Izzy is currently pursing his childhood dream to become a ninja. Head on over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to check it out.
I want to be a ninja. Great, wonderful, lovely, awesome… That doesn't make any sense does it?
Did you know that when I say "I want to be a ninja" most people think I am joking? Shocking! You know that feeling when you tell a really great joke? One of those well presented, perfectly timed, really funny jokes... Yeah! It's great, right?! Well, I miss out on that "relishing experience" because I am always waiting for their laughter to subside so I can tell them... "I'm not joking"...
My slightly incompetent brain has naively assumed that everyone understands it when I say "I want to be a ninja". Turns out just about nobody does...
So today, I want to do 2 things:
1) Explain what I mean by "I want to be a ninja"
2) Describe the steps I am taking in my life to make this happen.
What I mean by "I want to be a ninja"
I don’t want to be a ninja in the traditional sense. I want to be the ninja from my 8 year old brain.
According to my 8 year old brain here are the following requirments to be a ninja:
1. A Ninja can do awesome flying Kicks.
2. A Ninja can break bricks with his bare hands.
3. Nobody can tell the Ninja what to do!
4. The Ninja saves peoples lives.
5. A Ninja is fearless.
So, how does this translate out to being an adult?
I'll go ahead and break down each component:
A Ninja can do Awesome flying Kicks. Adult Translation- I want to become an expert in martial arts. I'm talking about training 5 to 6 days per week and getting coconuts dropped on my stomach. I'm talking serious business!
A Ninja can break bricks with his bare hands. Adult Translation- I still want to break a brick with my bare hands.
Nobody can tell the Ninja what to do! Adult Translation- This is about living a life by my own set of rules. I don't want to live for the weekend. I want to live for everyday! Please do not misunderstand, I am not simply talking about laying around on vacation. I'm talking about following my passion (becoming a ninja) and dreams!
The Ninja saves peoples lives. - Adult Translation - I am telling my story of following a dream for one reason: I want it to be a source of inspiration and encouragement for other people to follow their passion and dreams. Look, I understand that everyone is not able to follow their passion and dreams! But for those that can, I want them to! I hope this site and my experiences are motivating, inspiring, and if nothing else, make you laugh and enjoy your day a little more.
A Ninja is fearless - Adult translation - Nobody is fearless. This simply means I must be willing to face my fears.
Here is final component that my 8 year old brain never thought about: I want to make money doing this. I want to find a way to make this my lifestyle. How? I don't know.
So here is my definition: I move to a far away land(Japan), train in martial arts, take on my fears (I'm scared of everything), am hoping to inspire others to make their lives AWESOME, and somehow make money doing this.
If it still isn't totally clear what I mean by "being a ninja" don't worry I'm not totally clear about it either... But I'm going to figure it out...
How am I going to become a ninja?
Excellent question: Well, I quit my job in America so I could come to Japan and focus on martial arts training. Hence, become a ninja. The thing is that I needed to make money so I took a teaching job in the country side. When I accepted the position I naively assumed that Mr. Miyagis (the martial arts instructor from the Karate Kid) were in every corner of the country.... WRONG!
Turns out my little small town isn't too big on martial arts.
So, I have informed my employer that I will be leaving come August 1st. I am going to move to Kyoto, find a way to make money, train in multiple martial arts, 5 to 6 days per week, and document the entire experience (via this blog).
Worst case scenario, I'll be 30 years old, broke, homeless, without a job and stuck in a foreign country where I am unable to communicate with anyone... Wait... that isn't reassuring at all...
At the core of all of this is the story of a person who has a dream and is trying to make it happen. I do not see this as a selfish mission. I am doing this to inspire others to follow their dreams as well.
If I can do it, then you can do it. Trust me, the only "special qualities" I have are not things you want on a resume. I hide in bathrooms to eat, am a lousy communicator, overloaded with faulty logic, have major issues with body odor, I get way too excited about power bars and deodorant, and on top of that I get a thrill every time I learn about a new organization system.
I am motivated to make this happen because if I can do it, so can you.
Do you think it is possible to get paid to follow your passion? Are you passionate about your work? Is this a naive concept? Is it a priveleged concept? Should people be happy to have any job? Is this asking too much of life? What do you think?
If you enjoyed this post head on over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to read more.