Things to think about…

I read this post on a site of an old friend of mine.  He has left this world but his words still inspire me.  Before I read this I wasn’t sure, but now I know the direction I want to take.

Thanks Kevin!

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The truth does not cease to exist when it is ignored.
You know how you can hear something a hundred times in a hundred different ways before it finally gets through to you? The ten truths listed below fall firmly into that category – life lessons that many of us likely learned years ago, and have been reminded of ever since, but for whatever reason, haven’t fully grasped.
This, my friends, is my attempt at helping all of us, myself included, “get it” and “remember it” once and for all…
1. The average human life is relatively short.
We know deep down that life is short, and that death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are infinitely surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.
LIVE your life TODAY! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death, and then take the next step anyway.
2. You will only ever live the life you create for yourself.
Your life is yours alone. Others can try to persuade you, but they can’t decide for you. They can walk with you, but not in your shoes. So make sure the path youdecide to walk aligns with your own intuition and desires, and don’t be scared to switch paths or pave a new one when it makes sense.
Remember, it’s always better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t. Be productive and patient. And realize that patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. This is your life, and it is made up entirely of your choices. May your actions speak louder than your words. May your life preach louder than your lips. May your success be your noise in the end.
And if life only teaches you one thing, let it be that taking a passionate leap is always worth it. Even if you have no idea where you’re going to land, be brave enough to step up to the edge of the unknown, and listen to your heart. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
3. Being busy does NOT mean being productive.
Busyness isn’t a virtue, nor is it something to respect. Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy ALL the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.
Being busy rarely equates to productivity these days. Just take a quick look around. Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin. Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements, etc. They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, emails are shooting out of their smart phones like machine gun bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations. Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance. But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel.
Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term. We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.
4. Some kind of failure always occurs before success.
Most mistakes are unavoidable. Learn to forgive yourself. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.
If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful. The solution to this problem is making friends with failure. You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.
Bottom line: Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it never will. Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. (Read The Success Principles.)
5. Thinking and doing are two very different things.
Success never comes to look for you while you wait around thinking about it.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Knowledge is basically useless without action. Good things don’t come to those who wait; they come to those who work on meaningful goals. Ask yourself what’s really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer.
And remember, if you wait until you feel 100% ready to begin, you’ll likely be waiting the rest of your life.
6. You don’t have to wait for an apology to forgive.
Life gets much easier when you learn to accept all the apologies you never got. The key is to be thankful for every experience – positive or negative. It’s taking a step back and saying, “Thank you for the lesson.” It’s realizing that grudges from the past are a perfect waste of today’s happiness, and that holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.
Forgiveness is a promise – one you want to keep. When you forgive someone you are making a promise not to hold the unchangeable past against your present self. It has nothing to do with freeing a criminal of his or her crime, and everything to do with freeing yourself of the burden of being an eternal victim.
7. Some people are simply the wrong match for you.
You will only ever be as great as the people you surround yourself with, so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down. You shouldn’t force connections with people who constantly make you feel less than amazing.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable and insecure every time you’re with them, for whatever reason, they’re probably not close friend material. If they make you feel like you can’t be yourself, or if they make you “less than” in any way, don’t pursue a connection with them. If you feel emotionally drained after hanging out with them or get a small hit of anxiety when you are reminded of them, listen to your intuition. There are so many “right people” for you, who energize you and inspire you to be your best self. It makes no sense to force it with people who are the wrong match for you.
8. It’s not other people’s job to love you; it’s yours.
It’s important to be nice to others, but it’s even more important to be nice to yourself. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. So make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth, even if they don’t.
Today, let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as incomplete as you think you are. Yes, let someone love you despite all of this, and let that someone be YOU. (ReadLove Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.)
9. What you own is not who YOU are.
Stuff really is just stuff, and it has absolutely no bearing on who you are as a person. Most of us can make do with much less than we think we need. That’s a valuable reminder, especially in a hugely consumer-driven culture that focuses more on material things than meaningful connections and experiences.
You have to create your own culture. Don’t watch TV, don’t read every fashion magazine, and don’t consume too much of the evening news. Find the strength to fill your time with meaningful experiences. The space and time you are occupying at this very moment is LIFE, and if you’re worrying about Kim Kardashian or Lebron James or some other famous face, then you are disempowered. You’re giving your life away to marketing and media trickery, which is created by big companies to ultimately motivate you to want to dress a certain way, look a certain way, and be a certain way. This is tragic, this kind of thinking. It’s all just Hollywood brainwashing. What is real is YOU and your friends and your family, your loves, your highs, your hopes, your plans, your fears, etc.
Too often we’re told that we’re not important, we’re just peripheral to what is. “Get a degree, get a job, get a car, get a house, and keep on getting.” And it’s sad, because someday you’ll wake up and realize you’ve been tricked. And all you’ll want then is to reclaim your mind by getting it out of the hands of the brainwashers who want to turn you into a drone that buys everything that isn’t needed to impress everyone that isn’t important.
10. Everything changes, every second.
Embrace change and realize it happens for a reason. It won’t always be obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
What you have today may become what you had by tomorrow. You never know. Things change, often spontaneously. People and circumstances come and go. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. It moves rapidly and rushes from calm to chaos in a matter of seconds, and happens like this to people every day. It’s likely happening to someone nearby right now.
Sometimes the shortest split second in time changes the direction of our lives. A seemingly innocuous decision rattles our whole world like a meteorite striking Earth. Entire lives have been swiveled and flipped upside down, for better or worse, on the strength of an unpredictable event. And these events are always happening.
However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can count on. So when life is good, enjoy it. Don’t go looking for something better every second. Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have while they have it.

I will always remember..

Sorry…I cannot write this without crying.
I don’t know how many attempts it’ll take, but I need to write this.

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I will always remember… that…

You taught me how ride my bike. Now I work for a company that manufactures and sells parts and accessories for bicycles and motorcycles.

You taught me how to drown, oh, sorry swim…Haha
I now live hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, and hundreds of feet above sea level. But, I long for those days at the beach and can still smell the sea breeze. I also have to listen to surf reports when it snows, or I’ll go crazy.

I woke up at 4am every weekend to go play tennis with you. Ok, I didn’t play. I hit the walls at Ala Moana. Then we went to the concession stand for breakfast. At least we got time to spend together. I still have my racquets, it’s in the closet gathering dust. But I can’t get rid of them. Ok, I was never good at sports involving round objects(balls). But Judo, which I started when you were still teaching at the local club, was something I… Ok, I wasn’t good at that either, but it was still better than something involving balls. I still get worked up watching matches on TV! My wife thinks I’m crazy when I shout out at the TV during the Olympic Judo matches.

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You taught me how to drive and to change the oil in the car. You told me if I took care of the machine it would take care of me. This, of course got me interested in machines. You supplied me with all kinds of junk to take apart and put back together. Unfortunately I was successful in getting things back together only a percentage of the time. But this interest lead me major in Mechanical Engineering in College.

My first introduction to classical music was your Beethoven LP collection, along with your favorite Japanese Enka music. I think I listened and got into classical music way before Rock or Hawaiian music. We argued about how Beethoven is the best, and you said Bach is crazy. You bought me my first Trombone at the pawn shop downtown. It wasn’t the greatest(a faithful King Cleveland 605), but it got me through 10 years of music in intermediate, high school and college. I still play music, snd also lead a community band. Oh yeah, and I still think Bach is not crazy, and there are other Russian composers besides Tchaikovsky. But yeah, Beethoven is great!

You taught me to appreciate what I have. To live life to it’s fullest everyday. When life gets tough, laugh, and laugh… Don’t take things so seriously, or don’t let people see my serious look. It’s easier to approach people who smile and laugh.

You shaped me into what I am today. You will always be a part of me and I wouldn’t be doing the things I do if it weren’t for you.
Rest peacefully in the bosom of God.

George Soji Akemoto
June 17, 1934 – January 22, 2014

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I’ll miss you a lot, Dad!

ありがとう!

今日、大切な人が亡くなりました。

日本に来て、まだ友達が少ない時、家内に進められて音楽を20年ぶりにまたやり始めた。ちょっとのストレスの回収になればと思っていたのでしょう。だが、楽器を吹き始めたらやっぱり個人練習じゃつまらないので楽団を探し始めました。そこで今所属してる楽団と団長に出会いました。日本語がまだいまいちでしたし、団長はまるで瀬戸弁、半分何言ってるのかわからない状態。でも、団長は暖かく僕を家族のように受け取りました。その団長が病気と戦いながら、楽団もやり続けました。

何回か団長にトレーナーや指導をお断り続けてきた僕が、とうとう団長に断り出来なくなり楽団の音楽分を手伝い、何時の間に曲の指揮までさせられました。団長は楽団の60周年まで頑張ると言って、納得の上で自分は指揮台の上に立ちました。

が。。。
約束違うじゃない!?

一時的な物じゃなかったの?

60周年までは団長頑張るのじゃなかったの?

何か言って下さい!
いつもの「たわけ!」でも良いから叱ってよ!

団長が立っていた場所は僕が立って良いのか?
迷って、迷って心の中が千切れそう!

僕の楽しむ場所を作ってくれた団長です。

団長が長年渡って作り上げた団がバラバラになるのも嫌です。だから
嫌でも指揮台に立ちます、約束したから。

だけど。。。

さびしいですよ!

団長、お疲れ様でした!ありがとう!

**** 2013.06.14 中日新聞の記事から ****
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