x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Whatever your goal or dream, the key thing is get started

The organisation I work for offers support to autistic children, and I came up with an idea to produce an awareness advertisement video for the Abu Dhabi Center For Autism.

There is no time like the present to start something. Anything. It does not have to be a business venture, but could be a support group at work or the community.

The organisation I work for offers support to autistic children, and I came up with an idea to produce an awareness advertisement video for the Abu Dhabi Center For Autism that would hopefully increase awareness about this disorder in the community, as well as shining a light on the centre's services and facilities.

I admit that I am not a savvy film director or producer. I do not even know how to use a video camera without producing shaky footage that will strain your eyesight.

So why did I dare to come up with the project? Because believe it or not, you do not have to be an expert when you start a project. You can just create something, find people who share your interest and are willing to participate, and before you know it you will be on to something amazing.

In regards to this particular project, I wanted it to be a project made by community members and for the community. And so I collaborated with an amazing bunch of professionals who were willing to dedicate their valuable time to serve the people of Abu Dhabi.

Through a good friend of mine, a Hollywood film producer, I got to meet two talented directors and a cinematographer who came on board and were excited to work on this project and to help autistic children. The great part was they were all in it for free. They did not expect anything in return except to make more people aware of this disorder.

Being at the centre last week, and filming the awareness advertisement, was the cherry on top of fantastic months spent working on this project, and scouting the right bunch of people who were willing to come on board.

It strengthened my belief that when you are highly motivated and passionate about a cause or a project then you will be able to achieve your desired result.

If you are waiting for the world to grab you by your hands and provide you with your dreams and wishes on a silver platter, then you might as well wait forever.

If you want to start something, then start.

You can start anywhere. I started my writing career, and many of the projects I worked on from behind my laptop screen, from the comfort of my bedroom couch.

So what do you need to get going?

If you are going to start something with a group, then make the theme of your group clear and attention-grabbing. For instance "A club that would teach you more about cooking" might not grab everyone's attention, but "Eat and Meet" might.

Choose an easy place for your group members to meet up and discuss your initiative and your short-term goals. It could be at your neighbourhood cafe, or online through Facebook groups, or Google+ communities that are very popular nowadays.

If newcomers are joining, then make them feel welcome. If this is done, they will be more willing to participate and engaged in the group activities and hopefully share your passion for the cause. Nothing kills a group more than a disconnection between its members.

If you do not want to work with a group and you would rather run a one-man kind of show, then the same concept applies. Find something you are passionate or interested in and start working on it.

Whether it is a service or product you are willing to provide, then you can start as easily as today.

Start small and build your way up. If you are a writer you can start a blog online and advertise it through social media. If you are willing to sell a product, then social media proved to work wonders for many out there, with little capital.

At the end of the day it does not matter how you do it, as long as you start. Start today, for today could be the tomorrow you often dreamt about.


Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and fashion designer based in Abu Dhabi