Sunday, December 22, 2019

Spark joy is wider than decluttering.

Marie Kondo's spark joy meme was a great inspiration for many Japanese. In particular, the fact that she was able to do a popular Netflix series without substantially speaking English, I think, gave the Japanese an intriguing thought, an epiphany for many young people, who are always told that their English abilities are not adequate for the global era.

The spark joy approach itself is very interesting too, and tells something deep about the Japanese psyche. Ever since the great Pillow Book essay by Sei Shonagon (completed in 1002), joy to the heart has been an important guiding principle of Japanese life. The great achievement of Marie Kondo was to bring the venerable approach to the world arena.

Marie Kondo applied spark joy to decluttering in the household. In more general terms, people can apply the spark joy principle to life's wider choices. Does one particular activity spark joy in yourself? The answer to this question would reveal what actions would activate your brain's reward system, telling you how you could make yourself grow both professionally and personally. Marie Kondo's achievements are great. But most probably, spark joy is wider than decluttering. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Somehow the idea of tokimeku reminds me of the scene from "A River Runs Through It" wherein the protagonist submits an essay to his father (Tom Skerrit) who then tells his son to make his essay half as long. The son rewrites it and again receives the direction to rewrite it half as long. On the third attempt, the essay is deemed suitable. Not everything about that movie scene is an apples to apples comparison with tokimeku, but the idea of boiling one's belongings down to only the things that are essential, that "spark joy," is a really valuable practice. It's easy in the modern world to be so utterly overwhelmed that everything starts to blur into a numb void of meaninglessness, but bringing out the touchstones of tokimeku really helps ground and give meaning to daily life.