My movement would be about acts of kindness. Telling the stories of people who are doing incredible things in this world. People who are doing their act of kindness out of their heart and soul. Giving to give and wanting nothing in return. I know many people, who are doing life changing work, and they are humble and kind and I would love to tell their story. I would love to shout their names from the rooftops!!
I had the pleasure of interviewing V. Lakshmi, the author of Finding Your Way when Life Changes Your Plans: A Memoir of Adoption, Loss of Motherhood and Remembering Home. V. Lakshmi has one goal in life: to help as many people as possible. As a charitable human being, she intends to give back to the people in her life who have deeply impacted her. She aims to carry on the hopes and dreams of those who rescued her and saved her life. She has transformed tragedies into the belief that she was destined to experience them for the purpose of helping others thrive. In sharing her story, she inspires us to be uplifted by the breeze when our best-laid plans blow out the window.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
I believe that everything happens for a reason. So, I gave talks on the following issues: Diversity Awareness, Women Entrepreneurship and on India. During the talks, during the Q& A sessions, someone would raise their hand, and say “You should write a book, your story is very interesting” I had not thought of writing a book, but it happened over and over again. Then one of my closest friends said to me, “How many more signs from the universe do you need?” Searching my soul, to see if I could be a writer? Then trying hard to not to listen to all the self-doubt questions that come up within me. I sat down and started writing the book. I was pleasantly surprised to see the book, must have been in my soul. I would write for hours in a day, and would not have a blank space moment.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
I have had ten people read the book as I was writing it. People who would be honest with me, and give me great advice on the book. People who I admire and believe in. So I would meet or speak with them after to discuss the book. My goal with this book was to help one person, and if I could accomplish helping one person, then I would have reached my goal. Yes, I want to help thousands of people, but I would be honored to just hear from one person, where the book made a difference in their lives. So I went to dinner with one of the people who read the book and I had learned from the person, that I had made a difference in their life. That the person had learned something that would be valuable to them. At that moment, I had reached my goal. To help another human being. My life is not about me, it’s about helping others.
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?
My parents have taught me to be fearless and brave and try anything that comes way. To not give up and take no for answer. To keep plugging forward. They said in business, use your voice and work hard, that nothing will be achieved that I am dreaming of without hard work. Their advice is what drives me, and relates to this question. They both have had highly successful careers. They also taught me to ask for help, when I need it. They explained that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but strength and that people who are experts in their fields have gifts and talents that I could learn from.
The mistake I made when writing the book was focusing too much on the grammar and proofreading. It would stop my creative flow of thoughts. So in my search for a publisher, I wanted to work with someone who is an expert at what they do. And we could have a symbiotic relationship. My publisher who is also my editor is able to help bring my thoughts and words to life in proper English grammar. So I could write and let go of where the periods and commas go. She is an amazing publisher and talented editor and is handling the grammar and proofreading. If you are looking for a publisher, please contact her. She is a true professional. Her attention to detail is spectacular. She believes in her authors and nurtures you through the whole process.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am currently working on the second book.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
I admire people who have deeply impacted the world in a positive way. People like Gandhi and Mother Theresa. People who advocate for change and are using their lives to help others. I admire people who are speaking on behalf of people who don’t have a voice.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I am drawn to biographies. I like to read people’s true life stories. What lesson they learned along the way. What motivated them to help others? I love books about people finding themselves.
I recently read a book called: Five Cent Miracle, by Alan Goldsmith PHD. I bought it on Amazon. It is his true story about his lesson from his grandfather which motivated him to make this world a better place. He is doing life changing work. His work is impactful and meaningful. The lesson from the book that I got was that the messages about life passed down from one generation to another can have a ripple effect. The positive actions of our parents and grandparents shape and mold us. I know that is the case for me. I was deeply impacted by my grandparents and parents and my Aunt and Uncle.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
I am hoping that when people read the book, it does impact the world. I am donating part of the proceeds of the book back to an orphanage. It was my intention when I wrote the book. Here is a link to the orphanage.
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?
Don’t let fear stop you from writing. Don’t let self-doubt stop you. Writing is extremely therapeutic on so many levels. Surround yourself with positive people as you write, who encourage you to bring your book to life. Enjoy the creative process. Writing has become a joy and passion to me. Find a publisher that will believe in you and what you are trying to accomplish with the book. People are either going to love or dislike your book. That’s ok; I am preparing myself for that. People are entitled to their opinions. The question you have to ask yourself is which opinion do you want to let in? The positive or negative comments? I try to live my life on more of the positive side.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂
My movement would be about acts of kindness. Telling the stories of people who are doing incredible things in this world. People who are doing their act of kindness out of their heart and soul. Giving to give and wanting nothing in return. I know many people, who are doing life changing work, and they are humble and kind and I would love to tell their story.
I would love to shout their names from the rooftops!!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) Don’t worry about periods and commas, which will come later. Get your thoughts out first; I feel that is way more important to do. I was a little too focused on the grammar aspect of the writing process.
2) Create the space that will inspire you as you write. I changed my writing space for the better, and it helped me write better and now it is a nurturing environment for me. It inspires me every day.
3) Chapters don’t need to be written in order (depending on the type of book your writing). While I am writing the second book, I am more focused on writing and will deal with the formatting after. My work is more themed chapters, so this works for me. If there is something in me, when I wake up I write about it, I just focus on what I want to write that day.
4) Emotionality of Writing Writing for me has been a deeply therapeutic process. You will understand that when you read the book. It made me do some deep soul searching on so many levels. I knew it would make me revisit past pains and traumas, but the writing helped me more in my healing process. I am grateful for it.
5) Don’t be scared to put yourself out there I don’t want to have regrets in my life that I didn’t try. Or that I didn’t follow a dream I had. When someone said to me, “how could you do it, write a book and aren’t you scared how it will be perceived?” I answered, “of course, but I will be more upset with myself if I didn’t take the chance”
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
There are a couple of people who I deeply admire and would like to meet and share a meal with. There are 4 who really stand out for me. Steven Spielberg, for many reasons. One of them being that he has started and supports many Jewish organizations. I love that he gives back on so many levels and that he supports so many different organizations.
Then there is Saroo Brierley the Author of A Long Way Home, which became the movie Lion.
I really connected to the book on so many levels. I understand what it is like to want to find your biological family. His book was very deeply emotional for me on so many levels.
I have always deeply admired Oprah and Ellen. They are wonderful role models. They are women who support many charities and organizations. As a woman, I learned from them to reach for the stars, and that anything is possible as a woman. I thank them for that.
Really for me the people I admire the most are the ones who making a difference in this world. Giving a voice to the voiceless. Bringing the causes that need to be spoken about into the light.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!
If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, Authority Magazine, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.
Originally published at medium.com