Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

11Jan/116

The Wise Man Adapts Himself to the World;

The foolish man tries to adapt the world to himself, therefore all progress depends on the fool.

I've spent too much of my life trying to adapt to the culture, the traditions, the unspoken rules, the taboos of my environment, and what I thought was right while having never evaluated them myself. Somehow I got the idea sometime in my life that everything around me is more important than me.

But then I started to lose myself. I started projecting an image of "right" on my peers and then on my own, very impressionable children. What I teach my children through my actions will stick for a lifetime, so I took a deep breath and stopped. Stopped judging, thinking, acting according to what was "right".

In effect I stopped adapting myself.

I wondered what would happen if I started just being ME and indirectly start adapting my environment to ME?

What's so bad about adapting my environment, my company, my colleagues to ME? Am I a bad influence on them? I don't think so. Could they enjoy partaking in my ideas, thoughts and initiatives? I do think so.

I feel better now. I feel like I have purpose. I feel like I have more to offer. I feel like I'm no longer walking on the edge of the cliff, but through the grassy meadow. I feel like I can spread myself like strawberry jam on the dry toast of everyday life at the office, and sprinkle myself like Tabasco on the pile of spaghetti I call home.

Let's see what happens from here on out. :)

Ps.  I think the kids like "foolish dad" better.

5Dec/103

Didn’t Your Mother Tell You To Finish All Your Food?

Well, she was wrong!

The idea of finishing all the food on your plate goes way back to a time when they didn't know how to make food taste good, so they made a rule that you HAD to finish everything, otherwise you'd die of starvation!

No, all jokes aside think about this for a minute: when you feel satisfied, it's your body's way of telling you that you've had enough. When you feel full, your body is telling you that you ate too much. And what happens to excess food that's left on your plate? It's  thrown away.

So let's say that you serve yourself a little too much, and about halfway through the meal you start to feel full, but then your mother's voice pops up in your head says the old familiar "finish all the food on your plate" and you obediently shovel the rest down onto your already full stomach.

What just happened?! You dumped garbage right down into your body! That's right. The food that either should have never been on your plate or belongs in the trash is now in your stomach, doing you no good there at all!

My advice is: If you make the mistake of serving yourself too much, don't make another mistake by eating it!
(And start a habit of taking smaller servings and seconds if necessary.)

I know some parents are going to protest and say that their kids DO need to eat all the food that they're served, because they don't know what's good for them. Sometimes they may even lie (OMG!) and say that they're full when they actually just don't want to eat a certain food on their plate. (sneaky!) Myself being a parent I know what you mean.

So to parents I say: Use your own discretion, but for the love of God and your children, don't make a rigid rule or habit for your child of always having to finish their plate! Or you may pay for it later (in medical expenses)

Ps. To those who would argue that it's a waste of money to not finish your plate: How does that make sense? You already bought the food, cut it up, and cooked it, so how does it affect your bottom line whether or not it gets eaten? On second thought, your "bottom line" might get a little bigger if you do continue eating it! (and you can spend all your "savings" from scraping your plate on the next "get thin quick" product)

18Nov/101

Whiners are Losers!

What separates the winners from the losers in life? The list can be pretty long, but if you've ever read the book "Think and Grow Rich", which by the way is not only about making money, you'll understand that one of the most basic, yet most important things to remember if you want to be a winner in life is to keep a positive outlook.

This is not to say that you should go into a state of denial and tell yourself that you live in a wonderful place when your house really actually looks like a dump! See things as they are, but give them alternate, empowering meanings which will be beneficial to your personal growth.

In the book the author talks about his son who was born without ears, but he refused to treat him any differently than other children who had normal hearing. He explained to him about the advantages he had over others with things like getting special treatment from his teacher because of his lack of hearing and being able to sell more newspapers than others because people pity him, etc. Because his son was able to see every situation as an advantage instead of a handicap, he overcame his handicap and became an overachiever and a very successful salesman and businessman.

The people I encounter who are not making progress in their lives have three main things they whine about:

1. I don't have enough education

2. I don't have enough money

3. I don't have enough time

Education. If history ever repeats itself, which I believe it does--a lack of education never stopped the likes of Edison, Ford, and even Steve Jobs. Don't get me wrong here--I'm not knocking education, just don't let the lack of it become an excuse! If you feel you need it, GET IT!

Money, or capital may have been a necessity 30 years ago to start your own business, but today there are countless successful companies which were born of the internet revolution which required little or no initial capital investment. If you want a good example explained, buy the book: "You Call the Shots"

Time. We all have the same amount of time and you may have heard this before, but it's so true! The things in your life that take your time (youtube, gaming, cleaning the house?) now are the things that you feel are most important to you whether or not you admit it to yourself. Why not do yourself a favor and put personal-development at the top of your list? My wife is a very busy person and has 7 kids to take care of--myself included--and she said she really did not have time to fit in a daily exercise routine (and I'll admit I was almost convinced). I had to coach her and help her put it above all else, recognizing that if her health failed, then all else in her life that depended on her health, which is just about everything, would also fail. The result? She's already started each day with her exercise routine, prioritizing it above the rest of her duties, and she's on a roll!

What's on the top of your list?

30Sep/104

How I Killed My Pet Hamster

A little while back on a hot summer day I was planning on driving my family for an outing. I playfully held Stuart, our family pet of three years in my hands and let him run around in my closet shelves sniffing and licking everything he could find. He stopped and stared at me with his shiny black eyes. "I love this little fella", I thought to myself. As I placed him back in his cage my six year old daughter Suzi walked in and excitedly asked "Oh daddy, can I please hold him in my hands?" I was  annoyed because I wanted to get the children out the door and into the van.

"Not now, okay?" I replied.

"But I really want to hold him, and I haven't played with him for a long time."
It's true, it had been at least two weeks since she had played with him, but now getting out on time was more important so I repeated "Not now!" in a slightly stronger tone this time. She sadly turned and obediently walked toward the van.
When everyone was finally in the vehicle I placed Stuart's cage on the window sill where it belonged and quickly locked up before driving off.
Upon returning my wife discovered him dead, dead from heat exhaustion after being in direct sunlight in a room with all its windows shut, essentially creating greenhouse. A closer inspection confirmed what we had suspected.
My initial thoughts were that I felt very sorry for him, but then I recalled Suzi's last request before we had left for the outing.
How insensitive I felt. She would never be able to hold or play with him again, and I had denied her last opportunity.
That evening I broke the news to the children. I knew she would take it the hardest and sat next to her as I explained what had happened.
No amount of comfort could console her as she wept uncontrollably.

From that day on I'm reminded of Stuart when my children talk to me. It's so true how we as parents can so quickly judge what's important and what's not, forgetting to take into account the opinions of our children.

How I wish I could relive that day and let her play with Stuart before leaving the house.

There was enough time, there just wasn't enough patience.

Take time to listen, to play, and never miss an opportunity to love your children.

20Jul/102

Death Comes Unexpectedly

(cut to shot of chandelier rattling)

Now watch this TV commercial below if you haven't seen it already.

I don't think I would add to or take anything away from this sad yet beautiful piece.

Now wipe your tears away and go love those who are closest to you. Love those who you are not so close to, and to your children: Tell them you love them. They need to hear it, they need to see it, and most of all they need to feel it. Love is something that we just can't fake to our own children. They're smart, and they can sense a fake smile and half-assed hug before it even hits them.
When our loved ones mess up, even if it's really big time messing up, love them even more, hold them closer and forgive unconditionally--always!

What I described above is not me, this is simply what I want to be, and what I need to be, what by God's grace I will be.

And if you aren't crying yet, here's another tear-jerker:

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