Discovering Ikigai: The Art of Finding Joy and Purpose in Every Day

In the picturesque landscapes of Okinawa, Japan, a profound philosophy known as Ikigai has its roots. Ikigai, translating to “a reason for being,” is a concept that encapsulates the essence of living a fulfilled and balanced life.

It’s the secret behind the joy and longevity of the Okinawans, offering a blueprint for anyone seeking purpose, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment in their daily lives.

The Essence of Ikigai

At its core, Ikigai is about finding the sweet spot where your passions, skills, societal needs, and economic opportunities converge. It encourages a holistic approach to life, blending the personal with the professional and the spiritual with the practical. The concept revolves around four pivotal questions: What do you love? What does the world need? What are you good at? And, what can you be paid for? The intersection of these aspects reveals your Ikigai, guiding you towards a life of satisfaction and meaning.

Journeying Towards Your Ikigai

Finding your Ikigai isn’t an overnight affair; it’s a journey of self-exploration and experimentation. It starts with introspection—taking a deep dive into your interests, skills, and desires. It’s about asking yourself what brings you joy, what talents you possess, how you can contribute to the world, and how you can sustainably support yourself through your passions.

Exploring different avenues, embracing new experiences, and being open to change are crucial steps in discovering your Ikigai. It’s equally important to practice mindfulness and gratitude, cherishing the process as much as the outcomes. Building connections and engaging with your community can also provide invaluable insights and encouragement along the way.

Living with Ikigai

Understanding your Ikigai is one thing; integrating it into your daily life is another. It entails making deliberate choices that align with your purpose and values, possibly leading to changes in career, hobbies, or lifestyle. Setting clear, actionable goals and seeking a balance in all aspects of life are vital strategies for living in accordance with your Ikigai. Moreover, embracing continuous learning and seeking ways to give back to the community can enhance your journey and deepen your sense of fulfillment.

The Path Forward

Ikigai is more than just finding what makes you happy or what you’re good at; it’s about achieving a harmonious balance that nurtures your well-being while contributing to the world. It’s a dynamic, ongoing process of growth and discovery. By pursuing your Ikigai, you embark on a rewarding path that not only enriches your own life but also positively impacts those around you.

In essence, Ikigai offers a transformative approach to living, blending joy, purpose, and balance into every day. It’s a philosophy that encourages us to live intentionally, with a clear sense of direction and a heart full of gratitude. Whether you’re searching for meaning, seeking to change your life’s course, or simply wishing to deepen your understanding of yourself, Ikigai provides a timeless framework for a life well-lived.


Read more and explore the concept of Ikigai further:

Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

 


 

Do you fear that you will eventually be discovered as a fraud and you might get found out at any minute? Then you are experiencing something often referred to as imposter syndrome which stems from a sense of inadequacy, despite objectively being competent. You may never fully overcome these feelings, however, there are opportunities to better balance your thinking and self-perception.

In the last few years we’ve recognised that we probably haven’t had the opportunity to feel the benefit of many of the things that we take joy from. Covid has really challenged our opportunity to find joy in our life.

We’re really talking about those things that are present in our life already…and the opportunities exist. But, if we’re not actively looking for them, and we’re not seeking them, sometimes they can pass us by.

 

I was recently asked to speak at an Aged Care Forum on the topic of ‘Joy and its Link to Self-Care’. This is a great theme. One that we don’t speak enough about, so it was a lovely opportunity to discuss a topic that is important, yet not commonly sought out in business circles.

Listen to my thoughts below about how joy can be found anywhere and our need to actively seek it. It is not passive. Joy does not occur through blind hope. It can be discovered and created, if you take the time to be mindful of the many joyful moments that occur every day…even the small things.


Read my related blog: Your Roles, Your Time, Your Choices

Themes such as understanding the difference between an internal and external locus of control. Delving into how important socialisation, being with others and relationships are for all of us. I also discuss how perspective relates to joy. These themes and others are covered with the intention that there may be opportunity for the discovery of more joy.

The invitation to expand on and share my thoughts with such a large group of attendees was appreciated. The possibility that one or more participants might apply some of their learning in practice is exciting. You may also find value in the key points highlighted. This may lead to more joy for you and others…and that’s never a bad thing.

 


Additional Resources:

Brett Ledbetter: Finding Your Inner Coach, Ted Talk

10 Keys To Happier Living