Episode 73: Necker: A 12-Year Goal Realised with Shivani Gupta 

Hi everyone, and welcome to the AskShivani podcast, I'm really excited about talking to you about a recent experience that I had. And it's an experience that's been really important to me, it's been an experience that is been a long time brewing a long time coming. And a lot of it is really about learning. I was recently running a workshop. And we were speaking about the different areas of passion, which is, which is an area I speak about, and consult and and mentor people in. And in this particular workshop, a number of the people that were on the roundtable asked that question about, you know, what, what does this thing notion of learning actually mean? And so, when I was explaining that to them, we got into a conversation around how important it is to continue to learn. I've heard a number of people say the same that if you're not learning, you're dying, and the importance of keeping our brain active.

I've also had personal experiences in my family where people have these great goals. I know for my mother-in-law, who's still alive and well, but unfortunately, not really great in terms of sickness, she'd had these long term dreams of being able to, when she retired, she was going to take some time out. And then she was going to go traveling. And unfortunately, within a couple of months of retiring and extending her work, she got very ill, and was not able to do that. I also caught up with a friend of mine last week who learning is so important to her around her spiritual practice, that I remember when I met her 15 or so years ago, she was very clear and letting me know that she was going to be retiring at a very early age in her early 50s. And that she wanted to spend a lot of time learning about her spiritual practice. And it was really important for her to be able to dedicate a lot of her life there.

I really resonate, especially with my friends, and you know, experience around that. And learning has probably been in my top three passions for most of my life that I've been conscious about, but certainly unconsciously as well. Because to me, it's so important to be able to continue to work on myself. And, you know, I do get some judgments sometimes from people saying, which Shivani I'm constantly doing that, when is it enough? And I think the answer is it's never, it never ends, like learning is something that you just keep going. And I also don't want to wait for some time in the future where I'm going to learn. And I want to build it into almost if I can call it my daily practice. So, whether learning is reading books, or attending programs, or coming across different practitioners and being able to go and attend them, all of those things are really, really important to me. And I want to build that into as I said, my daily and my weekly practice.

The other thing that's really important for me is I love learning from different people's stories and their experiences. And one of the things when I read Richard Branson's book, almost 15 years ago now and losing my vagility, I remember coming across him and seeing some of the great PR shenanigans that he's involved in. And about was almost 12 years ago, I remember I've always done a vision board at the at the beginning of each year. So usually on the first of January, I sit down about myself, and look at what my top passions are going to be and what are the goals that are in alignment with those passions that I want to achieve. So, I've learned over the years not to keep setting goals and areas. I'm not that passionate about it because learning features in my top three for so long. I then look at things that I can learn that year, courses I can attend, goals that I might set in terms of how many books I might be able to read. And I've been doing this. This worked for close to 20 years. And it was work that was shared to me again, by learning from other mentors and a lot of people that do vision boards and have done them for years and years or decades.

And about 12 years ago, I thought you know what I'm going to put down on my vision board in terms of my learning that I'm going to go and learn from what I classed as the best entrepreneur at the time. Richard Branson and I could see all the different brands and all the different things that he was starting to do. And had done and disrupted industries and disrupted you know, a way of doing anything. And anyway, that goal and then that vision stayed on my vision board for the last 12 years. I had an opportunity to go about seven years ago. And then another project came up that I felt very, very close to my heart. And I had to make a choice. And in the end, I chose the other project, which I ended up working in for the next sort of six or seven years. And last year, when the opportunity came up to put my hand up to go through the Business Chicks, and go to Necker Island, which is where Richard Branson lives, it's his home. And he opens up his home for certain development, gatherings and conferences. And he's very generous with his time where he actually comes and attends quite a lot, he comes and hangs out and has breakfast with you. He obviously speaks at the gathering. And I finally put my hand up to do that. And what I wanted to do today was, I guess I'm sort of integrating some of the lessons but to share with you my top three or four learnings that have come out of I've just got back a couple of weeks ago, and you know, get straight back into school and kids and husband and friends, and yoga. And so, it's been really nice to starting to integrate those lessons, I still got a bunch of notes on my desk, that I need to go through and really put further lessons in.

But I wanted to share with you some of those lessons around learning and what I was able to learn the first lesson for me that's come out of being a necker. And I did a speaking engagement last week, and I got to ask the same question. You know, what were your top learnings? And I'm sure I'm going to be asked this question. So now I can just say listen to the podcast. But I also wanted to reflect myself and share that with the audience that I may not get to be in front of speaking, or mentoring. But they do listen to the podcast to be able to say what were the key lessons. And some of these will sound really basic, but they were not really basic to me, they were quite aha moments that were almost a little bit revolutionary as I start to integrate some of those learnings. And the first thing when I got there, I realized was that I belong here. And that I'm enough. Because it's been a goal for so long, that I know that the seven years ago, when the opportunity came out to be on this particular trip, I was having quite a little bit of the I don't deserve to spend this money to go to this trip. I'm not sure if I'm going to be enough comparing myself to some of the people that were going, there was a lot going on in my personal life, there was a lot going on financially, I was also running a business that wasn't doing so well, that needed a lot of my attention. My kids obviously were a lot younger, seven years ago. So, they're now 13 And almost 12. But you know, five years ago, they were you know, my seven and eight. And so, I was definitely not feeling enough at the time. And I did some work on myself and journal a fair bit about what was happening for me. But one of the things that was really important on this particular trip was not to arrive there with these massive holes, and gaps and feel like that wasn't enough. So, I did some self-talking to do a little affirmation work. And you know, just getting there and going, look, everybody's got their own journey. Everybody's comes through their own ups and downs to get to this trip. You know, for some of them, it was fairly recent, we're having to go through PCR tests, I'm getting into the careers, and leaving their families behind leaving their businesses behind. And for others, it was a more longer term or medium term. And for me a big thing was getting there and going, you know, I belong here. And I don't have to put different people up on a pedestal, or even as much as I admire and I was really looking forward to meeting Richard Branson, you know, also not putting him up on a pedestal. Because I believe that when you do that, when you put people up there, you consciously or unconsciously start to put yourself down that somehow you're not enough. So really working with that thought process of I am enough, I belong here. I'm here to learn and grow just like everybody else. And you're here now you've ticked off this big, big goal that you've had for so long.

The second one was that, you know, I'm a big believer that when you state your goals, when you state your visions, when you state your passions, and you start to share them with the world. And when I say with the world, I often don't mean absolutely everybody, because I've done that and when you when your heart on your sleeve to everybody and you completely open and vulnerable to everybody I have experienced that's not always the safest place for me to be. And that it's really important for me to share that vision with people that might criticize it. They might not agree with everything that I might have put down and thinking of people like my husband and my children. They don't agree with everything that I might put down. They might question that but their intention of questioning is with love the question their intention of questioning, is to try and have a deeper understanding of their mom or their wife, rather than a mom or their friend, rather than their intention is to say, well, how dare you dream that? And how dare you do that? And to actually see that vision to see that goal, year after year, there were certainly a couple of years, I thought, why don't you just take this goal off? Seriously, you've done nothing about it this year, you've made no progress in this goal for years previously. Why leave it there? And because learning has always been in my top three passions, I was like, no, I'm not going to let this go. I don't know how to get there. And I don't know what will come out of that. I don't know if I'll be able to do that. And certainly, in the last three years, as we've navigated through note COVID, where so many issues happened around travel and families and connectivity, that it that goal said further away than ever before. And going on not even sure how I'm going to be able to get there.

But for my other learning was not letting go of things that are really important to you. And what was beautiful was that, you know, here I've arrived 12 years later on to Nico for this gathering. And, you know, Richard Branson spoke about that his, his dream had been to go to space. And he spoke about having that dream from a very young age. And seeing the first man land on the moon, and then being able to go, wow, I want to have access to space. And he spoke about the fact that at every year's gathering that he would speak about, I didn't get to it this year, I would get to it another year. And I just thought that was such a beautiful thing that he just didn't let go of his vision, that his goal of his dream that he'd had for a long time to finally be able to do that in the last six months, and then be able to share that story and share that video with us, you know, at this particular gathering. And so, I love that analogy that had taken me so long to get there. And it had taken him so long to get to space. And so just never letting go with even when it seems impossible, to what's really important for you, and how you're going to achieve that goal, that vision, that dream that you have. But always making sure that if it's that important to you, you keep not losing sight of it, you keep dreaming about it, you keep actioning it, and you keep realizing in terms of what it's going to be there. 

And another learning I had in this almost week of amazingness was that when you want to create something new, you actually need space. And how do you create space? Do you just completely stop doing stuff? Well, that's pretty difficult to do. And one of the lessons that came out through Richard Branson speaking or speaking to some amazing women on this particular trip was that this whole thing of and linking it back into my mother in law, and the story that I shared with you at the beginning of this podcast about her getting ill, and waiting for these dreams to come true is this, I will do this later, I will have fun later, I will relax when I get on my holiday. And actually, building in plane building in exercise building in your meditation, and then building in your work every day not I'll work really hard Monday to Friday, and then I'll relax over a glass of wine. Not I'll work really hard this term, and then we'll chill out and the school holidays. So, when we go on a holiday when we go that's true, particularly as the world starts to open up when we go overseas, and you know, get on that plane. So rather than constantly delaying play, constantly delaying having fun, you know, I'm pretty good with a few minutes of meditation every each day. But I haven't been traditionally very good at building and lots of play into my day on a daily basis. And so how do you do that? Why yourself, with your family, with your friends in workplaces? And then how do you also work super, super hard. And I'm only in a couple of weeks into this particular journey. But I'm finding the really lovely ripple effect of that coming through. So, I'm loving the fact that I'm almost scheduling in some time for play scheduling and a little bit more time for yoga scheduling and a little bit of time to have some fun and to do the reading and so it's quite stressful for me that that first few days and even the Even now, like some days, I'm like, Oh my God, I've got so much to get done. Now I've got this extended play period, and I've got less time to actually get my work done. I haven't probably done this for enough weeks, you know, they say that new habits take, some people say 30 days, some people say six weeks, my experience has been six to eight weeks is more like for me to form new habits. And I'm only a couple of weeks in. But what I'm noticing is that, my I love this word. And I disliked this word in the same instance, by efficiency. In the parts that I'm trying to play hard in the times I'm trying to be creative and get things done seems to be far greater than when I didn't have enough play.

So, I'm wondering longer term, if I worked for, say, eight hours a day. Then I wonder if I could get that amount of work done in five and a half, six hours a day. So, could I improve almost by efficiency by 20, or 25%? Because I've had play built in. And because I've had playability and I'm having more fun. I'm a lot more relaxed getting to my tasks rather than this constant, adrenaline junkie rush response that I've certainly had for most of my career in most of my work. So, yeah, they're probably the key lessons that are coming out for me so far. I think if you asked me this question, or somebody else with this question six months down the track, and we tend to be very immediate, we tend to be well, you've done this treat, tell me your learnings, you've done this course, tell me your learnings. But sometimes the ripple effects of the learning don't actually happen. Sometimes, I think certainly from a trip like this. And because it's been such a long-term goal. I think some things will marinate in there for weeks or months, or perhaps even years, before they really start to rise to say, hey, that was a really key lesson that came out of them. But I wanted to share some of those initial lessons. And I hope that you start to think about as you listen to this, what this might mean for you, what this might mean for some of your long term goals that you might have given up on what this might mean for keeping your mind active and learning and this notion that if you're not learning that you're dying, and also that third part around feeling enough, like when do you actually feel like you're enough? And and what will you actually do with some of those learnings? Because learnings are great like I can read a book and go great, I read that fall. And you can go to a conference you can go and spend six months overseas really traveling around but what will you actually do with it is the important part. What learnings will you have and what changes will you make in yourself and in your surroundings as a result of that really matters?

Thanks for listening.