Motivational Quote of the Day

Be a hungry learner. Never stop learning.


100x Interviews-From Child Laborer to Captain in the Army and now Successful Corporate Leader


100x Interviews

-I am starting an interview series on this blog where I will invite the “ignited minds” whose thoughts, ideas, and life stories will help you to transform your life.It's always better to get valuable advice from the people who have achieved something big in life despite the obstacles and this interview series will help us in this mission.

Interviews with Famous and Successful People | Interviews with Sussessful Indian People

He lost his parents at the tender age of six in a car accident. To feed his hunger he had to work as a child laborer to newspapers delivery boy. He had no support to get a good education; however, he educated himself despite the obstacles. These traumatic childhood life experiences couldn’t stop him and he became the officer (Captain) in the armed forces to serve his motherland with integrity and sincerity.

After resignation from the Indian army, he worked with best multinational companies in the world from different sectors and today he is a CAO (Chief Administrator Officer) of Indian telecommunication giant Matrix Cellular Services. His best-selling autobiography “Broken Crayons Can Still Colour”can inspire you to take action for fulfilling your dreams.

Meet the man of indomitable courage and immense willpower, who wrote his own destiny – Captain Rakesh Walia.

We are fortunate to interview Captain Rakesh Walia sir for this interview series.This Q&A round will definitely ignite the fire within you.

1: From child laborer to captain in the armed forces then successful corporate leader, your whole life is a great inspiration for everyone. How difficult it was for you to fight with the worst circumstances?

Captain Rakesh Walia: For me, life had always been a challenge from childhood because as an orphan child I had no other choice but to struggle for survival.

I resigned from the army because of my wife’s critical illness. I joined the stock exchange with zero knowledge before starting the journey of the corporate world.

The main problem was a difference between the mindset. As I was from the Army so it was very difficult for me to adjust to civilian’s corporate world, however, I was determined to give my best in all my endeavors.

Yes,…life was very difficult but at the same time, I learned the valuable life lessons from all these experiences.

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2: “I must come back wrapped in the national flag” it was your answer to the question, why did you join the army. Why and when you decided to join the army?

Captain Rakesh Walia: I decided to join the army at a very young age. During 1971 war, I could listen only “Bharat Mata ki Jai” (Victory for Mother India) everywhere. It was a time when I thought if I couldn’t serve my own mother then I must serve my motherland. It was my dream to sacrifice my life for the country.

3: As an ex-army officer you know the importance of discipline in life. According to you, Why discipline plays an important role in personal and professional success?

Captain Rakesh Walia: When you choose a discipline, your character and behavior reflect the signs of it. It can also lead you to good time management, and strong leadership. It means you should never keep your work pending and must take the responsibility for your own work.

Success is a journey and at the end, only committed and disciplined man can succeed.

4: “Never Give Up” three motivational words, we hear often but how actually one should keep going on when going gets tough?

Captain Rakesh Walia: There is a saying- When going gets tough, the tough get going. It means when you don’t give yourself a second choice or chance then it becomes a do or die situation. The moment you give yourself an alternative like if, and but, you dilute your ultimate aim.

In my opinion, don’t give the second choice to yourself and you will definitely get inspiration to keep going because you don’t have any choice, your mind will focus only to achieve whatever you want.

5: Rejection and failure are daunting for many of us. How should we handle the rejection and failure?

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Captain Rakesh Walia: First, you must understand that rejection and failure is a natural process of growing up. Don’t get demoralized when rejected instead prepare yourself and become so powerful that your failures and rejections look small in front of your determination. Fear of failure is natural but it should be taken as a lesson to learn and improve.

Keep learning from your failure and rejection and it will become a stepping-stone to your massive success.

6: In the army, they taught you the most important life lesson-The Art of Survival.Surviving from negative attitude is like a battle, so how to get over negative mindset?

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Captain Rakesh Walia: Every one of us will get tired and negative in life at one time or the other, however; you must identify the cause of negativity. Maybe you are negative towards the outcomes because you couldn’t get the desired results. But before accepting the defeat you must accept the bitter truth that you didn’t plan well and another person was better than you. So don’t get into the trap of negative thoughts, because your mindset will decide your path of life.

7: “Deep within you, everyone has the strength to fight”, I got this wonderful tweet from your Twitter handle. You’re right but how to identify that greater strength?

Captain Rakesh Walia: God has given infinite power to everyone. Everyone can grow and expand their vision. Focus on your capability and accept your weaknesses. Transform your weaknesses into strengths by polishing your skills and don’t get into the defensive mode.

Don’t be shy, don’t be ashamed of getting help from anyone. Everyone must learn the art of accepting criticism.Learning never ends in life. I am still learning. I learn from books, I learn from my juniors, I learn from my seniors, anybody and everybody can teach you, so be open to it and you will become mentally stronger day-by-day.

8. In your opinion, how much importance one should give to books in life?

Captain Rakesh Walia: I can say that books are basic guides, still, books are important. Books are there to give you knowledge about something, books can change your mindset, books can broaden your vision, but the life's circumstances and challenges are the practical guides and if you face those challenges you will become successful.

Read books but be practical in life to succeed.

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9: Your unprecedented success clarifies that setting the goals are the first step towards the tremendous achievements. How to be more determined towards the goals?

Captain Rakesh Walia: First, you must know what you want to achieve in your life. When I decided to become an army officer, others were laughing at me. I had two choices-either quit or expand myself so much that I prove them wrong. And I chose the second path.

Live for your goals and do everything to accomplish it. Don’t hear what the world is saying because the world will only say those things which they feel is right, which may not be right for you. You know what is right for you.

You must identify these three things if you want to be an achiever

  • Your capability
  • Your strength
  • Your unlimited hidden potential

Keep on walking. Hurdles will come but at the end, success will be there.

10. Broken Crayons Can Still Colour and Shaheen Must Die, what message do you want to convey through these two books?

Captain Rakesh Walia: At every stage of my life, I felt I must give something to people around me and when I came into the corporate world, I wanted to share my life’s experience and knowledge with the world.

"Broken Crayons Can Still Colour" is my autobiography- a story where the failures have been converted into success. It relates to every living human being.

Through this book, I want to tell you the youth, no matter what the circumstances are you can still be a hero of your own life.

"Shaheen Must Die" is a patriotic fiction. It’s a story of sacrifice and love. Sacrifice is the word, which can define your whole life; it means you have to sacrifice something important to gain something bigger in life.

11.Students are precious assets to our country but they are confused when it comes to choosing the right career. You educated yourself without any support. What is your valuable advice for the students about education and career?

Captain Rakesh Walia: You must ask yourself- What is my journey of life before taking any decision related to education and career.

I have seen many engineers and MBA holders who are doing odd jobs. It is because we do not choose the subjects of our liking. We are directed towards our career by our parents, teachers or by some other people.Selection of your subjects are important because once you select them; it becomes your career goal.

Choose the subjects as per your own temperament and interest then only it can align with your career goal.

12. “Don’t read success stories, you will get only message….Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success.”- Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Which failure and success story inspired you most in your life?

Captain Rakesh Walia: If I talk about failure story, it’s my own story as I failed and got rejected multiple times in my life.

I couldn’t read much stories or books, as I had no resources at that time, but I had the privilege to read and listen to stories of Swami Vivekananda. He became my ideal. His Thoughts and stories still inspire me to do something better every day.

13.People who always blame the situations, your inspirational life story is a clearer revelation to them. How should we stop blaming and start working to becoming better with available resources?

Captain Rakesh Walia: Every time we follow the path of least resistance, we are in our comfort zone. Excuses always ready for not doing the right things but one need to condition their mind and body to do the most important things first. Make your priorities very clear and work towards it. First, finish your duty, and then do the less important things.

I had no proper education, no support, and no money to fulfill my dreams still I achieved what I wanted to achieve. So I must say-

Conditions will be unfavorable most of the time. Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have and you will get the right thing at the right time.

14: What are some most important tips you want to share with our readers for doing the impossible?

Captain Rakesh Walia: As you have used this word Impossible, so first break this word into the pieces.

Impossible - I Am Possible. Nothing is impossible and limitation lies only in mind.

I want to share these important tips with your blog's readers.

  • You cannot do anything and everything alone. The team is important. Build a team and look after them.

  • Learn the art of giving. We want higher salaries, comfortable life, and respect in society, but we ignore to give a little bit extra for it. Before thinking about gaining, you must give your best.

  • Be humble in life. Don’t be arrogant because humility always pays.

  • Don’t use shortcuts. You may be succeeding today but tomorrow, you will be a loser because life is a process of elimination and not the process of selection, so at the end, only hard work and commitment will help you to thrive.

  • You need to plan everything well in order to multiply your chances of success.

  • Respect your colleagues and seniors. Especially respect your parents. On this earth, you can change everything but you cannot change your parents. I know how important are parents for life, you may be ignoring them today but you will regret and repent one day.

Check following links to connect with Captain Rakesh Walia sir.

We are grateful to Captain Rakesh Walia Sir for sharing the wisdom with us in the form of this life-changing interview.

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