Nagrik Dialogue

Change is Constant, Changing is a Choice-Stories Of Changemakers

Series by Sandi Saksena

‘If you are feeling dissatisfied in your work, don’t hesitate to make a change, You’re never trapped’. 

‘Your Captain on this Spice jet Flight is Dr. Arihant Jain’.  “Yes, it always gives me a ‘high’ when I hear the cabin crew member make that announcement!”

After watching Gully Boy, a slum dweller who dreams of  becoming a rapper but isn’t supported by people around him because they think his dream is too big for an underdog, His statement” APNA TIME AAYEGA”, Captain Arihant says it reminded him of his childhood big time the fun loving naughty  easy- going kid, into sports, active in school events just average  in academics.

“As a naughty, average in academics my teachers did not have high hopes for me,” says Arihant, “the  parent teacher meetings were all about my naughtiness, and poor grades!  My parents  worried about my mediocre academic future and at the bottom of my heart I feared being a non- performer in life.  8th grade was a defining year, I accompanied my father for a doctor visit,  there, out of boredom I  started reading a magazine on aviation and career as a pilot.  It was as if a light bulb lit up in my head. I had never even been to an airport at the time but my soul was awakened by that article. My classmates laughed when I stated I wanted to be an airline pilot one day.  I was thought to be ‘flying too high’ as my mind was in the clouds and people wanted me to be on terra firma! Everyone around me tried to dissuade me but I was adamant on my journey to the sky and beyond. For me, passion was the beginning of my success. Ever since I have become a pilot in Spice Jet Airlines, I have never felt like I am working. I love what I do and I do what I love . When passion and career coincide , it is the most fulfilling and productive path ever and this fulfilment reflects in all the spheres of your life mentally as well as spiritually including a healthy work-life balance”.

So, you are saying that you must have a single- minded passion to achieve success? 

“Not at all, it does not imply that an individual can have only one passion in life. Individuals can have multiple passions depending on various factors such as genetic, background, experiences, priorities etc. However, passion alone does not necessarily lead to happiness on the job. Not all passion is positive so don’t be afraid to change jobs or even career trajectories. Always remember, You have within you the Strength, The Passion and the Will Power to reach the stars and Make a Change.

I am the proud son of a professor, teaching flows in my blood, even after becoming a Pilot, I went ahead and completed my Ph. D in Education. I love the concept of how teachers open your mind and touch your heart . I have been teaching at various stages in my career”

What would you say to young people who are confused about their career choices. There is advice from family, career counsellors and now of course the ‘net’ keeps indicating trends, what will make you the most money?

 “Each of us has unique talents that can create a long-lasting impact. Entering a profession without heart or drive is getting into a trap. You will never reach the highest point of success as you may have the skill but not your heart in it and even if you reach the zenith, you feel incomplete since your heart aches to do something else . Often, I hear newbies crib about too much competition, however, If one does what he/she is best at, then there is no competition whatsoever!”

What about the money aspect, that’s what drives most of us

“It is true money can buy you happiness but only to a certain extent….  If you ever look at the proverbial  “Fork in the Road Situation” in your career path, where one path leads to Happiness and One path leads to Money choose your path carefully!  The path leading to Happiness can also give you exceptional money sooner or later but the path leading to money will only give you momentary satisfaction.”

You mentioned always having a backup plan, why is that needed if you are in the job you love?

‘’Yes, a backup plan…. With the changing ‘landscape’ and the requirements of certain careers example my profession, models, fitness trainers, media, service industries there is a need to ‘reinvent’ yourself, add a new set of skills to remain ‘employable’ RELEVANT or continue to generate income.  Since my career completely revolves around my health and no amount of exercising  and taking care of my health can guarantee me a perfectly healthy body, I am fully equipped with teaching as a profession Education-wise as well as Skillset-wise!  I leverage this even in my current profession. My aim is to help aspiring pilots reach their goals in less time, with appropriate guidance.”

In conclusion Dr. Captain as I call him, posed these questions and his solutions

“Do you have sleepless nights feeling worthless?

Open your social media accounts and sometimes feel that the world is moving too fast and you are stagnant?

Compare yourself with others and lose confidence thinking how average you are?

And then, keep these feelings to yourself, cry in your heart and put up a brave face yet again?”

“It is OKAY,” he says, “to be Average, NOT be amongst the top ten in your class, to have moments of self-doubt, to fail to feel lonely, It is not the end of the world!”

“Don’t limit yourself to your degrees. Step back, be honest and ask yourself the hard questions; i.e. what are your strengths, what special skills do you have, what do you enjoy doing, what do you want to do with the rest of your life. Find a purpose in your job search and don’t just look for a paycheck. Don’t set artificial barriers, leave your ego aside and take a leap of faith. Always remember, the most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself. Do something that terrifies you every day!  Change is inevitable, Celebrate your ups and downs even harder, because that is your time to bounce back and shine!”

Author Sandi Saksena is Head ‘Family Matters’ at Echelon Advisors and Management Consultants
CSR Advisory Board ActionAid Association
SDG Global Ambassador, Advisory Board Nagrik Foundation



Nagrik Dialogue is the face of Nagrik Foundation’s communication skills that comes in the form of a monthly magazine. It will work as a bridge for those working at the grass roots level and those who support them in any form and manner.