“Your Passion” is Self-centered Crap
Find your Ikigai. Nobody cares about your passion.
There is a Japanese word called “Ikigai” that is often explained as path to a long, happy, meaningful life. The concept moves beyond the usual, western Baby Boomer advice to “follow your passion,” and instead challenges you to consider the needs and values of others in the world.
To apply Ikigai, you must understand both yourself AND others.
The message “Follow you passion,” is so much simpler, easier and more palatable, it’s typical fodder for pandering commencement speeches.
What this advice ignores is the needs and wants of others. Maybe because “following your passion” is one of the most self-centered things you can do, Ben Horowitz’ 2015 commencement address to the graduating engineers at Columbia University says, “Don’t follow your passion.”
Meanwhile, Terri Trespicio’s says that the pressure to “follow your passion” is a dangerous idea.
The world does not provide for what you love. The world doesn’t care.
Ikigai places “passion” between what you love and what you’re great at. Once you get away from the idea that we all should just be following our own “passion” and focus as well on others, then you have an opportunity to get more of what you want from your life.
The problem with passion, is that derives from feelings. It feels good to think “I’m going to follow my passion, so I can do the things I love!”
But feelings are exactly what distracts us from our wantings, because Wantings and Feelings are Different.