Doe it matter?

Does it matter if ikigai is misunderstood as a Venn diagram stating that it is something that you love, you're good at, the world needs, and that you can get paid for?

For Nick Kemp, he believes people should be informed that ikigai is not a Venn diagram -- it is more than that. What is the origin of this Venn diagram? Nick shares who created it and how it became the Ikigai Venn diagram.

Does it matter that ikigai is misunderstood as this Venn diagram?

So when I share with people on social media through my blog posts or podcasts that ikigai is not this Venn diagram and that this Ven diagram is not Japanese in origin, some people are quite perceptive and want to learn more.

While others tell me what does it matter? If it’s helping people, it doesn’t really matter where it comes from – that’s irrelevant. 

Obviously, for someone like me, it does matter, with my connection to Japan, I’ve lived there for ten years, I’m married to a Japanese.

But I do appreciate that for some people, this is something that they just share because it’s inspiring – and that’s it. They share it and then move on. 

However, some people actually use this as a coaching tool. I know that it’s inaccurate. So I think that raises a few questions. I think as a professional, you may want to consider whether it’s important or not to recognize and cite the work of others. 

So this is actually the work of Andres Zuzunaga, and he called it the “Purpose Venn Diagram.” Originally it was in Spanish, so proposito. 

I think one of the things you can do is you can be authentic and share the journey of how this is created by Andres.

And the self-proclaim mischief-maker and lover of chasing the world, Marc Winn, playfully merged ikigai with the Venn diagram after watching a TED Talk, and it took him no more than an hour, and for him, it is nothing more than that – just a cool idea to merge two concepts. 

Then the final thing to consider is whether or not you want to be respectful and authentic to a culture different from your own. And ultimately, that is a value choice and attitude that you have to make and would only matter to you.


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