January 2015

In This Issue

A New Year's Tradition

   You Can Be Happy If You Decide To Be

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It's 2015 and we're off and running. A beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock on where we've been, where we are now, and where we're headed. This month's articles explore these ideas and also delve into the world of positive thinking and how the practice of daily affirmations can be integral to how you see the world and your success.


I enjoy the opportunity to share with you each month new insights that might help you achieve your own success. Please forward this email to colleagues and friends if you found them valuable. And, if you haven't done so already, please sign up on my website to receive continuing editions.


Thank you for being an attentive audience! May 2015 bring you much inspiration, insights, and success in whatever endeavors you may be pursuing.



Steve Terusaki, President of SEIDO Consulting
Steve Terusaki  
SEIDŌ Consulting
A New Year's Tradition - SHO CHIKU BAI

The beginning of a new year finds us inundated with articles about New Year's resolutions, goal-setting, and goal-achieving. A common theme is about why resolutions don't stick; what we can do to better achieve what we set out to do; and how best to set out realistic achievable goals for ourselves. In past January's I have written on these topics, too. You're invited to review these arti
cles in the archives on the Resources section of my website.


As we begin 2015, I'd like to offer a uniquely Asian perspective on the New Year. From an East Asian tradition, one of the symbolic references for the New Year is the Pine, Bamboo, and Plum. A Korean poem by Kim Yuki (1580-1658), captures the paradoxical contrast of these three elements:   


Peach and plum of springtime,

don't flaunt your pretty blossoms;

  Consider rather the old pine

and green bamboo at year's end.

What can change these noble stems

and their flourishing evergreen?


The pine, bamboo, and plum represent elements that flourish in the midst of winter. The pine stays evergreen when other plant materials lose their foliage with the cold and shortened days of winter. The pine also exhibits strength with its branches carrying the weight of the heaviest of winter snows. The bamboo, also evergreen, is lithe and flexible. It rebounds from heavy snows and strong winds demonstrating its endurance in the harshest conditions. The plum is one of the first flowering trees to bud and blossom in the late winter and although the blossoms are delicate and ephemeral, they are symbols of new hope, new opportunities, and an optimism for the new year despite the harshness of the winter season.


In Japanese, Pine, Bamboo, and Plum are "SHO-CHIKU-BAI" (show-cheekoobuy) and are written with the three Chinese characters above. At temples and shrines throughout Japan on New Year's Day, SHO-CHIKU-BAI are prominently displayed. On our family table for our first New Year's meal, we create a centerpiece of pine, bamboo, and plum that graces the  assortment of special Japanese dishes (osechi-ryori) that are part of Japanese New Year.

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You Can Be Happy if You Decide to Be
The holidays are over and you're probably feeling generally burned out by all the excess - too much socializing, too much family, too much food and drink, too much money spent, and the list goes on. The holidays, while mostly enjoyable, can also bring about a real "letdown" feeling when they're over. We often feel blue, out-of-sorts, and lacking direction and focus. So what do we do to feel more "together" and "in control" after such a time? We make resolutions! You know the drill: I will lose 10 pounds in the next three months, I will be kinder to my partner, I'll stick to a strict budget, etc.


Well, I've got another one to add to your New Year's Resolutions list and that is:




Did I make this idea up? I wish! No, this concept is filtering into all of our brains on a daily basis and is "all the rage" these days. It's trendy. It's fashionable. And yes, it can lead to the attainment of a fabulous wardrobe. And that's not all!


The entire concept solidified for me the other night while watching a film a colleague loaned me called, "The Secret." While very Hollywood, and at times downright cheesy, the basic message is very good. In short, it's all about "the law of attraction" which states that what we focus on in our minds is what we get. In short, what we tell ourselves about what is possible for us to attain, is what we draw to us.


For example, if we believe that all men are jerks and that they really do come from Mars, that's the kind of guys we'll attract. On the other hand, if we believe that there is a multitude of decent, kind, loving, and emotionally available men out there just waiting to meet someone fabulous like ourselves, those are the kind of guys that we'll attract.