Successful entrepreneurs achieve hero status in our culture but many struggled with dark moments of anxiety and depression. It’s like he’s riding a lion. People think, “Wow, he’s brave.” But he’s thinking “How the @#$% did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?” #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #business #ventures #venture #anxiety #depression #fear #stress #failure #failures #losses #loss #success #brave #comeback #comebacks #wins #win
Monthly Archives: April 2017
All cherry blossoms will die.
Memories will fade.
– Haiku #56, Jon Riki Karamatsu, 4/26/2017 –
How do we deal with negative people? My practice is to stay professional with them, do what we have to do, and get out as soon as we are done. Negative people are not happy with their lives so they take it out on others, or are numb to other people’s feelings. Sure, they swear and yell at us, or do bad things in front of us or behind our back, but the best way to live is always with positivity and happiness. Surround ourselves with positive people and the law of attraction will do its part. Hopefully, in time, those who are negative will awaken and find peace within themselves, and in turn share empathy and compassion with others. #peace #innerpeace #empathy #compassion #positivity #positiveliving #quote #quotes #awakening #awakening #karma #lawofattraction #forgive #forgiveness #buddhism #bodhisattva #awaken #nirvana #happiness #love #practice #habits #habit #domesticpeace #worldpeace #aloha
Just one more moment.
Remember when it was fun?
Let’s laugh at nothing.
– Haiku #55, Jon Riki Karamatsu, April 25, 2017 –
7 years ago from today in 2010, while I was a politician, I made a speech at the Hawaii State Capitol to a big crowd of seniors from organizations that looked out for the interest of our elderly. When I shouted, “Are you ready to rock?” They yelled back, “Let’s rock!” I got them to this 3 times and our chant echoed throughout the capitol halls. It was so funny! Still can’t believe I made them do that! 😅 #politics #politician #hawaii #hawaiipolitics #hawaiirepresentative #houseofrepresentatives #chanting #letsrock
I get joy from caring for my green onions that I grew from my dad and a family friend down the street of my parent’s house in Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii. I use it to garnish meals that I cook. Mini farm to table and healthy! #greenonion #greenonions #garden #gardening #farm #farmtotable #waikele #oahu #hawaii #gratitude #joy #pleasure #healthy #health #vegetablegarden #vegetable #vegetables
Consistency is key in our journey towards making a dream a reality. Upon getting an idea, we act on it by planning, strategizing, and executing. We work at it day after day, and year after year, achieving all the little goals in order to attain the big ones. #quote #quotes #quotestoliveby #consistency #journey #idea #ideas #plan #planning #strategizing #strategy #executing #execute #work #habits #habit #dreams #dream #patience #tenacity #relentless #pursuit #drive #goal #goals #reality #achieve #positivity #desire #jonrikikaramatsu #jonriki
We used to say this song made us feel some type of way.
It used to make us both feel free.
Underneath the covers you would grab my hand.
You’d say you’d never listen to it without me.
“This Song” by RAC ft. Rostam.
Most times I have a breakfast consisting of oatmeal, fruit, and green tea. Pictured here is papaya with lemon juice from my dad’s home garden at Pearl City, oatmeal with a little cinnamon and sugar, and green tea from Japan that I got from a friend I met in Fukuoka while I was serving as a Hawaii State Representative. These foods are filled with antioxidants and vitamins to prevent diseases such as cancer. They also lower bad cholesterol and prevent heart diseases such as stroke and heart attacks. #superfood #food #health #healthyfood #healthy #oatmeal #oats #grains #cinnamon #hawaiiansugar #sugar #greentea #tea #homegrown #garden #papaya #fruit #fruits #hawaii #pearlcity #oahu
I like to drink green tea in the morning, with meals, and with sweets. There are so many benefits of green tea. My favorite benefits are the calming affect from the L-Theanine and the alertness from the caffeine. Plus it helps lower my bad cholesterol and prevents cancer and other diseases. Green tea doesn’t give me the jitters like coffee, though I enjoy coffee as well. #greentea #greentealatte #tea #beverages #ltheanine #caffeine #antioxidants #matcha #japanesetea #chinesetea
Let’s succeed, fail, and come back. Anytime we take action on a goal, we expose ourselves to attack and even failure, but the rewards are tremendous in that we gain ideas, knowledge, skills, relationships, and heck, even success. I say succeed until you fail, and fail until you succeed because the comebacks are some of the best feelings ever!
Since I was a child, my parents have always encouraged me to try many things. “If you don’t try, you will never know” was the lesson I learned. So I participated in many sports, school clubs, and community organizations. When I grew up, I went after my goals in law, politics, and business. I even made an effort in my love life. Did I win? Yes, many times, but I also had my share of losses. I’ll tell you a few of my experiences.
When I was attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1995, I broke up with my first girlfriend. I was so sad that my grade point average plummeted from a B average to a D average at which time I was placed on probation. If I didn’t raise my grade point average, I would be kicked out of the university. I went to visit one of the university’s counselors. “What do you want to be?” she asked.
“I want to be a lawyer,” I answered.
She looked down at my grades on the transcript and then she looked back at me. “Do you like working with people?”
“Why don’t you become a social worker?”
I was quiet. I wonder what my expression may have looked like?
For the next couple of years, I attained mostly all “A”s for every semester except for a few “B”s here and there. I brought by grade point average back up to a B average and graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.A. in Political Science.
In 2001, I ended up attending Gonzaga University School of Law and graduating with my J.D., passing the Hawaii State Bar Association’s examination, and today, I’m a lawyer.
In politics, I ran for a Hawaii State House seat in 2002 for a community I was unfamiliar with. I was told that I would likely lose because two of the so-called front-runner opponents were well-known and professionally established. I was only twenty-seven years old, just out of law school with very little experience, and no name recognition. Plus, the demographics were not in my favor, and another opponent was young like me with a similar background so we would cancel each other out. However, I had typed out my strategy and platform for bettering Hawaii many years before while in college so I was mentally prepared. My front-runner opponents bragged about their experience while I focused on what I was going to achieve for our community and the State of Hawaii. To counter my opponents’ name recognition, I walked door-to-door around my district 3 times, which was about 20,000 visitation of homes until I burned holes in my pants from the constant rubbing of my bag filled with brochures. I won the House seat by a good margin.
Years later in 2010, I ran for the Lieutenant Governor’s race and loss, but the newly elected Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith M. Kaneshiro recruited me to become a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and Legislative Liaison because he had watched me in action as the House Judiciary Chairman as I took on very controversial issues like same-sex marriage while he was an attorney with my Senate counterpart, his good friend who I had some disagreements with but I alway tried to be professional with him.
In 2015, I resigned from the Honolulu Prosecutor’s office because of a driving under the influence charge, which I have won the civil side of the case in 2016 because of false information and wrong-doings by the police, but still awaiting an appeal from the higher court on the criminal side of the case after a district court judge ruled that my testimony was not credible, which did not make sense because I didn’t testify in the trial. Despite it being a traffic crime, he sentenced me to prison with maximum fines and community service, much more than what I’ve seen when I litigated criminal cases such as assault.
Instead of worrying about my legal woes, I dedicated 100% of my efforts into the private sector. I had ended my Internet retail business in 2012 after 10 years but I was still involved with a couple of business partners in an event production company since 2014. I then helped to build a night club, assisted an agricultural company in its goal to build a value-added agricultural processing plant, joined a team to build an aviation company, partnered with another group to build a consulting company for foreign investors, and several other projects. Meanwhile, in my role as a litigating and transactional attorney, I took on a few clients who were undergoing a business partnership split. In my 2 years since leaving government, I experienced a business partner who took all the money and left the rest of us with nothing, another who didn’t sign an agreement that would give me a tiny share of the company after I helped build it, and another who had child custody legal issues so the company was placed on hold. To some, these losses could be seen as a failure. I may have not made money from these ventures, however, I gained a lot of skills, built new relationships, and have come up with ideas for when I make my return to these sectors. There are many “wins” within such failures.
On the bright side, the aviation company and consulting company for foreign investors are moving forward with business partners that make a great team, and I’m still working on my creative writing projects and taking on some legal work. With any start-up company, there is a risk of losing time and money, but there is also the opportunity to create new services and products that will generate more jobs and revenue for our community. It is for these reasons that I continue my journey in these arenas.
Both “success” and “failure” are just as important. Wins are fun, but if we always got what we wanted in life, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much, and life would become boring. For it is the experiences of the journey that makes us appreciate the wins. We gain ideas, knowledge, skills, and relationships regardless if we succeed or fail, therefore, by the looks of it, we still win even when we lose.
I like to do a gratitude prayer to the universe in the morning, followed by a meditation. I start off by lighting a pair of candles on a display with stones and an oil diffuser. Then I start an app on my smartphone that plays soothing sounds of water and calming instrumental music.
In my gratitude prayer, I express my thanks for my loved ones, the ability to experience life, useful things I have, the beauty of nature, and much more. Throughout the day, I would continue to be thankful for many things.
I meditate by clearing my thoughts and breathing slowly. After some minutes in emptiness, I envision what I will accomplish for the day.
To practice this, all you need is ten minutes, but you can always go longer. It’s a good way to start your day with positivity and clarity. Sometimes I do a gratitude prayer and meditation at night or whenever I need to stabilize my soul after facing some challenges. There are studies that show how gratitude and meditation practices reduces stress and benefits your overall health. Have fun with your gratitude and meditation practice! Aloha!
“Walk with me. I want to show you my world.” We left the Japanese garden filled with pink cherry blossom trees that lined along the beautiful clear stream. The green grass carpet that was similar to the type at luxurious golf courses, turned into dirt, rocks, and weeds. I led Kaylee into the forest as the sun began to set behind the tall tree-line. It became darker as we proceeded further into the forest, but golden rays from the sun seeped through the many branches high above. These spotlights guided us along the trail.
I grabbed Kaylee’s hand and pulled her with me off of the walking path. We cut through ferns and brush. I made sure I took the brunt of the leaves and stems that rubbed against us. Once we got out of the wild growth of the forest we reached a large circular patch of wild grass with small yellow flowers scattered throughout it. In the center was a green mound, like a miniature mountain. I smiled at her. “We’re here.”
Her eyes fixated on the grass hill. She turned to me with a grin. “How did you find this place?”
“I needed to escape. They show us what they want us to see. But oftentimes there’s beauty hidden. Sort of like what society expects from us. So I walked out of the beautiful man-made park and found this. I meditate on top of that grassy hill regularly.”
Kaylee kicked off her sandals. “Let’s go!” she blurted. She ran ahead towards the mound. I chased after her, but had to stop when my wallet flew out of my front pocket. I picked it up, placed it back in my pocket, and continued running after her. Her light white dress flew up with the breeze as she skimmed through the many yellow flowers. I got close to catching up to her but she beat me by a couple seconds as we hopped onto the top of the little mountain. We breathed in and out heavily from our sprint. I bent over with a hand on each knee. From the side of my body I felt an impact, and ended up falling onto my back with Kaylee on top of me. I took a couple of breaths that I had lost from the fall. “Why do you always do this to me?”
She laughed, “I like to knock you down and be on top. It’s a new era. It’s time for us girls to run the world.”
I chuckled. “Yes. You girls are intimidating. That’s why I was scared to meet you.”
“Well I’m glad you got the courage to approach me.”
“Me too.” I felt a few small drops of water land on my arms. I looked at the sky, which looked pinkish with the remaining light of the sun glowing onto the puffy white clouds that formed above us. “I think it’s going to rain. Do you want to go under the trees?”
She shook her head in disagreement. “Let’s stay here.” More clouds moved above us and they unleashed their reserves on us with many huge drops of rain. Our clothes became so drenched that they wrapped the form of our bodies. Still on top of me, Kaylee’s wet dangling hair dripped water onto my face. She gently pushed my bangs that covered my eyes to the side, and slowly lowered her face towards mine until our lips met.
Watch “109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile | Short Film Showcase” on YouTube
This video on Mr. Richard Arvin Overton touched my heart. He’s someone I would love to have as a friend. Some of Mr. Overton’s traits reminds me of my late friend and mentor, Senator Nadao “Najo” Yoshinaga who served in the 100th Battalion during World War II, became a lawyer, and served in elected politics in Hawaii for 20 years from 1954 to 1974, changing much of our discriminatory laws, making healthcare and education more readily available, and supporting economic development. Najo passed away on December 29, 2009 at age 90.
I know when you’re around because I know that sound – the sound of your heart.
I went on my own to see the movie “Our Meal For Tomorrow” (僕らのごはんは明日で待ってる) based on the novel by Maiko Seo at the Hawaii International Film Festival on April 4, 2017 at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatre, Honolulu, Hawaii. I saw my Uncle Glenn and Aunty Jo Ann Matsumoto at the movie too. It was very good!