Failure is frustrating and painful especially when you have worked so hard and diligently.
But I think it is still too early to think that this is the end of your life.
There are many paths to success.
Your life is full of possibilities and hope, so don't ever give up.

From the teachings of Master Ryuho Okawa, I have selected the following prescriptions for success in life.

Role and Limitations of Admissions Tests



When exam season comes, mothers are preoccupied with their children's examinations.

The mother's desire to get her child into a good school, or the child's own desire to be accepted into a good school, is not a mistake.

Among the basic human desires is the desire to exert oneself. There is a desire to manifest the self. This is the desire for self-importance.

The desire to be a more important person should not be denied. The desire to make a name for oneself, to be recognized by others, is not something that should be denied.

If this were denied at all, human beings themselves would be like worker bees or army ants, working in groups with no differences in individuality.

The desire to become a leader is in itself very helpful to the advancement of human society. It is okay to have such a desire.

However, the results are not always what you want, and suffering can come in these times.

So, let us consider what kind of preparedness a mother should have in case her child's entrance exam does not go well. In order to do so, it is necessary to know the meaning of the exam itself. What is the purpose of the examinations?

In fact, an entrance exam is a measure of how much you were able to learn within a certain period of time. The entrance exam provides a yardstick to measure how much you have learned within a certain period of time.

The results of the test are not necessarily directly related to being smart, but in a sense, they will serve as a measure of the intelligence level of young children, or in other words, "how far they can go if they train."

However, I think it is problematic to place too much importance on academic ability alone. Of course, intelligence is one of the basic human talents, but it is not everything.

There are many different qualities of the soul: sensitivity, intellect, reason, and enlightenment. In their totality, the degree of human development should be measured.

However, sensitivity is not usually measurable. This can be measured in the artistic area, but it is not easily measured in a paper test.

As for reason, it can be measured a little. However, reason is something that cannot be demonstrated until one is, to a certain extent, an adult. It is only after one has basic common sense that one's reason is tested when making various decisions. Reason is not so much exerted when we are children.

And enlightenment, the most important thing for religious learners, is not something that should be demanded of children, nor is it something that emerges through schooling. Enlightenment, the most important thing for the human soul, should not necessarily be involved in the entrance exam itself.

Parents should know that the entrance examination is only focused on the intellect. However, it is also true that intelligence has great power in terms of being useful in the society. Thus, we must take a balanced view.

It is also true that intelligence is very useful in today's society. Because we live in an information society today, intelligence, the part of the brain that is involved in information processing, is very important.

Therefore, you should always be looking at which aspects your child excels in and which aspects he or she lags behind in, and think about what you can do to make your child the most admirable person in total.

There are many smart people who are incapable of self-reflection, and there are also those who are driven by their desire for self-exposure.

However, even if you are not so smart, if you can constantly reflect and purify your mind, you can become deeply enlightened before you know it, and after ten or twenty years in society, you may become a person of great insight and deep integrity.

Winners and losers in life are not determined solely by the success or failure of an examination. It is possible to be submerged like groundwater for a certain period of time, and when you emerge from somewhere, you may be a completely different person from the one before.


From “The Way to Happiness” by Ryuho Okawa



Success or failure in exams is only a part of life


In reality, you may get accepted or fail, but it is all part of life experience, so the exam is not a final life or death decision or anything like that. Life is different for everyone in the future, even after college and graduation. It's not your college ranking that determines whether or not you will be great or not.

In the case of a company, for example, when employees have been with the company for a number of years and are evenly matched in terms of ability with their peers, and there is no longer any way to determine the difference, the company may decide to promote a person from a university with a higher deviation score than the other person, in the hope that it will have less objection.

However, it is extremely difficult to judge general competence, so it is safe to assume that educational background is of little use except in the recruitment process. Most of the time, after all, the world judges by performance.

So, please believe that the abilities that were not judged in the examination can come up elsewhere again. It is good to think so.

We learn from our successes, but we also learn a lot from our failures. When we fail, we can think about the causes and use them to learn in the next step.

You should know that the school you end up going to may not be where you want to go to, but it may turn out to be more successful for you in the future.

For example, researchers at a university become graduates of that school. In most cases, the researcher is a person who had actually been aiming for a higher ranked school, but failed and got into that university. The best and brightest may have gotten into that university by chance. Often, such people do not become researchers when they get into the university they had hoped to attend.

It is better to know that "you don't know yet what will lead the way."


From "The Miracle Road to Examination" by Ryuho Okawa



Your Life is Not Your Educational Background



When I think about what the youth are suffering from, I think about the hurdle of being accepted into a good school. I can imagine how difficult it must be to be at the stage of “exam wars” in your lives. Yet, compared to the countries where people do not have sufficient opportunity to receive an education, it could be said that you are blessed to live in a country where you have many chances to learn. It is my hope that you will have this perspective too.

Also, since schools today are usually ranked based on percentile, whether an applicant scores high or low on their exams can mean success or failure for the applicant. However, getting into a good school does not necessarily guarantee success, nor does getting into a lower-level school guarantee failure. For example, there are people who point out that the suicide rate is higher in schools that are harder to get into.

Happy Science has been involved in the Fight Against Suicide Campaign for a few years now, but it is not necessarily the case that people who have hit rock bottom of their lives will commit suicide or that successful people will not commit suicide. There are actually many people who commit suicide because they experience a major setback after achieving some level of success.

Though this is an episode that happened more than thirty years ago, when I had just enrolled into Tokyo University, I heard something that still has an impression on me today.

One day a certain professor addressed us in a large lecture hall. He said, “Every year, at least one LAC I student commits suicide, however, LAC II students do not commit suicide" (LAC is an acronym for “Liberal Arts Core”). Students in LAC I are generally those who aspire to become government officials or legal professionals. LAC II includes students who are enrolled in the Faculty of Economics, and consists mainly of students who find jobs in business corporations after graduating.

The professor told us, “LAC I is full of people who were academically at the top of their high schools back in their hometowns. So these people, who cannot stand being anything but the best, cannot handle the setbacks and resolve to committing suicide. Be careful because this kind of perspective and way of thinking is not correct.”

Of course, there will always be a ranking from the highest to the lowest, even if all the students were at the top of their high schools back in their hometowns. However, there are some students who cannot accept this.

People who already have a little sense of giving up are stronger against setbacks. Those who cannot handle being acknowledged as anything but the very best can easily turn to suicide. People who were successful in the beginning may suffer when their paths start to close up along the way. Some people think it is unacceptable that their life is not opening up for them constantly so they impulsively commit suicide when something goes wrong.

On the other hand, students who go to schools that are not as prestigious tend to know their place at an earlier stage and do not set expectations that are out of their reach. People who do not consider themselves to be “the best in the world” will not turn to suicide so easily. When the lives of those types of people start blooming, everybody is surprised. Even if they had entered a school that is not prestigious, there are people whose lives start going well at a certain stage in life.


From "The Laws of Courage" by Ryuho Okawa



If you waste one year, live one year longer


Sometimes your child will pass the examination, and sometimes not. If he or she passes the examination, they should be honestly happy because their efforts were duly recognized, and should be taught to take this as courage to work harder and more humbly.

And even if they do not pass, you need to tell them, "Not everything in your life is decided at this point. Life is a long, long marathon." You just need to tell your child, "If you waste one year, live one year longer, that's all you need to do."

If you pass the exam earlier, but die earlier, that may not be good. If you have to spend two years before passing the exam, you should live two years longer. You should think to yourself, "I will live two years longer even if I have to bite down on a rock."

If your children failed in the exam, you should tell them, "You should live a year longer." If you teach them that if they keep their bodies healthy, exercise well, study moderately, and do their best, they will live about one year longer, you will surely be right.

For example, if you study all the time and are inadequate, you may die after entering college. I have an acquaintance who studied hard and entered university, but died of malnutrition after saving money to buy books and eating only instant noodles.

If you die without giving anything back to society, I don't know what you studied for. I would feel sorry for you. Thus, happiness or unhappiness is never determined only by whether you pass or fail.


From “The Way to Happiness” by Ryuho Okawa