A long time ago, there was a pro baseball player who popped out while his team was losing, but he was sort of smirking on his way back because the fly ball went far out to the fence.
Uh huh. (laughs)
I couldn’t figure out why the coach didn’t yell at him for it. Because the viewers were bummed out that he was out.
Yeah. I’m sure he went back to the bench thinking, “So close!”
Right. In other words, it’s the same out whether the ball lands right by the edge of the line or striking out. You don’t want him to think of it as the lesser of two evils. As a professional player, you expect him to feel sorry for getting out.
So you don’t like it when someone feels satisfied that he saved face.
Exactly. I hate when someone’s like, “Well, at least I was able to save face.” What good does saving face do you? Of course, being able to at least hit a ball coming at you at 90mph is quite something of itself, though.
I wonder where people can learn these sorts of things.
Even within our company, once someone lands the title and position of Director, it’s like you said earlier, Iwata-san, you have to start thinking about budgets and prestige and you lose some of that passion. I really hate that, the lack of desperation.
Desperation, huh? Desperation is something of a keyword.
People thinking about saving face don’t feel that desperation.
That’s true. Prestige is the opposite of desperation.
They’re antonyms, aren’t they?
Yes, I think that’s very true.
Recently I was able to meet Sarasa Ohno-san, who’s the author of a book called Komatteruhito (I Am Suffering).
Oh, so you got to meet Ohno-san? I read that book after you recommended it to me, and it was very powerful.
Wasn’t it interesting? She’s a 26-year-old woman with a so-called intractable disease, which means that she’s really using her time to the fullest.
She has a really rare autoimmune disease, and she couldn’t figure out what caused it. She had an incredibly rough time even figuring out the name of the disease. There’s no confirmed treatment either, which makes her life difficult. But there’s something so charming about her writing. She writes with so much humour and objectivity.
Maybe I’ll check that book out.
When I met Ohno-san - and I don’t mean to flatter myself - she told me that she trusted me. And she said her reason for trusting me was, “Because you’re desperate.”
Now, no one ever really calls me desperate.
If anything, you’re the definition of the last person anyone would call desperate. (laughs)
Exactly! (laughs) For some reason people always think I’m silly and lazy. Especially people who’ve never met me before. They seem to think that all I ever do is goof around.
But Ohno-san took one look at you and knew you were desperate.
When she said that, I thought - and I don’t mean to sound conceited here - but I thought, “She really gets it.” I mean, I thought I was the only person who knew that I was desperate.
Well, if you weren’t, you couldn’t update Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun daily for 13 years without a single holiday. (laughs)
So I asked Ohno-san, “Oh, do I look that way to you?” and she said, “Everyone is desperate when they’re doing something new.”
Isn’t that a nice answer? In other words, if it’s something you’ve done before, you can control your prestige, and observe the formalities, because you already know “Okay so after one comes two.” But if it’s something you’ve never done before, of course it’s not going to go well. That’s what Ohno-san said, and I think she’s right.
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