People should pursue what they are passionate about. That would make them happy more than anything else.” This advice is that of Elon Musk, echoing Steve Jobs’ definition of innovation “a passion that burns in you”. Innovation enthusiasts experience this new world as an exhilarating time. Why ? the answer through Ikigai, this Japanese method that allows you to determine your purpose and live in harmony with yourself and others. Innovators do Ikigai unknowingly, driven by passion and intuition because:
1) They live in their “flow”
The flow is this state of harmony that we feel when we do something that corresponds to what we love. Living in this flow would be the key to the longevity of the inhabitants of Okinawa, which is also called the island of centenarians” because they would live according to their Ikigai (in Japanese “live what you hope for”). It is a philosophy of life that allows you to live in balance with an ideal that is a good reason to get up in the morning.
There are “small flows” for everyday pleasures and “big flow” for major achievements that correspond to an accomplishment.
Innovators live permanently in their flow, which is what makes them creative and visionary.
2) They do what they love
Innovators like new ideas, meetings with original people and therefore experience innovation as an “autotelic” activity, i.e. self-motivating. They know what they like and assume it with great independence from the eyes of others.
If you’ve lost sight of what you love as you race through the grindstone, make a list of the things that give you pleasure, that you do effortlessly, in your flow. Also make a list of what annoys you and misses you to become aware of your frustrations. Think of someone you envy, they will tell you a lot about what you desire.
3) They do what they are good at
Driven by their intuition, they follow their natural talents. Steve Jobs, who revolutionized the world of design with Apple, has always been driven by aesthetics and the visual arts on which he has nourished himself all his life by practicing them and studying them during his travels. Gifted in creating new universes and products, he surrounded himself with managers like Tim Cooks, the current boss of Apple, to ensure the back office.
You too have preferences and skills. They may have been masked by your education or the needs of your current job. Reconnect with your natural so to take pleasure in your life, private and professional.
4) They are paid to perform
The richest men on the planet are innovators: E.Musk, J.Bezos, B.Arnault, B.Gates, M.Zuckerberg…. Yet Jobs kept repeating that money was not his driving force and besides he lived in great frugality, vegetarian and with his eternal black sweater.
Elon Musk wants him to earn money to achieve his dreams. A serial entrepreneur, he systematically reinvests his earnings in new companies he creates. Thus Paypal allowed him to create Tesla, Tesla finances Space X…
And you, what are your strong skills that will allow you to earn money without having the impression of making an effort?
They contribute what the world needs
In their desire to “save the world” like Bill Gates with his health foundation or Elon Musk in wanting to “create life” on Mars, they all have a high vision of their reason for being on Earth.
And you, at your level, what is the ideal that you hold and the cause to which you could contribute that would allow you to live better in harmony with you and in the world.