Ikigai derives from the words iki meaning ‘alive’ or ‘life,’ and gai meaning ‘benefit’ or ‘worth.’ It’s the Japanese concept of living a life of worth and meaning by finding purpose and balance. It is about achieving your reason for being.
But how do you achieve Ikigai and what is the philosophy behind it? Keep reading to find out.
Finding Purpose in Work
Finding Ikigai is about achieving the balance between the four elements in your life: Your passion, your skills, how you earn a living, and the needs of the world.
It goes without saying, then if you work to improve your work life, you’ll be closer to achieving the Ikigai state of mind.
You have to consider whether you have career satisfaction if you like your job and what needs to change for you to enjoy it more.
This is something you continuously need to reassess as your desires are fluid and as your life moves and changes, so too will the shape of these desires.
Do you find yourself engaged in the work you do, eager to get up and go each morning? Or is it difficult to remain focused and to get motivated to go to work? If so, it’s time to think about making a change. That might mean changing jobs or a career shift. It might simply mean changing your routines or your perspective.
If you work on something you enjoy, it doesn’t feel like work — this is reaching Ikigai. When you’re so immersed in your work that the day flies by, instead of dragging on as you watch the clock.
Philosophy of Purpose
Create a Venn diagram with the four overlapping circles that represent the four elements and Ikigai holding the central positions. Then, fill in the Venn diagram according to your personality. What are you good at? What are you paid for? What do you love? What do you think the world needs?
Once you’ve designed this, you’ll have a visual representation of the overlap of the four elements in your life — if any at all. You’ll be able to determine where you stand in reaching the ultimate balance and finding purpose.
You can see which elements of your life are lacking and where adjustments need to be made to improve the balance.
Living a Meaningful Life
Once you’ve completed the diagram, dive deeper into thinking about the intersections between the diagrams to achieve a meaningful life. Your passion lies in the intersection of what you love and what you’re good at.
You’ll find your mission by finding the overlap between what the world needs and what you love.
If you’re looking for your vocation, think about what the world needs and how you can earn. And lastly, your profession and career lie at the intersection of what your skills are and what you can get paid for.
If you can work to find these balances and overlaps, you’ll find Ikigai. Use integral therapy to unlock your desires and passions.
Achieving Ikigai, Achieving Balance
Where do you stand on the path to achieving Ikigai? Take time to think about the content of the four elements and where they intersect in order to uncover your purpose and reason for being.
Through philosophical counseling with John Moody, you can begin your journey to Ikigai. Get in touch today.