Personal mission statement

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From time to time, I wonder if TODAY will be the last day of my life — at least the chance is not zero — then I stop pondering with a conclusion “that is fine."

This page (in fact the most important page of all) is about my life philosophy that I have been slowly organizing since June 28, 2012 — the day I thought about ending my life and the day I was reborn. All that are shown in my CV are nothing but my superficial accessaries, which are evaluated as such only in this specific period of time, by specific people, in a specific context. In other words, their values are going to change or disappear in 100 or 1,000 year’s time, for sure in 10,000 year’s time. By the 100th century, the modern period decorated by the highly developed civilization may be reclassified into the ancient period. The modern period we live in is just a brief moment compared to the history of the universe. Are humans supposed to survive, say, for 10 billion years more? If so, why do we make it look like it is so important? Perhaps, it is important to re-evaluate our life on a proper scale from time to time.





Nothing matters. I have known that for a long time. So nothing is worth doing.

Then how come everyone’s making like everything that isn’t important is very important,
all the while they’re so busy pretending what’s really important isn’t important at all?

Why not admit from the outset that nothing matters and just enjoy the nothing that is?

— Pierre Anthon (in Nothing)



Life IS a fatal disease

IMG PersonalMission 1

It just occurred to me, after having completed my school education, that there is no clear basis for what is correct and what is wrong; we had been educated to act and think in what appears to be a good-human-like way at a superficial level. Yet, even the act of living requires consideration. Throughout the human history, living has always been the first leading cause of death. In a way (if we seriously face the 100-percent-certain event called death), life itself is a fatal disease. Once we are born, we begin to die, and this is an unstoppable process. The question of utmost importance to me is “knowing that we will die, why shall we live?” In other words, I consider my life to be a longitudinal case study conducted by myself for myself to evaluate the null hypothesis “there is no meaning in life.” To this end, I would like to proceed with a objective and sincere attitude (because the null hypothesis may be correct after all).

Whenever I ask “why” to whatever I believe to be right again and again, in search for logical bases of my thoughts and actions, I always find myself lost in a groundless place away from civilized societies — Is there a correct way of living as a human? Were we born to die? Is there meaning in life? Why do we assume that, when we talk about the meaning of life, the meaning of the word meaning is shared across all people? Why do I feel like I know the meaning of meaningWhy are life and death always considered to be positive and negative respectively? Should we sacrifice ourselves for the next generation? … and, should the next generation sacrifice themselves for the next next generation? … until the last generation become extinct? There are far too many elephants in the room! How can one possibly criticize others’ way of living without an answer to these questions? These are not rhetorical questions. These questions perhaps do not require an answer, but they require consideration. I personally believe that, by taking these fundamental questions seriously, we can truly become humble and understand ourselves better. I find this attitude important, not because it will give me a good future but because I can better appreciate and enjoy the fact that I am alive in this moment as a member of humanity, who may become extinct sometime in the future. 


Basic values

I have not yet heard the “voice”  that critically determines the mission of my life (or I happened to have been deep asleep when it was delivered). However, I am now fully aware what my life is NOT for. It is NOT for climbing up the ladder of social hierarchy, and it is NOT for competing with other people in terms of accessaries that are socially considered valuable without any fundamental reason (e.g., academic degrees, publication counts, social ranks, bank account balance, marital status). I do NOT equate monetary and social values with human values, and and I do NOT equate economic growth with the advancement of humankind. I do NOT believe that humans should be constantly obsessed with making upward progress either. Because these are NOT the fundamental values that drive my life forward, I am accepting my death to a certain extent in this modern/capitalist society, in which people are constantly obsessed with miximally fulfilling their desires and in which only winners of human-made who-is-superior-than-others competitions are considered to be valuable humans, based on the majority vote.



Few things are needed to make a wise man happy; nothing can make a fool content;

that is why most men are miserable.

— François de La Rochefoucauld



BicycleSummerTime

My goal

I will be the ultimate winner of my life’s journey if I can eventually conclude "I am satisfied with my life" on my deathbed (or on a concrete floor or in a mud bath), as a human (although I am largely satisfied already). To this end, I make sure to appreciate each day, each moment, by regularly thinking about death so that I can maximize my quality of life and my quality of death (but not to the extent that I win the not-so-prestigious Darwin Award at the end of my life). I will find enjoyment in my personal life through thinking about what makes humans human, contributing to (at least by not overtly disturbing) other people's well-being, and maximizing the level of my self-confidence and mindfulness. I am not trying to achieve success that can be approved by all people; if I can live “just a little” better than I expect, that is already a stunning achievement.


I am at my best when I live my life towards a goal set by myself, without being obsessed over what people think about me. There must be many people who do not like me for various (sometimes illogical and unreasonable) reasons. However, that is natural, and there is nothing to make a fuss about, as long as such dislikeness does not develop to hatred and rage. I am going to prevent times when I observe my life backward with what-if-I-had-done questions, and I will find opportunities to use my natural talents and gifts such as honesty, curiosity, creativity, and courage.



It is far easier to know men than to know man. 

— François de La Rochefoucauld



Work

I enjoy working by finding employment where I can find myself growing as a human and where I can contribute to both research and teaching. In the framework of Dragon Quest, I believe that mastery of level 8 in the classes Scholar, Teacher, and Priest is a prerequisite for me to truly become Koji. To me, the most important criterion for a “good working environment” is people. Unfortunately, there are some people who make me feel uncomfortable, and I stay away from them as much as possible. I do not enjoy socializing with those who criticize others’ way of thinking/living based on their subjective perspective (established through their limited life experience), those who take take advantage of their power to control others, and those who make fun of others (mostly behind their back), not to mention those who use verbal or physical abuse to control others (even for educational purposes). In contrast, I respect (a very minority) of people who can respect and listen to others without criticizing hastily.

In cognitive science, scholars usually study what appear to be fundamental characteristics of humans. Yet, it should be kept in mind that this attitude emphasizes the majority and de-emphasizes the minority. Even if individual differences are considered in analyses of humans, I would always like to keep it in mind that understanding an individual human is still difficult (and, to be more precise, impossible, because no two individuals share the same life experience at any moment in life).



In your big mind, everything has the same value. 

— Shunryu Suzuki



MeditationHalfLotus 700ms

Renewing myself

I will constantly renew myself by focusing in the four dimensions of my life:

  • Physical – I enjoy cycling and doing regular exercise.
  • Spiritual – I do regular meditation and volunteering service.
  • Mental – I read latest journal articles to keep my knowledge up-to-date, as well as books and novels outside my professional field to understand the world seen from other people’s perspectives. Unlike writing, reading does not usually have monetary value; that is why it is valuable.
  • Social/Emotional – I strive to establish and maintain interdependent (but not dependent) human relationship in research collaboration and teaching. I seek for qualitity than quantity in interpersonal relationships, and I pay more attention to listening than speaking. Unlike speaking, listening does not usually have monetary value; that is why it is valuable. When I listen, I keept it in my mind that it is perfectly natural that there are people with different ideas.



It is a language rich with words that classify and dichotomise people and their actions. 

When we speak this language, we judge others and their behaviour while preoccupying ourselves

with who’s good, bad, normal, abnormal, responsible, irresponsible, smart, ignorant, etc.

— Marshall Rosenberg



Rplot 般若心経Cloud  HiraKakuProN

Things I should pay attention to

  • I pay attention to speakers’ messages and practice peace-making language skills in order to achieve nonviolent communication.
  • I make sure to correctly judge what I can control and what I cannot control.
  • I can do anything I set my mind to. I have courage to say NO in order to prioritize matters of importance. 
  • I make sure not to possess things beyond my need.
  • I make sure to stop procrastinating and start working on paper write-ups; I do not always enjoy writing, but I stick to my writing schedule so that academic writing does not invade my personal life. 
  • I strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life: mindfulness, service, and knowledge.
  • I enjoy finding elemnts of a RPG game in my life.



The Character Ethic is based on the fundamental idea that 

there are principles that govern human effectiveness 

— Stephen Covey



My future contribution

My most important future contribution to others will be, perhaps paradoxically, try not to actively contribute to others and remain as natural and objective as possible. In my humble opinion, there is only a fine line between contribution and intervention. The world in which everyone believes that they are right and attempts to change others' perspective would be chaotic. There are many different people living in this world ― short individuals, chubby individuals, introverts, misanthoropists, highly sensitive persons, facially unattractive individuals, individuals with a homosexual sexual orientation, individuals who have made an attempt to commit suicide, individuals with a desire to die, individuals with Autism, middle-aged bachelors, individuals who do not like their family or relatives ― and, assuming that there is a slight value in being alive itself and that there is no definitive answer for why humans should prosper for years to come, I dream of a world in which even minorities find comfort in their life and a world in which we can freely choose to live or die without much social pressure. With this ideal scenario in mind, I live in the way I believe to be right and let others live their own life because my experience is limited and because they are different individuals with different life experiences after all. Similarly, I do my best to avoid those people who enjoy intervening in my life. All in all, I just strive to demonstrate the principle-centered approach in action throughout my life and continue to cultivate the peace of my mind… until the moment of my death.



(Last updated 12/11/2017,   Updated since 11/16/2014)








Bibliography 

(Works that contributed to my life philosophy, most of which share a surprising degree of philosophical overlaps)


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