“To realize ones destiny is a person’s only obligation.” –Paulo Coelho
You’ve done everything the experts say.
You’ve read books, taken personality tests, and filled in the worksheets.
And yet you still feel lost.
They say “follow your passion” and you would do it… if you knew what they were.
Today I want to share with you how I discovered my dream. I want you to learn from my experience so you can begin discovering your dream today.
Three years ago, I was lost too.
I had no idea what to do with my life.
I tried it all.
But in the end I still didn’t know what to do.
It’s scary, right? Especially when you feel like you’ve done everything – and you still aren’t seeing results.
Looking in All The Wrong Places
I was spending so much time trying to figure out my passion that I wasn’t actually paying attention to my own life. My nose was stuck in a book, I was lost in my thoughts, I was struggling.
The problem is that we can learn a million strategies to discover our passion but if we don’t actually take the time to apply it then it take us no where.
Using Daily Experiences to Discover A Dream
Hi there. My name is Izzy.
I’m about to turn 30 in a few months. I used to be a teacher in America.
In my 4th year teaching it looked like I had it made – I was getting my masters degree, moving up the ladder and would soon be running my own school… One problem: I hated everything I was doing.
So I started to do some intense soul searching.
I read books, talked to loved ones, took personality tests and even paid for expert advice. Initially, nothing seemed to help.
But there was one simple problem: I wasn’t paying attention to my day to day life. I was so depressed that I was blind to the world in front of me.
Eventually, I realized the only way to figure this thing out – is to actually start paying attention to each day.
And guest what! It worked.
I discovered my dream: to become a ninja…
Sounds, crazy right?
Some dude is talking about a being a ninja. Let me explain:
This isn’t just any dream – it’s a childhood dream. So, according to my 8 year old brain a ninja does the following 3 things:
1. Lives in a far away land.
2. Trains extensively in martial arts.
3. Challenges the traditional rules of work and life.
So over the course of 3 years I have turned my dream into a reality.
I quit my job, I moved to Japan, and train extensively in martial arts. I work just enough to cover my expenses.
I share this as evidence that what I am about to share with you works.
Each of the 8 strategies I share below has contributed to the discovery of my dream.
I hope with all of my heart they can do the same for you.
8 Ways To Use Daily Experiences to Identify Your Dreams
1. Listen to Your Conversations
When I talked with people I started to notice how it impacted my mood. When I discussed travel and martial arts I would get excited. I started to pay closer attention to this.
Topics that excite you or bother you can be key indicators for your dreams.
2. What Makes You Jealous
In particular when I was struggling in my day to day life I would get jealous of other people. But it was interesting to see who I was jealous of. I noticed I was most jealous of people who “had the freedom to travel”. Hinting to me that this was very important.
Jealousy is a very powerful emotion because it tells you that someone has something that you want but do not have.
3. Carry a Thought Journal
I started to carry a journal everywhere. Basically any ideas, or insights would be written down. On Sunday I would review what I wrote. This always triggered deeper reflections. These reflections started to open doors to explore what I truly wanted out of my life.
4. Keep an Emotional Time Log
I started to write down my emotions at each hour of the day. I used my journal for this. This was powerful because I started to notice patterns. Things that excited me and made he happy hinted at my dreams and passions.
This is a truly amazing activity. It can help you identify things that are leading to your positive emotions and negative emotions.
5. Hang out with positive people.
After using an emotional log to track my emotions I started to realize that my friends and peers had a huge impact on me. So I made an active effort to be around people that “excited” me. The more I was around these people the more my sense of possibility increased. This was critical because the pursuit of a dream requires a huge sense of possibility.
Optimistic people will encourage your dreams and expand your sense of possibility.
6. Keep a Daily Log of All Activities (with rankings)
After I had done the emotional log for a while I decided to switch gears. I started tracking my daily activities. This included everything from meetings, martial arts, teaching math, science, picking up groceries, and hanging out with friends.
After each activity I gave it a score from 1 to 10 (10 being “I loved it!”). I did this for one week. I then looked it over at the end of the week and used it to help me better understand which activities I enjoyed the most.
7. Develop a daily gratitude list and look it over once a week.
Every night before I went to sleep I wrote down 5 things I appreciated. Then I looked at my list once per week. The crazy thing is that I kept on being appreciative of the same things – this was powerful because it helped me discover those things I truly enjoyed. Once again, this hints at your dreams and passions.
8. Write down every “I just wish I could…” statement in your head.
When I was battling through the depression I would often say statements in my head that started with “I wish I just could…”. Eventually, I realized it could be powerful to write these down. Here are the two biggest statements I made –
“I wish I could just live in a foreign country and not do this stupid job.”
“I wish I could just train in martial arts full time.”
I wrote these down – and started to ask the question: how can I do this?
Eventually I discovered exactly how to do it.
Some Final Thoughts
Each and every day is an opportunity to move closer towards your dreams. But this can only happen if you become an active participant in your world. I share each of these 8 strategies in hopes that you can start applying them to your life immediately.
Discovering your dream is not something that just magically happens. It takes time but by listening to yourself and the world around you – you can make it happen .
I hope today you begin the discovery of your dream. What steps do you find most useful to discover your dream?
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P.S. To tap into your intuition to discover your dream - click here!
Who is Izmael Arkin?
Izzy is a crazy dude. He quit his job as a teacher to pursue his childhood dream: to become a ninja. He now lives in Japan where he trains in martial arts extensively. Check out Izzy’s Ninja Tool Kit – books and tools to help you follow your dreams. You can read more about Izzy’s journey at The 30 Year Old Ninja,
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