Alicia Keys turns motivational speaker in Dubai. Read her five tips for success
Alicia Keys on stage in Dubai
IF SOMEONE HAS already welcomed and tasted success, people can usually take one of two positions when offered advice by the achiever. The first could be 'who does this person think they are telling me what to do?' Whereas the other, more productive question should be: 'this person has the experience of making it to the top, what can I learn from them?' And when the star in question is the phenomenally talented and all-round Wonder Woman Alicia Keys (15 Grammys, millions of record sales and instantly recognisable global anthems), not only should you be grateful for the pointers, you also have the privilege of them being delivered in the most magical method possible. This was the case at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena yesterday when, just before lunch, Keys got up and narrated her biography to a piano beat, highlighting the lessons with more than a fair share of memorable hits. Part of the inspirational Achieve The Unimaginable event brought to the UAE by Najahi, which also featured speakers such as headliner Tony Robbins, Prince EA and Nick Vujicic, this marked Keys' first ever foray on the motivational circuit, but you wouldn't know it. Composed and gripping from minute one to sixty, the 38-year-old is as engaging an orator as she is a performer. During the anecdotes the crowd leaned forward. When songs including Girl On Fire and New York played, the room was illuminated with countless mobile phone torches. If you couldn't make it to the superb performance, here are our top five takeaways from Keys' talk.
1) "Jump and the net will appear."
Apparently a saying by which a close friend lived, Keys explained that half the battle in trying to succeed is being brave enough to take a chance. "Could you imagine if you knew a net would appear? Would you jump? I would. I would open my heart, I would be willing to take a risk and ready for the rewards. How many people don't even try for fear of failure?"
2) "Do you believe you deserve greatness?"
Questioning her own humbleness, Keys intoned it is difficult to go out into the world and say: 'I am good enough at this.' "I was struggling to believe that I deserved all the big ideas and all that comes from them. If there's one thing, the question is do you believe that you deserve greatness?" Cue huge applause from the audience. "I love my humility, I think it is one of my most beautiful qualities, but it was masking an issue of deserving greatness. It (believing in deserving) comes from telling yourself you deserve it."
3) "You're not the only one."
Moving on to dealing with setbacks, Keys spoke about humans' commonality while playing the melody from True Colours by Cyndi Lauper. "The thing is to know that you're not the only one going through it. You're not the only one trying to find your way, trying to find yourself, trying to reinvent yourself, trying to find amazing energy and a life. Once you find it there's no stopping you. Because when you find it you show all of yourself."
4) "Give what you want to receive."
Success is down to the company you keep according to Keys. You need to be surrounded with those who will lift you up and in turn remember to reflect some of that admiration back on yourself.
"All we're looking for is for those people who love us for who we are. And to make sure that we don't forget to love ourselves for who we are. We are always looking for someone else to do it for us. Show yourself love. Show other people love. Give what you want to receive and it's all yours."
5) "Don't let people tell us how we're supposed to be."
"It's time. It's time to stop letting others tell us how we're supposed to be." Keys said towards the show's crescendo. "It's time to shine in the most unbelievable way and let go of negativity. Everybody else is in your way. Nobody can stop you."