Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Not Rushing is Imperfect


Damn, it's been a year. Long time!

In the last 2 days I wrote 9000 English words of psychological stuff for myself and (hopefully) rewired my thinking positively on a lot of fronts. I decide to share two little discoveries. By no means the most exciting or life changing ones, but useful ones nonetheless and more likely to be understood by others.

1) Rushing
I'm not sure if this is always the case (probably not), but I've realized that for me sometimes when I rush something, I subconsciously start to dislike it. I suppose my subconscious mind thinks that because I want it to be over quickly, it means I don't like it. In the same way, doing something more slowly (I basically never do this nowadays), I sometimes start the like things more.

2) Perfection
This probably depends on your point of view, but I believe perfection does not exist. It may sound pessimistic, but that's only the case if you believe imperfection to be bad, which I don't believe to be true. If you ask me why I adopted this viewpoint, it's because if you believe perfection exists and you want to erase all faults and want to improve everything as much as possible, this'll lead to eternal unhappiness. Reason being that it's realistically speaking unattainable. However, if you believe that perfection does not exist and that whatever you do you'll be in a state of imperfection, you can start to enjoy the process of improving things.





Friday, 19 December 2014

What I learned from starting and failing my 1st company 一つ目の会社を設立して失敗させたおかげで身に付けた事

I first tried being very detailed, but it ended up being a massive mess and unstructured. So here it is in a simplified hopefully more easily readable format.


The main lessons I learned from starting and failing my 1st company:

1) Businesses don't start with ideas, but with problems.
When I first started out, I thought the first thing to do was to find an idea. However, businesses are entities that make money. To do so they create something that other entities (consumers, businesses, governments) are willing to pay for. In most cases this means the business solves a problem that was previously either unsolved, insufficiently solved or has found a way to solve a problem cheaper. An idea is cool and all, but other entities in this capitalistic world don't pay for ideas. They pay for products and services that solve their problems or fulfill their needs/desires. If you can't answer what problem your company solves or what need/desire it fulfills, you're likely in big trouble.



2) I lacked a proper business plan when I started out.
I started working on this idea, got excited about it and a few months later I realized I had to think of ways to monetize it, market it and that I had to look deeper into competitors, risks etc. At this point I was already excited, working my ass off to make it a success and I didn't objectively look at any of these factors anymore. I wanted to make the business a success and to do so I had to think of a way to monetize it. I had to think of a marketing plan. I had to think about competitors and what we would do differently. I had to think about the risks and how we would do our best to negate them. Ideally you should create a business plan before committing to the project, objectively judge whether it is viable and ask feedback from many knowledgeable people on whether they also think it is viable. Then if the overall consensus is that it is a viable business, you go for it.


3) Only outsource simple short-term projects.
At first I thought that a mobile language exchange application would be a simple project and thus outsourcing wasn't that crazy of an idea. However, later on my vision became more long-term AND after speaking to outsourcing companies and receiving much higher quotes than I expected, I didn't realize that this was not a project that should've been outsourced to a 3rd party. To entice clients to work with them all outsourcers give impossible quotes. I was told it'd be done in a little over 3 months, but after 9 months it was still not done. Apart from that I actually got a lot more than I would've at an average outsourcing company, because I outsourced to a friend who's a great guy. However, that wasn't enough to make up for my mistake of outsourcing a project that shouldn't have been outsourced in the first place. Transitioning from outsourcing to in-house development is very hard and without a constant, deep involvement in the development process by a person sharing in the vision complicated projects have a high rate of failure when outsourced. As such, only outsource simple projects that will not be further developed in-house after completion.


4)  I hired instead of finding co-founders.
Even if you hire top notch employees the relationship you have with them and the level of their commitment and involvement in the project is going to be completely different from a co-founder. Starting a successful business takes insane amounts of work and you can't ask employees to work much more than 40 hours a week. However, the right team of co-founders will work together almost around the clock to make the business a success. I started out working 60-80 hour workweeks at the very beginning, but have to admit that due to some pretty bad personal issues in the 3rd quarter this year and somewhat due to a lack of work for me to do I wasn't putting in that many hours a week towards the end, so I wasn't a good example of a hard-working founder anymore either. There's a lot more things that having co-founders adds, but I made the mistake not to look for co-founders. You can't change the world on your own. You need people to change the world with.


5) Seek constant critical feedback from knowledgeable outsiders.
Although I had 2 employees towards the end, the only person running the business and the only person ever truly critiquing the business was myself. But as mentioned under #2, after starting this project I lived in a bit of a bubble because I was trying too hard to make it succeed and as a result I was never able to objectively look at the business anymore. Co-founders would've maybe given a bit of a different perspective, but co-founders too live somewhat in the same bubble. As such it is necessary to seek constant critique from outsiders. And not just that, but push them to give you their most honest opinion, because many (I too am often guilty of this) hold back what they really think. Maybe they don't want to be negative or they don't want to hurt your feelings. Whatever it is, it is important to constantly get the honest opinion of knowledgeable outsiders. Investors, mentors, other entrepreneurs etc. Although I did some of this, it was too little and infrequently. The best way to learn is from others. Especially people who know more about some things than you do and people who can give you different perspectives.


There's a number of other mistakes I made in regards to this project specifically such as:

- Developing for 2 platforms from the beginning.

- When it turned out the code from the outsourcing was extremely bad and was recommended to start production from scratch I didn't seriously consider the other 2 options:
1) Working with the outsourced code.
2) Stopping the project and firing my employees after only 2 weeks.
Due to personal issues going on, constantly hearing how bad the code was and living in a bubble I didn't properly consider these 2 alternatives and agreed to redevelop from scratch.


- 最初から両プラトフォームを開発して来たこと。

- アウトソースから貰ったコードがとても悪いのを露顕し、従業員に改めて開発すべきだと勧められたら、他の二つの選択肢を未満に考慮した。

Another thing I want to touch on is what people often say about execution being more important than the idea. Besides the point that businesses generally don't spring forth from ideas, it is actually impossible to execute a flawed business plan successfully regardless of how good the execution is. Working extra hard and being extra smart about marketing/sales etc. is not going to save a business plan that is flawed at it's core.


There's some stuff I think I did very well too, such as the design/wire-framing. It's not that I can't do an even better job now if I did it again. It wasn't perfect, but overall I think I did a very good job at the (original) app's design.

There's definitely other stuff I did bad and did well and maybe I'll add more to this post in the future, as a reference for myself (and perhaps others), but this is enough for now.


Right now I just want to clean up this mess and move on with my life. It's really fortunate I have a fun weekend ahead of me because I really need one. Saturday is volunteering with university students and Sunday is an event with ~20-30 friends.


Last but not least, I want to apologize to my employees and any other people I let down, and at the same time thank everybody who has given me advice and helped me along the way. (Especially as of late with the investor deck!) I learned MANY MANY things during this project and promise to put them to good use in the future. I'd be surprised if this was the last time I started a business.



Tuesday, 4 November 2014

1609 Kanji in under 5 months!! 5ヶ月以内漢字検定10級から3級まで!!


At the start of June it looked like business wouldn't be as busy for a while, so I decided I'd focus on studying Japanese and improving my Japanese skill, which I had been slacking on for a while. I had already finished a beginner and intermediate textbook and was a little lost what the next best step would be. Eventually I concluded that the better I understand kanji, the more my Japanese skill would improve.


It wasn't the first time I decided to study kanji. I had studied kanji intensively for about a month before officially moving to Japan. I stayed in Japan for 3 months to decide whether I really wanted to move to Japan or not and studied a couple of hours a day for about a month. Every day I'd write 10 kanji and remember 2 words in which that kanji is used. Of course I also reviewed those kanji for a while after first learning them. This time however, I decided I wanted to develop a more efficient kanji learning system.


I first tried the somewhat well known Heisig method, but it requires you to learn the meaning of 2000 characters before learning any of there really useful stuff like the Japanese and Chinese readings of each character and what words kanji are used in. After a few days I gave up, because it just didn't suit me at all. From there on out I tried to find out how actual Japanese people themselves study kanji. I didn't find out how they study in school, but I did discover how Japanese people outside of school study kanji. Namely with the Kanji Kentei Step Books aimed towards people taking the Kanji Kentei test. This method of studying is very systematic and therefore really suits me, so I decided to go with it.


I'll explain my method in more detail. For every kanji I first thoroughly investigate them with a dictionary and note them down in electronic flash cards. After that I choose at least one word for each Japanese and each Chinese reading and save those to a flash card too. Whenever possible I choose common words that are often used, although this got rather hard when I got to level 4 and 3. From there on out, I write the kanji a few times. Once I finish doing this with all the kanji in a certain chapter I solve the exercises in the book and continue on with the next chapter. On top of this I review all the flash cards I create for the following 1-2 months in increasingly longer intervals. During these 5 months I studied about 150-200 flashcards on average per day for about 1-2 hours a day. After I finished those, I'd move on to learning new kanji.


In the current day in age it's not all that useful to posses the ability to write kanji and because it also takes a lot of time to learn and remember how to write all the characters I had never studied writing before. However, to study using the Kanji Kentei Step method, you have to learn how to write them as well. Because the study method intrigued me so much, I decided to go with it anyway. I could probably recognize about 600 kanji in context, but write maybe 50 at most, so I had to restart from the very beginning with Level 10(the lowest level, with 1 being the highest. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, sub-2, 2, sub-1, 1).


Levels 10, 9 and 8 were rather easy, because I often saw and read the vast majority of the kanji and knew the majority of compound words they are used in. As a result I went through these first three levels rather quickly. However, after the first three it gradually became more and more difficult. In level 7 there were kanji such as "麦芽" meaning "Malt" that I had never encountered before and aren't used very often. At the start of July I had already learned 600 something kanji and started level 7.


During July I was extremely ill for 2 weeks and felt like shit for another 2, but despite all of this I nonetheless managed to finish level 7 and 6. In August I started level 5 which became even more difficult. The amount of kanji I recognized continuously declined and the ones I had never seen before continuously increased. I think I was able to recognize about half the kanji in level 5. Because work was a little busier in August I only managed to finish level 5.


In September I fell ill just like July and couldn't study at all for a week. Regardless, I finished the even more difficult level 4. At this point there were far more kanji that I had never seen before than that I already knew and the kanji I didn't know also significantly increased in difficult. There were many with extremely abstract meanings that even after looking up the English translation in the dictionary I didn't understand. Fortunately enough my friend who used to be the #2 scrabble player in the world and is still one of the top players helped me out with his vast vocabulary.


When October started, I decided I'd take the actual Kanji Kentei test level 3 on the 26th of October. For that purpose I studied like a madman and finished the level 3 kanji(over 300!!) in less than 2 and a half weeks. There were very few kanji in level 3 that I already knew. I think that over 90% I had never seen before and that for over 80% of them I had never heard any of the words they were used in. The kanji I didn't know also further increased in abstractness and there were many kanji with nearly the same meaning as other kanjis I had learned before, thus increasing confusion, which one is which. I'm not sure how I managed to complete level 3 and learn over 300 new characters in under 3 weeks, but it was extremely hard and although I love kanji, studying wasn't fun at all during this period.


The week before the actual exam I made past exams to prepare. Out of the 14 I made I passed all but 2, so I was pretty confident albeit EXHAUSTED going into the exam.

A past exam I barely failed 

A past exam I barely passed

The best score I got on a past exam


The exam location that had been appointed to me was Teikyou University near Juujou station. It was pretty busy and just as I expected I was the only non-Japanese person to take the test. Most of the test takers were middle school and high school students. Most of them were probably encouraged to take the test by their parents and/or teachers, so none really seemed to be too worried about the test. I however, wanted to pass extremely badly and was extremely nervous.



After the test started I continued to be nervous for a while, but after about 15-20 minutes had passed I realized the test was actually extremely easy and loosened up.  It was actually so easy that I finished the entire test in under 45 minutes and the explanation by the person in charge before the test began was harder! I used the remaining 15 minutes to review my own answers, but the only change I made actually ended up being me changing a correct answer into an incorrect one... oh well.

結果は40日間掛かるが、自分の答えを審査したと、多分176点で合格したと判断した。合格点は140点だから、幾つかの答えを見損なったとしても、合格したはずだ。驚くことに、最初に一番難しい四字熟語の問題は満点!  \(^o^)/

It takes about 40 days until I get the result, but when I went over my own answers, it looked like I probably passed with about 176/200 points. 140 points are necessary to pass, so it should leave enough room for mistakes I missed. Surprisingly enough, I ended up getting a perfect score on the part that was initially the hardest (4 kanji compound words)!

The actual exam

A bunch of friends helped me with my 4 Kanji Compounds


Because I studied WAY too much for 5 months, I want to take a little break from it in November, but I think I want to take level sub-2 as well at some point. There's a chance I'll take level 2 too eventually, but I haven't decided on that yet. I have decided however, that I will definitely not take level sub-1 and level 1, because they're nothing but a waste of time and self-torture. The kanji you learn there are practically never used (kanji for specific flowers/mushrooms, different ways to write kanjis you've already learned that went out of practice hundreds of years ago etc. etc.).

俺は大学に行ってから、「凄いなぁ」と社会に思われることをかなりやって来て、「フランク、凄いなぁ!」と友達に誉められて頂く事も結構あって、「君を凄く誇っている」ともよく親に言われてくれる。他方で俺自身は「そんなに凄くなくて、普通だよ」と思っていて、誇られてくれたことは今まで一回も無いかも知れない。しかし、5ヶ月以内漢字検定10級から3級まで登って、フラッシュカードを6000枚作って記憶して、漢字を1609字覚えることは。。。一日当たり10字以上だ。 (0_0)

Ever since I've gone to university I've engaged in quite a few things that society considers 'amazing'. Friends have also told me every now and then that this or that thing I have done is amazing and my parents tell me they're proud of me extremely often. I myself on the other hand haven't ever been proud of anything in particular that I've done and always think it's not that amazing and pretty normal. Things just don't impress me very quickly. However, going from Kanji Kentei level 10 to 3 in under 5 months, creating and remembering 6000 flash cards and learning 1609 kanji, which is over 10 a day...


I may be proud of myself a little bit for the first time in my life, but as I grow stronger and become wiser, I wonder if this will also gradually become normal.

Friday, 15 August 2014

人類 個人的さと団結のバランス   Humanity: The balance between individualism and unity


It's been a while since I updated. Probably because nothing too interesting happened. Work's been slow and it's been a period where I couldn't do much else besides waiting. However, I've finally hired 2 employees who'll start work on Monday, so from here on out things will finally pick up again. The first year has been rather frustrating, but I'm postponing that talk to some later time. This blog I want to talk about an interesting thought I've had recently.


When I was motivating myself through watching Fairy Tail AMVs, I had an interesting thought. 'Why are these people so close and why are they willing to throw away anything and do anything for their friends?' Of course it's an anime, but I still think you can compare it to the real world. I believe that in the real world there are people who have friends as close as this and also people who don't have friends this close. However, even the ones that do have a limit to what they'd do for their friends, don't you think? For example, I think there's very few things that people wouldn't do for their family and lover, but at the very moment when someone has to throw away something EXTREMELY important to them to save this person, I think there's also people who would hesitate and not do it. I'm not sure whether there's a lot of very few of these people, but they certainly exist.


Anyway, this example is extreme and I'm generalizing the world, but I did start to wonder why humanity is so divided and individualistic. The answer is surprisingly simple. Our current society is simply enough an individualistic society and every one has different goals in life. In the 'Fairy Tail' guild everyone for the most part has the same goals, but in the real world everyone is trying to accomplish different dreams. However, not only this, but humanity is divided in various races. On top of this we're divided in various countries. And as if this isn't enough, within countries we're further divided into political parties, sports teams, Apple/Android etc. Generally speaking, humanity's diversity is thought of as a beautiful thing, but have you ever questioned this? I'm not trying to say that to me it seems like a purely evil thing, but isn't it obvious that our diversity has drawbacks and can be a dangerous thing as well?

逆の極端はStarcraft IIっていうビデオゲームのZergっていう種族の様な社会だ。Zergとは一つの精神があって個人的さが全く無い宇宙種族だ。人間に似合わなく、それより現在の状況の方が良いのも当たり前なのに、極端の間の個人的さと団結の良いバランスの社会はどう思う?今は団結が全然無いままではないけど、若し何とか人類には団結して戦い合う必要な適が現れたら、社会に良い影響だかも知れない。現在、人類は地球のたった一つの覇者であって、適も無く、重なり合う目標も少ない。Zergの様な宇宙種族に成るべきじゃない。だけど、人類は人々同士の区分が少しも消えて少しももっと団結して、人間の中で皆が同じチームに気付かれるとしたら、それこそ美しい事だと俺は思う。

The opposite extreme would be something like the Zerg race from the video game called Starcraft II. The Zerg is an alien race with a single consciousness and almost no individualism whatsoever. This doesn't really suite humans and this is obviously worse than the current situation, but how about a society somewhere in the middle of these 2 extremes with a good balance of individualism and unity? It's not like right now there is no unity whatsoever, but if an enemy were to appear that would force all of humanity to unite and fight together, I think that might have a positive influence on society. At the moment humanity is the single ruler on planet Earth and we have neither enemies nor many common goals. We shouldn't turn into an alien race like the Zerg, but if somehow humanity's divisions were to disappear, we became more united and people would realize that we humans are all on the same team, I think that would be a beautiful thing.


I still have thoughts remaining, but I've been doing my best for about 2 hours already, so this time I'll leave it at this. Kanji studies are progressing nicely too! I can write about 1150 characters now! Another 1000 or so remaining, but not bad. I think I've studied Kanji a little too much as of late, so my speed will probably drop a little bit. Actually, up till this point my pace has been absolutely insane/inhuman. However, even if my pace may slow down a little, I won't quit!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

675 Kanji in 4 weeks 四週間 漢字を675字

 感 -> 感じ   スペルミス


Ok basically that explains what I've been up to as of late. Kanji (Japanese characters from Chinese) study. Business hasn't been as busy, so I've been going insane studying Kanji. I live, I breathe and I dream Kanji Kanji Kanji!
I learned maybe 50-100 new ones and brushed up on existing Kanji knowledge, which isn't that impressive in a month, but whereas before I could write maybe 50 of them at best, in the last 4 weeks I learned how to write 675 Kanji, a 3rd of the Japanese alphabet, which takes Japanese elementary school kids about 4.5 years. Not bad, but not nearly done yet. I have another ~1.5 years of elementary school, 3 years of middle school and 3 years of high school study left to complete, so tomorrow I'll get right back to it.

However, before I can do so I will have some real work to do first for the first time in about a month. Reason being that I've found 2 developers am ready to sign contracts very very soon and need to get an office set up and organize various other things. As well as book a short holiday before things get really busy again. I'm thinking of visiting Hiroshima during the peace memorial event(atomic bomb remembrance).

I should probably write more, but honestly just want to get back to Kanji study, so I'll finish up with a quick 1st half of 2014 overview looking at my goals for this year:

1) 1.000.000$ Net Worth(basically Language Link worth about 1M$)
Hmmm, because in the last 3 months I have stopped caring about becoming really rich and decided I don't need insane amounts of money, but would rather add value to the world, this goal is now officially stupid as well. Although not impossible. I guess I'd like to complete a successful round of financing for Language Link before the end of the year.

2) Understand Japanese TV
Going pretty well. I understand the gist of the animes I'm currently watching. An anime I watched recently I actually understood about 95% without subtitles, but it was very simple admittedly. Harder animes maybe I understand 50-60%. So still a way to go.

3) Look like a fitness model
I've kind of accomplished this. I suppose I should probably cut another 2% of body fat or thereabouts, but I'd have to diet kind of strictly to get there and it may be hard to maintain. Although I generally hate satisfaction and detest what it does to my motivation, in this case it's not so bad. There's no way I'll stop working out even if I'm very satisfied with the way I look :)

Ok that's it. Gonna sleep, workout, eat, finish up business stuff asap and then back to Kanji study!!!


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Life Update & Some Happiness Psychology 人生の出来事 & 嬉しさ的で心理学的な話

It's been far too long since I've updated my blog! Although I've been very busy, it's not like there was no way I could've made time to update it, but somehow I just didn't really get around to it. Regardless... here goes!


Looking back at the last 2 months, the main trend I see is that I've been extremely happy almost every single day with very few exceptions. I don't think this 2-3 month period will turn into super precious memories, like a holiday can for example, because there's nothing that has really made it stand out from the months before. However, I've been unhappy for I think less than 7 days total, since the start of March and extraordinarily happy for the vast majority of the other days. Pretty crazy, but awesome!


If you asked me why I think this is, I would say part of it is having no injuries and thus being able to go to the gym a lot. As a result I've been healthy and well rested for the most part. Secondly, I think I've gotten stronger psychologically. I think I've become better at steering my mind and thoughts in the right direction and thus become better at making myself happy on a day-to-day basis.


Not everything has gone amazing. The outsourcing of the app development has been pretty bad and a few other things happened as well that were not great, but nonetheless I've been really really happy recently! :D

全部が良かった訳じゃない。アプリのアウトソーシングは良くなくて、他にも良くない事があった。しかし、最近は凄く嬉しかった! \(^o^)/

Business wise, I've unfortunately enough had to quit the entertainment project, because my main Language Link project has just gotten too busy and education is way way way more important to me personally than entertainment, so I made the choice to drop the entertainment project. Ideally I'd have 100 hours each and every day and do this project and 10 others, but this is not the case and I have to focus on what I most want to change in this world, which right now is education.

ビジネスはエンターテイメントのプロジェクトを辞めなきゃならなかった。メーンプロジェクトのLanguage Linkは忙し過ぎる様に成って来て、俺にとってエンターテイメントより教育の方が非常に大事なので、エンターテイメントの方を辞める事にした。毎日100時間以上が有るとしたら、勿論色んなプロジェクトを同時にするが、実際にそれを出来なくて、今この世界で一番変えたい教育を中心すべきだ。

Except for the User Acceptance Testing(basically bug fixing) of the application, the Language Link project is going well. Most recently I've worked very hard on working out the vision in more detail, especially for the near future(1st year or so). I've made financial spreadsheets, written documents about what it means to learn languages and the language education industry, done a competitor analysis, 1 year timeline, made early designs for some of the new features I want to add in the 1st year and last but not least created an investor presentation and executive summary. All of this will be beneficial in many ways:

  • It will help me convey my plans better to employees, customers, clients etc.
  • It has allowed me to make changes and fine-tune the plans in certain areas where it wasn't perfect.
  • If something about the plan changes(financials especially), it's easy to add it in there and see how it impacts the overall status.
  • I wouldn't say fully prepared, but I'm already quite well prepared to look for investment a few months after launch.
Language LinkってプロジェクトはUser Acceptance Testingしか何も良く進んでる。最近ビジョンを詳しくする事を頑張った。金融関係のスプレッドシートを作ったり、新しい言葉を学ぶ事って何かってドキュメントや言語教育業関係のドキュメント等を作成したり、一年間のタイムラインを作ったり、新しいフィーチャのデザインを作ったり、投資家に向けのプレゼンテーションを作ったり、エグゼクティブサマリーを作ったりしてた。色々なメリットがある:
  • ビジョンを従業員やお客さんやクライエント等に伝える事がもっと簡単に成る。
  • ビジョンをもっと詳しくて良くする事が出来た。
  • 途中で何か変わる場合には簡単にドキュメントを変えられて、含蓄が見える。
  • まだ完全って言えないかも知れないけれど、投資を受けるにもうかなり良く準備を出来た。
On top of all these documents and refining the vision, I've been searching hard for app developers and it's been going well! Planning to hire other people has also forced me to look for office space. Working from home and SB may have been okay so far, but to create an amazing work environment for my employees and to be able to communicate well and frequently, some sort of office is a must. Then again, we can't really afford a top of the line office as of right now, so I've mostly looked at co-working spaces, booths and incubators.


Yesterday I visited a co-working space in Nagatacho, that (probably because they received government funding) goes far above and beyond what normal co-working spaces offer and although it is slightly more expensive than most co-working spaces it is still quite affordable. I haven't decided 100% yet and will have to discuss with my future employees, but I think the place is amazing! Of course I'll try to post pictures once I move in to an office/co-working space.


I've also been looking for a corporate lawyer with mixed success so far, but it looks like there'll be 2 I can visit in the near future to see which one suits me best.


All in all, I am very excited. Even though I've never worked at a company before, I'm very excited to be creating my own and I think it will be loads of fun 'going to the office'. On top of that, I'm really really excited to see what investors will say about my plans. If they think they're great, awesome! If they think they suck, awesome in a different way, because it will provide an amazing opportunity to learn and make my plans even better. And then in general I am actually super excited for everything I have planned. Once we continue development in house there will be some awesome stuff coming out!

つまり、気がめっちゃくちゃ立ってる!会社で働いた経験がないにも関わらず、自分のを作って、オフィスに通う事をとっても楽しみにしてる。その上、投資家は俺の計画に対してどう思うかも非常に楽しみにしてる。凄いと思ったら、勿論良い事だ。悪いと思ったら、凄く勉強に成れて、計画をもっと改良出来る!それに、計画を具体にするところも超楽しみにしてる! ^^

Another thing I briefly want to talk about is a happiness/psychology thing and how I've noticed the 'implied happiness EV' of certain things. For example, things like playing a video game, going to karaoke and watching a movie are activities that will generally make you happy for a little while, but next week it usually has no impact anymore on how happy you are.

書きたい事がもう一つある。嬉しさと心理学に関係がある事だ。最近、或る物の'implied happiness EV'に気付いた。例えば、ビデオゲームをやったり、カラオケをしたり、映画を見たりするのに嬉しくさせるけど、次の週はその嬉しさがもう消えてる。

However, certain other activities can have a much longer lasting impact on your happiness. An example of this for me is, fitness. Not only do I feel healthy and energised, but also the way I look after a few years of training is a source of happiness for me every single day. Another example is certain trips like the one to Vegas. And even though I didn't have that great of a time in Singapore, somehow I still think about that trip sometimes and in a way it provides me with some happiness as a precious memory.



I guess this probably is similar to what it means to raise kids. Everything you put into them probably accumulates and they become a source of happiness for the rest of your life. It also makes me understand a certain Ted Talk better that I recently watched. It talked about a certain experiment where they gave random strangers some money and 50% was told to spend it on themselves and 50% was told to spend it on other people. The 50% who spent it on other people was found to be happier a few days after. They did other research too and claimed that doing things for other people is longer lasting happiness than other forms of happiness. I can kind of understand this now.

子供を育てると近い気持ちの気がする。子供に入れる事が集まれば集まる程、子供が嬉しさの源に成る気がする。更に、最近見たTed Talkはもっと分かる様に成った。研究家は実験をしたんだが、知らない人にお金を渡して、5割に自分に使う様に言って、他の5割に他の人に使う様に言った。数日後、自分に使った人より他の人に使った人の方が嬉しかった。あの研究家はもっと色んな研究をして、他の人にする事に生まれる嬉しさの方が長く残るって言っていた。今なら、結構分かる。

Ok, I think that's about all I have to say this time. I'll try and not wait 2 months before blogging again, but no promises!

じゃー、今回ここまでだ。また2ヶ月でアップデートしない様にご遠慮しようとする! ^^

Monday, 31 March 2014

States of Mind

There's 2 both quite psychological topics I really want to write about. Which one shall I choose to write about first... I guess I will pick the one that I think will be the shortest, because I'm still hyperbusy.

Since I went to the onsen a few weeks ago(trip report still to come I hope), I've been thinking a lot about the different states of mind I've noticed I can be in. The onsen wasn't the first time I noticed and thought about this topic, but laying in the onsen trying to take a break from everything and trying to relax and calm my mind, I tried to banish all thoughts from my mind and focus intensely on my 5 senses.
I was alone in the onsen late at night and listened to the noise that the water was making during it's various stages going from it's origin into the bath and eventually out of the bath. I also breathed in the air and tried to focus on the smell of the onsen water. Of course I also felt the sensation of the warm water and the currents throughout the bath. And not to be left out was the sight of the dimly lit onsen at night.

The day after I found myself thinking about different states of mind and the possible importance of balance between them like I had done a few months before. For myself I've been able to identify 3-4 different states of mind:

1) Consciously Active
This is the state of mind I was in when I used to play poker and when I am working nowadays. My mind is full of thoughts and doing it's best to do all it's tasks as good and efficient as it possibly can. I assume that especially the left side of my brain(logical side) is extremely busy in this state. I do really like this state of mind and I think I spent the vast majority of my waking hours in this state of mind, but if I'm not careful I get stuck in this state of mind and it becomes hard to turn it off and relax. If I'm still in this state of mind with thoughts racing through my mind when I go to bed, it takes a long time to fall asleep for example.

2) Unconsciously Active
This is when I'm watching TV or when I'm browsing through FB on my phone when I am on the train. Basically, I'm not consciously thinking about anything and it's sort of a nice break from #1 and very necessary every now and then to let your mind rest. However, although there's no conscious thoughts going on in my mind there are still many unconscious thoughts flying around. It's still active.

3) Consciously Inactive
State #3 is when I'm very focussed on my senses, like I was in the onsen. I focus on 1 or 2 very simple things like sounds or other sensations and have it block out all the rest in my mind. I get the feeling people aren't in this state very often nowadays(lives being busy and all), even though our senses are really the essence of what we are and what is the most real. All the other stuff we think about and what goes on in our head is just stuff we make up based off of these senses. I'm not nearly done experimenting more and thinking more about all of this, but I get a feeling a good balance between these 3 could be important. Sort of related to life/work balance, but not quite the same.

Then there's also social activities, which I'm not sure which state to put in exactly, I feel like it's sort of inbetween #1 and #2. Fitness also I feel like is probably #2, but definitely flirts a lot with state #3.

Probably labeling them as these 3 states is thinking too black and white, however it makes it easier to think and philosophize about these subjects for me and allows me to create a framework and possibly learn something from it.

This is pretty abstract and unfinished, but simply something I've thinking about and experimenting a bit with as of late. For example, trying to focus on my senses more and almost doing some semi-meditation on the train instead of playing with my phone as well as trying to spend some time in state #3 before going to bed to quiet down my mind and unwind after a long day with thoughts racing through my mind.