What does it mean to have an awesome life… for you?

I almost cried while watching a TED talk by Neil Parsricha, the man behind 1000 Awesome Things. The story he shares with us in his talk is heartbreaking at times, and it’s packed with positive feelings as well. I was amazed at how excellent he is as a storyteller. I believe his storytelling ability comes from 3 A’s of awesome he talks about in his talk: Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity. He has an attitude that he would choose to focus on awesome things in life, he is aware of what’s happening around him, and he is authentic. These 3 A’s of awesome are what Neil thinks to be essential for having an awesome life.

Neil’s talk resonates with me. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while and like it (thank you, it means a lot to me), there’s a great chance that you’ll love his talk as well. Please watch it.

What does it mean to have an awesome life… for you?

I believe it’s important to have your own standard of being awesome or having an awesome rather than following standards defined by others. The reason for this belief is simple: following someone else’s standard of having an awesome life does not necessarily make you happy. Perhaps you are supposed to buy a house and to settle down, according to someone else’s standard. But, if you are inclined to travel from place to place, then settling down won’t make you happy. I don’t think that an unhappy life can lead you to an awesome life.

What does it mean to have an awesome life for you? What makes your life awesome for you? What matters to you? What doesn’t matter to you?

For me, what it means to have an awesome life is to live my life fully. I act rather than react. I set my own purpose of living and create a meaning for my life. I live with the “my life is my art” attitude. Life is a carnival and I’m here to live, love, create and celebrate. I’m in search of beautiful moments.

Probably you can see why Neil’s talk resonates with me. My ideally awesome life coincides with these 3 A’s of awesome Neil talks about.

I had been missing until recently the importance of creating value, and giving it to or sharing it with others. What goes along with this line of thinking is: It’s great to help others achieve an awesome life. I bet this way of thinking has been around for ages; it’s a superb way of making your life even more awesome, too. (By the way, I recommend you to take a look at this article by Ashley of The Middle Finger Project.)

One thing that helps us have a head start is, by the way, to realize that our life is pretty awesome when we have the right attitude, awareness about what’s happening around us and are authentic as Neil claims in his talk. You can choose how you take care of your life and that alone makes your life awesome.

Don’t bash yourself too harshly if you are inclined to do so. I’ll tell you why. Bashing yourself harshly won’t make things better. It will just make you feel worse. Likewise, being positive won’t make problems go away, but it won’t make you feel at least. Instead, it will make you feel better. There is probably a fine line between being positive and being delusional, but, hey, it’s a matter of focus.

I can give you a fresh example – I went out tonight and bought a drink. I got a 500 yen coin (i.e. $5, very roughly) for a change and put it in a pocket. I had forgotten that there is a hole in that pocket. It seems that I lost the 500 yen coin through that hole. Now, a 500 yen coin is not too big a deal, but it could buy me a meal. I could swear at myself for being stupid, and make it a big deal. I choose not to do so. Perhaps someone picked up my 500 yen coin and he or she got 500 yen richer. Very good. I’m happy for that person who found it.

It’s a petite example, but I believe it’s illustrative enough. I chose to focus on something positive about my loss and I’m rather feeling happy about it. Being lighthearted is the trick here.

What do you choose to focus on? I just want you to know that you can choose to focus on awesome things in life and start living an awesome life, which you are having right now no matter whether you are aware of it or not. (If not, be aware! Now!)

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below or by other means. That’s how you can help me grow this blog. Thank you! You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: visualpanic

Dare yourself to do something you fear and change your life for the better

Change? Change!

You want to change, but you don’t know what to do. I have a suggestion for you. Dare yourself to do something you fear. Take that first step no matter how scary it is. You may not have a clear picture of where you want to go, but just start moving. Don’t stand still, unless you are actively taking time to be still. Start from where you are and do something. It’s simple, right?

But who am I to tell you these things? You might wonder.

In this post, I’ll tell you my story. My story of taking action to change myself for the better. I have always been keen on improving myself as a person, but there was something I didn’t work on until recently – a couple of years ago, to be more precise.

My story: On becoming an attractive man

How did I want to change myself? I wanted to be able to meet women I find attractive and to be able to attract them, because I hardly met such women in my social circles and if I did, I was clueless about what to do. I had been with my broken heart for about a year and I wanted to move on. The whole story is much more complicated than what I told you just now, but you get the picture.

While it’s true that philosophy and martial arts, which were my two main activities at that time, are male dominated and you are less likely to meet women through these things, it’s also true that if you live in a place where there are human beings, there should be women almost everywhere you go. And I lived in the capital city of Australia at that time. It’s a small place, but it’s not a man-only land either.

My old self didn’t realize this simple fact until he started changing the way he looked at the world.

What you need to do – Taking action

In the beginning, I was half committed, but when I found myself letting some opportunities go, I felt so stupid that I decided to change myself completely. No, it wasn’t that I was unattractive, but I simply didn’t know what to do when interacting with attractive women!

When I was half committed, there was not much action. I was learning about women, dating and relationship by reading relevant literature, but that was all. That is still something and better than nothing, but it doesn’t count much.

One of the very first steps I took was to start giving small compliments to some women I interacted with. It’s funny to me now that it scared me a little bit when I first started doing it.

Eventually, I came to think that I needed to push myself harder. So, I started talking to random strangers who I found attractive (i.e. attractive on the basis of how they looked). No, not at bars or clubs, but in bookshops, supermarkets, cafes, or any other normal places under the sun. I’m pretty sure I was more than awkward in the beginning, because I was nervous as hell and trying to manage that nervousness instead of acknowledging it.

If you want to meet someone, you must talk to that person. It’s simple. I knew it wasn’t going to kill me, but I was still scared. That’s why I kept putting it forward and it took me a few months to take action.

When I was scared and didn’t take that step, I kept justifying myself for not taking that step. No, she seems too busy. No, she must be with her boyfriend. No, she is not my type. No, I’ll talk to her later. No, no, no…

When I made that step, it was much simpler. It went like this. My inner voice shouts at me and tells me not to do it. I ignore that voice and let my feet move my body towards that woman I’ve noticed. I’m scared as hell, but I let my feet do the work. Now I’m in such a position where I can’t run away. OK, now I have to tell her what I want to say. I’m nervous as hell, but, damn it. I show up anyway.

Once I got used to this process, I felt less intimidated about talking to women. Over a few months, I talked to more than 300 women. Not every interaction went well. Some interactions were simply awkward. But in many cases, I was told that my honest compliments made their day.

In addition to talking to those women, I learnt more about women, dating and relationship by reading relevant texts. I asked my good female friends a lot of questions. I learnt a great deal from Zan Perrion. These things helped me understand better about the male-female dynamics, but without my over 300 interactions, I wouldn’t have had the momentum to get the most out of these learning experiences.

Was it really necessary for me to talk to that many women? (Actually, 300+ isn’t a lot.) Maybe or maybe not. But it did teach me some lessons, though. Now I know it’s not going to kill me. I know how to have fun with that process. I know I can walk up to someone I noticed if I want to do so. You never know when romantic moments come near you. You gotta be always ready, or you’ll miss them.

Where I stand today

Reflecting on what I did, I can say I was pretty much clueless about what I really wanted when I started taking action. But along the way, my aim became clearer and clearer. Also, it led me to where I never thought I would reach when I started working on this area.

This shift happened during the Ars Amorata program I took last year. If you are a man who wants to live a purposeful life, I highly recommend you to check it out.

In the beginning, my journey was more about learning how to impress women. I’m not interested in impressing women anymore. I know who I am and I don’t feel the urge to prove myself to women or other men.

Now, my journey’s scope is much bigger than before. At the same time, however, it’s much more focused. My journey is about living a purposeful life and I’m happy to invite those who want to join me on this journey.

(By the way, fellow men, don’t make women your adventure by chasing them; instead, invite them to come along with you on your journey.)

If you are open to the world around you and engage with it, you will meet your people along the way. You’ll recognize them when you meet them. Make deep connections with them, share the beauty of life with one another, and celebrate it together.

What it means to be open to the world is to show up fully as who you are. Relax and have fun. Also, don’t hide your intention as a man (well, if you are a man, that is). By the way, check out this interview by Hugh Hefner. There are so many things to learn from what he says.

There’s a lot more for me to learn, but things are much, much simpler than I thought.

Dare yourself to do something you fear

I changed myself and my life significantly by daring myself to do something I feared. It was a small step in the beginning, and it eventually got bigger. I didn’t know where I was heading, but I did keep myself moving anyway.

Eventually, it got me somewhere I hadn’t imagined. Since there is no end to this jounrney until I die, I’m still working on deepening my understanding of women, dating and relationship. And love. And romance.

There are others things I want to change about myself, too, and I will work on them.

How about you? Are you ready to change yourself? Would you dare yourself to do something you fear?

You can keep asking yourself whether you are ready or not or whether you would do it or not, but if you want to change, take that first step anyway.

Change is good. Change is within your reach. Now you know it’s possible and how to achieve it. Stop waiting. Start moving.


If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below or by other means. That’s how you can help me grow this blog. Thank you! You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: The Daily Ornellas

Take back your creativity

Do you feel you are creative? If you do, that’s great. Keep rocking.

Or do you feel you’ve lost your childhood creativity along the way? If you feel this way about creativity, I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late to take your creativity back to you.

And I’ll tell you how to get it back.

Creativity is relevant to what I want to talk about on this blog – minimizing stuff, maximizing experience, living your life as your art, and making the world more romantic – as well as relevant to other life activities in general.

I don’t have a nice and simple definition of creativity, but let me specify what I’m talking about when I refer to creativity.

I’ll begin by what I don’t believe creativity is.

  • I don’t believe creativity is a special ability that only talented people (whatever that means) have.
  • I don’t believe creativity is something you can’t get back once you’ve lost it.
  • I don’t believe creativity is limited to certain areas of life, such as creating artworks, designing products and making innovations.


  • I believe creativity is for everyone. I believe you are creative.
  • If you are not creative, I believe you can be creative. I believe you have that potential.
  • I believe creativity applies to every area of life.

But why do I believe these things? Let me say more about what I believe creativity is.

  • I believe having creativity is about being able to find a new or hidden connection by combining what you already know or have.
  • I believe creativity is more like an attitude than an innate talent.
  • I believe curiosity plays an important role in creativity. In fact, I believe creativity is an outcome of curiosity and action that happens to discover a new or hidden connection between old things.

So, what these beliefs imply is that you can be creative by having curiosity about things around you and by acting upon your curiosity. Whether you find a new or hidden connection may depend on the situation, but if you are not afraid of taking action upon your curiosity, you will find such a connection at times.

Let me add one more thing about why it’s great to be creative, by the way. There are a lot of people who can give you great lessons of life, but what you learn from them is not completely taylor-made for you. No matter how great they are, it’s very likely that they won’t fit exactly with the way you live. So, you’ll need to customize them. In order to customize them, you need to be creative so you can find a hidden path that unites the lessons others teach you with who you are.

But, how can you take your creativity back? Right, you want to have that killer curiosity and take action… but you want to know more about it in details.

How I got my creativity back

The shortest answer is: By working on The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This book costs only $10.85 and if you manage to finish it, you will have great benefits, one of the greatest benefits being taking your creativity back. While I recommned you to work on this book and I will write a post on how to finish it soon, there are things you can start doing without reading the book.

What you want to be able to do is to be curious about small things around you and to take action upon your curiosity.

  1. Learn and think more about creativity by watching these TED talks on creativity (Ken Robinson, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Tim Brown). These inspirational talks can expand your mind and help you change your attitudes about creativity.
  2. Write down what you wanted to do as a child. Once you remember these things you wanted to do as a child, do some of them you can do. If you can’t do on a full scale, try doing it on a smaller scale. If you can’t be a pilot, try a flight simulator.
  3. Write down what you want to do now. Like the things you wanted to do as a child, see if you can do them. If you want to travel to Brazil, even watching a Brazilian movie can inspire you.
  4. Try new things. If you take the same route every day to your local station, for example, try to take another route. Or if you order the same drink at a cafe, try something you’ve never tried before. Or perhaps you want to learn cooking – give it a try!
  5. Take small steps. If you are afraid of doing something new, because you need to take a big step, why don’t you try taking a small step instead? It’s completely fine to take a small step and you can make it bigger from there. But make sure to challenge yourself once you’ve completed that small step.
  6. Do what you liked doing as a child. It can be playing soccer, colouring, eating a favorite sweet… anything.
  7. As soon as you wake up, write down your thoughts for 3 pages in a notebook everyday. Don’t edit what you write. Don’t show it to anyone. You just write and don’t read what you’ve written. This is one of the core exercises in The Artist’s Way and it’s probably the most powerful exercise in that book as well.

And most importantly…

Enjoy whatever you do and find great joy in small things!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below or by other means. That’s how you can help me grow this blog. Thank you! You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: crsan

27 lessons on how to live your life as your art

New Year, New Start

What do you want your 2011 to be like?

I choose to make it an amazing year, and I’ll do so by working on my goals. At the very core of these goals, there are two ideas that drive me. One is the idea of minimizing stuff and maximizing experience. The other idea is to live my life as my art. This is how I choose to maximize experience.

The focus of this blog has been more exploratory and personal last year. That is, it was more about me than you. From this year on, however, I will write more and focus more on how you can minimize stuff, maximize experience, and live your life as your art. If you are interested in living a great life on your own terms, then join me and subscribe to this blog (via RSS or e-mail). You can follow me on twitter as well.

27 Years, 27 Lessons, and How to Live Your Life as Your Art

On 1 January 2011, I turned 27. I want to share with you some of the great lessons I learnt from my 27 years of life. For me, these lessons guide me in living my life as my art.

This is my birthday gift to you. (Who said you can’t give gifts to others on your own birthday?)

I hope at least some of them are relevant to you and there’s something you can take away.

  1. Don’t listen to non-sense. When people say that you won’t make it with what you do, they usually have no experiences in what you do and it’s not their business to tell you what to do or what not to do. You don’t have to be impolite to them, but it’s perfectly OK for you not to follow them.
  2. It’s OK to be different from other people. In fact, you are different from others by definition. There’s no reason why you should take extra steps to become someone who you are not.
  3. Create and walk your own path. You can choose the way you want to live your life. Yes, it might be difficult, but not impossible. Also, it’s more rewarding to live your life that way.
  4. Don’t apologize for being who you are. You don’t need to present yourself lower than you actually are. It’s not arrogant or impolite to mention how good you are, especially when someone gives you compliments. Just thank them and that’s all.
  5. Be able to laugh at yourself. Share your imperfections with others and have fun. In fact, showing your weaknesses is a very strong act. That’s what it means to live with a sense of ease and delight.
  6. Get to know yourself. You are better than what you assume yourself to be. Explore your possibilities. Be fair to yourself.
  7. Build a strong foundation. It’s essential if you want to get better at everything. For example, focus on fundamental moves (and principles behind them),  because they are much more important than flashy moves.
  8. Don’t live in the past. You can thank and acknowledge your past, and then simply move on to the future you want to head towards.
  9. Look for similarities. We make connections by noticing similarities within us. While differences are important in the sense that they can make us intrigued about others, never forget that other human beings from different backgrounds are just like you.
  10. Don’t beat up yourself. You are where you are, and there’s nothing so wrong about you being there that you need to beat yourself up. Instead of spending your precious time on doing nothing but criticizing yourself, do what improves your situation.
  11. Believe in yourself. That’s one way to interpret what it means to be confident. No matter what others say, you trust yourself.
  12. Be aware of hidden assumptions. It’s easy to misunderstand others due to the fact that they are talking about something totally different from what you are talking about. When you listen to others, make sure to clarify these assumptions.
  13. Don’t be afraid of loving or being loved. Loving and being loved can be risky, in the sense that you might get hurt and nothing in return. But, so what? Being able to love someone or some people as well as having someone or some people love you are both amazing things in themselves.
  14. Don’t make women your adventure. Take them on an adventure with you instead. In other words, don’t chase them, but keep chasing your dreams and invite them to come along with you.
  15. Love is inclusive, not exclusive. When you love someone, this love for that person is specific to that person, because love is about accepting that person as who she or he is; no one else can be compared with that person. Your love for Person A is different from your love for Person B.
  16. You can’t possess anyone. When you are in a relationship with someone, it doesn’t mean you own that person or that you are owned by that person.
  17. Curiosity is a key to a number of things. Curiosity is what relationships keep going. Curiosity is how we create things. Curiosity is what makes our lives amusing and amazing.
  18. Find your tribe members. They believe in you. They have similar interests with you. They are the ones that matter to you. Grow together with them.
  19. You can do what you love while helping others. It’s not mutually exclusive. You can read more on this lesson in Chris Guillebeau’s free PDF manifesto here.
  20. Let go. Don’t accumulate. These ideas apply to you if you want to have a fewer distractions in your life and to maximize your experiences. It’s easier to have less and to experience more than to have to manage many clutters in your life. Regarding a minimalistic lifestyle, Everett Bogue’s Far Beyond The Stars is a good place to start.
  21. You can interpret your childhood dreams in a creative way. Even if your childhood dream is something like “to become Pegasus“, it’s possible to find a way to become Pegasus, at least in a metaphorical way.
  22. You can learn from everything you experience. When you see your life from this angle, you can start becoming appreciative of what it has to offer. For example. my parents got divorced when I was 10 and my father past away when I was 14; these events made me a big impact on my life and I can say I made something positive out of these experiences.
  23. You’re resourceful. You might think that you don’t have enough. But it’s important to realize that you do, at least, have what you need to get yourself started. It’s much better to have this abundance mentality than to have the scarcity mentality, because you appreciate what you already have and think what you can do with what you have.
  24. Focus on sharing and giving rather than taking. When you involve other like-minded people in your life by sharing something amazing with and giving it to them, your life and their lives will expand more.
  25. Do it anyway. Making mistakes is fine. Reading or planning too much before taking action can only delay your start. Your preparation will never be perfect. Rather than trying to find the perfect timing to start something, start it as soon as possible.
  26. Have a healthy lifestyle. Being fit and healthy is essential for any kind of activities you do whether it’s something that involves your body or something that involves a lot of thinking. Eat properly and do physical exercises regularly. Breathe well. You’ll be able to play hard if you are fit and healthy.
  27. Your life is your art. Things you experience and fantastic people you meet and connect with contribute to your art; they give you stories, visions, sounds and everything else to your art.  Live with this attitude. Celebrate what your life has to offer. You’ll create an amazing art. A life full of wonderful moments.

These are the core lessons I learnt in my 27 years of life. If you are over 27, what were you like when you were 27? If you are under 27, what do you want to be like when you are 27? Are there any lessons you want to share with us? Do let me know in the comment section, via twitter, or via the contact form.

I hope your 2011 will be an amazing year!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below or by other means. That’s how you can help me grow this blog. Thank you! You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: Aube insanité

Are you living your story?

This is the last post for Reverb10. I’ll answer the prompts #29 (Defining Moment), #30 (Gift) and #31 (Core Story) and share some of insights I got from reflecting on 2011.

Prompt 29: Defining Moment

Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.

(Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

{Future tool: The 99%’s How to Budget for an Irregular Income. For the next 3 days as you round out your year, we’ll share one tool each day to help you plan your year ahead.}

If I am to pick one defining moment that affected my life this year, it has to be the moment I saw a tweet about a fund raising event at Ben’s Cafe in early January. I don’t remember what that moment was like, exactly. What happened was that I saw this tweet, clicked the link in it, and got to Ben’s Cafe’s website. My purpose was to learn more about that fund raising event, but in addition to that information I was originally looking for, I came to know that there was a group to read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way together.

I’ve mentioned this story a few times in this blog. So, let me add something to it in this round.

The reason why I clicked that link to Ben’s Cafe was simply because I was curious about this cafe as well as the fund raising event. I was interested in the event, but more in the cafe that hosted such an event, because I didn’t imagine there would be such a cafe in Tokyo. (I’m sure there are other cafes like Ben’s in Tokyo, but it’s pretty rare, I assume. As far as the vibe of the cafe and the quality of espresso are concerned, I rate Ben’s Cafe to my most favorite cafe in Tokyo.)

What made me click that link was my curiosity. What if I didn’t click it? It’s a pure coincidence I saw that tweet. I’m grateful for that. But, I could choose not to click that link and never learn about Ben’s Cafe. If I didn’t click that link, my year could have been totally different from what it was. I probably wouldn’t have met most of the new offline friends I met this year. I probably wouldn’t have done some of the projects I did this year. I probably wouldn’t have achieved what I achieved this year.

What made a huge difference to my 2010 was that one click. Whether it ends up becoming a false belief or not, it’s better, at least for me, to believe that there are a number of opportunities around here and there and it’s all up to us to notice them. It’s possible that you don’t know what you are looking for, but even in such cases, follow your curiosity and you’ll find yourself in something amazing.

I believe in my curiosity and having curiosity is one of the great ways to experience amazing things in your life.

Do you listen to your curiosity? Do you follow it? If not, why not?

Prompt 30: Gift

This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?

(Author: Holly Root)

{Future tools: Lifehacker’s Free Tools to Manage New Years Resolutions and Gretchen Rubin’s Questions to Help You Make Effective New Year’s Resolutions.

Has #reverb10 made an impact on your writing, reflecting and life this month? Consider supporting the HQ team with a donation.}

On December 25th, I received a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) purple belt from my BJJ teacher. Since more than a year ago, I had been told by other people that I should be a purple belt, but since I had no one to grade me before coming back to Japan, I didn’t have a purple belt, and honestly, I didn’t worry too much about it.

All I wanted to do was to become a better grappler. To become stronger. To become more skilled. These belts themselves don’t mean anything, but how much you put yourself forward to the art of fighting does matter.

In fact, I believe this applies to other things in life as well. Don’t be worried too much about a new belt, because it will come when you’ve mastered skills necessary for holding that belt. If you have some time to be jealous about your friend who got that belt quicker than you did or some time to worry that you don’t have what it takes, use that time for training instead. Worrying will never make you get better, but training will.

I’m glad that I’m now recognized as I have reached this level, and I want to continue sharpening my skills. One of my big goals next year is to win my division at BJJ World Championship, to be held in California, in June. This goal gives me a great motivation for the first half of 2011.

What’s your big project in 2011?

Prompt 31: Core Story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)

(Author: Molly O’Neill)

{Future tool: Susannah Conway’s Allowing Dreams} Today is the final day of #reverb10. Thank you for your reverberations this month. Keep an eye on your inbox at the end of January 2011 for something from HQ.}

So, this is it. This is the last prompt of Reverb10. And I’ll make my answer brief and tell you what my central story will be in 2011.

The central story at the core of myself is that I will live my life as my art and as something to celebrate. I will navigate myself in this adventure by my curiosity. I will head east from Japan to the USA for BJJ World Championship and for World Domination Summit in June, and I will head south from the USA to Argentina after WDS. If there are monsters I need to fight, I’ll think about ways to get away without fighting them so I can focus on important things in my life. It’s an open story and desiring to be written down in my history book.

How do I share this story with the world? I can think of 4 ways to do this. I share my story with the world by…

  1. Living that story: Now I have declared this story in some platforms and in person, I’m motivated even more. I will live this story and that will become part of me.
  2. Being not afraid of showing up: But if I’m afraid of sharing my story or don’t believe in myself, it’s possible that I don’t feel like sharing my story. I choose not to be afraid of showing up and telling this story.
  3. Actually showing up: It’s easy to promise something to yourself and to forget to do it. I’ll keep myself accountable about it on this blog. I didn’t mean to write the sentence before this one, but I happened to write it. So, I shall do it.
  4. Getting others involved in this story: For me, my life – my art involves other people, who contribute their stories, visions, sounds and other things to my art. I want you to get involved in my art as well. I want you to be part of my story as well. You can subscribe to this blog to keep track of my journey to Latin America. If you are interested, please join me!

I’m grateful for Team Reverb10 for running this online initiative. It’s been a great way to reflect on 2010 and to prepare for 2011.

Tomorrow, I will share 27 lessons I learnt in my life with you on this blog. Stay tuned!


If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below. You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: Zest-pk

On trying, healing and going beyond avoidance

This post will answer the prompts 18 (Try), 19 (Healing) and 20 (Beyond Avoidance) of Reverb10. Join us and reflect on your year 2010…

Prompt 18: Try

What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did/didn’t go for it?

The following things came to my mind quickly when I thought about my answer to this prompt. Some of them are concrete, and others are abstract.

  • Running a location independent business: I’ve been learning about running a location independent business for a while. I haven’t quite made it though. It’s partly because I’ve been struggling to find what my strengths are, and it’s partly because I didn’t do as much as I could to get this location independent business project going. But next year, I will get something going. Yes.
  • Being a minimalist/maximalist: If you’ve been reading my recent posts, you’ve probably noticed that I mentioned about minimizing stuff and maximizing experience a few times. I will do these things next year. The idea of maximizing experience fits in with my mission of making the world more romantic, too. So, I will write more on minimizing stuff and maximizing experience on this blog. If you want to read more on minimizing stuff, Far Beyond The Stars by Everett Bogue is a good place to start.
  • Focusing on creating: Focusing on creating is one way of maximizing experience for me. This year, I reclaimed my creativity. I got it back. So, I want to show up in the world fully with my creativity next year. In order to focus on creating, I will need to minimize stuff as well as other unimportant things.
  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championship&World Domination Summit: In June, I will go to the USA for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Worldchampionship to compete and to attend World Domination Summit. Chris Guillebeau and his team of awesome people organize WDS, and I’m excited to meet Chris and other world changers in person.
  • Moving to Latin America: This is another way of maximizing experience. It occurred to me that living in Latin America would be fun and exciting a step to make. Given my interests in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Argentinean Tango, I believe it’s a natural move to make as well. After all, the average cost of living in Latin America is lower than that in Japan, too. So, let’s get this location independent thing going next year… in Latin America.

Now, things I wanted to try in 2010. I’m sure there were more, but three things came to my mind. The first one is Argentinean Tango. I happened to find great teachers and lessons were reasonable and affordable; I gave it a go and I liked it. The second one is being creative. To my surprise, I had written about my desire to be more creative in the beginning of 2009 and completely forgotten about it when I started working on the Artist’s Way in 2010. But I remembered this desire of mine and I was successful in regaining my creativity. The third one is running a location independent business. I mentioned it above, but I think I could do more effectively to get this thing going, but I didn’t. While I didn’t die from not trying hard enough, I surely didn’t make as much progress as I wanted to make. But next year, I will do my best.

Prompt 19: Healing

What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

I’m not sure if this is something we can categorize as “healing”, or if I really get what’s meant to be “healing” in this prompt, but I’d say working on regaining my creativity was a great healing practice. It was a gradual evolution, and I’m happy about it. Creativity has become a big theme in my life.

I now believe that we are all creative. Likewise, I believe that we are all attractive, and that we are all awesome. Seriously. Well, maybe not absolutely everyone of us, but I’m sure most of us can make choices about what we want to do and we are capable of learning and getting closer to who we want to be. I know you are. But, sadly, we are often led to believe that we are not creative, we are not attractive, and we are not awesome. When we are led to believe these things, we get wounds and perhaps “healing” is something to remove these wounds so we can believe in ourselves again.

I might have some wounds left unhealed in me, but I know I can stand up and fight this battle against mediocrity – mediocrity that keeps telling you that you aren’t worthy. I don’t know much about healing, and I’m not sure if I want to be healed or to heal others. But I think I am interested in empowering you, if that’s what you want. I’d be interested in teaching you how to do a triangle choke on mediocrity.

Prompt 20: Beyond Avoidance

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

I will repeat myself a bit, because I’m going to mention a location independent business again here. But, perhaps, instead of running over the same thing again, let me say a thing or two about the concept of location indepent business, for those who have never come across this concept.

When you run a location independent business, you can work from anywhere, hence it’s a location independent business. Your product is either something digital like an e-book or a service that can be delivered via online like consulting.

Since I’m a freelance translator, I am, technically, running a location independent business to some extent, because I can work from anywhere. However, this freelance style of working still gives me some restrictions, because I’m dependent on orders from my clients instead of creating value that I want to share with people who believe in me and who I believe in. Also, my schedule depends on these orders as well. When there’s an urgent order, I need to adjust my schedule to it instead of focusing on creating what I want to create when I’m most productive.

So, I want to run a location independent business that sells digital products. This style requires less maintenance, compared to the freelance style location independent business.


What’s your thoughts on these prompts? Tell me, because I’m curious. If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below. You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: pjan vandaele