First, let me introduce myself. My name is Eric Knopp, an American from the state of Ohio, and of course Pretty Nakano is my good friend. My college degree is in Electrical Engineering, and I work for the largest company globally focused exclusively on Factory Automation (FA). I speak three languages - English, French and Japanese. The choices I have made have provided me with the opportunity to work for a great company, and assume roles of increasing responsibility which has allowed me to travel to over 35 countries around the world.
During my travels I have been lucky to experience many different cultures and ways of life. However, I have also learned there are many things that are the same, no matter what language you speak, what food you eat, or what cultural beliefs you have. The specific thing I would like to focus on with you is - what makes people, no matter where they are from, satisfied in life. In my experience, the one common factor to happiness globally is:
Be in control of your own future.
This is very easy to say, but the more difficult question is, “How do I make certain I can control my own future?” The answer is to make good decisions, considering both short term and long term, which then puts you in a position to have many choices available to you at every stage in life.
Too many people only think about today, and every time they do that, they reduce their control over their own future. For example, consider someone who does not go to university (maybe because they prefer to have fun with friends “today” and therefore don't want to study), compared with someone who goes to university - who do you think will have more choices about which company THEY choose to work for?
At the next stage in life, consider the choices of someone who works for a large global company compared to someone who can only get a job at a small local company - who do you think has more control over the type of work they do and how much of the world they have a chance to experience.
Please don't misunderstand me, if staying in your hometown your entire life and always being close to your friends and family makes you happy, that is great! There is nothing wrong with always living in the town you were born. But my point is, wouldn't you prefer to have a choice to do either of those things, instead of being forced to do only one?
There is no doubt that making a lot of money can help to make life easier, but it doesn't necessarily make you happier. In my opinion, having control over your future is what makes people happy. By choosing to dedicate yourself to your studies, and to get into a good university, you have already taken the first big step to establishing control over your own life.
However, dedication is not always easy, sometimes it requires sacrifice "today" for more choices and more control “tomorrow”. My advice is to keep up with your hard work and dedication, and know that every sacrifice you make today will have a value of 10x tomorrow. As we say in English, “only the people who cannot control their future believe in ‘luck’, those people who have control realize you make your own‘luck’”.
I wish you the best as you continue into the next stage of your life and no matter what happens, good or bad, realize only you have the final control of the choices you have available to you - are you willing to work hard to maintain that control?