How to Continuously Produce New Ideas (Part 2)
World Teacher's Message No.277


The Question:

Many young people look for immediate, tangible results. They often give up when they are unable to withstand their lack of understanding or become satisfied with their knowledge with an Internet search or the reading of a light book. Can you tell us the kind of mindset we should have so we can better endure time and persevere?

November 9th, 2016 Happy Science Special Lecture Hall
From Q & A of lecture, “On Intellectual Honesty”


Combination is a method that can be used to prevent ideas from running out. By combining things of a different nature, creation is possible. It is said that innovation is the combination of complex and unpredictable things, so new things can be created when unrelated things are combined.

For instance, you could combine your experience with English, possibly from study abroad, with the world of “Chihayafuru”’s Hyakunin Isshu karuta (One Hundred Poets One Hundred Poem) in order to create something unusual.


The Possibility of Surface-Level Skills Wearing Off

For instance, there are not many people who can speak English, even amongst actors, so having this skill would provide some novelty.

In the movie “New Godzilla,” the lead actress, I believe, had gone to study abroad for a few months in New York or some other place a year or two ago (at the time of lecture). After coming back, she had a role in a movie as a nurse traveling around Africa with doctors without borders. She also played a role as a person who falls in love with a monk, acting as a female English teacher, thereby utilizing her new English skills.

I happened to watch the movie “New Godzilla” with my secretary who used to live overseas as a child. She told me that both the English and Japanese that the actress spoke was incomprehensible. From the standpoint of a bilingual person who used to live overseas, she couldn’t understand the English that she was speaking. In addition, the Japanese was spoken too quickly so could not be easily understood. When I heard this, I thought, “I see, that’s one valid perspective.”

English sounds very quick from a typical Japanese perspective, and her Japanese was spoken with an American way of curving the mouth. She also spoke too quickly, which produced Japanese that doesn’t sound right. When I heard the comment that both languages couldn’t be understood, I got the feeling that it wasn’t something that should receive too much of a compliment. I thought, “okay, people can get that kind of impression.”

I don’t remember if her time abroad was three months or six months, but this level of short-term language training will only lead to shallow results. After playing in a couple of productions, the audience will eventually recognize her true proficiency.


Reading the Works of Many Others

Regardless, if people want to continue living off their career, they need to broaden their fields and come up with atypical combinations. It’s like a mystery novel in a way; if you’re the type of person who worries about running out of ideas, it’s important to study the works of various mystery novels from other authors and analyze their tricks.

People should at least study and take notes of tricks used in books like Sherlock Holmes, to give a classic example. When these observations are applied to a completely different place–for instance doing something that Sherlock Holmes did in London at the train station of Shinagawa¬–it will show up as “different material.”

This was used by Seicho Matsumoto as well. Seicho Matsumoto either graduated or dropped out of elementary school and worked as a typography picker in a newspaper company. He became an author, but he couldn’t read English so he would hire university students who could, make them summarize newer English novels into a 10 to 20 page paper, and then bought those papers from them. Even by having just the summaries of English mystery novels, he was able to get hints for his work.

If you can’t read English yourself, you can still hire people who are able to and have them write summaries for you to keep so that you can combine them and create “new tricks.”

These kinds of efforts are necessary.


Preparation Will Eliminate Worries

As shown, hard work will be rewarded in the end, and it is also necessary to do something that other people aren’t doing. Doing the obvious work in an obvious fashion will help build fundamentals, but in order to create a product that surprises people, that is fresh, and receives praise, one has to do more.

One can put in more effort, possibly by studying something different, thinking about interesting combinations, or putting an extra twist on a presentation. This needs to happen.

I have done my work for 30 years, but the reason why the CEO of our publishing company, IRH Press, is able to chase UFOs and “play around” is because he is convinced that I will continue to be able to write more books.

If I was the type to worry that I won’t be able to write many books, he wouldn’t have the relaxation nor time to chase UFOs (laughter from the crowd).

Unless he shows me around saying things like, “Master, this is a spot where UFOs shows up. You should come see,” or “No, this wasn’t the right place. Let’s go to a hotel where ghosts are said to appear,” I would run out of things to write about.

However, I put in my own efforts to succeed in my career, which is why the CEO can relax and pursue his hobbies. If I couldn’t produce books, his attitude would change instantly.

He would need me to come up with new ideas, so he would consult with other people too, create a project team, and start thinking of places to take Ryuho Okawa. Like Takeshi Kaiko, he would try to make me fish in an interesting area or have me do various other things.

In this regard, remember that fundamentally, preparation eliminates worries. I think that this is what matters. (End)

How to Continuously Produce New Ideas (Part 2)
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