Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on November 2009
Tell us about your background.
I was born in Shiraz, Iran, in 1968. My father was married four times and I was brought up by my abusive stepmother. I ran away from home at the age of 12 when she tried to kill me with a rope. I was homeless for a while until my grandmother took me in. I started dreaming big and decided to become an airline pilot. Before leaving Iran and emigrating to New Zealand, I had to spend two years in the military to get a passport. There was a war between Iran and Iraq at that time and I had to join. I lost many good friends.
What brought you to Japan?
When I was 14, I watched a Japanese TV series called Oshin. It was the story of a young Japanese girl who never gave up her dreams. That drama changed my life, and I decided to come to Japan and find my own Oshin. I arrived here in January 1991, started working as a welder, and saved enough money to go to a flight school and became a commercial pilot.
Tell us about your various projects.
After 9/11, the FBI came for me since I was an Iranian-New Zealander with a pilot’s license. I decided to change my career from flying to life coaching. I decided to use my story as an inspiration to help people set new standards for their life.
Recently I wrote a book in Japanese titled Jinsei o Kaeru Ketsudan no Chikara (“The Power Of Decision”). It became a number one bestseller on Amazon on August 30. I also conduct a lot of seminars—they are very entertaining and educational. My next one will be on December 4 in front of 1,800 people at Bunkyo Civic Center. I also do private coaching sessions for smaller groups.
What kind of coaching do you do?
What gives me the right to call myself a life coach is my life experience and spending almost a million dollars for my education to study with the best coaches in the world, including Anthony Robbins. I help people close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. If we want to succeed in life, we need three things: one: the best map; two: the best tools; and three: the best coach/mentor.
Any plans for English events?
Absolutely. I know that there is a need in the foreign community for a Success Coach. However, since I charge $10,000 for a one-day private coaching session, it is not easy for people to afford. That’s why I decided to design a special event with a reasonable price for the foreign community. That should take place sometime in January.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Going out with my beautiful wife and also playing with my daughter. Rock climbing, flying planes and helicopters, going to the movies, dancing and playing soccer.
What’s your recipe for a perfect day in Tokyo?
I am so grateful for my life in Tokyo. A perfect day for me is a balanced combination of time with myself, my relationships and my work. Odaiba is my favorite place to have fun.
For more info, see www.kardan.jp (Japanese).