There is no stronger power than the power of the word. If we keep listening to bad news every day, our mood will worsen. When we are surrounded by positive and happy people who keep encouraging us and reinforcing our self-belief, our performance will be outstanding. Here comes the importance of the crowd.
One of the behavioural trends here in Egypt is giving up. We give up on our dreams, our desires and most importantly on ourselves. In my opinion, the true reason behind such destructive behaviour is the crowd we are associated with. If we cannot get rid of our social circle, at least we can create mental and emotional immunity against the negative influence of those who discourage us. This immunity will make us survive destructive statements like “you cannot do it” or “this is impossible”, etc. To develop this mental and emotional immunity, I strongly recommend following the footsteps of great achievers, not only how they achieved success but how they handled rejection and obstacles.
Last week, I met a young man called Tarek who just turned 21. After a one hour conversation with him, I felt that there is definitely great hope in the future of our children. Tarek and four of his friends formed a band called Scarab. They like to play death metal.
These young men didn’t care that the music they played wasn’t popular in Egypt. All they cared about was their passion for what they were doing and for creating something different.
From the very beginning of their career, they chose to follow their own path and others’. Unlike most bands of their age, Scarab members write their own lyrics, and compose their own music.
They didn’t stop pursuing their dreams because someone told them that they were crazy.
After they made their first few songs, they were ready to go on stage. This was when they encountered their biggest obstacle. Sawy Culturewheel refused to host them due to the lack of popularity of this music genre in Egypt. In addition, the Cairo Opera House didn’t allow hard rock or any heavy metal music on its stages.
So, they decided to travel to Alexandria and play in The Bibliotheca Alexandrina. A few hours before they were due on stage, the stage manager announced the cancellation of the event citing drunken audiences and brawls amongst them.
I would say that most young people between the age of 21 and 25 would have given up on their dream. Some would have thought that it was never meant to be. Maybe some others would have seriously considered changing their style of music. What did Scarab do? They kept practicing day and night to enhance their performance.
It is true, life gives us what we want once we refuse to quit on our dreams.
In 2008, the band heard about a competition in Dubai for rock music. It was part of the well-known “Desert Rock Festival” that feature world famous bands. They filled up the forms and sent a copy of their music to the organization committee. A few weeks later, they were accepted to participate in the competition in Dubai.
Apparently, the people in Dubai were fascinated by Scarab’s music and their fusion of oriental and western music. And even though they didn’t win the first prize, they were invited to play the following year on the main stage as the opening act for Motorhead. What I understood is that Motorhead is one of the famous heavy metal bands in the world.
In July 2009, Scarab was invited to the With Full Force festival in Leipzig, Germany where they played in front of 35,000 people.
In 2010, they produced their first album which is distributed by Osmose, a well known French record label.
Today, I would love to draw the attention of all the young people in Egypt and everywhere in the world to the importance of pursuing one’s dream. These five kids started with nothing but a dream and a burning desire to make it come true. They had to go through many rejections along the way. Those rejections didn’t break them, on the contrary, they made them more persistent because they loved what they were doing and truly believed in it.
Scarab is an example to look at when we hear someone tell us “you can’t”.
Karim El-Shakankiry is an internationally renowned life coach, motivator and public speaker. He is the founder of “yesUcan” organization for personal and corporate coaching based in Montreal, Canada. He is the first to introduce life coaching in the Middle East and is the president of the Arab Coaching Federation.