What is the best thing that can happen to your career?

Diagram depicting a Japanese concept of Ikigai, meaning "a reason for being"

Today, I’ve read a tweet by Sinan Aral (@sinanaral) from the MIT:


I’ve just realized that Ikigai is what happened to my career as a data scientist. There was no point in my professional life where I felt boredom or lack of motivation. Some people think that I’m good at what I’m doing. If they are right (which I hope they are), It is due to my love for what I have been doing since 2001. I am so thankful for being able to do things that I love, I care about, and am good at. Not only that, I’m being paid for that! The chart shared by Sinan Aral in his tweet should be guiding anyone in their career choices.


Featured image is taken from this article. Original image credit: Toronto Star Graphic 

By Boris Gorelik

Machine learning, data science and visualization http://gorelik.net.


  1. It’s inspiring to see someone find their ikigai. Thank you for sharing. I’m still on a search for that center of that diagram and am slowly piecing it together over the years.

    Have you seen the book Ikigai (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAG34EH/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1). It’s a quick read. What I love most about the book are the new terms I’m gathering like ikigai. (The others I’m forgetting at the moment.) They all capture nuance that English doesn’t seem to capture.


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