Beyond hyper-crisis

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all–in which case, you fail by default.
–J.K. Rowling
The commencement speech given by Steve Jobs at Stanford in 2005 ending “Stay hungry, stay foolish” is legendary even here in Japan. But the commencement speech given by J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, at Harvard University in 2008 is not widely known.
It’s hard to find people who don’t know Ms. Rowling, especially her book nowadays. But in her speech, she tells a story when she had been striking an uneasy balance between her ambition to be a novelist and her parents' expectation for her to see the reality when she was growing up.

Find your own “Why”

When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.
–Simon Sinek
“Do you compare yourself with other people to see who is inferior and superior?” This was a question asked to me the other day when I attended a seminar called “Management of emotion” held by one of my friends. We were discussing about “contempt and insult”, which is one of the four factors that hamper smooth communication. “I think I do.” I answered and felt a little embarrassed.
Having been born during the second baby-boom in Japan, everything was about competition. I’d always feared that once I stopped competing, I’m out. In fact, even at the age of 37, I still have a habit of saying “Oh-huh, what’s next?” every time I finish something rather than saying “Phew, I deserve a break.”