All posts by Andrea Jacques

  • A Brave New Year

    I belong to a women’s group that has been meeting monthly for over 15 years. We don’t have cocktails, or trade recipes, we drink tea and listen deeply to each others’ joys and struggles. In a world...

    • Posted January 7, 2018
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  • Perfecting Perseverance

    Willpower, in the form of “ganbare” is so woven into the fabric of Japanese life that it is difficult to navigate a day in Japan without hearing this term. Ganbaru or ganbatte means “give it your best”...

    • Posted October 18, 2017
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  • Time to Thrive Part 3: Staying on Track

    If you’ve followed the advice in parts one and two of this series, you’ve picked your focus, made a proper plan and started executing it. Despite this focus and organization, however, you’re eventually going to run into...

    • Posted October 4, 2017
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  • Ikigai and aging well

    Japan, along with many other countries in the developed world is experiencing a marked increase in the percentage of its population that is over fifty. With this changing demographic comes an increased interest regarding what it takes...

    • Posted September 2, 2017
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  • Time to Thrive Part 2: The Planning Paradox

    You’re smart, successful and ambitious. You work hard. You’re obsessed with being productive. So why do you always find yourself wondering where the time goes and if you’re really making progress? Last month, I introduced the first...

    • Posted August 15, 2017
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  • TIME TO THRIVE: Getting more life for your time.

    TIME is your most precious resource. Even more precious than money. You can save money to use in the future, you can invest it and it will grow, and you can get a second job or start...

    • Posted July 15, 2017
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  • Too Damn Busy: Why you are and how to stop.

    Here’s a statement about my life – and probably yours. The day I started writing this article, I got stuck in our elevator for 30 minutes – and enjoyed it! Somewhere in a day that was jam-packed...

    • Posted May 12, 2017
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  • New beginnings part 2: Barriers to a brighter future

    Making the move to a new and better stage of your life and career without getting overwhelmed by the inevitable challenges and uncertainty the process it involves, is a challenge. Last month I wrote about the importance...

    • Posted April 12, 2017
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  • New Beginnings Part 1: KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE

    For most foreigners living in Japan, the time to leave eventually comes. Whether leaving out of desire or necessity, this transition can be fraught with stress. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. I’ll...

    • Posted February 15, 2017
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  • Have You Found Your Calling?

    Vocation/ Calling: Vocation and calling are often used interchangeably because they have similar definitions. Vocation is defined as a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work and calling as a strong inner...

    • Posted January 12, 2017
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  • Create more meaning, fulfillment and impact in your work

    While holidays are a time most people look forward to because they can forget about work, being away from work provides a great opportunity to gain some perspective on it and develop strategies to make it more...

    • Posted December 22, 2016
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  • The Rise of the Portfolio Career

    Do you have a job but dream of building a career? You might be out of luck. Why? The traditional definition of what constitutes a career is becoming obsolete. Consider the following definitions of career: 1) a...

    • Posted November 14, 2016
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  • The meaning of work: OCCUPATION

    How the words you use when thinking and talking about work influence your performance and fulfillment. Occupation: Defined as an activity that a person spends time doing, people who see work as an occupation tend to neither...

    • Posted October 26, 2016
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  • Saving your business without selling your soul

    A few years back I spent most of August on a self-styled writing retreat at a gorgeous house overlooking the ocean on Vancouver Island. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful or inspirational place to write....

    • Posted June 16, 2016
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  • Success by Accident: The Kintsugi Path to Soulful Success (part 2)

    Last month you learned three of the three keys to which artist and entrepreneur Morty Bachar his ability to go from pottery beginner to building 23 successful pottery teaching studios across the country and growing to...

    • Posted April 10, 2016
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  • Success by Accident – The Kintsugi Path to a Fulfilling Life

    On January 29th, I published my first book, Wabi-Sabi Wisdom: Inspiration for an Authentic Life. In brainstorming ideas for the cover image, my husband recommended the idea of using a photo of kintsugi, the Japanese art of...

    • Posted March 12, 2016
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  • WA

      “Wa” is a concept integral to understanding the roots of Japanese culture. Most often translated as “harmony”, the practice of wa in Japanese society involves maintaining peace, unity and conformity within the group. On many levels,...

    • Posted February 23, 2016
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  • The 8th Mindset of Workplace Transformation: Motivation vs. Inspiration

    The eighth (and final!) mindset of workplace transformation addresses where people derive the energy and impetus for action from. At this time of year this mindset is relevant even if you are not a leader as it...

    • Posted January 10, 2016
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  • Transforming Work Part 7: TIRED vs GOOD TIRED

    How do you maximize performance? Great leaders and the most successful and valued employees understand that high performance cannot be achieved or sustained without nurturing fulfillment. The seventh mindset of workplace transformation centers on shifting your focus...

    • Posted December 10, 2015
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  • Transforming work Part 6: Transforming the Tyranny of ‘To Do’

    Ever had a day, a week, or even a year where you’re troubled by the nagging sense that you haven’t been truly productive, despite being incredibly busy? You are not alone. Whether you work for yourself or...

    • Posted November 20, 2015
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  • Transforming Work Part 5 – Slowing Down to Speed Up

    Are you the kind of leader who is always putting pressure on your team (and yourself) to get things done faster? Research shows that this management methodology is counterproductive. Contrary to the deadline “rush” that is commonly...

    • Posted September 11, 2015
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  • Transforming Work Part 4: Purpose Over Profit

    (This is the 4th article in a series                                                                                                                                                        on the mindsets of  workplace transformation.                                                                                                                         Click to go to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)  The fourth mindset shift is one that leaders and employees at all levels desire, but have trouble sustaining – the shift from a...

    • Posted August 14, 2015
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  • Transforming Work Part 3: From control to creativity

    The last two months have featured two key mindset shifts that forward thinking leaders and employees must make to have a positive impact on transforming their workplace. The first was to shift from a surviving work style...

    • Posted July 10, 2015
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  • Transforming Work part 2 FROM STATUS TO SERVICE

    An ever-growing volume of research is demonstrating that if businesses are to thrive and profit for the long term, work must become a source of aliveness, not just livelihood, for each and every employee. To achieve this,...

    • Posted June 8, 2015
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  • Transforming work and workplaces

    For more than 25 years now,  I have worked with individuals and organizations to transform their work and their workplaces. In many ways the situation has improved. Technology has made it possible for people to work from...

    • Posted May 11, 2015
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  • Get real for big change

    As a working mom, I am constantly bombarded with information about what I should be doing to be a good mother, wife and business person. I should always feed my family healthy, organic, creative meals, I should...

    • Posted April 9, 2015
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  • Beyond Rajio Taisou: New Directions for Creating Wellness at Work

    Workplace wellness programs that focus on improving physical fitness are becoming commonplace in leading companies around the world. This is something that has long been known and practiced in Japan. Honda pioneered an approach where they enrolled...

    • Posted March 11, 2015
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  • A new perspective on planning

    I have long believed that taking the time to clarify your vision, set goals, and map out strategies to get from where you are to where you want to be is an essential ingredient for success, but...

    • Posted February 16, 2015
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  • If you do X, then Y will be the result.

    Mastering Soulful Success To succeed in the adult world, we learn how to push, plan, set goals, strategize, and work hard. These concrete skills teach us that there is a direct link between cause and effect –...

    • Posted December 17, 2014
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  • Lessons from a florist : 4 Ikebana principles to guide a happy life

    I studied ikebana – Japanese flower arranging – for some time while I was in Japan. (At one point, I was even on a student visa and was meant to be studying 20 hours per week!) Unfortunately,...

    • Posted November 10, 2014
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  • Culture Matters

    The games we play   s mother to a 6-year old, I spend a lot of time playing games with my child and his friends. Recently, I realized that the issues that get in the way of...

    • Posted October 9, 2014
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  • Honne and Tatemae

    The concepts of tatemae and honne are deeply embedded in the Japanese psyche. Many foreigners living in Japan get frustrated by how difficult, if not impossible, it is to get behind the tatemae (the “face” that a...

    • Posted September 10, 2014
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  • The 5 Secrets of Enduring Companies

    apan has the privilege of claiming more than 20,000 companies that are over 100 years old (and a few that are more than 1000 years old!), so it is no surprise that Japan has a specific word...

    • Posted August 9, 2014
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  • The Top 5 Barriers to Finding Work You Love

    With 25 years of experience coaching people to create careers that align with their passions, I have encountered dozens of ways that people block themselves and the process. After a recent skype coaching session with one of...

    • Posted July 12, 2014
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  • Work Less Nap More

    orkaholism is a tough nut to crack. Why? Unlike other areas like alcohol and drugs where people overdoing it is frowned upon, overwork is worn as a badge of honor in many countries. In North America, successful...

    • Posted June 9, 2014
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  • Crafting your spirit at work: The way of the Shokunin

    iro Ono is a famous Tokyo sushi chef who, at 89, has no intentions of retiring unless he is incapable of showing up to work. His work brings so much meaning, purpose and joy to his life...

    • Posted May 7, 2014
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  • 2014 – Year of Alignment

    Living in modern society can be tough. It is stressful. A recent global survey of 1000 corporations across 15 countries commissioned by The Regus Group found that 6 in 10 workers have experienced increased stress in the...

    • Posted January 1, 2014
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  • Is FoMO Your Biggest Barrier to Success?

    Living in Japan offers plenty of opportunities to get out, learn, explore and try new things. From personal experience, I know that saying yes to these opportunities can be a huge catalyst for expanding your career or...

    • Posted December 15, 2013
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  • Why Japan scores poorly in employee engagement

    October is Healthy Workplace Month in Canada, so last month I was immersed in a sea of research, articles and best practices for creating healthy, thriving workplaces. When this annual promotion of healthy workplaces started thirteen years...

    • Posted November 9, 2013
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  • Less is More: End Decision Fatigue and Resolve Your Personal Energy Crisis

    In a world overloaded with choice, one might be tempted to think that the more options we have to choose from the better. A growing body of research on willpower, decision-making, energy, performance and happiness shows the...

    • Posted October 6, 2013
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  • Bracing for balance

    In today’s fast-paced world, most successful people you talk to would say that they would love more of one thing – balance. The challenge with achieving this balance is that balance, by definition, is about maintaining a...

    • Posted September 12, 2013
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  • Soul Success, Part 1: Define success on your terms

    The biggest challenge with achieving success is that it is defined in reference to the traditional status quo. The assumption is that when you have the good job, the house, the car, the husband or wife and...

    • Posted July 4, 2013
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  • Tsubos, Spirit and Success

    (This is an excerpt from the introduction to my forthcoming book, Crafting Your Spirit)   It is easier to write a resume than to craft your spirit, But crafting your spirit makes resumes irrelevant, and success, on...

    • Posted June 18, 2013
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  • Kyosei, a personal practice

    Living in Japan, one of the characteristics of the culture that I found most fascinating was the desire and ability to function harmoniously as a group. Far more so than in Western culture, Japanese culture promotes the...

    • Posted May 1, 2013
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  • The year of no excuses

    We are now well into March and a majority of people have already fallen off their New Year resolution wagon. Most have good excuses for doing so and are still telling themselves that they will get on...

    • Posted March 3, 2013
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  • The dark side of ganbatte

    “Ganbatte” is a seemingly innocuous word that every foreigner in Japan quickly becomes familiar with regardless of their level of Japanese. On the surface it appears to be a friendly motivational phrase that is used to encourage...

    • Posted February 3, 2013
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  • Out with the old

    Japanese year-end traditions are one of the many things about Japan that have continued to play a big part in my life and work since I returned to Canada more than a decade ago. I don’t eat...

    • Posted January 2, 2013
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  • Learning to let go

    Successful people often attribute their success to the tenacity with which they hold onto their vision, their principles, and their ideas about the right and wrong way to do things. Yet it is precisely this attachment to...

    • Posted December 3, 2012
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  • Don’t sweat the ‘chisai mono’

    In our world, August and September are usually slow from a work perspective. Many clients postpone sessions due to holidays or because they are busy ramping their families up for fall. This year was a different story. ...

    • Posted October 31, 2012
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  • Red socks and tattoos

    This past month I came across two very powerful metaphors – red socks and tattoos – that are trans- forming my choices in life and work. First, the socks – Red socks (or any other red item)...

    • Posted September 28, 2012
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