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New Habits from Age of 40

The other day, I successfully turned 40 years old. In Japan, it is customary to perform an “exorcism” or “yaku-yoke” to receive blessings from the gods and Buddha to prevent bad luck and misfortune in the year of the “main bad luck”. I am 41 years old according to the traditional Japanese age counting, so I am in the year before the bad luck year, when many bad lucks and disasters are said to occur in terms of work. Moreover, as I approached the age of 40, my instinct told me to live the rest of my life as a nice “adult man” and a nice “old man”. This may be true socially as well, but the “dads” I looked up to in my childhood who were over 40 were also very dependable and I was in awe of them as my seniors in life. I am sure that my instincts based on such real-life experiences told me to become like them;)

So, as I turned 40, I decided to introduce some new habits. (I don’t know if this will be helpful to other “dads” and “old men,” but I would like to introduce just the main ones in this blog.
1. Practice one good deed a day.
On my 40th birthday, I vaguely thought that I wanted to be a person who makes people around me feel like I can do something helpful. Just thinking about it is meaningless, so I decided to practice “one good deed a day” from that day on. For example, I try to check every day to see if I am specifically practicing every day the things that I used to do occasionally, such as writing handwritten letters of gratitude that I originally typed, or offering sweets to those who are indebted to me.

2. Reinforce introspection
Perhaps the biggest realization from the last London Business School study, I was repeating patterns of thinking and behavior based on my own successful experiences without realizing it. As an example, I was only engaged in short-term KPI monitoring, planning and implementation of measures, and never discussed medium- to long-term strategies with employees. The management style was also intensely top-down. Everything was based on past successes, but there was no way to question whether it was the optimal solution for the current environment. I completely stopped thinking.

Even in my private life, I realized through the EO forum that my anger management had not improved, and I sincerely reflected on this in April, saying, “I need to improve the quality and frequency of my introspection, or else I won’t be able to do it at all. ” Then, I decided to introduce the Six Minute Diary and the technique of introspection. I have been using the Six Minute Diary (writing three minutes in the morning and three minutes in the evening for each of three items) for a month now, and I have already felt the tremendous effect of daily introspection. Regarding the art of introspection, I actually found a very interesting framework, which I plan to try out little by little starting this month.

3. Maintain my body
After breaking and having surgery on my right arm last December, and then injuring my right arm again this April in a hit-and-run accident, I have decided to get my body back in shape again. I decided to do daily exercise, repeating running/gym and high-intensity interval training in sequence.

4. Asset management
I don’t have any significant assets, but I started investing in stocks for the second half of my life. As a statistics and probability specialist, I wasn’t interested in it because it’s my specialty, but now that I’m 40 years old and have a family, I finally decided to do it seriously!

5. Read a book for 15 minutes a day
Since I started my own business, my reading pace slowed down, so I decided to make sure to read a book for 15 minutes a day. I read self-help books, but I also read science books to re-educate myself.

6. Thoroughly Unlearn
Related to point 2, I have decided to unlearn all aspects of my business development, management, and personal and corporate learning. I will not allow myself to unknowingly stay in my comfort zone in the future, and I want to adopt new ways of doing things more and more. Sharing megatrends internally every six months is one example of this.

7. Challenge MBA
I wanted to go to Boston with my child when he is in elementary school to challenge the MIT Sloan School of Management. I didn’t have the money when I was an undergraduate student, so even if I had wanted to try MIT, I couldn’t.But my instincts told me to live the rest of my life as a nice “dad” or “old man,” and since I wasn’t ready for that, I decided to give it a try. As a result, I will be attending Hult International Business School, which offers online courses, starting this fall, and I hope to completely destroy the old me.

8. Taking on the challenge of new business
For the past four years, I have focused on my area of expertise, digital marketing x cutting-edge overseas technology, and have made a significant profit. I have no regrets or remorse about this, but now that the company has accumulated enough cash, I am ready to take risks in new businesses. Therefore, I have decided to launch a business this year to introduce and sell traditional Japanese crafts overseas, which has been a long-held dream of mine. I will try to do it with the utmost passion and wisdom I have, not only for myself but also for my colleagues who have spent their precious time in SOPHOLA so far.

That’s all. Sorry if this was not helpful.
If you would like to join me in building the Uncle Sam Coalition or in any new business, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO
P.S. I went to the Karuizawa branch of Kua Aina, a Hawaiian hamburger restaurant, and was still able to enjoy the burger:)