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[INFO][The Korea Times] 'Live your own life,' psychologist recommends

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'Live your own life,' psychologist recommends


By Jin Yu-young

"One day when I was stressed out as things didn't go the way I intended. I tried to figure out what went wrong. Soon wisdom came to me and I learned to listen to my inner voice. I'd like to do what I like, rather than what I am supposed to do."

Kokoroya Jinnosuke, psychologist and author of the book "From Now on I would Live My Own Life," gives readers tips to relieve stress from their lives.

As the title suggests, the Japanese author recommends readers live their own lives and stop worrying about how others see them.

"Gone are the days of smiling just for the sake of others," he says.

In this book, translated by Park Jae-young, the Japanese author provokes a debate about today's society, a place in which many people carry out their lives under social pressures rather than live their lives for themselves.

Many of us are caught in an endless and toxic cycle of overwork. We pour everything into our work to the point that we damage our personal relationships and constantly feel anxious despite our achievements. After working a stable, well-paying job for many years, Kokoroya found himself dissatisfied with his life.

He concluded it was because all he had done his entire life was work hard rather than pursue his own passions or develop a life outside of work.


Kokoroya Jinnosuke's "From Now on I would Live My Own Life"

After submitting his letter of resignation, he realized he was more scared than anything else. He wondered why and soon realized it was because all the hard work and long hours he dedicated to his job had little use outside of the office _ he was unprepared for any other world outside of his corporate bubble.

Similar to how the author quit his job to pursue other passions, Kokoroya advises readers cut out unwanted activities.

"Everyone has the same 24 hours," he says, "and those who have more time to do the things they like are those who have eliminated the things they don't like." He also fully acknowledges the fear people may have in letting go of stability and venturing onto a route that is more passion-driven than money-incentivized. Many people attribute a lack of pursuing their desires to fear of a financial shortfall.

But to this, Kokoroya argues perhaps this simply means we are not desperate enough to chase what we really want.

He also addresses the draining nature of trying to please other people. In many cases, when we are faced with an unpleasant situation, we are taught to pretend nothing is wrong for the sake of others. We are trained to keep to ourselves and not inconvenience or burden others.

Kokoroya highlights, however, that regardless of our efforts some people will inevitably dislike and be displeased with us. As this is unavoidable, we should let go of these external expectations and live accordingly to our internal standards.

Kokoyora also touches upon loneliness. We oftentimes feel there is no one who can help us, and thus we feel as if we are alone in our troubles.

The author claims, however, that rather than a lack of help, it is our own reluctance to trust others that results in perceived isolation. "But to always refuse help," he says, "is an extremely cold-hearted and difficult way to live." We must learn to place trust in others and accept help when it is offered.

Kokoroya's main message is to encourage readers to live without fear of judgment. Not because it does not exist, but because it is inevitable despite our prudence. He not only guides us with his words, but also leads by example as someone who opts for happiness over all other factors.

In this way, Kokoroya gives readers the courage to start making decisions based on self-prioritization and not for the appeasement of others.

CR: The Korea Times

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