2020 Entrance Ceremony Speech

The Three Things You Need to Know to Design Your Life

Congratulations to those of you who will start working with us from today. On this special occasion, I would like to share with you three life philosophies that will help you discover your own design for life, and two workplace initiatives. I will call the life philosophies “An Awareness of Time”, “The Mechanisms of Progress” and “Life is a Soup Pot”. The workplace initiatives are “Efficiency of the Transfer of Knowledge” and “NPBO”.

 

1. “An Awareness of Time”

In the context of human history, our lives are very short. Your life is limited from the moment you are born. It is up to each person to choose how they will live their life but, in order to choose something worthwhile, one must be aware that their time is limited. The phrase “time is money” is not an accurate one. Time’s value cannot be compared to that of money, because in time you can make money, but you can never use money to buy back time. The key thing in living a worthwhile life is to decide on your goals, but there are many other techniques. To this end, there are three things that you must think about to easier achieve results at work.

 

  1. What you will do.

  2. How much of it you will do.

  3. When you will do it by.

 

Always think of these three things in order to avoid wasting time.

 

2. “The Mechanisms of Progress”

In the past, before humanity had conquered the planet, our ancestors faced many problems, such as hunger, cold and wild animal attacks, which we cannot comprehend now. Our ancestors were able to solve many of these problems and those of us born now, as opposed to three million years ago, are able to live a rich life. How were we able to make such progress?

 

We have made such progress by passing on our knowledge to each successive generation, allowing them to add value on top of the progress made by the previous generation. This process is like that of a long-established restaurant adding flavour to its soup every day in order to make its base more and more delicious. We have continued adding new flavours to the soup inherited from our ancestors for over 1000 generations. We living today are, so to speak, eating the soup dishes that consolidate the wisdom of our ancestors. As such, our ancestors live on as elements in each soup.

 

I was taught at a trading company which specialized in chemicals that I worked at in my 20s. Looking back, everything I learned there was the latest in trading know-how. I am very grateful to my seniors for passing the know-how they had cultivated to that point on to me. I’m now almost 50 and, considering the remaining time in my professional life, it’s time to pass on the information I inherited from the previous generation on to the next; I must make sure I “brush it up” as much as possible before I do so.

 

3. “Life is a Soup Pot”

The range of problems that humanity has solved thus far is a diverse one, so there are many well-established soup pots I can use in this analogy. Starting from stoneware, there is agriculture, industry, medicine, education, human rights, philosophy, energy and many other types of soup pot. Countless people have contributed to human progress.

 

When I was little, I had a longing to live abroad so, as a college student, I studies abroad in Australia. Following that, I chose to work at a trading company that does business with foreign countries before starting my own trading company when I was 30 years old. I decided early on that I wanted to “deepen mutual understanding between the world and Japan and reduce the sense of distance.” My ‘soup pot’ was decided at an early stage. I have been lucky to do what I have enjoyed for my lifework. This luck may have stemmed from the fact that, during my fourth year in university, I conducted my job hunting based on my desired profession rather than the traditional values of company size and brand. I am grateful to the president of the place at which I held a part-time job at the time for giving me the appropriate advice.

 

In feudal times, there was no freedom to choose a profession, but nowadays people can choose whichever profession they like. Thanks to this progress, we live in a blessed world in which we can freely decide which field, or ‘soup’, is in our ‘soup pot’ according to our own inner voice. Life seems long, but you only have so much time. Find the most important thing in your life, your own ‘soup pot’, and make your life worthwhile.

 

Those who are joining our company as new graduates will experience work for the first time by working with various teams. Listen to your inner voice and see which aspects you find yourself most absorbed in.

 

Finally, I would like to share two workplace initiatives.

 

1. Efficiency of the Transfer of Knowledge

 

We aim to develop a system which can more efficiently pass on know-how to the next generation. When I was young, information was handed down from person to person, but we must now leverage digital technology to increase the efficiency and reproducibility of knowledge in order to speed up the growth of individuals, teams and humanity as a whole.

 

2. NPBO

 

We recognize the limitations of a corporation whose mission is solely to pursue shareholder terms. Therefore, we want to put forward to society a new kind of organizational structure for the upcoming era; one which can convince employees to concentrate more on solving problems in their preferred fields.

 

It is a hybrid of a business corporation that values productivity and an NPO (Non-profit Organization) that pursues social benefits. It is called an NPBO, as it combines the strengths of an NPO and a business corporation.

 

Being born is the greatest opportunity you will ever get. Make the most of your chances and design yourself a life which leaves you will no regrets. We extend to you our warmest welcome and sincerely congratulate you on joining us.

 

Masa Oguchi

CEO, Daishin Co., Ltd./BuyChemJapan Co., Ltd.