“If I can do it, then you can!” This phrase kept being repeated over and over from different people across Silicon Valley. Regardless of the company they work for – whether Google, YouTube, Apple, AJ+ or AirB&B – and regardless of people’s nationality – whether Indian, Syrian, Iraqi, Lebanese or American – this was the message that people wanted to share.
It’s like everyone had somehow been told to say the same phrase, and yet they hadn’t. People I met across the Valley humbly shared their stories with me, and yes, although there are some people who explain that believe that they were there at the right place at the right time, it’s clear that if they were not ready to commit themselves to whatever their future held they wouldn’t have moved forward – companies such as Google and Apple simply wouldn’t have hired them. But the majority I met were not lucky and had had to overcome many obstacles; the majority worked hard and challenged themselves to create their own path through the rough road to success.
On my way back home to the Middle East, I was thinking about all those stories and tried to find a pattern because I have a dream that I want to fulfill, much like the people I met. They are not superheroes, they are not born on a different planet, they are like us – they think like us, and they went through many challenges to accomplish what they’ve accomplished today The only two tiny things they have extra are grit and a commitment driven by passion.
So, wherever you are, if you believed in yourself, you have a dream that you are really passionate about, then you are on the right track. Don’t give up quickly and easily, and be prepared for a ride that is neither smooth nor easy. There will be some days where you will think to yourself “That’s it, I am quitting” but my advice to you will be don’t give up yet as what is about to happen is the beginning of fulfilling your dreams.
People I have met in Silicon Valley took risks, they challenged themselves, they challenged society’s expectations of them, and many of them were laughed at when they revealed that they wanted to work for this well-known company or that one. The fact is, the ones who pushed through are the only people who made it, the only people who have successfully fulfilled their dreams. Meanwhile, the people who laughed at those who took a chance and followed their dreams are likely to still be back in the same little place where they started, somewhere on planet earth.