Do you ever wonder what the trick is for people excel at what they do? Sara Shah speaks to Harini Ramchandran, who claims to know the secret to success
No matter how ambitious you are, wanting to excel at what you do (and what you want to do) is an inherent emotion for most of us. There was a time when singer and co-proprietor of School of Excellence, Harini Ramachandran did too. She once blanked out on stage, trying to recall the lyrics to a song. There, she was discovered by Antano Solar John, who with the help of the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), helped her to overcome her problem. She tells us more about her journey since.
- Tell us a little about the School of Excellence and Neuro Linguistic Programming.
The School of Excellence is an organisation that Antano Solar John and I co-founded in 2011. Imagine that you’re hungry — you can just walk into a restaurant, order the food that you want, and it’s at your table in a few minutes. But, where do you go if you need a change in your life? There’s very little information available on mental health and personal change in India. People need emotional wellness and personal change, but don’t know where to go.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is one of the most efficient technologies, and it comes with its own set of tools and techniques, which you can use to bring about positive changes in your life as well as enhance your communication skills.
- Who can benefit from NLP?
From a 14-year-old to a 76-year-old, we’ve had diverse people learn about and use NLP. The programme can benefit people across age groups and professions. However, everyone will benefit from NLP in a different way. For example, a student learns how to focus better, get into an on-demand, peak state of mind, evolve as a more outgoing personality, communicate better and understand people better.
- What do you aim to achieve with the Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
The aim is to create context-specific models of excellence in different fields, using the technology of NLP. To put it simply, there are several people who are considered geniuses, but nobody knows how these geniuses do what they do. NLP provides a framework, a methodology to replicate the skills of a genius, code it, and make it available to the common man. But, there are few people who have imbibed the depths of this methodology. I intend to use NLP to make what is available only to geniuses, more accessible to the common man.
I also use NLP to help tone and rhythm-deaf people to sing soulfully and bring in rhythm and pitch differences into their neurology.
- How will Neuro-Linguistic Programming help people who suffer from mid-life crisis?
Interestingly, contrary to popular belief, the mid-life crisis doesn’t start at mid-life. It starts way earlier, when people are choosing what subjects to study during their school/ college and the relationships they enter. I notice how people make these choices is sometimes based on temporary limitations.
Neuro Linguistic Programming can change this situation for people. It helps you change your understanding of what is possible and what is not at a more subconscious level. It helps you to overcome your shortcomings and empowers you with choice.
- What inspired you to take on a career in Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
Early on in my music career, I used to do three-four recordings in a day and had several stage shows every month. I used to perform songs, but always had a book of lyrics in front of me. I was paranoid about forgetting the lyrics! I was too scared to take the risk of singing on stage without the book with me, even if I knew the song really well.
It was around that time that I met Antano Solar John (the chief technology officer of a company that I was working part-time for) who had just learned NLP from one of the founders of NLP — Dr. Richard Bandler. He offered to help me get over my phobia of forgetting the lyrics with the help of this process. And, I had an opportunity to test this the very next day after my session, when I had to perform 10 new songs. These were songs I hadn’t sung on stage before and had learned just a week ago. After the session, I went home and practised the songs again. I felt confident, but I wasn’t sure whether anything had changed. When I went on stage, I forgot the book of lyrics backstage! The music had already started and I was in a spot. Something took over inside of me and I just sang… And I finished singing the entire song, without the lyrics book! So, I asked Antano about how he made it happen and whether it would last. He said, “How surprised will you be when you find that this capability not only sustains, but grows with time? You may begin to notice changes in other aspects of your life, too”.
When I realised how this one session changed so much around me, I was intrigued about exploring NLP further. So, I learned NLP from Antano and the two of us practised, obsessively, compulsively, and worked with several people to find that we were both getting consistent results.
- How has NLP helped you in your career?
NLP has helped me shift my identity as a person, and that has helped me grow in my career. Transitioning from a post-graduate student, an intern, a learning consultant and leading a quality and testing team to working on high-end consultative sales — I went through this exciting journey in the shortest time, working hand-in-hand with top management whilst most people I knew were just starting out from the bottom. In my music career, I grew from a chorus and harmony singer to working with the top Indian music directors such as A R Rahman, Ilayaraja, Harris Jayaraja and GV Prakash. I’ve also composed and recorded a couple of songs for my upcoming album. I work with tone-deaf and rhythm-deaf people around the world to help them
This accelerated a kind of leap in my own personality too after I began my NLP journey. My understanding of what was possible and what was not, shifted. What NLP has helped me with most is the ability to make good decisions, become more intuitive, learn new skills quickly, connect with the right people easily and manage my state of mind — all of this helps me improve in my career and lead my personal life blissfully.