When I bought my first sweet little house at 25, I grew all nesting-like and wanted to retire in my old age from that house. I had visions of my whole life spent cozily coming home to that place. My then 70-year-old grandfather gave me great advice — he said, don’t get attached. You have a long way to go between now and old age, First, live before you plan your retirement home. You will have many milestones ahead of you, live in many places and homes and be more qualified to choose what you want when you are there, not when you are here. How wise and prophetic, as I traveled and lived in dozens of world cities since then, loving being a Global Citizen!
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Avantika Dixit.
At 25 years old, Avantika Dixit was a VP of a global tech giant and lead a workforce of over 35,000 people, only three years after beating a brain tumor. Retiring in her 30’s she spent the next six years training, mentoring and studying to develop her clinical practice. She is an ivy league educated Social Scientist, Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotherapist and Positive Psychologist who spends her life chasing her Ikigai (reason for living) and influencing others to chase theirs.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
There is always that one point in life when one looks back and realizes that every single experience has been handpicked by design for our unique journey. And it has something to do with the life purpose one aligns with. In my case it has always been about beating the odds, jumping the matrix, being a global citizen and blazing new trails in unmapped territory.
In keeping with that I was raised in India. We moved a lot so I got to travel the whole country and be schooled in a delightful mix of good and terrible schools. At some point that settled down and I got my degree in Psychology and an MBA.
And that’s when my journey of beating the odds really kicked off. In my first quarter of life, my purpose was to battle and beat a brain tumor with grit and Grace. To be a stereotype buster and shatter glass ceilings in the board rooms of Big Tech corporations. To be a visionary global millennial leader.
On the personal front at 23 I beat a brain-tumor and crushed the very gloomy life script handed to me — no work, no travel, life-long medical support. On the professional front I entered a big tech giant where the field was represented by 17% women overall and less than 1% in the board room. I became a Global VP at 25, leading a huge multi-cultural millennial team for 15 years, spearheading enterprises towards next gen tech.
I am a big picture person. It was very evident for me to recognize the early signs of the global existential crisis as a universal phenomenon. This prompted me to retire in my 30s to pursue the disruption of future forward support systems.
And then I spent the last 5 years in a hugely successful private practice with thousands of hero journeys supported globally. And I can tell you that regardless of whether it’s from a swanky Manhattan condo, or an African savannah or the Canadian Rockies or a slum in Mumbai or a small town in New Zealand…woke heroes have been popping up everywhere…and they have many things in common.
I identified distinct collective patterns emerge as a universal phenomenon impacting a critical mass of people. These can only be classified as a massive awakening crisis, first and second quarter life crises; and a global disruption syndrome.
In my second quarter now, my purpose is to create unprecedented solutions for unprecedented heroes of the largest living generation in history — the XYZ Millennial spectrum.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
Woke Hero is a social therapy platform with future forward programs to disrupt XYZ millennial wellness, relationships, income. impact and spirituality.
Each of these areas have been disrupted greatly in the last 3 decades and solutions that worked for an earlier context than 2010 aren’t a likely fit. Unprecedented heroes need unprecedented solutions, and that is where Woke Hero is a fore runner.
Traditional relationship advice doesn’t work because relationships have evolved. The average person meets 80000 people in a lifetime. 33% of Gen Z identify as non-binary which is great, but also leads to identity crisis issues in relationships. 40% millennials have chosen to remain single well into their 40s. Unprecedented rise in blended, post-divorce, multiethnic and virtual relationships. The social media paradox is that we now have more access to connection. This is the age of hook ups, Netflix and chill, swipe left, paradoxically 70% of generation XYZ feels lonely. And Loneliness is dangerous. More dangerous than morbid obesity, smoking, cancer, diabetes, heart disease. Loneliness can kill you faster”
Our Hero Love series sets people up to master the holographic universe through the lens of their relationships. To be whole and authentic with the Self Love program. To be free and healed with the Love Detox program. To be truly loved and connect higher with the Soul Love program.
Traditional Wellness advice doesn’t work because of unprecedented wellness challenges. 1 in 3 people suffers from Anxiety or Depression. The risks for developing a non-communicable disease like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia has increased exponentially in the last 30 years. Suicide is the leading cause of death in young adults. However here is also the tremendous, unprecedented opportunity. Average life expectancy in 1920 was 35 years. Over the last 3 decades the XYZ generations have unlocked the human health potential to live beyond a 100.
Our Hero Wellness series sets people up to unlock the new human health potential. To bulletproof against and heal from mental health disruption with the Disruption Clinic program. To live younger for longer with Wellness Pod. And to heal from self-harm or suicidal thoughts with STAY. (Suicidal thoughts aren’t you).
Traditional Success or Self Actualization advice does not work because woke heroes believe less in organized religion, yearn for evolution and actualization. A Woke hero values experiences more than things. Has a desire to live abundantly and have a positive impact on the world. Is a tech native but has tech fatigue, seeks meaning and purpose, doesn’t want the rat race, believes in social justice and wants ikigai.
Our Hero Income and Impact Series helps people unlock the secret source of their superpower. To tap into planetary ascension. To align with their Hero Ikigai to link high income with high impact and joy. To intersect passion, purpose and real-world needs. To master the Dance of Mixed Reality as a cosmic self in a material experience.
In my quest to look for relevant solutions for the Global Existential Crisis, I looked at various models. Leadership, Spirituality, Wellness, Self-Actualization and even Entertainment and Lifestyle. I found the Hero’s Journey to be the best container for this.
Woke heroes are usually in their first 2 quarters of life, because they are here to be relevant for the next 50 years or more. Typically, a woke hero is disrupting old-world paradigms rapidly and bears the battle scars of that accelerated pace of transition.
By the way these generations have been researched for profit, manipulation and as social data-horses more extensively than any other generation in history!
Woke Hero is Built exclusively by and for millennial spectrum of world changers. It’s on a mission to set these generations up for success, without agenda. The future of our world literally depends on it!
In conclusion, Woke Hero is helping disrupt support for the heroes that are disrupting the New, the Now and the Next…of Everything.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I undermined the process and work in the distance between the vision and the reality materialization. So back in 2018 I walked up to a digital marketing agency and gave them a very high brow narration of my vision and plans for what is now going out into the world as Woke Hero. I had it all worked out in my head, but when it came to articulating the briefs for the website, the target audience, the solutions…I just drew a blank, and the agency had to politely decline and wish me well on my adventure!
The lesson I learnt was — the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle. I now exemplify the most detailed execution strategy to back a winning idea or vision. And yes, never be embarrassed by faux pas. There is always an opportunity to reinvent stronger down the road.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
I have been blessed with some truly great mentors.
I read Robin Sharma’s “the Monk who sold his Ferrari” when I was stepping into the corporate world in my early twenties. 15 years later when I sold my Mercedes Benz 😊 and quit the rat race, I was blessed to be mentored by him and attend his hall mark program like Personal Mastery Academy and the Titan Summit. It is with good reason he is among the top leadership gurus of our time.
Meeting and mentoring with visionary thought leaders from the Medicine, Psychology, Academics and Metaphysics crossovers such as Deepak Chopra, Marisa Peer, Karl Dawson, Martin Seligman have been hugely impactful in my ability to effortlessly integrate the best of modern western science with esoteric eastern wisdom.
Having said that, I believe this is the unprecedented era. And the best mentors and leaders for solutions to the challenges of these times are currently being created. The nameless 3000 or so heroes I did sessions within my private practice between 2017 and 2020 taught me more than any mentoring session I did with anyone.
Ask me again in 5 years!
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Intention and agenda behind disruption is key. Ethical disruption is breaking through an established order for enhancements in social, cultural, planetary or generational effectiveness and experience. The benefits have to be far reaching beyond profit motivation or the social or planetary cost of the disruption.
For example, Uber disrupted the transportation industry and created greater convenience and connection for greater many…while also disrupting car pool and automobile buying patterns in millennial and eventually creating a carbon positive impact as well.
In the Techno spiritual age, one unethical disruption has been the use of augmented reality to disrupt the user psychographics and personalization algorithms industry. The fact this is a massive unethical violation of user privacy and vulnerability for greater user manipulation is not a desirable disruption.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
All three pieces of advice have had to do with mastery in detachment, learning to let go and going with the flow of synchronicity.
First is personal. When I bought my first sweet little house at 25, I grew all nesting-like and wanted to retire in my old age from that house. I had visions of my whole life spent cozily coming home to that place. My then 70-year-old grandfather gave me great advice — he said, don’t get attached. You have a long way to go between now and old age, First, live before you plan your retirement home. You will have many milestones ahead of you, live in many places and homes and be more qualified to choose what you want when you are there, not when you are here. How wise and prophetic, as I traveled and lived in dozens of world cities since then, loving being a Global Citizen!
Next is professional. In my earlier career days, I set up and nurtured a very high performing team over 3 years. Together we aced many collective milestones. Then I was handpicked for a different role and my team was handed over to someone else. When I made a case to my leader about how I had invested so much in that team’s growth and maybe I was the best person to lead it, my CEO replied “you have taken this team from A to B. You can let someone else take it from B to C and you yourself can take another team from Y to Z. If you wait to take this team to Z, you will have cheated both yourself and the team of great growth and learning”. Very true indeed. I would have never had the courage to walk away from my career at the top of my field 15 years later, if that seed had not been planted then.
Final is spiritual. I found the guidance of a spiritual teacher and after a couple of years of study and practice he asked me to become a guide in my own right. My loyalty and deference made me protest my readiness. He showed me the true meaning of guidance. He said every master was once a student, and every student holds the seed of a future master.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
In March 2021 Woke Hero is launching major campaigns to disrupt therapy and solutions for Millennial wellness, relationships and income. In 2023 Woke Enterprise is in the works, targeting disrupted workplaces. My book will be out in 2023 as well. Woke Hero’s revenue model is designed to put nearly 70% profits back into global chapters of initiatives to support youth through scholarships, outreach, wellness access, positive social connection and mentorship.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
First is representation. In almost every field there are gender ratio of success is heavily skewed towards the male. Like when I entered Big Tech Corp, 17% of the total workforce was women and less than 1% was represented in the decision-making board room.
Second is stereotype and perception. Little girls were raised for so long to be pretty and sweet and yielding. Anything counterculture to that creates the perception of a “bitch” or “mean boss lady!” So women constantly have this psychological struggle between wanting to be liked and needing to achieve.
Plus all this pressure to look presentable. I was interviewing the ex-prime minister of Australia Julia Gillard at a TED Women’s conference last year, and she revealed that in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign of 2016, the 69-year-old grandmother had to lose a total of 29 days’ worth of time in hair, makeup and fittings. No man would have to go through that.
Finally the biology is totally different. Monthly cycles, pregnancies, miscarriages, peri menopause and menopause all coincide with the most productive and creative years of a woman disruptor. I just love how we are rocking it though! New Zealand PM set a great example when she became the first woman in office to have a baby while serving term and take her baby to the United Nations!
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
I love all works that skillfully portray collective triumph and hero journeys — so the works featuring the really well-crafted heroes, even fictional and animated like Moana, the Harry Potter series, Kung Fu Panda or real life heroes…but the call to adventure, the stepping into unfamiliar worlds, the dark nights of the soul, the allies/ mentors and enemies, the imposter syndrome, supernatural support, the crescendo of the do or die climax…and the revelation that the secret sauce to immense power has been within all along…are amazing models for life.
Robin Sharma’s book — the monk who sold his Ferrari. Brene Brown’s talks on the power of vulnerability. Ellen DeGeneres’ commencement speeches. Social good documentaries like David Attenborough’s Our Planet and the Social Dilemma. The new Influencers like Malala, Greta Thunberg, Casey Nissat’s Nike feature Make it count. I find inspiration and food for thought 20 times a day! Deep gratitude for the great minds.
You want me to share a story with you? Ok, here is an original one about a lovable hero that I have written for my 8-year-old niece Rya. Here it is for your readers, with my love. Its loosely based on my 23-year-old self who was diagnosed with a debilitating brain tumor and handed a script that said I can’t work or travel or live without medical support. And obviously spoiler alert, here I am 2 decades later, slaying it like a pro.
It’s called Bumble Can Fly.
Once upon a time, many thousands of years ago when the earth had recently thawed from an ice age, all sorts of new life was being created. There were many creatures that had discovered the miracle of flight.
And then there was our unlikely hero, Bumble. He was cute and everything, but he wasn’t the most spectacular of creatures…squat and round with tiny wings…and even his mom would say he’s a little bit on the plump side. Nothing like his svelte cousin the graceful honeybee. In fact his name Bumble stood for something that’s clumsy and awkward.
And the popular opinion by consensus was…Bumble can’t fly. Any scientist will tell you that to achieve flight a creature needs to have a certain wingspan to body weight ratio…which our Bumble did not have. So everyone agreed that technically and scientifically it is impossible for Bumble to fly.
The thing is, Bumble was not a scientist and had never heard of the laws of aerodynamics. He could have just accepted that script that was handed to him. When he was born he knew he was different. He looked at the creatures that could fly, the birds, the butterflies and bees…and then he would try to fly like them, but it wouldn’t work. His wings were too small, and his body too heavy for him to lift off into the air.
But our Bumble did not give up. He was smart. He had a conversation with his higher self and guidance. And it came to him that everything he loved had something to do with flying. He clearly believed that the desire to fly, the passion to fly was so strong in his heart and his soul and that was his first clue. What he really wanted to do.
The second clue was that everything he loved to eat (and he loved to eat a lot), was high above the ground. So that was his clue that if he wants to get to the things he loves he’s got to be able to achieve that height.
His third clue was that he had wings. So why would the universe give him wings unless he was meant to fly!
So putting these 3 clues together, Bumble realized “I don’t think its possible that I am not meant to fly. There must be some deeper purpose, something more meaningful that I am here to discover.
And then his guidance and his higher-self spoke to him and said “if you don’t fit in, you must lead a new way”
So Bumble started asking himself. I don’t have big wings like these other creatures. But what do I have that they don’t. and then he looked at the strength of his large body. And that was it.
He started putting more and more power into flapping his wings harder and harder and faster and faster. Until he achieved a miracle. He was able to defy gravity and the laws of aerodynamics and he created a new way of flying…just like that!
So this was the first miracle, the miracle of Bumble flying. But it goes much deeper than this. There was a reason why Bumble was created different from all the other flying creatures. With the earth thawing from its ice age, it needed to be replanted rapidly with vegetation to support life. And all the other pollinators with their normal way of flying, wouldn’t be able to keep up with that task.
So Bumble was sent in to save the day and the planet. When he created a new way of flying flapping his wings more than 300 times per second, he developed the most superior and fastest form of pollination called the Buzz pollination. More than half the food we eat today would not be around if it wasn’t for buzz pollination. This was the second miracle.
And what makes Bumble such a happy hero, is the third miracle. Because he didn’t have it handed to him, he had to work at it. He had to introspect, do the inner work, look for meaning and purpose, connect with guidance and navigate his journey before he got to fly. As a result he mastered his craft. Bumble is the highest flying insect and can survive in 6 continents.. Bumblebees have been discovered on Mount Everest flying higher than any other insect 9000 metres above sea level.
So this is how our humble Bumble discovered who he had come here to be. He realized he was created different and had to go through unique challenges…not because there was anything wrong with him…but because he was here to be a hero.
And so if the humble Bumble CAN fly…if he can become a super hero doing what he loves and save the world…what miracles can you achieve when you discover who you came here to be…and then just be it?!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I am working on 3 movements right now, all launching in March-April 2021, all aimed at the largest living generation in history — the XYZ generation or the millennial spectrum.
#stereotypebuster is aimed at helping everyday heroes from the XYZ generation to rewrite the scripts of what the world has defined as possible, to jump the matrix and dissolve stereotypes across board.
#unlock101 is aimed at unlocking the new human health capital of the XYZ. In the last 30 decades we have had unprecedented wellness challenges, 80% linked to lifestyle, stress and toxins. We also in the last 30 years have unlocked unprecedented longevity potential for the first time living up to and beyond 100 is achievable. We now need to improve the quality of that longevity and live younger for longer as well.
#broke2woke is aimed at helping the XYZ generations decode the link between their highest income, impact and joy.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Rumi says so well — “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion. You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a single drop” This is very representative of the work Woke Hero does…at the level of the microcosm individual and the macrocosm planetary generation.
How can our readers follow you online?
Youtube: Woke Hero With Avantika
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!