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The School Teacher Who Quit His Job To Become A Ninja – 6 Steps To Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

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Ninja Japan

Izmael Arkin, a middle school teacher quit his job to follow his childhood dream: To become a Ninja. Read on to see how Izmael went from a struggling life as a middle school teacher in california to becoming a Ninja in Japan.

Enjoy his 6 Steps to Turn Your Dreams Into a Reality.

 

October 2009

I looked at my hands.

They were shaking.

I pulled over to the side of the road. The questions ran through my mind:

What did you do wrong?

How did you get here?

What are you going to do with your life?

Then the tears started to fall…

 

The Depression

I was in my 4th year as a middle school science teacher in Los Angeles, California.

26 years old, getting a masters degree in education. I was moving up the ladder fast,  soon to be running my own school.

I was making more money every year. I drove a nice car. My resume looked fantastic. Everyone was impressed.

But there was a problem.

I hated my life.

I’d lie awake at 2am unable to fall asleep. Anxiety, fear,  and stress  overtook my thoughts.

Night after night the questions, voices, and thoughts kept coming.

 

What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? (The Million Dollar Question)

I thought I wanted to give my life to education. I thought this is what I was supposed to do.

I tried to use logic.

You have a good job.

You should be happy.

You’ve done everything you were told to do.

Logic is stupid… when it leads to depression, anxiety, and stress.

I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

For months on end I battled with the million dollar question.

What are you going do with your life?

I made it my purpose to discover my purpose.

I talked with friends and family. I read books. I took personality tests. I tried new activities. I volunteered in my community.

Friends would ask “Izzy, if you aren’t going to be a teacher, what are you going to do with your life?

I’d smile and give a little laugh.

I want to be a ninja.

It was meant to lighten the mood, to bring some humor, to such a serious question.

But one day it clicked… I’m not kidding.

 

izzy eli ninja halloween big

 

What is a Ninja?

About 4 months after that fateful October day, I wrote my dream on paper.

“I want to be a ninja… But what is a ninja?”

It’s a good question, right?

As I explored this question I realized something. I didn’t want to be a traditional ninja. I wanted to be the ninja from my childhood imagination. It’s a childhood dream.

So then I asked the question: According to my 8 year old brain, what is a ninja?

The answer became very clear. A ninja does 3 things.

  1. Moves to a far away land
  2. Trains extensively in martial arts
  3. Challenges the traditional rules of work and life as we know it

As I wrote these down I sat back in my chair with a surge of emotion. It clicked.

This…is…possible…

 

I Quit My Job, I live In Japan, I Train 4 hours a Day in Martial Arts

Over the course of 4 years I would quit my career in education, save money, find work in Japan, and eventually train extensively in martial arts.

I now live in the historical capital of Kyoto in Japan. I train in Aikido (a martial art) 4 to 6 hours a day 5 days a week.

Am I a ninja? By technical definition, no… But that was never what I wanted to be. I wanted to be the ninja from my childhood dreams.

I have now lived in Japan for 2 years. I have given my life to Aikido.

4 years ago, I was a depressed, stressed, overwhelmed 26 year old middle school teacher. Now, I wake up with joy, purpose and meaning.

I share my story for one reason. I’m not magical nor special. My life is evidence that you can follow your dreams no matter how absurd they may initially seem.

Izzy getting thrown

 

 

6 Steps to Identify and Live Your Dream

Below I break down the process to 6 specific practical steps to turn your dream into a reality. I know this stuff works because my life is the evidence.

 

Step 1: Answer The Million Dollar Question

I believe there is nothing more important than to identify your purpose.

The million dollar question is as follows:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with your life?

Many of us allow money to be our excuse.

We use it as a crutch to slow us from moving towards our dreams. In some cases we even use the money excuse as a dagger that rips right through the heart of our dreams.

Your job above all else, is to identify what you want to do. After that, then you can figure out how to make money doing it.

 

Step 2: Define Your Dream

Once you know what you want to do, create a clear succinct definition for your dream.

Take my dream for example: to become a ninja.

That sounds totally absurd, unrealistic, and crazy. But when I give you the definition (according to my 8 year old brain)

1) Moves to a far away land
2) Trains extensively in martial arts
3) Challenges the traditional rules of work and life as we know it

It all of a sudden becomes possible.

Defining your dream makes the ‘impossible’, possible.

 

Step 3: Determine The First Step

Once you know exactly where you want to go (your purpose) and you have a clear definition then you need to identify the first step.

Do not be concerned with step 9, step 29, or step 109. All you need to do is focus on the next step in the process.

 

Step 4: Take The First Step

Action is the great differentiator. This world rewards people that ‘do’, not people who ‘think about doing’.

Everything comes down to execution. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but it don’t mean a darn thing if you don’t take action on it.

 

Step 5: Start Saving Money

Yes, I mentioned above that you cannot use money as an excuse. And that is correct. But here is the other reality.

Money matters.

As soon as I identified my dream, I started saving money every month. I called it “my dream fund”.

By doing this I was gaining momentum on my dream. Every month it felt like I was getting closer.

How much you save isn’t near as important as saving. Choose an amount and start saving today.

 

Step 6: Reflect, Adjust, Act

As you take action, you’re going to learn incredible things about yourself. But here’s the simple reality: you’re going to make mistakes.

It’s critical that you learn from these mistakes. After you take action it’s important to set time aside at minimum weekly to reflect. There are 3 specific questions I always ask myself:

1)  What actions did you take in the last week that are moving you towards your dream? (keep doing those)

2)  What actions did you take in the last week that are preventing you from moving towards your dream? (stop doing those)

3)  What actions do you need to start doing to accelerate your progress towards your dream? (Choose one of these and do it).

 

Then based on your answers to these questions, adjust your plan and take action.

Repeat this “reflect, adjust, act” approach every week and you will be amazed by the impact it has on your life.

 

Izzy with students 

 

Identify Your Dream, Then Take The First Step

At the core of all of this are two very simple concepts.

To turn your dream into a reality all you need to do is know exactly where you want to go and then continuously take the next step.

This sounds simple because it is simple. But simple does not mean easy.

If some former middle school teacher can quit his job to become a ninja, you can follow your dream.

What actions are you going to take today to start turning your dream into a reality?

 

Izzy, The 30 Year Old Ninja

Head over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to learn the critical mindset, steps, and principles to turn your dream into a reality. Izzy coaches people one on one and runs an online course to help you Achieve The Impossible. You can also follow him on Facebook to get daily inspiration.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Shunmuga

    Feb 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Very much impressive article. Your article will inspire each and every person who doesnt like their PROFESSION and eagerly longing for their PASSION including me!!!

    You made us believe that if we follow out PASSION as our PROFESSION we will get satisfied in life.

    Thanks Izzy

  2. Elvis

    Nov 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I am inspired every time i read such articles !!! Thank you for sharing it 🙂

  3. Cansu Nar

    Oct 22, 2013 at 3:45 am

    I am very impressed with your article…this article definitely gives motivation, especially for those who are depressed and stressed out from life…

  4. Elizabeth Perez

    Sep 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Wow. .!!! Inspiring. .km 56 and cannot find my purpose. .!!:(

  5. Amit Rathi

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Awesome article. You are a mad man! I
    I am also working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring me a lot
    & i love this article.

  6. Shannon

    Aug 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve read and re-read this like five times now. You make achieving your dream sound so doable, I love it! I actually wrote about this piece TWICE on my own blog this week, and am implementing the steps you outlined for myself. Thanks for sharing your success and how you got there!

  7. Ryan

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Izzy. Kudos to you my man. I quit a very well paid but dissatisfying job in London to move back to India as I simply couldn’t suffer that soul sucking crap any longer. I don’t have plans to become a ninja, but am working towards building a business and needed this motivation to keep me going…see you in Japan some day!

  8. Calvin Lee

    Aug 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Hasn’t the ninja ship sailed a hundred years ago? Shouldn’t he be practicing Ninjutsu instead of Aikido?
    No matter what, someone who follows his/her dream is truly admirable 🙂

    • LOKI

      Aug 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      AGAIN… THE POINT WAS HE REALIZED HIS DREAM BY DELVING INTO HIS 8 YEAR OLD SELF’S DEFINITION OF WHAT A NINJA IS.

  9. John

    Aug 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Awesome article. You are a crazy man! I completely envy you for your balls of steel to take action and completely change your life. My dream is become an actor, but drugs, alcohol, and anxiety got in the way. Now, 6 years sober, I am 3 years away from completing my degree in chemical engineering (my back up plan) and am then planning on moving to L.A. to delve into my acting dream.

    Keep up the good work Izzy!

    • Sankarshan

      Jan 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      You don’t need a to become a Chem. E. for that. I should know because I am a chemical engineering major about to graduate.

  10. Izzy

    Aug 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Betty (I’m assuming that’s your name).

    Teaching is darn hard work. I believe it can be one of the most fulfilling job if a person truly loves it. But on the flip side it can also be a very painful job if you don’t enjoy it. Kids are so darn honest. You have to be on your toes and ready at all times.

    I’m glad this story inspires you but I really hope it compels you to take action.

  11. bettybuttonsblog

    Aug 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Love this article and can totally empathise as an out of work, unemployable and disengaged teacher.
    I am working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring and will definitely help on the journey.

    How awesome to be a ninja : )

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Motivation

Embrace The Suck.

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Embrace the Suck

I suck at spreadsheets.
I suck at maths because numbers do my head in.
I suck at attending meetings because I just want action.

You will suck at your first blog post.
You will suck at your first startup, and the one after that, and so on.
You will suck at giving your first speech.

We all suck 24/7.

None of us are 100% motivated all the time.
None of us get anything right the first time – unless it’s a fluke.

We all have nightmares of our failures.
We all secretly want to be perfect – even me.

 

It’s time to embrace the suck.

A lot about life F*cking sucks hard.

My #EmbraceTheSuck story (thanks Sina Fak for the idea) was failing at high school and dropping out. After a break, I went back and finished high school, and the only subjects I excelled at were music and English.

Even though the headmaster told me I’d always be a no good, punk a$$, drop out, I proved him wrong.

I used my expertise in English to become a blogger and that’s why I’m writing these words to you right now.

I failed in the short-term, but by persevering at school, it eventually led me to right now. I could have done nothing and become a bum. I could have listened to my headmaster and agreed with him.

I knew that I was destined to do something big and I believe the movement I’m creating right now is part of my crazy goal to change the world.

All of us can succeed when we embrace the suck and persevere.

“We can listen to our critics or we can lift the middle finger at them and keep going”

Making it through the suck made me smarter, more courageous and it helped me build a newfound resilience.

 

How do we embrace the suck?

1. Be prepared to fail.
2. Look like an idiot.
3. Be willing to start at the bottom
4. Persevere
5. Challenge the critics

When everything sucks, get back up.
Have a second go even if there’s no reason too.
Back yourself and believe you can push through the suck.

 

Embrace the suck is a call to action.

It’s about being prepared to eat sh*t because the upside makes it worth it. It’s about doing what so many are not prepared to do because you believe in yourself.

It’s about taking action and executing instead of being a daydreamer and being stuck in a foreplay of ideas, dreams, goals that never happen.

Starting at the bottom and sucking harder is how you get to the top.

Once you arrive at the top, make sure you help other people who are embracing the suck.

Let’s all commit to doing more things that suck and being okay with it. Let’s challenge each other to be courageous.

If I can go from being a high school dropout to making something of myself, then why the heck can’t you?

Embrace the suck because that’s what the people you idolize and anyone you’ve ever looked up to did.

Embracing the suck is part of life.

“Hello, adversity. Come at me!”

 

One day you’ll look back on all the sucky moments and be proud.

That’s the cherry on top of the cake right there.

That is all the motivation you need to embrace the suck.

 

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

Keep Going – Never Give Up. Good People Are Always Rewarded.

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Last week there was some real lows. This week there have been some major highs.

At one point, it looked like my career was down the toilet. Everything I worked for looked like it was done.

The reality is that when you hit a low point, there’s always an upside. The point where you want to give up is just the beginning of something new and amazing. When you hit that low, it’s so easy to want to give up.

You feel like you can’t go on and the odds are stacked against you.

Everything and everyone feel like they are working against your vision for your life. Most of all, you don’t know why you’ve suddenly hit this giant low point that feels like it’s going to last forever.

Your motivation is non-existent; you get out of bed and feel like crap; you’re not sure what today will mean – or the next for that matter.

All of this is fine. No, I’m not giving you some empty promise or meaningless reason to go on. What I’m telling you is that you must keep going. Even though you feel like you can’t, you must!

“All of these low points mean something. All of these low points turn into one giant moment of triumph if you keep stacking them up like shot glasses after a big night”

 

Good people are rewarded.

As long as you do your absolute best to be a good person, eventually your life will change.

All those small things you did for people will be remembered.
Someone will give you a chance and believe in you.
An opportunity will come from nowhere that you never expected.

Rewards always come for those who have earned it. How do you earn those rewards? By being a kind, humble and good person that serves the greater good. Let’s dumb it down further. You get the rewards by:

1. Helping people who have nothing
2. Smiling at as many people as you can
3. Answering messages on social media and helping people without getting anything in return
4. Staying positive through books and blogs like this
5. Waiting out the winter cold for summer to come into your life again

This list of five things is how you remain a good person through the chaos that we all experience. Many people say “That sounds easy Tim, but it’s harder than you think.”

That’s why I’ve made it practical with these five points.

 

How my luck changed this week.

I followed this formula I’ve laid out, and this week my luck changed. All of a sudden, I got multiple opportunities to do work that I love and get paid well for it so that I can focus on my blogging.

The messages I got with these opportunities all started with something like this:

“Thank you for sharing your story and having the guts to do so. You’ve inspired me and I appreciate it. I’d love to chat to you about opportunity X. Are you free for a few minutes?”

Then I got two more emails from television networks wanting me to spread some inspiration on their respective shows.

Your luck will change and opportunities will be presented to you if you keep going, never give up and continue being a good person.

It’s a long road towards getting up close and personal with your most important goal but if you stay the path, stay focused and be the person that makes you proud, it will happen.

 

Keep going.

So, if you’ve ever felt like I felt when my career went down the toilet last week, or you’re feeling that way right now, you must keep going.

I believe you can get what you seek if you remain focused and don’t let the negative emotions in your head take over. I know it’s tough but that’s no excuse. If you want your goals bad enough, then you’ll keep motivated to push through the rejection and failure.

Use selflessness to change your perspective. Look at yourself in the third person. See who you are now and who you can be. All of us can be leaders and when we look at ourselves without our self-talk and ego’s in the way, we can see who we really are.

Dare to dream a little. Don’t be afraid to think big. If you have crazy, audacious goals, then that’s even better.

Don’t be talked out of your mission.
Let your passion rip through the barriers that stand in your way.

Never give up. Keep going.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

We All Have It Tough – It’s What You Do With The Struggle.

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Lots of my people who read my stuff email me with their struggles. They’re hoping that I will be blown away by how hard they’ve had it. They think it’s some sort of competition to see who has the most battle scars.

By reading so many of these emails of struggle over the last few years, I realized something: we all have it tough. All of us struggle – even me.

– Right now, I have 14 days left until I’ll be out of a job.
– I’ve got some very challenging personal issues to deal with.
– My investments need a major rework and I’m completely lost.

I’ve been offered an opportunity to do public speaking to a large audience and am scared of whether I should say yes. Do I have what it takes? Will I mess it up?

We all have it tough.

What I’ve learned is it’s what you do with the struggle that will define your future.

 

Are you going to sit there and take it?

That’s right I’m asking you right now. What are you going to do with the struggles?

There are only two options:

1. Toughen up and use the struggles as motivation
2. Be a piss weak, sook, and give up.

Your struggles can take you to a new level. When George Lucas tried to make Star Wars, it was a total F*ck up. Everything went wrong. There were natural disasters, lack of money and even the actors thought it was the worse film ever to be made.

Did the creator of the Jedi Knight give up?

Not a chance. He kept going and defied the odds. His reward? One of the most watched movies of all time and plenty of cash to go with it.

You may still be thinking option two is your only hope. Maybe you could be piss weak and just give up. Then you could sit on the couch, watch Netflix, drink wine and pretend that your struggles didn’t stop you from achieving your goals.

 

The good news is giving up works short-term. The bad news?

After the short-term gain of giving up, and getting to Netflix and chill, you’ll be really pissed off at yourself. You’ll have regret and feel even worse than before you began your journey of struggle. Not getting your goals and making next to no progress feels like crap.I spent several years doing this.

“Every night I would get home, watch a Hollywood movie, go to 7-Eleven for some sugar and send useless texts to the toxic people in my life”

These same people were going nowhere and telling me to give up.

Screw that. I did this for a while and felt so empty. Life had no meaning and I was making no impact. The sugar diet made me sick and I ended up becoming bedridden.

 

The struggle is the beginning.

Looking back, without the struggle, I would have never got off my lazy ass and actually taken action. When I say “It’s what you do with the struggle,” what I mean is this:

Having it tough and struggling – like trying to walk up a hill while there’s a mudslide happening at the exact same time – is a big fat signal that you’re onto something.

The motivation and momentum you need to get started is right there in front of your blue eyes.

“You can’t get started on some mammoth task to change your life unless you get pissed off and do it tough”

If you were doing it easy, there’d be no urgent reason to take action.

When you’re like me and you are about to be unemployed, have lots of tough decisions to make and are unsatisfied with your career progression to date, you have to embrace your circumstances.

Now, this sounds like a lot of big words that you’d read in some 2000-page self-help book that repeats the same ideas over and over.

I’m going to dumb it right down:

The struggle is a sign to get started. When you struggle, things can’t really get much worse. What you’re left with is nothing but upside.

 

What action do we take then when we’re struggling?

Let’s use my situation as an example. Here are the action steps I’m using and implementing this week:

1. Accept where you are right now
– This will give you a reality check.

2. Meditate to relax your busy brain
– Stress will force you to make dumb decisions.

3. Get really uncomfortable
– I said yes to a new business venture that involves a lot of public speaking.

4. Resist the temptation to be pissed off
– Getting angry is only going to make things worse. Reserve your energy.

5. Write three things a day you’re grateful for
– This will force you to find the positive.

6. Delete whingers, sooks, liars and complainers from your contact list
– You’ve got enough issues; it’s hard enough to be positive without having toxic people talk nonsense and distract you.

 

Final step: Chill out amigo.

Your world is not going to end tomorrow. You can always start again. You can always fall down and get straight back up. Don’t be so angry with yourself. We all struggle and you’re doing the best that you can. Focus your energy on building your confidence and supporting your growth mindset.

“My future looks like a nuclear apocalypse right now but I’ve learned through the struggles that I always come out the other side on top”

Being impatient and stressing will only bring on more problems for you. It’s not that bad. Things always turn around. This moment of struggle and how you handle it will define who you become.

All of us have unlimited potential and we’re all struggling every day.

Once you learn to accept the struggle, embrace it and see it as a seed to something better, you’ll be well on your way to becoming someone you’re proud of.

Wish me luck with the struggles coming in the next few weeks. We’re in this together don’t forget.

Peace, love, respect.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

6 Lessons You Can Learn from The King of the Jungle

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lions

Do you watch documentaries on lions? If yes, then you must have seen that they dominate their territory and are apex predators. Lions are among the strongest animals in the world, and no one dares to confront or challenge them. They are called ‘kings’ because they have a touch of royalty in everything they do. From eating habits where 20-25 royal members dine at the same to conquering huge lands. A lion always has a bold attitude and lives like a true ruler.

But their life is full of obstacles and problems. There is less space for errors, as one mistake may make them lose their life, reign, or offspring. Also, hunting is not an easy task; their success rate is only 17-19 percent. Compared to human beings their quandaries are bigger because they never get a second opportunity.

But, have you ever seen a depressed lion or one who wants to give up? They always struggle to hunt and rule lands, but they never quit. Sometimes they fail in hunting a zebra, a gazelle, and a wildebeest. But do they give up? No. They try hard and succeed in hunting.

So, what motivates them to not surrender to the harsh life? The answer is survival. The only thing that keeps them moving is survival. Many lions lose their reign, children, and queens to other lions, but they never give up on life.

Here are six life lessons from the king of the jungle:

1. Your goal is the only way to survive

Set a life goal and work hard to achieve it; consider that there are no alternatives. As lions are born to hunt and rule; acknowledge that you are born to accomplish your life goal. Consider your purpose and work as a source of motivation. They will keep you going through good and bad times because fame is temporary, but work pleasure and sense of achievement are permanent.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson

2. Fail and evolve

Lions fail eight out of ten times in hunting, but this makes them fine-tune their skills; thus, they can catch bigger prey to feed their family. Likewise, we should also embrace our failures and evolve each time we face them. We must study and analyze our failures and make sure to not repeat them. As Jack Ma has rightly said, “If the guy only checks himself, yeah, something wrong with me here, something wrong with me there. Then, this guy has hope.” Also, we must follow this law of nature: ‘Evolve and survive’ to achieve success in life.

3. Focus is the key

When lions go on a hunt, they make less noise and focus on the prey. They always have an element of surprise and keep everything low to make their raid successful. Now imagine, if a lion makes noise, will they be able to hunt? The answer is no! So, what do we learn? Too much talking makes us lose focus. Don’t tell everyone about your goals and what you are doing, keep it low and completely focus on your aim.

4. Always trust each other

A pride of lions always back each other in good and bad times. Rather in tough phases as an individual they contribute more to the survival of the pride. We should also learn that strength is in the pack. It’s necessary to not break each other’s trust for a short-term gain. Also, we must support each other in overcoming tough problems and situations.

“Attack your goals like your life depends on it”

5. Survival is everything

Lions don’t harm anyone without any reason. But, when someone tries to mar their territory, life, and family, they leave no stone unturned in giving a tough fight. Likewise, we should concentrate on our own betterment. However, if someone is trying to ruin our career or life, then instead of getting disappointed we should fight back and overcome such smotherers.

6. Have fun in life

Lions go through a harsh life filled with everyday challenges. But they don’t let them ruin their daily moments. They always enjoy every minute with their pride members. They play with each other and take care of everyone. You should also make sure to relish each moment of your life. Leave your stress and worries in your workplace, and when you are at home, relish the time with your family.

Lions teach us to dominate problems in life and live like a true winner. As someone has rightly said, “If size really mattered, the elephant would be king of the jungle.” Similarly, every animal’s life is full of struggle, and we can learn a lot from them to become successful and prosperous in our own lives. So next time you watch a documentary on lions, try to learn from them.

How will you become a lion in your everyday life? Comment below!

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Success Advice

5 Neuroplasticity Exercises the Top 3% of the Happy and Successful Do

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Neuroplasticity Exercises

Neuroplasticity means you will no more have to wake up each morning with the dread of having to start a new day of which you already know the outcome. For decades, it’s been the same routine, you get up with negative feelings that your day will turnout just like the day before full of stress and discontent. (more…)

Gregory (a.k.a. Pappi) Henderson, started the journey to discover the elements to the Lost Art of Happiness which opened doors to eye-opening ancient wisdom practices and the results found by cutting-edge neuroscience research. Today, you can receive this jaw-dropping evidence that happiness and success are a choice and are in your hands by joining him at http://happipappi.com. As you will see first hand, the practices he has implemented himself and has taught to individuals around the world who achieve the same positive insane results, http://happipappi.com/about/.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Shunmuga

    Feb 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Very much impressive article. Your article will inspire each and every person who doesnt like their PROFESSION and eagerly longing for their PASSION including me!!!

    You made us believe that if we follow out PASSION as our PROFESSION we will get satisfied in life.

    Thanks Izzy

  2. Elvis

    Nov 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I am inspired every time i read such articles !!! Thank you for sharing it 🙂

  3. Cansu Nar

    Oct 22, 2013 at 3:45 am

    I am very impressed with your article…this article definitely gives motivation, especially for those who are depressed and stressed out from life…

  4. Elizabeth Perez

    Sep 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Wow. .!!! Inspiring. .km 56 and cannot find my purpose. .!!:(

  5. Amit Rathi

    Sep 10, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Awesome article. You are a mad man! I
    I am also working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring me a lot
    & i love this article.

  6. Shannon

    Aug 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve read and re-read this like five times now. You make achieving your dream sound so doable, I love it! I actually wrote about this piece TWICE on my own blog this week, and am implementing the steps you outlined for myself. Thanks for sharing your success and how you got there!

  7. Ryan

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Izzy. Kudos to you my man. I quit a very well paid but dissatisfying job in London to move back to India as I simply couldn’t suffer that soul sucking crap any longer. I don’t have plans to become a ninja, but am working towards building a business and needed this motivation to keep me going…see you in Japan some day!

  8. Calvin Lee

    Aug 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Hasn’t the ninja ship sailed a hundred years ago? Shouldn’t he be practicing Ninjutsu instead of Aikido?
    No matter what, someone who follows his/her dream is truly admirable 🙂

    • LOKI

      Aug 30, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      AGAIN… THE POINT WAS HE REALIZED HIS DREAM BY DELVING INTO HIS 8 YEAR OLD SELF’S DEFINITION OF WHAT A NINJA IS.

  9. John

    Aug 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Awesome article. You are a crazy man! I completely envy you for your balls of steel to take action and completely change your life. My dream is become an actor, but drugs, alcohol, and anxiety got in the way. Now, 6 years sober, I am 3 years away from completing my degree in chemical engineering (my back up plan) and am then planning on moving to L.A. to delve into my acting dream.

    Keep up the good work Izzy!

    • Sankarshan

      Jan 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      You don’t need a to become a Chem. E. for that. I should know because I am a chemical engineering major about to graduate.

  10. Izzy

    Aug 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Hi Betty (I’m assuming that’s your name).

    Teaching is darn hard work. I believe it can be one of the most fulfilling job if a person truly loves it. But on the flip side it can also be a very painful job if you don’t enjoy it. Kids are so darn honest. You have to be on your toes and ready at all times.

    I’m glad this story inspires you but I really hope it compels you to take action.

  11. bettybuttonsblog

    Aug 15, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Love this article and can totally empathise as an out of work, unemployable and disengaged teacher.
    I am working towards finding my dream and this article is inspiring and will definitely help on the journey.

    How awesome to be a ninja : )

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Motivation

Embrace The Suck.

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Embrace the Suck

I suck at spreadsheets.
I suck at maths because numbers do my head in.
I suck at attending meetings because I just want action.

You will suck at your first blog post.
You will suck at your first startup, and the one after that, and so on.
You will suck at giving your first speech.

We all suck 24/7.

None of us are 100% motivated all the time.
None of us get anything right the first time – unless it’s a fluke.

We all have nightmares of our failures.
We all secretly want to be perfect – even me.

 

It’s time to embrace the suck.

A lot about life F*cking sucks hard.

My #EmbraceTheSuck story (thanks Sina Fak for the idea) was failing at high school and dropping out. After a break, I went back and finished high school, and the only subjects I excelled at were music and English.

Even though the headmaster told me I’d always be a no good, punk a$$, drop out, I proved him wrong.

I used my expertise in English to become a blogger and that’s why I’m writing these words to you right now.

I failed in the short-term, but by persevering at school, it eventually led me to right now. I could have done nothing and become a bum. I could have listened to my headmaster and agreed with him.

I knew that I was destined to do something big and I believe the movement I’m creating right now is part of my crazy goal to change the world.

All of us can succeed when we embrace the suck and persevere.

“We can listen to our critics or we can lift the middle finger at them and keep going”

Making it through the suck made me smarter, more courageous and it helped me build a newfound resilience.

 

How do we embrace the suck?

1. Be prepared to fail.
2. Look like an idiot.
3. Be willing to start at the bottom
4. Persevere
5. Challenge the critics

When everything sucks, get back up.
Have a second go even if there’s no reason too.
Back yourself and believe you can push through the suck.

 

Embrace the suck is a call to action.

It’s about being prepared to eat sh*t because the upside makes it worth it. It’s about doing what so many are not prepared to do because you believe in yourself.

It’s about taking action and executing instead of being a daydreamer and being stuck in a foreplay of ideas, dreams, goals that never happen.

Starting at the bottom and sucking harder is how you get to the top.

Once you arrive at the top, make sure you help other people who are embracing the suck.

Let’s all commit to doing more things that suck and being okay with it. Let’s challenge each other to be courageous.

If I can go from being a high school dropout to making something of myself, then why the heck can’t you?

Embrace the suck because that’s what the people you idolize and anyone you’ve ever looked up to did.

Embracing the suck is part of life.

“Hello, adversity. Come at me!”

 

One day you’ll look back on all the sucky moments and be proud.

That’s the cherry on top of the cake right there.

That is all the motivation you need to embrace the suck.

 

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Motivation

Keep Going – Never Give Up. Good People Are Always Rewarded.

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Last week there was some real lows. This week there have been some major highs.

At one point, it looked like my career was down the toilet. Everything I worked for looked like it was done.

The reality is that when you hit a low point, there’s always an upside. The point where you want to give up is just the beginning of something new and amazing. When you hit that low, it’s so easy to want to give up.

You feel like you can’t go on and the odds are stacked against you.

Everything and everyone feel like they are working against your vision for your life. Most of all, you don’t know why you’ve suddenly hit this giant low point that feels like it’s going to last forever.

Your motivation is non-existent; you get out of bed and feel like crap; you’re not sure what today will mean – or the next for that matter.

All of this is fine. No, I’m not giving you some empty promise or meaningless reason to go on. What I’m telling you is that you must keep going. Even though you feel like you can’t, you must!

“All of these low points mean something. All of these low points turn into one giant moment of triumph if you keep stacking them up like shot glasses after a big night”

 

Good people are rewarded.

As long as you do your absolute best to be a good person, eventually your life will change.

All those small things you did for people will be remembered.
Someone will give you a chance and believe in you.
An opportunity will come from nowhere that you never expected.

Rewards always come for those who have earned it. How do you earn those rewards? By being a kind, humble and good person that serves the greater good. Let’s dumb it down further. You get the rewards by:

1. Helping people who have nothing
2. Smiling at as many people as you can
3. Answering messages on social media and helping people without getting anything in return
4. Staying positive through books and blogs like this
5. Waiting out the winter cold for summer to come into your life again

This list of five things is how you remain a good person through the chaos that we all experience. Many people say “That sounds easy Tim, but it’s harder than you think.”

That’s why I’ve made it practical with these five points.

 

How my luck changed this week.

I followed this formula I’ve laid out, and this week my luck changed. All of a sudden, I got multiple opportunities to do work that I love and get paid well for it so that I can focus on my blogging.

The messages I got with these opportunities all started with something like this:

“Thank you for sharing your story and having the guts to do so. You’ve inspired me and I appreciate it. I’d love to chat to you about opportunity X. Are you free for a few minutes?”

Then I got two more emails from television networks wanting me to spread some inspiration on their respective shows.

Your luck will change and opportunities will be presented to you if you keep going, never give up and continue being a good person.

It’s a long road towards getting up close and personal with your most important goal but if you stay the path, stay focused and be the person that makes you proud, it will happen.

 

Keep going.

So, if you’ve ever felt like I felt when my career went down the toilet last week, or you’re feeling that way right now, you must keep going.

I believe you can get what you seek if you remain focused and don’t let the negative emotions in your head take over. I know it’s tough but that’s no excuse. If you want your goals bad enough, then you’ll keep motivated to push through the rejection and failure.

Use selflessness to change your perspective. Look at yourself in the third person. See who you are now and who you can be. All of us can be leaders and when we look at ourselves without our self-talk and ego’s in the way, we can see who we really are.

Dare to dream a little. Don’t be afraid to think big. If you have crazy, audacious goals, then that’s even better.

Don’t be talked out of your mission.
Let your passion rip through the barriers that stand in your way.

Never give up. Keep going.

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Motivation

We All Have It Tough – It’s What You Do With The Struggle.

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Lots of my people who read my stuff email me with their struggles. They’re hoping that I will be blown away by how hard they’ve had it. They think it’s some sort of competition to see who has the most battle scars.

By reading so many of these emails of struggle over the last few years, I realized something: we all have it tough. All of us struggle – even me.

– Right now, I have 14 days left until I’ll be out of a job.
– I’ve got some very challenging personal issues to deal with.
– My investments need a major rework and I’m completely lost.

I’ve been offered an opportunity to do public speaking to a large audience and am scared of whether I should say yes. Do I have what it takes? Will I mess it up?

We all have it tough.

What I’ve learned is it’s what you do with the struggle that will define your future.

 

Are you going to sit there and take it?

That’s right I’m asking you right now. What are you going to do with the struggles?

There are only two options:

1. Toughen up and use the struggles as motivation
2. Be a piss weak, sook, and give up.

Your struggles can take you to a new level. When George Lucas tried to make Star Wars, it was a total F*ck up. Everything went wrong. There were natural disasters, lack of money and even the actors thought it was the worse film ever to be made.

Did the creator of the Jedi Knight give up?

Not a chance. He kept going and defied the odds. His reward? One of the most watched movies of all time and plenty of cash to go with it.

You may still be thinking option two is your only hope. Maybe you could be piss weak and just give up. Then you could sit on the couch, watch Netflix, drink wine and pretend that your struggles didn’t stop you from achieving your goals.

 

The good news is giving up works short-term. The bad news?

After the short-term gain of giving up, and getting to Netflix and chill, you’ll be really pissed off at yourself. You’ll have regret and feel even worse than before you began your journey of struggle. Not getting your goals and making next to no progress feels like crap.I spent several years doing this.

“Every night I would get home, watch a Hollywood movie, go to 7-Eleven for some sugar and send useless texts to the toxic people in my life”

These same people were going nowhere and telling me to give up.

Screw that. I did this for a while and felt so empty. Life had no meaning and I was making no impact. The sugar diet made me sick and I ended up becoming bedridden.

 

The struggle is the beginning.

Looking back, without the struggle, I would have never got off my lazy ass and actually taken action. When I say “It’s what you do with the struggle,” what I mean is this:

Having it tough and struggling – like trying to walk up a hill while there’s a mudslide happening at the exact same time – is a big fat signal that you’re onto something.

The motivation and momentum you need to get started is right there in front of your blue eyes.

“You can’t get started on some mammoth task to change your life unless you get pissed off and do it tough”

If you were doing it easy, there’d be no urgent reason to take action.

When you’re like me and you are about to be unemployed, have lots of tough decisions to make and are unsatisfied with your career progression to date, you have to embrace your circumstances.

Now, this sounds like a lot of big words that you’d read in some 2000-page self-help book that repeats the same ideas over and over.

I’m going to dumb it right down:

The struggle is a sign to get started. When you struggle, things can’t really get much worse. What you’re left with is nothing but upside.

 

What action do we take then when we’re struggling?

Let’s use my situation as an example. Here are the action steps I’m using and implementing this week:

1. Accept where you are right now
– This will give you a reality check.

2. Meditate to relax your busy brain
– Stress will force you to make dumb decisions.

3. Get really uncomfortable
– I said yes to a new business venture that involves a lot of public speaking.

4. Resist the temptation to be pissed off
– Getting angry is only going to make things worse. Reserve your energy.

5. Write three things a day you’re grateful for
– This will force you to find the positive.

6. Delete whingers, sooks, liars and complainers from your contact list
– You’ve got enough issues; it’s hard enough to be positive without having toxic people talk nonsense and distract you.

 

Final step: Chill out amigo.

Your world is not going to end tomorrow. You can always start again. You can always fall down and get straight back up. Don’t be so angry with yourself. We all struggle and you’re doing the best that you can. Focus your energy on building your confidence and supporting your growth mindset.

“My future looks like a nuclear apocalypse right now but I’ve learned through the struggles that I always come out the other side on top”

Being impatient and stressing will only bring on more problems for you. It’s not that bad. Things always turn around. This moment of struggle and how you handle it will define who you become.

All of us have unlimited potential and we’re all struggling every day.

Once you learn to accept the struggle, embrace it and see it as a seed to something better, you’ll be well on your way to becoming someone you’re proud of.

Wish me luck with the struggles coming in the next few weeks. We’re in this together don’t forget.

Peace, love, respect.

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Motivation

6 Lessons You Can Learn from The King of the Jungle

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lions

Do you watch documentaries on lions? If yes, then you must have seen that they dominate their territory and are apex predators. Lions are among the strongest animals in the world, and no one dares to confront or challenge them. They are called ‘kings’ because they have a touch of royalty in everything they do. From eating habits where 20-25 royal members dine at the same to conquering huge lands. A lion always has a bold attitude and lives like a true ruler.

But their life is full of obstacles and problems. There is less space for errors, as one mistake may make them lose their life, reign, or offspring. Also, hunting is not an easy task; their success rate is only 17-19 percent. Compared to human beings their quandaries are bigger because they never get a second opportunity.

But, have you ever seen a depressed lion or one who wants to give up? They always struggle to hunt and rule lands, but they never quit. Sometimes they fail in hunting a zebra, a gazelle, and a wildebeest. But do they give up? No. They try hard and succeed in hunting.

So, what motivates them to not surrender to the harsh life? The answer is survival. The only thing that keeps them moving is survival. Many lions lose their reign, children, and queens to other lions, but they never give up on life.

Here are six life lessons from the king of the jungle:

1. Your goal is the only way to survive

Set a life goal and work hard to achieve it; consider that there are no alternatives. As lions are born to hunt and rule; acknowledge that you are born to accomplish your life goal. Consider your purpose and work as a source of motivation. They will keep you going through good and bad times because fame is temporary, but work pleasure and sense of achievement are permanent.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson

2. Fail and evolve

Lions fail eight out of ten times in hunting, but this makes them fine-tune their skills; thus, they can catch bigger prey to feed their family. Likewise, we should also embrace our failures and evolve each time we face them. We must study and analyze our failures and make sure to not repeat them. As Jack Ma has rightly said, “If the guy only checks himself, yeah, something wrong with me here, something wrong with me there. Then, this guy has hope.” Also, we must follow this law of nature: ‘Evolve and survive’ to achieve success in life.

3. Focus is the key

When lions go on a hunt, they make less noise and focus on the prey. They always have an element of surprise and keep everything low to make their raid successful. Now imagine, if a lion makes noise, will they be able to hunt? The answer is no! So, what do we learn? Too much talking makes us lose focus. Don’t tell everyone about your goals and what you are doing, keep it low and completely focus on your aim.

4. Always trust each other

A pride of lions always back each other in good and bad times. Rather in tough phases as an individual they contribute more to the survival of the pride. We should also learn that strength is in the pack. It’s necessary to not break each other’s trust for a short-term gain. Also, we must support each other in overcoming tough problems and situations.

“Attack your goals like your life depends on it”

5. Survival is everything

Lions don’t harm anyone without any reason. But, when someone tries to mar their territory, life, and family, they leave no stone unturned in giving a tough fight. Likewise, we should concentrate on our own betterment. However, if someone is trying to ruin our career or life, then instead of getting disappointed we should fight back and overcome such smotherers.

6. Have fun in life

Lions go through a harsh life filled with everyday challenges. But they don’t let them ruin their daily moments. They always enjoy every minute with their pride members. They play with each other and take care of everyone. You should also make sure to relish each moment of your life. Leave your stress and worries in your workplace, and when you are at home, relish the time with your family.

Lions teach us to dominate problems in life and live like a true winner. As someone has rightly said, “If size really mattered, the elephant would be king of the jungle.” Similarly, every animal’s life is full of struggle, and we can learn a lot from them to become successful and prosperous in our own lives. So next time you watch a documentary on lions, try to learn from them.

How will you become a lion in your everyday life? Comment below!

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