think you can't?

So these past few weeks, I have been in the dumps. There have been rays of joy and happiness but far more cloudier days. It's all changed. My friend and boss Bob Wilkie went away to a Life Success Seminar and came back with tons of information. However, it was a 5 minute CD that will forever change my life.

The title, as I am sure you have guessed is "Think You Can't" and it is a father/son tale. At birth, the umbilical cord was wrapped around the child's neck and he was born a quadrapeligeic with cerebalsy. At eight months, the doctors told the parents they should give up on the child, as he would never be able to comprehend. Well, doctors build him a machine so that when he tilts his head he can talk. This is not even the emotional part of the story. To make his son happy and connect with him, the father decided to compete in triathalons. The catch, when he swims, he pulls his son behind him in a raft. When he bikes, his son sits on a seat in front of him. When he runs, he pushes his son in front of him in a special cart.

Here I was without any motivation, I just came home from Japan, my girlfriend broke up with me, I wasn't happy living at home, don't really have a job, not a lot of friends in the area, etc, etc, etc. I'll tell you what, those days are over. I doubt that I will ever pity my life or my situation again after seeing the strength in this man. He has been truly inspirational and my whole outlook on life has changed within the past three days. I've thrown down the challenge - to myself. Think you can't get a job overseas? Think you won't make any money while you are home? Think you can't quit smoking? THINK AGAIN!

There is a 5 minute DVD that will completely change your life and I believe you can find it at www.teamhoyt.com. I am pretty sure it is called the "CAN" DVD. I would highly recommend it no matter where you are in life's journey. However, I must warn you, it is very emotional and the three times I have watched it in the past three days, I have cried.

So, at the moment, Bob is helping me with what he has learned during his past week at Life Coaching. It is so simple yet so amazing and like I mentioned, I have already seen a difference in my mind. Now, when I get up in the mornings, I put the music on and dance. Then, I go to the mirror and tell myself I'm happy. Starting the day off right makes a tremendous difference and sets the tone for the entire day. Anyway, it's good that Bob is teaching me a lot because I get a chance to learn, but he also has an opportunity to speak in front of someone and then I can offer suggestions. (One piece of advice that I want to add before I forget - If you ever want to teach someone something, life lessons, how to do something, etc., please don't ever tell them. You will get so much further by asking questions, the right questions, and guiding their thought. It is amazing the difference with our private ice hockey lessons when we told them in the past what to do and in one week, when we asked questions.)

I have my final Dale Carnegie class tomorrow. Used in combination with the Life Success coaching - watch out!! Next week, I am a counselor at an ice hockey camp. That camp is the first two weeks in July and then Bob has his camp the following week. There really isn't a whole lot else to report on at the moment that I can think of. I went to a party on Saturday hosted by the owner of the pro-shops. It was a very nice get together at a beautiful home, pool outside. I met a nice young lady and she is headed to Florida in August for school. So, at the moment, I'm not sure what I am going to do. I believe that I am moving in with Michelley in the middle of July. Oh yeah, perhaps most importantly, I have an interview in August for a school in Japan and another one in Chicago in July. Also, I have met a wonderful person in South Korea who has introduced me to her boss. I learned all of this on Friday, the day Bob got back.

So, that's where things are at at the moment. I hope that you are doing well and enjoying life. My apologies for not updating more regularly. There have been lots of late nights lately spent discussing all of this new information. Take care and remember, CAN!


I am...

Today was a wonderful day, perhaps the best day since I arrived back in the States. You might be wondering what made it such a special day... so, I will tell you. About two weeks ago I went to dinner with my father and some of his old high school classmates. While we were eating one of my dad's friends offered me a scholarship (worth approximately $2000) to take the Dale Carnegie Course for business.

Well, today was the first day of the course (there are still two more to go) and I must admit, that it has lit ignited a flame which has long been extinguished. By now, you are probably wondering how. There was one exercise we were asked to perform and it went something like this - Imagine yourself six months from now the happiest you have ever been. Now, go ahead and write what is going to happen on December 17th of 2008. My paragraph went a little something like this:

I am the happiest I have ever been as I find myself waking up in the Aochi household. I awake a 6 am and perform 15 minutes of meditation before throwing on my running shoes and heading to the gym. After an invigorating workout, I head back to the house and write another chapter in the book I have just started. The writing goes smoothly and effortlessly and within an hour I am off to meet my friends to dine at a famous sushi bar. On the train ride there I put on my Japanese lessons and study for a bit. After enjoying lunch, it's off to work where I teach English. The students enjoy my enthusiasm and participate in each lesson, showing a marked improvement from when I first started teaching them. After work it's off to a 280 bar to grab drinks with my co-workers, many of whom share different nationalities, some of whom have become my closest friends. When I arrive home, I give my family a call, seeing as how we speak twice a week. Now, it's time for bed seeing as how I start my first martial arts class in the morning.

As I read my paragraph to the group, I could hear and feel the happiness in my voice, realizing that more than anything, this is what I want to be doing. The instructor also shared a story about how a car slammed into her house and knocked a door into her father. Everyone was alright; however, the father had to go and get x-rays. The x-rays revealed cancer but seeing as how it was in its early stages, her father ended up living a good 40 years instead of 4. Had the car never hit the side of her house and the door never cracked into her father, the cancer never would have been revealed. I know this is an awkward comparison, but it's how I feel toward Agnes. Something horrible in my life is going to actually turn out far more positive then I ever would have expected because now, I am free to go back to Japan.

It was a wonderful day and once again, I can feel the happiness and joy slowly creeping back in to my life. I can feel the energy just getting ready to burst out. Since I have been home, I have yet to find a reason or purpose to stay here, attempting half heartedly to come up with something. Well, now I know it's not where I want to be right now in my life. Now that I shared my six month goal, I would ask you to do the same and leave a comment, so we can hold each other accountable. What have you always wanted to do? What would offer you the most fun out of life? Well, imagine that all your dreams come true and write a paragraph of what's going to happen to you on December 17th, 2008.

On a final note, we also did some memorizing exercises and learned a few techniques to memorize names. If you don't believe me, call me with a list of nine items, assign each item a number, and test me. I feel pretty confident that I will be able to repeat the item along with its number.

One last thing so I guess I should remove "final" from the above note. I finished the book John Adams- and have now started watching the mini-series on HBO. Although there are several historical inaccuracies it is rather quite intriguing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Hope you are all doing great and can some how find a way to capture that zeal for life which I rediscovered on this Tuesday, June 17th, 2008. Best wishes to all and remember to listen!



Well, needless to say, I am pretty down in the dumps since finding out that Agnes will not be coming. However, I said my final goodbyes as I packed up everything I had of hers and shipped it off. In order to get out of my slump, I have also joined a gym - Planet Fitness ($25 registration fee then $10 a month). I must say, that has helped life my spirits quite a bit and right now my butt is sore from doing squats. So, trying to get myself back in shape is a challenge and a great way to release my frustrations. I remember why I detest gyms so much though. It seems as though, and perhaps I may be way off in my assessment, that everyone, guys and girls included, seem to judge you while you are at the gym. Seeing as how it is my first week back, I feel pretty week and can only lift a fraction of what I used to be able to do and feel quite inadequate at the gym. Give it a couple of months and I'll be right back where I used to, hopefully. Now, if I can just start eating healthy.

In other news, not a whole lot going on with work. I help my dad out a few days a week repairing screens. Also, I am working at the pro shops now a few days a week and helping Bob Wilkie out with private lessons. On a side note and something I am looking forward to, I got a call from Bob Hartley who coached in the AHL and NHL and he asked me to help with his camp. So, I think that will be a great experience for me and a chance to learn some new drills. I also thought about asking him if he knew of any open coaching positions and seeing if he could help find me a job somewhere. I think it would be amazing to be a professional coach and get paid to have such a job.

Also, I am starting a book club with a few of my friends/mentors, people who I greatly respect and admire so that is something to look forward to. Right now I am in the process of learning How to Know God by Deepak Cheeporah (poor spelling). Interesting books but not so sure I agree with it completely. I don't believe there are really steps to knowing God and often find that part of me is in Step 1 and another in Step 4 according to him. So, I'm not sure if this should be a smooth process or if it's alright to find yourself in different stages.

I got a new pair of Crocs from Michelley. Only the second day I've had them, first I've actually worn them but so far so good. I realize, after sentences like the last, I need to increase my vocabulary and vary my diction quite a bit. Hopefully writing in this blog will help.

1) Are there any other words that can successfully replace hopefully?

2) I am torn as to whether I should stay in the States any longer or once again, attempt to live overseas. I made a commitment to coach an ice hockey team, which is something I am looking forward to and believe will be a great challenge. Also, it is something I thoroughly enjoy. Furthermore, my best friend is getting married in May and I am in the wedding. So, if I don't depart within the next few months, which is highly unlikely, I would have to miss the wedding. I guess this is one of those philosophical debates I will have with myself over the next few weeks, but I guess I should look into it at the very least.

3) I am considering going by the name of J. Alan Cassel similar to that of J. Edgar Hoover. Let me know what you think and if you like it. Personally, I think it has a great ring to it but my view is a bit biased.

Hope everyone is doing well. On a final note, Michelle just bought a house and I might be moving in with her to help defray the cost of her mortgage and get me out of my house. I'll keep you posted if anything comes up there. Take care and let me know if you want to go grab a beer at some point.


Agnes -

Well, for many of you who constantly read my blog while I was in Japan realize that I came home, in large part, because of a woman (which I might add is a very generous description, who henceforth will be referred to as Agnes). Sometimes, I can be so dim. Needless to say, things are not going to work out and instead of locking the disgust, hatred, and melancholy deep within my personal vault, which already needs a healthy nudge to close, I have decided to express my feelings on public domain, or at least the majority of them which I can transcribe in to this document.

Much like a hurricane, she slowly built up in my life until she was all I worried about. Now, although I’ve experienced the calm of the eye and the brief happiness that can accompany such a serene time, I have found that the eye is relatively smaller compared to the storm in general. I feel as though I am an island and the storm is passing through, intent on reeking havoc on people to come but now just a low level tropical storm continuing on its own path ever farther from me, and eventually, after I take care of the wreckage, it will be nothing more than a memory.

I have always dreamed of this ideal woman: intelligent, independent, athletic, spontaneous, motivational, and one who is willing to challenge yet also support me (by the way, if you know of anyone who fits this description and is still single, please let me know). The woman I planned on marrying had to meet all of these qualities and I always told myself that I would not “settle” for anything or anyone less. However, through the trials and tribulations of my last relationship as well as a bit of independent thinking, I have come to the realization that a woman need not be comprised of the aforementioned qualities as they can be found in friendships. Perhaps this is the biggest debate with which I currently struggle – I often ask myself if it is necessary for her to contain even a single attribute I so long desire.

Light bulb! I have now come to a bit of personal insight which should help me out in the future. I no longer yearn for my “perfect” woman. Rather, I am in search of an imperfect woman who possesses no character flaws. I now prefer a woman who might not be as athletic as long as I know that she will never give up. Perhaps she may not be spontaneous every day; however, if she is willing to make an effort and suggests something new to try, she is the one for me. Habits make the years pass unnoticed and uneventful. I am no longer in search of the perfect woman, the one who meets my criteria but one who strives for perfection, realizes her flaws, and confronts them rather then copes with them. It’s always ease to say you are going to change, never easy to actually make it happen.

The one thing that pisses me off the most is the fact that Agnes never gave it a try. She jumped shipped before the battle and was never willing to overcome her fear of what lay in store. In short, she took the easy way out. Never again will I look for a woman who wants things easy, who’s not willing to work hard, and who gives up at the first sign of distress. This to me is a major character flaw and one which I should have spotted long before.

I got an email from Agnes the other day and learned that the reason we broke up was because of a song. And the reasons just keep getting better. And the reason is as follows:

"Where I Stood"

I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none

There were sounds in my head
Little voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found myself listening

'Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

See I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you ain't leaving without a fight
And I think I am just as torn inside

'Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood

And I won't be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me than anyone I ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself and so I say to you
This is what I have to do

'Cos I dont know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don't know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
'Cos she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
Oh, she who dares to stand where I stood

So, if anyone has any insight as to what in the hell that means, please feel free to share it with me. If you knew you wanted independence or wanted to do your own thing then why in the hell would you tell me to come home from Japan? I will never be able to forgive her for that. It would have been a different story had she the guts to give it a try and things didn’t work out; however, she’ll never know what could have been, how great things might have been, how perfect we could have been together and now, she never will. And part of me hopes that it just eats at her, for the rest of her life she wonders what she gave up. In every single relationship from here on out she compares that guy to me and sadly, he falls a bit short, until she realizes there never will be another like me and she settles, every day questioning what might have been… Then, I realize my vanity is getting the best of me and she’ll find some loser who she’s happy with.

Rascal stated it best when they said, “I’m Moving On.”