The journey continues

I’ve made good progress this past week in terms of figuring out what it is I need to be doing. I’m not rushing the process, but rather, allowing myself to remain in certain states of mind for a couple of days, subconsciously meditating on a particular idea, and then reflecting on how it makes me feel. It’s interesting how much of the process revolves around identifying what I don’t want to be doing. I’ve been through countless options since beginning this process now, but I’m not simply discarding anything that makes me feel uncomfortable, as I know that anything that’s truly worthwhile does tend to push you out of your comfort zone.

The key is for me to identify when something feels uncomfortable due to it being at odds with my fundamental beliefs and gut reaction, and when it feels uncomfortable due it being something I believe I could do very well, but feel nervous about taking on (but should take on).

I find it interesting how much I’m drawing on prior experience to guide me, and really appreciate the educational value of all that I’ve done up until now.

I think another week or two of this and I’ll have a much clearer idea of what I’m going to do. It’s is becoming clearer and I have actually started taking the first baby steps towards starting down a new path. As I’m not choosing any pre-existing (traditional) career path, I need to integrate a whole range of activities which whilst may seem superficial in isolation, together, over time will enable me to look after my family and allow me to to do what I love doing.

I’m going to need to do a fair amount of research into my chosen field. This will take time, but I believe in my capacity to learn and I’m willing to put in the time and energy to do that.

In other news:

  • I have continued my latest running art piece, running everyday but one last week. Only 20km left to draw!
  • The interview on Bunka Housou (radio) went very well.
  • Our little boy is very active in mummy’s tummy, causing a few disturbances through the night. She’s doing fine though.
  • I visited a Pocari Sweat factory (photo shoot for our client) – loved it! Amazing automation.
  • My next invention is coming on nicely.
  • Early-to-bed Early-to-rise is going fairly well
  • I have quit the BBC news site and and am trying to stay off Facebook too, and there is an overwhelming volume of bad news, and I realise that reading all this was doing nothing but sucking my energy away and making me feel angry and stressed.

We’re in a good space then.

10:30pm. Time for lights out!

Joseph

The mentalist

tokyo panorama

Time seems to have sped-up recently. Another week over – seems it was only yesterday that it was Monday. Perhaps that’s what happens when you make a conscious effort to make the most of each and every day.

It was an interesting week. I had another three meetings with friends and acquaintances to discuss the path ahead, all of which were very useful.

Made good progress with my next invention – I’ve been asked to appear on Bunka Housou (radio) again on Tuesday, and that’s providing me with a useful deadline by which to at least get the prototype finished. Whilst I appreciate that the listeners won’t be able to see the thing, the last time I gave an interview there I found that my physical appearance made a significant impact on the atmosphere, which was carried across the air waves.

I’m pleased that I was asked to do this interview – these kinds of media appearances are an important part of the roadmap as I currently see it, and this kind of interview makes for good practice. They also happen to be good people to work with.

Working with JP I’ve also made progress on the narrative that will accompany my next invention. I’m planning to make a series of short videos that graphically demonstrate its revolutionary features, clearly showing how it holds the key to the future of humankind. Perhaps.

For the first time ever I am using chicken wire, which is proving to be quite an incredible material. Even when you don’t have any chickens in the house.

I’ve also done a pretty good job on the exercise front, getting out for some decent milage on three separate occasions, totalling a little over 50km. All part of the next Art of Running piece. It has left me knackered and sore, but I tell myself these are good things to feel, and all is OK.

Being fit, incidentally, is another of the core features of Joseph Tame (that’s me) as I see him (i.e. as I feel I am at my core). That’s how i can prioritise it. It’s my job to be fit.

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 8.43.41 PM
One activity that doesn’t fit in to the Joseph Tame framework is watching American TV dramas. A few weeks back I pressed the ‘enter’ button on our Apple TV remote 5 times, and hey presto! we had signed up to Hulu (billed through iTunes). There was a legitimate reason for this – Twinkle Tame is studying screen translation, and her school does a fair bit of work for Hulu.

However, signing up for Hulu means you’re also signing up for the ability to watch trashy American drama series, of which there are plenty on there. One of these – The Mentalist – purportedly had a good reputation, so we idly gave it a go.

3 episodes later …I found myself feeling somewhat headachy and done in, but wanting to watch more. This was not good.

The process was repeated yesterday after I got back from my run. Once again, it left me feeling somewhat dull, almost hungover. Later I looked back at the after-effects of these sessions and assessed how I had benefitted from them.

Had they taught me anything? No.
Had they allowed me to relax? No (I tend to get stressed on behalf of the characters).
Had they given me an opportunity to look at some situations in my own life from a different perspective? No.
Basically, it had been a complete waste of time. I would have been better off sleeping!

Thus the decision to not indulge any further in Hulu.

Well, maybe I’ll just watch one more episode of The Mentalist.

Anyways, I’d best stop here. Have some planning to do.

Joseph

Run

runkeeper
Been continuing to push ahead with the changes needed.

One thing that’s been on my mind is the need to exercise. I didn’t run at all in June, being ‘too busy’ for it. Well, that’s no excuse, it just needs to be prioritised. Thus this morning I was up at 5am, restarting my Gympact membership (you make a pact to exercise a certain number of times per week, and pay a penalty for any sessions that you miss (I set my penalty at $10 per session). However, if you complete your pact you receive a portion of the funds from all those gympact users around the world who didn’t stick to their program – genius!) – did a 7km lap of the imperial palace. Granny’s hip played up, but that’s not surprising given how long it’s been since it’s done anything but walk or rest.

Following that it was off to immigration, arriving just before they opened and ensuring I didn’t need to wait around to have my residency application processed. It’s now a case of waiting 6-12 months to be assessed. Fingers crossed.

This afternoon was spent on invoicing, end-of-year finances, a video edit and database updates (aka FUN!), followed by a shoot for a local client. Finished off the edit tonight, and am now leaving the mac to import and transcode data from multiple cameras, ready for another edit tomorrow.

In a way, aside from the important step of waking up extra early and restarting my exercise program, today was typical of the the kind of routine I’ve had day-in-day-out for the past year. The above description could be applied to almost any day, with the contents swapped around a bit and other tasks such as photo edits, website updates, and endless emails added to the list.

I always kidded myself that ‘if I just finish this batch of edits I’ll have time to think’ – but of course I never did, as before I knew it the next lot came in.

The choice is mine to discontinue this routine – whilst it may be necessary now and then, I will no longer perceive it as something that cannot be stopped.

And with that, I’m going to bed (at 9.45pm!)

Joseph

Sunday

Drainman
Picture of the day – Boris got the shock of his life when he woke up and found he was a drain hole cover.

So, it was Sunday today. A good Sunday.

It began in a relaxed fashion – watching some movie trailers. I’ve recently started using our Apple TV, which until now has been sitting pretty much unused under our pretty-much unused TV, looking sexy. In addition to trailers, we have Hulu (the Japanese version, so limited in choice, but at least it has a whole series of BBC wildlife documentaries), radio (for background music), vimeo (for inspiration) and the settings app, providing the opportunity for many happy hours trying to enter extremely long wifi network passwords using the most frustrating and non-Applesque input menu.

Following that it was off to a local cafe for an extended meeting to further flesh out our plans for the years ahead. Very productive, with more parts fitting in to place.

Once home it was into the office to work on a couple of things for a client – redesign of a presentation, and further development of a FileMaker database I’ve been working on for some time. It’s coming on nicely.

Filtered throughout this was thoughts about the baby, and how he will impact our lives.

I’m not sure what it is, but I feel my attitude towards life, perhaps my interpretation of the meaning of life changing. I think it could be due to a combination of all these discussions I’ve been having with friends recently, our own decision to go back to square one (career-wise) should we need to, the upcoming arrival of our baby, and a number of news / magazine articles I’ve read lately (I found this one shared by my friend Roberto particularly interesting).

I have, for as long as I can remember, sought some greater meaning in what I do for work. I’ve never found it, and as a result of that I don’t think I’ve ever been satisfied in my work. This has spilled over into life in general, and this search for meaning has at times left me feeling very frustrated.

It’s too early to call, but it seems that as I start to let go of these fixed notions of success (in business), and instead choose to just do what I enjoy doing, so the quest for a greater meaning is becoming irrelevant. I’m starting to feel that there never was that greater meaning that I sought, that actually, I just needed to find peace and meaning in whatever it was I was doing.

We’ll see where this thought / feeling process leads over the next few weeks and months, and how embarking upon a path that is closer to my heart affects my attitude towards life in general.

Night night.

If you had nothing to lose…

Sunset over Tokyo

If you were tasked with redesigning your life, and you had nothing to lose, what would you change?

It wasn’t until about a week ago that I started thinking like this.

Until then, the whole process of reconsidering what it is we’re doing was based upon the assumption that financial growth was a prerequisite, and that in turn meant expanding the company in some way.

But then, we dared to question that assumption. What if financial growth wasn’t a necessity? What if we forgot all about money, and instead looked into our hearts and asked ourselves, what do we really want to do?

It took a couple of days for that idea to sink in, but when it did, well, it changed the process completely. The walls that had previously defined the limits of our options vanished. We were free to dream our biggest dreams.

Whilst liberating, it’s also led to a place where we are faced with our greatest fears. Fears that are linked not with the fortunes of a superficial company, but rather, with our core sense of identity.

It’s like stripping away the layers of protective clothing and getting completely naked. Showing who we really are.

This last week I’ve started sharing my blurry ideas for a new way forward with a limited number of close friends and family. I see that this is my attempt to get reassurance that I am not totally wrapped up in some ga-ga land of my own creation, but that others recognise the potential that I see. I shouldn’t need this reassurance – i should trust in my own gut feeling that this is the right thing to do (it’s a strong feeling I have had for years, decades even).

Indeed, the first line of the response from one of my closest friends was “I’m surprised you still need to ask others …And I think if that’s what you feel is what you need to do, then you do it.”

Right.

I would add that I have been pretty bowled over by the sheer kindness, consideration, and votes of confidence shown by those I have spoken to. I am immensely grateful for that.

Much of this weekend will be spent examining how my core passion can be translated into real-life actions, and how it can be made to be sustainable.

Excited.