In May of 2021, I was in a cab with my wife Sana, on our way to a restaurant and shopping mall in Hanoi to enjoy a Saturday together. I was literally ready to retire from trumpet playing, really having anything to do with the trumpet. In my mind, it was something that I had done and I had done it well, and I'd done some cool things.
It appeared to me that my life was going on a trajectory in which trumpet was not a part. So I had told her that I was going to quit and I was done.
And she said, "Well, James, I think that you should continue with it. I think you should stick with it."
And I said, "I would have to have a really good reason to do that."
And she said, "I'm your wife. Isn't that reason enough?"
Well, that's a good point. If your wife says that you should do something, you do it for her. So I decided that I'm going to continue to play it. And if I'm going to do it, then I'm going to do it the very best that I can with the time and resources that I have at my disposal. And I'm just going to make the absolute best of it because that's really the way that you should approach anything.
So that was, I think, in May of 2021, and I believe it was just a couple of weeks later, I had been sleeping and woke up in the morning and just this word was in my mind that it was this word that was in my mind when I woke up, it was Ikigai.
Now I am not an expert on Ikigai. In fact, I had heard the word just once or twice listening to one of my podcast production clients, Ben Greenfield, who has mentioned that word a couple of times. But that was really my exposure to the word. But there I was, I woke up and there was this word on my mind.
And it wasn't just a passing thought. It was really pressing on me. And so I went onto my smartphone and I opened up Amazon and just typed in Ikigai. I want to know more about that.
I read the book thoroughly enjoyed it. And I thought, you know, if I have a platform such as a podcast, people should know about not just about the concept of Ikigai, they should also know the person who has written about it extensively. And so I just reached out and said, "Hey, loved your book, want to do a podcast?"
And he said, yeah, absolutely.
I just love how things just kind of come together like that. It seems on the surface that they may be random, but I really don't believe that I don't believe in random meetings or random events like that.