Find your Ikigai in 5 simple steps: An action guide to motivation and happiness

TLDR;

Many professionals struggle to go through a work week and desperately wait for the Friday to come. If that’s you, then I have a key to success for you i.e. finding your Ikigai and that too in just in 5 simple steps.

Does it sound familiar?

The sun appears and you realize it’s a Monday.

You feel blue and already waiting for the day to end…

Do you wonder how so many professionals are having a wonderful career path, whereas you are dragging your feet to survive a weekday?

If this sounds like you or someone you know, then you have finally landed at the right article!

Success arrives when passion meets the purpose of your life. The secret behind someone being content with what they do comes from aligning their likes to their doing.

Sounds rhetoric huh?

Let me explain.

Finding purpose in a crowded world

Ikigai is finding your purpose
Photo by Mike Chai on Pexels.com

When you got your first paycheck, you were elated.

But there’s a possibility that you might have picked up a job that might not be the best to your liking/abilities.

You did it to fit within the constraints of your qualifications, location, or certain life situations.

Instead of exploring what you wanted to be, you kept doing what you needed to do, and that’s what your resume became.

A new job looks shiny for a while.

But in the long-term, when you don’t love your job, you are not the best at it, you stop learning/growing in that field.

At some point, you start questioning yourself that if you are cut out for something else.

Your heart wants a change but switching gears sounds overwhelming. Over time, you feel burnt out or hit the ceiling in your career as you are left with no more steam.

And that day my friend comes sooner than you think!

So what can you do about it?

The answer lies in finding your ‘Ikigai’…

May be you are thinking, “Oh great! Another jargon!”

But hear me out on this..

What on the earth is Ikigai?

What is Ikigai?
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com

Ikigai, a Japanese word, means ‘reason for being’ and is believed to be the secret to a long and happy life many Japanese folks enjoy.

We all are born unique for a purpose. We all like different things so we can become proficient in them and earn our living by following our passion.

But have you figured out what your passion is, that can help you earn a decent living?

My guess is not yet.

Ikigai CAN BE LIFE CHANGING

Life changing
Photo by Olga on Pexels.com

Take David Michiels for instance.

David Michiels stuttered severely well into his adulthood. It was hard to treat clinically, but then David started working in a liquor store and found his passion in a special section i.e. Scotch.

He realized his stutter vanished while talking about scotch.

His passion changed his life.

He became a renowned whiskey expert, traveling the world tasting and purchasing the best whiskey for his employer. (Definitely not suggesting to start drinking more 😊)

How to find your Ikigai?

The framework

Discovering your Ikigai is a simple 5 step process that I am sharing with you here.

So are you ready to take the plunge?

Pick up a piece of paper and a pen and let’s scribble together for about 30 minutes.

Believe me; you are just one decision away from changing your life!

Step #1: (5 Minutes) – What do you Love?

Create four sections (two intersected lines) on the paper and mark the first section as ‘What do you love?

To answer the first question, validate your answers on these 3 parameters:

  1. What did you never get bored of?
  2. What’s something you have always drawn back to do overtime?
  3. What gets you into flow-that you forget to eat or drink while doing it?

Examples: Writing, coding, dancing, yoga, exploring new places, trying new dishes, getting people together, meeting new people

Step #2: (5 Minutes) – What are you good at?

What are you good at?

To answer the second question, validate your answers on these 3 parameters:

  1. What skills have you been spending time to practice?
  2. What do people approach you for, to help with?
  3. Is there anything you want to be good at?

Examples: Developing online applications, blogging, travel planning, cooking, dancing, plan get-togethers, meeting new people

Step #3: (5 Minutes) – What can you get paid for?

What can you get paid for?

To answer this question, validate your answers on these 3 parameters:

  1. What have you been paid for before?
  2. What would you been doing if you are not in your current job?
  3. What do you want to get paid for?

Examples – New local travel app, Food blogging, Event planning, Dance training

Step #4: (10 Minutes) – What does the world need?

What does the world need?

This is the trickiest question that might take the longest to ponder.

You need to think at a macro level about society and the world around you.

To answer this question, validate your answers on these 2 parameters:

  1. What do people need around you?
  2. How can you contribute to create a positive effect around you?

Example – When people move to a new place they need someone to guide them about best food, places to visit and what to do around

Step #5: (5 Minutes) – Find your Ikigai

Find your Ikigai

Circle the common points that are present in all four sections.

Here in this picture, it is Event planning.

Conclusion of our example – Make an interactive app, which helps new movers in a city (based on zipcode) find new friends, new places to explore, best eat outs and local events.

Congratulations, you found your Ikigai – the purpose of being!

If you are still unsure, then don’t worry, some people take weeks to crack this as they take a while to figure out what they are good at or what they can get paid for.

It’s absolutely OK; take your time as it is a life-changing revelation.

Your Ikigai is based on your personal history, your values, your beliefs and your personality.

Once you find your Ikigai, I will suggest don’t let it just dust on a piece of paper but let it shine like Sun in front of the world.

“Insanity is doing the same things over and over again, and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

You came to this world to be happy…So if you are not, let’s change it.

A FEW FAQs about Ikigai

Can you have multiple Ikigai?

Yes, a human being can have more than one Ikigai.

Is Ikigai your hobby?

It surely can be, if you get paid for it and the world needs it.

Can Ikigai change over time?

We humans evolve and in the long term, our Ikigai might change its shade too.

Conclusion

Many of us struggle with our jobs. That is because a lot of people spend their lives without discovering their Ikigai.

Ikigai, a Japanese word, means ‘reason for being’ and is believed to be the secret secret to a long and happy life many Japanese folks enjoy.

In this post I shared a simple 5 steps framework using which you can discover your Ikigai.

If you have more questions about your Ikigai, please put it in the comment section and I will be happy to help.

Payal Mathur
Payal Mathur

Payal is a passionate technology marketer with over a decade experience in building and executing integrated marketing strategy for B2B and B2C technology companies. An MBA in marketing and a certified inbound marketing expert, who specializes in mapping prospect to customer journey, and automating metrics driven leads’ funnel. An avid reader and a writer, who intend to help people attain a fulfilling career and a happy life.


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