Chai Talk: Onkar on Vulnerability & Mindset for Growth

Hi party people!

So you must know that I am a journalist at heart. That or I am just plain nosy. Learning about people’s stories and writing about them is my favorite thing, EVER. So here’s an article of me getting to know one of realest. Enjoy!

The Atlanta air is finally warming up as I return from a trip to Chattanooga with a close friend late on a Sunday evening. “I have an interview at 8pm so I can drop you home after, cool?,” I tell her. “Sure, with who?” she asks. “A guy whose sister I know, he’s a rising Instagram star, actor, model and physique trainer in New York,” I reply. I pull up his Instagram to clear the puzzled look on her face. After about 30 seconds of looking at his page she asks me if I am nervous. “A little yea,” I respond as I prep questions in my Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.”

The person I am interviewing is Onkar Singh Dhindsa whose Instagram tag line is “Spreading power, positivity, and happiness.” He promptly texts me at 7:45pm to connect; I am impressed at his timeliness. We talk over video chat and my friend, out of sight sitting on the ground, annoyingly pokes me and mouths, “He is so hot.” I flash her an annoyed look and turn my focus to Onkar. “So how did you get into blogging?” he asks.

Once you meet Onkar, the nervousness over his good looks and Instagram persona goes out the window. Onkar is warm, friendly and highly personable. Most of all, he not only wants to share his story, but wants to know yours. Again, I am impressed.

It’s this quality of inclusiveness he exuberates that makes him an excellent trainer and coach, a career path he vigorously pursues today. I share with him my story of how Chit-Chat & Chai got started, he tells me about the pivotal moment that created his path towards his destiny. Just seven months ago, Onkar took a leap of faith from a safe 9-5 career path to move to NYC to chase his dreams. Today, he is a rising Instagram Star, model, aspiring actor, physique trainer and life coach. I mention his path is non-traditional for a South Asian, he agrees. “It all started when I chose to pursue teaching over going to law school. I realized my heart wasn’t in law and it led me to choose teaching,” he explains. Onkar fell in love with teaching, rather coaching his students and has followed his heart ever since.

We talk about heartbreak, another experience that affected his journey and where he is today. He tells me about a situation where a girl led him on only to reveal that she had a fiancé. I ask him what was so gravitating about this particular situation. For Onkar, this moment made him feel powerless. “I realized how self-sabotaging my personal life had become and refused to give myself to someone who doesn’t see my worth,” he explains. Onkar used the pain and energy to completely transform his body in nine months. In the process, he transformed his mindset too. “Something that started with deep pain forced me to look deeper,” he states. And depth is what you will find, especially on his Instagram.

I ask about him how he comes up with his IG captions and he tells me they are mainly for him. His captions are a glimpse into where he is at any moment in time. “But isn’t the point of being a content creator to give your audience what they want?” I ask.

“At the end of the day everything starts with you. I’ve done the work for myself so I can help someone else do it. Everyday I try to be as in tune with myself as I can be,” he replies.

He is an open book, as is his life, a primary draw for his 10K+ followers (in only six months) on his Instagram. On Onkar’s page, he bears the inner trappings of his mind on everything from the aches, pains and mood swings he experiences as a part of the intense training regimen he practices to keep up with his incredible physique to his musings on love, mindfulness and repping a turban as a sign of his Sikh faith. I ask him how he balances his career as a model with being “real.” “My body and looks can be whatever, but at the end of the day my looks will only get me in the door. It’s clickbait for me to get in front of more people,” he replies. I open up about my struggle with being raw and open on social media and we agree that vulnerability is hard with a capital H. He tells me to keep peeling back the layers because ultimately it’s about growth.

“It’s all about mindset,” he very cooly says. Experiences over. Materialism. Work Ethic vs. Doubt. Discipline vs. Laziness. Mr. Dhindsa always chooses the former. So many people say they do, but Onkar is all these qualities in dynamic motion as indicative of his very active Instagram page. He even spits a few jewels of wisdom towards my aspirations and Instagram page and I start to believe in myself a little more. Onkar’s razor sharp mindset and confidence stems from his faith in following his heart and extreme work ethic, a mindset he hopes to instill in his coaching clients. “My life experiences have led me on this path and I trust that. It’s proven to be effective time and time again,” he says. “

We get superficial for a second and I ask him how he crafted his incredible physique. He tells me the horrid response I hear from everyone: diet. He tells me he doesn’t eat salt. The colors drains from my face. “But I taste everything more now!” he attempts to convince me. I ask him for a secret sauce quinoa recipe that makes it healthy and taste good, he tells me to boil the quinoa with dried cranberries. I try it the next day; it’s delicious.

Such is the magic of Onkar Singh Dhindsa. His tricks and hacks are simple and effective, his delivery to convince you to better yourself and your life contagious.

Ambition doesn’t even begin to explain Onkar’s vision for his life. I ask him how he handles it all. He gives me some god jewels from the book he is writing titled, Growing Pains.

“If you have trouble believing in yourself, believe in the people around you. That energy will come back to you.”

“Focus on what’s six inches in front of you and see the opportunities within your reach.”

Onkar Singh Dhindsa is a personal trainer, aspiring actor and model in NYC. To work with Onkar, DM him on Instagram or visit his website.

Till next time, 

xoxo Pri 

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