Tag Archives: Chris Guillebeau

World Domination Summit 2013 (#WDS2013)

This year’s World Domination Summit (WDS) was different in a few ways. The biggest difference was the size; there were more people this year than previous years with over 2800 participants from 33 countries. I also traveled a lot more distance to get there unlike last two years (See my previous post for details). Here is the brief summary of my experience.

・Speakers & Workshops

My #1 favorite speaker was Jia Jiang who spoke about how he overcame the fear of rejection. His experiment of “rejection therapy” where he deliberately seeked rejections by asking outrageous things such as driving a police car or flying airplane was very inspiring. You can watch one of such experiment on his YouTube video. I heard from many attendees that they would like to do the same thing in order to overcome their own fear of rejection. Often we talk ourselves out of pursuing what we really want because we are afraid. Jia Jiang beautifully articulated how he built an intimate relationship with fear of rejection so he could go for what he wanted without being afraid.

I also enjoyed two musical performances; Clare Bowditch sang this song called “Amazing Life” at the end of Darren Rowse‘s presentation.  On the 2nd day, Steve Schalchlin who is living with HIV/AIDS performed his own songs while playing the piano, singing about the days of his struggle, later accompanied by Portland Gay Men Chorus. These musical performances were  played with such heart and soul  that they brought tears in my eyes.  Judging from the looks on the other attendees, I believe I was far from alone. I was reminded how powerful the human voice can be.

One of the workshops I attended was with Danielle LaPorte from Canada. She had many “quotable” suggestions. I have always enjoyed her talks very much as her words always come from her heart. She spoke about desire mapping and how to find one’s core desires. A few of the memorable phrases are:

“Your journey of exploration could be moneytizable”

“Love at first sight can happen when you trust it can happen”

“What if joy is your birthright?”

“Beauty is a powerful door-opener”

“Imprint yourselves with victories”

“Obsess yourself about being useful”

“Real men love curves” – this one came in response from a question about women and body image issue. She also said “either deal with it or learn to accept it”. I believe this is true for other aspects of life.

・Friends & Attendees

WDS is not just about speakers on main stage or breakout sessions. Meeting with other attendees is a core aspect of WDS. On Friday night at the Oregon Zoo, I saw lots of familiar faces from the past 2 years. Also, I became a part of a San Diego WDS group last November and we had several meetups this past 6 months, so seeing many of them again in Portland was really nice. Knowing so many people made me feel more comfortable than the past two years in social settings. I was particularly happy and proud when one of our San Diego friends won the Unconventional Race. Well done Oliver!!

・Parties!

When I told someone that this was my 3rd WDS, he said that “you must really like the parties”. I never thought of WDS as a party, but it is true. They know how to throw good parties! The opening ceremony was at Oregon Zoo with a marching band playing music while doing all kinds of crazy tricks. For the closing ceremony, they blocked off “Pioneer Square” which is at the center of downtown, and following the WDS tradition, Bollywood dance kicked off the party. In both places I had lots of fun, partly because of the music and dance, but also it was a great opportunity to connect with the old friends as well as make new ones. Of all 3 years of WDS, I had the best time at the parties this year as I knew a lot more people this time around, and it also made it easier to meet new people during this time.

Also I did a river cruise on Saturday evening where 400 WDS attendees got on a cruise ship called “spirit”. I had a good time on the cruise – I enjoyed meeting with other attendees, looking at the scenery along the coast, a view of the Portland bridges which are very unique, and beautiful sunset.  To top off an already fine voyage,  the  excursion included  swing dancing with a fellow attendee named Trevor whom I also danced with at the last year’s closing party.

・The Toast

At the closing, close to 3000 peop      le in the theater toasted with apple cider (Chris was cracking jokes on how they came to chose this beverage while close to 3000 glasses of apple cider were being distributed throughout the theater) . It was quite a view. Every year, the ending closes with bittersweet feelings as I always feel that I don’t want it to end. I must admit that I didn’t particularly love having to wait a long time to get in the main building or workshop venues, but it is true that all of the attendees are what make this event so special and that is what makes me want to come back.

・The Team

Don’t forget the amazing team of “Ambassadors”!  I felt so much love coming from them each time we walked into the theater, and a few different ambassadors helped me throughout the weekend, all of them equally helpful and very friendly. WDS came out of Chris Guillebeau’s mind but the team truly embraced his vision and created something really magical. If I lived in Portland, it would be a team I’d love to be a part of.

・Next  step

I wrote most of this blog on a flight going back to Japan. I also wrote my new goals on another list, with specific “next step” for each one. I am excited to get it started, and I will share them here in coming days.

Journey to Portland, OR (#WDS2013)

I attended the World Domination Summit(WDS) in 2011 and 2012 and had a wonderful experience in both years. This year, however, I almost did not go back.

I’m from Japan and I’ve been living in San Diego since 2002. My husband and I now have 3 sons, ages 6, 5 and 16 months old. This year, we decided to go back to Japan as a familyfor 6 weeks, starting early June, so our oldest son could have the experience of attending a school in Japan for one month. It was what I’ve always wanted to do, so I did not purchase the ticket for WDS2013. I told myself that I could not go to WDS this year.

January came around, and a good friend of mine said, it would be nice if I came. Yes, it would. Then I asked myself – why wouldn’t I?

I then realized that I was putting myself in a box – a box that is made up in my mind, putting myself in the roles such as being a mother or a wife. The self-talk sounded like “I should not go because I’m a mom of 3 kids including a baby”, “Japan is so far away from Portland, OR”, “I should not leave my husband at my parents house, that’s just not what a good wife & daughter would do”.

But then I remembered how capable my husband is in taking care of our sons, or how my parents and my husband get along well enough that they would be fine without me for a few days.

When I pitched this idea of me leaving for a few days for something I really cared about, they were very supportive. They didn’t reject me. They had already embraced who I am a long time ago and they continue to be the most supportive people in my life.

This experience reminded me that you have to be vigilant, constantly keep watch on your self-talk, and keep these “shoulds” or “shouldn’ts” in check. A quick recap of WDS2013 will follow in the next post, but I wanted to write about the journey to get to Portland, OR this summer and how grateful I am for my family. Making the round trip Tokyo – Portland just for the weekend was a crazy thing to do, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was well worth it.

「常識からはみ出す生き方」の著者、クリス・ギレボーと会えるチャンス!

無料の電子書籍「世界征服へのやさしい手引き」を書いたクリス・ギレボーの最初の本、”The Art of Non-Conformity”の日本語訳がこの夏に発売になりました。私のアマゾンのレビューはこちらでお読みいただけます。

クリス・ギレボーは今年2冊目になる本”$100 Startup”を出版しました。この本はNew York Timesのベストセラーにもなり、日本語の版権も既に売れていると聞いています。この2冊目の本があまりに売れたからだと思いますが、ふたたび南カリフォルニアでブック・ツアーが行われることになったそうです。実はもう今週に迫っています。5月にパサデナに来たときの様子はこちらに書いたとおりですが、ブック・ツアーでのmeetupはとてもインフォーマルで、事前登録さえ必要ないイベントです。ふらっと立ち寄って、クリス自身だけでなく、その場に来ている人々と交流したりできる場所でもあります。サンディエゴでは、7月にポートランドで行われたWorld Domination Summitに参加した人々のグループがFacebook上で立ち上がっており、かなりの人がまたクリスに会いにラホヤに集まる予定のようです。クリスのメッセージに賛同する人々とつながることも刺激になるはずです。

このWorld Domination Summitは今年は1000人の参加者を集めてポートランドで行われました。チケットは発売後すぐに売り切れになり、5000人近くの人がウェイティング・リストにのっていたほど。2回目となる今年は最終日にサプライズがあり、参加者全員に$100の入った封筒を渡されたのです。初日にも彼の本が参加者全員に配布されており、最後には$100の現金。“What difference can you make for you, for someone, for this world, with this $100?”と言われているかのようです。下記の動画はそのときのクリスのスピーチです。

WDS 2012: The $100 Investment from Chris Guillebeau on Vimeo.

世界中から1000人ものファンを集めることができる、クリス・ギレボーって一体どんな人?という興味が満たせるだけでも、この無料のmeetupに行く価値は十分あるのではないでしょうか。日時等の詳細についてはこちらのブログ記事をご覧ください。

World Domination Summit 2012

World Domination Summit 2012 ended last Sunday. It was my 2nd time to attend this conference (I wrote about the first one here). This year, it was twice the size from last year, and it was amazing to see this beautiful theater filled with 1000 attendees. What’s more, apparently some 5000 more people wanted to come.

The most memorable speaker for me was Brené Brown. I wasn’t familiar with her work before I heard her speak, but I am now a fan. She talked about vulnerability.  The topic happened to coincide with an area I’ve been  working on these past few years. Most of us are so afraid of being or feeling vulnerable. She then talked about the value of keeping our heart open even when we want to shut down, withdraw or hide, because that is what keeps us connected with people, and with the world. It’s what makes us feel. She said that “the capacity to be wholehearted can’t be greater than your willingness to be heartbroken”.

After seeing her speak, and sharing the experience of singing the song “Don’t stop believing”, a popular song by Journey, with everyone in the theater full of people, I remember thinking “this alone was worth coming here”. You can read a back story of this occurring in a blog post by Brandon Sutton, who took over the microphone from Chris (in picture) after a while. Reading Brandon’s post reminded me that nothing is quite how it seems on surface, as he looked calm and confident as if he was practicing for this performance…

Then there was Cal Newport, author of “How to be a high school superstar”. He talked about how thefamiliar advice of “Follow your passion” is a bad career advice, based on his research and discovery. He said that nothing is quite as simple as the phrase suggests. He talked about the value of craftsmanship, spending 10,000 hours or more to be truly great at something, how we all should want to strive for mastery – and how the most satisfied and happy people at their jobs share common “patterns” in their career paths. When you come to this kind of conference and hear the speakers talk, you might think that the people up on the stage make everything so easy, and “anyone can do what they can do”. Or just the opposite, they might make you think that they possess something special  that you don’t, and you can’t do what they do. The truth, of course, may lie somewhere in between. Anything worth doing, and more importantly, anything that creates a lasting impact will take time to master, and one needs to put in some serious effort. Those who are the happiest at their job have spent time doing the work and got really good at a rare and valuable skill, to the point that they can leverage those “career capital” to gain general traits(characteristics of the life you want), so their life can be filled with the value of their choice. Cal concluded his speech with this remark “Do what Steve Jobs did, NOT what he said”, meaning that when you closely look at his career, creating a computer was not his #1 passion to begin with. According to Cal, if Steve Jobs had followed his passion back then, he probably would have become Zen instructor. Overall, I enjoyed Cal’s speech a lot. It reminded me that in the world of instant gratification, sticking to one thing and pursue until it becomes your passion, has lots of value. It can also be a good relationship/marriage advice. Rather than try to find what you love, learn to love what you already have….

Then there was Chris Guillebeau. At the end of these mind-turning, heart-opening, inspiration-loaded 2 days, he managed to shock us once again. He shared that unlike last year where they lost about $30,000, this year they came out ahead and made a small profit.  Then he talked about an anonymous donation that came after the last year’s summit. He announced that he would invest that money in us, the 1000 attendees of this conference. He told us that we were all going to receive a $100 each when we walk out of the venue, so we could do something good and meaningful with it. When he said that, I felt like I could hear what people are saying in their heads while quietly gasping in shock and disbelief. The picture above was taken when he just announced. In the end, we walked away with an envelop which contained $100 bill and a small card that said “Thanks for making #WDS2012 a fantastic experience. We’d love to see how you can put these funds to good use. Start a project, surprise someone, or do something entirely different – it’s up to you”.

How will my life be different because of this experience? How can I make someone’s life different, or make a positive change in this world? These are the big questions I still need to answer. But first thing first, my birthday is coming up in exactly 3 days! Since I pledged to give up my next birthday at the end of the presentation by Scott Harrison for his charity: water,  I created this page and started a campaign to raise money so we can give more people access to clean water all over the world. Please join me to make it happen!

Thank you Chris, the action team and the ambassadors, all of the speakers, and all those who attended and became part of this experience!

*Photos by Armosa  Studios

World Domination Summit in Portland, OR

It’s been a few days since the inaugural World Domination Summit has ended. Those who’ve attended are still talking about it on twitter by using the hashtag #WDS. Numerous blog posts have been written, including this one by the visionary and creator of this event Chris Guillebeau. I’m about to add one more to the list.

First, I have a confession to make. At some point I had seriously thought about not going. I purchased the ticket as soon as the registration opened up last year in fall, partly because it was offered with a “pioneer price” to the first 50 or 100 people (Also, being a “true fan” that I am, I usually respond to Chris’s invitation to his readers). Portland is one of my favorite cities because my friend since elementary school lives there with her family and I had fun memories visiting them a few times in the past. But as the departure date drew near, other things started to come in to my life. I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Japan at the end of May, which would leave only one day between Japan trip and the trip to Portland. I was also feeling a bit selfish for leaving our two young sons with my husband’s care in 2 weeks in a row.

The other hesitation was that I felt like as though I already knew what I’d “get” by going to this event. I’ve been following Chris’s work for 2 years – I’ve been reading his blog regularly, I have translated his manifesto to Japanese, read his book and even worked really hard to get a Japanese publisher to buy the foreign book rights in Japanese… I knew what his message was all about. Also, I knew some of the speakers at the event, including big-name bloggers such as Pamela Slim, Danielle LaPorte, Jonathan Fields… I have heard all of them speak before and/or have been reading their blogs occasionally, and felt like I sort of knew what they are about too. Additionally, I had already taken a leap of faith and have been living my dream! Shouldn’t I stay with my family instead of going on “vacation” to Portland, after being absent for a week?  If I want to know more about what they have to say about anything, I could read their blogs…

In the end, I am glad I didn’t cancel my trip. Looking back, there were many memorable moments throughout the weekend, but here are some key things that I took away.

1.    Awareness and gratitude:

On Saturday morning, in his opening remarks, Chris mentioned; “This is not a motivational conference”. Listening to him, I realized that I went there partly because my life is already awesome. That awareness filled me with gratitude for my life and my family who supports me in my journey.

2. Connections with new and not-so-new friends:

I have made several meaningful connections throughout the weekend. One of them was with @Mehori, or Mr.Hori from Japan. On several occasions we had a series of conversations about life, work and the current status of things in Japan. It was refreshing to hear his point of view from many reasons. Another re-connection I made was with @mma323, or Mr.Matsumoto – for those who were there, he’s famously known as the guy who Pam Slim took down on stage. Actually, Mr.Hori, Mr.Matsumoto and I had met in Tokyo last December, but reuniting again at this side of the ocean meant a lot to me.  Mr.Matsumoto and I had dinner together on the second day of the conference, and we joined fellow WDS attendees afterwards for a drink. It was interesting to hear him talk about his pursuit of romantic relationships. We’d have to continue the discussion when he comes down to San Diego this weekend…

3.    What makes me feel most alive:

On the 2nd day of the event, Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen took the stage and presented their Mondo Beyondo talk. These two giggly ladies asked us to think of a time where we felt most alive. This question threw me off a little bit, because the first thing that came to my mind was not at all what I had expected. It wasn’t about accomplishing amazing goals such as getting a job at the United Nations or publishing a book –  it was when my kids and I were pumping the pomp of this fire truck to make it move forward at the Legoland, or when I was out swing dancing by the beautiful San Diego bay. Then we were supposed to talk to a partner and solidify why these moments came up, and pick a word to describe it – which ultimately pinpointed the value we hold dear. The word I picked was “let go” because when I get out of my head and am taking action I feel most alive. Also, they told us that their message to each of us will be found underneath of the chair we were sitting. This earned them a standing ovation from a hall full of 500 attendees – the card I found on my chair said “You are becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be”. This experience brought me tears. The rest of the speakers were all uniquely great and inspiring but this was one of the most memorable moments. I carry this word with me and try to look at it written at least once a day. Oh, we were supposed to write that one word we found somewhere on our body to honor and reconnect with that value…it looked something like this in this picture of @mma323. As you can see, his one word was “love”!

Last word about this event; there is something about being there in person. Yes, you can accomplish lots of things on-line these days and the distinction between “virtual” and “real” are getting blur especially if you are connecting with “like-minded” people. But being in that space and creating a face-to-face connections is still very powerful. An inspiring event where you get to connect with inspiring group of people, where you feel like you belong, an event which bring you tears and laughter….If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, you can put your information here so you can be one of the first to know when the registration opens this fall. I look forward to The Sequel in 2012.

*Photos by Armosa  Studios

PS….Short video of WDS2011 can be found here.

私のヒーロー達が出会った夜

「世界征服へのやさしい手引き」を書いたクリス・ギレボーの全米ブックツアーが進行中です。昨日は夜7時から、アトランタでイベントがあることをFacebookで現時時間の6時半過ぎに知った私は、出張でたまたまアトランタに居る夫に電話で知らせ、そのイベントに行ってもらいました。夫にとってクリスは「ブロガーで、飛行機のマイルを集めることにやたら詳しくて、私がインスピレーションを得ている人」という程度の認識があるだけの存在でしたが、昨日を境に「現実の人」になりました。

自分が「いいな」・「やりたい」と思っていること、あるいは「一生懸命取り組んでいること」について、パートナーに理解してもらうこと。これは私にとってとても大切なことです。それだけでなく、私がそういったことの情報やインスピレーションをどこから得ているのかを知ってもらうという意味で、昨日の夜、夫がそのイベントで実際にクリスの話を聞き、またクリスのメッセージに賛同して集まっている大勢の人たちと交流する機会があったことは本当に嬉しい出来事でした。各都市でのイベントは、クリスの呼びかけに応えたボランティアによって場所をおさえたり告知したりなどの企画・運営が行われますが、昨夜のアトランタでのイベントは、他の参加者のブログを見る限りでも、クリスにとってもかなり思い出深いもののひとつになったようです。クリスは最近タイのチェンマイに行ったときに、虎の檻の中に入れる園に行って、自分の本を持って虎と写真を撮ったのですが、その風景を誰かが壁紙に描いてそれが飾ってあったそうなのです。(その写真はこちら。クリスの顔の部分がくり抜いてあって写真を撮れるようになっています。遊び心満載のおもてなし!)

ブックツアーのイベントで何が起こるかは、それぞれの場所で集まる人数や、参加者の希望にもよるそうですが、昨夜はクリスの講演がありました。自分のやりたいことをしながら、他の人の役に立つようなことをすること。「どうやって早く終わらせるか」という効率ばかりを追い求めるのではなく、「なぜそれをするのか」という目的をもって、ひとつひとつのことを行うこと。「パーソナル・ブランディング」でなく「パーソナリティ・ブランディング」を意識すること、などについて話があったそうです。

9月に発売された彼の本“Art of Non-Conformity” は全米の書店やオンラインで購入できます(一時はあまり売れすぎてアマゾンで値段が下がり、$5台にまでなっていました)。また「Lifehacking.jp」というサイトを運営している堀正岳さんという方のレビューをこちらで読むことができます。現在アメリカ在住で、これらのトピックに興味がある人は、是非こちらで今後のブックツアーのスケジュールをチェックしてください。クリスがあなたの住む町にやってくるかもしれません。

Gift of Giving

Today I attended a San Diego Women’s Foundation membership committee meeting. I’ve been a giving_moneymember since 2008 and was selected to be a 2008 “class coordinator”, meaning that I am in charge of encouraging people who joined in 2008 to attend events and meetings. This is a unique organization in a sense that we give out a certain amount of money to different worthy organizations, but we do not do any fundraising event. The money comes from membership contribution ($2000 a year). The idea is that there is a limitation of what $2000 individually can do, but if we pull every member’s contribution together, we can collectively do a lot more things that are beneficial to the community. Continue reading

The Life of Baby Miroku

It was raining really hard and even stormy on Monday this week, highly unusual for San Diego. I canceled my RCB course as I was feeling some pain in my abdomen. Being 16 rain202weeks pregnant, I felt that I needed to take it easy. I lied down in bed and waited for my doctor’s office to open at 9:10. But before that time came, my water broke and I went into a premature labor. My husband and I rushed to the Sharp Mary Birch hospital where we had delivered our two previous children over the past few years. Long story short, our baby was born at 10:31. It was a boy. His heart was no longer beating. According to the doctor who took care of me, it was a miscarriage because it was before 20 weeks – but to me, whatever the correct medical term might be, what happened was that we had our baby boy and he passed away.

As I wrote in my previous post, I had experienced a miscarriage before I had my first child. Ever since that experience, I was very private about my pregnancy – I waited as long as I could to start telling people each time I got pregnant. I’d tell people only I was into 5th months when my regular clothes no longer fit. So this time, only a few people knew that I was pregnant with our 3rd baby. I just had my OB check on Thursday last week, everything was going well, and I was finally into my 5th months, so I was going to tell people at work this week – then Monday came, and this happened. I had to tell them that I “was” pregnant, but I lost our baby, and that I needed a few days off from work. I stayed at the hospital on Monday night as I had to go through a D&C operation. I returned home on Tuesday. I went to work on Wednesday and Friday briefly to take care of some things, but other than that, I stayed home mostly, trying to recover physically and going through the grieving process. Today I had a meeting at the school where I work that I could not reschedule, so I went in for a few hours. Most people did not even know that I was pregnant, much less about what happened, and I could have just let it be. If I had kept quiet and carried normal conversations with people during the few hours I was there, they would not have known anything at all. But I felt this strange desire to start telling people. As painful and sad it is to think or talk about this experience and our dead baby, if I don’t talk about him, nobody would know about him. I wanted people and the world to know that our baby boy existed even for a short period of time. So I decided to write about him.

We named him Miroku. After he came out, I had to go to the operation room to have the D&C procedure performed, and while I was gone, my husband told Miroku some bedtime stories and about his two brothers. After I came back, I held him for a very long time. His eyes were shut and we never heard him cry, but we have this memory of him, with his tiny arms wrapped around himself. He was wrapped by a blue baby blanket and had a tiny yellow hat on. We finally said good-bye to Miroku later that evening.

We called my mentor Susie Walton while this was happening – I wanted to talk to her, as I knew she could help us get through this experience. She later called back and left a message on my cell phone. She said that Miroku came to us, so he could experience our love. Obviously, I would have liked it if he had stayed with us longer. If I had known that our time was so limited, would I still have wanted him to come to us? I also reached out to my other mentor Pamela Dunn after I came home on Tuesday. We talked on Wednesday, and she helped me work through some of the regrets I had about what happened. She suggested this beautiful “what if”. What if Miroku’s soul needed to be healed by love, before he had to move onto other place to do whatever he needed to do? He chose us to be his parents and stayed with us for 16 weeks. Now that his soul was healed by our love, he had to say good-bye. When I heard Pam say this, I felt something shift in my heart. Until that moment, I had been so focusing on things I wish I could have done better or differently before this whole thing happened. But if he came to us because he wanted to be loved so his soul could heal, I can say that we did the best we could – after he was born, he was never left alone in the room, he was held by either my husband or myself for the whole time – we told him about his brothers, how much we love him, and how much we’d have loved to take him home. We took some pictures, and I video taped my husband talking to our children while holding Miroku, so that they could someday learn about their younger brother. I hope that Miroku’s soul was filled with love by the time we had to say good bye.

There is no point or conclusion to this post as it’s a grieving process that I am going through – I am trying to take one day at a time. I’ve been crying my eyes out every day and I don’t think it will stop anytime soon. My role model Chris Guillebeau whom I had a pleasure to meet back in September has a favorite quote that he posts occasionally, and I dug through his tweets to find it. I think this somehow fits into this situation so I’ll end this post with that quote;

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr Seuss


Meeting With Chris Guillebeau

This year on my birthday, I wrote a list of “birthday resolutions” – a list of things I hope to accomplish this year. One of the items on the list was “Meet with Chris Guillebeau in person”. He is someone I’ve got to know through my coaching training; one of the students mentioned him in a class, and I checked out 073his web-site as he sounded interesting. I immediately liked what he stands for, and what he is trying to achieve through his blog. I started following him by reading his blog regularly, commenting occasionally and connecting with him on Twitter. He has lots of experience even though he is still in his early 30s, and he writes about life, work and travel in his blog “Art of Nonconformity”. I thought it would be so cool if I could meet with him, so I included it in one of the resolutions.

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Pain is Inevitable, but Suffering is Optional

The title is a phrase that I just heard today while listening to Haruki Murakami‘s book “What I talk about when I talk about running”. It’s Murakami’s memoir, a book about being professional writer and a (amateur) runner. Chris Guillebeau, who I just got to know of about 2 weeks ago, talked about this book(Chris is a big fan of Murakami) in his report “279 Days to Overnight Success“. I’ve read most of Murakmi’s novels, but didn’t know this one partly because I had not gone back to Japan for a few years. I immediately checked the local library and got the book on CD – my favorite way of “reading” books these days during my commute. It was strange listening to this book translated in English – I tried to imagine how it’s written in Japanese, the original language, while listening to the story.

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