You Have to Be a Chuunibyou

If you’re not at least a little bit chuunibyou about what you’re doing, I don’t know how you’re gonna make it.

You will seldom find someone who’s successful in business who doesn’t believe in what they’re doing. That’s not something that happens. The massive advantage passion provides is that it motivates people to work longer and harder than people who don’t have that passion.

People with passion are motivated to actually solve problems and help people. That’s how businesses thrive.

But the culture has a weird relationship with passion. Too much passion directed at the wrong thing is bad. It’s “cringe.” It makes people embarrassed to see people going through life not embarrassed.

Nobody who turns their passion into success thinks this way about what they’re doing. They don’t have time to be embarrassed. They’re too busy enjoying themselves and solving problems.

Take the Wu-Tang Clan: One of the greatest groups in the history of hip-hop.

Their group is built around Eastern philosophy interpreted through kung-fu movies.

They refer to their hometown of Staten Island as “Shaolin.”

Half their aliases come from kung-fu movies.

It’s chuunibyou. They’re acting out a grandiose delusion. And they act it out hard enough that it manifests through them and their work into something that profoundly affects the world around them.

Their chuunibyou allows them to step outside of themselves and become the kinds of people who would make a track like “Trimuph.”

The people in our media do larger-than-life things on a regular basis. Emulating their characteristics can go a long way toward rising above mundane long enough to do something great.

It just takes a bit of endurance, and possibly some social circle re-evaluation. The unfortunate part of our culture is that people will clown on other people just for daring to look a bit silly. Which itself is a cage, because it makes the people doing it self-conscious. If you join others in making fun of someone being silly, you deny yourself the privilege of being silly, lest you get made fun of yourself.

And the people being silly are self-aware of it. They’re just having fun. They’re embracing the fringe. They’re giving themselves an advantage.

If you have to be a little bit chuunibyou to give yourself the edge you need to improve your life, you’re fundamentally cheating yourself by letting randoms on the internet stop you. Find philosophies in anime that inspire you. Steal character traits and mannerisms. Create your alter-ego.

Because when you do, you give yourself something more than a marginal advantage over everyone else. You give yourself the chance to be great. If you manage to be even 5% as good as one of the larger-than-life fictional characters you’re a fan of, you’ll be head-and-shoulders above the majority of normal people.

All it takes is the willingness to be a little silly. The willingness to be a little chuunibyou.

And the best part? It’s fun.