You Need to Do What You Really Love

Naoko Hosokawa shares what she's passionate about and gives her a sense of ikigai: languages, words, and having interesting discussions with others.

Go after things that you're really passionate about. 

Nick: So what is your ikigai? Is it the study of language? Or the study of words?

Naoko: Yeah, I mean, of course, it definitely takes a large part of my ikigai. So yeah, I was going to say that this concept that I was talking about in terms of the lorem ipsum, is definitely related to this idea of ikigai, that you need to take every challenge in your life from a positive point of view to achieve your goal.

And yeah, so I really find my research as part of my kind of greater goal in my life. And rather than saying, my research, or my kind of looking at words and languages, is ikigai. But I kind of decided to turn my ikigai into my work.

So previously, I worked in a totally different sector, and I really wanted to spend my life looking at things I really get passionate about. So I could not think of anything else than languages and the words that I have always been passionate about. 

So I thought, if you live only once, you definitely need to do what you really love. And that was the language. And the way to think about language or the time in my life was to become a researcher in linguistics.

So yeah, I think it is fair to say that it is part of my ikigai. And also, in general, I'm interested in language, and more generally, I'm interested in communication. 

So when I'm having a very good, interesting discussion with other people, that gives me really great pleasure, that this exchange of ideas is something that I appreciate a lot. So that's the moment I feel that this is the most beautiful part of life in general.

So yeah, I'd say that, in general, these languages, words, and communication give me a sense of ikigai.

Nick: I can totally relate. I love having conversations with obviously friends and family, but also I love my podcast. And it's something I really strive to do well, so I'll research my guests. 


I'll read their paper or book, I'll make notes. So that can facilitate a really enjoyable conversation, which I've had with you today.

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Ikigai is a greatly misunderstood concept outside of Japan. It’s not a word from Okinawa. It’s not the Japanese secret to longevity. It’s not an entrepreneurial Venn diagram framework.

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