Hiro from Japan grew abruptly when he moved into an Australian boys' house with 14 years. Today he is a promoted aviation engineer and lives in Boston.
In 2002, I met the then 25-year-old Hiro three times by chance in Bangkok. We interpreted the encounters as a sign of fate and decided to exchange email addresses. Our friendship has proved itself over continents since then. The fact that we are on the same continent for a short time is what we use - and so Hiro comes to visit me from Boston for a weekend in San Francisco.
Too tight in the home
Hiros childhood sounds adventurous. He grew up in Japan, Zaire and the Philippines. When the parents moved back to Japan with his six younger siblings, he refused to come along. His international background made it impossible for him to get back into the small, uniform Japanese world, which he says would not see what is happening in the world.
Therefore, he went to a boys boarding school in Australia, a recommendation of a friend of the family. With seven children, his parents were less likely to be wrong, he jokes. The condition his father set for him was that he would subsequently study. Hiro even did his doctorate in aeronautical engineering.
Any way to learn to use
For him the scholarship for the doctoral thesis was like a gift. Anyway, he is grateful for every opportunity to learn and to retrace what he wants to return through his work. Today, he is a leading engineer in a company that tests aircraft drives, in particular their high-performance components, such as the rotating turbine parts. Making a mistake would cost human life.
Any mistake would cost human life
It sounds not so spectacular up to 14-hours-day, but after a lot of responsibility. Hiro says that three to five colleagues ask him for advice in the morning, before he even sits down at his desk and the most urgent ones eMails can answer. He controls the work of his employees, trains younger engineers and manages and coordinates cooperation with the experts of external partner companies.
For half the day, he sits in customer meetings to understand their detailed requirements and to evaluate the necessary development steps on a technical and financial level so that everyone is satisfied. It is he who makes the final decision.
Work hard, play hard
Hiro lives by the motto "work hard, play hard". 100%, whether it's work or leisure. And does that also apply to relationships? Hiro has recently seceded from his girlfriend, he has not thought of a new partnership yet.
In emotions, he says, he has no control over what happens in contrast to work. He would rather leave things to him. If he meets someone and falls in love, he will be happy and enjoy the time.
Unexpected things can enrich your life
Nevertheless, he soon wants a family - after he has fulfilled his big dream: To drive once in the Antarctic. "My wife will probably not let me down unless she's crazy." Hiro wants to explore this totally different world, where only ice and coldness, purity and simplicity reign, with a snow sledge.
He is convinced that traveling and immersing himself in the new environment opens the eyes to the possibilities of the world. An example? Our friendship, he says, grinning. She shows him again and again how unexpected things can enrich life and make it interesting. This would not happen if one were to plan everything and only to move on the outgoing paths.
Interview: All wrong and yet that Company überzugt
This is the reason why he decided to go to work in Europe after his doctoral thesis. He applied in England, Germany and France and combined the talks with a Europarund trip. His way of traveling is creative and seems to work. He rejected the hotels offered by the companies and stayed in backpacker hostels.
When he went to Nuremberg and unexpectedly landed in a red-light district, he took advantage of the prostitutes' willingness to talk, to ask for directions to the hostel. He went to a conversation with a cat. He missed three moves to appear at an appointment. He was talking about a conversation talk in a crumpled suit. Nevertheless, he was able to convince all companies.
People are more important than status and job
But what really enriches and inspires his life at the end of the day is his family and friends. It is they who make him happy and who are clearly in the first place.
At Hiro, I admire his ability to first accept complicated problems and connections, then to see through them and then propose a comprehensible, clear solution. He always stays friendly and talks about his fellow human beings. Hiro takes people seriously, regardless of their level of education and their social position. I think he has made it so professionally, among other things, because he sees and appreciates people detached from social structures. Self enclosed.
Fear fear with humor
Recently he wrote to me for example that he spent his weekend building a hut on a volunteer basis in the mountains. Hiro is not afraid of the unknown, on the contrary. He simply goes to it and relies on his ability to make the most of the new situation, whether it is in the Antarctic or in the Red Light District in Nuremberg. I will never forget how he told me about his dives in Australia during which he came across life-threatening animal species.
Most people would probably panic, but his behavior was actually much more effective, because he recognized the danger, swam calmly away and laughed afterwards about it broken. With his sense of humor, he gets along well everywhere - even in the shark tank.
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