Do What It Is That Ignites Your Soul
I owned a US$500 million global hedge fund when I decided to retire at 37 years old. On paper, I was on top of the world. I had everything in life and more. Inside though, something was missing in my soul. No one knew it, but I knew it. All the money and material things in the world could never fill that void. I was not living my definition of success. I was living society’s definition. It was painful to admit, but I had climbed to the top of the wrong mountain. I remember vividly how scared I was to walk away from the life that I knew in order to chase something that I truly loved. My family and friends told me that I was stupid and crazy. My mom tried to dissuade me by reminding me of the days my family and I lived in poverty. She told me not to take my success for granted.
In life, we don’t choose what we love. The heart wants what the heart wants.
Martial arts has been my greatest passion in life since I was a kid. I’ve been a part of martial arts as a student, a fighter, a teacher, and a coach for almost 30 years. It changed my life in so many ways. It gave me courage, strength, discipline, humility, work ethic, and so much more. Above all, it gave me a warrior spirit to conquer adversity and a desire for continuous self-improvement. Without a doubt, I owe a lot of my success in life to martial arts. While I am still involved in other businesses today, there is no question what lights up my soul.
Martial arts is what I love. Martial arts is who I am.
If there is one thing that I can share from my journey, it is that the world has it wrong. Success does not create happiness. Happiness creates success. Do what it is that ignites your soul. If you love what you do, it will emanate in everything you do. Happiness is your reward. And success will inevitably follow. Ultimately, I’d rather be a failure at something I love than be a success at something I hate.
Live your life.