Monday, March 19, 2012

Why does it rain? For the rainbow! Everything happens for a reason☆雨って何で降るの?虹のため♪「全ての出来事には、理由がある」私が好きな言葉。


The other day, I participated in an seminar designed to give female college students insights into different career styles for a head start in their own career planning.


As a guest speaker, I talked about my personal experience in looking for a career and also my values on work and life.

「好きな言葉」と言うテーマでは、Everything happens for a reason、英語の名言について話した。

AS one of the topics, we were asked to share our favorite sayings. My favorite quote is "Everything happens for a reason."




Believing in this saying allows me to be optimistic about almost everything!


Yes, we all have our bad days; things that trouble us; things that make us sad. But all of those things that make us feel that way and those emotions themselves have meaning and happens for a reason.


You could say that it's all afterthought, but that's not the point.


The point is, is that by just believing that everything happens for a reason, you can move on, and most likely, onto something better.


And most importantly,


obrings opportunities. Or at least gives you the antenna to help you notice them.


Sadness, madness, hopelessness, I get all that too.


But don't drag those negative feelings on forever. Move on!


And then one day, you'll realize "oh, that's why that happened the way it did."


What I was trying to tell these students with this phrase is that, you're going to apply for lots of jobs, and you might not get the one you want, because that's just life.


But, I'll bet that there is a job waiting for you. A job that fits you better, that needs you, and that you'll need as well. You might not know it now, but you'll find out :)



Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sometimes you just know you have to do it. My new English lessons☆なんか使命的な予感がしてw。。。私の新しい英会話のきっかけ。

With the spread of smart phones and social media in Japan, I felt the video culture (you tube culture) coming and decided to start a series of video english lessons last summer.


Releasing videos on the web is more than a little embarrassing, so I don't know where I got the courage to do it, but one day I found myself sitting in front of my PC talking into the little camera on my MAC.


After a few lessons I realized it was actually gaining quite a bit of attention and I started to received numerous comments on my videos and facebook page.

そしたら以外と反響があり、Facebook, YouTube等で知らない人も沢山コメントしてくれたりメッセージをくれるようになった。

I hadn't even been looking at my You Tube Channel ... but all of the sudden I had 400 subscribers with more and more subscribing everyday.


People were really enjoying my lessons!


I started to see potential in my work and decided to start taking it more seriously. But of course "being busy" is a great excuse for everything and there went January without having done a thing. Then one day, I met an American guy at a tiny Starbucks near a famous fishmarket in Japan who so happened to be CEO of a company that provided an english learning platform for various types of educational content. He asked if I would want to provide my videos as content for their site, which really got me thinking.


Wow, this could someday be a career even. This was the real trigger I needed to get things going. I won't be getting into paid content just yet. I need to solidify my style and see more people's reactions to my work, but just knowing that it's a possibility changes my whole outlook on things.


A few weeks after my meeting with the CEO at the Starbucks in Tsukiji, another thing happened that blew my mind. We had a new client come into the salon and what do you know? She found the salon through my You Tube videos! I had goosebumps when I found out.


I felt that all of this was a go sign for me. Do it! So I decided to start a new series.


I'll still be providing the same type of content. English lessons based on my life and things in everyday life that I notice about people studying English. But this time, I'm going to add more "fun" to it all!


For those of you that don't speak Japanese, you won't understand what I'm saying in this video, but I am wearing a goofy costume that will give you good reason to make fun of me!





Thursday, February 2, 2012

You have to manage emotions not just control them. Relating self management to cold prevention. 感情は、コントロールするものではない、管理するもの。セルフマネジメントは、風邪予防。

Love, sympathy, happiness. Such positive feelings of emotions should be shared.


Jealousy, anger, sadness, hatred, on the other hand, are negative emotions that should be thoroughly processed and converted into positive energy before releasing.


Without this conversion, you're likely to lose out on a lot.


Today, something happened that nearly put me over the edge.



Of course I didn't do anything crazy, and I was able to control my emotions right then and there, but for awhile after, I couldn't get rid of this feeling of anger.


Surprised at how emotional I felt towards the situation, I desperately searched for a way to process it all. Taking deep breaths of the cold air outside, I tried to figure out why I was feeling so angry and how I could have avoided feeling this way.


I often tell my friends who get angry about little things that they need to control their emotions, but I realized today how half-ass that advice is.  Once you become emotional and that switch is turned on, it's very difficult to control it. Even a person as calm as me (usually) has a hard time.


So what's my theory? Emotions are not something you control, but something you manage. More specifically, it's something you prevent before trying to control.


Some of you may have seen the crazy white masks that Japanese people wear to prevent getting sick. I can't say that this works 100% of the time, but it may be the reason why Japanese people have the highest life expectancy in the world. Emotions are the same. You can't prevent it absolutely, but perhaps just enough that it's worth trying.


If you think ahead and identify mitigations, you should be able to decrease the probability of a stresful event and thus, decrease the probability of experiencing negative emotions.


If I would have been more careful today, and had planned things out, I wouldn't have had to feel the way I did. I could have avoided the whole thing. I knew it was going to happen, I even saw it coming, but because I failed to identify or implement the mitigations, I ended up feeling like crap.


Getting your stuff ready the night before so you don't forget to bring that important document to work. Setting two alarms so you're not late to your early morning meeting. These are both actions to mitigate the risk of experiencing stressful situations that lead to negative emotions. Quite simple ones, though, I must admit.


But emotions that involve other people are much more complex. There's a whole new set of emotions and values that come into play that you are less familiar with than the ones you have yourself. That's why it's so important to think ahead of the game.


Of course life has its unexpected's and things don't always go as planned. That's why you ALSO need to identify countermeasures. Skills to prevent stressful situations that lead to negative emotions and skills to deal with those emotions when the situation cannot be prevented.


Without these two skills, you're in for a lot of trouble.

If you can't prevent stressful situations, you could complicate relationships, end friendships, or lose important business negotiations. If you can't deal with emotions (your back up plan to the unexpected's) you'll waste time feeling upset, and further damage relationships that you might have otherwise been able to salvage.


Preventing should be an easier task. You just have to be fully aware of the situation and forecast what's to come and think one step ahead. Just simple planning. Processing the emotion, on the other hand, is much more difficult as "personality" comes into play. Just as people with strong immune systems can deal with colds better than those with weak immune systems, people that are optimistic can deal with emotions better than those that are pessimistic.


For about 10 minutes after the incident, I was blowing off steam and further upsetting myself with "I can't believe this," "it's such a waste of my time," "why did't I do something about it."


But because of my optimistic nature (i.e. strong immune system), I decided to convert this negative energy into something positive by telling myself that this was actually a good opportunity to understand myself better and that I'll know better next time. When something bad happens, you can either deal with it or drag it along. The moment I realized that I was wasting my time and energy even more by thinking negatively about the situation, I was able to reverse my emotions.


I guess this is all about self management. But you have to break it up into components that you understand and put it together in a way that makes sense to you. For me, I realized that preventing stressful situations and dealing with emotions is just like preventing a cold and dealing with the symptoms. I think understanding this process in your own terms is the most important part of not repeating your mistakes.


When you're optimistic, a bad day can turn into a good day just like that!



Monday, January 16, 2012

Going around in circles is part of life. What matters is what you make of it. ぐるぐる回るのも人生。そこから何を生み出すかが大切!

So I haven't been updating my blog lately. My normal excuse would be that I'm too busy, but this time, it's more because I just haven't felt passionate enough to write about anything.


I got myself involved in too many things, wanted to do everything left and right, and as a result, everything has been half-ass; going around in circles.


I've talked about building a support structure for women and creating a place that creates dreams. But in reality, I haven't done much at all. I've talked about wanting to contribute to society through my business, but have been too busy just trying to keep my business running that any visions or missions that  I had barely exist.


All through the holidays, I was pretty much sick of this greedy selfish me that couldn't accomplish anything I had set to. As optimistic as I am, I'm only human. I guess it's healthy to have low points once in awhile; a good reality check actually.

バカみたいに前向きな私だって人間なんだからこう言う時期もあるよねw そしてこう言う時期があるからこそ、自分を見直そうと思うし、より良い道を選ぼうと思う。

And thankfully, all the fog started to clear up a little.


I also realized I don't have to be in such a hurry all the time. Trying to do everything at once, doesn't result in much.


The important thing is to keep moving forward in the right direction, even if it's one step at a time.


This year, I'm going to take steps to ensure that the "supporting women" concept that I have been throwing around, actually takes shape.


To do this though, I'll need some help. A sole proprietor isn't going to cut it.


I'll need to utilize a much bigger network.


Last year I tried the "supporting women" thing through my salon, but with such limited resources, there's not much you can do. So this year, I've decided to start a women's initiative at the consulting firm where I work.


The US operations have been taking measures to retain and advance women through their women's initiative since 1993.


In Japan, the topic came up just last year. Of course the partners and managers were too busy with their projects to get anything going, so I decided that I should take an active role.


I guess all that the partners and managers needed was a little push. Ever since I told them that I wanted to begin doing something, things have started to move along and we're planning our first event next month.


First will be the research phase. Our first event will be a casual get together to meet one another to understand who this initiative is for. Being at the client's site most of the time, we barely get a chance to meet members outside of our projects.


By creating a place where women can network and share issues and ideas, we can gather useful information on what kind of processes and systems are necessary to lower retention rates, to improve recruiting of skilled women, and to provide a working environment that allows women to advance in an industry like consulting. That'll be our next step.


Moving forward one step at a time.


All of the things I learn from starting up and running this initiative, I would like to connect to my own business and future lifework.


I think I'm starting to see what steps I need to take and in what direction.


so hopefully, I'll be able to write more going forth.



Monday, September 26, 2011

Concerned. That's a blessing. 悩むって実は良い事。

Today was the first girl's night at Dolce.
With only one recliner in the whole place, my good friends Ami and Miki and I sat on the wood floor and talked away.


We all have our issues. Our thoughts on the future. What we should do going forth and how our actions now are going to connect with the actions we want to take later in life. We're at a point where "marriage" and "family" are all becoming reality and as women, we start thinking about what to do with our careers.


But having issues and having things to think about, a future to worry about is actually a blessing. The reason why we have concerns is because we have choices. Because there is something to make better. There's no need to think that "concerns" are a negative thing.


You can always continue to think while taking action. I think a fulfilling life is one where you always have something to be concerned about. You decide on one thing, act on it, but then another issue comes up. But that's really a sign of current growth, and hope for continued future growth.


I act like I don't have any concerns in life, but that's definitely not the case lol. After opening Nail Up, I was always questioning whether this business was really utilizing my strengths, or whether it was fulfilling my future objectives ... or what were my objectives to begin with? Maybe you're supposed to think these things through before acting on it, but I guess I do things a bit out of order.


I believe that taking action is the best way to grow. If you don't, you get stuck thinking in circles and stop yourself based on very limited input, and leave absolutely no result. You start at zero and end at zero. I don't care if I start at zero and end in the negatives; because I believe that the next time around I'll be that much more positive. Failure is a result, after all.


Ami, Miki, let's keep thinking and let's keep living. Simultaneously.