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Lifecoach Malti Bhojwani’s new book promotes positive change, says JYOTI SHANKAR
What is the image that comes to your mind when you read this title? Of course, a blue ball! And this is exactly what happens when we try to control our thoughts by saying things like, “Don’t stress” or “Don’t panic” or “Don’t think of a cigarette” when you are trying to quit smoking. By thinking about what you don’t want, you create that reality for yourself. So instead, by focusing on what you want and by visualising yourself as already having it, the Universe will respond to your positive vibrations and conspire to make it happen. ‘Don’t Think of a Blue Ball’ – this catchy and intriguing title caught the eye of many at the Dymocks stores at Broadway and Bondi Junction in Sydney, where author, life coach and NLP practitioner, Malti Bhojwani, promoted her new book recently. A Sydneysider until 3 years ago, Malti now lives in Mumbai but returns to Sydney at least once a year to visit her daughter studying at Sydney University.
The book was born from Malti’s own life experiences and the experiences of others she came across in her practice as a life coach. Though it was a creative journey of three years, the book was mostly created over six weeks of inspired writing. In between this process was also born Malti’s first published work, a journal called ‘Thankfulness Appreciation Gratitude – My Journal’. It is a book with pages to write down what you are grateful for each day, not just a diary where you write down daily experiences. Even on a really bad day, we can all find something to be grateful for, she believes. This journal has since gone into several reprints. Malti’s new book was released in August 2012 by Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi in Mumbai.
There are a plethora of self-help books on personal growth available and many such as The Secret, Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Power of Now, are hugely successful. Malti’s book has a similar message. When asked about this, Malti says, “This actually reaffirms the truth about the message. The source of truth is the same, but it has different flavours according to who is conveying it. How each writer conveys this message is unique to the writer.” For some people, the words of self-development gurus like Anthony Robbins or Rhonda Bryne could ring a bell, but for others it could be Malti’s straightforward method of communicating through words. She is also mastering ontological coaching with Newfield Network and well understands the importance of words in our life. “Ontology is all about the connection between body, emotion and language. By shifting our habits of language, emotions and body, we can allow ourselves to develop into the person we want to be. In the present day, action is mostly about words – conversation is an action, sending an email is an action. So we have to be careful how we think and use words,” explains Malti.
What has drawn people to the book is the sincerity of the words that stem from personal experience. Its twelve chapters take you through a journey of self-discovery and urge you to action, not just to read and forget. Each chapter ends with an exercise that takes you closer to achieving your goals. “How many times do we promise ourselves to change our life for the better, which may be inspired by a book or what someone says? But the most common mistake we make is to procrastinate. When it is followed by action, you give yourself a better chance of making your dreams come true,” says Malti. Interspersed with quotes from the scriptures, philosophers, other writers, scientific explanations and personal insights, the book neatly provides a practical pathway to the change we all desire.
Navigating life is never easy. So how does having a life coach help? How do you coach others when the circumstances of each person’s lives are so different? What universal truths can apply here? “Life coaching is often mistaken for counselling and psychological therapy. A life coach helps you to find answers for yourself. Though it is impossible for me to understand the details of the lives of my clients who may come from a range of professions, I am able to help them tackle challenges at work and career, relationships and even issues with weight,” explains Malti. “The coach is only a catalyst, holding your hands through a journey from confusion to clarity and then letting go.” The uptake of life coaching in India is surprisingly good though only 30 per cent of her clients are based in India. The rest come from the world over thanks to the power of technologies such as Skype and Facebook which connect her to people. As per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, personal growth is something you think of when you have other basic needs covered. This is very much evident among the upper-middle class demographic of young people in India. These 25 to 40-year olds have a huge expendable income as they still live with their parents and are interested in developing and challenging themselves. “I do not view caring about the self as something bad, though traditionally in India this is looked upon as being selfish. The needs of others are always placed above our own needs but we can care for others better when we have cared for ourselves,” says Malti. She refers to the analogy of using the oxygen mask on oneself first when pressure drops in an airplane, before helping another.
Being India’s Oprah Winfrey is Malti’s dream, and she is living her life to make it happen. Her YouTube channel has over 50,000 views already and once she has gained enough experience, she plans to approach TV channels to spread the good word. “Stretch out of your comfort zone, reach for the stars, take your first step towards fulfilling your dreams and universe will magically rearrange everything to make it happen. Each of us has the power to plug into this power of the universe,” is her message.