58 Selected Writings 9: Treasuring Your Intangible Assets

The following is a translation of “Jibun no naimen o sodateyo” by Shigeharu Komai from Ohanashi goju hassen, published in 2004 in Japanese by the Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association. Translation originally posted at Tenrikyo Forum on March 12, 2007.

Treasuring Your Intangible Assets

by Shigeharu Komai

Assets can be divided into two main categories: tangible assets and intangible assets. Tangible assets are things that are found outside oneself. Intangible assets are things that can be found inside oneself.

Examples of tangible assets are real estate and bank accounts. Intangible assets include a person’s inherent qualities such as their way of thinking, approach towards life, love, moral character, and virtue.

In order to increase our tangible assets, we must add to it from somewhere else. Our tangible assets decrease when we utilize them.

On the other hand, intangible assets can be found within and are inexhaustible. Unlike our tangible assets, our intangible assets increase each time we use them.

I believe that the assets that have genuine value in this world are intangible assets. This is because we can only find our intangible assets within ourselves. They are irreplaceable and can only be brought about by perspiration and effort.

If there is something that we cannot neglect to leave behind as our inheritance to our children, it is our intangible assets, not our tangible assets. Although our attention tends to be distracted by tangible assets, I would like to see all of us treasure our invisible, intangible assets instead.

On the author

Shigeharu Komai 駒井茂春(1923–1998): Second president of Duskin Co. Ltd. Winner of the 1993 International Franchise Association Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Author of Faith-Based Management, published by the Tenrikyo Overseas Department in 2002.

  • This is the final installment in this series (so far). Please go the the Table of Contents for links to other installments.

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.