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What is IKIGAI and how do you use it to find your own career sweet spot?
Today we are going to explore another amazing Japanese concept that can help you ascertain just exactly what you were born to do. Sounds amazing, right? It’s all about living a life full of purpose and doing the work that you love.
This great concept is called Ikigai and we will take you through exactly what it is and how you can use it to identify your true calling. If you are at a bit of a crossroads in your career, or you’re feeling dissatisfied in your job, or you’re seeking some kind of clarity in your life, then this is an episode not to miss.
What is ikigai and how do you use it to find your own career sweet spot?
Ikigai is a concept that originated in Japan and can be translated into English as “reason for being”. It’s a combination of two words: iki meaning to live and gai meaning reason. In other words, it essentially means that finding your ikigai is about finding your direction or purpose in life, making your life feel worthwhile, and deriving this inner sense of satisfaction.
This concept has been touted as the Japanese secret to a long and happy life as well as the happiness of always being busy. It has also been credited as one of the key reasons so many Japanese people live to 100 years of age and longer.
However, the coolest thing is that it also marries your purpose in life with what the world actually needs and how you can financially support yourself.
But how do you exactly apply it in order to find your life’s purpose?
The way you can start applying Ikigai is through its symmetrical model of four interlocking circles which are:
Let’s take you through step by step how to purposely define the content for each circle. What is ikigai and how do you use it to find your own career sweet spot?
Ask yourself these questions: what were the things you loved doing best when you were a kid? What were the subjects in high school and university you were most engaged with? What were the things that brought you into a state of flow, that beautiful feeling when you are completely in the moment and tuned into the task you’re undertaking? What were the activities you couldn’t live without?
It can be as specific as creative writing or making music, or as broad as caring for others, teaching, and bringing people together. This part is all about your passion, the things that light you up from the inside and make you feel alive.
Which of the subjects at school in university did you receive the highest marks? What kind of tasks and responsibilities do you consistently get good reviews at work for? What would your colleagues describe as your greatest strengths?
What you’re good at can be your speed and effort or the way you manage relationships, and your ability to communicate all your presentation skills. This part is all about your hard and soft skills and the areas where you truly excel.
Can you make a viable profession or business out of this? Can you financially support yourself and your family in doing it? Would people be willing to pay money for what you’re offering? Does it give you the means to live a satisfactory lifestyle for yourself?
This is all about taking your dream and turning it into a reality, allowing you to live comfortably doing what you love to do.
Are you solving a genuine problem out there? Are you fulfilling a real human need? Will what you do contribute positively and drive progress in the world? What is your act of service to people and is there a market for what you want to offer?
What you do doesn’t necessarily need to make the world a better place. It should certainly bring value to the people you intended it to. And this final circle is all about ensuring that your Ikigai adds genuine worth to people and is something that is actually needed.
Right in the heart of where all these circles intersect, is your Ikigai. Your reason for being your Ikigai is the perfect marriage between passion, mission, profession, and vocation.
Finally, all four circles have to intersect to reach your Ikigai. For example, if you only combine what you love, what the world needs, and what you’re good at, then you don’t create wealth. And if you combine what you’re good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs, then your life might be comfortable but lacking a sense of fulfillment.
Ikigai is the ideal sweet spot where you can find your purpose, do what you love, and have an opportunity to make a living out of it. And we say, amen! We all deserve to reach for that Ikigai.
For more intriguing details about the Japanese concept of Ikigai and how it can help you find your life’s purpose, we recommend you read Ikigai: The Japanese Secret To A Long And Happy Life
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