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Around the time I had just arrived fresh in Tokyo, a fortune teller at a street fair told me, “You’re the type of person who’s no-good without some kind of stimulus.” After that, whenever I ran into a difficult problem, I started telling myself, “Things are finally about to get interesting!”

In normal times when everything is going well, making big changes in the way you’ve been doing things seems possible yet can hardly be done. But when a crisis has driven you to the edge of a cliff, you can’t avoid having to change.

At a corporation too, when it’s a tightly buttoned-down organization there are all kinds of obstacles that make it extremely hard to change the way things are done, even when everyone notices that things cannot continue as they are. If anything, it’s times of economic recession that can provide the perfect opportunity for radical reform. Everyone unites as one to work together, knowing that the difficulties they face must be overcome.

This is the approach of the Lotus Sutra, which esteems Devadatta, the bitter enemy of the Buddha, as a good spiritual friend.

If you can learn to turn a crisis into an opportunity, there will be nothing left for you to fear. Whether the situation is good or bad, with rock solid composure you’ll say to yourself, “Things are finally about to get interesting!”

Nikkyo Niwano

Kaizozuikan 9, pp. 182-183

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