• Chetan Bansal

When Manisha Singh Made Me Sign My 15-Second Dream Agreement

Follow your dreams or face your fears; more often than not they will lead you to the same wonderful destination. — Al Secunda

In imperfection lies the evolution. This is the crux of reality which we tend to ignore and surpass. We all want to be perfect in everything that we do as it is deeply ingrained in the human psyche that perfection leads to phenomenal success. But is that so?

Somebody has rightly quoted, ‘to err is human’, so why to be so fussy about our mistakes and follies. Why not let perfectionism rest in peace and we too continue our life journey peacefully without remorse and regrets rather than dwindling in this duality?

Let us enjoy the dichotomies and dualities, life brings us rather than complaining, cribbing and cursing about it. This is what, I learned from beautiful Manisha Singh when she delivered her amazing session for journey to self.

Manisha Singh has done her master’s in psychology. She is a gold medallist in Applied Psychology (Honours) from Delhi University. A certified EQ Assessor from “Six Seconds” & HR specialization in SCMHRD, Pune. She is the founder of “Taksh”, which focusses on raising emotional quotient of young students, parents, teachers, and professionals. The journey helps her become more aware, intentional, purposeful and helps hers in making her coaches more aware and empowered. She aims to bring socio-emotional learning integrated with the regular curriculum of schools. She is an avid book reader and along with Anand Patwa, the founder of Sadgamaya, she has co-initiated this beautiful journey to self through reading, learning, and sharing.

I was naturally curious for her session as she is the initiator of this mission to empower, enrich and enlighten people through the most powerful instrument which is none other than books. Manisha delivered her session based on one of her favourite book, ‘the 15- second principle’ by Al Secunda.

She started her session in an altogether different way. She felicitated herself by crowning herself as “inspiring imperfect”. The best part was through this simple gesture, she made everybody realise that there is nothing wrong in being imperfect and we all live in a world full of imperfections. We as humans have descended on the planet earth imperfectly so that we can work on our imperfections and evolve in our own distinct ways and inspire each other. That was quite remarkable. She also quoted the excerpts from the three different stories narrated by the author in the book using the analogy of animals and made us understood the rationale behind why we do what we do.

She struck the right chord that day when she made us realise that how dreams are important and to realise those dreams, we must take some actions and make efforts. But what happens is that most of the times we fail to take actions and start cursing ourselves for not doing the required. This inner voice berates us constantly and we identify ourselves with that voice and lose confidence within. that is where the irony lies. We all have a critique within us and that continuously keeps a check on us, challenges us and convinces us. Now what truly matters is how purposefully we listen to that inner voice.

Manisha gave an inspiring twist to it and made us realise that instead of eluding that inner voice, we must listen to it and understand it as our true calling. It is in the inherent nature of our body to protect itself and it breathes itself on that principle of survival mechanism. We must learn to accept the dualities within and respect them so that we can live in the present moment awareness holistically and wholeheartedly.

What a profound realisation it is: the more you resist, the more it persists. We must accept and embrace life as it is.

Manisha then apprised us with the wonderful tool, the 15-second principle introduced by the esteemed author al secunda. The 15-second principle is an agreement. it states that you agree to give your full attention to and take some action toward a dream project, an overwhelming task, or new skill each day for a minimum of 15 seconds.

In signing the 15-second agreement, you agree to visit the world of your dream project, challenging task, or overwhelming assignment for at least 15 seconds a day. This simple yet powerful discipline will enable you to bridge the gap between rumination and creation daily. This skill will enhance your tenacity, discipline, and productivity.

The principle also requires that you forgive yourself whenever you do not live up to this seemingly easy contract. It gives you the freedom to break up patterns, change directions, and test unknown waters by allowing you to commit to new behaviour for brief periods of time. Ultimately, you want to develop the ability to control whether you take actions on a more regular basis. We all know consistency is the key to success and this amazing device of 15-second principle helps in building the same and that too formidably. It helps in achieving small breakthroughs and actions.

The same concept is true when it comes to breaking through your stagnant inertia. Going from doing nothing to doing something is what is most important. Initially, the quality or quantity of this “something” doesn't really matter. It is not important how large or small, how precise or imprecise the first action is. What’s most important is that you develop the ability to go from stillness to movement.

Momentum is the tendency to stay in motion once you have overcome stagnant inertia. It has the unique quality of creating a self-sustaining flow and energy. The challenge is to create momentum despite fearful thoughts or lethargic feelings. Once you can develop the muscle of momentum, following any dream or facing any task will become an easier and less intimidating experience. The journey from inertia to momentum was the core of the session.

Manisha singh rightly emphasized on another important aspect that self-appreciation and self-compassion are the wonderful devices to improve the individual performance. When you are in the performance zone, many positive changes happen in your life; you feel more relaxed, more focussed, less pressurised, and simultaneously you feel more energetic and perform better. She highlighted that you must forgive the berating within and self-forgiveness results in newer commitments and infuses new energy levels into your being. You start winning the battle between commitment to your dreams and your perceived fears.

The best part was she made all of us sign our respective ‘the 15-second dream agreement for’ our dream project, which was duly signed by us all with a date on it. I have pasted it on my wall and every day when i look up to it, it reminds me of my cherished dream project, and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated all the time. An eye-opening and self-stimulating session by the lovely lady had certain beautiful takeaways which I would like to share with you all: –

  • The 15 – second principle is a practical and powerful tool loaded with profound wisdom which helps in fighting the demon of procrastination within.

  • The 15 – second principle shows you simple and short steps to achieve your long-term goals. it offers a simple, inspirational, and powerful process to help us actualize our dreams.

  • The 15 – second dream agreement creates magic and by committing to spend a minimum of 15 seconds a day on a dream project, we immediately get to see how passionate and/or scared we are about it.

  • We take these mini-forays into our dreams, they will automatically become more of a reality and less of a fantasy.

  • We also promise to forgive ourselves whenever we don’t live up to this seemingly easy 15 – second contract which somehow creates a nurturing and forgiving environment within which we will slowly but surely take focused actions and gain momentum.

  • It helps in examining the beliefs and thoughts that limit us and thereby working upon them how can we create more productive, passionate, and creative lives.

  • The berating voice within us steers us away from the things we care about the most. if you are not getting to where you’d like to be in life, it’s because you are letting that voice run the show. its mission is to have you experience a multitude of painful disappointments, negative emotions, and limiting beliefs, so that you will decide to give up all your hopes and aspirations. to counter-balance, you must apply the 15- second principle and stop feeding that berating voice.

  • Instead of being intimidated by major obligations, long term goals, it gives us the freedom to take these brief and emotionally palatable actions 15 seconds at a time. these mini-actions produce momentum, freedom, and self-confidence.

  • The 15 - second principle offers tools and support to help you unleash your courage and reach the outer limits of your hopes and dreams.

  • As an entrepreneur, you are always going over multiple ideas that could create, add and deliver value to your objectives. the challenge is always developing an actionable plan, prioritizing and ensuring appropriate execution. the 15 second principle is a simple process that helps in achieving success and overcome the challenges.

  • It ensures that you stay on the path rather than have a fleeting thought that occurs and disappears into the subconscious mind. it is also a great way to compartmentalize the broad idea into smaller elements of executable possibilities.

  • The 15 – second principle helps break the monotony and switches your brain to enter “the growth mindset”.

Move ahead, experience it. All it needs is investing 15 seconds. It has helped me immensely. Everyone has 15 seconds to invest; especially when thinking of something valuable to yourself.

A heartfelt gratitude to beautiful manisha singh for introducing me to the wonderful concept of the 15-second principle which is completely a transformational device which revolutionises, refreshes and rejuvenates “The You” within you.

Hare Krishna!!!

Dr. Gazal Goyal Bansal

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