dreams come true

10 Ways To Revive A Childhood Dream

The beauty of childhood is that we aren’t restrained from dreaming by perceived barriers. As children, we know what we want and we say it. Then as we get older, we tend to forget our dreams. We tell ourselves, “It’s just not possible.”

Do you remember your dream as a child?

My name is Izzy. I am about to turn 30 and I believe in childhood dreams. My childhood dream was to be a ninja. But I didn’t just believe it, now I actually live it. I quit my job, I moved to Japan, and I train full-time in martial arts. I am living my childhood dream.

It is possible. But it is only possible if we believe. The dream killer isn’t reality, it is our belief that it can not be our reality.

Today I want to share with you 10 ways to revive your childhood dream. I am living, breathing proof this stuff works.

10 Ways To Revive a Childhood Dream

1. Listen to inspiring audio when you wake up

This does two things:

1) It increases your sense of possibility to do incredible things

2) It will teach you practical methods to make big things happen. When you increase your belief in the impossible with practical application you can do amazing things – like pursue a childhood dream.

I listen to Zig Ziglar, Leadership success, and Winning Strategies for High Achievers.  You can go to many different websites that offer memberships for audible motivational and inspirational speakers.  I prefer audible.com.

2. Create a daily laugh list (don’t take yourself too seriously)

Every time I said “I want to be a ninja” people laugh – including me. To bring a childhood dream back to life you have to be willing to laugh at yourself. Every night write down 3 to 5 funny things that you did.

Maybe you tripped in public, were really awkward in a social situation, cluelessly said something inappropriate, or you dropped coffee on your shirt. Notice something? Most adults don’t find these things funny. But if you start to look at the lighter side of life you will realize they are funny. “Gosh I was so awkward!” can be quite funny if looked at through the right lens.

3. Start saving money today

Money is a huge deal. We have to meet our financial needs. It is impossible to believe in our childhood dreams if we cannot come up with a way to make it financially viable. If you save money everyday you will slowly stop worrying about financial constraints. This gives you peace of mind to develop creative ways to generate income.

I live in Japan, train in martial arts, and teach English under 20 hours a week and easily cover all my expenses. By having money in the bank I was able to attempt more creative ways to generate income. Consequently I make double the normal hourly rate.

4. Ask the question “What do I want to do with my life?” and don’t accept “I don’t know.”

Sit with this question and take action to figure out the answer. Read books, volunteer in your community, take personality tests, and start new activities. Do not accept “I don’t know” as an answer. Discovering your dream is a journey. Take steps everyday.

5. Read non-fiction books on success

Reading non-fiction books on success increases your sense of possibility and provides practical application. It inspires and educates simultaneously. This allows you to think big and take steps everyday.

Don’t know where to start? Check out the list of “suggested reading”.

6. Socialize with other successful people

Find people who are positive, upbeat and have a huge sense of possibility. Take them out to lunch, interview them, make them a part of your life. These people will encourage your dreams and be the ones you share your dreams with.

7. Focus on “How?” 

Don’t ask if things are possible. Don’t create excuses. Don’t think about problems. Focus on how you can accomplish your goal in making your dream a reality. This will turn you into a solution-oriented person. Solution-oriented people make big things happen.

8. Always ask and answer the question: What can I learn from this? 

There is always an opportunity to learn from every situation. When you fail ask “Why didn’t this work? What must I change?” When you succeed ask “Why did this work? What must I keep doing?”

9. Develop a weekly goal and accomplish it.

When you step forward to follow a childhood dream you must have superb confidence. One of the best ways to build confidence is to have success. Be intentional. Each week establish one goal. Keep it simple. Maybe you want to run 3 times a week. Great! That is your goal. Maybe you will write 500 words every day. Great! Go for it.

As you achieve each goal you will expand your sense of possibility. As you increase your sense of possibility you will slowly but surely be resuscitating your childhood dreams.

10. Write out a one page vision for your dream

Take out a piece of paper, a pencil, and a timer. For 15 minutes you are going to write exactly what a day would be like if you were living your dream. Write down everything: who you talk to, where you live, what time you wake up, how you feel, the activities you participate in, even what you eat. Hold nothing back.

This will increase your sense of possibility because you are taking a dream and turning it into specific daily behaviors. The first time I did this activity was 3 years ago. I looked at my vision and the first thing that crossed my mind was “This is possible…”


It’s okay to “not know” but it’s’ not okay to accept this as an excuse to do nothing. You can take anyone of these methods I mention and begin doing it now. A childhood dream is possible but it is only possible if you take the steps to make it happen.


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,

Photo Credit: Ori Carmi


26 Responses to 10 Ways To Revive A Childhood Dream

  1. Shauna Robar says:

    This is wonderful to read! I think that this is a path that most people consider, but few actually follow through with. The insight your provide here is inspiring, and motivation for others to pursue similarly sought after dreams. Awesome!  

  2. Izmael Arkin says:

    Hi Shauna :). I’m really glad you enjoyed the post.

    I am a strong believer that nothing is more powerful than taking action. I think many people are scared of making the wrong move but in reality the only wrong move is to do nothing.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Great post. Many of us forget or ignore our childhood dreams. But your list should send a strong reminder to all of us to follow our lists.

  4. Bobbi Emel says:

    I think your last paragraph sums it up perfectly, Izzy. You have to take action to make your dream something that you live rather than only dream about.

  5. You are quickly working your way up my list of  New and exciting people to follow.  You have made a new online stalker out of me! (This will probably be on tonight’s “Laugh List” for actually saying it publicly. Dang evidence!) 

    I see you pointed at some suggested reads, but I would like to know what were some of the Ninja’s on personal reads that had an impact on your life?

  6. Pingback: Achieve your Childhood Dreams In 10 Easy Steps - Coach Comeback

  7. Anne Warren says:

    This is great. We all hear ‘live your dream’, but finding the steps to get there is tricky, this is a great guide. http://mindsetdestination.com/blog/virtues-language-of-your-soul/

  8. I love it, thanks for sharing this article.

  9. Peter Wright says:

    Good advice Izzy. I am now 62, have had an amazing life because I went after my dreams from an early age. Had a few short nightmares along the way too but that always makes the next dream better. 

    I have been doing most of the things on your list for years, they really work.

    If you start early like you have, it means you don’t get stuck in that rut from your late 20s to retirement like so many people do. 

    Congratulations for making your dream come true.

  10. Jason says:

    Here’s the quote that stood out to me immediately: “The dream killer isn’t reality, it is our belief that it can not be our reality.” In a way  none of the obstacles we expect or may be concerned or afraid of actually exist and we may never even encounter them. I have noticed that some people have a way of writing a story in their own head about taking action that concludes with failure before they even take the first step when in reality they are fearing something that is completely made up. If we have the power to hold back a dream we certainly have the power to accomplish it.

  11. This article was an interesting read I must say. I have
    never heard of anyone really living out their childhood dream. They usually
    change their mind later on in life. I must say that reading your article let me
    realize that you should never give up on something that you really want.

  12. Izmael Arkin says:

    Awesome Surendra :). I hope this helps you take action today!

  13. Izmael Arkin says:

    The further I get down this journey the more and more convinced I am that the most important thing we can do is to take action. 

    I used to buy into the “I must have a great idea” concept. Now, I don’t think ideas really matter all that much. What matters is execution and adjusting as we move forward with the journey. 

  14. Izmael Arkin says:

    What’s up Coach :). 

    I’m humbled to be stalked by you… Never thought I would ever say that to anyone. 

    When I was starting on this journey the books that had a huge impact on me were: 48 days to the work you love by Dan Miller, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, and No More Mondays by Dan Miller. 
    I am a huge advocate of books. I love books. I read about one book per week on average now a days. It keeps me excited, motivated, and I feel like I’m always learning. 

    I tend to read a lot of self development type books. They just get me so pumped up about life! 

    Do you have any personal favorites that you would add to the conversation?

  15. Izmael Arkin says:

    I’m thrilled you enjoyed this Anne :). I hope it helps you take action today!

  16. Izmael Arkin says:

    Super awesome Zivana :). Thanks for the kind words. 

  17. Izmael Arkin says:

    Peter that is super awesome to hear! I believe that nightmares are part of the journey. 

    If we want to do crazy things we have to dare to be crazy. This means we are going to run into some bumps in the road. 

    It sounds like your life is evidence of the choices you have made. 

    I’m getting ready to turn 30 real soon and yes, many of my friends are beginning to struggle with this we call “life”. But for me, I feel like all the beauty is just beginning. 

    Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. 

  18. Izmael Arkin says:

    It’s so darn true Jason! 

    I talk to people who aren’t taking one step forward toward their dreams because they are afraid of what they will do when they hit the 100th step. 

    I talked to one person who was concerned with starting a business because he didn’t know how he would handle getting 1000 emails in a day. Mind you this person hadn’t started the business and had thus far received zero emails. I smiled at him and said “If that’s your problem – that is a darn good problem to have!” To my surprise he looked at me and said “Hmm… I never thought about it like that.” 

    Our mind is an incredibly powerful thing. It can be a best friend or an enemy. 

  19. Izmael Arkin says:

    I am thrilled to hear that Christine :). The reason I write is because I want to encourage others and to let them know it is in fact possible to follow a childhood dream. 

    If you want to read more about it head over to my site: http://www.30yearoldninja.com and take a gander :). 

  20. of course the classics “7 habits of highly effective people”, “Think and grow Rich”, although I read that one at a time I was not ready to hear it.  It was not until years later picking it up again did I find all the value from it.  

    LOVED 4 hour workweek.  That was the one I was reading when I decided to quit my 6-figure corporate job after 10 years.  DAMN TIM FERRISS!  

    Manifesting Change by Mike Dooley and Sponteneous Fulfillment of Desires by Deepak Chopra are 2 I have reread again.

    I love books as well and have a rather large collection so th emore I think about your question the more I want to keep adding to this list lol.

    Lots of people have suggested to me The Magic of Thinking Big.  But they do not have a Kindle version.  I have gotten spoiled  =-P  When the do I will give that one a go too!

  21. Maria2008 says:

    That is so right Jason, well said, even if there are obstacles there are ways around them. :) X

  22. Izmael Arkin says:

    That’s a nice reading list you got there Coach!

    I think the power of the book completely depends on where a person is at in their life. Like you mentioned you read “Think and Grow Rich” but it wasn’t the right time.

    When I first started to explore some of those books it blew my mind. I shared them with some other people and their response was “Yeah, they’re good.” I was thinking to myself “Good? They’re INCREDIBLE!” but it just wasn’t what they needed – or were ready to hear.

  23. Beryl says:

    Looking forward to our chat next week Izzy.  You will be an awesome interviewee for our site.  Guts, determination and the correct mindset are clearly what you have developed!

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