Friday, 22 May 2015


Inspire through Storytelling - Innovate for Life turning
Letter to Student Series- Volume 1 and Issue 1

My Dear Student Friends,


This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Believer and Mentor, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. It gives me immense pleasure writing to you because you are our hope, you are our future, you are the backbone of our Nation’s strength. This effort is most successful if this letter inspires you, makes you think, to be creative, innovative and connects you to your role model.

Friends, recently I was reading about Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), one of the self-made mathematicians on It was fascinating to hear that at 14 years old, Ramanujan was able to get hold of all the theorems of cosine and sine, the most complex trigonometry. He was not having proper books hence he had to solve on his own for multiple questions he got! Friends, we are going to be good problem solvers when we are constrained. Constraints are valuable resources. They are important teachers. Please don’t be afraid of hardships! Invite them dearly! They mould you to be strong! This is my first message to you.

In this context, I want to share couple of recent stories. I was reading an article by (May 19 2015). It was about 17-year-old girl, Shalini, who secured 85% marks in Karnataka PUC exams. You might ask me what is great about securing 85% where now a days, students are securing 99% and 100%! Yes, someone can secure 100% when home situation is favorable, having good financial backup, good parental support, good school and so on. However, we should really appreciate the fact that Shalini’s life is different. I am really admiring her determination to study in spite of various challenges she has been facing. Her father had been bedridden for over 10 years. Brother is suffering from cancer. Mother is busy taking care of both. Fate left Shalini to take the whole family responsibility. She joined as house maid in 5 houses. Her day starts from morning 4:30AM! She studies between the jobs! It is a true example of determination.

Recently I was reading similar article in EENADU, vernacular NEWS paper of AP. It is about teenage girl Ammaji. She born in Peeleru, Chittoor District of AP. Her mother expired during her childhood. She has a sister and brother. Father was manual worker. Grandmother who used to take care of them also expired. Father became ill hence could not go to work. Over a period of time, he also got expired. Ammaji has to take care of the entire family at that young age. She became laborer. However, she has lot of interest towards education. She approached nearby college. She got admission with free of charge. She has to switch to stitching profession because it gives flexibility to work anytime. Morning to evening, she spends in the college, studies and works till mid night for livelihood. I really hats off to this girl. You know what? She secured 885/1000 in recent Intermediate examinations (+2 of AP) in CEC (Commerce, Economics and Civics) Group. When there is fixed goal, when there is commitment, when there is focus in our approach, all constraints get defeated.

My Dear Student Friends, You are born with some talent. You are born with one particular natural characteristic. You need to bring out and keep it in the practice. In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says, it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a particular chosen field. It means, for e.g. if you want to be core agricultural scientist, you need to practice for 10,000 hours. The early you start is always better. You can have personal goal (satisfies your heart) and professional goal (satisfies your needs). If both match, you are most lucky. Successful people try to match both. For e.g. if you start spending 4 hours per day towards your goals achievement, it takes roughly 7 years to become proficient in that field.

Friends, is your goal fixed? If not, it is getting late. Fix it now. Are you game for this?

Defining goal at early age is always boon, most advantageous! Recently one boy, studying 6th class came to my house. He was asking me, “Uncle, I want to set my goal. I am confused as I hear most of them telling only 2 goals- want to become engineer or doctor. I want to think beyond!.” Infact this boy’s question made me to think beyond normal.

Thanks to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, I could able to elaborate this discussion in structured way. Howard Earl Gardner is an American developmental psychologist and Professor of Cognition and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Gardner proposed that there are nine intelligences- Verbal-Linguistic (e.g. I want to become orator or teacher), Mathematical-Logical (e.g. I want to be computer programmer or statistician), Musical Intelligence (e.g. I want to become musician and run music company), Visual-Spatial Intelligence (e.g. I want to become interior designer), Bodily-Kinesthetic (e.g. I want to become sports star and commentator), Interpersonal (e.g. I want to become marketing manager), Intrapersonal (e.g. I want to become writer or R&D scientist), Naturalist (e.g. I want to become horticulture scientist) and Existential Intelligence (e.g. I want to understand spirituality and lead spiritual life). When I listed these intelligences, without hesitation, the boy told me that he is possessing naturalistic intelligence. He loves plants, animals, flora and fauna. Without much thinking, this boy tells me, “Uncle, I want to become farmer, no, no, beyond farmer; I want to study agriculture science and become Scientist farmer”. Great, it is highly appreciable and noble goal. I was telling him, what he can do from this age to reach that humble goal! I told him to read books about various plants and environment. Start seeding, plant saplings and get connected to practice of planting. It gives appreciation to the study, develops and nurtures the goal. Finally I told him to search and connect to his role model. That day, I could see glow on his face, enthusiasm, energy and so on!

What about you? I am sure naturally you must be strong in one or two of these intelligences listed above. Also, you can aspire to be strong in another intelligence which is not natural to you. My Friends, introspect now! What is your natural quality? Please define your goal today.

Since we are talking about the boy who wants to become scientist farmer, it reminds me to talk about one great person whom I met few years ago in TEDx Vizag conference. He is Mr. R Madhavan, an alumnus of IIT-Madras, studied mechanical engineering. From childhood, Madhavan is passionate about gardening. Though he wants to be agriculturist, due to some compulsions, he started his career in ONGC. After saving some money, he started purchasing land and finally he became full-fledged farmer. He became agricultural scientist, made multiple experiments and finally started making money. He used his mechanical engineering knowledge in customizing farming tools according to the needs. Today in my view, Madhavan is most successful Agripreneur (successful entrepreneur in agricultural domain). He became role model to many farmers today! Now you can appreciate how one can set a goal in childhood, study something different, change track over period of time, finally fulfill the childhood goal and also leverage the education to its favour. Hope you understand the essence of goal setting and execution.

My Dear Friends, Hope you enjoyed reading this letter. I appreciate your valuable time. I wish it is informative and useful. Start your journey today. I will again see you in my next letter. Thank you for giving me this great opportunity to write to you and help me to learn, unlearn and relearn in this process.

With Best Wishes
Dr. Ravi Saripalle

About Author:    Dr. Ravi Saripalle is Believer and Mentor of Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. He is also Director, Center for Innovation, GVP College of Engineering (A), Vizag. Dr. Ravi is having more than 17 years of experience in Industry, Consultancy, Training, Mentoring and Research. Prior to this current role, Dr. Ravi worked with Wipro Technologies for more than a decade. Dr Ravi can be reached at saripalle.ravi@gmail,com or    or     

Disclaimer: The goal of this letter campaign is to inspire students through storytelling and live case studies and develop innovative leaders to build strong nation. In this process, I have taken several data points from various websites, NEWS articles, books, videos etc. I sincerely thank all the editors for providing such insightful stories. To the best of my knowledge, I tried to acknowledge all the sources. I sincerely apologize for any omissions, grammatical mistakes and hurting any reader’s sentiments. I request all the readers to understand spirit behind this effort. This effort doesn’t involve any commercials. Letter series is for free distribution. 

Respected Principals/ Head of Institutions / Directors


This is Dr. Ravi Saripalle, Believer and Mentor, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement. It gives me immense pleasure writing to you for a national cause- inspiring young minds through storytelling and nurture them to be innovative leaders.

I am writing letters to students of India and trying to inspire them through storytelling and quoting live case studies. As per our research, this kind of model quickly inspires and motivates students and helps them to set solid goals and execute them enthusiastically. This way schools can also quickly mould students and nurture them to perfect citizens.
Here I am attaching Student Letter Series Volume 1 and Issue 1. I request you to disseminate this information to students in following ways
  • School can post it in its notice board
  • Teacher can have classroom discussion around this information
  • Teachers and Students can register to the blog- where this letter is posted
  • Any other method suitable to your school environment
There are no commercials involved and the mission is to inspire students for good.
If there are any questions, please send mail (saripalle.ravi@gmail,com) or you can reach me on my facebook -    or
Thank you very much for your valuable time. Hoping your school and students get inspired through this letter and help to grow our nation.

Warm Regards

Dr. Ravi Saripalle
Believer and Mentor, Inspire to Innovate (i2i) Storytelling Movement


  1. Very inspiring and well articulated! Thanks for the nice post!

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  3. Really good article sir.
    In reference to what howard gardner said can a person have more than one goals? like a musician who is also interested in gardening. In that case what should the person choose as his future path?

    1. Khader,Nice question. As I mentioned, there are 2 types of goals. personal goal and professional goal. Personal goal satisfies your heart and professional goal for your needs. generally personal goals are something which are your hobbies. hobby is always closer to your heart. if you want to become proficient in your hobby, you automatically take one which is much closer to your heart and second one goes backseat. however if you are capable you can go both. but it never happens that you will become proficient in both. wrt to professional goal it is always better to take one at a time and put heart and soul to it.Hope I answered your question