Ikigai : The Sum of Parts , or just Sunscreen ?

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.Mary Schmich – 1997

I’ve been listening to Baz Luhrman’s rendition of Wear Sunscreen since college. It’s helped me enjoy every day of my life , in its simple pleasures. I’d probably attribute my life’s philosophy to it.

Over the years people have had conversations with me on ‘Purpose of Life’ and while they are talking to me, Satriani’s question – What is your purpose? answered by “I just wanna rock” belting through his guitar plays in my mind. 🤘🏼

As I complete 2 years at GitHub today, I can’t help but use the cliche – It feels like I joined yesterday! I pondered on the last 24 months and realized that I’m actually in my Ikigai moment – in my bliss or my state of purpose.

We’ve ALL read the book or attended a workshop at a point in time. The image below captures the essence of what Ikigai really is.

Is this Japanese concept the secret to a long, happy, meaningful life? |  World Economic Forum

Me, well I would say that I’ve stumbled through different stages of my life and career. I’ve gone through each of these circles, and the different intersections. With multiple swim-lanes I have hopped between (back-and-forth actually) working in startups and large enterprises and at the same time dabbled with different roles like software development, product management, sales, marketing and even operations. I always felt like doing something that I enjoyed doing at that point in time – AND have truly enjoyed each and every thing I have done.

As I went through my different roles between my passion for Startups, Technology, Business and Education – I always encountered the gaps that the Ikigai chart highlights in the corners.

  1. Satisfaction, but feeling of uselessness
  2. Comfortable, but feeling of emptiness
  3. Excitement and Complacency, but sense of uncertainty
  4. Delight and Fullness, but no wealth

But, at GitHub – I wake up energised thinking about how I can help students learn about coding and prepare for the digital world that awaits them. I talk to business leaders and answer questions on how they too can innovate and compete in an increasingly software driven world. Getting a ringside view of technology past-present-and-future on GitHub geeks the heck out of me. Giving back my learning to startups and helping them avoid all my mistakes (don’t get me started!) energizes me the most. But above all, working with passionate and super-duper team members helps make this journey a lot more enjoyable.

Having stumbled through different experiences have helped me be who I am. There are dots in my life that seem to be connecting multiple times a day. It is like millions of neurons connecting seemingly disconnected things in my head.

With GitHub, I know I am making an impact.

Hope with my lame attempt at creating a GIF 🙂 I am able to show you how I’m seeing my Ikigai – with GitHub at the center.

GitHub for me has been my Ikigai moment ! The last 2 years are a speck in a brief history of time. I’m already racing towards a more exciting future.

Now, Should I dispense some advice ?

  • Keep exploring, experimenting & moving forward (That truly is the purpose of life)
    • Fingerprints are unique
    • Don’t berate yourself that you don’t know your purpose or have not found your ikigai.
    • I know 50+ year olds still searching but enjoying the journey
  • Dots will always connect
    • Not everything is about a ‘Job’ or ‘Role’ and above all a ‘Title’
    • Enjoy what you do. Stop if you don’t
  • Build personal “board of directors”
    • Look for Sponsors along with Mentors
    • Take advice, but choose which one to take
  • Cultivate a hobby
    • No matter what it is, do something to control your meandering mind !

Above all, Be a Sponge! 

But, Trust me on the Sunscreen..

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