Why I Was Classified Mentally Unfit By Israeli Army


When life finds you in tough circumstances, all you need to do is persevere. Tune in to learn how Igor fought for the successful life he’s living right now!

[00:00] The podcast explores Igor’s experience with the Israeli army in depth. 

Why was Igor classified mentally unfit by the Israeli Army?

[01:21] Why did Igor migrate to Israel?

  • My dad was in the military. He graduated from the Civil War College for Young Adults or something. I don’t recall exactly what it was called, but it was basically if you wanted to be a proper army man in the Soviet Army, in the Red Army, before the wall came down, that was the place to go.

  • And as soon as you graduate, you enlist as an officer.

  • Eventually, he got sent to Ukraine, and that’s where myself and my brother were born.

  • When I was twelve, my family decided to immigrate to Israel, and for the first couple of years, I went to a religious school for immigrants. It’s actually a special school where they taught you, mostly in Russian. 

[03:14] How did Igor join the army?

  • I was a good student, I was an A student, and I never rebelled against my teachers or anything like that until later in life.

  • And when I graduated from that school, my parents sent me to this boarding school in Haifa, which was also a religious school.

  • And I passed the entrance exams, the entry exams with flying colors, but then they said, OK, well, in that case, you should go to the Air Force Academy, which was in a different town.

  • I spent the next six years in that academy wearing the uniform and being a good soldier, and I graduated the twelve grade, then did two more years. So kind of like a college level further down the same path.

  • I was destined for a career in the military because anyone who graduates from the academy would ensure they would have a great future in the military. 

[06:15] Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki:

  • I stumbled into Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and I realized I didn’t want to do the army anymore.

  • I realized that message was pushed on me. It wasn’t really my dream. It was my parents’ dream. And it wasn’t really a dream either. It was more like my mom and my dad looking back on their past and kind of asking themselves when life was the best. When did they feel most secure?

  • We literally had to live on handouts. Our bank balance was always negative.

  • I feel like I grew up really, really fast because of it and kind of missed out on quite a few stages of my childhood. 

[11:12] Getting out of the Matrix:

  • The army is not a fighting mechanism. It’s a giant bureaucratic monster. And if you’re in, getting out of it is really, really difficult.

  • People who are in that system will actually fight to protect it in a way kind of like the Matrix movie, where the Matrix has agents that are built to keep everyone in the Matrix. And anyone who tries to get out of the Matrix, they want to kill them in a way.

  • If you are making any attempts whatsoever to get out of the structure, out of the system, that is the fate that awaits you. They’re literally trying to stop you in any way possible. They will lie to you. They will try to convince you that you made a mistake. They try to punish you by throwing you into a military jail, where I spent some time as well because, you know, they really couldn’t find a different way to stop me.

  • In order to get out of the Israeli army, I had to get in first because there was a brief spell of about six months or maybe a year, which is when I met my wife-to-be. 

[13:19] The time when Military Police were looking for Igor:

  • Military police were looking for me, but I was trying to stay low and just take an under the radar, and I was just working, y some odd jobs.

  • So when I got back into the army, I spent the first six months just trying to break the system and basically say, I will not conform to your rules. But that didn’t work.

[14:11] Igor finally found a way out:

  • I got out through a psychological assessment.

  • I gradually went from being a fully fit soldier to being almost like an unfit soldier, which reduced my profile within the system and therefore made me a less attractive candidate to advance further in a career within the structure of the military.

  • I threatened my superior. I threatened my fellow soldiers, but just the ones that didn’t like much, not the ones that were. And I kind of made it clear to them that I was mentally unstable. And then I continuously kept on requesting to see a shrink.

  • I finally got several psychiatric assessments, a total of three assessments that I had to go through, and I had to keep to my story. I had to really develop a character for a depressed and unstable individual. I started telling them things like, I get drunk and I violently, you know, hit my wife or something. I started making up a lot of that stuff, and I really got into the character.

  • I was so desperate to get out that I was like, you know, what? If I have to pay six months to get out of an army service that would otherwise keep me there for three to five years, I’m willing to pay that.

  • I just had different plans. And for the first time in my life, I actually felt encouraged that I could go and pursue them, that my needs were above the needs of the state, that my needs were above the opinion of my mother, that my needs mattered more than whatever anyone else told me that I should be thinking.

[18:40] Igor as a child:

  • One thing that this sort of structure instills in you is a sense of discipline and a sense of completing the assignments and the tasks you are given. But I was always like that.

  • The army kind of highlighted it for me, but I was always like that, even when I was a kid.

  • You never had to remind me that I needed to do my homework. You never had to ask me twice to go take out the trash. Like, I was super sensitive to my responsibilities as a member of a unit, be it my family, be it the inner circle that I belong to in my social relationships, or be it in the army, or in my platoon.

[19:55] Sometimes you have to lose it all to have it all:

  • It was so difficult for me to embrace the absolute opposite behavior that would be required for me to get out.

  • I had to ignore everyone else’s needs. I had to ignore my superiors. I had to ignore my friends. I mean, it even got to a point where I lost friends. They just didn’t get me.

  • One of my best buddies stopped talking to me. He stopped picking up the phone. He thought I went crazy and he didn’t want to continue that friendship. And even though he recognized that I was doing this with a purpose, he basically couldn’t accept it. 

[20:52] Igor’s book on email marketing:



Igor Kheifets is an amazon best-selling author of the List Building Lifestyle: Confessions of an Email Millionaire.

He’s also the host of List Building Lifestyle, the podcast for anyone who wants to make more money and have more freedom by leveraging the power of an email list

He’s widely referred to as the go-to authority on building large responsive email lists in record time.

Igor’s passionate about showing people how to live the List Building Lifestyle.