What's your ikigai, your reason to get up in the morning?

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/04/whats-your-ikigai-your-reas.html


That’s not a Venn diagram, that’s an Euler diagram. A Venn diagram would include an intersection between ‘Good at’ and ‘Needs’ that did not intersect with ‘Love’ or ‘Paid for’, and likewise an intersection between ‘Love’ and ‘Paid for’ that did not intersect with ‘Good at’ or ‘Needs’. Something like this:




The purpose of Life is to share positivity.

I see too immediate problems with this:

a) The belief that a person should have a single cause or activity that provides every possible type of personal fulfillment, and all other causes or activities they engage in are implicitly somehow lacking, is weird and toxic.

b) “The first-world capitalist economy rewards this monetarily” is a really shitty metric for value.


Because a certain someone needs to go for a walk and will stare at me until that happens.


Yes, but you’ve got to eat, and until the Revolution comes that means either living in a country with a humane welfare system, relying on the kindness of others, owning the means of production, crime or doing something someone else is willing to pay you for.


According to Japanese culture, everyone has ikigai.

What about nihilists?


“That’s not faaaaair!”

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You’re very lucky that they will only stare at you. Mine stands next to the bed and starts with a whine, but goes into a full bark if I don’t get up.


My ikagi is drawing Venn diagrams.



It’s that intense, burning indifference that fires the soul


Obviously, but there are plenty of people who do things they love, are good at, and the world needs, but aren’t paid well or at all. Parenting, for example.

Similarly, there are millions of people doing things they can get paid for but aren’t what they’re good at or what they love, but society simply needs those things to be done. Few janitors are going to say that their work is their life’s purpose, but the toilets still gotta get cleaned. Can they not otherwise live fulfilling lives? No wonder our society abhors necessary service jobs, if we believe doing them makes it psychologically impossible to be happy.

A baseline level of financial security is imperative for happiness in a capitalist society, but acting like the thing that gets you money should also somehow be able fulfill every other one of your emotional needs (and that if something isn’t getting you money, it’s not making you happy) is a fallacy. You can clean toilets and come home to a family or a pet or a hobby that is what lights up your world, and that’s fine. (Figuratively. If you’re not working several jobs just to achieve financial security.) But for some reason, there’s a persistent myth that your life should somehow have ONLY ONE THING and if the thing you get paid for is not also what you love, what you’re good at, and giving you purpose, then it cannot be YOUR ONE TRUE THING, and you need to keep looking for YOUR THING because how else will you ever be happy? And that’s bullshit.


Usually my bladder.


That might not be the point. My son (may have) found his calling recently. He loves to cook, and he went to work in a restaurant kitchen and loved it. I told him he may have found a calling; it’ll never make him rich, but there’s always work for a cook.

As long as you can support yourself, you might not need riches to be happy.


Reason to get up in the morning? That first ciggie and tablets to take (which has to be done with an empty stomach).


I find the only reliable thing to get out of bed in the morning is the exact opposite. Utterly deny that anything you want or need is important and tell your feelings, “Tough shit, we’re getting up and you don’t matter.”

I don’t need appease a bunch of crazy man-children living in my body’s attic in order to do the things I’ve got to do.

Of course you people who identify with your emotions and think they are part of you instead of feeling like they are monsters that don’t understand anything but violence might find this ikigai stuff useful, who knows?


With cats, it’s more like “Feed me now, or I will kill you and eat you for breakfast. Choose wisely.” :pouting_cat:


I must be rather odd, because I have a thing that fulfills all of the portions of the diagram.
But that’s what happens when you have an engineer brain, if you’re lucky.


Well today… “mortgage payments”
Tomorrow something else.