“Behind the Scenes of Healthy Takoyaki Photoshoot”

When I was about halfway done with my new recipe for takoyaki, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I’d have to give up and scrap the whole idea.

After spending all morning experimenting with different ways to decorate them with matcha powder, chocolate, and macadamia nuts, I looked through all my pictures, hundreds of them. 

They all looked like crap! ! 

Matcha-sprinkled, chocolate-coated balls of crap.

These were some of my other thoughts that morning:

Maybe it’s just too hard to recreate recipes to make them healthy, taste good without adding sugar, AND have pictures turn out that are at least presentable. 

Maybe I don’t have enough cooking and photography skills, or enough creativity to be able to pull off a new successful recipe week after week. There’s already so much competition on the web and social media! Real professionals.

Maybe I wouldn’t enjoy it enough to even want to keep going.

This could have been a sign to hang up this whole blog thing for now and start looking for a “real job” full-time. No more fun recipes and pretty picture-taking in the morning. 

For the past few months, I’ve been waking up stressed every day about when I’m going to find my next paying job and reminding myself that I’m going to run out of savings soon.

I’ve been on my knees on my living room floor begging for a miracle to happen. 

I followed everybody’s advice on Youtube: Oprah, Tony Robbins, Lao Tsu, Brendon Burchard…
“Do what you love, follow your passion, discover your real life’s purpose.”

IT’S NOT WORKING! Oprah hasn’t offered to pay my rent while “I let my soul’s purpose on Earth unfold!”

Finally, thanks to some straight-talking from Mel Robbins, I realized what’s been sabotaging any chance I’ve had for success…

It’s me. 

All me.

Good one, Matt! Getting in your own way, again!

Man, I thought for sure I already learned this lesson when I wrote my book and went through my Zen training with Alx!

Yes, I have been moving towards my goal. But using the metaphor, I’ve been driving towards my destination with the emergency brake on. 

My left foot is hovering on the brake pedal always ready to stop myself, always ready to turn around and go back.

I’ve been driving forward like this for months now.

When it gets hard or I see my bank account balance go down, I always remind myself how comfortable I was back in Tokyo, how much easier it was to earn a living, and all those double rainbows I saw on vacation in Hawaii.

This is the truth I needed to hear that no one was telling me:

I am weak. Pathetically weak. A coward.

Every time something got too difficult or uncomfortable, I wanted to go back to Tokyo, to go back home, hug my mom and be told that everything’s going to be ok and we love you no matter what.

The truth is I know what actions I need to take in order to succeed. But every time I came up with a new idea or I knew I should pick up the phone and make those cold calls, the self-doubt, fear of rejection, and fear of failure stopped me every time.

I talked myself out of doing what I knew in my heart were the right actions.

Like a pampered, spoiled rotten kid, I felt sorry for myself and wanted to run away from my struggle and pain, to go back to what I know in Tokyo so I can earn money more easily.

Can you guess how many cold calls I’ve made this month to find a job?


I’ve jumped out of a plane and off a bridge with a bungee cord, yet I’m afraid to make a phone call in Japanese.

This is my story. I’m sharing it with you so you can decide if there are any areas in your life where you’re driving with the emergency brake on.

Maybe you talk yourself out of going to the gym or give yourself reasons to not stick to your healthy diet whenever life provides an excuse or someone else to blame.

Maybe you avoid having uncomfortable conversations or getting into a conflict at all cost. You don’t stand up for yourself at work. That guy was me too.

I actually took an online survey to assess my strengths. Out of the 24 character traits, I ranked 24 out of 24 for bravery. 

Dead last.

Now that I realize just how weak I am– something I absolutely despise in myself, every single day I’m on a mission to do each and every action that takes courage.

To become 1% braver each day, I’m taking my left foot off the brake pedal and tying my damn leg around my neck if that’s what it’ll take. Enough!

I imagine just how good I’m going to feel about myself after I succeed all because I chose to be courageous and never gave up. I faced my fears instead of running from them.

I’m still learning to listen to my heart and soul, not the negative B.S. garbage my thoughts try to tell me day after day.

Here’s my new advice to myself: 

#1 My soul knows what actions are right for me. Listen to my heart, my gut, my inner voice. 

#2 Immediately take action without hesitating. 

#3 Remember, if I continue to listen to my thoughts, they’ll only lead me back to what’s safe and comfortable. The path of safe and comfortable only leads to more pain and the regret of never trying…

Some of my new questions to ask myself:

What kind of person would you be if you released your emergency brake?

What would you do? Who would you become?

Thank you so much for reading this. It means the world to me.

Note to self:

Take your foot off the brake and don’t give up!

See you at the finish line. 

In gratitude and love,

Matt “The Unstoppable” Eyesandhour

PS. Getting back to my story– the following morning, over 1000 pictures of green takoyaki later (seriously), I ended up getting more good picts on my last shooting day than I had space for!

Wanna know what I was doing wrong? 

Up until the last day, I had been shooting with the plate directly on the floor. Once I moved the plate up onto a chair next to the window, it was so much easier to maneuver around, see what I was looking at from different angles, the lighting was better, my hands weren’t shaking from bending over and laying on the ground.

The lesson I learned the hard way:

Once you change your perspective, what you’re looking at changes. 

There was never anything crappy about the takoyaki.
It was my attitude.