“You can go on as many soul-searching trips as you want, but you still won’t find the answers.”
Last week I met author and CEO of the company Dharma Express, Shivani Singh. This statement is what she told me inspired her to develop a program that would help recent college graduates and people in a “slump” like she once was. This UC San Diego alumni, after searching for years after graduation to find the perfect pathway for herself, found a certain technique that could be utilized to fully determine one’s passions and personal goals. She created the simple program, named from the Sanskrit word “dharma,” meaning one’s higher purpose in life. She uses this term to express the idea that we have the capability and intelligence to make an impact on the world if we could only make that purpose more clear to us.
Shivani was a Physics major who, like many college students, was in a difficult position after her undergraduate studies. Although she had been told constantly how brilliant she was, which was only reaffirmed by the position she snagged working for NASA, she still did not feel like she was using all that she had to offer in life. After 3 years of being on the nine to five work schedule, she admitted to “feeling mechanical,” and that she had lost her passion for a dream she had since she was little. She knew that she could not be the only one who felt this way, which left her frustrated at the fact that many of her classmates and coworkers were now settling for less than they could accomplish. So she left her job to travel and learn about the world, including a trip to India where she was first introduced to the concept of dharma. However, after all of this, she was still somewhat unsatisfied.
So, in an attempt to find out “the secret,” Singh read books from many of her personal heroes such as Mother Teresa, Ghandi and Pablo Picasso–people that she believed changed the world. Among all of her readings, she discovered the common denominator to be the simple act of journaling. By getting their thoughts out on paper, these brilliant minds were able to organize their character in a way that helped them to realize the pathway they wanted to take.
Shivani then began to work with neuroscientists at UC San Diego, where she decided to continue her education to flesh out a plan even more, dovetailing the journaling technique with listening to music at certain intervals. Using music to trigger certain emotions and reactions in one’s brain is not a new concept, but the research done at UCSD helped to narrow it down to a specific regimen that would ultimately create the unique process that Dharma Express promotes today.
Discover Your Dharma, is the book which outlines the way that her program can help the gifted scholars and minds around her to do exactly that. After writing it, her company began developing other platforms and forms of technology, such as web apps and blogs, which would spread her coaching sessions to reach large audiences. Shivani Singh still travels around to universities, hoping to specifically guide college students that she knows are facing the all too comon dillemma of asking, “What next?” Because, although it is pretty common knowledge that university graduates have got some serious brains, sometimes the secret lies in figuring out exactly what to do with them.