IKIGAI – The reason to be…

Ikigai, at the very basic, is the reason to be. The reason you enjoy life. The reason you wake up in the morning content and happy. It is a Japanese idea, and they believe, if carefully considered, everyone can find their Ikigai.

Everyone is born with many talents and learning powers, everyone has passions and desires. They have needs and requirements. Ikigai is about creating a balance between talents, passions, desires and necessities.

Ikigai is at the center of four overlapping circles that constitute most of our lives. These circles are

  1. Passion – What we get excited about
  2. Mission – What the world needs
  3. Profession – What we can get paid for
  4. Vocation – What we are good at

The search for Ikigai begins with four questions. Every person should start with

  1. What do I love?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What can I be paid for right now?
  4. What does the world need to become a better place?

There are 5 outcomes when these circles overlap with each other.

  1. When passion and mission overlap, you have great satisfaction, but there is no wealth. Lack of wealth can diminish the satisfaction gained.
  2. When passion and profession combine, it brings satisfaction of gaining wealth, but there is a feeling of not being useful to the world.
  3. When profession and vocation are being fulfilled, the lack of passion instills a sense of emptiness, despite bringing comfort.
  4. When vocation and mission overlap, one feels excited but there is uncertainty about the future that affects enthusiasm.
  5. The 5th outcome is where all four circles combine, the point where you are passionate about your profession which is aligned with your vocation and fulfills your mission.

This is what everyone strives for, knowingly or unknowingly. We seek balance in our daily life for fulfillment, satisfaction and enjoyment. The best part is that as your outlook on life changes, your Ikigai also changes. It always gives you a reason to be excited about waking up in the morning, and feel happy and content when going to bed at night.

Ikigai has a positive impact on health and longevity as it reduces stress. There are a few habits you can adopt to reach Ikigai.

  1. Be more thoughtful of the actions you take in a day and savor each moment.
  2. Stay active.
  3. Always have something to work on and don’t retire.
  4. Adopt a natural lifestyle.
  5. Brighten someone’s day with a smile and a thanks.
  6. Never kill your curiosity. Curiosity takes you forward and keeps you passionate about life.

Have you tried to find your Ikigai? 

This post first appeared at

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