The Lighthouse Hawaii magazine has started a special column since October 16, 2016 issue titled "May I Speak Up? by Masako Nashimoto". Here Nashi offers her observations and opinions about the world we live in.
Lighthouse誌では2016年10月16日号より、新コラム「梨本昌子のちょっと言ってもいいかしら?」が始まりました。Nashimoto & Associates社長の“Nashi”こと梨本昌子が、彼女独自の観察と意見と共に、ハワイで頑張る皆さんへ厳しくも熱いエールを贈ります。
You’re happy without any worries about family or finance, but you feel your life is boring? Life can be enjoyable if you repeat reflection and improvement every day. We can keep these 4 things in mind to improve:
- Try 3 new things every day.
- Try something setting a high bar.
- Look for someone to talk to.
- Keep your diary.
Most sparkling people have many touch points with people and society through various activities such as volunteerism. We need to nurture our own “leadership capability.” Please try making an effort, as “happiness doesn’t come walking to us by itself.”
I volunteer as Board Vice Chair/Co-Secretary of Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH), NPO, whose mission is to help international tourists when in need, accident or incident while vacationing in Hawaii, with the hope that they come back to Hawaii in the future. With the high ratio of Japanese having incidents in Hawaii, many times day or night I need to stop what I am doing and rush to the site of the incident whenever I receive a call from whoever needs me.
Recent frequent incidents include stolen passports, cash, and luggage/suitcase (entire family’s belongings) from a trunk of rented car while at the beach or shopping until hotel check-in time. They often ask, “How can this happen?” or say, “This would never happen in Japan. Japan is so much better”. Such thinking should never be an excuse to assume it would never happen in Hawaii as this is considered “naïve” thinking. Unfortunately, this thinking that “Japan is safer, therefore better” also makes the Japanese disliked while in Hawaii.
There are many reasons & behavior that can make Japanese visitors disliked in Hawaii community:
- Uniformity - like to be the same as everyone else.
- Detached - Indifferent to politics.
- Do not understand the good of Japan.
- Work-oriented without humor.
- Care too much about what others think and do not share real thoughts or feelings.
We need to be aware that being naïve can also make Japanese virtue misunderstood or misinterpreted.
Many think “being disliked” is not a good thing, but did you know that “being afraid of being disliked” can deter your self-growth? Japanese tend to favor standing in line with everyone else not to be pushed down due to one’s strong character. However, that makes them “ordinary = no character” and they would be soon forgotten by people.
Per Alfred Adler, a famous psychotherapist, people are afraid of being disliked due to 3 reasons:
- Lack of confidence.
- Lack of aspiration.
- Strong obsession for not to be disliked.
Life is a journey and “being disliked” is kind of an initiation in the growing process. In this age when people’s values are diversifying, you should throw away your idea of wanting to be “normal,” be true to yourself and live with curiosity and courage.
One of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturing companies conducted a survey of business professionals in Tokyo, 20 to 59 years of age with a theme “Do you feel tired?” & the reason for your tiredness.
As a result, 80% of the respondents answered that they were feeling tired & the top 2 reasons were:
- Relationships at work (44%).
- Contents of work (40%).
In response to “What kind of boss’s words can make you tired the most?”, the following answers were on top 3:
- It’s such a common sense.
- You can’t do that easy work?
- Didn’t I tell you before?
Management needs to know how their words can make their employees tiredness, even if unintentionally. Not to ruin relationships, let’s tell them how thankful you are for what they do.
I have always been a person who loves to win every game, but this characteristic can cause “too much work” sometimes. Through some bitter experience I had in high school, I learned to enjoy working even on negative issues, not to overwork myself.
As a Medical Doctor and author, Junichi Watanabe said in his book before he passed away 3 years ago, “nothing is more powerful than adaptability in this internationalized era, and the origin of this adaptability is ‘thick skin’.” Mr. Kenichiro Mogi, a famous brain scientist indicates “everything goes well without deep thought.” He also says that management “does better being goofy.” Let’s admit that we are goofy – It’s important to be able to forgive yourself. Have faith, and enjoy every day without focusing too much on details. Things will then go to a better direction.
After my 10+ year career in Japan, I moved to Hawaii in 1982 and founded N&A, and this year celebrates our 35th anniversary. The reason I could have kept working this long is only this; I have been enjoying my work.
It is said that people spend 60% to 70% of one’s lifetime working, meaning enjoying work can change your life. So please try to seek out the way to enjoy your work through examining characteristics of people doing so and vice versa. My definition of the word “work” is “to make people beside you feel easy.” Try to gain experiences feeling worthwhile for serving someone’s needs, not only for yourself, and think about how you would like to live going forward.
Per statistical results, the time used for Social Network Service (SNS) has doubled in the last 10 years in the US, and on the other hand, time for phone calls/meeting with people has decreased by 10%.
While I personally use Facebook and Instagram to catch up with the trend, and use e-mail and texts for work, I always try to secure time to visit sites or meet with counterparts in person to maintain close relationship.
What I have found recently from work is that people who try to do business only online tend to be afraid of facing their counterparts. Being unable to leverage both online and offline effectively means that the interpersonal communication capability is not sufficient. We should pay attention to it to drive things better, especially when we live in an SNS era.
It is always difficult to know each culture’s way especially when it comes to ceremonial occasions. You’re not supposed to show up with an empty hand for someone’s birthday party even if you were told not to bring any gifts, you’re expected to wear your boldest aloha clothes for someone’s locally-themed funeral, or many Chinese people wear red and black for a funeral unlike black only, which is Japanese common understanding; the list goes on.
Most important thing is to consider about the host’s delight as the top priority for each occasion. You will then naturally become a part of the Hawaii community.