Follow your "Icky guy." I'm not referring to the patient who signs in to the ED with a chief complaint of wanting his "privacy" checked but only by a female physician (true story). Do not follow him. Run far, far away from that one. But DO follow your Ikigai.
Ikigai is a Japanese term that means your life's passion, your unique reason for being on this earth. This is the feeling that makes you get up out of bed excited in the morning. Remember that feeling? Like the first day of summer break? Like the morning you leave for vacation? Like every day you go to work?........ EXCUSE ME you say?
Ultimately, don't we all want all of our days to feel like that? You know you've found your Ikigai when you're excited to be doing what's in store for you that day. This doesn't have to be true every day, but many if not most days. What's special about the concept of Ikigai is that it's not just you trying to be on a never-ending vacation. Ikigai blends together your special talents (what you do well), your unique passion (what you love to do), what you can get paid to do, and what is good for the world. It doesn't have to all be fulfilled by one career or one vocation, but is a unique blending of the aspects of life that work best for you. When you follow this passion and you are being true to your inner desires and strengths, balance and personal satisfaction will ultimately follow.
We are likely already doing good for the world and we are able to be paid well for what we do. We are really good at our jobs. We probably truly love most aspects of our jobs. The question is, have you found your Ikigai? Is there something that harmonizes with your current traditional career that you feel driven to pursue but ultimately always push off as "unrealistic?" What is calling you? Is it volunteerism? Travel? Activism? More education? Farming? What can you see doing even into your 70's and 80's? Can you make even a small step in that direction now? "Every great journey begins with a single step."
Follow others' quests to find their their Ikigai; search the category "Ikigai."