I’m now reading this book, and it has taken me by such a complete surprise that I didn’t expect to find some of the insights that I have found, and I figured that I shouldn’t be the only one who is startled by them.

In their book Love People Use Things, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus say the following about relationships:


It’s a cliche to say: “We loved each other, but we weren’t in love.” But most cliches are grounded in profound truth.

According to Christopher Ryan, PhD, author of Sex at Dawn and Civilized to Death, intimate relationships contain three essential elements: chemistry, compatibility and love.

Humans tend to enter into relationships based on one, sometimes two, of these factors. Maybe there’s an initial sexual attraction [chemistry], maybe there are shared interests [compatibility], or maybe there’s a deep connection that propels the relationship forward [love].

Over time, however, the absence of any of these elements creates thoroughgoing dissatisfaction and, eventually, pain.

This is true even if one or two of the elements are strong. You can have great sex [chemistry], and still have an unfulfilling relationship. You can agree about finances and lifestyle [compatibility], and still have an unsatisfying relationship. You can care about each other [love], and still not want to be in a relationship together.


Although I can’t claim to be an expert on the topic, I think the old saying that “love isn’t enough” is correct.

Perhaps the missing factors [chemistry and compatibility] are what complete the equation.

I believe the same principles of chemistry, compatibility and love apply in business in the form of ikigai.

Ikigai is a term that derives from two Japanese words: iki meaning “life; alive” and kai meaning “result; worth; benefit”.

It can be translated into a “reason for living; meaning for life”.

When you find your ikigai, you find purpose in your life [chemistry], in the things you spend time on [compatibility], and the people you are with [love].

It is not enough to have a passion [love] for your business; you also need to consider whether or not you are compatible with the business and whether or not your business excites you [chemistry].

There are a lot of people who are passionate about singing, but if idols competition is any indication, a lot of people aren’t cut out to be singers. The passion is there, but the chemistry and compatibility are not.

Passion alone is not enough. Finding your ikigai, or love, compatibility, and chemistry is the ultimate goal.

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