Blog 007. (English version)
I am going to feature some of the books I have read in English with my blog post from now on…
First of all, I would like to pick up some points which could help you to read English-written books efficiently.
Reading a book requires some sort of patience and takes some time especially for those who don’t have the habit of doing it.
Nowadays, out-putting is regarded as most important procedure when you learn things,
thus how much you can explain the content of the book after you have read it, could be a barometer of how much you have absorbed from it.
We see many YouTubers are posting a series of video clips which are short summaries of what is written in some popular books,
and this could be a great help for those who do not have much time to spend for reading.
I am not very fast reader myself, therefore I often watch them to check what sort of books are out in the world lately…
However, there is a good deal of merit in reading actual book (physical or electrical) for the purpose of learning English,
There are particular words and expressions among the key words which are essential to understand the structure of the content, and as you come across them so many times, these useful vocabularies will sustain in your head as English general knowledge by the time you have finished reading the book.
Therefore, you’d better be careful with which vocabulary to choose to look into…
If you pick up every single new vocabulary you confront in the book and check its meaning, it will take a good amount of time to finish even a single chapter,
and this slow progress might put you off…
And moreover, the initial purpose of reading the book, which is to understand its content could be involuntarily shifted to something else, which is just learning new English vocabularies.
(This is probably the worst case and it had happened to me a few times to be honest…!)
Therefore, I recommend you making some efforts to kill your desire of looking into new vocabularies each time you bump into them.
However, as you turn the pages, you will find that there are some particular words and phrases which appear with high frequency….
Then, it’s time for you to find out the meaning of them.
These are the essential vocabularies to understand the content of the book!
No matter how many non-essential vocabularies you try to memorise, they will disappear from your head in due course, anyway.
Therefore, rather than trying to understand whole the details in the book,
it’s better trying to grab the structure and the key points (even if your comprehension of the book can be… let’s say only 60% or so),
and also trying to include these keywords while you explain the content of the book to someone else.
It’s much more practical!
Anyway, that was enough of introduction…
The first book I am going to feature with this new series is… this one!
“THE 100-YEAR LIFE”
which was published in 2016…
The book was co-written by London Business School’s professors,
Lynda Gratton (management practice) and Andrew Scott (economics).
This book has been translated into Japanese with the title of “LIFE SHIFT”
and is available at Amazon online shop, etc.
I must tell you that,
“This book is a must-read for all of us to survive the era of information revolution”, even if it’s been some time since the book was first published!!!
It’s because this book will tell you where you are standing at the moment in current changing of the time.
I think those who were able to grab this book when it just came out are extremely lucky ones,
and those who have acted in accordance with what is written inside the book must be miles ahead of those who haven’t.
In summary, what authors are trying to tell you in this book is…
the life expectancy of human beings has been greatly extended lately, and if you are still taking things easy or leading your life with last century’s concept and have not yet made any move to adjust your lifestyle to what is currently going on in the world, your life later on will be extremely tough one.
I believe that these three phrases…
“Three stage life”,
are the key phrases to understand this book,
so, let’s check them out!
Three stage life
You will bump into this phrase “Three stage life” many times as you go on reading.
This phrase has been labelled as “curse” by the authors,
because this dated concept is haunting people’s head and is hindering them from preparing for their future…
After showing Human Mortality Database created by demographers to show the reality of human’s 100-year life, they feature three hypothetical characters.
Jack (born in 1945),
Jimmy (born in 1971),
Jane (born in 1988).
Each of them has been characterised as typical of their generation.
And then, a series of scenarios for each character are set, and we can see how longer life expectancy will impact differently on each of them.
(How they are likely to deal with [and should deal with] upcoming events they will confront as well as how they will end up if they don’t prepare for them.)
“Three stage life” is a form of life plan which was established in 20th century,
and is typically divided into three stages…
Education year ➡︎ Working year ➡︎ Retirement year
This form meshes perfectly with Jack’s generation who have been active through the second half of 20thcentury, and whose life expectancy is said to be about 70 years.
But the problem is Jimmy’s generation with a life expectancy of 85 (who are, at this point, roughly between late 40’s and early 50’s)
This generation had been watching their parents’ generation (i.e. Jack’s generation) while they grew up,
therefore the concept of “Three stage life” is deeply ingrained in them.
Although Jimmy’s generation is aware of the fact that the time has been changing rapidly,
most of them are yet under the spell of “Three stage life”.
And unfortunately, if they keep following the form of “Three stage life”, by the time they have realised that the situation is totally different from their parents’ time, towards the very end of their life,
it will be too late to deal with the situation they are in. (ex. no savings, no skills that is required to get a new job, etc.)
Therefore, here, authors are showing some examples of what sort of move each generation (especially Jimmy’s and Jane’s) should make as well as introducing some additional stages we could go about in order to overcome what is waiting for us.
This issue we need to deal with is not only for individuals but also for whole the society itself.
Even the law of the country, systems of the companies, etc. are still clinging onto the social norms of “Three stage life”, and their adaptation for the situation caused by the combination of technological innovation and longevity is said to be well running behind…
Umm… terribly worrying…
First of all, Tangible [tændʒebl] means,
real and not imaginary,
perceptible by touch,
having actual physical existence.
And Asset [æset] means,
A useful or valuable thing or person,
an item of property owned by a person or company regarded as having value and available to meet debts, commitments, or legacies.
Therefore, “Tangible assets” here basically means… “money”.
In this book, they indicate your retiring year based on
what sort of income you are currently earning,
how much living expenses you will need to survive through the years after retirement
…kindly in graphs with specific numbers.
Well… having read this, I felt more like vomiting than it made me sweat, to be honest…
Speaking of generation, I’m pretty much in Jimmy’s, but with no specific skills,
therefore, considering my current age and what will be needed for my kids’ future,
it looks like…
if I don’t act immediately to acquire some good skills and knowledges which are required by modern society, I am very likely to find myself entering old age with insufficient resources.
(One of the reasons why I have started writing blog post is that I thought I would be able to learn lots of things from writing skills to IT-related matters.)
And furthermore, they are warning that even those who already have great skills will struggle,
if they don’t constantly update their skills in order to adapt to the needs of fast changing time.
The outlook for the future of state pension system with pyramid scheme does not look good at all (It looks absolutely doomed in Japan with formidably falling birth rates),
therefore individual’s early start of investing money will be crucially important (for especially Jimmy and Jane’s generations) so, we need to pass this information on to our kids’ generations so that they can prepare for it.
In that sense, I thought I had seen the light of a bit of hope ✨ when I heard the news back in March that financial education
which includes leaning about investment trust, household budget management, etc will be added to home economics class in high school in Japan commencing in April 2022.
While “Tangible assets” is the one having actual physical existence,
“Intangible assets” is the one without physical presence.
Therefore “Intangible assets “is the assets other than money, for example
“the relationship with members of your family or with your friends”,
“knowledge and skills you own”
“your mental / physical health”
are to be included.
When it comes to “asset building”, people tend to think about “saving money”,
but authors are indicating that establishing “Intangible assets “is far more important in this book.
That is because working on “Intangible assets “will, actually, directly affect with building up “Tangible assets”.
As one of the scenarios for Jane’s generation and younger than hers,
it is recommended that they explore the world from their early stage in order to experience lots of things
and try to make efforts to create relationships and acquire good skills which could lead to establishing “Tangible assets” in the future, before they get stuck by forming a family.
Incidentally, (I’m digressing a bit here, but…) one of my favourite Japanese bloggers called “hitode”, whose website I referred to a lot when I was establishing my blog site, is also mentioning about the importance of “Intangible assets” in the field of blog writing in his “Merit of blog-writing” article… so, if you are interested, please check it out!
And finally, having mentioned about the importance of creating “Tangible assets”, with current system of the society,
there is the fact that low income earners are forced to work long hours
and this will limit their time to spend for creating relationships, and their expense to keep up their good health conditions,
therefore, at the end of the day, only limited number of people with a certain amount of assets will be able to make the most of the gift of 100-year life.
…sounds absolutely dreadful.
Anyway, what I have done here is only picking up some “key phrases” for reading this book.
Hence, in order for you to take first step, and also to feel the urgency of the matter, I totally recommend you reading this book…