“Well-being Stories” and “Your Story”①~Taking Care of Yourself~

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人材開発部 ウィルグループ 人事本部 人材開発部の個性豊かなメンバーがお届けするBIG SMILE=人開スマイルです!人材開発部の人や取り組みについて色々と書いていきたいと思います! ーーー We’re the HR Development division of WILL GROUP’s HR Department! We share Big Smile articles talking about our unique members and the various things that we do—Our “HRDev Smile”!

I’ve read that the word of the year for 2022 is “well-being”.

In order for this to happen, well-being related research has become more prevalent, and thankfully people seem to be interested in what this research has to say.

Don’t you all feel pretty familiar with well-being?

If that’s the case, then what’s the point of publishing these articles on well-being? I’ve been mulling it over recently.

In this world where people are realizing the importance of well-being, merely raising awareness isn’t enough. What can I do to contribute to this changing world?

After thinking it over, I was led to the following two conclusions:

① To share what kinds of large-scale plans we have for well-being at our company.

② To share individuals’ journeys to attain well-being. To demonstrate, through sharing these stories, how well-being can change you and what the process of improving well-being can look like.

I believe the former is important because many companies are touting well-being as an important non-financial indicator of success. Through sharing what we’re doing here at Will Group to improve well-being–both our success and failures–hopefully we’ll be able to help you along your own journey.

As for the latter, I suspect that’s something that many people have an interest in.

While we can gain intellectual value from reading well-being research, this doesn’t always translate into meaningful life change. I believe that the joy of feeling that change is more important.

In other words, I think it’s important to view research as yet another tool for us to use to make a change in our lives. In order for us to make use of these new tools, though, it’s important to take the time to actually test them out.

While some people might feel that trying to implement research in their lives just isn’t working for them, yet another group of people may discover new ideas and new ways of living through this process.

Regardless, others’ experiences can be a great resource in the process of this undertaking.

On this topic, I remember Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar (the man behind SPIRE, the well-being theory we use here at Will Group), saying something like this:

“In order for us to maintain well-being, we need to be open to new ideas. By doing so, we can gain precious knowledge from the people around us.”

Learning more about others’ lifestyles can deepen our knowledge of well-being and lead us to internal change.

Or at least that’s what I think.

Now, I’d like to take more about my second point—namely, sharing someone’s “Well-being Story” with you.

At the same time, I hope that this serves as the beginning to your own well-being story.

In this article, I will be introducing the story of Mr. Koichi Hashikawa, a manager at our group company Will of Work and guest speaker for my SPIRE workshop focusing on relational well-being.

A Priest’s Life-Changing Words

“You have a tendency towards self-sacrifice, don’t you?”

A shrine’s head priest said to Mr. Hashikawa.

“What makes you say that?” replied Mr. Hashikawa to the priest.

“I can tell you carry a lot of tension in your shoulders. I have the feeling that you think a lot about others, more than yourself. While caring about others is important, the people who are able to be the most useful to others are people who care about themselves.”

It was a short conversation, but it affected Mr. Hashikawa deeply.

He says that realized that what that priest said was “not entirely untrue.” Rather, he “got the sense that [he] hadn’t really been taking care of [himself]”.

“When I reflect on it, I didn’t really care about myself. I was really apathetic, lacking in direction, and my self-esteem was actually rather low. Those feelings, I realized, were a sign that I wasn’t taking care of myself,” he adds.

Although I’m sure that must have been a difficult realization, Mr. Hashikawa turned this knowledge into action and began searching for how he could value himself more.

How to Care for Yourself More

“Firstly, I thought I would treat my body better. I started to fix my diet, reading several books about nutrition, making friends with dietitians, cutting out the unhealthy and making an effort to pay more attention to what I was putting in my body. In addition, I joined a group in order to build good exercise habits.”

While Mr. Hashikawa had dieted before, he found himself rebounding each time. His failures always stressed him out.

“This time, though, I tried to take it easy, and my weight dropped off naturally. I found that just by adjusting my diet, I could improve how I felt about myself. That was probably the most motivated I had ever been.”

He also actively challenged himself to go out outside of work.

“I usually tend to be very introverted, but through joining online communities for my hobbies and even creating my own groups, I made around 50 new friends. Those friends would point out my positive qualities, which not only made me happy, but raised my self-confidence.”

Doing this as well as numerous other activities to raise his self-esteem, Mr. Hashikawa finally found how to love both himself and others. He speaks of his dream to create a brighter future with those around him.

(I (Toriyabe) have heard from Mr. Hashikawa’s team members that they’re very thankful to him because of this.)

The Beginning of Our Relationships is Our Relationship with the Self

I recall Dr. Ben-Shahar once saying at a seminar something similar to the priest Mr. Hashikawa met that day.

“When we talk about relationships, we tend to look at how we interact with others. But before that, I think it’s important to look at how we interact with ourselves—to really reflect on our relationship with ourselves. When we make sure to take care of ourselves, we ensure that we’ll be able to help others in a way that’s sustainable in the long-term.”

When I (Toriyabe) was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, I really felt the weight of these words.

Since I do my coaching and training online, it was a real struggle for me at first. There would be times where my headaches and vertigo would be so bad that I wouldn’t be able to talk or even listen. As a result, I even had to reschedule some of my trainings.

It was a time where I got to the experience the wonderful irony—that I, a person whose job it is to support others, had become the one needing support. Instead of helping others, I had to put myself first.


Tal Ben-Shahar talks in depth about relational well-being and the other types of well-being in his book Happier, No Matter What: Cultivating Hope, Resilience, & Purpose in Hard Times. Let me introduce his principles, and my thoughts on them, as I close out this article.


  • ① ​Relationships are crucial for a full and fulfilling life.

Relationships are necessary for us to feel fulfilled—I think this might be the most important take away. There’s even research showing that the factor that contributes most to happiness is the presence of quality relationships. Let’s keep our relationships with the people important to us close to our hearts.

  • ② The foundation of healthy relationships with others is a healthy relationship with oneself.

If you don’t fulfill your own needs, you can’t successfully help others. Possessing a good relationship with yourself above all others—what Dr. Ben-Shahar calls “selfulness”—is absolutely critical.

Well-being についての「誰かの物語」そして「あなたの物語」







① 企業における大規模なWell-beingのための取り組みをシェアする
















今回は、「Relational Well-being」をテーマにするSPIREワークショップにゲストスピーカーとして登壇した橋川MGRの物語です。






























Relational Well-beingについて、タル・ベン・シャハー博士の『HAPPIER』には次のような言葉があります。




  • ① ​Relationships are crucial for a full and fulfilling life






  • ②The foundation of healthy relationships with others is a healthy relationship with oneself




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ウィルグループ 人事本部 人材開発部の個性豊かなメンバーがお届けするBIG SMILE=人開スマイルです!人材開発部の人や取り組みについて色々と書いていきたいと思います! ーーー We’re the HR Development division of WILL GROUP’s HR Department! We share Big Smile articles talking about our unique members and the various things that we do—Our “HRDev Smile”!