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IKIGAI – The Reason for Being

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Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”.

The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki (生き?), referring to life, and kai (甲斐?), which roughly means “the realisation of what one expects and hopes for”.

  • It lies at the centre of the interconnecting circles of Passion, Mission, Profession and Vocation.
  • It refers to mental and spiritual circumstances under which we believe our lives are valuable.
  • It is the process of allowing the self’s possibilities to blossom.
  • It is not necessarily linked to one’s economic status or the present state of society.
  • Behaviours that make us feel ikigai are natural & spontaneous actions – not actions which we are forced to take

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According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. It requires introspection as it is believed that the discovery of one’sikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.

What is our ikigai?

  • What are the things that makes our lives worthwhile?
  • What is our life’s potential?
  • What is the reason for music in the soul?
  • What is the reason for that spring in our step?
  • What is our reason to smile?
  • What is our reason to enjoy life?
  • What is our reason to get up each morning and do the things that we do?
  • What is our deep sense of purpose?

Have we found our ikigai?

  • Are we doing something that we love?
  • That the world needs?
  • That we are good at?
  • That we can be paid for?

In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner referenced ikigai as one of the reasons for long and happy lives.

How can we live with a sense of purpose, for PURPOSE is the platform on which all other decisions are made?

The secret to a happy life is not to live in the hope of a great life tomorrow.

It is to live with intention today.

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