Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

29Jul/104

A Pot O’ Gold

My daughter asked me the other day: "How do you find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?" My first impulse was to tell her that it didn't exist, but she insisted that because she saw it in a story book that it must be real.

Then I got to thinking that as adults many of us have abandoned our dreams for our own version of "reality", and given up on constantly seeking out the pot of gold in our own lives.

When we were little, we didn't dream of growing up to become corporate CEOs or bank clerks. No, we dreamed of becoming jet fighter pilots, ballerinas, and sports celebrities but we eventually "learned" that it's just not possible for us normal people to achieve that kind of success.

An acquaintance of mine told me that he had always wanted to get into CG animation, but he's too busy and doesn't have enough money to learn. I had a look at some of his work, and it was rough, but he had potential, so I told him he should put more time into learning it and doing it full-time, but he just couldn't bring himself to make the commitment--there were too many reasons why he just couldn't. Most importantly he couldn't make a break with his old, comfortable, yet unsatisfying life. Trying to convince him that he could was starting to agitate him so I left it at that.

Like Tony Robbins put it - "The only thing that's keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself about why you can't have it"

As long as you're breathing and your heart is beating you have the power to follow your dreams and to make them a reality.

I told my daughter while holding her hand and looking at the rainbow arching across the sky that when she finds her pot of gold to let me know and meanwhile I'll be finding my own pot of gold.

29Jun/107

The Law of Attraction

Have you ever heard of the law of attraction? Do you believe it? It's basically the belief that what you focus on will expand in your life. 

If you constantly think about how difficult life is, you are attracting more difficulties to yourself, conversely if you focus on what is good, the good in your life will expand. 

Some people take this a step further by focusing on very specific things such an amount of money, their dream house, the body they want, or something they want to buy. They post pictures of their goal on their walls, verbalize it, and regularly devote time to focus on it.

Studying business theory and reading biographies of famous businessmen, I've found that many very successful people attribute their accomplishments to this principle.
"When you focus on and start moving in the direction that you believe is your destiny, the universe will surge forward to help you"

I've had to ask myself how does this work? Is it a replacement for prayer? Can it do the same things that Christians believe to be miracles? Is it ok for me to believe in this principle? Then I was reminded of something I learned as a child, and it went like this:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
(Philippians 4:8 KJV)

I think that Paul here is applying the principle of the law of attraction! Think (focus) on the things above enough and they will expand in you giving you a better quality of life, and will bring you close to Christ.

I've adapted the application of this verse in my life and started mentally focusing on specific, achievable, quantifiable, time-specific goals which will bring me closer to where I want to be in life, and no, it has not reduced my dependance on prayer, but rather enhanced the time I spend in it.

15Jun/102

So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore

I recently read the book "So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore" by Jake Coleson, except Jake Coleson does not exist, but is a pseudonym for the combined work of Dave Coleman and Wayne Jacobson.

Although this work of fiction creates a story which most people would agree is the epitome rather than the norm, it does so in order to very clearly illustrate the points the author wants to bring across. As I read the book, it sometimes reminded me of the very simple parables that Jesus used to illustrate his teachings.

In the story, Jake Colsen, a disillusioned pastor of a dysfunctional church meets someone who he believes may be John the Beloved from the New Testament. He repeatedly meets this man throughout the story and discovers new truths and observations comparing what Jesus had taught in the Bible versus the way most churches operate and teach their parishioners to live today.

If you haven't read this book yet you just might want to, because it's helped me to formulate so many of the thoughts that have been floating around in my head lately.

As many of you know and may be experiencing yourselves, I'm facing some pretty big changes in my lifestyle and the future of my personal family. As a Christian I want to be effective in my life and service for the Lord, while at the same time successful as father and financial provider for my wife and children.

This is nothing new for Christians worldwide, and I deeply respect those who have gone on before me and successfully found their balance between the two. I believe that I will find my balance by becoming financially successful with my business endeavors and through this new level of success I will be able to, as a peer, reach those who I would previously not have had access to.

Community, friendship, and support are some methods through which we modern-day Christians can demonstrate our love for our brethren and neighbors and at the same time show our love to Jesus.

"In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

15May/103

As Yourself

Would you cringe if I were to tell you that you need to love yourself? Do terms like "self-love" make you feel a bit uncomfortable?
I don't know about you, but it did for me until recently when I read the passage in the Bible which says that as Christians we should "Love your neighbor as yourself." It's easier for many of us Christians to love our neighbor than it is to love ourself. Somehow it's been commonly accepted that it's wrong to love yourself, an unspoken rule, if you will.

But here is how I see things now: if we are to "love our nieghbor AS ourself", that means roughly the same amount. And after thinking about it a bit more, it started to make more sense to me. If we are like a cup, and love is the water that fills it, then how can we possibly give more love than we have? And if we are not giving ourselves enough love, then we will crave and seek it elsewhere, becoming a leech on others for love and attention.

Here's another analogy that I heard from Peter Sage over a lunch we had together: Picture yourself flat-broke, late for your bills, three hungry children and a wife in a run-down house. You have only two dollars left in your pocket, and you set it on the table in front of you, looking at it, wondering how you can make it stretch. In runs a vagrant off the street, snatches the two dollars from in front of you, and dashes out the door with it. How does it make you feel? Probably pretty upset and angry.
Now picture yourself sitting in front of a desk with stacks and stacks of money, so much you can't even count it all. Basically you've got all the money you could possibly need and want. In comes the same vagrant, again snatching two dollars from off the table, and dashing out the door with it. How does it make you feel now? I would guess not quite as bad as in the last scenario. You were emotionally stronger because you had so much more left. It probably hardly fazed you.

Now think of the money in the above story as being love.

When you're not getting enough, and something bad or unloving happens to you, it can really destabilize you because you hit rock bottom pretty quickly since you don't have enough love within yourself as a cushion. And the opposite is true for the second scenario. The event didn't change one bit, only the circumstances surrounding the event, which is how much "money", or love you already had within yourself.

I know that some people will say that they already get lots of love from their close friends and spiritually from the Lord. These may be true, but first of all, as humans we all need physical love in our lives, and even if we get love from our close friends, why not really top it up? Why not make yourself really wealthy by adding another "income stream" of love by simply giving it to ourselves, as the Bible commands us to?

2May/104

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

It's funny that in life it happens so many times that just when you think you've finally got things figured out, something happens and everything changes.
I've been trying out affiliate marketing for some time, learning all the ins and outs about it, and decided to focus mostly on article marketing. I spent some good money on programs to help teach me more advanced methods, and even a software package that would automatically spin my articles so I could recycle them to save me work.
Things were going okay, but a bit slower than I had anticipated. I was spending time daily writing articles, SEOing them, submitting them, pinging, more optimizing, bidding for keywords, etc.
Then something clicked in my head.

I don't enjoy doing this one bit!

It all came back to me, the whole reason I was looking for change in my life is so that I could focus on what I loved doing, not enduring something so that I can earn money and then go on to what I love during my spare time.
I was digging my own grave, and at the same time proclaiming to others that I was heading into some "Major changes in my life". It seemed I had lost sight of the goal, the whole reason I had started out in the first place.

So then I asked myself: "What do I love doing?"

I love helping people. I really, really actually get a tremendous amount of satisfaction when I feel that the effort I invested in someone has helped them in a profound way.

Why not become a life coach? I'll get job satisfaction by helping others, I'll be able to support myself financially, and I'll also be doing what I love doing second best: learning something new--constantly! Because each human is unique, I will never get bored of it.
Time to start learning again. I'm going to be attending Speed Coaching seminars in Tokyo starting next weekend, and I'll count that as my first step in the direction that I want to go.

Wish me well, and pray for me.