I just returned from an unplanned trip to Tokyo. One week in the buzzing metropolis for my first encounter with Japan.
A lot is said about Japan: from conservatism to discretion and absolute politeness; from amazing precision and quietness to unthinkable fantasies. From domination of best in class innovation technology to failure to reinvent itself.
What was the path to success for generations of Japanese is no longer granted; gone are the times of lifelong obedience to a motherly corporation which in return guarantees stable security. Younger generations can’t follow this path, it no longer sustains (have a look at this very interesting article by David Pilling in the FT about Japan’s Ice Age) and after Fukushima they may well be up for something else.
Surely, these are days when Japan is undergoing deep mega cultural shifts, slowly at the pace of an insulated consensually-isolated giant.
Contradicting mental patterns of values, beliefs, fears and hopes between generations, individuals and within oneself bump into each other. This will either create chaos or a new birth.
It reminded me that peeling the onion is a tough but promising purpose:
- What society has defined as successful and desirable is just a frame. What is right for your neighbor is right for… your neighbor.
- If you are after what works for you, if you want to build your own path to happiness, you have to start looking within and understanding your own mental patterns. That’s peeling the onion.
- That’s a difficult path which requires commitment, confidence, trust and a soft heart. All of which are existing qualities within you which you have or can train.
I wish to all younger generations of Japanese to find the energy and courage to be the change they want to see in their society. Where else could this come from? I wish you all to seek your own path and trust that the light within you, which is always here for you, will be your guide. Don’t settle, and keep going with an open heart and a soft gaze!
Are you ready to dream the life you want?