also got some of them released. Out of these women, one is now working as the assistant manager with her for the SFURTI project.
She believes that success can be achieved with dedication and devotion. Sources of her persistent energy are blessings and infinite support from her proud parents. Her father is her idol and her mom was the backbone. She feels privileged to be married to a supportive husband Mr. Shailendra Singh (BNI Apex Member) and has two kids Saanvi (8) and Adhiraj (5) studying in St. Francis School.
Entrepreneur, Jute For Life
Let the races begin!
Ironman is not just a word, it’s an emotion. To Marvel fans, Ironman is Tony stark. To athletic enthusiasts, Ironman is all about endurance and sportsmanship. A Triathlon organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile run, raced in the same order. It takes a lot of energy and adrenaline rush to be able to complete the course. If you are finding motivation on how to do it, I’m here to give it to you.
Satyam Sahai has done eight ironman triathlons, including four, 140.6 miles and four, 70.3 miles. He has been fond of sports since his childhood, be it athletics or tennis. He is a badminton and tennis enthusiast. He played nationals for table tennis. “I used to enjoy the rush and fire that sparked inside of me every time I was about the reach a finish line, the pleasure of meeting new sportsperson and learning from them.”
Satyam’s father was in the Indian air force. His fitness and energy were an inspiration for him. He had to take a sabbatical from running for some years when Satyam had a knee operation, prior to which he ran for 21 kms in Lucknow Marathon with a knee injury and a ligament rupture. As soon as his knee recovered, the passion and love for sports drove me back to the tracks.
In 2015, he participated in a few marathons which built his interest in endurance sports, making Ironman his next goal. It was the penchant for fitness and sports that made him enroll for Iron Man. A decision he cherishes every day.
“For starters, this triathlon is not about competing with others. It’s all about endurance and challenging yourself and cherishing every drop of sweat you shed. Swimming, cycling and running happen one after the other with no breaks. The athlete is awake for almost the entire day, some 14 to 16 hours. It requires a lot of stamina and self-motivation and you have to be adept at swimming, cycling and running to complete the challenge in the stipulated time. In order to qualify in all the events, it is a must that you are well versed with all three forms, which in turn requires a lot of physical training. Additionally, I feel it is essential to mention here, that I was my own coach. I used to watch videos online to learn techniques to build my endurance level and be able to make this dream come true. Whatever I did or learnt was from the training which I took from videos online. Ironman is all about pushing yourself and not giving up.”
‘It’s not over, till it’s over.’ These words were said in a very intense situation in the movie Bellbottom. It truly is a sentence worth remembering, six simple words clubbed together, defining the very essence of success.
He finished his first Ironman in 2017 in Western Australia. “Despite having practiced every day for several months I felt the burn. My excitement was on peak and all I could think about was reaching the finish line. With some push from the adrenaline, I was able to finish the race in 13 hours.” Ironman Hamburg was his next challenge, which he combated in 2018.
Iron man 70.3 is a triathlon which consists of 1.2 miles swim, 56 miles bicycle ride and 13.11 miles run. It is commonly known as the Half Ironman. In 2019, Satyam completed his first iron man 70.3 in cairns in about 6 hours. “With consistent workouts, cycling, running, swimming and pushing my body, I was able to bring out the best in me. I ran Ironman Kalmar (140.6 miles) in 2019 and finished in under 12 hours. The score kept getting better every time. With further practice and stamina building I was able to finish several more. My latest achievement has been bagging the title of ironman Switzerland.”
Satyam’s best time is of 11.56 min in Ironman Kalmar in Sweden in August 2019. He was the first amongst the Indians. His best time in Ironman 70.3 is 5 hours 26 min in Ironman Dubai in 2020.
Satyam ranks one in his age category in India in 2021. His focus is on bettering his athleticism and timing so he constantly attends camps and works on his technique. A true sportsperson his game reflects in his work as an educator and an entrepreneur. He brings discipline to his work from his triathlon. This extends to his thousands of students who learn from example.
“Completing Ironman triathlon is not as hard as it sounds. You must be focused and determined to reach the goal. Disciple should be your priority. With 24 hours in your hands, it is important to manage them well. Utilise the time to enhance your talents and make your dreams come true. It is a matter of days and hours of consistent hard work that make absolutely anything possible.”
He states that once a person begins, there is no stopping. Ironman captures you with its warmth and sportsmanship. It is a triathlon which will exhaust you but at the same time fill you with instant energy and joy. Let the race begin!
He was also the runners up at Grasim MR India 2003 and was selected for Mr international at the Panama City. Grasim Mr India was the biggest male modelling pageant in India then.
Iron man 70.3
‘Hope’ – a feeling of trust
“We named our dear daughter Hope because the doctors told us that she will not survive and will be gone within 48 hours of birth. But God had other plans for her,” says Hope’s mother.
Hope Teresa David was born on January, the 27th in the year 2011, with a rare condition, Spina Bifida Meningomyelocele. As a result of this condition, her lower limbs were affected and prevented her from walking without KFO’s and AFO’s (supports). Even with supports she could walk only for small distances.
Spina bifida also known as a snowflake condition, relates with different complications in each person. It is a devastating congenital malformation of the central nervous system and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
At birth, Hope was a very small baby, weighing merely 1.5 kgs. It was very hard for the parents to see their daughter in such grave danger. However, Hope proved to be a fighter. She fought all ailments and despite several operations she managed to survive. She underwent two major surgeries within four months of birth, from Max Hospital Delhi. In November 2021, she had another major surgery, to release her tethered spine and for the removal of a bony spur growing in the spinal cord. There were a few minor procedures in between, which she has become so used to that she thinks they are normal.
Her recovery post-surgery was slow and challenging, both physically and mentally.
“Many a times during her stay in the hospital we had so many breakdowns, there were moments where we would just see each other and start crying,” her mother sighed.
Her mother feels that her strength came from the fact that her husband made sure not to leave them alone. She said that he is as strong as a rock but, unfortunately most of the times he had to go sailing.
After striving and struggling through the months, Hope once again began practicing for her Wheelchair Race. She is a diligent soul and there is nothing that can stop her from achieving her dreams. Her mother mentioned, that Hope had been practising in her racing wheel chair for some time now. The sport has to be practised in a stadium with a synthetic track. Due to corona there were numerous breaks, but now since things have eased down, they are back in full swing.
Hope, after hours of training and with much determination, was ready to become a part of the National Para games to be held in Orissa in March 2022. To get admitted as a participant, she attended the trials which were held at Pared ground Dehradun. The trials clashed with her final examinations, making it very hard for her to manage travel, trials and her exams at the same time. She has always been a fighter, a person who defeats all odds, so full of energy and motivation that she managed to not only do well on her exams but, also perform brilliantly in her trials.
After all her hard work, once the trials we completed, they were informed that there was no sub junior category in the sport as she was the only one who had registered, hence she couldn’t participate. However, her efforts were acknowledged and she was a part of the celebration for the inaugural ceremony of the National games. Ficci Flo, Uttarakhand appreciated Young Hope and her hard work and the Chairperson, Ms Komal Batra gave her the Award for being the Youngest Para Athlete representing the Sport of Wheel Chair racing in india.
Hope says wheelchair racing has given her the wings to fly. Her self-confidence, desire to combat the world and not be held back by her disability gave her the power to grasp those wings and add flight to them. We wish her all the very best for her future and thank her for being an inspiration to the world.
This is a story of Resilience and Fortitude. This is the story of Neeta. She demonstrates an infinite ability to bend but not break, to display courage in adversity and to continuously move ahead even if it’s by an inch. Take a moment to look back at the stories of Helen Keller, Neil Armstrong, Isaac Newton, or Thomas Edison. These are all stories of resilience. It is well known that Keller, after becoming deaf and blind at the very young age of 19 months became the first deafblind person to obtain a university degree. Edison got it right the 100th time, after failing for the previous 99. Neeta has also taken a leaf off the same book of grit.
Born and raised in Lucknow, she moved out of the city to pursue a career and travel the world. She has worked with a few well-known conglomerates like Amex, GE and IBM and has a successful career. At a young age of 27, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a debilitating illness of the central nervous system. It manifested with a myriad of symptoms, different at different times - walking difficulties, grip issue and writing problems, vision impairment, gait and balance issues, loss of strength, pain or spasms, extreme fatigue, loss of bladder control and more. In addition to its physical symptoms, MS also has profound emotional consequences. It can cause significant anxiety, distress, anger, mood swings, depression and frustration.
For the first few years after being diagnosed, life went on, without realizing the gravity of what had happened until the symptoms became more severe. Then the search for finding the root cause and reversing the problem became the purpose of her life. Many health workshops and after much research, a good understanding of the human body not only lead to an appreciation of what a miracle it is, it also created a mindset of caring for and loving herself.
Patients with chronic conditions often have to adjust their aspirations, goals, and employment. Some days just taking a bath became the biggest challenge, let alone driving and putting in a day’s work at the office. She, being a fiercely independent girl, refused to bow down. She continued to live all by herself, held on to her full-time job and continued to travel the world. She says “Finding inner strength was my only recourse!”. When life challenges you daily, there’s no option but to face them head on and move ahead. She dug deep into the reservoir of mental and emotional resources that could keep her stable and adaptable in life. She discovered she had a seemingly endless ability to carry on- no matter what, a trait she attributes to her genes. She always had a choice to either fall apart or bounce back. Despite repeated failures, she chose the latter.
The phase of trial and errors began. Allopathy had to go… Homeopathy, Ayurveda and other alternative medicine became the testing ground. Simplifying her life and going back to the basics worked like magic. She changed her food habits 180 degrees. From being a hard core non vegetarian she turned vegan. She started to respect the circadian rhythm of her body, give it adequate rest and exercise. She also worked on her emotions and made gratitude as the mantra of her life. With a change in lifestyle, a lot of things began to improve. Her energy levels improved, fatigue diminished, bladder issues vanished, and she resumed many activities she had parked in the lot.
With her family as her ultimate pillar of support, she could fall and get up as many times, unscathed. She is thankful to her friends and her health tribe for keeping her sane and easing the path ahead. The universe brings in the right resources just when you need them, you just must keep all your faculties alert. She still has some residue left from the disorder which has the right side of her body compromised. Her dream is to participate in a marathon and a dance competition, so she finds time everyday for her exercises, meditation and laughter session with family.
Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!!