The Japanese are known for living very long lives, and this has been associated with many different things, among them the concept of ikigai. Ikigai is an idea that has been identified, especially in those areas of Japan where people live longer, like Okinawa, so there is a strong chance that it can make people happier, healthier, and increase their longevity. Ikigai can be translated roughly as the purpose of your life and discovering your ikigai can help you live a much more fulfilled and satisfying life.
Ikigai can be associated with discovering the thing that suits you and that can give your life meaning. This is tied to what you love, what you have a talent for, what others/the world need, and, depending on the situation what you can be paid for. Ikigai allows you to find that which you can do, want to do, and is useful for others, and may or may not bring you money.
Ikigai involves finding what one loves and what one can do well. If you can also get paid for it, the more power to you! The concept of ikigai is now part of the popular consciousness in the West but it is grounded in ancient philosophical ideas. Most people can agree that happiness is not just about material wealth or the pursuit of pleasure and fun. These things matter, but they are not enough on their own. We also need to find out what makes it all worth it.
Everyone has a purpose, you just need to find yours. This might seem like quite a challenge though. For some, it will be easier, but it is certain that everyone has something that can be their ikigai.
But how can you go about finding it?
Ask yourself what you love doing most of all. What would you be doing right now if you didn’t have to work? If you could be anything, what would you be? Sometimes, you might struggle to identify this. If so, another tactic is to consider what you are curious about. What makes you feel a sense of wonder, awe, or curiosity? Try to approach these aspects and include them in your daily routine.
Most theories of happiness recognize the importance of meaning. Ikigai is a reason to get up in the morning and can support you through hard times. If you feel that you are struggling to find your ikigai or identify ways to incorporate it, you might try our “Live Long and Prosper: Find your Life´s 3Ps – Peace, Purpose, Passion” program to help you. This program will help you discover and incorporate your ikigai into your daily life through counselling and coaching sessions. Ikigai might make a big difference in your life, so don’t be afraid to explore it!