"Better Than Normal"
Post on: May 10, 2018
In 2015, Hitesh Ramchandani spoke at the JT Foxx Family First Reunion in the USA and was voted the top speaker — a remarkable feat considering he bagged it from accomplished speakers around the world.
He had enrolled in Toastmasters to conquer his fear of public speaking. It was an excellent decision and it paid dividends — he enjoyed having conversations both on and off stage. Public speaking soon became second nature to him and won him many accolades.
This gave him the impetus to set up “Better Than Normal”, a motivational and mindset coaching company. It was a natural progression as he was already receiving invitations to give motivational talks in schools and organisations. In addition, the book he authored by the same name, was well-received. Hence he boldly embarked on a cause he was so passionate and confident about (as summarised from his interview with “Dollars and Sense”).
His speaking engagements took him across the globe. In March 2018, he spoke at a seminar at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, with 500 participants including professors, doctors and students.
Wow! what an achievement for a 25-year-old guy… his credentials include — an author, a motivational speaker, a transformational coach and an athlete, amongst others! However, what makes it even more extraordinary is that he has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder which impaired his movement, motor skills and affected his speech.
As a child, he was told he would never walk on his own. But he proved the naysayers wrong by not only walking but representing Singapore in soccer in the ASEAN Para Games. The team won a silver medal at the 2013 ASEAN Para Games held in Myanmar and a bronze in 2015, in Singapore.
When he was young, his father banned the wheelchair in their home. In an interview with the Straits Times, Hitesh rationalised, “If you don’t see the wheelchair, you are forced to walk. At first, it hurts, but eventually, my muscles grew strong.” He attributes his success to his parents, who treated him as a normal child. The positive affirmations which his parents imbued in him sparked the desire to be an international motivational speaker.
One can empathise the challenges he had to go through as a “differently-abled” boy. In the same interview, he recounted that when he was four, the other kids did not want to play with him. They ostracised him as he walked differently, his speech was bad and he had a twisted left hand. They were scared of him and on one occasion, he went home crying from the playground.
His parents were his pillar of strength and did not want anyone to feel sorry for him. They did not allow him to wallow in self-pity — instead of shielding him, they encouraged him to go out and play. They taught him resilience — he was able to roll with life’s hard-hitting punches as they came along and recovered swiftly.
Hitesh has defied the odds all his life. He wants to use his life story to inspire and help those who feel defeated by life. His goal is to inspire 50 million lives as an international motivational speaker by the time he turns 50. This is at the expense of his love for soccer, a sport which has brought him glory and fame. But he feels that sometimes one has to sacrifice something to achieve a greater good. He walks the talk in his pursuit to achieve his ambition.
The great Napoleon Hill’s quotation, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit” is indeed true to Hitesh’s life. Undeterred by the early setbacks, he soldiered on with a renewed sense of vigour… and excelled.
Hitesh was once asked by “fF” (financial Freedom) why his book was entitled “More than Normal”. He recounted that when he was young he felt dejected as he was bullied and looked down upon. As an innocent, young boy he asked his parents if he could be normal one day. His parents gave him the perfect answer — his difference will never make him normal but the difference would make him “better than normal” or “more than normal”.
The Jolly Good Times wishes Hitesh all the best in his endeavours. Hitesh propagates what he resolutely believes in — his life story bespeaks there are no limits to what one can achieve except for the limits one places on his own mindset. Hitesh Ramachandani has proven that you do not have to be an influential person or a celebrity to spread positivity. An exemplary role model walks amongst us — being normal or Better Than Normal.