Mission Driven Stories-Shinichi Suzuki

At the age of 17, Shinichi Suzuki innocently hit the keys of a typewriter in an office at his father’s violin factory.  The owner of the typewriter entered the room and asked if he was pressing the keys without paper.  Suzuki quickly denied his actions, saying he was just looking at the typewriter.  

At that moment, he knew he had lied.  Wracked by his conscience, Suzuki sought relief at a local book store where he found The Diaries of Leo Tolstoy.  Later Suzuki wrote:

“Tolstoy said that one should not deceive oneself and that the voice of conscience is the voice of God. I determined to live according to these ideas.”

This podcast is all about the life of this amazing man.  See how Shinichi Suzuki lived The 7 Laws of Life Mission and, ultimately inspired people around the globe to become not just proficient violinists, but noble human beings!

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast.

1:25  Suzuki’s early life
5:00 Principles Suzuki learned from his father
7:15  Law 1:  Love of God
7:51  Suzuki discovers Tolstoy
14:24  “First character, and then ability”
15:10  Law 2:  Love of Self
16:20  Suzuki displays a strong character in high school
19: 40 Suzuki discovers his talents
21.40  Law 3:  Love of truth

21:52  Suzuki learns a financial principle through experience and commits to live it
24:47  Suzuki learns gratitude from his father when he visits a shrine with friends
26:10 Law 4:  Love of Humanity
27:57 Suzuki’s experiences in Germany
32.04  Law 5:  The Call
35:50  Law 6:  Courageously Execute
37:58  Law 7:  Do it again

Quotes from this episode:

 “[Tolstoy’s] Diary was always at my side. Wherever I went I took it with me. Several years later when, at twenty-three, I went to Germany to study, the book went with me in my pocket. Tolstoy said that one should not deceive oneself and that the voice of conscience is the voice of God. I determined to live according to these ideas.”~Shinichi Suzuki

“[The words ‘first character, and then ability] were inscribed on a tablet that hung in the lecture hall. This principle has been a light to my path all my life and is written on my heart.”~Shinichi Suzuki

“One trait that I continue to find in these great men and women is their ability to make and keep commitments to themselves.  They’re just amazing at their consistency in finding truth and then subitting to it and committing to it.”~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“’Sensei, will my boy amount to something?’ a mother asked. ‘No,’ [Suzuki replied]. ‘He will not become something. He will become a noble person through his violin playing. Isn’t that good enough? You should stop wanting your child to become a professional, a good money earner. This thought is concealed in your question and is offensive. A person with a fine and pure heart will find happiness. The only concern for parents should be to bring up their children as noble human beings. That is sufficient. If this is not their greatest hope, in the end the child may take a road contrary to their expectations. Your son plays the violin very well. We must try to make him splendid in mind and heart also.’”~Shinichi Suzuki

“Close to thirty years have passed and all my former student friends today are fine adults, which fills me with deep, profound joy.”~Shinichi Suzuki

“People say that I am trying to do the impossible, and expending my energies for nothing. But I know that what I conceive is possible, and I believe that one day the human race will create the kind of world in which everyone will realize that children have the potential. That is why at the United Nations, after Casals had spoken on world peace, I appealed to the representatives of the nations of the world to do something. What I am trying to do now is to apply my Talent Education to all areas of life. I am trying to get sympathetic primary-school principals to try out methods of education that will ensure that not even one student fails in school. I am also trying to get something done about mentally retarded children, and to persuade sympathetic politicians to clarify national policy with regard to children.”~Shinichi Suzuki

Suzuki on Life Mission:

Suzuki discovered his talent teaching children.

“I sincerely hope that readers of this book will realize from all I have said that there is no need for any of us to despair. We are all born with a high potential, and if we try hard we can all become superior human beings and acquire talent and ability.”

“If you have really understood my message, you will not put it off until tomorrow, but will put it into action right now, today. And your life will become happier as a result. That this may become true for everyone is my heartfelt dream.”

Suzuki inspired children to reach their potential.

There is no limit to our shortcomings. Until we die, we should spare no time or effort in changing our weaknesses into merits. To do so can be pleasant and interesting.  Don’t rush, but don’t rest; patience is an important faculty for achievement.”

“Ability is one thing we have to produce (or work for) ourselves. That means to repeat and repeat an action until it become a part of ourselves. It is easy to say, but to have the energy to do it—there lies the problem.”

Eventually, Suzuki shared his beautiful message with the world.

“There is no merit in just thinking about doing something. The result is exactly the same as not thinking about it. It is only doing the thing that counts. I shall acquire the habit of doing what I have in mind to do.”

“In training oneself, the road to improvement is closed if thoughtful self-examination is lacking…Self-examination not accompanied by change is the same as not putting into action what we think of doing.”

Books from this episode: