I would inspire a conscious breathing movement, as our breath is the most important aspect of us being alive. On average people take 20,000 breaths a day, and most of us do it autonomously without thinking. We can go without food for up to forty days and with no water for up to three days. However, after just a few minutes of not breathing, we can die. If we start paying attention to our breathing a few times a day and breathe consciously, it can really help us tap into our inner functions and wellbeing.
As part of my series on “individuals and organizations making an important social impact,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Parveen Panwar. Parveen Panwar is a serial entrepreneur with extensive digital media and leadership experience in the field of interactive media.
As an early pioneer within the video/content and digital media technology space, Mr. Panwar has spent the majority of his career working throughout Asia, the Pacific and the United States.
After nearly a decade of working with major web content creators developing video capabilities that reach both large and niche audiences, Mr. Panwar created PMI 5 Media, Vidaptiv and Oculu platforms to pioneer new ways of using interactive content. With the hope of creating better and more engaging user experiences, Panwar’s vision was to transform mobile web and in-app environments by innovating with multi-platform interactive videos.
Mr. Panwar is an angel investor of Shoppable, a leading universal checkout technology platform, and other startups involved in medical AI and blockchain technology. In addition, he ran various successful outsourcing, digital media, marketing, social media, and video platform companies.
Additionally, Mr. Panwar is a Managing Partner at Activated Capital which focuses on impact investing through real estate in underserved communities. Aside from business, Parveen takes an altruistic approach within the non-profit sphere. He launched Activated Life, a non-profit organization, to mobilize communities and corporations to take collective action towards building positive mindsets and living consciously for a higher purpose.
Activated Life brings entrepreneurs together through various activities to rekindle their spark and bring transformational change within. The organization ultimately helps them share that energy to positively impact, transform, and empower others for a greater good.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Panwar! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I, like so many other entrepreneurs, found myself consumed by talks of activating venture funds, bank accounts, business ventures, and other material-driven entities. I began to become painfully aware of a lack of personal development, authentic relationships, empathy, and inner peace.
Despite achieving significant “success,” I found myself surrounded by negative people who only cared about profit. This feeling of emptiness affected both my physical and mental health. In today’s world, people’s minds are always racing, full of mental chatter about past events, forgetting to appreciate the present. It is out of the lessons learned during this season of despair that the vision and principles for Activated Life were developed and made real.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your organization?
The transformations I have witnessed in many of the entrepreneurs who have come to our Activated Life retreats are interesting and the most satisfying. Being able to realize the importance of positive thinking can help you feel happier, more productive, and it allows you to tap into your inner-self. You will then grow as a person from the inside. Giving entrepreneurs a positive, judgment-free space to connect with others about their struggles, challenges, and fears sparks authentic conversations, meaningful relationships, and transformational change. This growth and positive perspective comes with ripple effects, and the result activates others, from our families and co-workers to friends, and other people around us to empower and give back! At Activated Life, we believe that “A Better “me” leads to a Better “we.”
One example of this is a person who came back from one of our Activated Life retreats. He was highly motivated to get back into his yoga routine and had a stronger desire to make his overall wellbeing a priority. He had forgotten what it was like to look after himself and take time out for things he enjoyed. This same person is also now more involved in the Activated Life group and organizes volunteer efforts in communities based on the Activated philosophy.
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?
To me, there are no “mistakes,” just learning experiences. One that comes to mind is to make sure you learn how to pronounce a word before you decided to say it in public. What may be right in your head does not mean it’s right when you say it out loud!
Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?
Activated Life spreads positive energy with core elements that include: enrichment programs; empowerment expeditions that cause social change and measurable impact; challenges that raise awareness for various social causes; and a website designed to be the global hub for conversation, inspiration, collaboration, and resources.
After planting the seeds of awareness, we mobilize our newly inspired members to act. Entrepreneurs and business leaders can make significant changes in the world and bring sustainable solutions to many world problems. We promote an ecosystem that nurtures higher conscious thinking. Providing training, mentorship, and establishing a community are some of the key ways in which our programming supports our members in their transition to an “impact-first” mindset.
All of this is complemented by our retreats that are designed to allow members to escape day-to-day life for the sake of fostering life-changing connections with like-minded individuals. We create experiences, memories, and everlasting bonds.
I hope that, with these elements, combined with an individual’s natural ambition, a healthier pattern will emerge that would allow them to be the best version of themselves.
Can you tell me a story about a particular individual who was impacted by your cause?
There was an individual who went through years of addiction and mental burnout as an entrepreneur chasing the highs. His transformation started before he became part of our community. He says Activated Life gave him the spark he needed to connect with his deeper self and to ultimately become an agent of positive change. He is one of the organizations biggest supporters and has become a board member. One of his quotes reads;
“Being on the frontlines of living an Activated life has allowed me to spread positivity and empathy. More importantly, I am open about the struggles and challenges I have gone through overcoming addiction. This community has changed my Life, and we have built a bond that allows us to deeply support each other while giving back to our communities along the way.”
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
We are facing some tough times as a society, and everyone needs to come together to bridge the gap. Some of the things politicians can do are:
- Allocate budget and resources to non-profits/programs that are spreading positivity and introduce programming for overall wellbeing, mental health, personal growth, and social impact in communities.
- Raise awareness of the problems that society is facing in all walks of life, especially as it relates to wellbeing, social isolation, and mental health. Something as simple as running awareness campaigns on social media, having town hall meetings, and continuously asking people for feedback on how to address the problems that affect so many of us.
- Empower people to come together to solve community problems. We are more likely to make significant transformational changes if we take it head-on as one community.
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
Leadership, to me, means guiding people to achieve the best version of themselves. Strong Leadership is about empowering others and leaving the biggest positive impact that continues to grow even in your absence!
Empowering people is the key to winning in a common goal. The basis of empowerment is to treat others as equals, listen actively, learn from people, share life stories, and align yourself with the mission. The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization aligns with its mission, and the people’s passion and purpose synchronize with each other. Real empowerment must be accompanied by a high degree of accountability to deliver on your commitments. Empowered leaders must be wholly accountable for their actions and transparent about themselves and their results.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or an example for each.
As entrepreneurs, we want quick results, and sometimes this causes us to take the “wrong” path. Sometimes for things to work right, we need to have patience, pause, and wait before reacting.
- The Power of “No”
No wasn’t in my vocabulary and trying to please everyone has caused problems both in my business and personal life. To be able to focus and have the power to say ‘no’ to people is actually very powerful and brave. We all need to start doing what is right for us, not what is right for others just to please them.
A journey based on purpose is what can align the right people and allow them to focus on the big picture. That big picture will, in turn, impact our decisions for the long term rather than for short term gains or goals.
- Well being
We all tend to put off our health, nutrition, and mental fitness to focus on other things. Improvement in our vitality and good health can increase our productivity and help in other areas of our lives. Meditation was the best thing that has happened to me!
- Take a breath
When you don’t know what to do, stop, and take a breath. Become aware of your breath and slow your thoughts down. With a clear mind, your answers will come.
You are a person of enormous 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 would inspire a conscious breathing movement, as our breath is the most important aspect of us being alive. On average people take 20,000 breaths a day, and most of us do it autonomously without thinking.
We can go without food for up to forty days and with no water for up to three days. However, after just a few minutes of not breathing, we can die. If we start paying attention to our breathing a few times a day and breathe consciously, it can really help us tap into our inner functions and wellbeing.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your Life?
Be the change that you want to see in the world by Mahatma Gandhi.
This quote has meant a great deal to me. When I first started working on the Activated Life project, I knew what change I wanted to bring to the world, but I didn’t really know where to start. I took a step back and first started on the voyage of being the change myself. I started living my life on those principles, and everything began to find its place.
Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S. whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
It would be Elon Musk. I admire how his resilience and novel way of thinking has transformed the electric car and space transportation. As a society, we have all seen him as a pioneer, but I think not as a fellow human who deserves our support for wellbeing. I would love to teach him some breathing and meditation techniques to enhance his already existing genius, reduce stress, and find the peace within!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’m a simple, friendly neighborhood guy and can be easily located on social media as @Mr.Activated.