Japanese Proverbs To Help Improve Your Life

I came across the following Japanese Proverbs through a friend of mine, who understands my like for anything that can help improve my life. I am certainly not perfect neither do I carry a perfect life. I live my life in the only way that I can, which is by doing what makes me happy.

For so many years I lived life normally, not naturally. Normal is what everyone does, natural is what you do in a unique way, what your talent is. We all are different and we each have a unique natural way to be which is lost as we grow up in a society where we are taught to behave normally.  Unfortunately when we do this, we tend to join the rat race and forget there is nothing and no one to compete with. Learning to be and embrace myself to its fullness has been a wonderful journey. I am thankful to have been born with a defiant spirit which never gave into the norm. As I get older I am loving every step of this process called life.

At times it can be painful, frustrating; you may have to let go of some people, add layers to your life others would not understand; ultimately, as long as you are healing, growing, you are moving in the right direction…who cares if others get your choices or not?

The few times my sweetheart and I have talked about our past relationships, we have done so only to take a close look at how far we have come along as people.  We both agree this is  the first time we have been able to be “real” with another person.  Our past and the relationships in it where stepping stones, learning lessons, for which we are grateful. We learned positive and negative things about our then partners and about ourselves.

A lot of things have changed for us, not just with each other but also with the quality of people we surround ourselves with.  We have developed the ability to be real with each other, to not fear criticism from others and not fear being vulnerable with each other. We have learned to gently push and encourage each other to develop; it’s been a rocky road but when one choses to be real with another person, the experience is unlike anything that can be described.

The Proverbs I am about to present to you here have helped me a lot throughout my personal journey but they have also helped me when it comes to my way of relating to others.

1.- If a problem has a solution why worry? if it does not, why worry?

Reality is, many of us are worriers. The bottom line is we need to let go more. Let go of fears, ideas, toxicity, people, anything that does not contribute to our growth. We have to accept there will be things, circumstances and people we cannot change, neither is it our job to do so. At times there will be no solution to certain problems, so just let go. To worry only hurts you and damages your health. It doesn’t matter if others get it or not, it is not their life, its yours. Do what you need to do to be happy and healthy!

2.-If you think about something, make a decision. If you decided stop thinking about it.

Second guessing ourselves is probably one of the most damaging things we can do to ourselves. Usually the best decision we can make comes naturally/ intuitively. Have you ever head the expression listen to your gut? I am not referring to making a decision when you are angry or upset. Wait until you are in a calm mood, make a decision and after that follow it with actions, stop second guessing yourself. You will make some good choices and some bad choices, but they are yours, and you can learn from both.

3.- Do not try to stop those that leave, neither reject those who come into your life.

So many times like children we tend to either internalize things or to shake responsibility of our part in things. Neither one is good, circumstances and people change; we change too, some people will come and some will go, we have no control over it. To be bitter and vindictive is a sign of a deep rooted issue which has not been resolved but has nothing to do with anyone else but you.  It may be that you are genuinely a nice person but things just changed.

To recognize where our soul’s growth ranks is easy. Ask yourself how do you respond to change?  Do you become bitter? Do you hate? Do you conspire to hurt those whom you feel hurt you? If you do, then you need to work on that because you are shaking any responsibility and that isn’t helpful.  If on the other hand you are respectful and wish for the person that left your life to find happiness, then you are a mature soul. Saying you wish the best for the other person isn’t enough, if you are only saying it to others but your actions towards the person that left are those of revenge; you need to learn to be congruent.

4.-It is best to be the enemy of a good person, than the friend of a bad one.

This is pretty much how I was raised. I was told “It is better to have an enemy you can respect, than to have a friend who is a backstabber”.

Many of us think friendship has a price. We hide behind the word loyalty; loyalty represents something beautiful, a great ideal.  To stand behind or stand by someone whom you consider a friend but hurts others is wrong. It is a sign that you may fear solitude. To turn a blind eye is wrong. No one has the right to be going around invading, bullying or  disturbing the privacy and the life of others.

5.-If there were no common people; then there would not be extraordinary people.

This proverb challenges us to be exceptional. To go against the norm. It is those whom the world considers challenging, difficult, opinionated, who really changed this world for the best. To not rock the boat may get you popularity or to feel you are accepted but are you really?

6.-If you want to reach high, build a ladder.

This proverb invites us to put our words into actions. To work for what we want, to try our best. You may not have as much as the next person but make sure that what you have is yours, not something you took from someone else.

7.-True love is seen when man and woman act like hands and eyes. When the hands hurt, the eyes cry. When the eyes cry, the hands dry the tears.

This is beautiful. I am experiencing this with my partner and it’s the most connecting experience one can have with another soul. Are you there to be the rock when the person you love is hurting? Do you bring a solution, do you seek help towards finding one?
When I am hurting my partner listens and soothes, not just with words but helps me find a solution. I am his priority, in the same way, he is mine.

When he is hurting, I am there, and to me it does not matter the criticism of others. If we made a decision for our benefit, for our health we stand by it. To us is non-important, what others think of our “world” or why we guard our household the way we do. Others don’t see the hurt in my partner caused by those who wished us ill. Others don’t care what has been done to him; as such, I stand to protect my partner and my children from things that will affect their health, spirit and mind. Do what is best for you, others don’t live your life.

8.-Even if you were to use the sword once in you life; it is necessary to carry it with you always.

You don’t have to fight the world, simply removing yourself from anything and anyone that does not compliment you or help you develop is good. One can stand up without retaliation, without vindictiveness; one can walk away. However one day you may come across those who no matter how much you have tried to walk away and ignore, won’t let you be.  There comes a time when you have to draw the line. You will need to stand up in a way that leaves no room for the other person to coward or hide. It isn’t about fighting the world, it is about fighting for the world and that starts with you. There are times to walk away and there are times to fight, otherwise you become someone anyone can just walk over; your life should matter more to you than to act like a doormat.

9.-If you want to know about the true nature of a tree, look at the fruit

People can say many things as talking is easy but the best way to see their nature is by how they teach those close to them; their fruit. It does not matter how nice a person acts with others, all you need to know about them you will know by looking at those close to them. Is not about what they preach is about the results. Are they respectful? forgiving? kind? gentle? straightforward? or they go around preaching something while their actions are unkind, rude, cruel.

10.-When there is love even the worst scars are beautiful.

This is very true. When you truly love someone, you don’t love them with your eyes. People don’t fall in love with how someone looks, that is called attraction.
People can be attracted to many beautiful looking people; that is natural. However, people fall in love with how the other person makes them feel. Imagine what it would feel like if a person made you feel ugly, like you are less than them, if they pointed out your scars, your lumps, the way you talk, etc….chances are you will not be attracted to them, no matter how they looked or how they acted. Love builds, it doesn’t enable neither does it belittle.

11.-One doesn’t fall if they are just laying on a bed.

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, it means, you are trying. You may be trying to figure life or yourself out.  Mistakes are natural and as long as you have learned something from them then you are ahead.  Mistakes are not the same as patterns nor are they the same as becoming stagnant.  A wise person said “show me a wise person and I will show you someone who has made many mistakes”. You cannot learn if you don’t try, wisdom truly does come from the knowledge collected in your triumphs and your failures.

12.- When walking let the fools, the blind and the crazy walk first.

Let others do and say what they want, time is always your biggest ally. Time will reveal everything, take your time; show results.  Even to fight back, take your time…time has a tendency to reveal what is hidden.

13.- Victory belongs to the one that waits longer than its opponent.

This calls us to be patient. Nothing can be kept hidden permanently.

14.-Verify 7 times before you judge someone.

It is sad to see how many people believe the first thing that someone says about someone else. It really does reveal a lot about themselves and their limitations. If you have not met the person yourself, then you are speaking or passing judgement like an ignorant fool. If you have not taken the proper time to know a circumstance or a person, then don’t act like a fool by passing judgement on what you know nothing about.

15.-Excessive goodness is really a mask for stupidity.

Doing good things is great but when one lives trying to be good to everyone, it is a deflective technique.  It’s no different than a magic trick; look that way, so you may not look this way.  Plainly stated “If I distract you with this, then you won’t have to look too closely at me”. Goodness starts with one self and one’s own household.

16.-Poverty creates thieves; the same way love creates poets.

This is a sarcastic proverb and a very accurate one.  Just because one is in love doesn’t necessarily mean one is versed with the gift of poetry, that is a talent not many have. In the same way, just because someone is poor it does not mean that person will be a thief. When it comes to feelings, one should not strive to become a poet but to expose your emotions in your own unique way.  When it comes to poverty it is important to recognize that it is not a spiritual state, only a material one and in most cases people can work themselves out of it.  We should also be careful not to be praising those who have a lot, maybe they work for it, in which case it is admirable; but it could also be they simply took from others because they felt they had the right to, in which case one would be praising a thief.

17.-Deep rivers ran slowly.

Do not compete with others, do things at your rhythm, and do what works for you.
You may think others have it together but that isn’t always the case; remember the best art takes time to be created.

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By Sofia Falcone

I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges, victories, hopes and learnings, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves!

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