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At first, Focus on Circle of Influence

This week, I’m going to begin my blog by sharing a bit embarrassing past.
It was at age of 28 when I began my career and used $10K/year to purchase business books in the first 3 years because I was under tremendous pressure to catch up with other business individuals. Back then, I was always strongly feeling inferior to other business people, and trying to ease the unconscious pressure by buying and reading lots of business books.

Among those books, I’d repeatedly read one of the world-wide famous business books: “Seven Habits” written by Dr. Stephen Covey. In this book, the 7 most important principles are introduced to brush up our personalities by practicing these principles as our habits. I’m not going to elaborate the details, but the principles are as follows:
1.(Habit for Personal Success①):Be proactive
2.(Habit for Personal Success②):Begin with the End in Mind
3.(Habit for Personal Success③):Put First Things First
4.(Habit for Public Success①):Think Win-Win
5.(Habit for Public Success②):Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
6.(Habit for Public Success③):Synergize
7.(Renewal Habit):Sharpen the Saw.
All of these principles are essential as any person, business person, and role, aren’t thet?
I had regarded these principles as my new should-have habits I could always realize, and have spent past 7-8 years since this important self-realization.

However, I had had fights with my wife a few weeks ago, and I could realize that Habit-1 and Habit-5 are actually no longer habits. That is why I’m writing about the Seven Habits for this week:) For Habit-1, instead of focusing on the circle of influence, I had been captured by the circle of interest by saying “My wife has said/done something bad toward me.” I should have focused on how to react to her actions or comments because it was inside the circle of influence. In addition, regarding Habit-5, I was not doing active listening with sympathy at all. What I was supposed to do was to listen, repeat, and interpret her stories, and express her feelings with my own words.

If the habits were no longer habitual, I can easily imagine that I was having the same problems in business as well. Therefore, I’ve decided to again focus on the circle of influence and active listening with sympathy. I should thank my wife for giving me a great opportunity to have an objective look at myself, who used to blindly believe that these habits were completely mine. lol

I will do my best to practice these habits as a person, business person, founder, husband, and father, so please continue to support me:)


Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO