Ikigai: A secret guide to discover your purpose today (FREE Prompts)
March 9, 2020
The definition of ikigai
Ikigai is a Japanese philosophy which, according to Wikipedia, is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile.
The word translated to English roughly means:
“thing that you live for” or
“The reason for which you wake up in the morning“.
Every person’s ikigai is individual to them and specific to their lives, values, and beliefs. It reflects the inner self of an individual. It also expresses that constantly, while creating a state in which the individual feels at peace.
Activities that allow one to feel ikigai are never forced on an individual. Often they are spontaneous and always undertaken willingly, giving the person contentment and a sense of meaning to life.
Ikigai is not linked to one’s financial status. Even if a person feels that the present is dark, but have a goal in mind, they may feel ikigai.
How I discovered ikigai for myself
As a teenager I always imagined myself having a job that was fulfilling and satisfying. I wanted to become an author, artist, actor, inventor or potter. (Or even everything at the same time…)
The desire to do something purposeful
I constantly found myself dreaming of being self-employed and creating wonderful stuff, while I was struggling with multiple aspects of the school system.
From my point of view, there was no reason for me to show up every day, listening to mediocre teachers lecturing subjects I was barely interested in and studying topics I couldn’t care less about. It was boring and also hard sometimes.
I would rather stay at home and do something I love.
Due to the fact that I wasn’t ready to settle for a regular job, I was always striving for something purposeful. However, the belief that I wasn’t good enough to try one of these things, highly affected me in a negative way.
In addition, my parents strongly advised me to get a “proper” education in order to be able to support myself financially.
My spiritual awakening
In order to do “the right thing” I put my dream career ideas aside and focused on getting my graduate degree as a primary school teacher instead.
After experiencing the job for nearly two years I came to a conclusion. This was not working for me at all. Not only was I unhappy and stressed all the time, but I also suffered from anxiety, depression, and the strange case of being incapable of doing anything creative.
What my doctor diagnosed as a burnout, turned out to be some kind of a spiritual awakening.
After neglecting myself for several years my mind and body started a rebellion. Read the story of how this felt like here.
However, at the core of my awakening, I discovered ikigai, which initiated the process of a powerful transformation.
With ikigai I was finally and definitely able to start my life on my own terms, without limiting myself, disregarding all the skepticism.
Keys to practice ikigai
All of the nine bullet points below turned out to be essential for my path. At this point, every single one resonated so strongly with me and still does now.
If you feel the same way, having a closer look at ikigai will make a huge difference in your life as well.
Do what you do best
Know how to say No
Take care of your energy
Practice continuous personal development
Stop and decide to do something fulfilling
Align your personal values with those of your company/business
Simplify, don’t make things difficult
Love the Why of your company/business/purpose
Trust in others
The four fundamental components of life
As you can see in the graphic above, there are four intersections that originate from two bubbles (components), each at a time.
For instance, the components “love” and talent merge into “passion”.
Below, I talk you through each of the four intersections, to show what they mean exactly.
A passion is something you love spending time on and are skilled at it.
What are the things you love to do? Think about the hobbies you had as a child too!
When does your time fly? What is something you could spend hours actively doing? This is an activity in which you will feel fully engaged and won’t be thinking about anything else while doing it.
My passion is writing, photography and connecting with people on a deeper level. Those are things I love doing, but I would also consider myself to be good at it.
What can you do to earn money? Think of any skills you have and are able to make money out of it. Is there anything that you personally find easy that others seem to struggle with?
For example, I’m good at taking care of children and teaching. Hence my vocation has been being a teacher.
This is something the world needs and you’ll get paid for it, but not necessarily something you love or are good at.
Some common professions are nurse, vendor, teacher, bank employee or gardener.
This is something you love doing as well as something the world needs. You may not get paid for it.
This could, for instance, be volunteer work as a caregiver in an animal shelter or as a salesperson in a charity shop.
How does the ikigai method work?
In case you’re still here… and you really want to know more about ikigai and how it can change your life, you will love to read the next sentences:
I have a gift for you!
As I am so enthusiastic about ikigai, I designed “The ikigai career planner“. This is a wonderful tool for you to reflect on your career path. It contains the key to ikigai, inspirational questions, journal prompts and an action planner.
This is your opportunity to get this powerful tool completely for free!
All you need to do is to click on the button below, enter your Email adress and The ikigai career planner will magically appear asap! 🙂