The Reason You Are In Danger of Failing and What To Do About It.

Everyday, I went to work. Everyday, I felt like a failure.

I’m a failure… I’m a failure… I’m a failure.

With each day the pain grew. I tried to avoid it, to deny it.

But soon it was too strong.

As I stood staring at myself in the mirror I couldn’t stop wondering:

“How did this happen?”

The Depression

3 years ago I was teaching in the inner city of Los Angeles, California. My job was sucking the life out of me. I was depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, unhappy.

To this day I can’t pinpoint the exact reason I felt this way.

Why do we always need a reason?

The reason is irrelevant – what matters is what I felt.

Let me be blunt: It sucked… HUGE MASSIVE DOG BALLS!

I Love My Mom

“Mom, I’m depressed. I hate this! I HATE MY JOB!”

“Izmael (my mom always calls me by my full name) focus on learning and improving.”

I’m in the midst of a freak out and my mother is telling me to learn…


“You are trying to become perfect. Just Focus on getting better each day.”

That’s a good idea.

The Mindset That Saved My Life

I felt like my life was out of control, that there was nothing I could do.

I wanted to solve the problem immediately, a quick fix.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the game of life works.

The beauty of life lies in becoming a little bit better every single day. [Click to Tweet]

Over the next 6 months my mindset shifted.

My mother and father talked with me daily. Day after day I would come home, call my parents:

“Was today better than yesterday?”

When you face failure, struggle, or challenge you have two options:

1) Learn from it and adapt 2) Don’t learn from it and fail.

Pretty simple, right?

As I adopted a mindset of learning, I found purpose in my actions. I had control of my life. I felt empowered.

Over the past 3 years a learning mindset has allowed me to:

How To Develop The Mindset of Success

I’m wasting your time, if I tell you that the “learning mindset” is awesome but I don’t tell you how I have adopted it. As is always my policy: If I share it, I do it!

1. Always Focus on Learning

During that 4th year of teaching I felt like a failure… Initially.

But then my parents reminded me to focus on learning. Just being reminded that it wasn’t about “being the best” but instead “get a little better today” made a massive difference.

It’s simple – to develop a learning mindset you must focus on learning in every situation. [Click to Tweet]

Each and everyday we face situations and challenges that hurt, that bring us down, that knock the wind out of us. Yet, these are the moments of opportunity for the greatest learning.

Constantly step back and ask:

What can I learn from this?

2. Welcome Failure

Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM was asked “What is the formula for success?” He replied “You must double your rate of failure”.

Failure is beautiful because it gives you live, immediate feedback that what you are doing won’t work. Failure is natures way of telling us to stop, take a breath, and figure out what needs to be corrected.

When failure strikes keep asking yourself “What can I learn from this?”

Nobody bats 1.000. If you want to hit a homerun you have to step up to the plate. 

3. Refuse to Quit

People sometimes say to me “What if you fail and don’t achieve your dream?”

They don’t understand my mindset.

I refuse to quit.

I do not care what I have to go through.

This is my dream. I’m all in. I’m giving my life to martial arts.

I will allow nothing to stop me. Period.

A Dream requires the ultimate commitment… There is no “kind-of”. You’re either in or you’re out.

Which do you choose?

4. Have Faith in Personal Growth

I want to break a brick with my fist. I want to speak Japanese. I want to inspire people to follow their dreams.

Am I doing all of these things? NO… Not yet.

But someday, I will.

Everyday I focus on learning, on growing.

What I don’t know now, I will know then.

There is nothing wrong with “not knowing”. At some point we all “don’t know”.

I read a book every 10 days. I listen to inspiring audio everyday. I train in Aikido until my knees ache.

Each and everyday I am taking a step towards the person I want to become.

Do you have faith in your own potential?

5. Take Personal Responsibility… For Everything.

I can blame anyone I want. But here’s the thing: No matter who I blame I am still stuck in my situation. If it’s going to get better, it’s on me to make it happen.

When I was placed in the countryside of Japan I could have given up on my dream… But instead I took responsibility for improving my situation.

Look at your struggle, your challenge, your failures and ask yourself:

“How can I improve the situation?”

For The Comments:

What thoughts have you adopted that are holding you back? What mental adjustments can you make that can help push through this?


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