Find your ikigai

How to find your Ikigai and your purpose in life?

There was a time when I was lost in my life.

During a part of my life, I would get up every morning to do a job that wasn’t bringing me any joy

I am sure that I’m not alone… If you are reading this article, you’ve probably been in this situation at some point in your life. Maybe you are in this situation right now and you want to find this ” something” that is missing in your life.

You know what?

The Japanese have found a solution to get an answer to this feeling..

Find your Ikigai!

Are you ready to find your path and your purpose in life?

Let’s go to Okinawa, a little island near Japan. This island is well known for the incredible longevity of its residents. From the moment I saw The Karate Kid movies, I’ve been fascinated by this island (I don’t remember how many times I’ve actually seen these movies).

Their secret?

Having a very good diet, a simple life, being happy, and in harmony with their IKIGAI. I feel completely connected with this way of life, don’t you?

The IKIGAI meaning

What is the meaning of Ikigai? In Japanese, the word has two parts: the first part « iki » which means life, and the second « gai » which means result, effect, benefit.

We can translate this concept by the meaning of life or the reason to live. In Okinawa, we translate this word to “the reason to get up every morning”.

So, the goal is to find what makes you happy in life, your way of living, your purpose. To find what you are meant to do. Sounds pretty cool, no?

Find your purpose

It’s important to notice that your Ikigai can evolve throughout your life or even change. We are talking about the direction that you want to take, today, in your life.

Finding your purpose is a way of living, a way of evolving, and it can be difficult sometimes to find your path. We all have been through periods in which we felt a little bit lost, where we didn’t really know what we wanted to do in our life, moments where our job didn’t feel right or where we wanted to do so many different things, that we lost our way and we ended up not doing anything at all in the end.

If you have also had this kind of moment in your life, the Ikigai is a good way to see more clearly!

How to find your Ikigai?

To find your Ikigai, there is a very simple and visual exercise that you can do. I have tested it out for you and I will present it here!

To do this exercise, you will use a graphic system with different circles to fill up. 

Find your ikigai image

I made an empty Ikigai file for you. Click here to download it and to find your own Ikigai.

It’s not very complicated to find your Ikigai with this method. The exercise consists in asking yourself different questions and to fill up each circle with different key words that come to you.

  1. What am I good at? Here you write down your skills, your experiences, and your gifts. In this circle, you will put all the stuff that you know how to do, that you master or are very good at.
  2. What do I love? Put here all of your passions and what you love to do, basically, all the activities that make your eyes shine bright and sparkle when you talk about them.
  3. What does the world need? It’s time to see big! What do you want to transform, bring, or improve in the world, to make it a better place to live for all beings? What do you think the world needs to change to be awesome, to evolve in a good way? Write down what you really think, there is no judgment.
  4. What can you be paid for? (Money, money!) It’s time to see what are your professional skills and experiences. Here, you will put everything that you can ask money in return.

After filling up the 4 first circles, you will see 4 intersections :

  • Passion
  • Mission
  • Vocation
  • Profession

In these four intersections, you will try to find what concept is in common between two circles.

For example, if you put photography in the circle for things that you’re good at and taking pictures is also something that you put in the part for what you love, photography will be in this between circle that we call « Passion ».

Sometimes, it’s not exactly the same word but something very similar that you’ll put in two circles, so don’t hesitate to be creative and to find the relationship between the different words.
So let’s come back to the reason to get up in the morning …

What is your reason to get up every morning?

Once you will have filled up the four intersections: passion, mission, vocation, and profession, look if there is something in common in the 4 different circles!

It can be a concept, a theme, or an activity. Again, try to be creative, sometimes the link can be a little bit hard to find so take time to reflect on it and see if there is a common subject in the different parts…

This common subject is your IKIGAI! Your purpose or path in life! 

Here is some inspiration with my Ikigai example

To inspire you and show you how it can be done, here is my personal Ikigai test :

ikigai test exemple
My ikigai exemple

Do your own Ikigai test :

I made an empty Ikigai file for you. Click here to download it and to find your own Ikigai.

Ikigai test
A blank Ikigai to make your own test

To download your blank Ikigai, click here.

My thoughts about the Ikigai:

I loved finding my Ikigai! I think that being aligned with your Ikigai is a very good way to be happy and to find purpose in your life by doing something that makes you feel « complete ».
I love this philosophy and it’s something that I use a lot in my consultations when people need some clarity in their life.

The good direction …

Today, I am going in a good direction in my life that makes me very happy. I am living a lifestyle that fits my Ikigai and my values. So, even if I don’t reach the final destination, it doesn’t matter, the fact that I follow a path that makes my happy is enough.

This Ikigai exercise made me see some essential points that I need in my life. To put everything on paper like this in a graphic way was very good to see the big picture clearly and to reinforce this feeling that I am on the right path for myself.

Maybe, it will evolve in the future, but for the moment I am aligned with what the Ikigai was showing. It’s also good to be able to come back to this exercise when you feel a little bit lost or without motivation. Like this, you can remember the important stuff that you want.

Thank you for reading this article. Tell me in commentaries what your Ikigai was showing you and what Ikigai did you find! Sharing your experience will probably help other readers to find their own 😉

To go further:

ikigai the book
Ikigai the book
The Japanese secret to a long and happy life
Where to find it ?