Rediscovering Ikigai: What We Got Wrong and How to Find Meaning in Life

I lived in Japan for seven months when I was younger. For all of the challenges I faced there as a woman and a foreigner, I still learned a lot from Japanese culture. Because Japan experienced a long period of relative isolation from the outside world — caused by sakoku (literally “closed country”), the isolationist … Read More

The Curiosity Matrix: 9 Habits of Curious Minds

All healthy human babies and young children display curiosity, suggesting this is an innate human trait. Exploring our environment and babbling questions appear almost universal in early childhood across cultures. As an adaptive trait, curiosity draws us to seek information and new experiences. It’s how we learn about ourselves, others, and the world. However, research … Read More

Some hard truths about soft skills

For generations, hard skills have been prioritized over soft skills. Today, engineering and computer science education still places a strong emphasis on building technical expertise through math, science, and programming courses, with little attention paid to fostering interpersonal abilities. Many parents and educators still operate under the assumption that academic achievement and hard skills should … Read More

Self-Anthropology: Become your own anthropologist with personal field notes

When was the last time you stopped to truly observe your own life? Turning an anthropological lens on yourself might feel strange, but it can lead to invaluable insights, allowing you to uncover patterns, gain self-knowledge, and imagine new possibilities. Anthropologists ask fundamental questions such as: What does it mean to live in our world … Read More

You Don’t Need to Choose

“I’ve decided to take it easy at work this year and focus on myself.” I’ve recently been hearing variations of this sentence over and over again. Magazines are publishing stories about “the end of ambition” and how more people are taking extended sabbaticals. It seems like we need to make a constant choice between our … Read More