My Advice to Young People

So let me share a story with you. I had posted on my social media that I needed someone to help me edit videos. I got quite a few people message me. One individual told me that he knew someone that was in need of a job, a refugee from Saudi Arabia.  I told him great, get him to contact me.

When this individual contacted me, he told me he doesn’t have Premiere experience.

I said, “Unfortunately that won’t work for me because I need that specific skill set.  I work exclusively in Premiere.”

So he said, “Okay maybe I can help you with something else”. 

I said, “Can you write?”

He said, “No, my grammar is bad.”

So I said, “Okay what will you do then?”

He said, “I can help you get ideas for videos.”

I said, “Okay, lets do that.  Go ahead with your ideas.”

He said, I don’t have any. But I’ll work for you for free. Don’t worry about paying me.”

So I was stumped. How did he expect to work with me?  If you have nothing to bring to the table, there’s about zero chance of getting a job.  

 For the times that I wanted to hire someone, I sometimes get people who think that they will offer to work for free.  That rarely ever convinces me.  I find that people who do free work tend to treat it as a low priority and so I’d much rather pay someone for their time and get quality work done.

This brings me to my advice.  Young people, you need to invest in yourself.  You need to learn skills that will help you. Skills that you can sell for money.  I understand that it feels pointless to learn something that you don’t have a need for.  So make a project for yourself.  If it’s video editing that you want to learn – Make a video.  That’s part of becoming valuable. Practice your editing skills. Upload it to YouTube so you now have a portfolio as well.

It doesn’t have to be video editing. It could be coding.  Making websites.  Making apps.  All these examples I’m giving you are technical.  But it doesn’t have to be so.  

Spend time reading books.  Spend time learning how to communicate effectively.  Practice public speaking.  Whatever it is.  Learn something new.  Don’t spend all your time watching Netflix and playing video games.  Unless you can create something out of that.  Do a video game review or post your best clips or whatever.  Make some music on your guitar.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t be a consumer all your life.  Don’t just consume. Produce.  Make something.  Bring value to the world.  Be someone that gives. Not just takes.  

If you do this, if you are prepared, you will find opportunities arise.  People like me will be looking for someone to help them, and will be willing to pay if it makes their life easier.

Young people tend to have so much free time nowadays. You don’t have to turn yourself into a machine that never rests.  Take a rest, take some time to do things you enjoy.  But also sit down and do some things that are painful that will help you in the future.

You see, we tend to discount our future selves. We think of our future selves as someone else. Someone that we don’t need to care about.  So we overeat, we drink too much, we watch too much time.  Because we tend to think of future Sameer as another guy who you don’t need to worry about.

But you know what? When I look back at some life choices I made, I say thank you to my former self. I say thank you for working hard in high school because those skills you learned, those writing skills, they stayed with me until the age of 37.  

So make decisions that your future self will be proud of.  Not just in terms of learning, but in terms of exercise.  Get a good workout routine going.  Eat healthy.  Meditate.  Put aside 5% or 10% of your salary into savings.  These small changes that you put towards your future self will pay off high dividends.

I’m going to share a secret with you.  The secret to motivating yourself to do these things that feel painful.  The secret is that you need to connect emotionally with the results.  Think about what benefits you will get out of this and really feel them, and it will make it so much easier. If you connect to these things emotionally, they will become exponentially easier for you to accomplish.  Visualize yourself being strong, being an expert, making lots of money, whatever it is.

This is also the best way to get out of a country. If you are an ex-Muslim who wants to migrate to the west, this needs to be your plan.  This is the most reliable way to get out of the country.  Having valuable skills also makes you a better parent and a better partner. This is the way.

Think of it like an experiment. Try different things, see how it goes. Some ideas will sink and some will swim.  Keep the ones that swim and ditch the sinking ones.  Repeat this process.

The other advice I have is to specialize.  People who specialize are very valuable in today’s world.  If you are incredibly good at something, you become incredibly useful to others in solving their problems and getting the work done.  I rarely ever see someone that has focused and honed their skill that does badly in life.  There are also special skills that are uncommon and in huge demand. Look for those. 

David Blaine said as a child he used to spend hours practicing card tricks.  Day after day he would do this.  Until he mastered it.  Years later, he is one of the most famous and successful magicians in the world.  

You merely need to pick something and get good at it.  Take 10,000 hours to become a master of it. I do believe that you have to really love it to master it. If you don’t truly love it, you can never get to that level.  But don’t give up.  Often when you start something new, it’s awkward and painful but as you get better, you will gain more satisfaction and joy from it.  

This is your friendly neighborhood ex-Muslim signing out.

If you liked this article, consider supporting me.  I’ll add you to my special mailing list, you’ll get early access to my videos and my eternal gratitude. Remember, guiding someone away from Islam is better than 10 red camels. You can quote me on that hadith. 😜


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