In our last blog post we spoke about the difference of Western & Eastern Philosophy. Today, we dive a little deeper into the meaning and practice of Ikigai.
In a world that often feels chaotic and overwhelming, finding our true purpose can provide a sense of fulfillment and inner harmony. One powerful concept that can guide us towards this path is “Ikigai,” a Japanese philosophy that translates to “reason for being.” In this blog post, we’ll delve into the essence of Ikigai and explore practical steps to help you uncover your own unique purpose in life.
What is Ikigai?
Ikigai represents the intersection of four fundamental elements: what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. It’s the sweet spot where passion, mission, vocation, and profession align, offering a deep sense of meaning and satisfaction.
How do I find my Ikigai?
Answer the Ikigai Questionnaire
To begin your quest for Ikigai, start by asking yourself a series of introspective questions. These questions will help you explore the key aspects of your being and identify what truly drives you.
Reflect on each of the following areas:
What Do I Love?
To discover your passions, focus on activities that bring you joy and ignite a deep sense of fulfillment. These are the things that make your heart sing and fuel your enthusiasm. Your passions provide valuable clues on the path to a more meaningful and fulfilling life. They are the driving forces that energize and engage you, even without external rewards. Reflect on the moments when you felt fully alive and absorbed in what you were doing, as they often reveal your true passions.
What activities make you lose track of time?
Think about the activities that captivate your attention so completely that you lose track of time. It could be painting, playing a musical instrument, writing, cooking, gardening, or engaging in sports. These are the activities that you become completely immersed in, experiencing a state of flow where everything else fades away.
What brings you a sense of joy and excitement?
Reflect on the activities that consistently bring you a genuine sense of joy and excitement. It could be traveling to new places, exploring the outdoors, volunteering for a cause you care about, or engaging in creative pursuits. Pay attention to the activities that light up your soul and fill you with positive emotions.
What challenges do you willingly embrace?
Passions often involve a willingness to face challenges and overcome obstacles. Consider the activities or subjects that you are willing to invest time and effort into, even if they require hard work or perseverance. These challenges can be a sign that you are deeply passionate about what you are pursuing.
What activities have you always been drawn to?
Think back to your childhood or earlier years. What activities or hobbies have you always been drawn to? Sometimes, our long-standing interests hold the key to our passions. Whether it’s playing a certain sport, writing stories, solving puzzles, or exploring the natural world, these enduring interests can provide valuable insights into what truly ignites your enthusiasm.
Remember, passions can manifest in various forms and may evolve over time. It’s important to remain open-minded and explore different avenues to discover new passions or rediscover old ones.
What Matters to Me?
Understanding your core values and principles is a crucial step in aligning your purpose with what truly matters to you. Delving into these guiding principles will help you uncover the underlying motivations and beliefs that drive your actions and decisions. By identifying your core values, you can ensure that your pursuits and purpose are in harmony with what deeply resonates with you.
Reflect on moments of fulfillment and alignment
Think about past experiences where you felt a deep sense of fulfillment and alignment with your actions. These could be instances where you made a positive impact on others, contributed to a cause you believe in, or acted in alignment with your moral compass. Reflect on what made these experiences meaningful to you and the values that were at play during those moments.
Identify your non-negotiables
Think about the principles or values that you consider non-negotiable in your life. These are the fundamental beliefs and convictions that you hold dear and are unwilling to compromise. They could be honesty, compassion, integrity, sustainability, justice, or any other principles that deeply resonate with you.
Consider your passions in relation to values
Examine how your passions align with your core values. Ask yourself how your pursuits can contribute to the principles that are important to you. For example, if helping others is a core value, you can identify ways to channel your passions and skills to support and uplift those in need.
Evaluate the impact you want to make
Reflect on the impact you desire and causes that align with your values. Social justice, healthcare, education, creativity—choose what resonates. Align purpose and values, focusing energy on meaningful endeavors.
Your values may evolve and change over time as you gain new experiences and insights. It’s essential to periodically reassess and refine your values to ensure they continue to align with your evolving sense of self and purpose.
What Am I Good At?
Identifying your unique strengths and talents is a vital aspect of finding your purpose. Your strengths are the innate qualities, skills, and abilities that you excel in effortlessly and derive a sense of fulfillment from using. When you leverage your strengths, you not only experience a greater sense of competence and confidence, but you also make a more significant impact in the areas where you excel.
Reflect on past achievements
Think about moments in your life where you achieved notable success or received recognition. These can be instances from your personal, academic, or professional life. Reflect on the skills and abilities that contributed to your achievements. What did you do exceptionally well in those situations? Identifying patterns of success can shed light on your natural strengths.
Seek feedback from others
Reach out to friends, family, colleagues, or mentors and ask them for honest feedback about your strengths. Often, those around us can provide valuable insights and observations about our abilities that we might not recognize in ourselves. Ask them about the skills or qualities they admire in you or the areas where they believe you excel.
Pay attention to energizing activities
Take note of the activities or tasks that energize and engage you. These are the activities where you feel a natural inclination and motivation to excel. It could be problem-solving, organizing events, writing, public speaking, artistic pursuits, or working with numbers.
Assess your skill development
Reflect on the skills you have developed over time through education, training, or experience. Consider the skills that come more naturally to you or the ones you quickly grasp and excel in. These can range from technical skills such as coding or graphic design to interpersonal skills like communication or empathy.
Identify your unique qualities
Think about the unique qualities that define you as an individual. These could be traits like creativity, resilience, adaptability, empathy, problem-solving, leadership, or a strong attention to detail. Your unique qualities contribute to your strengths and can guide you towards purposeful pursuits where these qualities can shine.
Identifying your strengths is not about comparison or perfection; it’s about embracing your unique skills and abilities. Leverage your strengths as a competitive advantage to make a greater impact in areas where you excel. Align your strengths with your passions and values for a sense of mastery, fulfillment, and purpose.
What Can I Be Paid For?
When considering the skills and expertise that hold value in the world, it’s essential to explore how you can leverage your passions, talents, and values to create a meaningful livelihood. Identifying the potential avenues where you can contribute your unique abilities while being rewarded for your efforts is a key step in aligning your purpose with a fulfilling career or vocation.
Assess the demand for your skills
Research industries aligning with passions and strengths. Assess demand for your skills, considering trends and emerging opportunities. Identify areas where your unique talents can create impact. Find potential avenues to apply and be valued for your abilities.
Explore your passion-industry fit
Consider how your passions, talents, and values align with specific industries or sectors. Ask yourself how your skills can contribute to addressing challenges or fulfilling needs within those industries.
Seek alignment with your values
Ensure that the potential avenues you explore align with your core values and principles. Assess whether the organizations or industries you consider value the same things you do. Look for opportunities to contribute to causes or missions that are meaningful to you. When your work aligns with your values, it brings a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Identify ways to monetize your skills
Transform passions, talents, and values into viable income streams. Reflect on your unique value and positioning for rewards. Explore business models, entrepreneurship, and organizations valuing your skills. Embrace creativity and innovation to monetize your abilities.
Continuous learning and growth
Skill development is an ongoing, curious, and committed process. Continuously learn, grow, and adapt. Enhance existing skills and acquire new ones aligned with passions and evolving needs. Embrace a growth mindset for adaptability and professional relevance.
Finding a meaningful livelihood is a dynamic journey of exploration, adaptation, and embracing opportunities aligned with your passions, talents, and values. Be open-minded, take calculated risks, and create a fulfilling career that allows you to contribute your unique abilities.
In this first part, we explored steps to uncover your unique purpose by reflecting on your passions, values, strengths, and avenues for monetizing your skills. But this is just the beginning. In the upcoming second part, we will delve deeper, refining your understanding of Ikigai and guiding you on aligning your purpose with your career, growth, and impact. Stay tuned for practical tools and advice to navigate this transformative journey.
Welcome to the second part of our blog post on unlocking your Ikigai. In the first part, we explored practical steps to uncover your purpose. Now, we’ll delve deeper into creating a visual representation of your Ikigai and devising a plan to bring it to life. I’ll…
Western & Eastern philosophy differ in ethics & concept of self. Western emphasizes individualism, while Eastern values community.