The Journey of Creating Hope - رحلة صناعة الأمل

At one point in time, I felt as if my life was just standing still, waiting and watching for my planted seed… hopelessly, to grow.

They say that when a seed is planted in the ground, there is nothing much you can do, you can water it and try to take care of it as much as possible, but then that’s it… You cannot control the weather, the sunshine, you can’t make it rain, you cannot stop the rain, you cannot control the insects etc…and you can’t influence it to grow faster either. All you can do is have FAITH… Believe that it will one day grow to become something much more than a seed, and it will bring value to so many.

My Name is Samer Chidiac, and this is my story; the story of my journey in creating hope in an initiative that I once gave it a TITLE: “Influencing the Life of Others”

Although It started many years before that, but my key check point happened in April 2010, I have recently resigned from Microsoft, one of the biggest corporations in the world doing a great job, and decided to start over…

It has been almost 10 years that I was running and working and traveling, and I have achieved a lot, but my quality of life was not that great, so I decided to take some time off, re-strategize and start fresh.

Throughout that year, things started to become more challenging at work, and at the end of that year, in December 2010, the Arabic Spring started, and the whole region went into a depression mood; by mid-2011, I have lost almost everything, my company, my friends, my ambition and everything went into darkness… I almost lost hope; you have no idea the amount of problems and negativity that surrounded me at that time…

But I didn’t give up, I wasn’t a quitter… And I said that if there’s no one to help me out… I need to find a way to help myself out… So I started putting more efforts into reading, I used to read almost 1 hour every day, like 1 book every week, and I listened to audio programs, and audio books about motivation…

The result was fantastic, listening to audio programs and reading alone was the reason I re-gained my mental strength back, and started my way UP… So I decided to spread that experience with others who would be in need.

At that time, the famous event TED was going to start in Lebanon for the first time, in the Format of TEDxBeirut, I was so excited, that I can use that as platform to spread my message across… I applied to be a speaker, and my session was called “Self-Motivated in the Middle East”; I went to the auditions, and out of all the ones who were with me in that day my proposal was refused, days later I received an email saying that it was not suitable for what they are looking for, and may not bring a lot of value to the audience… I got a bit sad from that… but I didn’t give up… 2011, was not going to BREAK me… and by the end of that year, I have already published a Book, was featured and interviewed on television, and even managed to organize and win a GUINNESS world record at the very end of the year with a small group of friends, while the ENTIRE Country failed in trying to Win a Record making Jeeita one of the new wonders of the world after a MASSIVE Campaign!

And I said to myself, I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED, and I don’t need a validation from anyone… I will spread my message in any way possible; Although the books I read and audio programs I listened to were all in English, I tried to look for similar things in Arabic, and frankly speaking, I didn’t manage to find “Neutral” programs, most of what I have found, were either religious or political… So in early 2012 I decide to create a program on my own… I called it the 7 Minutes Motivation… a Weekly Podcast narrated in Arabic, published every Monday.

Every Monday, I was publishing… and for 7 months, stories, inspirations… but no feedback… literally no feedback, my close friends were somehow laughing at me… that I’m spending time “talking to myself” and recording that and posting it…

By the end of this that year, I had around 50,000 Downloads from all over the world and 7 Minutes Motivation Podcast got ranked in the top 5 Self Help Podcasts on PodoMatic, but literally NO FEEDBACK… And just before I close on that chapter… I received one (1) feedback… just ONE… from a stranger who said to me, that he was in a very dark place, and was planning to suicide… and for some reason and accidentally, one of my episodes reached him… He listened to it, and it gave him the strength to stop the negative thoughts and he said that he kept listening to the podcast and changed his life… and he owe that to me…

Imagine… ONE feedback out of almost 50,000… but for me, this ONE, was worth all the effort… as if I designed the entire program for that one person. And then I said, this is not the end… It’s the end of the beginning… My project of “Influencing the Life of Others” was on track.

So I created an English Book out of Podcast, and decided to give away all the profits towards a “White Cause” which is helping the deaf/mute children in Lebanon receive free speech therapy sessions. And kept trying to promote positivity and inspiration in Arabic, to everyone who would need that… Not caring anymore about the quantity but more about the quality of the outcome…

After a while, I moved to Dubai, and kept my message, and created TheMondayTip.com where I post every week, one tip or one story.. I kept on volunteering for the community donating from my time to coach and train NGOs, help and assist entrepreneurs and even any individual who needs help.

I wanted to make the dream of doing something big for the Deaf/Mute community, and after 7 MM, I started a campaign called “Today, I hear you!” that is a crowdfunding project, to get 20,000$ that would translate into 1,000 Session of Speech Therapy for those who need… I gathered a team of supporter, and we started promoting the campaign, I went to the entities that worked with the deaf/mute community, and I started building the momentum… and after a long and lengthy process… the results came in…

Out of the target of 20,000$ that we needed to gather… The campaign resulted in the collection of only 85$. Yes. It’s still online you can even go and check for yourself;

At that time, I realized one important thing, it probably wasn’t the problem with what I’m doing, nor in how I’m doing it… it may be related to WHERE I’m doing it… I was too much focused to promote positivity and motivation and assistance in my own country... Lebanon… and looking back, most of my issues and obstacles were coming from there… The timing of my “Today, I hear you” campaign went in the time when Lebanon had no president and where the entire country was covered with Garbage and most online activities were about that… And, I was trying to influence a group of people who, mostly, may never be impressed or interested by my efforts since I’m not religiously or politically affiliated with anyone; no matter how big or small my activities were.

So that was it, I shifted my focus outside of Lebanon,

And Since 2015, I continued my “Influencing the Life of Others” project, and I gathered more than 430,000 Followers from around the middle east and the world, reaching out to them through my podcasts, my articles, books and even with small things like posting a quote or going live to have a discussion.

And on top of that, I welcome questions and requests from my followers on daily basis, I receive 10s and 100s from those who need moral support, advises, and more… Some cases are very serious, and some are light… and I manage to help out & Motivate as much as possible... and Thank God, the result of that has been more than fulfilling…

Where to go from here, I will continue my message in spreading positivity and influence others in any mean I can, I will keep Living an influential Life.

My Last words to you, 3 things:

1) NEVER EVER Stop believing in yourself, even when everything around you is showing otherwise… by the time I’ve written this, I have 439,375 Follower out of these only 413 are from Lebanon… so, if I measured myself based on my Lebanon Influence only… I would be ranked less than even a FAKE Account on Facebook…

2) Keep going, maybe your time didn’t come yet… at one point I needed the Silence of 7 months… to hear the voice of just one person regarding the 7 Minutes Motivation podcast.

3) And finally never underestimate the power of little things, you may just smile in the face of someone, or even just say Thank you to them, and at that stage that would be the only gesture they needed to change their life…

Be a Creator of Hope, in everything you do…

I’m Samer Chidiac & Thank you for your time.

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