Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “the reason for which you wake up in the morning”. Many people think of it as one’s calling, vocation, or mission. It can also be described as an activity that will get you out of bed each day and excited to live another day.
My definition of Ikigai takes inspiration from Javier Luraschi, who said: “Ikigai is when your dreams meet your skills.” I believe this statement implies two main components of Ikigai: passion and ability. The fourth component is time – timing in your life where it actually makes sense to pursue something.
The Components of Ikigai
What Do You Love?
In this section, we’ll explore the first component of Ikigai: passion. What do you love to do? What activity makes you feel happy and fulfilled? It could be spending time with friends and family, creating art, exploring nature, playing sports, or anything else that brings you joy.
When you’re doing something that you love, it doesn’t feel like work – it’s something that you’d do for free because you enjoy it so much. And when you’re passionate about something, you’re naturally good at it too. This is what we mean by “dreams meeting skills”.
What Are You Great At?
In addition to finding what we’re passionate about, we should also look for activities that we’re good at. When we combine our passions with our abilities, we create Ikigai.
For example, if you love playing music, but you’re not very good at it, then it might not be the best idea to pursue music as a career. However, if you’re great at playing music and you enjoy it too, then that’s a perfect match!
Finding what we’re passionate about and good at can be a challenge sometimes, but it’s worth taking the time to discover them. Not only will it make us happier in life, but it can also be lucrative careers too.
What Does the World Need?
Ikigai is not about what makes us happy, but also about what the rest of the world needs. It’s not only about finding our purpose in life, but also serving others too.
We all have different gifts and talents that can be used to improve other people’s lives. We should use our abilities to help out in areas where we’re needed – it might even create new passions along the way!
What Can I Get Paid For?
The final piece of the puzzle is figuring out what we can get paid for. This doesn’t have to be our passion or our ability, but it should be something that we’re good at and that the world needs.
It’s important to find a career that we can be passionate about, but it’s also necessary to find one that pays the bills too. When these two things come together, it’s the perfect recipe for Ikigai.
Finding our Ikigai can be a challenge, but it’s worth taking the time to discover it. Not only will it make us happier in life, but it can also be lucrative careers too. When we combine our passions with our abilities and serve others using our talents, we create Ikigai – the ultimate purpose in life.
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What is a Passion?
A passion is our interest, something that captures our attention. It can be anything from reading to sports or even great conversation!
Using the Ikigiai model, your passions are a combination of What You Are Great At and What You Love.
What is a Mission?
A mission is something you are called to do, it is your higher purpose. It is not about what you like or what you are good at, it is about how you can serve others using your unique talents and passions.
Your mission should be something that inspires you and lights a fire in your belly. It should also be something that the world needs, so using your skills to help others is a perfect match.
Finding your mission can be difficult, but it’s worth taking the time to discover it. When we know our mission in life, we can use our passion and abilities to make an impact on the world.
Using the Ikigiai model, your mission is a combination of What Do You Love and What Does The World Need.
What is a Vocation?
Think of a vocation as your calling. It’s not only about your passion and abilities, but it should also be something that the world needs.
It doesn’t have to be related to our mission either, because not everyone can find their vocation doing what they love. Sometimes we have to try out different paths before arriving at our ideal one.
You could consider a vocation something you enjoy doing it because of a strong connection, attraction, or gift for it. You might be an artist by trade – you couldn’t stop drawing even if you tried. Music, religious studies, martial arts, sports, creative writing, design are examples of other fields that are commonly thought of as vocations (if they play a significant role in your daily routine).
Finding your vocation can take time and effort, but it’s worth finding the right calling for you.
Using the Ikigai model, your vocation is a combination of What We Are Great At and What The World Needs.
What is a Profession?
A profession is a career path that you can pursue, it’s the path we take to earn a living. It may not be our passion or what we are good at, but it should be something that the world needs and fits in with our vocation.
Finding your ideal job can be challenging, but it’s worth taking time to explore your options and figure out over time. Not only do we need a career that pays well, but one that makes us happy too! We spend so much time at work, so finding the right career for us will lead to a better quality of life overall.
Using the Ikigai model, your profession is a combination of What Does The World Need and What Can You Get Paid For.
Combining it Together to Discover Your IKIGAI
Your Ikigai is the combination of all of these components.
How you put all of these pieces together is up to you – no one can tell you how they ﬁt together for you.
Your ikigai is a dynamic, evolving thing. It changes over time, in fact, it’s actually beneficial. As we learn, discover new passions or professions, and have new life experiences, our reason for being changes.
What If I Get Stuck?
While it may seem like we know ourselves well, we can still struggle to answer questions about our passions, mission, values, callings, and potential professions.
Talk to your family members and friends. Sometimes others can see areas we are blind to. Others may easily recognize gifts and talents that just seem obvious to us.
Here are some other questions that might help you get started:
What Do I Love?
- What is the most important to you in life?
- What are your core beliefs and how do you apply them on a daily basis?
- Who are the people you love spending time with?
- What are 5 goals you have for your life?
- What makes you smile?
- Where do you find beauty?
- When you are stressed, what makes you calm?
- What would you like to learn that you don’t know yet?
What Does the World Need?
- What problems do you see in the world that need a solution?
- How do you help others?
- What could people do more/differently?
- What do you want your legacy to be?
- How could you be more involved in your community?
What am I Great at?
- What do you do in your personal time?
- What is easy for you?
- What are your achievements?
- What are your strengths?
- What do you enjoy doing the most in life?
- What does success mean to you?
What Can I Get Paid For?
- How much money do you need per month to cover your needs?
- What would you do with more money?
- What type of employment would you want: part-time or full-time? temporary or permanent? employee, freelance, or entrepreneur?
- What are the jobs that require the skills you already have?
- What is important to you in the company you work for?
- What work environment would you be happier in working from home, having your own office, or in an open space?
- What is the status of your current workplace or organization in terms of how well it reflects your values?
BUY THE IKIGAI BOOK
The quintessential book on this topic, Ikigai, is by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles.
Within you will find an in-depth explanation, history, and resources to help you discover your reason for being and lifelong happiness.
This book also makes a great gift, especially for those in a transitional moment in their lives.