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IKIGAI – what it is and how to find it

IKIGAI what it is and how to find it

We love the IKIGAI ideology, we’re not there yet, but we’re working on it.

It’s pronounced (Ick-ee-guy) really makes you think how you find your purpose, or value in life.

The best way to really understand the ideology of ikigai is by looking at the diagram (below) which shows the overlapping main qualities: what you are good at, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and of course, what you love.

Boiling it down, it’s within the crossover of these points where ikigai stands.

Discovering your ikigai is said to bring fulfilment, happiness and make you live longer, we all gotta chase that.

How to find it?

Ask yourself the following four questions:

  1. What do I love?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What can I be paid for now — or something that could transform into a hustle?
  4. What does the world need?

There’s a book called:  Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, the authors Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles break down the ten rules that can help anyone find their own ikigai.

  1. Stay active and don’t retire
  2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
  3. Only eat until you are 80 per cent full
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
  6. Smile and acknowledge people around you
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive.
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your ikigai

What you deeply care about can unlock your ikigai

Philosopher and civil rights leader Howard W Thurman said, “Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.” … “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The problem for millions of people is that they stop being curious about new experiences as they assume responsibilities and build routines.

You can change that, especially if you are still looking for meaning in what you do daily.

Albert Einstein wants us to pursue curiosities. He said:


“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind — to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.”

Albert Einstein

We are born curious. Our drive to learn, invent, explore, and study deserves to have the same status as every other drivers in our lives.

Fulfilment and success is fast becoming the main priority for most of us, especially now. Millions of people still struggle to find what they are meant to do. What excites them. What makes them lose the sense of time. What brings out the best in them.

“Our intuition and curiosity are very powerful compasses to help us connect to our ikigai,” Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles write.

What is the one simple thing you could do or be today that would be an expression of your ikigai?