Ikigai and your Inner Geek

I’m half way through listening to the farewell episode of my favourite podcast. I have to stop…I just don’t want it to end. So I decided to stave off the inevitable by writing a blog post about it.

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Over the last 12 months I’ve been re-exploring the Harry Potter universe and the wider Wizarding World. I’ve finally accepted that I am Ravenclaw not Gryffindor. I find myself reading scripts and screenplays for the first time in 20 years to get my fix of the world beyond the original Hogwarts stories.  Perhaps you could blame my fondness for the dashing Eddie Redmayne but mostly I blame Binge Mode: Harry Potter. Listening to these podcasts reminded me to go back and reread all the books (I haven’t rewatched the films…yet). I’ve just added “See Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in London” to my list of things to do in 2019. My family just does not get it and my kids are resisting my rather fanatical requests to let me start on The Philosopher’s Stone with them! One day….

I’ve loved the experience of listening to the passion of the presenters, Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion. They absolutely f*cking love Harry Potter and everything about the stories and the depth of the fantasy world.  They are both reverent and irreverent with adult content, in-jokes and deep discussion of the “wider Potter Canon”. Listening to them do their thing, really brings me back to the “What do you love?” question at the heart of the Ikigai concept.

You can’t deliver over 160 podcasts over 7 months with freshness and passion and energy unless you really love the content.  Their emotion is so fresh and true it really brings you back into what it feels like to really love a work of art.

In addition to “What do you love?”, Binge Mode: Harry Potter really makes me think, “What does the world need?”, the final question of Ikigai. People around me say しょうがない (It can’t be helped, there is no other way) everyday. Accepting the status quo, even though they hate it and it is making them ill. I believe the world needs people who can stand up and say “しょうがある”(there is a way, it can be helped)! The world needs passionate people who can geek out over things that they care about.

But why do we fear being seen as a geek?

We fear being rejected. We fear seeming uncool and being humiliated. Why? There is something a little bit scary, a touch confronting to be in front of someone who cares so intensely about something, who is passionate about sharing their love for a work of art, an idea or a concept.  As an onlooker, we can’t always understand it and so we ridicule it, “Why are you pouring your energy into this children’s story?”

It’s important to then look at ourselves, “What am I passionate about? What do I love?” Sometimes what is really confronting us is when we see the gap between what we say we love and how we spend our days. Integrating your ikigai is about (re-)discovering that passion and then engineering ways to bring more of it into our daily lives.

We need more passionate geeks in the world. I encourage you to nurture your inner geek. Shout from the rafters about the things you love. Bring more of it into your daily life. Find your kindred spirits who care about it too. It will widen your world and you might just inspire someone to find their ikigai.

Oh, and if you are also a Ravenclaw, let me know. I feel like we don’t really get a lot of positive press in the books (Gilderoy Lockheart is not an ideal role model) despite our wit beyond measure!

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P.S. I listened to the end of the podcast… It was so moving, I was in floods of tears. I am going to miss it so much. I’m not sure whether I’m more excited about Fantastic Beasts 3 in 2020 or the return of the Binge Mode Harry Potter Analysis.

P.P.S. Have you seen this???? Wizards Unite! I cannot wait!

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