“To be honest, when I went overseas as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer after graduating university, it was more like I was running away from something than going to help someone,” explains Matsumura. “I felt so much pressure to support my family and guilty towards not having been able to apply myself to my studies. Instead of being among radiant young Japanese people, I felt more comfortable being overseas. It was easier for me to identify with people who had been through hardship. In some respects, the people whom I met in developing countries saved me more than I ever helped them. Whenever discussing her work overseas, Matsumura constantly mentions how she was saved.
“Making mistakes while you are young is important for building a strong character,” she says. “It makes you resilient.” Matsumura always repeats how it is easy to correct your mistakes when you are young. Her book Family Strategically Thinking of Finance after Retirement! portrays the character Sora, who becomes depressed and quits his job at a bank. Although Sora temporarily drops out of society and falters, he is ultimately able to find his own path in life.
Matsumura compares troubles which must be overcome to climbing mountains.
“Instead of repeatedly climbing the gentle slopes of Mount Takao, a novice climber should attempt the steep precipices of Mount Yari. Although you will undoubtedly fail, the attempt itself will give you direction and teach you the limits of your abilities. Taking on challenges which are slightly beyond your abilities will provide you with valuable insight. You will learn your own limits and become able to control yourself.”
By making mistakes, learning about yourself, and applying what you learned to your next attempt, you will gradually become able to climb a high mountain. Fixing your gaze on a lofty peak will make it easier to give your best effort.