Stop looking for true calling

Today TED shares a blog-post about True Calling. U know what? I know a better term for it.

Instead of true calling model of TED, this model involves four factors interacting with each other before (hopefully) coverging into the core, which is named Ikigai, a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being”.

There are something that annoys me in the TED true calling model.

You seem not to have to care about money in “true calling”

This model avoids money as if money is a bad thing. If somebody asks you what your dream is and your reply is “making a lot of money”, the reaction is predictable. Yep, what an immature, greedy, selfish person you are. Ignoring money as a sufficient method of value quantification is so unrealistic.


The fact is when you make money you are creating value (somebody needs what you do and is willing to pay for it, whatever that is. Youtubers who create trivial but fun videos make tons of money). The value may be good or bad, irrelavant from moral standards. From this diagram a teacher or a professional killer both have Ikigai. The market ruled by supply and demand doesn’t care if you are good or bad. You survive when do create something people need, or when you are part of that chain.

A person with Ikigai is not necessarily a good one, whereas the model of TED true calling requires people to “behave out of integrity”.

You are supposed to make people’s lives better ???

This is important because when you use the word “true-calling”, it sounds like people are supposed to be super-heroes. To be extraodinary or nothing. To end poverty, save the world, become entrpreneurs, leave a dent in the universe. Why should people do that? Stop turning this into a pressure.

And who created so-called Ikigai or “true calling” diagram anyway? There is no such fixed thing.

And what if I can’t find my Ikigai? Should I kill myself for living a worthless life?


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