Samurai Book Review: 1日30分を続けなさい!Each Day 30 Minutes. Learn to Win!

「1日30分」を続けなさい!人性勝利の勉強法55 Learn to Win 古市幸雄 Furuichi Yukio

Furuichi Tip #1:   Timing is Essential

First a note on how I found this book.  I knew through the All Japanese All the Time website that if I wanted to learn Japanese, I “needed” (dwa–dangerous word alert) to immerse myself in materials that I enjoyed.    However, I felt that I “should” (dwa) do this by reading Japanese comics.   “Should” and “need” are actually words to watch out for as you find ways to to tap into your mind’s potential.  Fun, even if fun means overcoming obstacles and enjoying it, is a better signpost to a learning and life-path.

After trying to become a manga fan, I realized that my guilty pleasure is actually reading self-help books.   I love books that promise me the world, that promise me that I can transform my life in x steps.   Part of my mind, says I “should” enjoy “serious” fiction and “weighty” history and political fare, but I love the heady promises of self-help books.  I practically grew up in a used book store, where in addition to reading Mad comics and fantasy, I also devoured 70’s and 80’s self-help books like “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” and “Your Erroneous Zones.”

When I realized that I don’t really enjoy comic books (which are “supposed” to be fun), my reading in Japanese took off.   This summer I bought 1日30分 while I was in Japan.   I liked that it offered 55 hints for studying and “Learning to Win” in life.   Tell me that a book has numbered steps to success and I’m all over that.   Now, of course, I’ve spent over five years learning kanji and using web-based flashcards to learn Japanese (more on that later) so parts of the book were more accessible to me.

But not all!  Part of what I did was what Khatzumoto calls a “copy cat” sprint.  That means that I copied out parts of the book into one page of my notebook.   If it became boring or frustrating, I stopped and did something else.  Most of the time, I did this in the study room of the Numazu library in Japan, where I spent a big part of this summer.   All around me, there were students of all ages, studying for high school and college exams, as well as older “scholars” studying god knows what.

Like I’ve said before, take my translations of Japanese sources with a gallon of soy sauce.   The major point of the first section of Furuichi’s book is that the people who study who win in life.   人生は勉強したものが勝つ!

By studying Furuichi is not implying that you study subjects that are lifeless and academic to you.  In fact, tip #1 is about the importance of working with and finding your motivation.   動機づけの方法は?   The key Furuichi, says is timing.   When you get an inkling that you want to learn something, that is the time to begin learning.   Strike while the iron is hot.   That’s the carrot Furuichi holds out.   In the same chapter, Furuichi also seems to wield a stick.   A lot of these study books were written at a time when many Japanese companies were abandoning the practice of life-time employment.   So Furuichi asks something like, “Is your position secure? Is your salary secure?  Is the company where you work at guaranteed to continue? Where do you want to see yourself ten years from now?”

We do live in unstable times, but it’s probably better not to use fear-based tactics.  However, fear and anger have its uses, especially when I can use it to move towards the things that I love.  And, what if more and more people moved swerved from fear to what they love?   What songs could we sing?  What problems could we solve?   How would our dance together become?  Carpe diem.  Seize the fish.  A carp a day.  A fish in time saves nine. Now.

See also:

Samurai Mind Goes Bowling

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