Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

25May/104

TRIPLE-X

Yes! I'm 30 now! I know that a few of my friends have had their 30th birthday recently too, so Happy Birthday to all those who are turning 30 this year!

Ever since teen-hood, the year 30 has always been the one I would say to myself, "by the time I'm 30 I'll …" During the years 28 and 29, I quit saying that because it started to feel a bit close, like scary! I think that that particular number, 30, has had a lot to do with my feeling the urge to change, to expect more of myself than I ever have before, to make forward progress in my life.
In short, to fulfill the broken promises I made to myself over the years.
I can't remember them all, but the ones I do remember still nag me, and I've gotten so used to putting them off "till 30" that the age 30 just crept up on me while I kept putting it off.
NO MORE!
I'm 30 now and I have a few belated duties, or maybe rewards would be a better word, to give to myself.
On the top of my list is: Master the Japanese language (seriously, when I get this one done then I'll be a very happy man)
Followed by: Skydiving and Bungee jumping. I'm not sure which comes first.
I'm making real steps and plans to reach these goals now, as opposed to thinking and hoping it will happen "sometime". Finding creative ways to make these things pay for themselves is the ticket for me, and I just need to find a school for teaching me Japanese now that I have a sponsor. I'm going to take a 1-year intensive course, and after that assess whether or not I need to take an additional course. I'm also attending Japanese seminars that require extensive interaction with other Japanese and this is giving me plenty of regular practice.
Whenever I find myself thinking that I should do something, I replace that thought with the words:

"NOW IS THE RIGHT TIME!"

If you have anything you've been putting off, STOP IT! Stop putting off stuff till whenever your "30" may be. Take immediate and drastic action. Tony teaches that every time you make a decision to not leave the site of the decision without first taking an active step in that direction.

15May/103

As Yourself

Would you cringe if I were to tell you that you need to love yourself? Do terms like "self-love" make you feel a bit uncomfortable?
I don't know about you, but it did for me until recently when I read the passage in the Bible which says that as Christians we should "Love your neighbor as yourself." It's easier for many of us Christians to love our neighbor than it is to love ourself. Somehow it's been commonly accepted that it's wrong to love yourself, an unspoken rule, if you will.

But here is how I see things now: if we are to "love our nieghbor AS ourself", that means roughly the same amount. And after thinking about it a bit more, it started to make more sense to me. If we are like a cup, and love is the water that fills it, then how can we possibly give more love than we have? And if we are not giving ourselves enough love, then we will crave and seek it elsewhere, becoming a leech on others for love and attention.

Here's another analogy that I heard from Peter Sage over a lunch we had together: Picture yourself flat-broke, late for your bills, three hungry children and a wife in a run-down house. You have only two dollars left in your pocket, and you set it on the table in front of you, looking at it, wondering how you can make it stretch. In runs a vagrant off the street, snatches the two dollars from in front of you, and dashes out the door with it. How does it make you feel? Probably pretty upset and angry.
Now picture yourself sitting in front of a desk with stacks and stacks of money, so much you can't even count it all. Basically you've got all the money you could possibly need and want. In comes the same vagrant, again snatching two dollars from off the table, and dashing out the door with it. How does it make you feel now? I would guess not quite as bad as in the last scenario. You were emotionally stronger because you had so much more left. It probably hardly fazed you.

Now think of the money in the above story as being love.

When you're not getting enough, and something bad or unloving happens to you, it can really destabilize you because you hit rock bottom pretty quickly since you don't have enough love within yourself as a cushion. And the opposite is true for the second scenario. The event didn't change one bit, only the circumstances surrounding the event, which is how much "money", or love you already had within yourself.

I know that some people will say that they already get lots of love from their close friends and spiritually from the Lord. These may be true, but first of all, as humans we all need physical love in our lives, and even if we get love from our close friends, why not really top it up? Why not make yourself really wealthy by adding another "income stream" of love by simply giving it to ourselves, as the Bible commands us to?

6May/104

Stick That Label Elsewhere

Yesterday I spent National Children's Day with my kids at a local park and had a great barbecue--loads of fun! On the menu we had: onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, bread, potatoes, eggplant, fish, and sausages. We had 100% fruit juice for the kids and beer for my wife and me.
Now I know that some of you are thinking that I'm going back on my word about not eating meat and all that. I tried to figure out what name I should take on to describe my eating habits, but nothing I could find fit what I am doing.

I don't eat dairy products but I'm not vegan because I eat eggs.
I don't eat red meat and chicken, but I'm not vegetarian because I eat fish.

But people don't give up trying to label me! "are you really a vegetarian?" "you're not truly vegan because blah, blah blah!"

I'm getting tired of being labeled and put in a box!

I've met some people calling themselves vegetarian who seem to believe that their life's mission is to tell everyone else how badly they are polluting their bodies and preaching that their way is best and I'd imagine that many vegans may come across the same way.

I don't want to be like that. I respect each person's decisions about what they choose to eat, and I expect them to respect mine. I don't need a title to tell me what I should or shouldn't eat, because I can make my own rules!
Yes, I have cut down on alcohol, I've eliminated caffeine and eliminated all meat with the exception of fish. I've eliminated processed foods and anything containing MSG, which includes commercial curry. Potato chips and 99% of food found in a convenience store is out also.
BUT, the above is only MOST of the time. I want my commitment to be long-term, and I also want to have the freedom to give myself exceptions whenever I feel like it, such as a BBQ on children's day. When I'm a guest, then I'll eat what's served, I just might not take a very big serving of certain foods. I want the freedom to celebrate when I feel like it, and have a beer while I'm at it.
No rules or labels for me please! I prefer guidelines.
So far it's been a 90% / 10% ratio of times I am strict on myself about the food I eat, to times that I am not, and it's working out pretty well so far.

To put it in a nutshell: I'm not vegetarian, I'm not vegan, I'm not stupid. I'm a 90/10!

2May/104

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

It's funny that in life it happens so many times that just when you think you've finally got things figured out, something happens and everything changes.
I've been trying out affiliate marketing for some time, learning all the ins and outs about it, and decided to focus mostly on article marketing. I spent some good money on programs to help teach me more advanced methods, and even a software package that would automatically spin my articles so I could recycle them to save me work.
Things were going okay, but a bit slower than I had anticipated. I was spending time daily writing articles, SEOing them, submitting them, pinging, more optimizing, bidding for keywords, etc.
Then something clicked in my head.

I don't enjoy doing this one bit!

It all came back to me, the whole reason I was looking for change in my life is so that I could focus on what I loved doing, not enduring something so that I can earn money and then go on to what I love during my spare time.
I was digging my own grave, and at the same time proclaiming to others that I was heading into some "Major changes in my life". It seemed I had lost sight of the goal, the whole reason I had started out in the first place.

So then I asked myself: "What do I love doing?"

I love helping people. I really, really actually get a tremendous amount of satisfaction when I feel that the effort I invested in someone has helped them in a profound way.

Why not become a life coach? I'll get job satisfaction by helping others, I'll be able to support myself financially, and I'll also be doing what I love doing second best: learning something new--constantly! Because each human is unique, I will never get bored of it.
Time to start learning again. I'm going to be attending Speed Coaching seminars in Tokyo starting next weekend, and I'll count that as my first step in the direction that I want to go.

Wish me well, and pray for me.