We all want to go to school, graduate, begin a career, start a family and become successful in ways that the society santify and conditioned us to be. We want to earn alot, buy a home, raise a beautiful family and be happy by achieving all this. And we end up being wrapped up in our our ego to operate under the assumption that happiness and fulfilment come only from achieving such goals. But, some of us work very hard and achieve it all and still find it unsatisfying. We realize that we need more to life. We constantly toggle between feeding the ego vs feeding the soul. Yes, we have good paying careers but they don’t bring us happiness and satisfaction.
How can you find the balance between feeding your ego vs feeding your soul?
How can you find the harmony between these two?
Okinawa is a remote island to the south west of japan, it has an unusually large population of centenarians. Its people live way longer than average life cycle. Okinawan have drive, purpose, and a close- knit society. They carry the secret to longevity and vitality. They live a long, happy and purposeful life. Here people get out of bed with a purpose, a drive and a meaning. They all have clear, divided responsibilities that motivate them through their lives. And they do not struggle with mental issues like dementia or depression. They are simply happy. How?
Ikigai is thought to combine the Japanese word ‘ikiru‘ meaning ‘to live’ and ‘kai‘ meaning ‘the realisation of what one hopes for’. Together, these creates the concept of ‘a reason to live’ or the idea of having a purpose in life.
To find this reason or purpose, you need to ask yourself these 4 questions.
- What do you love?
- What are you good at?
- What does the world need from you?
- What can you get paid for?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE?
- What do you really love doing?
- What brings you joy?
- What have you never gotten bored of?
- What gets you in the flow that you forget to eat/drink when doing it?
WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?
This is what you have learnt to do thanks to training or experience.
- What skills have you spent time practicing?
- What do people look to you for help with?
- Is there anything you want to be good at?
WHAT DOES THE WORLD NEED FROM YOU?
This is the impact you have on the community.
- What inspires you?
- How can you contribute to create a positive effect on those around you?
WHAT CAN YOU GET PAID FOR?
How can you be happy if you are constantly worrying about your survival? You need to earn money to get a better life.
- What are you being paid for?
- What would you be doing if you were not in your current job?
To find your ikigai, you need to search for the natural overlap of the circles and find the connection.
I hope you find your’s.