Finding ikigai (a reason for living or having a purpose) is the key to a happy life.
Finding our calling in life, pursuing it with strong passion and intense focus, and engaging in deliberate practice results in ikigai.
How to find your calling
Follow your passions. It is wise to be passionate about things under our control, or else we risk being dejected.
Choose what makes you happy
Explore. Dream. Discover.
For the past thirty-three years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. - Steve Jobs
Once we have discovered our calling in life, we need to embrace the power of focus.
Relentless focus on one specific passion leads to achievement. That means pushing aside other ideas and interests until you achieve the goal.
A highly structured activity with the specific goal of improving performance. It requires continuous evaluation, feedback, and a lot of mental effort.
Key elements of deliberate practice:
Repeatable: Mastery requiresrepetition.
Constant feedback: Regular and timely feedback to decisions/actions for continuous improvement. A mentor/coach may notice things that we may have missed.
Hard: Deliberate practice requires significant mental effort.
Not fun: Specific focus on weaker/uncomfortable areas.
Jeff Bezo's Regret Minimization Framework
The framework I found, which made the decision [starting Amazon] incredibly easy, was what I called—a “regret minimization framework.”
So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, “Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.”
I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried.
I knew that that would haunt me every day, and so, when I thought about it that way it was an incredibly easy decision.
- Jeff Bezo