An Introduction

Who is the first dancer you might ask. How does it relate to being the first among equals and attracting unlimited opportunities? Or to begin with, why dance at all?

Good questions! First off, we all have unlimited opportunities for success. We can all benefit from the abundance that nature presents to us in the form of infinite love, infinite talent and infinite wisdom. The only factor keeping us from enjoying these opportunities is our ignorance toward them. We all look for opportunities in the form of an ideal state of affairs; the perfect weather for picnic, enough time to call a friend, or a good offer to sell the house. The truth is, you have the power to create the state of affairs that you call opportunities.

This book is directed to the common person—too busy to notice the abundance that engulfs him or her. Paradoxically, the first dancer is not an angelic enlightened soul, basking in the sun of timeless ancient wisdom. He is you, and he is me. He is each one of us. He is the common person negligent of the music that encapsulates his senses, too embarrassed to dance to the tune of abundance, lest he be called out.

The first dancer is the person who finally decides to let go of his false sense of possession and pride. He is the person who decides to be vulnerable in the face of uncertainties. He does not look for external opportunities or for benefactors anymore; he looks inwardly to what he possesses today. He reflects on the power of what the nature has already bestowed upon him. And he uses this reflection to make his first move. To the utter awe of the audience, the first dancer looks oblivious to the heckling of the crowd. He hears the music in his ears when no one does. He makes his moves when the time is not right, when the music is not loud enough and when no one is willing to dance with him.

The first dancer is comfortable being uncomfortable. He feels safe being vulnerable. He does not fear failure. His only fear is to miss the opportunity to dance to the tune of abundance and to let the music die out. In the midst of his indulgence, he attracts a certain subset of the audience—the few affable folks who actually feel entertained. The energy builds up slowly and pulls a larger crowd. Those who jeered at and disparaged the dancer now cheer for him. Lo and behold! In a few moments, the first dancer is joined by the second, and then the third. A movement is started. And the music is heard far and wide; not because it gets louder, but because the first dancer draws everyone’s attention to it.

This book is directed at everyone who wishes to create opportunities out of thin air. It is for you if you are tired of waiting for the right time. This book is for you if you are bold enough to be the first dancer.

The First Dancer is divided into four parts; each comprising of small bite-sized chapters. These chapters are based on the articles Majid Kazmi has written over the past four years and are a direct result of the life lessons he accumulated through his experience over many years. With the exception of chapters 6, 8 and 14, the chapters have been intentionally kept small so that you are not overwhelmed by the information presented on each topic and get quick breathers to digest it before moving on to the next chapter.

Part 1, The Success Mindset talks about the importance of creating a mental framework necessary to achieve success in life. This is the foundation upon which a life of accomplishments is built. This part of the book delves into the difference between victim and creator mindsets. It then looks into the dynamics of self-expectations and the role this intriguing phenomenon plays in positioning us for success. The following chapter examines how we can reassess what we think we have versus what we want; and how to let go of our sense of possession and entitlement—how to be vulnerable. The next chapter talks about the true nature of leadership. It looks at leadership not from the perspective of a position of authority but as an attitude that can be built into the human psyche and used to attract opportunities for success. The last chapter in this part presents ways to deal with rejection and to develop a mindset of resilience.

Part 2, Reinventing Yourself builds on the concepts presented in the preceding part and talks about the necessity of constant personal development as a means to position oneself to maximize the opportunities that might be presented from time to time. It focuses on the attitudes needed to become the first dancer. It includes chapters on personal branding, building credibility, networking, and communication—everything you need to know about standing out.

Part 3, Being the First Dancer focuses on the practical steps that lead to attracting unlimited opportunities. The chapters in this part are interlaced with the concepts of success mindset and attitudes presented in the preceding two parts. It examines the element of ‘bias for action’ that determines the opportunities for success. This part emphasizes the importance of being a giver in order to build a life of abundance. It presents practical tips on creating economic wealth by being the first dancer.

The last part, What Lies Beyond sums up the ideas shared in the first three parts and leaves you with some questions that you should ask yourself in order to attract unlimited opportunities. This part challenges you to ponder over what lies beyond opportunities for material success.

The First Dancer is not one of the books that claim to provide a magical panacea to guarantee success in life by avoiding failure or to fight shy of change; on the contrary it establishes failure and change as the very basis for success. It only tells you how best to fail quickly. Also, it is not a step-by-step guide to achieve success, simply because having a “guide to achieve success” is an oxymoronic concept at best. It also doesn’t present any shortcuts to getting rich, however it describes the change in mindset required to set you on path to financial independence.

Happy dancing!