As a young child I had never eaten anything exotic. That all changed when I moved overseas.
And though I had eaten frogs legs, escargot, saba steak, and shark fin soup all before the age of 12 there was one food that I never ever imagined eating – sushi.
While my father was quite adventurous when it came to food, my mother and I tended to stick closer to our roots. Shepherd’s Pie, roast chicken, lamp chops, steak, and chip butties (essentially French Fries on bread) were common dishes on our dinner table.
I had never even heard of people eating raw fish until junior high school and it amazed me. I liked my meat good and cooked.
Little did I know that in a few short years I would be living in Japan.
But I actually ate sushi for the first time in Hong Kong if you can believe it.
Around the end of high school I went to visit a friend in Hong Kong and stayed a few nights at their place with their parents.
One night I was told that we’d all be going out as my friend’s father had to attend a business dinner with his family. And since I was staying with them, I got dragged along.
The venue – a famous Japanese restaurant. The cost – unknown.
Entering the restaurant I got a feeling that it was upscale from the decor which is always a good sign in my book. Then we were escorted to a private room – another good sign.
I learned that we’d be having numerous courses with a variety of Japanese food and hoped that I could avoid eating sushi if it was brought out with some other dishes.
I was wrong. I can’t remember what other food I ate that night but I do remember that halfway through the dinner the waiters came in and took away all the previous dishes and brought in a long tray of sushi, with a variety of different fish.
As there were 10 of us there, there was a lot of sushi.
I sat there in silence wondering what to do. I didn’t want to eat it but at the same time I didn’t want to offend my friend’s business partners nor my friend’s family that had kindly let me stay with them for 5 days.
Naturally one of the Japanese businessmen noticed that I wasn’t eating so he said, “Try some.”
So, I said to myself, “Just have one or two pieces and that will be that,” as I bit down on some tuna.
To my surprise, it didn’t really taste like fish.
In fact, it tasted pretty dang good.
From then on I was hooked. And as I’ve lived here in Japan for almost 15 years now I’ve been lucky enough to have some of the most incredible mouthwatering sushi.
So…what does this have to do with success? The only thing that stopped me from enjoying sushi for the first half of my life was fear of the unknown.
How many times have we turned things down for no logical reason? Success is about taking the opportunities that we are given. Here are just a few of my experiences.
- My father accepted a job in the Philippines when none of our friends even knew where that was. (it shaped my entire future, as well as my family’s)
- I chose to open my own business against my friends concerns (learned valuable business skills that can’t be taught in books)
- I started reading Robert Kiyosaki despite not liking reading (helped me reshape my thinking about money and my future)
- I listened to Jim Rohn despite thinking he wasn’t modern enough (his words inspired me to write a book and create this website)
In life we are presented with so many fabulous opportunities but we are the ones that must take advantage of them.
If our lives are not where we want them to be that means we need to make changes which means rolling the dice and seeing how things go.
Sometimes we win, and yes, sometimes we lose. But if you sit on the sidelines you’ll never even have a chance.
So next time you’re offered something different, think about it before you decide to turn it down. You never know where it could take you…