Life’s Super Lessons from the Super Successful

Team YS
22nd Jan 2009
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My name is Anubhav Srivastava, a 22 year old from New Delhi, India and I am in the process of developing a film that intends to gain insight into what one requires to be a super achiever in life. For this film I have already interviewed some of the most well known personalities in India and intend to interview many more. I am making this film for people who go through life trying to figure out what it takes to be successful and always get vague answers like "luck" or "hard work" from the environment around them. You don't learn how to be successful by listening to someone who isn't. The most proven path to becoming successful is listening to what successful people have to say, studying their teachings and emulating what they have done.

This is exactly the reason I am creating this film. I want people to learn from the super successful, listen to what they have to say, apply whatever they have learnt from these individuals and go on to become achievers themselves. The more people that acquire the “achiever mentality”, the more beneficial it is to humanity in general because we become more productive and progress faster than ever before.

My StoryI came up with the idea for this project in mid 2007 for an annual inter university competition I was extremely excited about. I truly felt that the project could be revolutionary in quite a few ways and with the support of the institution, we would definitely create a major impact in the competition. However, over the next two months the projected was rejected before it could even be implemented. I was told the project was “just not feasible.”

I resolved to create the documentary independently, without the support of the college. When I announced I would be creating this film on my own, everyone around me thought I was daydreaming. People around me gave me all the reasons why I couldn’t succeed in my endeavor. How could I create the film absolutely on my own when even the college felt the project was not feasible? Why would these personalities waste their time on an initiative that sounds huge to be executed by a single person and that too a 22 year old? How could I interview these people without having any contacts? I was laughed at behind my back and criticized for daring to dream of something so big.

However, I looked at it differently. So what if everyone thought it was impossible, it didn’t matter to me at all. Whether a thing is possible or impossible is not a fact, rather it is simply an opinion conceived in the mind. People who consider something as impossible are never able to achieve it because have already defeated themselves in their mind. They simply don’t put in the effort to make that thing happen because they are convinced it won’t work anyway. Of course, when they begin with this premise, there is no surprise as to why they don’t make things happen. I knew if I thought of it as possible, I would eventually come up with ways to make it a reality. The greatest opportunities are usually ones that no one else sees as opportunities.

Therefore, I began working on this film with virtually no encouragement and armed with nothing more than a conviction in this idea. I faced one rejection after another until I got a breakthrough in the form of Kiran Bedi, India’s most decorated IPS officer. This was the defining moment for me because it convinced me that what everyone else thought was impossible could in fact happen. If someone of Kiran Bedi’s stature could see something in me, it was only a matter of time before another famous personality would agree for an interview.

So how did everyone react when I got the interview? People were surprised but felt I simply got lucky and the criticism did not stop. However, it didn’t bother me anymore. As long as a person is alive, he or she is going to be criticized. The only time one can have the “privilege” of not being criticized is at the time of their funeral.

The going didn’t get easier even after Kiran Bedi’s interview. I faced one rejection after another from several well known personalities’ offices. However, but instead of being discouraged by them, I analyzed why I was rejected, made apt changes and tried again. Between January 2008 and May 2008, I could not secure a single interview and was rejected more than 20 times. Although it was disappointing, it couldn’t deter my spirit. A very famous man once stated, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I knew I didn’t want to be one of them. So I kept on trying, kept getting knocked back but always managed to get back up.

However, the perseverance did pay off. Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the founder of Biocon, the largest biotechnology company in India granted me an interview. Similar struggles lay ahead but because I kept changing my approach and never gave up. Interestingly, at this point, many of the same people who doubted me asked me what “contacts” I was using to meet these personalities. Till date, I have managed to get interviews from the following people.Kiran Bedi – Widely respected former police officer, social activist and Television personality

Deepak Puri - Chairman of Moser Baer, the second largest optical media manufacturer in the world)

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - Founder of Biocon, the largest Biotechnology company in India

Sushil Kumar – Olympic Medal Winner (Beijing Olympics)

Som Mittal – President of NASSCOM (Largest association of Software and Service companies in India)

Jatin Das – Renowned Painter

Vinod Dua – One of the most well known TV presenters in India

I have also met Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who couldn’t appear in the movie due to some constraint but gave me his blessings for this initiative. The next interview is scheduled to be with Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, the third time re-elected Chief Minister of Delhi.

Potential Impact of the Film

This documentary is unique in the sense that it is the first time that several influential appear together in a documentary film and educate the viewer on the mentality one requires for being successful. There may be have been documentaries with similar ideas but what sets this film apart is the fact that all the interviewees are extremely well known and successful in their own fields instead of being “self help” gurus. Also, the issues discussed by these individuals are highly practical in nature instead of spiritual or metaphysical talk.

There have been books published on these topics before and the books offer very solid advice as well. However, a documentary has the potential to impact individuals on a wide scale simply due to the fact that the message conveyed is through a visual medium and therefore appealing to much of the population which prefers to “watch” rather than read. The internet age has also ensured the rapid circulation of a documentary or a video message all over the world within a short span of time.

The impact of the documentary will also be global. The interest in this film shown by people abroad has been very encouraging and has convinced me that it is not just Indians but the entire world that will be interested in this film. For further global appeal I also intend to interview a few international personalities and am currently scouting for sponsors for my international visits.

Commercial Viability

The objective of this film is to educate people all over the world about the mentality one requires for success. This goal can only be achieved through commercialization of the film. Commercialization makes it possible to achieve maximum penetration.

Due to interest shown in this film by people in India and abroad, it is evident the market for this film is global. For a global market, the most effective marketing medium is the internet. The internet is the most cost effective and powerful medium to market the documentary and get maximum returns.

In 2006, a documentary called “The Secret” was released and marketed entirely through the internet through an intense viral marketing campaign. The subject matter of the Secret was “The law of attraction” which basically talked about how individuals attract things they think about the most. The documentary was rejected by the TV channel it was made for because according to the, the number of viewers wouldn’t be high. But this film went on to create history by becoming of the most commercially successful documentaries ever because of an extremely well planned viral marketing campaign on the Internet.

The Success of the Secret has proved that one does not need to have a Hollywood sized budget and spend money on expensive advertisements in order to promote their film. By developing a well planned viral marketing campaign, the documentary I am in the process of making can go on to achieve its goal of educating people all over the world on the qualities required for success. It will also fetch high returns for those who invest in this film, especially in the early stages. If you wish to know more about the commercial viability of this documentary, please send me an email at anubhav101@gmail.com

The Road Ahead ….

It has been a long time I have been making this documentary. In fact, the time period of the making of the film will be evident through the slow changes in my physical appearance! Yet, I am as passionate, determined, motivated and dedicated to this film today as I was when I first started. The experience of making this film has been absolutely incredible for me. In fact, during my interactions with the interviewees, I came across a very interesting observation. The principles that were practiced by these individuals to achieve success in their field were the same as the ones I was applying to make this documentary become a reality. Many of these personalities were criticized and doubted in their initial years but because their high degree of self belief, they withstood the criticism and continued to pursue their goals in the face of adversity. The desire to do outstanding work was much greater than the fear of failure. They kept on persevering despite obstacles in their way. The journey was filled with highs and lows, but ultimately, they reached their destination because they never stopped moving towards it.

The interactions I have had have convinced me that emulating what these people have done is going to help me achieve my life goals beyond this documentary as well. It would be an interesting experiment for me to see if I could reach the heights I aspire for by following these individuals. Once I achieve my objective of making this film create a global impact, I intend to move on to my next objective which is to be an entrepreneur. Although I am not entirely certain about what sector I would enter, I am constantly trying to study areas that are largely unexploited but have massive potential. The pioneering companies of the world have been able to become so because their founders spotted opportunity in a sector when everyone else ignored it. I want my life to be an experiment to prove that what was stated in the film was true. Hopefully 10 years from now, through my work I would be able to convert the skeptics into believers as well. Life is not predictable so I can never say anything with certainty but I am definitely going to keep on trying as long as I can.

Anubhav Srivastava

Mobile Number: +919868889977

Email: anubhav101@gmail.com


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