Otsukaresama deshita is an expression that is pronounced frequently among Japanese colleagues throughout the work day.
Its literal meaning is ‘thank you for becoming tired as a result of your hard work.’
Its meta meaning runs deeper and encompasses not only gratitude but also the values of hard work, effort and the recognition of the essential role everyone plays within a specific professional community.
I think we should all consider importing this sobering practice into our lives while shifting its context to the relationship with our body.
Our body is consistently efficient, relentlessly hard-working and ingenious in its ability to compensate for the many sabotaging behaviours we select daily.
When we trade sleep for late night screen time, healthy eating for convenience, and exercise for inertness we are disrespecting and sabotaging the magnificent work of 37.2 trillion cells that tirelessly and thanklessly work every minute of every hour of every year of every decade in order for us to attain our goals and unfold our purpose.
If we behaved this way as the CEO of a company, we’d be fired faster than we could say ‘sushi’.
Only when we stop taking our body for granted and start making choices that honour its effort, grit and hard work can we really attain a truly high-performing life.
Dear body, ‘otsukaresama deshita.’