Since September of 2016, my concerted promotion efforts for the Japanese version of The McKinsey Edge (47原則：世界で仕事がきる人はどこで差をつけているのか？）gradually came to a happy ending including a 4th reprint and some ten-thousand copies to be sold over the next few months. I pulled in all my efforts and it really paid off. There’s a saying my wife uses a lot to me: “If you have done everything you can, there’s really nothing to regret about.” And, that was how I felt. The return on my time and effort was not only great, it was emotionally gratifying. “Focus on fulfillment and not achievement,” Tony Robbins said in one of his podcasts. It really made sense. I was fulfilled. Not on my external accomplishments but on conquering my internal laziness. I was more focused and diligent and was able to do away with a shortcut type of mindset, which made the process tedious and laborious but in every way, meaningful, as my day ended. I set out to create blogs by hiring a professional consultant who set me up with a wonderful blog. I also set out to write personalized emails to over 150 people, both personal friends and work-related colleagues. I set certain expectation boundaries, such as, the response rate of such emails will be 5% max based on historical research. So when i didn’t hear back from so many of them, I was not disheartened or alarmed. I picked up certain things along the process as well. For example, contrary to my conventional belief that people closer to you would be more responsive, caring and supportive, as it turns out, people who I have barely spoken to for a while wrote back with kudos. This was largely the case for people who were not my friends but work-related contacts. I also learned that, ostensibly, people know when you have spent quality time drafting an email. I have also learned that it is just as important to hand the trust and appreciation baton to the reader (who is much more thoughtful than one is lead to believe) rather than thinking no one will really give a damn.
Unfortunately, the culture of immediate gratification is hard to undo. It was ingrained in my millennial generation: to accept the instant rewards. Had I only knew about waiting on those marshmallows, I would definitely have been a better individual today.
Long story short, I came to appreciate the experience and journey–doing it the longer way. The more I appreciated the hard manual labor of each day, the better I felt about myself. I wasn’t worried whether my labor would in return bring me the intended benefits anymore. Instead, all I needed to do was to believe everything would turn out well.
Now in October, after a well-deserved getaway for two weeks abroad (thanks to my wife who painstakingly planned for it!), I am back with a new project in hand. Over the past year, I have read several books, experienced something new (becoming an author with a public profile) and thus, would like to share with you some memorable takeaways. Most likely, it will spawn into something like a new book project, but still uncertain of how to crystalline the right form.
- Life is not a rehearsal
- Reading makes you richer
- Build your character
- Create and Conquer Internal Goals as well as External Goals
- Life is simple (Period)
- There’s always two of you: the emotional you and the rational you
- Writing is pleasure
- Three Must-Haves: Confidence, Belief and Habit
- Put Time First
- Leave some room for gobblydegook
- Only execution matters
- Honesty rids personal inferiority
So, on my 12 hour plane back from Paris to Tokyo with an unexpected stopover in St. Petersburg due to a medical emergency of one of the airline crew members, I realized that my list may be the key to unlocking something wonderful in me.
I had fought many years to find some kind of peace with life but realized, peace had already existed everywhere. All I had to do was to look–open my eyes. Open my heart.
Let me elaborate on the next blog, where this is going to take you and me.