The Book that Turned my Career Around

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I love Capoeira – a Brazilian Martial art that combines self-defense with music, acrobatics and dance.

I started training in martial arts at 13, at age 17 I joined Capoeira, and by September 2006 I was teaching it. I taught for seven years, have hosted radio shows, national championships organized international trips and have taught thousands of students.

And I hated my job.

I loved my students, I loved doing capoeira, but I hated working in capoeira. Why?

Skipping over my ups and downs of my 8 years (and counting) in formal education – which I still do and still love but thankfully am not invested in full-time. Perhaps in another post for time.

Today I have the job of my dreams. I never knew I would be entertaining hundreds of people in the museum, connecting jewish history and archaeology, pop culture and talmud. And yet, everything I did until now has prepared me for it.

I would like to share with you the treasure that helped me start turning things around: From being a creative, enthusiastic, engaging – and frustrated school teacher, to someone who is passionate about what he does.

I follow a podcast called Art of Manliness by Brett McKay. I listened to an episode called The Myth of Following Your Passion, which is an interview with Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You. The title, by the way, is a piece of advice by Steve Martin.

What happened after that?

I was still teaching full-time, but I was in a different head space. I became a Jedi. I was going to knock the ball out of the park. I wasn’t just doing my job (with care, love and commitment, as a teacher should), but I was stretching myself, building my skill and becoming more versatile. I became noticed in the whole school, not just locking myself up in the teachers’ lounge with piles of work to get through, the daily grind, trying to get through the material and prepare the students for this and that.

While hitherto I was working in the middle school, I volunteered to give special workshops to 1-6th graders. I engaged with other department, and became an asset to the school.

I told myself every day: ‘Be so good, that they can’t ignore you’.

And so it happened that I lost my job, and found my dream.

Below: Living my dream job!

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