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Hitesh R | Global Keynote Speaker | Paralympic Footballer | Diversity & Inclusion Leader

Hitesh R

Hitesh R

"Opportunity does not come to those who do not want to leave their comfort zone" Hitesh R

When I was initially bullied at school, I may have been 12 years old. My impairment back then was ten times worse than it is now. Even holding a glass of water by myself was beyond my ability. It goes without saying that I experienced many mental breakdowns throughout, and my childhood was certainly not idyllic.

One time, I can still recall asking my father why I wasn't like everyone else. How can I become normal? Dad was similarly at a loss for words as to what to say to the kid. “You will never be able to regain your normalcy” my father said. But if you put in the effort and vow to persevere, I can assure you that one day, forget about being normal—you will be BETTER THAN NORMAL!

This is why I surround myself with this term ‘Better Than Normal' right from my novel to my Physio Hub. After ten years, I began writing my book and came back to India in 2017 with the goal of improving India beyond what it was before- to make it ‘better than normal’. The journey continues till date, so does my pursuit.

Beyond the Barricades:

We must always keep in mind that we have a choice between giving up and getting up whenever we face a challenge. In general, people have a giving up mentality, I decide to get up! I'm sure something amazing will happen once you find the strength to get up. Therefore, every time I face a hurdle, I think to myself, what if I get up? And I do so, every time it’s worth fighting for.


I initially put myself in a degree programme in Singapore but soon enough I realized how attending lectures and taking examinations where all you had to do was memorise piles of books didn't work for me, what I had signed up for wasn't fun for me. That wasn't my way; I prefer a balance of reading books and gaining experiential knowledge because it’s the only survival kit.


Success can mean different things to different people. Sometimes we consider someone successful if they have a million followers even when we never know if this person is genuinely trying to make ends meet! This frame of view paves way to superficial judgement – everything appears to us from a single perspective. Despite professional achievement, a person may struggle with their health or their personal life. Success, in my opinion, is a relative concept. Someone who is prosperous in one area of life may be unsuccessful in another. I’ve always believed that success is the goal you can only achieve when you truly feel successful from within!


Disability and Inclusion in the Workplace:


Being subject to judgments is the primary obstacle that people with disabilities face - He or she cannot do this; live in this manner, etc. The five fingers of our hand are all of different sizes; if they were all the same size, they might not be as functional. In the same way, any organisation will be able to expand and grow only when they invest in a diverse workforce bringing fresh cultures and perspectives. The only recommendation in this situation is to avoid passing judgement and instead focus on a person's talent and potential. 


Authorship and Change:


My first book was inspired by my father's advice to always try to be Better than Normal. I never anticipated publishing a book. I published weekly blogs on Monday Motivation while I was in college and eventually wrote twenty such articles. My friend always used to appreciate my writing skills and persuaded me to write a book. I compiled my twenty articles and formed a book. So, before I even realised it, I had indirectly written a book!


Taking chances is something I believe in. People wait for their lucky shots, but I just take them. I merely accepted the chance when the college asked me to write articles, and it turned into an opportunity to write a book. Opportunity does not come to those who do not want to leave their comfort zone, as life has taught me. They have no idea that they have missed an opportunity because they have failed to recognize it.


For example, the videos I share on social media were created for my own personal development but they appear to be useful to a large number of people via social media now. This in turn gave me the opportunity to appear on a Sony TV reality show Superstar Singer! None of it was planned; it just happened. I simply believe in taking chances because magic will occur if you keep putting effort. 


Sources of Powerful Lessons:


Vicky Vaswani, my elder cousin brother, has been my greatest life mentor, guiding me through every stage of my life and through all my challenges. He was the one who inspired me to start writing and giving keynote speeches. I participated in Paralympic football only with his spirits hyping me up. He’s my go-to person whenever I face difficulties with my work life or managing my relationships. He is the one who truly deserves the credit!

The best part is how he did not assist me because he wanted me to become a big star, rather wished to see me become self-sufficient. Money and  startups are merely icing on the cake; the fundamental goal was to become independent in every way and carve the way of my own dreams!

To continue reading timeless literary works with powerful inspiring stories and people, check out these top living well stories.