Deepak Ramola: TEDx Speaker & founder of Project Fuel Is Sharing One Life Lesson at a Time with the World
“The roots of Project Fuel lie in my mother’s story”.
This is how TEDx speaker Deepak Ramola begins to tell the tale of an organisation he started in order to share simple life lessons with people. Lessons that his mother did not learn at school because she did not get a formal education. Reminiscing that he actually thought his mother was lying to him about not being able to study as a girl child, he marvelled at her ability to run an entire household pre-dominantly on her own. When Deepak was 14 years old, he could no longer hold himself back from asking her pertinent questions. One day, he remembers clearly to this day, his mother told him that she was learning simply by living everyday.
Deepak started collecting life lessons for the construction of his own identity and to help him through times when he was bullied, so that he could refer back to them to feel safe and secure. In the process, he observed that the point was not that one does not make mistakes in life and learn from them. The idea was that one does not repeatedly make the same mistakes once life had taught the lesson. Once the seed of a life lesson had been sown in a person’s life, it gave that person the courage to step further into life and make a new mistake to learn from it again.
Starting of Project Fuel
This was the beginning of Deepak’s journey on the path to understanding life lessons. The next step that he took was a natural process in the journey he was carving for himself. He started sharing his collection of life lessons with family and friends. They worked so well for his loved ones that he wanted to share them with strangers as well. However, he did not want his treasure trove of life lessons to suffer the life of a quote on the wall. He was certain that he wanted to share life lessons with people so that they saw the lessons as a culmination of experience. Something that everyone could implement in their lives based on someone else's experience with life.
This is where Deepak took upon the task of designing activities and projects around life lessons, so that people could spare some time living in the moment when they experienced a lesson in a simulated environment. Project Fuel was the name finally given to Deepak’s experiments with life lessons. Today, Deepak is a TEDx speaker and has accomplished many other feats.
Tucked away in the hills of Dehradun, Project Fuel has travelled far and wide with small activities and curriculum that are shared with people attending interactive workshops conducted by Deepak around the globe. Some of the videos that the organization has made, such as the one on Mukti Bhavan in Kashi where people check-in to spend their last days on Earth, have gone viral on social media, and Deepak gets enquiries and comments from all over the world. People marvel at how young and courageous Deepak is, to have taken on the sharing of wisdom as his profession.
Age No Bar to Wisdom
It was not easy for Deepak to convince people when he walked into schools and colleges at the age of 17 that he was not a young boy masquerading as a life coach! The TEDx speaker recalls wistfully that though he felt like an old soul, he would find it extremely difficult to look at an aged professor or an elderly person in the eye who would be attending one of his workshops and staring back at him in disbelief. One of Deepak’s biggest life lesson was to excel at communicating the ideas he was passionate about to an audience so that they would overlook his age and listen to what he had to say. At 26, Deepak feels this has been his most challenging, and beautiful lesson so far.
There are other life lessons that are close to his heart. Some of them are not necessarily Indian in origin, as people tend to believe about Deepak’s work, due to the spiritual aspect of the lessons he gathers and shares through workshops and videos. Deepak argues that one of the most important life lessons he learnt was from a British woman who told him to take everything that life dolled out with a pinch of salt and a sense of humour. Deepak emphasizes that there is a spiritual element to almost all life lessons one is learning or implementing in life, drawn from any culture in the world. His work is not specifically Indian, but universal.
In the decade that he has spent hunting and gathering for experiences that he can share with people, he has just touched the tip of the iceberg. “These 10 years were like laying the groundwork for the next few ahead. I think we are now ready to write that thesis on life”, he says. Armed with an excel sheet that is the biggest collection of anecdotes and lessons from life he has ever seen, Deepak is all set to expand his work and spread one life lesson at a time to anybody who wants to learn. And has the courage to make another mistake to learn another lesson. Deepak only hopes you come back to share the lesson with him and Project Fuel.