Balancing “Burning Desire” with a “Pure Mindset”


The Question:

We are taught that a “burning desire” is a key to success. At the same time, it is crucial to “live purely” with a clear mindset. Please guide us on how to combine these two elements of success.

Jan. 27, 2016 Happy Science General Headquarters


To put it simply, it is the difference between a leader and a follower. A leader must guide people in the right direction. To accomplish that, a marching army needs a flag; no one will follow behind if the leader does not wave their flag.

The motion of waving the flag is the equivalent of a burning desire. We need leaders to guide people and say, ‘Despite any hardships, this is the direction we’re marching and heading towards. This is the road to victory.’ An assembly without a leader is just a flock of sheep. Just one wolf can break apart the entire flock – its very cruel.

A leader must bear the burden of a flag, as things will not proceed without a strongly passionate leader. Once they prove their strong desire, the symbol of the flag will become apparent. What’s left is for people to follow.

Speaking from a religious perspective, however, there are two types of people: people who are satisfied with aiming for their personal enlightenment and people who feel the responsibility to contribute to the salvation of humankind.

For people that want to go to a temple, meditate (*) and relax their mind every now and then, I think it’s enough to gain inner peace.

But consider someone like Nichiren. Let’s say he was told, “Don’t go outside and practice street preaching because you will get rocks thrown at you. You won’t get hurt if you stay inside.” If he obeyed by replying, “Is that right? Then I will stay safe inside,” the Nichiren sect of Buddhism would not have existed.

Ultimately, one’s passion fluctuates based on their own perceived value of what they are trying to spread. In other words, people display passion concordant with the importance of the cause.


“Motion” and “Serenity” Are Compatible

Furthermore, while a leader must be like a burning ball of combat spirit, even fireball-like-leaders must enter deep into their spirits to gain the power to fight. At that point, mental training becomes necessary. As “motion” or activity becomes increasingly intense, “serenity” or peace becomes pivotal.

As examples, there’s a professional baseball player and a politician that meditate. Of course, sometimes they’re just doing poses. But meditating and calming the mind can help with preaching to a large crowd or hitting a homerun amidst thousands of onlookers. Generally speaking, things on completely opposite sides of the spectrum can heal you.

Quietism becomes critical for a true leader. There are scenes in the Bible where Jesus Christ is followed by thousands of people and, after preaching, proceeds to escape to the mountains or spends a quiet time by the lake. After all, as you preach in front of a few thousand people, you need additional time to face God alone.

A business perspective can differ from a religious perspective. Even then, businesspeople that wish to receive divine inspiration and grow their business must set aside time to calm their minds like religious people and receive divine will or reflect on themselves.

In the end, the spring principle applies—the more springs push, the more they pull. Those that can make themselves selfless and calm their minds can maintain aggressive passion and desire.


Finding Leisure in a Busy Life

Meanwhile, sometimes people who are quiet all the time will claim after they retire, “I haven’t bothered anyone and lived my life harmlessly. I’ve finished my life without any serious mistakes.” If that’s the life blueprint you want, go ahead.

You might say, “I’ve worked for Happy Science for 40 years. I wasn’t a burden to anyone and was able to provide for my family. I have safely graduated – thank you.” But when asked, “So what did you do?”, you will answer, “To be honest, I didn’t do much. I went where HR told me to go and just sat there with a peaceful mind.”

On a management level, there’s not much I can say. It’s not surprising that you have a peaceful mind given you didn’t do anything; on a higher level, it is more admirable to do work that others can’t do while simultaneously maintaining a calm state of mind.

Yomiuri Giants Manager Tetsuharu Kawakami has said, “During my peak periods as a batter, I saw the moving ball as motionless and still.” Once his skill leveled increased, the moving ball truly seemed motionless from the batter’s box. There’s a way to find serenity and quietness despite busy work.

It seems that people with piles of paper and endless phone calls, who are always complaining how busy they are, are inefficient, poor workers in reality. True professionals are efficient, excellent planners and fast at processing things, which enables them to create spare time.

I’ve said it multiple times before, but back when I was working as an employee, there was a tendency for the amount of work to decrease wherever I went.

Every year during the busy season, employees worked overtime past midnight, but for me, work quickly disappeared. Even as I took on other people’s work, I was able to process it quickly and create spare time for myself.

I used to get told that I created “spare time” for people. This is a result of my extremely quick decision-making. At first glance, I can determine what to do. It wasn’t rare for my work to finish in the morning. This allowed me to have empty hands and finish other employee’s tasks for them. I was told that I seemed like I always had time on my hands.


Slow Decision-Making Disturbs the Mind

A large amount of work doesn’t necessarily correlate to a disturbed mind, as it could just be a result of slow decision-making.

Every decision you make results in less work. If you have a stack of 10, 20 things that are left decision-less, the disturbance will prevent you from proceeding. For the most part, I’ve always cleared the work on my plate as soon as possible and have created a ready-to-go attitude to take on whatever new work came my way.

I’ve published many books and the topics come from my lectures. To publish it as a book, the editing team sends up transcriptions of recordings or suggestions for cover pages and titles. Those are then used to create a book.

I go through the book one more time for any print or content errors before it is placed in bookstores. A warm, freshly printed book is often sent to me —the first five books or so are always still warm. Mistakes need to be spotted quickly so, once it reaches me, I go through it quickly. I read it about three times before the books are placed on display in the bookstore.

Meiji University Professor Takashi Saito has published many books. I think he has published several hundred books, but when he is proofreading, people around him get the message that he’s gloomy and in a bad mood. And he is asked, “Are you revising?”

Mr. Saito loves making books but hates revisions; apparently, he gets in a bad mood when his manuscripts come up for correction. He says that he hates it and loses his will when raw manuscripts worth three books are sent to him. I feel his pain.

There are many people who like cooking but hate cleaning up afterwards. It can be fun to cook a meal yourself but tiring to clean the oil off the pan and wash the plates.

I’ve spoken many times and a majority of the contents of those talks become books, but if I felt terrible every time I made corrections, I would begin to hate making books. I have read Mr. Saito’s books and understood how he felt reading his own manuscripts.

It’s a foundational skill to clean-up after you cook. Until you do that, you can’t make the next dish. But you can master the process and gradually speed up.

Back when I was busy, I did corrections on manuscripts worth three books in one day. I have used companies to perform corrections when I published my books externally. They were surprised by how fast the author’s revisions were completed.

Most proofreading professionals spend approximately one week to revise, so they were surprised by my one-day revisions. They told me, “Isn’t it too rushed? Most authors take one month for revisions and won’t let go of their manuscripts. They dwell on fixing many parts and it takes a longer time.”

This kind of thing is possible because my basic work policy is to finish one thing at a time, keep my hands empty and prepare for upcoming work.


The Majority of Cases Are Excuses

Generally speaking, a leader’s ambition should be burning desire. The desire to keep a peaceful mind is a common mindset of people who favor religion. Even as a religious leader, however, it is possible to quickly take care of masses of work, find spare time and keep serenity at all times.

The main point is speed—decision-making, processing work and extracting the true value from things. As you gain more experience, you will level up and become faster.

Aside from decision-making, it is vital to conduct research and development for work that is to come. These preparations will become necessary.

People say that they don’t feel burning passion and can’t maintain serenity, but those are mostly excuses. Please think of them as mere excuses. We must tell those people to expand their capacity once more.

During the time I worked as a businessman, I never met one decent worker who complained that they were busy. Most of the people who complained couldn’t perform. “Inefficiency,” “poor intuition” and “slow decision-making” were the main drawbacks.

Those people who make many errors must repeat the same work many times, which prevents them from proceeding onto the next task. Their work will be slow. Please remember that it’s a compilation of those things.

Balancing “Burning Desire” with a “Pure Mindset”
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