Saturday, September 21, I was given the opportunity to give a talk at Vital Japan organized by Yasu Oda. This is the second time I addressed this huge group of people.(some 200 or so? on the first day of the long weekend!) The title of my talk was “100 year life, What would YOU do?” and the session was conducted in English.
I was rushed to prepare slides etc. for this session, as I had been under so much time pressure in the previous few days since I came back from New York. I had several events I needed to attend-preparation meeting for the series I give, review of the reports, meeting with journalist based in Hong Kong, and SINCA session on Friday.
In addition, there was a memorial service for Edward Suzuki, who passed away suddenly a few days before. (I wanted to come as I wanted to celebrate his inspiring life.)
So I was preparing until the last minute, struggled through sending the huge file to the organizers. (In fact, I could not do it and brought it in usb form after several trials.) I just made it in time at the venue.
The session consisted of two parts and I spent too much time in the first one as I was full of ideas which came to me in the previous few days (some of which I write below) I talked about lifelong learning briefly and moved along my second part quickly so that people can spend time to think about my questions regarding the time we leave this world.
As for driver for life long learning, I recall the words that Dai Fujikura (the guest at SINCA session the night before) found significant among the words his mentor told him– i.e. Be curious. I have tried new thing, new places, new ideas as often as possible, but I did not think in the context of curiosity.
I was also struck by the “obsession” people feel when they have “purpose” of their own and totally dedicated to it. (I also remember now this is what Dr. Kitano of Sony Computer Lab mentioned as necessary ingredients for innovation.)
I felt that I lack obsession lately as I tend to do some research on the subject, but not to the extent that I become obsessed to it. (I need this dedication & commitment!)
Regarding the question related to the time we leave this world, the stories I heard this morning about Corky Roberts, journalist who passed away a few days ago. (Photo on the left) She was a trailblazer in the field of media as she began her media career in the male-dominated field and pioneered career with variety of effort, dedication and persistence. (I saw her many times on TV etc.) At the same time, I heard from colleagues of hers that she is a kind of person who goes out her way to help others (this is precisely what I heard from David Roberts at SU Global Summit a few weeks ago as the profile of “leader.”) Corky’s response to the question, “How would you like others remember you?”, however, was nothing like “pioneer” “trail blazer” but “Friend.” I was deeply moved by her remarks, as I had thought she has every qualifications to be a trailblazer, etc. etc. I thought it was such a nice description and reflection of the person she was.
It is quite interesting that some words/expressions that make impact remind me of so many other quotes, stories etc.