“It sounds important so sure, I will look for my Ikigai… um… what is Ikigai?”
Glad you asked :-)
Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means your reason for being or the thing that gets you up in the morning.
We all have an Ikigai, even if we have not discovered it yet. It is that ultimate point where your desires, strengths and contribution to the world meet in perfect fulfilment. Life feels purposeful and it is considered by most to be the key to longevity and happiness.
You want to be happy but sometimes you don't know what to do, or where to start. Having a clear structure of how you can identify your purpose can keep you focused and add the momentum you need to succeed. Finding Your Ikigai means fulfilling your desires and at the same time offering something the world needs.
Your Ikigai is your life's purpose.
When you are living your life's purpose, your existence impacts every life you touch. If it is something you love, then you will enjoy doing it every day so everyone wins. Your purpose will be something you love otherwise it will not be your Ikigai.
Doing something you love motivates you to push against your fears and inspires you to expand your boundaries. Imagine living a life like this every day with the added benefit of positively impacting others. Definitely a win-win!
And just how do you find your Ikigai? Read on to discover more…
The four components of Ikigai?
The process is often described with a Venn diagram of four circles. The area where these four circles intersect is your Ikigai.
1. Your PASSION - What do you love?
- Consider what you have never gotten bored of, or keeps you in the flow.
2. Your VOCATION - What are you good at?
- What do people look to you for help?... or comes naturally to you that others find challenging?
3. Your PROFESSION - What can you be paid for?
- Consider what you have or want to be paid for. What would you be doing if you were not in your current job?
4. Your MISSION - What does the world need?
- Note the term the world could be your world e.g. your local community or even family and friends, it does not have to be global to make a difference. Consider what do these people need and how you can create a positive contribution to their lives.
Your Ikigai is the area where all four circles intersect…
There may be one or two things that are common to all four circles. This is your Ikigai. If there are no items that are common, try tweaking the points in each of the circles or perhaps take a short break and look at it with fresh eyes later.
For some, one attempt at the process is all that is required. For others, multiple attempts may be necessary to complete the process.
As you progress in life, you will meet new people, acquire additional skills and adopt different habits. You will change with time so what is your Ikigai this year may not be your Ikigai in five years from now. Therefore, it is recommended to attempt the exercise at various stages in your life.
Keep flexible with your expectations and be open to change and new possibilities. Finding Your Ikigai is truly a self-explorative activity. You may discover things you have taken for granted that could increase your potential and ultimately, your contribution to the world.
How to Find Your Ikigai?
The Finding Your Ikigai activity has been especially created to help make this process easy for you.
Give yourself sufficient time and don't think too much. Just go with the flow and write down what comes to mind. This is not a test. No one is going to score how many spelling errors you made.
Just write and be honest with yourself. Remember, this is about you, not about you pleasing others.
Be honest, you are creating a roadmap for your life so be sure you are paving a path that will be enjoyable. Don't measure yourself against the path of others.
And remember to have fun!... it’s supposed to be fun!... don’t forget to have fun!
Use - The Finding Your Ikigai activity - to help you with the process of identifying your life’s purpose.
... remember, stay curious and keep learning.
The Institute for Achievement and Excellence ©