I'd like to...

Discovering Your Purpose

The Japanese concept of Ikigai has grown in popularity in recent years as more people search for meaning, purpose, and fulfilment in their lives. Ikigai roughly translates to "reason for being" - your purpose in life or the thing that gets you up in the morning. Discovering your ikigai can lead to a more satisfying, engaged, and meaningful life.

In this week’s edition of ‘Unleash the Power’, we explore the exciting core principles of ikigai, its interesting origins, and how you can find your ikigai to transform your life.

What is Ikigai?

Ikigai (生き甲斐), often referred to as the "reason for being," is a profound concept that can provide clarity and purpose in our lives. It is a Japanese philosophy that encompasses four key elements, and understanding them is essential for unlocking the power of Ikigai:

What you love - This represents your passions and interests. It's about identifying those activities that make your heart sing, the things you're naturally drawn to, and the pursuits that fill you with joy. What are the activities that, when you're engaged in them, make you lose track of time?

What you are good at - This element focuses on your talents and skills. It's about recognising the things you excel at, the areas where you consistently perform well, and the strengths that set you apart from others. What are the skills or talents that come naturally to you?

What the world needs - This aspect is about finding the societal or global demands for your skills, knowledge, or contributions. It's identifying how your unique abilities can positively impact others, your community, or the world at large. What are the issues or challenges that your skills can help address?

What you can be paid for - Financial sustainability is a crucial component of Ikigai. It involves discovering how your passions and skills can be monetised, enabling you to support yourself and your loved ones. What are the opportunities for income generation that align with your abilities and interests?

The essence of Ikigai lies at the intersection of these four elements. It's the sweet spot where what you love, what you're good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for overlap. This point is where you discover your true purpose and passion in life. Ikigai is about aligning your daily activities with this central core to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Origins of Ikigai

Ikigai has its origins in the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is renowned for its high number of centenarians and its inhabitants' remarkable health and well-being. The concept of Ikigai is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of Okinawa. Here are some key insights into the origins of Ikigai:

Longevity and Wellbeing: Okinawa is often referred to as the "Land of the Immortals" due to its high concentration of centenarians. The people of Okinawa live long lives and maintain good health and a strong sense of purpose throughout their years.

Harmony with Nature: Okinawans have a deep connection with nature, and their way of life reflects a harmonious relationship with the environment. This connection to the natural world plays a significant role in their overall well-being.

Community and Relationships: Social connections and a strong sense of community are integral to the Okinawan way of life. The support of close-knit communities contributes to the longevity and happiness of its inhabitants.

Simple Living: Okinawans embrace a simple and uncomplicated lifestyle. They find joy in the little things, value their relationships, and focus on what truly matters to them.

Ikigai as a concept, embodies these principles and has been instrumental in promoting longevity and a life rich in purpose, passion, and fulfilment. It reminds us that a life well-lived is not just about the number of years we accumulate but the quality of life we experience. Ikigai provides a roadmap for finding purpose and living with enthusiasm, and its origins in Okinawa illustrate the real-world application of this philosophy.

Applying Ikigai in Your Life

Here are some practical methods to apply the power of Ikigai in your own life:


Start by asking yourself these fundamental questions:

What do I love?, What am I good at?, What does the world need?, What can I be paid for?

Take time to reflect on these questions and make a list of your answers. This will help you identify your passions, talents, potential contributions, and financial opportunities.

Find Your Sweet Spot

Create a Venn diagram with the four elements of Ikigai. The centre where they all intersect, represents your unique Ikigai. It's where your passion, skills, societal needs, and financial sustainability align. This is your true purpose.

Take Action

Once you've identified your Ikigai, take action to incorporate it into your daily life. This might mean making small changes or embarking on a new journey altogether. The key is to align your activities with your purpose.

Seek Guidance

Consider seeking guidance from mentors, coaches, or experts who can help you on your journey toward discovering your Ikigai. They can provide valuable insights and support to keep you on track.

Embrace Resilience

Your path to living your Ikigai may not always be smooth. Embrace setbacks and challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. It's all part of the journey toward a more fulfilling life.

Ikigai isn't just a trendy concept; it's a powerful philosophy that can transform the way you live and work. Embrace it, and you'll be on your way to a life filled with passion, purpose, and lasting happiness.

Remember, your Ikigai is unique to you, and it's never too late to discover it.

Share your thoughts and experiences with Ikigai in the comments below. How has it impacted your life?

Have a brilliant week!

Dave Rogers, Chief Business Explorer, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up

At Fuelled Fit and Fired Up, I use my curiosity to help you build a better business.

Think of me as the person who unleashes your power.

Looking for a speaker who thinks a little differently? Let’s talk.

Why not contact me at info@fuelledfitandfiredup.com to find out more?

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel @thebusinessexplorers, where I share ideas on how you can create your recipe for business success.

crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram