The Courage to be Disliked


  • Anger is a means to achieve a goal.

  • Life isn’t just hard. If the past determined everything and couldn’t be changed, we who are living today would no longer be able to take effective steps forward in our lives. What would happen as a result? We would end up with the kind of nihilism and pessimism that loses hope in the world and gives up on life.

  • Right now, you are unable to feel really happy. This is because you have not learned to love yourself. And to try to love yourself, you are wishing to be reborn as a different person. You’re hoping to become like Y, and throw away who you are now.

  • ‘The important thing is not what one is born with, but what use one makes of that equipment.’ You want to be Y or someone else because you are utterly focused on what you were born with. Instead, you’ve got to focus on what you can make of your equipment.

  • People can change at any time, regardless of the environments they are in. You are only unable to change because you are making the decision not to.

  • ‘If only I could be someone like Y, I’d be happy.’ As long as you live that way, in the realm of the possibility of ‘if only such and such were the case’, you will never be able to change. Because saying ‘if only I could be like Y’ is an excuse to yourself for not changing.

  • ‘No matter what has occurred in your life up to this point, it should have no bearing at all on how you live from now on.’ That you, living in the here and now, are the one who determines your own life.

  • People cannot simply forget the past, and neither can they become free from it.

  • Students preparing for their exams think, If I pass, life will be rosy. Company workers think, If I get transferred, everything will go well. But even when those wishes are fulfilled, in many cases nothing about their situations changes at all.

  • ‘To get rid of one’s problems, all one can do is live in the universe all alone.’ But one can’t do such a thing.

  • Being alone isn’t what makes you feel lonely. Loneliness is having other people and society and community around you, and having a deep sense of being excluded from them. To feel lonely, we need other people. That is to say, it is only in social contexts that a person becomes an ‘individual’.

  • As long as there is someone out there somewhere, you will be haunted by loneliness.

  • ‘The one who boasts does so only out of a feeling of inferiority.’

  • If one really has confidence in oneself, one doesn’t feel the need to boast. It’s because one’s feeling of inferiority is strong that one boasts.

  • A healthy feeling of inferiority is not something that comes from comparing oneself to others, but from one’s comparison with one’s ideal self.

  • Even if you’re not a loser, even if you’re someone who keeps on winning, if you are someone who has placed himself in competition, you will never have a moment’s peace. You don’t want to be a loser. And you always have to keep on winning if you don’t want to be a loser.

  • Because of one’s mindset of not wanting to lose, one is unable to admit one’s mistake, the result being that one ends up choosing the wrong path. Admitting mistakes, conveying words of apology, and stepping down from power struggles—none of these things is defeat. The pursuit of superiority is not something that is carried out through competition with other people.

  • We are not living to satisfy other people’s expectations.

  • When one seeks recognition from others, and concerns oneself only with how one is judged by others, in the end, one is living other people’s lives.

  • In general, all interpersonal relationship troubles are caused by intruding on other people’s tasks, or having one’s own tasks intruded on. Carrying out the separation of tasks is enough to change one’s interpersonal relationships dramatically.

  • What other people think when they see your face—that is the task of other people, and is not something you have any control over.

  • ‘Children who have not been taught to confront challenges will try to avoid all challenges.’

  • Separating one’s tasks is not an egocentric thing. Intervening in other people’s tasks is essentially an egocentric way of thinking,

  • An adult, who has chosen an unfree way to live, on seeing a young person living freely here and now in this moment, criticises the youth as being hedonistic; of course, this is a life-lie that comes out so that the adult can accept his own unfree life. An adult who has chosen real freedom himself will not make such comments, and will instead cheer on the will to be free.

  • It’s that you are disliked by someone. It is proof that you are exercising your freedom and living in freedom, and a sign that you are living in accordance with your own principles.

  • A way of living in which one is constantly troubled by how one is seen by others is a self-centred lifestyle in which one’s sole concern is with the ‘I’.

  • Being praised is what leads people to form the belief that they have no ability.

  • It is when one is able to feel I am beneficial to the community that one can have a true sense of one’s worth.

  • When one is sad, one should be sad to one’s heart’s content. It is precisely when one tries to escape the pain and sadness that one gets stuck and ceases to be able to build deep relationships with anyone.

  • The philosopher’s points could be summed up as follows: people can only be truly aware of their worth when they are able to feel ‘I am of use to someone’. However, it doesn’t matter if the contribution one makes at such a time is without any visible form. It is enough to have the subjective sense of being of use to someone, that is to say, a feeling of contribution.

  • Self-acceptance is the vital first step. If you are able to possess the courage to be normal, your way of looking at the world will change dramatically.

  • Life is always simple, not something that one needs to get too serious about. If one is living each moment earnestly, there is no need to get too serious.


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