Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing. – G.M Trevelyan.
(This is a post by the awesome Izzy!).
I want to be a ninja.
Hello. It’s nice to meet you.
My name is Izzy. I used to be a teacher in Los Angeles, California. I was moving up the ladder, got a masters degree, lots of recommendations, and was getting ready to soon run my own school.
It was a good life… on paper.
Unfortunately it wasn’t so good in my heart.
Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do… yet, you feel empty?
I want to share a secret with you.
I want to be a ninja.
But that’s not possible
It’s a nice wish isn’t it? Like some weird childhood fantasy.
I won’t disagree. It is what it is. Regardless, it’s still in my heart.
I can’t help it… I want to be a ninja.
So what exactly is a ninja?
Well, according to my 8 year old brain (as this is a childhood dream) a ninja:
- Moves to a far away land.
- Trains in martial arts.
- Challenges the traditional rules of life and work.
Sounds good right? But there is something that makes my wish, my dream, my hope different.
I don’t simply want it. I’m doing it.
I quit my job, I moved to Japan, I am pursuing my childhood dream: to become a ninja. I’m challenging the traditional concept of work and life.
Now, I live in Kyoto – the historical capital of Japan. I work part time – just enough to cover my expenses. I train in martial arts 5 days a week. I have chosen to follow my heart.
And you? Are you listening to your heart?
Know why so many of us don’t?
Because of our beliefs about what is and isn’t possible.
So here I am, living in Japan, training in martial arts, trying to become a ninja.
What does this have to do with you?
I’m not special, gifted, or exceptionally intelligent. I’m a dude with a dream, who has chosen to follow it. If I can do this, so can you. There is one key component that every dream must have if it is going to be real.
We must believe.
As long as you buy into the lie that “it’s not possible” you will live the lie. I’m living, breathing, proof you can follow a dream.
So I ask you..
What if the impossible is… possible?
You see, possibility starts with belief
I’m sharing my story with you for one reason. I want you to know it is possible to turn your dream into a reality, no matter how crazy it is.
Today, I want to share with you the most important component to making a dream real. Everything I have done over the past 3 years of my life has been rooted in this very simple principle.
I believed it is possible.
That sounds all fine and dandy but by itself it’s quite lame.
Telling someone “you need to believe” is the equivalent of telling a bankrupt person “Hey, you should make a million dollars.”
So, let’s get practical. Here are 6 things that I did (and continue to do) that have helped me believe in the possibility of my dream.
How I started believing the impossible was possible (and you can too).
1. I read books that prove the impossible is possible.
Back when I was a teacher I began to read non-fiction books about improving my life. Over time these books started to infiltrate my psyche. I started to believe what I was reading. My thinking shifted, which shifted my beliefs.
Need to know where to start? Read Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. Randy shows how each of his childhood dreams led to his success. It is a truly amazing, inspiring book.
2. I listened to inspiring audio.
Every morning I listened to audiobooks that inspired me. I got a subscription from audible.com and downloaded Zig Ziglar’s How To Stay Motivated.
I listened to it everyday. It inspired me, fired me up, and encouraged me to start taking action in my life. Small steps everyday lead to massive success in the long run.
3. I surrounded myself with supportive people.
I’ll be the first to admit, my dream sounds crazy. So, when I first started to dabble with making this thing real I was selective about those I shared it with.
I shared it with people that I knew would encourage me. But more than this, I actively connected with people that were optimistic and supportive. If I met an optimistic interesting person, I would get their email and set up a time to meet with them in the future.
4. I defined my dream.
Simply having a dream isn’t enough. In fact, sometimes having a dream can be debilitating because you don’t know how you could ever do it in a million years.
One of the most powerful things I did was define my dream. I simply asked myself the question: What is a ninja? I came up with a very clear definition. As I mentioned earlier, to me, a Ninja lives in a far away land, trains in martial arts and challenges the traditional rules of life and work.
Once I had a definition it became possible to imagine it being real. This increased my belief in the impossible!
5. I started asking “how?”
Once I defined my dream I started focusing on “how can I do this?”
What steps did I need to take?
What did I need to learn?
What can I do today?
The power in focusing on “how” is that it forces us to become solution focused. And when those solutions are discovered it only increases belief further.
6. I saved up money.
This is something that may initially appear out of place. But it’s not! In moving forward to pursue a dream, money is always a major question. I actively saved up money so I would be able to psychologically deal with the transition from life in America to life in Japan.
More than anything this gave me the peace of mind to really focus on turning the dream into a reality. It increased my belief because it killed the “What about money?” excuse.
The Final Note.
I must say this before I end this post:
I am not saying “Anything is possible with belief”.
What I am saying is that “If you don’t believe it is not possible.”
Belief creates the foundation to turn a dream into a reality.
I look forward to hearing from you! In the comments below please let me know what beliefs have been holding you back or how your beliefs have helped you conquer a major challenge. Thanks for sharing!
Check out the Ninja Tool Kit – resources created to encourage and inspire you to live an awesome life. You can read more about Izzy’s journey at The 30 Year Old Ninja.
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