Published: 20th July 2019
This college dropout from Bengaluru is showing more than 35k students the path to success
From government school teacher to life coach, Arif has come a long way while training thousands of students in Bengaluru.We trace his journey
A few years ago, when Arif Pasha had to drop out of BCom, he never imagined that he would become a life coach who trained students in soft skills, language and academics. Coming from a humble background, he was forced to drop out due to financial constraints. He later received training to become a medical transcriptionist and joined a multinational company. "My work involved converting all the voice notes sent by selected doctors in the US into transcripts. I earned a handsome salary but my interest was in guiding many young students like myself. One day, when I passed by a government school in Koramangala, I asked the principal if I could volunteer as a teacher. The principal readily agreed. After that, I slowly lost interest in my job, so, I decided to quit and take up teaching full-time," says Arif.
Though his income was quite low and barely enough to make ends meet, Arif didn't mind as he quickly became the students' favourite teacher. "I discovered that innovation was missing in their education. Hence, I would spend two hours on the internet every day to learn innovative ideas to teach children. For example, all my lessons would be in the form of stories and real-life examples. I also do not use a stick while teaching children and it gave me good results in terms of response from students. Soon, even other teachers gave up using the stick," says Arif, adding, "During my tenure in a government school, I was awarded as an outstanding teacher. The school had got good results in the final exams and they were happy with my efforts."
Dream Merchant: Arif has trained over 35,000 students till date on the methods of achieving their goals
With that, Arif quickly realised that it was time for him to do more for students than just teach them. That's when he remembered some of the soft skills he learnt during his corporate days — setting goals, planning time and working to achieve them. He then joined Arham Faraaz Leadership Academy in Bengaluru to groom his speaking skills, body language and storytelling skills, and after the completion of his training, he confidently approached a few schools to conduct goal setting sessions for students.
Narrating the story of his very first session, he says, "In 2010, I charged only `10 for each student. With a broken laptop in hand and a few students in class, I started speaking to them. During these sessions, I would explain to students why they have to attend school and what education can fetch them." And where is Arif now? "As my work gained recognition, an educational institute in Mumbai gave me a boost to travel from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and work with different schools. Today, I have covered over 35,000 students across India in private as well as government schools. This year, my goal is to help and motivate 5,000 students. By 2025, my aim is to help 5 lakh students achieve their dreams."
Arif says that these life coaching sessions help students transform themselves and they ultimately start performing well in academics. For example, last year, when he was working with the Rajeev Gandhi Public School in Bengaluru, he came across a girl who was not doing well in her studies and she feared facing the Board exams. Through various sessions of counselling, drawing study plans and helping her realise her potential, she was able to score 86 per cent in her class X exams. What better instance can one state to prove that his sessions have served their purpose?
His smart goal: Arif aims to train five lakh students by the year 2025
Arif has even trained under international speaker and author Syed Habeeb, who wrote the book The Warrior Within You. "I worked as a language trainer in a school called LifeBridge Finishing School. We helped engineering students present themselves in their interview and get placed. It was a 21-day residential training programme. On average, every third day, I conducted sessions to train students and teachers. Currently, I am training under Uday Kumar who is a Limited Liability Partnership coach. Aside from this, I am certified by the Indian Leadership Academy by Koushik Mahapatra as a Life Skills Coach and an LLP practitioner," states Arif who is the founder and CEO of Live Your Dreams. His friend Abdul Afsar Baig handles the operations of the company.
Apart from training students and motivating them, Arif is specialised in training teachers and parents too. He explains, "During my sessions, I found out that many students are interested in achieving their goals but sometimes, their teachers and parents don't cooperate. This brings down their motivation level. I designed a programme for seven days which includes training students, helping teachers draw their lesson plans, employing innovative skills of teaching, adopting technology to gel with the present generation and lending a ear to what students have to say. Meanwhile, parents play a key role in this as they learn about their children's dreams and how they can help in achieving them."
Here are a few tips that Arif gives students
No matter what people around you say, one should not stop thinking if they want to become a doctor, engineer, IAS officer, astronaut, singer or artist
Thinking alone won't help. One should have strong will power and commitment to plan and work accordingly
Always tell yourself that you can do it instead of you can't
Convert everything that you study into an image so that you don't forget easily