Yes, I deleted a post.

Lately I’ve been thinking about “faith.” We’re surrounded by what we have faith in. I get out of bed every morning because I have faith that doing so is better than staying in bed. I use my toothbrush because I have faith that it’ll clean my teeth. If I didn’t have faith in it, I’d throw it away. If I didn’t have faith in the bicycle I ride to the train station, I’d either fix it or throw it away and buy a new one. I have faith that the train I ride to work will get me there. And so on. We’re so surrounded by people and things we have faith in that we don’t normally think about it.

We throw away or avoid the things we don’t have faith in. So I started thinking, what if someone doesn’t have faith in himself or herself? And I realized, wow, that’s my problem. That’s a big problem. It makes me think of all the things I would have done by now if I had more faith in myself.

Here’s the reality. The company I work for isn’t doing well. I need to take some of the blame for that. And my only choice is to have faith in myself, my coworkers and my boss that we can turn things around. At the least, I need to have faith in myself. And having gotten so used to not having faith in myself, it’s going to be difficult to change my way of thinking. But for my family’s sake, I have to do it. I want to do it for my boss, too. I like the guy.

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

16 thoughts to “Yes, I deleted a post.”

  1. I read the deleted post, and I’d like to say that I admire your faith and your willingness to ride the ship down. Without knowing the full details, it’s hard to offer advice (and you didn’t ask for it). I will say this, though:

    I was in a similar situation and rode the ship down–at least down as far as a layoff that found me looking back on 7 years saying “WTF!?!” I gave a *lot* to that company and even when I knew things were bad, I just stepped up and gave more.

    In the end, though, I believe I would have been further ahead if I’d listened to the advice of friends and treated work like work. Had I examined it objectively, I’d have found a different job much sooner. Work is work. Family is family. You may like your boss, but you need to care about the bottom line.


  2. I’m riding the ship, that’s for sure. Whether I’m riding it up or down is a cup-half-full or cup-half empty kind of thing. The fact is there are people in Japan who want to study overseas and thereare people overseas who want to study in Japan. And there are schools looking for these students. The questions are, how can we find and attract enough schools and students to make a living out of putting them in contact with each other? How do we convince people who are debating whether or not to study overseas to take the plunge and choose us to help them? Right now, I’m working on improving our Canada specific website at to make it easier to search for schools, and I just got a few very good ideas from a coworker, with whom I should have talked to sooner. Staring down the double barrels of, “Your life is fucked,” certainly breaks one of old bad habits, i.e., until now I’ve been pretty quiet at work and I realize now that we need to communicate more.

  3. Yes, more regularity might work. Get out there with your headphones that pick up all that 3D sound and walk thru Tokyo and talk about whatever and just keep doing the same thing you used to without changing too much or overdoing it. If you go out and do two or three eventful things, no matter how mundane, I think it will compose itself. Kinda like how George Lucas says he wanted to have several distinct environments per movie, but yours will be a maid bar, a converyor belt sushi restaurant, and a nature park. Think of it as crude poetry but keep it the same as it was: moan and grumble, worry, get angry, philosophize, take breaks so we can hear the cars or the birds – whatever. Looks like you have the advertising sort of rolling now so maybe you can make something out of it all.

  4. Faith in yourself is key. And I think you have a lot of reasons to have confidence in yourself.

    However faith in your toothbrush is much less important than the evidence that it makes your teeth clean. In fact without that evidence, your faith would be quite misplaced.

    Faith in your company and boss is a grand thing, but you need to have some objective marker that tells you if your faith is warranted or not. Don’t wait for the dentist’s drill…

    Chris (’s last blog post..Nine Heavens, One Hundred and Thirty Six Hells

  5. I hope things work out.

    Heard your promo on the DSC this morning too! Kinda threw me a little to hear Rich and Tony talking to me in the middle of Adam’s show, but felt good!

    Alan’s last blog post..Rails, MySQL and ImageMagick on OS X Leopard

  6. Alan, thanks for letting my know that Adam played the promo. It really cheered me up. I’m surprised he played it because a few years ago I *really* pissed him off. He ranted about me for an entire episode without mentioning my name, but we both knew who he was talking about. Either he forgot already or he’s a good guy. I suspect the latter.

  7. We’ve never met so I feel slightly uncomfortable offering advice but I feel like I know you so here goes some tough love. The original post was honest and confident. This update seems that you’ve reinserted your head into the sand. I agree with Chris and Chris above. Yes – your boss and the company have been great, but keep in mind you gave him years of dedication and exceptional work. It’s not like he has been giving you huge bonuses and lots of extra vacation time every year – you did the job that you were hired for very well, and you’ll do it again for your next employer. You don’t owe him a thing and shouldn’t feel for a nanosecond that you’re abandoning ship or letting anyone down. Life is short and you take care of your family’s needs first. Moreover, change can be energizing and it sounds like you could use a recharge. Indeed have faith in yourself! With your language and technical abilities there is no doubt you’ll find a better position with a shorter commute and eventually wonder why you didn’t move on earlier. I’ve worked for a few startups both in Japan and in Silicon Valley. Some panned out and others imploded. It’s all good. Ganbare bro!

  8. I’m sure people have already said this in one way or the other, but the simple fact of life is that it is full of many risks. Many of us are afraid of taking risks, including me…but risk-taking is a part of life. The real question is, do real heroes or heroines actually exist anymore? The dictionary defines a hero/heroine first as “a legendary figure endowed with great strength or ability”…but the last definition on the list I find much more poignant “an individual admired by others for his/her actions; the central figure in an event, period, or movement”. So do modern “heroes/heroines” really exist anymore? I digress, but anyway…


    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  9. Faith is an interesting word, really… I like this definition: “Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.”

    That’s from the “Hebrews 11:1”

    Basically, it’s saying that faith is based on evidence, concrete things demonstrated in reality… and the confidence that you can have based on that proof. Contrary, to what some think, faith isn’t based on emotion or gut feeling.

    Like you said, you have faith in the train system, your bike, etc. I don’t think it’s a matter of how much faith one has in something, but really, in its track record. Take for example, stocks. You can’t have faith in a Stock unless you know enough about the company and how it has has performed in the past. You can’t even say you have faith in God unless you have studied, at least to some extent what he has performed in the past.

    Having faith in yourself usually comes after you’ve evaluated how you’ve overcome obstacles in the past. Confidence follows faith.

    Faith can only go so far when it comes to other people. If your faith in your company, your boss and the market is solidly rooted in realities, I’d say stay the course… but hey, there’s only so much we can do before we realize we need to move on.


  10. There was a time when the company where I worked was in very bad shape, to the point where it was looking like it would be padlocked. I cannot remember any mass exodus, probably because lots of us really did not have any readily available alternative. So we stuck with it, and they hired someone who turned the company around. We went from losing $50 MILLION a year to earning $240 MILLION. Not bad for a company of about 4,000 employees. So it can happen. That guy who saved us? He is now the governor of New Hampshire.

  11. You need to keep busting your butt, but at the same time you need to start looking for a new job. Work hard and move on. You still have many years of work ahead of you. Do really plan to stay at the same company forever? Yes, this is Japan…but even the Japanese corporations are loosing longtime workers for better jobs. I work in the auto world where you work hard and move on or you work hard and get laid off. So, I work hard with passion and I am always looking for the next opportunity. I have always been a passionate worker for the 3 companies I have worked for (I am 29 and started in the auto industry at 20). Every time I quit, my bosses have always said that they wish that I would stay and I am one of the hardest working guys they have ever worked with, but after hearing that and not being offered money or promotions I hit the road. It might be different for other people, but I have never had a company say we are going to take care of you because you work hard and do good work. Like someone else said, it is just a job, you do it to the best of your ability and when you feel you need to move on…do it. No hard feelings. It is always tough and awkward looking for and starting a new job, but it sounds like you need to do it. Take care of your family and yourself.

  12. Mike: Back when Podcast Alley was the only watering hole on the web for podcasters worldwide, a fucking pedophile–a real, honest-to-God, little boy loving pedophile, started promoting his podcast there and people wanted him kicked out. It was tearing apart the community. For weeks A.C. and company did nothing and the atmosphere was getting worse and worse. So finally, I sent an e-mail to Xeni Jardin about the controversy and CC’d Adam on it. He went totally apeshit, and I was glad, because it finally convinced him to take a stand. I immediately apologized to him afterwards and he accepted, so I have no regrets. I still have a lot of respect for him.

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