Today, I have a couple of important topics for you: The Ikigai and Robotic Automation. The’ 42′ in the title is just a pinch of humor to go with it. You know the rule., always start with a joke! If you are familiar with Douglas Adams’ books, you can directly jump to Ikigai. Otherwise, let us begin.
What is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? Why are we here.? Why do we do the things we do.? And What should we be actually doing.? This has been bothering humankind for a while, there were several contradicting answers throughout history. But, for the records, this has been solved already! A convincing, rather conclusive and undisputed answer – 42 !! [**1] If you do not trust me, just google the answer to life the universe and everything.
Google is never wrong 🙂
Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept [**1] of ‘A Reason for Being’ towards making one’s life worthwhile. It’s a map on where you spot yourself with a set of mutually exclusive coordinates of ‘what(s)’. If you are not in a mood for a profound philosophical concept, good news! There is a Venn diagram to go with the idea. Everyone loves a useful Venn diagram!
There are four circles (or petals). In isolation, they would mean something like this:
- What are you good at [e.g. Knuckle cracking]?
- What earns you money [e.g. email from Nigerian Prince]
- What the world needs [e.g. Rajpal Yadav]
- What do you love [e.g. can’t think of anything funny]?
We all fall under combination (overlap) of these – two, three or all four. If you locate yourself under all four and, i.e. closer to the centre, you have already found “your reason for being”.!. That is your Ikigai. If not the centre, even if you fall under three-fourth of the areas, that should be Fantastic!
I can think of many examples who have reached awfully close to their Ikigai; there’s Virat Kohli, Big B, Eminem, Bill Gates and so on. Even many good friends of mine have come closer to the centre than I ever was. E.g. my Better half, a journalist/reporter, an Interior designer, a dance studio couple, a rock band ..and many. Cheers guys!
Now, on Robotic Automation part. You guessed it right. What happens to that profession outside any of these areas? They simply get Automated! Let us take an example: there is a position/role called liftman whose entire job is to sit in elevators and press buttons for you! I am pretty sure that a) he is not better at it than any of us; b) probably does not pay well; c) he must be hating it and d) the world definitely does not need it.
I can list many such examples, let me know if I’ve missed any: Leg Umpire (in Cricket), Librarians, Ball boys (Tennis), ATM Guard, weather reporter, Tollbooth attendant, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Karan Johar.
So far, only PM of Pakistan is successfully Automated (wink).
- It seems like the Japanese are doing world domination with marketing Trademark terms! There’s Poka-Yoke, Kaizen, Kanban and so on! It’s a good change after Greek & Latin words dominating nomenclature. Sanskrit – your day will come.
- There are literally hundreds of books introducing the concept, with best-seller being famous one being this. This book is so small that I could finish just during a dull Sunday afternoon. But I do not recommend this to you for the sole reason that – it does not stick to a topic. Is it a travelogue? Recipe book? Biography or a Yoga manual? Who can tell.?
- Here is a clip from Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy for you. I highly recommend you read that book, don’t miss out!