Willing to Be Lucky in Tokyo

Remember how to approach Tokyo: turning chance meetings into friends, saying yes to trying new things, having a feeling of weightlessness. It is already defying gravity to uproot and replant oneself on the other side of the world. Now, feel weightless no matter where you are.

Watch your emotional set-point. Be relaxed, balanced, and happy. Beware of cynicism and fear. A touch of fear makes the trains run on time, but makes people meet and talk endlessly over the same things, struggling to control things out of their control, regretting the past, or complaining about things without taking responsibility.

Do not chalk things up to culture. Culture is a set of patterns in a population, but individuals can change their opinions. Diversity is not valued in Japan, but your friends may find you refreshing because they will find in you parts that they have hidden away. If they find you frustrating you cannot demand that they change.

Beware of hidden meaning when running to catch the train. Are you for the machine, or is the machine for you?

Do not lie to yourself about sleep. Sleep lets you pay attention to work, to people, to your environment. Life happens fast. Pay attention.

Stay young and leave room for novelty by keeping things uncluttered – keep you mind uncluttered, keep your apartment uncluttered, keep your relationships uncluttered.

Strength is not in engineering your environment; it is the ability to face vulnerability and overcome defeat. Call the girl. Meet the customer. Be bravely honest. No mountain biker ever got good by going at a speed that he knew was safe. The danger is thrilling. Keep your eyes where you’re going.

Stay willing to be lucky.

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