Business books are selling well…behind the scenes
In the wake of the prolonged corona disaster, sales of self-help and business books are said to be strong.
For example, the total number of copies of “Sah, Jibun ni Awakening, New Edition,” which visualizes one’s strengths and teaches how to use them to become a weapon, has surpassed one million. In addition, “Factfulness,” which gives you the skills to see the world correctly, was the number one business book for the first half of 2020, including the first time it was declared an emergency.
Why are self-help books and business books selling so well? One of the reasons behind this is the increase in “yenaka time” or “nest egg demand” due to people refraining from going out. Even though we are forced to live a life cut off from the outside world, our time is increasing. Against the backdrop of the psychology of businesspeople, sales of business books in stores grew by around 10% from May 2020, when the state of emergency was declared, until after it was lifted. This is the reason why sales of business books in stores grew by around 10% from May 2020, when the state of emergency was declared, to after it was lifted.)
I want to grow. That desire is important. However, it’s a different story when you have to grow. Isn’t growth becoming a quota? Hasn’t it become a crucifix?
A work that has been attracting a lot of attention for making us aware of the negative aspects behind the word “growth” is “My Husband is a Believer in the Growth Doctrine” (original story: Shizuku Kino / manga: Amehi Kitami).
The manga, which has a new feel to it, warns against an excessive sense of growth and asks what the true meaning of growth is.
I want to reduce the number of meals I eat so that I can make the best decisions at work. （I want to reduce the number of meals I eat so I can make the best decisions at work. It’s the ultimate spa meal.”
I need to increase the rate at which I use my resources. I need to increase the rate of my resources, and I think the shortest way to do that is to reduce the amount of time I have between meals.
“Is there any evidence for that story?”
The story revolves around Koki, a husband who is inspired by business and self-help books and has become a “growth supremacist,” and Tsukasa, a wife who is about to have a baby and is at the mercy of her husband, who only thinks about work and advocates growth and development. The story revolves around Koki, who sacrifices his health and leisure time to improve himself, and his wife, Tsukasa, who is at the mercy of her husband, who advocates growth and development and thinks only of work.
The story is a work of fiction, but it is interwoven with my own experiences and the problems faced by the people around me. The story is a work of fiction, but it incorporates my experiences and the problems that people around me are facing. It’s fine if the risk falls only on you, but it can lead you to neglect your family’s time, or to turn a deaf ear to their concerns. As a result, you can end up hurting yourself and the people around you. I wanted to depict the negative aspects behind the word ‘growth.
Why did you decide to depict the pursuit of growth by comparing it to religion? When I asked Mr. Kino about his intentions, he replied with a wry smile, “I had a part of that myself.
There is no law that says you have to grow up, but it’s hard for people to let go of the notion of always trying to make the next day better than today, or the day after that, or the day after that. Society, companies, and parents demand that we grow up, and before we know it, we are trapped. I thought that this feeling was similar to religion.
The story is fictional, but the episodes are based on my own experiences and the worries and problems of the people around me. I think this is a disease of modern society, and I wanted to portray another side of it now that we are in the midst of a ‘growth boom.
The response has been great, and the book has been especially popular among people in their 20s and early 30s. As corporate activities, and capitalism in general, are based on the premise of growth, working people are expected to grow. If you grow, you will be praised. If you grow, you get praised, and if you get praised, you have to aim even higher,” said Mr. Kino, and there is no end to growth in this society. In other words, there is a built-in mechanism that makes it impossible to get out of the quagmire of the desire to grow.
There is a strong message from society that growth is a good thing. We are imprinted with the idea that if we do not continue to make some kind of effort, we will not survive. I also think it’s important to note that in recent years, it’s become easier to view data on the web, which has made it easier to visualize how people work. Now that we can visibly see how to work efficiently through numbers and data, I think there are many people who become even more impatient to ‘get results,’ and like Koki, they become overwhelmed with growth.
When ambiguity disappears and everything is quantified, who is superior or inferior to whom is exposed to the light of day. Even in this article, the number of PV will be clarified and the superiority will be revealed. In an age where every achievement can be made visible, the grass looks greener next to you. This is the soil in which the growth cult has become infested.
I would also like to add that the fact that people are now allowed to do side jobs is one of the reasons why the number of people who believe in growth is increasing.
I think there is an obsessive need to get a job or skill that only you can do, not a job that anyone else can do. Especially with the spread of remote work, Coronation has reduced opportunities to chat with coworkers and has inevitably increased the amount of time I have to face myself. Under such circumstances, there are people who are trying to improve their skills and who want to do things that only they can do. This way of thinking can also be taken positively, but I think there is a danger of becoming obsessive if taken too far.”
Again, growing up is not a bad thing. It’s a wonderful thing. This film does not portray growth as evil in any way. However, due to various changes in the social environment, there is a widespread tendency for people to lose the margin for enjoyment and for growth to turn into something painful. It is sometimes necessary to ask ourselves if such growth is really what we want. This is a film that teaches us that.
A long time ago, the term “conscious” was popular. However, unlike the “conscious” type, who are actively trying to be something they are not, those who have been forced to grow up as a cross to bear by society and companies, and have unknowingly joined the “growth cult”, are much more lonely. The scene that symbolizes this, says Ms. Kino, is the one that is often depicted after the second episode “My Husband is a Plant,” in which Koki is growing roots in a flowerpot.
In the case of Koki, he’s growing, but he’s not rooted to the ground, he’s just growing in a small flowerpot. It’s not going anywhere, and it’s not living in symbiosis with other plants or organisms. I think that getting out of the growth cult is about how to get out of that small flowerpot world. Since we are destroying what we have believed in, there will be cracks and pain involved. But in order to take root in the outside world, you have to get out of that world.
Tired of growing up with no results, Koki awakens with the support of his wife Tsukasa, and the flowerpot gradually breaks down. Rather than watering the growing plants that are losing their way, he plants them by their roots. Mr. Kino’s suggestion resonates with me.
If you don’t have something more important than your own growth – in this case, childbirth – I think it’s difficult to get out of the growth cult. There is no escape from growth. That’s why it’s important to feel that you are worthy of being loved, even if you don’t do anything about it. Thinking about growth is also about how much you love yourself, isn’t it? For example, you wouldn’t say to a friend, “I don’t like you because you don’t make an effort” (laughs), would you?
In the same way, I don’t think you need to hate yourself excessively just because you are not making an effort. I want you to take care of yourself the way you take care of others. Even if you don’t really do anything, you can say, “I am valuable. Being alive is a miracle in itself,’ I think that’s more important than being addicted to growth.
If you destroy your body and soul for the sake of growth, you’re not doing yourself any favors. All you have to do is to acknowledge the existence of the people around you. A single word of acknowledgement can be a lifesaver.
I really want to take a break, but I can’t allow myself to stop. Growth is not just for yourself, it is for someone else, and it is a connection. Once you’ve calmed down, you can do your best again when the time comes. If we can make room for that, we can better deal with our growth.
For whom is this growth for? The book “My Husband is a Member of the Growth Religion” teaches us the fear of “social religions” that are hard to get out of and the clues to get out of them.
Interviewed and written by： Hirotaka Wagatsuma