It Must Be Innovative!

I had a one day workshop in my office. One of my colleagues, Mr. K. Kakiuchi, developed a new method of Life-Style analysis for group work. He improved “KJ-Method”, or also known as “Affinity Diagram”, that Dr. Jiro Kawakita developed. It is a tool to organize unstructured ideas using cards of paper into meaningful categories. Mr. Kakiuchi found that this method was extremely useful for Life-Style analysis. Unfortunately I cannot write his concrete method here, because he does not write a paper yet. He already reported on it at the Japanese Congress of Adlerian Psycholog [1]. I am now cooperating with him to gather data for his study. When he finishes the paper, I will help him to translate it into English to present at the International Congress of Individual Psychology.

When I was a beginner of Individual Psychology, the most impressive thing I learned was that I did not need to give up desires to be a good person. Buddhism is an ascetic religion. I thought I must abandon some desires, especially sexual desire, to be moral. This is not right. According to Adler, to live is to strive from felt minus to felt plus. Striving itself is a natural thing. To be moral, I should be aware of two things; to have Social Interest and to know my Life-Style.

I have already written something about Social Interest. However, having Social Interest is not enough. As far as we are ignorant about our own Life-Style, it will rule us as a master. When we realize our Life-Style, we can be a master of our own life.

“Oh, this is my usual pattern. This is the pattern I chose when I was a little kid. Shall I obey it again? Wait! Think for a while. What does the world demand from me now? May I act according to this pattern? Or, it is better to choose another possibility?”

Like this, we can decide whether we behave along with our Life-Style, or we choose another alternative action. Sometimes, we should give up some desires to adopt other possibility. However, it is usually the desire of the mind that we should give up, not the need of the body. Desire is like coffee; need is like water. We can live without coffee; we cannot live without water. Of course, we need not stop drinking coffee. Coffee is sometimes good, and sometimes unnecessary.

Both Social Interest and knowledge about Life-Style are necessary to be moral. Life-Style analysis is a difficult technique. Mr. Kakiuchi’s method makes it much easier. It is also a very good tool for education. Many of my students, who once hesitated to learn Life-Style analysis, brought themselves to challenge this technique. I hope he will write a paper soon. Then, I will introduce his method here in detail.

[1] Kunihiro Kakiuchi: The Adlerian Group Work Using Cards of Paper. The 25th Congress of Japanese Society of Adlerian Psychology, 2008. (Japanese)