Start Again

There is an excellent word in the Japanese language. Probably one of my favorite words.


The word in western characters is spelled as “sessa-taku-ma”. Its English meaning is a bit complex, as not only the word itself has meaning, but so do each character of the 4-character word. In one phrase the idea is this: “to cultivate one’s character by studying hard, with diligent application, and gradual intentfull progress”.

The first character ( ) carries ideas of sharpness– like a blade. The next 3 characters ( 磋 、琢 、磨 ) actually all convey the same basic idea: to polish. Somewhat poetically, I would say it describes an act like slowly sharpening a blade by repeatedly taking a wet stone to each side.

  • Cultivate yourself.
  • Polish your character.
  • Sharpen your purpose.
  • Never give up.

To me, these ideas make up my North Star. When you work hard and strive for something big, expect to sweat and bleed. Expect to try, and then fail. and then try again. You may begin to wonder just how much polishing do I need? And at these times you may grow tired, fatigued, and worn. But it all depends on what you set out to do. How sharp you intend to be. 切磋琢磨 is not a thing you just do. It is a thing your are.

My name is Lucas S. Morales from early on I set out to make an impact on the world around me. I am an entrepreneur, an engineer, a designer, a developer, and a perpetual student of pretty much everything. I hope to find a way to instill virtue and self improvement back into our world.

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zethien Written by:

Lucas is a perpetual student of life, interested in languages, technology, politics, and more. With degrees in electrical engineering and math, he comes from a background of entrepreneurship, starting and managing a number of small businesses. Lucas’ time abroad and working in multiple industries has given him insight into today’s social issues and their potential solutions.