Do You Have a Positive Attitude?

The year 2014 is drawing to a close. Although my forecast that the year 2015 will herald a new era was shaping up nicely, the consumption tax hike and bad weather have unfortunately put a damper on Abenomics, the government’s economic policies. A further two-percentage-point increase of the consumption tax has been put off for a year and a half, but I am concerned about how the upcoming general election, which will be held right in the middle of the year-end sales battle, is going to impact the economy. In the end, 2014 can probably best be described as a year of adjustment.

I hope that 2015, which is the final year in my “2015 theory,” gets off to a good start in a variety of ways, but it remains uncertain how far the yen is going to weaken and how that will impact the domestic economy. From the perspective of investors, since the scheduled consumption tax hike has been shelved, Japan’s underlying strength is going to weaken. The only remedy seems to lie in boosting the economy. I really hope the government’s growth strategy works.

Anyway, the New Year is approaching, and the holiday is a good time to refresh the spirit by etching some words of wisdom on the brain. Let me quote from the yoga master and philosopher Tempu Nakamura (1876–1968).

“We human beings think about all kinds of things and matters, but there are surprisingly few people who know the real meaning of why we do so. Most people just live from day to day and do not think about life itself. They do not think about causative factors at all. ‘It wasn’t me who planted these seeds,’ they think. But that’s not so. It is the thoughts and ideas in our minds that make us what we are today. Whether our wishes and ambitions, in other words, our present desire to do this or that, are realized or not depends not on external factors but on the mental powers bestowed within human beings. If we don’t understand that, we cannot fortify our beliefs.

“. . . If you fall ill or experience bad luck and are told that there is something wrong with your lifestyle, rather than bearing a grudge, you should show gratitude and move to correct the mistake with joy. The most important thing is to direct your mind into a positive mode. If you have time for mind-weakening regret and remorse, you should turn your thoughts in the original positive direction. In the end, your life is determined by your state of mind.

“For example, if your business is not going so well, don’t just think that you are having bad luck but rather that heaven is telling you, through this outcome, that there is something grossly wrong with your attitude or method. Be thankful for the indication that you have veered off track and for the opportunity, even though you were on the threshold of collapse, to try again and make a comeback.

“Depending on whether you have a positive attitude or a negative attitude, your thinking about life will be completely different. If you have a positive attitude, whatever the situation, life will appear bright, dashing, and full of energy. But if, conversely, you have a negative attitude, everything in life will lose vigor forever. If your attitude to life is negative, everything in life loses momentum.

“When your mental attitude becomes positive, your strength of mind turns the impossible into the possible.”