How to find your IKIGAI

The Japanese seem to do a lot of things well. They’re a very successful country, often ahead of many others in trends and tech; they have immaculate taste and they’re so full of wisdom!

I have been recently investigating an ancient Japanese practice about finding your life’s purpose and passion – it is known as your IKIGAI.

What is IKIGAI

IKIGAI, pronounced ee-kee-guy, can be loosely translated as “a reason for being”. It embodies the idea that true fulfilment and happiness comes when we find the sweet spot where our passions and talents align.

It’s often described as the intersection of passion, mission, vocation and profession. IKIGAi is like a roadmap for discovering one’s purpose.

What are the components of your IKIGAI?

Your IKIGAI is the intersection of four areas:

What You Love

This is your PASSION. What do you love doing? What truly brings you joy and satisfaction? When have you felt most engaged and fulfilled? Your passion is what usually brings you the most energy.

What You Are Good At

This is your VOCATION. What are you good at? What skills or activities do you excel at? This will usually be what comes naturally to you but may not be easy for many others.

What The World Needs

This is your MISSION. What values and principles mean most to you? What positive impact do you wish to have on the world? This is the guiding force that will align your actions with a higher purpose.

What You Can Be Paid For

This is your PROFESSION. What are the skills you have that you can be compensated for? This is a practical consideration that meet the needs of the world, but also that allows you to sustain yourself financially.

How to find your IKIGAI

Many people believe that happiness is where the money lies and just keep chasing a bigger salary. However, others are more philanthropic and love giving back, but this is not going to provide for your future.

Your IKIGAI is the balance of this.

I spent a lot of time doing volunteer work, giving back and helping others. I realised that this was detrimental to my own business as my time was spent on pro-bono work rather than paid work.

I have worked to find my IKIGAI so that I am doing something that is truly at the interaction of all four circles.

I did this by:

  • Self-reflection
  • Seeking feedback
  • Experimentation

For those who want to find out about my new startup and how I believe it’s my IKIGAI, stay tuned for the announcement.