Having a passion for something is a nice thing. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to find it, or keep it. While most of us, Software Developers became certain about what we’re going to do for the rest of our lives after coding our first “for loop”, someone probably had to leave the paint brush behind and start searching for the “Real Job”.
These thoughts always haunted me and I wanted to understand it better. If passion is such a nice thing to have, why is it so inaccessible to people?
Hence, the title Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life caught my attention. It claims that there is a “secret” to long, and most importantly, “happy” life. I wanted to understand what does it mean by “happy”. It is possible for everyone to be happy without their passion? Or is it just ignoring people without a passion? Fortunately, I had the whole day free to listen to the audio book.
Turns out, It was my confusion. I confused passion with purpose. They are most often presented in such a way, I bet most people do the same too. Passion isn’t something that makes us want to live a long or happy life. While we may enjoy doing things we are passionate about, if we don’t have a clear purpose, it will haunt us. Deep inside, we’ll feel miserable, enjoying things immersed into our own world, ignoring others who weren’t lucky enough, leaving them behind.
The book isn’t about passion vs. purpose. It’s about finding one’s life’s purpose to live a long and happy life, just as the title claims. And thanks to this book, I now know, purpose doesn’t have to be related to passion. Passion change. It’s fragile. But purpose isn’t. I now know what I need to look for. Why I need to keep a journal, recover my abandoned contacts, and take some time off and give writing blog posts another try.
I highly recommend the readers to read this book, or even better, listen to the audio book.