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Unleashing the Power of Ikigai: How To Create a Purposeful Life


Woman with her face in a book titled Ikigai

As someone who struggled for many years to find my ideal career, I know firsthand how important it is to have a passion for what you do. Without it, work can feel like a chore, and the days leave you feeling exhausted rather than fulfilled. But finding your passion can be a challenge, especially if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. That’s where the concept of Ikigai comes in.



Understanding the Concept of Ikigai

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that translates to “a reason for being.” It’s the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. The idea of Ikigai has been around for centuries in Japan, but it’s only recently gained popularity in the Western world.


To truly understand Ikigai, you need to break it down into its four components:

1. What you love

2. What you’re good at

3. What the world needs

4. What you can be paid for


“What you love” refers to your passions and hobbies. It’s the things that make you happy and fulfilled.

“What you’re good at” refers to your skills and talents. It’s the things that come naturally to you and that you excel at.

“What the world needs” refers to the problems and issues that exist in the world. It’s the things that you can do to make a positive impact.

And finally, “what you can be paid for” refers to the marketability of your passion, as well as your financial goals. It’s the things that you can do to earn a living.


When you find the intersection of these four components, you’ll discover your Ikigai. It’s the sweet spot where your passions, skills, impact, and financial goals all align. By understanding the concept of Ikigai, taking steps to discover it, and incorporating it into your daily routine, you can unlock your full potential and make a positive impact on the world.



How to Discover Your Ikigai

Discovering your Ikigai takes time and self-reflection. It’s not something that can be found overnight. Here are some steps you can take to discover your purpose:

  1. Make a list of your passions and hobbies. What are the things that make you happy and fulfilled? How do you spend your free time? What kind of things are on your For You Page?

  2. Make a list of your skills and talents. What are the things that come naturally to you and that you excel at? What do you have experience and/or education in? What do people compliment you or thank you for?

  3. Make a list of the problems and issues in the world that you care about. Think about the things that bother you to your core. What disparity or unfairness really fires you up? What positive impact can you bring from suffering, either your own or that of others?

  4. If you love it and you’re good at it, but no one is willing to pay for your product or service, it’s not sustainable, at least not as a career. How can you take that passion and turn it into something marketable? Note that you don’t necessarily need to engage in your Ikigai full-time in order to find fulfillment.

Once you have these lists, look for the intersections between them. What are the things that appear on multiple lists? These are the areas where your Ikigai is most likely to be found.



How Ikigai Can Help You Find Your Passion

When you discover your Ikigai, you’ll have a clear sense of purpose in your life. You’ll know what you’re meant to do and what impact you want to make in the world. It can also help you find your passion. When you’re doing something that aligns with your Ikigai, it won’t feel like work. It will feel like something you were born to do.


For example, if your Ikigai is to make a positive impact on the environment, you might find yourself passionate about gardening or sustainable living. If your Ikigai is to help others, you might find yourself passionate about volunteering or working in a helping profession.



How to Incorporate Your Ikigai into Your Daily Routine

Once you’ve discovered your Ikigai, it’s important to incorporate it into your daily routine. This can be challenging, especially if your Ikigai doesn’t align with your current job or responsibilities.


One way to incorporate your purpose into your daily routine is to start small. Find ways to incorporate your passions and skills into your current job or responsibilities. For example, if your Ikigai is to make a positive impact on the environment, you might start by incorporating sustainable practices into your workplace.


Another way to incorporate your Ikigai into your daily routine is to make time for it outside of work. This might mean volunteering, taking classes, or pursuing a hobby that aligns with your Ikigai.



Overcoming Obstacles in the Pursuit of Your Purpose

Finding and pursuing your Ikigai is not always easy. There will be obstacles and challenges along the way. It’s important to be prepared for these challenges and have a plan in place for overcoming them.


One common obstacle is fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and fear of what others might think are just a few examples. It’s important to recognize that fear is normal, but it shouldn’t hold you back from pursuing your Ikigai.


Another obstacle is time. We all have busy lives, and finding time to pursue our passions and purpose can be challenging. It’s important to prioritize your time and make room for the things that matter most.


Finally, it’s important to surround yourself with supportive people. Finding your Ikigai can be a lonely journey, but having a support system can make all the difference.



Coaching Can Help

Discovering your Ikigai is a powerful way to find your passion and purpose in life. It’s a journey that takes time and self-reflection, but the reward is a sense of fulfillment and meaning that can last a lifetime.


If you’re feeling stuck in your search for your Ikigai, coaching can help. A coach can help you identify your strengths, passions, and purpose, and create a plan for pursuing your dreams. They can also provide support and accountability as you work towards your goals. Interested in seeing how working with a coach like me can help you find more purpose in your life? Reserve your free discovery call today!

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