Jyukucho’s Lecture in the Inauguration Ceremony of Seiwajyuku Chicago on May 7, 2011
1. Why do we need philosophy in business management?
If one’s attitude is negative, the results of life or work will also become negative.
When I was young, I lived my life fully dedicated to work. During that time, I started to understand this formula: The result of life = Attitude x Effort x Ability. While “effort” and “ability” range from zero to one hundred, “attitude” ranges from minus one hundred to plus one hundred. Hence, if the attitude is even slightly negative—even minus 1—all the results become negative. If the levels of ability and effort are higher, the more negative the results will be.
In our daily life and in management, we are asked to make many decisions. In those moments, we look to our basis for decision making: ”attitude” and “thoughts”. The end result changes dramatically depending on attitude and thoughts. I believe that having a positive or negative attitude decides the results of our work. Attitude also even determines the lifespan of a corporation.
Philosophy is the tool required to achieve formidable and lofty goals.
So how should we think? The importance of how one thinks will be determined by the enormity of the goal. In other words, if you desire to be a small company with modest growth, a strong philosophy is not necessary. However, if you aim to become a top-ranked company in your field, you have to create and utilize a strong philosophy.
For example suppose you decide to go for a hike up a small hill near your house. The tools, attitudes, and skills you bring with you on this hike you probably already have. For this hike you would not do any training. You would not require any special clothes or shoes. In contrast, suppose you decide to climb Mount Everest. You would, of course, acquire a significant amount of very high-quality equipment. You would go through grueling training. You would have the best waterproof, breathable clothing known to man. You would make sure the members of your team are highly trained and well-supplied with equipment and food.
Cultivate and tend the garden of your mind
Next is to talk about how the “Thoughts” should be held within your heart. An early twentieth century British philosopher, James Allen, described “mind” as a garden. You care for your garden/mind by weeding it, fertilizing it, and planting seeds of your desired flowers. You must tend to your garden by watering, fertilizing, and diligently caring for it.
These seeds of beautiful flowers are positive thoughts, positive ways of thinking, and holding a positive philosophy. Diligently watering and fertilizing means to consistently learn to keep positive thoughts and keep a positive way of thinking. At the same time, weeding the garden of your heart means to truly reflect and admit to yourself the manner in which you have been doing things.
Make Decisions Based on Fundamental Principles
Each human being has both a positive and a negative aspect. The positive side is the altruistic mind that is filled with kind, considerate thoughts, puts others first, and wishes for their happiness. Meanwhile, the negative side is the selfish, evil mind that only thinks of one’s own benefit. If we run a business or if we are top management, we are faced every day with situations where we must make multiple decisions. Unconsciously, we usually make decisions based on gain and loss, rather than positive and negative. Making decisions based on a positive viewpoint requires vigorous training.
One of my philosophies is: “What is the right thing to do as a human being? Do the right thing the right way day in and day out.” We must always ask ourselves this question and strive to maintain the correct basis for decision making. In other words, we must “elevate our mind and expand our business.” If we want to grow our business, first we, as management, must elevate our own minds. As we elevate our mind, we must endeavor to elevate our employees’ minds as well. If we actually do this, we will surely succeed and continue to prosper for a long time to come.
2. What is humans’ purpose for living?
Enhancing our spirit is the purpose of life.
Elevate one’s mind or enhancing one’s spirit is useful, not only to expand your business. Enhancement will also improve your ability to love, your sincerity, and harmony. That is the goal of life. Refine your spirit while living and working hard in this life. That is the goal of life.
It is only worth living in this world if your spirit is improved and becomes more beautiful. As one ages one’s spirit must improve. This improvement takes place from birth to death. I think that life is a discipline in order to enhance one’s spirit.
How do we refine our spirit?
What do we need to do to refine our spirit? First of all, we need to work very hard. I think that is the best method. I worked very hard without thinking about any other thing but the job, so that I was able to enhance my spirit.
Furthermore, to work hard echoes Buddha’s theory of enlightenment. He taught that people could refine their spirit by experiencing the Six Perfections.
- “Fuse” (generosity, giving of oneself)
- “Jikai” (virtue, morality, discipline, proper conduct)
- “Ninniku” (patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance)
- “Shojin”( energy, diligence, vigor, effort)
- “Zenjo” (single-focused concentration, contemplation)
- “Chie” (wisdom, insight)