Ikigai

James Gunn:

Our dreams are, generally, us imagining ourselves from the outside, not the inside. This can never be experienced and, because of that, “following one’s dreams” is usually a necessarily fruitless activity. Even in the best of circumstances, it is not a source of well-being or comfort.


And although we’re often told, “You can do anything you set your mind to!”, it’s just not true. People CAN’T do anything they set their minds to. The physicality of my vocal chords make it so that I will never sing like Adele. My height precludes me from being a basketball star. My age and ethnicity prevent me from ever being a member of South Korean boy band BTS, no matter how much I set my mind to it.


If you discover what you’re truly good at, and what you enjoy doing, and it’s something you can potentially make a living at – well, that, to me, is a much richer life than following your dreams, which are not only unfullfilling, but they shift and change throughout your life anyway. Because to achieve a dream is one thing, but to live inside a dream that you discover moment by moment along your path, where you grow stronger and wiser, and enhance the lives of those around you – well, that’s a much deeper, more fulfilling life.