The Japanese are known for living exceptionally long and happy lives. What is their secret? The philosophy of Ikigai (ee-key-guy) shines light on why this nation boasts great wellbeing and long, purposeful lives.
Ikigai is about finding joy and fulfillment in your everyday life. In Japanese, iki means life and gai denotes meaning. Thus, ikigai is translated as life’s meaning or life’s purpose.
There are two additional Japanese words relevant to ikigai: seikatsu (everyday life) and jinsei, (lifetime). Taken together, experiencing joy from daily life is essential for a lifetime of fulfillment.
How to Find a Life Purpose
Defining your life’s meaning can be overwhelming. Yet, thinking of how each day can be meaningful and fulfilling is a bit simpler.
Start by making three lists. Write down everything you like to do, the things you are great at, and what you think the world really needs right now.
These can be professional and social activities. For example: you love to travel, excel at forming business connections, and believe that the world needs more equal access to healthcare. A western interpretation of ikigai adds a fourth element – writing down what you can get paid for with your current skills, for example, being a journalist.
The intersection section of these three or four elements is where you can find your life purpose, your ikigai. Activities that you enjoy doing, are good at, perceive as meaningful to society, and simultaneously allow you to earn a living are the most fulfilling. The key is to find an activity that intersects at every one of those elements. Then you should pursue that activity wholeheartedly every day.
It can take some time and effort to find the right intersection of values and activities that truly satisfies you. So here is another piece of Japanese wisdom to remember in pursuit of your ikigai: “If you fall seven times, stand up eight times.”
How to Find Your Ikigai
Everyone’s ikigai is a unique personal journey dependent on their values and beliefs. How can you accelerate your own practice of developing purpose and gain a completely new outlook on life?
In addition to personalized coaching, AllBe offers a 6-month immersive experience to help you regain your connection, strength, optimism, and confidence to fully embrace a purposeful and meaningful life.
Join us for a shared journey of personal mastery that will deeply explore many transformative techniques, tools, and practices to help you live your absolute best version.