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Discovering Ikikgai-A journey to finding life’s purpose

Credit: Content Pixie. Unsplash

Of late, I have been watching YouTube to find motivational pieces suitable for management and leadership. I came across Ikigai.

The Japanese term for “purpose in life” or “reason for being” is “ikigai” (生き甲斐). It’s a concept that denotes the source of value in one’s life or the things that make it worthwhile. It is the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

Here’s a breakdown of ikigai:

  1. What You Love (Passion): Understanding what you enjoy doing or what makes you feel fulfilled.
  2. What You’re Good At (Profession/Vocation): Recognizing and harnessing your skills and talents.
  3. What The World Needs (Mission): Identifying how you can positively impact the world or community.
  4. What You Can Be Paid For (Vocation/Profession): This is about generating a livelihood from your skills or passion.

Where these four elements intersect is where ikigai can be found.

The concept of ikigai is deeply embedded in Japanese culture and is often linked to a long, fulfilling life. The residents of Okinawa, Japan, who are known for their longevity, often cite ikigai as one of the core reasons for their long, purpose-filled lives.

Finding one’s ikigai can be a lifelong journey and is not necessarily tied to one’s job or career. It’s more about discovering a source of fulfilment, joy, and balance in various aspects of life.