“Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you’re donating blood.” — Bill Murray
In Japan, the one of the saddest jobs belong to people who clean up after kodokushis.
What are kodokushis?
In Japanese, kodokushi literally means “lonely death,” and it refers to older people who die alone and remain undiscovered for a long time…
The tragic part is, kodokushi is such a big problem in Japan that not only is there a special word for it (actually, three words, kodokushi is just one of them), there’s an entire industry dedicated to cleaning up after it happens.
In Japan, more and more people are dying alone with no friends or family to even notice their absence. They perish in their apartments, and remain undiscovered until their bodies rot and stink, and the neighbors complain and then…well, you know the rest.
But why am I telling you such a dismal, depressing, and kinda disgusting story?
Because many people suffer from lack of direction, and you may be one of them.
Without a goal or idea about where you want to go, it’s easy to slip into limbo, in your career, your relationships, and your life.
The problem is, lots of people don’t have goals. Not real ones, anyway, not the kind that people call “passions” which drive them to keep going even when life is hard.
What do you do if YOU’RE the “passion-less” one?
If you don’t have a passion, sometimes an “anti-passion” will do just as well, or perhaps better.
I knew a mother with a child who had severe withdrawal issues.
The mom tried to do everything for her kid, but sometimes her love went overboard. No one could convince her that she might perhaps be over-caring for her child…
Until someone told her the story of kodokushi and warned her that if she continued to keep her kid from taking responsibility for life, she might one day turn her kid into a loveless, friendless person who dies alone and rots in an apartment until the kodokushi cleaning people come around.
That got her attention.
Was it harsh? Yeah. But was it true? In this case, very likely, yes.
So if you find yourself spinning your wheels and not knowing what you want to do in life, try considering the opposite.
What do you NOT want to do, with a passion? What do you NOT want to happen? How do you NOT want to end up?
For me, I know I don’t want to die without having written my stories or shared my art or finished the projects I was put on earth to do.
I also don’t want to make myself sick working at some job I’m unhappy with or unsuited to doing.
When I’m lost, thoughts of what I DON’T WANT can help me get myself oriented in the right direction again. (Useful, eh?)
So those are my anti-passions…
How about you?
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