Being Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

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Kumiko took a rather unusual path, considering the Japanese norm.The typical educational path of a Japanese is 1. graduate high school (with stellar grades), 2. graduate college (with stellar grades from a top "brand" college) and 3.  Job-hunt (land a position at a large well-known corporate company--the final stage of declaring one’s achievements). Kumiko, on the other hand, studied abroad for a year in Vancouver after graduating high school. She left Japan hoping to improve her English skills. Kumiko knew no bounds. Her first month of English school did not give her much opportunity to speak English, so she transferred to another school which specialized in speaking skills. After her year abroad, she returned to Japan aiming to apply the knowledge and experience she gained. Returning to Japan is where Kumiko’s engineering story begins. Kumiko worked several jobs that would further develop her English language. One of those jobs was working at "Sakura" guest house for foreigners. When she witnessed first-hand how the website dramatically increased the growth of the business, she felt inspired by the power of the web and programming. From there, she became interested in learning how to code and enrolled in university at 27 years old. Taking that first step of leaving what is familiar and “safe” may be the most difficult thing for most of us. Allowing yourself to experience and take in something completely foreign is essential for individual growth. In order to step outside your comfort zone, you have to do it, even if it’s uncomfortable.Remember, “a ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”  (To be continued)