Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business


Love Your Family, Choose Your Peers

It's a dilemma many of us face at some point in our lives: we want to grow and progress in a certain area but the people we hang out with just aren't into it, or sometimes are downright against it.
You know what I'm talking about: the new exercise routine, the healthy food diet, or the new direction you're taking in your lifestyle altogether.

You know that if you are going to make the kind of progress that you want, you're going to have to shed the things that hold you back, but your friends and family aren't something that you can just trade like baseball cards.
There's no easy solution when it comes to friends who you love but are holding you back, but you have to make some decisions.
The way I see it is as the title says: Love your family, choose your peers.
Your family are the people that God put you with, so love and respect them always--same with your friends.
But here is where you must make a distinction:

Your Peer Group

These are the people who you respect and want to be like, and who you want to spend as much time with as possible. When forming your peer group, which may take some time, strive to be the dumbest one in it. This is not to mean that you should try to be stupid, but that you surround yourself with people who are more skilled or smarter than you in some way.
Many studies have proven that whether we like it or not, we will become like the people we spend the most time with.

Choose carefully.


A Change of Course

The other night at dinner with my friend Sylvia and my dad, I was invited to a seminar by Peter Sage, a personal development expert and entrepreneur. On a whim and my gut instinct, I committed to attend. He's a tall guy from England who has a firm handshake. I had the privilege to meet him backstage before his seminar, and was introduced by my dad as his son and "a very influential person in Japan." to which he replied "You've got some big shoes to fill!" This gave me something to think about and a lot to live up to.

The seminar was called "Straight Talk" and was focused on business strategy, but not in the way I was expecting. The entire morning was focused on being happy. As simple as this may sound, it's the basic fundamental reason we try to be better people, be more successful, and make progress in our lives. But if we don't know what exactly we want in life, besides to be "a better person," "more successful," etc., without any tangible way of measuring when we will have arrived, then how can we expect to ever achieve that goal?

Being true to yourself and to everyone in your life is the most important fundamental principle behind any business you may be in, or in fact for anything in your life. Speak to people from your heart always, mean every word you say, and don't worry about others discovering the true you, because otherwise you will never truly connect.

When he finally got to the business bit of the seminar, which I admit I was hoping would come much sooner, he again gave emphasis the true values of life. Adding value to others is the single most powerful way to create and grow businesses.

If there is one thing I learned from him, I would say that to be truly great is to be truly humble.

Ps. Two day later I had the chance to have a lunch with him and some other close friends of mine and spent nearly 4 hours talking freely with him about all kinds of subjects which I'll post more on in a later entry.