Truth with Harsha
Last February’s special speaker was Harsha Ravindran of Ascendance, a 19-year-old social entrepreneur. Despite being young, Harsha is no less impressive than the other speakers and managed to captivate the participants with her wisdom.
Harsha shared her interesting personal stories on how being true to yourself and others, and improving yourself can lead you to achieve great things in life.
Who is Harsha?
Harsha is a co-founder and the CEO of Ascendance, an international youth movement that students run. The company started seven years ago when Harsha was 13. Ascendance’s objective is to get students to try out whatever they want and love. They want students’ voices to be heard and will support them in things/tasks that they want to try out. Ascendance aspires to provide one million teenagers with different platforms to do what they want by getting them to do hands-on experience for things they are passionate about.
If that is not impressive enough, Harsha wowed the participants by revealing that she is also the founder and CEO of StartMyName.com, with over 400 clients on four continents. She is also the author of Making of a Teenage Entrepreneur, which was released in 2021.
This young lady has accomplished much, such as being a three-time TEDx speaker, an International Conference speaker and a recipient of the Diana Award for Young Changemakers. With her achievements, it is no surprise that she is a Bachelor’s Degree student at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university in the United States.
Explanation of Truth in Different Parts
Harsha explains truth in two parts divided into the science and non-science parts.
The Science Part
When she was young, Harsha followed her mom to work seminars, where she noticed a few things from the company that were gathered there. The first thing she noticed was that each person was doing things that they liked. She noticed that they were all very successful, and more importantly, they all gave back to the community. Harsha was amazed by what she saw that she went to the counter to ask how she could become like them.
The person at the counter shared about quantum physics, in which nothing is real, and reality keeps changing, so you have to create a reality that you want. He also shared Einstein’s theory that energy and matter are interchangeable. The energy you put up will eventually help you create a reality of your own thoughts. Take your thoughts and create the energy that will turn into the matter to make the world that you desire. The theories may seem a bit complicated, but luckily, Harsha also provided a “non-science” explanation for them.
The Non-Science Part
You need to have truthful thoughts, truthful words, and truthful actions to create reality. Being truthful is related to reality, and you need to try it out yourself to see that being truthful enables you to create the reality you desire. Surround yourself with honest people, be honest about what you feel, and take action for what you truly want.
The Importance of Being Truthful
- Relationship with Others
Harsha admitted that she was once not truthful with her co-founders, and as a result, it strained their relationship. It started because she did not want to reveal her weakness, which was not knowing how to do her work, and she did not ask others for help. She thought that she should always be good at her job and show others her excellent side only. However, she then realised that being good or bad at your job does not matter because what matters is that you find a solution to your problems and be truthful to others. Do not be shy about asking for help from others, and be honest about not being good at your job.
- Enhance Oneself
Students can enhance their abilities by doing something they like and enjoy. Harsha explained that you could encourage others to be truthful if you are truthful. Students can express themselves and their desires. If they find a session boring, they should be allowed to voice it out so that a different, more exciting lesson can take place, such as experiential learning where you can bring them to do what they enjoy, be it food-tasting, studio visits, etc. This can help the students to improve themselves and find what they are interested in because they get to try new things out.
Learning to be Truthful
The stories shared by Harsha were meant to teach the participants how to be truthful. She highlighted three things from her stories to consider when a person wants to be true to himself/herself.
Your environment matters, and it refers to the people you are surrounded with – your family, friends, co-workers, etc. If you surround yourself with truthful people, you will be influenced by them and naturally become truthful.
- Setting and Achieving Goals
Create a list of what you want to achieve. If you’re going to be truthful, you need to know what you want and how to get it. Setting a goal allows you to see all the good and bad things.
- Be truthful about what you feel
Do not try to hide or ignore your feelings, and you need to acknowledge them even if you are not happy. Harsha believes that one of the main reasons why people fail is because when they hit an obstacle, they lie and say that it does not bother them when it does. They often do not want people to think badly of them. However, being honest with what you feel can help you find a solution to your problems and get back on track.
By following all three ways to be truthful, Harsha achieved the scholarship for her secondary school. Her environment was filled with genuine people; she knew what she wanted and worked hard for it. Most importantly, she acknowledged her feelings whenever she faced rejection. You can change reality if you are truthful.
Responding to Truthfulness
How you respond to being truthful is also essential. To ensure a peaceful work environment, you need to be nice to others. Harsha warned that some people might take advantage of your kindness, and you might end up doing their work instead.
Harsha’s mentor gave her this advice: “You cannot always be nice, and you should let people try things out on their own.” Indeed, anyone would be bothered if a person asks them for help only for them to pass their whole work to you. But because you are nice, you just accept everything with open arms. Unfortunately, that is not being truthful.
One needs to be truthful if someone or something is bothering them so that they can find a solution to it. You cannot always be friendly and embrace everything given to you. When you need to be truthful, take a deep breath. Inform your co-workers, teammates, and students if what they do bothers you. Harsha shared that it is vital to tell people how you feel and not always be nice because it really does not matter even if you tell the truth. Some people will constantly be upset with you. If someone comes up to you asking for help, do not directly give them a solution because they might later depend too much on you. Instead, let them try things out independently but make sure they know that you have their support.
The session was very informative, and Harsha managed to deliver such a serious topic in a fun and engaging way. The numerous stories that she shared were exciting and will surely motivate the students of YLP to be truthful to themselves and others when they face challenges in life.
The Youth Leadership Program (YLP) holds Meet & Greet sessions every month to inspire and bring new light to the younger generation. Are you interested in this programme? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on MAD projects we promote, head on to our Facebook or Instagram page @mad.mvmt.