The Buddha Mind And Finding The Passion Within
The HedgeHog Concept
Live a life of passion, of desire,
A perpetual craving to learn, a burning fire.
A journey free from strangles and holds,
An inspiration to millions, for young ones and olds.
Do you find it hard to continue on projects for long?
Do you feel your day job is tedious and is not what you like?
Do you feel that you could build a better life doing something else?
Finding Your Passion Is Hard
Most of us live a life without a specific passion in our lives. We end up spending one-third of our lives going to dead-end corporate jobs and eventually lose out on our identity. As kids, we all have that dream. Some of us dreamt of becoming astronauts, some doctors, some sportspeople, etc. However, as we grow in our lives, the harshness of life normalizes us. We lose hope in our goals in life. We lose faith in our abilities. We start to follow what society tells us to do. In the process, we lose our enthusiasm to live our lives. Only a very few people can escape the clutches of society’s norms and can escape the drudgery. How do they do it? What factors play a role in shaping what you pursue in your life? How can you lead an inspired life and be happy with what you do in your career?
Passion And Learning
The first and foremost principle of living a life on your terms is finding an area that you enjoy working in the most and learning about it. To create a career on your terms, you will constantly learn about it. You will have to learn everything about that niche area. To create value, you will have to do focused experiments. You will have to go into new, uncharted territories and become an expert on what not many people understand. You will be a leader then. It is going to be complicated. It is going to be dark. It will require you to be good at the fundamentals of that area.
Passion And Persistence
To find your passion, you will have to become the best at a particular skill. Today, can you answer the question of what you are best at in the world? Being “The Best at X,” no matter how small the niche for “X,” is crucial for making a career in something.
“It is much better to be a somebody of something than being a nobody of everything.”
For example, suppose you can become an expert in editing fashion blogs on a social media platform such as YouTube. In that case, you can be much more successful than becoming a video editor on any social media platform. To be an expert, you will need to improve your skill. As Gladwell tells it in his book Outliers, the rule goes like this: it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials, like playing the violin or getting as good as Bill Gates at computer programming.
Passion And The Hedgehog Concept
Jim Collins developed the Hedgehog Concept in his book Good To Great. In his famous essay, “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” Isaiah Berlin divided the world into hedgehogs and foxes, based upon an ancient Greek parable: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
The Hedgehog Concept posits that success lies at the intersection of the following three circles:
What you are deeply passionate about,
What drives your economic engine,
What you can be the best in the world at.
This is similar to the concept of Ikigai. An idea is a conceptual tool that we can apply to find a niche we can become great at. In addition to the three elements of the concept, I will also add the idea of finding “What your environment is ready for.” Only when you know what you are passionate about and thus can sustain for over a long time and become the best at it can you put your life behind it. It will still need to be an economically viable area of work. Otherwise, you will not sustain your life. Furthermore, you will need some set of resources and support from your environment to succeed at it. If you can find an idea that can tick all four checkboxes, you will have something unique on your hand.
Passion And Purpose Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin
Many different paths, I see,
But none look so clear to me.
Find your purpose, listen to your soul,
The light shall show, guiding you to your goal.
The soul searches for a purpose,
The heart listens to the soul,
The mind follows the heart,
A happy life thus ensures.
Passion Leads To Purpose
In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor Frankl, in his Vienna clinic, found that among both patients and personnel, around 80% believed that human beings needed a reason for living, and about 60% felt that they had someone or something in their lives worth dying for.
To live a happy and fulfilling life, we should try and find a purpose in our life. This purpose will keep you going in the most challenging circumstances and serve as a guiding light for you.
Life Without A Purpose
It is rightly said, “A man without a purpose is a ship without a rudder.” To achieve something meaningful in life, each person needs to have a big WHY. The WHY of the purpose then drives all the actions from it. An organization without a goal or a clear why will fail. No individual will want to associate with a team or a leader who has a clearly outlined purpose in life.
Life is a long, complex, and arduous journey. In this journey, there will be many phases where we start to doubt ourselves. We begin to doubt our abilities, skills, team, etc., and give up on it. To succeed, we need to find a purpose to power through those demons which create doubts. Quite often, the suspicion is more considerable in thought than in reality. Quite often, we find help from unknown people to overcome difficulties. However, without a purpose, we get lost in the sea of the uncertainty of life.
Ikigai: How To Find Your Purpose In Life
I have found the Japanese concept of Ikigai very useful when trying to answer this question. To live your dream life, you need to be able to find your Ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese concept that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. Ikigai consists of the following four steps:
Find what you love.
Find what the world needs.
Find what you can be paid for.
Find what you are good at (i.e., your strengths).
A job that satisfies all four checkboxes can become your Ikigai. This means that you can sustain your life doing what you love to do and become the best at it.
Techniques To Help Find Your Passion
Experiment with different projects. Find a project that feels less like work.
Work with experts in different fields. Find a mentor.
Read books in different areas. Find an area of work that interests you.
DO. NOT. LIVE. THE. LIFE. OF. A. CORPSE. BE. ALIVE.
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