Prominent author, business, and lifestyle guru Virendra Kapoor has penned down many inspirational self-help books – but he’s never written anything quite like his latest release 2020 Planet Reborn.
A versatile and innovative author, Virender Kapoor is an educationist, thinker, inspirational Guru read and heard globally. Some of his bestsellers include ‘Rise of Jugaad’, ‘Speaking The Modi Way’, ‘Innovation The Einstein Way’, ‘A Wonderful Boss’, ‘PQ – How It Matters More Than IQ’, ‘Winning Instinct’, ‘Leadership The Gandhi Way’, ‘Twelve Essential Abilities Of Extraordinary People’, and ‘Art Of Effective Leadership’. In an exclusive interview with DKODING Media, he opens up about his new book 2020 Planet Reborn and the new mantra he advocates for life after the pandemic – More with Less.
Q: Tell us about your new book ‘2020 Planet Reborn: Living with the New Normal’.
The idea behind writing this book was to tell people at large, that catastrophes have happened in the last century and will happen in the future too. History repeats itself and we don’t learn anything from history! Financial hardships are going to be extremely devastating for all of us. Governments and organizations can help in a limited way; every family has to realign its lifestyle to weather the storm.
This book tells you how small adjustments can go a long way. Practical workable ideas – no Gyan or Jargon.
Q: What’s the motivation behind writing this book in such a short span with this outlook?
Most debates, articles, and editorials were centered on what can the government do and what can the employers do to help an individual. No one was considering the fact that governments and organizations have limitations. In our context, we are 1.36 billion people in India and we have limited means. Most businesses had to shut down and there was no earning, and in such a situation how could they pay salaries?
The third aspect of ‘helping yourself’ was not being talked about by anyone. Governments can give you enough to sustain but not to maintain your lifestyle as it was earlier. This is an unparalleled crisis and such an expectation is wrong in the existing circumstances. You may get ‘Daal Roti’ for survival, but you can’t expect cakes, liquor, and non-vegetarian too, all paid for.
Q: How do you think 2020 changes the approach of mankind and the direction of progress?
The cost of clean air is 10 trillion Dollars! The first lesson is that we failed to halt climate change because every nation was selfish and didn’t want to pull the plug- played politics, the nation first; no, votes first and that is why climate change talks failed.
Now it has been forced on us and we learned the hard way to save ourselves, save the planet and save other species. The cover of 2020 Planet Reborn reflects these thoughts.Virender Kapoor
People were spending recklessly and never wanted to save for the rainy day. Now they have been hit by a storm called Corona, it has halted us in our tracks, forcing us to look around ourselves and realign our lives. We have learned that there is more to life than work and money – work-life balance in action. You require two pairs of shorts and two T-shirts to survive. Earlier we were running like robots – programmed to run. Run fast, but where to? A book on Buddhism and Zen principles was good to read, but it stopped there. You could never slow down. Now we had to. Zen in action- worldwide. It is a clear sign of the inherent risks attached to the pursuit of materialism and hedonism.
We will have to create buffers and reserves at all levels – Federal Reserves, organizational reserves, and most importantly personal reserves.
Q: What is the way forward?
Thinking out of the box won’t work – you have to get out of the box and think! This is a god-sent opportunity to decongest our metros. Spread out to smaller towns, villages. Entrepreneurs are too stifled in metros. Well qualified guys can build rural India. The digital divide has already been smashed. Today, rural areas are consuming more internet bandwidth than urban areas! In India, we have provided electricity to every village. We have a proactive leadership and a strong political will. Now the trend must reverse.
Q: Why is living ‘More with Less’ more crucial than ever as you point out in 2020 Planet Reborn?
People survive a storm by lying low for a while and that is how trees survive too – they bend so they don’t get uprooted. Our surplus income soared and so did our spending on frivolous things, leading to consumerism and greed. We bought what we didn’t need. We ate more than required. It was greed above our need. That became a habit and younger generations became ‘spendthrift’; no fault of theirs because that is how the economies moved. Easy access to loans, big fat salaries for many, buy now and pay later became the norm – life became a roller coaster ride.
Buyers thought they will keep earning forever and sellers also thought the same way. Employees demanded bonuses as their birthright. 20 percent increment became a norm and people planned their futures accordingly – this was a fallacy! This is a natural circuit breaker – nature has changed our course, rivers change course, tectonic plates shift in time and now this is our turn to change and rewind and get back to our basics, live the way we were designed to live by nature and stop playing God.
Instead of going back to the future, we need to make our future backwards.
Q: What are your tips for everyone to prosper in the post-pandemic era?
- Learn to save and live debt-free.
- Count your blessings and thank god for what you have
- Make your kids rough and tough. Don’t pamper them. Prepare them for the future and fight their own battles. Don’t overprotect.
- Try to create joint families to learn to live together. Build tolerance, adaptability, and patience. Slow down and respect the environment.
- Enjoy small thrills of life. Money is not happiness.