If beauty with brains could be personified then it is Dr. Aditi Govitrikar. Women have an inherent ability to perform multiple roles simultaneously and each task with equal ease and aplomb. A prime inspiration for ladies all over is this former Mrs. World, who is also a doctor turned model-actress. The mother of two is a councilor and wellness expert who is currently pursuing her masters in Psychology from Harvard University. This beautiful actress champions mental health awareness among women and tries to help and empower them on a regular basis. The Voice of Woman recently got in touch with this multifaceted lady for a conversation on wellness, spirituality, and all things good. You were pursuing MBBS when you won the Gladrags Mega Model Contest, how did you balance your modeling commitments with studies? When I won the pageant, a career in modelling wasn’t my focus in the slightest as I was clear in my mind that I wanted to be a doctor. It was way after I won the pageant when many well-wishers believed I would do well in the modeling industry and I got innumerable offers for ad films, ramp shows, and films, that got me started. Initially, I would dedicate and divide my time according to what was on priority on a day to day basis. Balancing both careers, of course, was not easy, it was very challenging, both needed 100% which is why I had to choose to pursue one. I shifted my focus to modeling thinking I will model for a year and return to medicine. You are the only winner of Mrs. World from India, a feat that hasn’t been surpassed. How was the experience of participating in a beauty pageant as a married woman different from your previous experience? I had won beauty pageant titles before marriage, and Mrs. World pageant was no different from the former. The only difference was in the title, the experience was pretty much the same. Although this time, I got to learn a lot more because I was in the company of women with a lot more experience in life than me. It was fun. Also, it was path-breaking as at that time, in the glamour industry women were not open about even their relationships so to go out there and participate in a beauty pageant was bold. Women often give up on their education and are hesitant to pursue it later, you are now pursuing your masters in Psychology from Harvard, can you please tell women out there who are thinking to start their ‘second innings’? It’s never too late to start something. No matter where I go or who I talk to, I always come across people who feel unfulfilled because of the ‘what-ifs’ they have. We get one life, and to waste half of that on regret is probably not the best use of what we can or are given. Just take the plunge into something you truly believe in and things will work if you’re ready to put in the efforts and hard work. We have this belief that education ends when you get your college degree. I believe one should acquire knowledge continuously, learn new skills, or upgrade existing skills. The only hurdle is the narrative we tell ourselves – I can’t do it, it’s too late now, etc. You constantly create awareness about mental health issues, what are your views on coping with it among the societal stigma? We live in a society where mental problems are still looked upon with a lot of scepticism, true, but it is upon each individual to seek solutions to help themselves first. Mental wellness is a personal journey, and as much as for most Indians ‘what people think will think’ matters, it shouldn’t. You look after your well-being – both physical and mental and make sure you are happy with yourself. Each one takes care of itself, it will all fall in place. Just like if you fracture your hand you go to an orthopedic if there is a fracture in your mind you go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. I am also working with the transgender community, a highly marginalized and vulnerable community to help them improve their mental well-being. As a single mother, how do you manage to balance your home, acting career, as well as studying? Being a single parent has never been easy on anyone, however, loving what I do has been the very key to balance everything that is important to me. I have to commit days to my career and studies, but I also spend as much time or more to stay home with my children. I make sure I don’t take up work if I have to attend PTM/annual day etc. Being optimistic is a way of life- how can optimism and spirituality make a difference in one’s life? Personally, I believe being and feeling optimistic is the only way to lead life. When you look at everything with positivity, lesser things start to go wrong. Even when they do, it helps to look at the silver lining in it, things just become that much less stressful to deal with. It’s not just what I say, but spirituality and optimism go hand in hand. Spirituality is the path that leads us to manage our thoughts in a way we can continually remain in an optimistic state. This, of course, does not mean I have my head in the sand. I am aware of the facts about a negative incident but I reframe the situation and see what I learn from it. How can spirituality become a way for women to take a stand and to stop the prevailing violence, oppression against them? Spirituality is basically knowledge of thyself. It’s a means of understanding the how’s and why’s of the things that we do. It exists to empower those who wish to seek answers about themselves and beyond themselves. Women if they practice spirituality in their lives eventually understand why they continue to remain in a position where they feel threatened or mistreated. Once understanding dawns, women will know that standing up for themselves by taking whatever steps necessary. As I say, you are what you tolerate. If you treat yourself with respect and care others will too. As a wellness expert can you share a few tips with our readers? Do not neglect yourself, “me time” or your health- physical and mental both are important. We often overlook this aspect, but we must always help ourselves before we help others for we cannot pour from an empty cup! Keep learning about new skills, nutrition, to keep physically fit, physically and mentally engaged, follow passions while being the wife, mother, sister, daughter that you are- remember you are unique and special, you are YOU. How do you remain motivated during challenging times? My support system is in the form of my wonderful friends and family as well as my well-wishers. It is very important for everyone to cultivate strong bonds with people who want to see you succeed and do well. Social support is crucial which has to be nurtured. How important are the roles of success and failure in shaping our life? Without failures, we will not appreciate success. So if you have yet to feel triumphant, keep taking steps towards your goal with utmost sincerity. Consistency, one step every day and you’ll be closer to success than you think you are. I believe in YOU, so go ahead – dream big, work consistently and you ‘ll be there before you know it. What is Dr. Aditi Govitrikar philosophy of life? Be grateful for everything-the good, and not so good. It’s there for a reason and to teach us something even though we might not see it at the moment. It’s always a good strategy to take things one day at a time but also keeps a mental note of what is to come if you need to prepare in advance. Be happy with who you are and what you do, the rest will fall into place. How do you intend to influence and motivate women to become successful and happy in their life? I use my social media as much as I can to reach out to as many people who seek to improve their lives be it through my posts, live sessions, webinars, and workshops. I have my own counselling venture – Lighthouse Counselling Centre – which is functioning and open for sessions over call, skype or facetime. Small habits and a disciplined routine is what I suggest to get started, rest, we ladies just know how to take on the world with ease, am I right or am I right? Any special message you want to give to women through The Voice Of Woman? You are unique- don’t ever forget that. Dream big, write down your goals, work backward, and incorporate one step every single day to go closer to the goal, and before you realize you would have achieved it. Don’t be afraid of seeking help, not only to deal with negative situations but to feel empowered and to go to the next level. Love and light!