Tag Archives: Inspiration

Succeed, Fail, and Come Back


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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?”

“Yes.”

“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.

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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.

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Misty Copeland inspired my day – I wrote for 7.5 hours on my counter-offer document.


Yesterday morning of March 8, 2017, as I prepared for my day, I turned on my smart TV to watch an educational video on entrepreneurship, business, culture, or psychology, which I do so daily, when by chance I came across a video about Misty Copeland, the first African American principal ballerina for a major ballet company, which was very inspiring. The story was fitting since it was International Women’s Day.

I ended up having my best day writing for this year so far for either fiction or nonfiction. I wrote for a total of 7.5 hours broken into 3 sessions to complete a 12-page counter offer document for an agreement consisting of over 300 pages that I’m working on for an aviation development project I have with my business partners. I’m estimating that I probably wrote about 3,500 to 4,000 words for my document today that had a total of 6,466 words.

Here’s the video of Misty Copeland that jump-started my day even though I’m still feeling weak from the illness that I had the past week.

Later I found Misty Copeland’s Under Armor commercial that’s inspiring as well.  Here it is:

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My dream is to take you by the hand and dance with you on stage in front of tens of thousands of people as I play a set.


My dream is to take you by the hand and dance with you on stage in front of tens of thousands of people as my friend DJ G-Spot and I play a set. This fun song “Recess” by Golden Coast would be one of the songs in my set. I’m not sure who you’ll be but I got a target date of 2017 or 2018!

Love Festival Hawaii 2014

Picture of the high technology and special effects stage at the 16th Annual Love Festival Hawaii on 9/27/2014.

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2017 New Year’s Jodo Mission of Hawaii President’s Message


 

2017 New Year’s Jodo Mission of Hawaii President’s Message

Dear Members,

Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu! Wishing you a Happy New Year! For 2017, my wish is for you to be filled with happiness a great majority of the time.

In a perfect world, we could wish for happiness all of the time, but when we think about it, without some suffering and challenges, life would become boring and we would not have the experiences that make us appreciate life even more. When we fail, we appreciate our efforts and all the ups and downs, so when we do succeed, it’s oh so sweet and wonderful. Even the impermanence of life, the fact that our time is limited in this living realm, encourages us to appreciate the present moment, so we cherish our time with our loved ones, work passionately on projects that excite us, and absorb the beauty of nature such as the sun setting into our beautiful blue ocean. We develop a deeper gratitude through our understanding of impermanence so even when we lose a person we love; we are able to generate positive energy by all those wonderful moments we shared with that person, and it’s this energy that encourages us to live life the best that we can with the precious time we have before us. Thus, suffering and challenges can be a fuel for our happiness through our practice of gratitude. When you combine gratitude with all your positive practices of the Eightfold Path – Right Understanding, Right Purpose, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Endeavor, Right Thought, and Right Meditation, you will be filled with joy.

With Warmest Aloha,

Jon Riki Karamatsu

President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii

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My Thoughts – Born From You.


Music – I love you.

You draw out my emotions.

My thoughts – born from you.

– Jon Riki Karamatsu, 12/17/2016, Haiku #49 –

 

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Love and Peace Between Christians and Muslims


Amazon (AMZN) has created a very heartwarming commercial that shows how multi-religions can live together harmoniously, especially between Christians and Muslims where there has been conflict between leaders and members of the two religions for hundreds of years. This positive message can be applied to unify all conflicting groups. We can all make a difference in making our world peaceful by spreading love and compassion to everyone we interact with.

The commercial features a priest and imam having a pleasant conversation over tea. As the the imam prepares to leave, both men remark at their sore knees, share a hug, and part ways. Afterward, they both take out their smartphones and buy the other knee braces through Amazon Prime.

The commercial ends with both the priest and the imam kneeling to pray while wearing the knee braces they received from the other via Amazon Prime.

I love this. So touching. Wonderful work Amazon!

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