Ick-ee-guy. So that’s how we pronounce it. A wonderful Japanese concept for finding true purpose in life. Iki- life and gai- worth.
You may find several books on this subject and the recent one I read is of Tim Tamashiro.
About Tim Tamashiro: Tim Tamashiro is an explorer, jazz singer, storyteller, and former CBC Radio host. His Ikigai is “to delight people so that we can share meaningful moments together”. His life’s experiences include work as a record rep. for MCA Records, performing for Queen Elizabeth II and sailing aboard an icebreaker in Canada’s Northwest Passage.
Okinawa island in Japan is to be credited with the origin of Ikigai. Okinawa island is home to the largest centenarians population in the world. Surprised, though you won’t be once you learn about Ikigai. The world today as we see is home to stress, depression, and illness all over so how does this small island manage to defy aging. Is Ikigai an answer to life problems and longevity? The Okinawans suggest how powerful the method is. It’s indeed a simple yet amazing concept. Once you read the entire blog you would think how this all is not exclusive to your thought process but how elusive it has been throughout your life since we don’t stop and think regarding life. We are automated to live and perform in a certain way. We are not robots but programmed human beings with emotions. We are gloriously living a life with no purpose only to end up exhausted.
Let’s see what the concept is, what is Ikigai?
Ikigai is a simple yet abstract map of living a meaningful life.
- Do what you love
- Do what you’re good at
- Do what the world needs
- Do what you can be rewarded for
Wondering now as to how simple yet tantalizingly difficult these are. I say simple as we all believe that things we love to do are what we best at. Somehow we just don’t follow our calling and passion. We are entrenched in a vicious circle of life. Why difficult? Do you know what you love to do or what you are good at? Not touching the last 2 points yet as the former points are the ones for which we are in an ignorant state. People just don’t pay heed to their passion. Can you put a finger to something and say it with the conviction that this is what you are good at and love to do? Maybe, maybe not. Your thought right now is a better judge of this.
The key to Ikigai is to know what you love and what you want to do. Your Ikigai will bring you fulfillment and happiness. Once you know your Ikigai it becomes your superpower.
Half Ikigai- Full Ikigai
Half Ikigai focuses on you: What do you love and what are you good at? Full Ikigai shows you the full cycle of Ikigai: learning how doing what you love, and what you’re good at, provides for the world and flows rewards back to you. Sooner you commit to your half Ikigai, you will begin to see benefits. Half Ikigai provides you a clear understanding of yourself and you can begin your work. Eventually, you will begin to understand that Ikigai is more fun when shared with the world. Things start happening. You’ll be on the path to realizing your complete Ikigai.
I don’t know my Ikigai. What is it?
Stay curious and introspect.
Only when you are honest and curious about things you tend to understand what your Ikigai is. Your Ikigai can be singing, drums, comedy, negotiating or coding.
Curiosity keeps us active. The problem is that people have stopped being curious. It’s just that this simple way to stay relevant today has escaped thoughts of many. Ever wondered how? This small sentence has lost somewhere in between our daily chores and routine. We get burdened with responsibilities and get into a programmed routine. Our sense of wonder is just lost.
We would be sitting in dark if somebody wasn’t curious about light. We would be writing letters if someone wasn’t curious about the telephone. Internet, how can we forget this world-changing phenomenon. Everything came out of curiosity and intuition. People struggle to find what excites them or what they are meant to do. Something that makes you lose the sense of time and you can accomplish effortlessly is your true Ikigai.
Find one thing today that is an expression of your Ikigai. What you truly love. What you truly want to do. These two will ensure you embark on this beautiful journey. The rest 2 will follow and you will complete your Ikigai.
Start with a part-time Ikigai or a side hustle that you want. Do it for the sheer pleasure and love for this thing. Money comes later. Know yourself first. Money is only the outcome and result of efforts. Knowing yourself and your Ikigai ensures you won’t lose ground and steam. It ensures your commitment and dedication.
Find yours and let me know how it’s changing things for you.
Below are the few reads which you should go for:
How to Ikigai- Tim Tamashiro
Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life- Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles
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Pic credit: ensonhaber.com