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John is dedicated to helping you get more out of life through his writing, mentoring and coaching programs— https://www.synergypersonaldevelopment.com

Greetings from the road less traveled

Hello, I’m John Cunningham. It took me a long time to be comfortable saying that. I used to just think of my name being a formal label that others could use to identify me.

Nowadays, I consider it a description of who I am and what I am about. While I express this every day in my work as a corporate trainer and executive coach. Medium has given me a new space to present the me that lies below the surface.

I am from the Silicon Valley and now reside in Tokyo. I have…


Meet Jill Barcelona-Suzuki

Jill Barcelona-Suzuki — Image by the author

Jill Barcelona-Suzuki has been living in Japan for several years. She first came here in 1998 as the Philipine delegate to the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program, currently named Ship for Southeast Asia and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP).

SSEAYP aims to promote friendship and understanding among youths from Japan and ten Southeast Asian countries (Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Lao people’s Democratic Republic,the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and the Kingdom of Cambodia). …


My Tokyo Olympics Journey

Image by the author

So, my Olympic experience is half over, and I am having a memento mori moment. Trying to take in as much as I can in the 10 days of volunteering I have remaining. To say it’s been sublime is really an understatement. It is hard to imagine what it’s like to be working on the world’s largest stage. I worked two of the three biggest pay-per-view boxing events of all time (Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao & Floyd Mayweather vs. …


Meet Nada Rochevska — Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stories

Nada at Rio Olympics Closing ceremonies 2016 — Image by Nada Rochevska

Nada Rochevska led language services during the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She has been a part of many Olympics, both Winter, and Summer, since her first experience at the Lillehammer Youth Olympics in 2016.

Her vast knowledge of the volunteer experience and mega sporting events combined with her love of sport has led her to create Sports Volunteering Solutions, a German-based consulting firm that helps host cities, international federations, and countries to coordinate the roles, training, and work of volunteers. Winning volunteer experiences are a key to successful events, as…


How can I help you?

Image by the author

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have finally started, and as a volunteer, I have done a variety of jobs. These roles have provided an opportunity to get backstage, and have been a lot of fun. I have welcomed guests, checked temperatures, and served as an assistant to one of the regulatory teams. I’ve distributed tickets for the opening ceremonies and given out hundreds of smiles.

In all of those interactions — from assisting Olympic officials and medical professionals to helping other volunteers feel more comfortable working in English, I’ve shared a lot of joy. Everyone I’ve…


Apply what you learn about yourself in the gym to other aspects of your life

Photo by Sven Mieke on Unsplash

There are some activities we do in life that hold the key to success in several seemingly unrelated areas. Weight training is one such activity for me.

I started going to the gym about 3 months ago. During that time, I increased my strength by 21%. That is incredible. Over these last three months, I have rekindled my enjoyment of weight training, something I had not done in the last 6 years or more.

After achieving new thresholds, we rarely reduce our performance expectations. When…


Meet Nima Esnaashari

Nima at home in Hyogo, Japan

Nima Esnaashari has been living in Hyogo prefecture since 2010. He moved to Japan from the United States. He originally came to Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching, also referred to as the JET Program. This program is sponsored by the Japanese government and places native English speakers in public schools to assist in the English learning curriculum and give foreigners a taste of life in the countryside. It is a good induction into authentic Japanese culture and lifestyle as many of the placements are in remote locations.

Hyogo is in the center of Japan, just…


First day on the job

Image by the author

Yesterday was my first day of volunteer activities for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and it was full of intrigue. From the start to the end, it was all an enjoyable learning experience.

Plan — Leave early, just in case.

I had planned to arrive an hour early for my shift. This way, if anything went wrong, I would be covered. Well, my shift started at 8 am, so I left home just before 6. The good thing about getting on the train that early is that it’s not so crowded. The bad thing? …


Why we volunteer

Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on Unsplash

Participating in the Olympics is an opportunity to be on the world stage. It is a chance to let your light shine and brighten the lives of people from all over the world. While the number of people that we Tokyo 2020 volunteers will get to interact with is going to be smaller than originally anticipated, our ability to impact the world has not been diminished.

Field Cast members, as we Tokyo 2020 Olympic volunteers are called, have many reasons for taking part in the games. In previous posts, Carlos Hernandez talked about having gratitude for his…


Inspiration from Illumination writers.

Photo by Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash

Illumination is a busy place. With so many stories, how can you find the ones that resonate with you? Probably by visiting every day.

I’d have to say, reading stories in the Illumination family (Illumination, Illumination-Curated, Illumination Mirror, Synergy, Book Chapters, and Technology Hits) is 10X better than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media. This week while our writers have been busy, I’ve been procrastinating in my business and needed some inspiration. These stories about entrepreneurship, personal development, and writing helped me get off the sofa and actually get stuff done. I hope they inspire you too.

In Nick…

John Cunningham

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