Born in Toronto, Canada and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Shahzad Malik is passionate about composing the perfect melody and empowering those around him to move towards a more conscious, action-oriented, and fulfilling life. Dare to be You is his first book. Today, he joins Rohail Amjad in his show for an interview
Rohail Amjad: What was the motive behind writing the book?
Shahzad Malik: Even as a very privileged child, growing up, I found myself stuck in a loop of constant bad decisions. Eventually it came to a point where I wanted to break free from it all and made a conscious effort to learn about individuals who everyone aspires to be like. I started reading their Autobiographies … from Steve Jobs to Warren Buffet to Jack Welsh… and with that I started finding common aspects in their lives. I realized that there are basic factors similar between them all with specific patterns of thought and process to over come any obstacle in life. This is when I also started reading self help books by various authors and really understood the concepts of self development. I realized each author was focused on a particular aspect of self development… whether it was ‘The Power Of NOW’ which talks about being present and mindful… or the power of positivity and law of attraction in The Secret, There was not any one book that comprised of everything as a starter for someone who wants to pick a self help book and really understand the very basics of developing the self. That was the concept behind it. I wanted people to have a basic platform from where they can take their first step towards self development. So basically this started with Self but evolved into a vision for the greater good.
Rohail Amjad: Which authors motivated you growing up and did they inspire you in writing this book?
Shahzad Malik: Some of the works that have greatly inspired me all through my life have been Robin Sharma… almost all of the books by Echart Tolle, Mark Manson, The 40 rules of Power by Robert Greene, Rick Warren’s The purpose Driven Life… The Secret and The law of Attraction, essentially all books written for self development … I have read and learnt from.
Rohail Amjad: ‘Dare to be You’. What are the 3 key points to take away from the book?
Shahzad Malik: The three most important aspects for personal development would be Belief & Positivity, Gratitude & Fear… You should read Dare to be You to learn how it all works to make you into a better version of yourself.
Rohail Amjad: Can self-help book replace motivational speakers?
Shahzad Malik: I don’t think so , as they both work in tandem. I have been involved with motivational speaking and talks with a recent one that took place in Washington about how to work in Pakistan and be an agent of change, having said this I will be conducting motivational talk in the future in Pakistan also.
Rohail Amjad: ‘Fear’ is something that holds most people back from daring to be themselves. How do you suggest the readers to overcome their fears?
Shahzad Malik: The most important thing to do is to forgive yourself. Whatever you may have experienced either from the past or present needs to be let go of, and allow yourself to move forward. Understand that wherever we are is not a permanent point in life and it too shall pass. Its okay to feel, grieve and move on with hope that everything will be okay…
Rohail Amjad: In the 21st century when everything is digitized, and video content is reigning supreme, do you think books still have a place in people’s lives?
Shahzad Malik: Books will always have an important place in people s lives … they ought to . there’s something magical about holding a book and reading it and going on to far away lands or visualizing that comes from the words of an author.
Rohail Amjad: In the context of Pakistani society where ‘log kya kahein gay’ is the mantra of our elders and is responsible for crushing dreams, how do you encourage millennials to face such situations in their every day lives?
Shahzad Malik: I feel there is a lot of self awareness today as compared to the past, people are playing an active role in getting to know mental health issues or more readily seeking help or talking about taboos. The book requires you to think in an assertive and progressive manner that is not limited to any region. The very mindset the book looks to develop is not restricted by cultural or societal norms and hence that is where the self develops from. What Dare to be You teaches you is to break free from the shackles of these mental prisons made by whatever society we are a part of. To live free from the stigmas and stereotypes and limitations that stop you from being who you are and doing what you want. It dares you to be living the best versions of your lives.
Rohail Amjad: How can one with limited resources and lack of facilities and financial constraint be positive in a challenging economic environment?
Shahzad Malik: The examples I’ve given in the book are very general, regardless of where you are in life, you have to face and deal with certain issues, so the whole point of the book is to give you references so that you may be able to apply these concepts to your life. Dare to be You is just the little push you need. It’s a great way to take your first step to self development no matter what your current state it.
Rohail Amjad: Any parting advice for my readers?
Shahzad Malik: Never ever stop believing in yourself. You are, without any shred of doubt, capable of much more than you let yourself believe. Never give up!