What is Ikigai
Iki means to live and Gai means reason. Ikigai thus means a reason to live.
Most people believe that life is a checklist to be completed. go to school, go to college, get a stable job, and build your career.
That’s is like the single track path that society dictates you to do. Robert Kiyosaki called it in his book (Rich dad poor dad) a rat race.
After living a life like this, some people feel remorse creeping in. It makes them feel regret since they worked soo hard for something that now they don’t even want to continue doing.
Ikigai is a philosophy from Japan.
It is something that gets you out of bed in the morning.
It’s something you never stop working on.
It states that if you aren’t working on something that is your Ikigai you will live a life that’s filled with despair.
Why we need Ikigai
The feeling of the monotony of the work will start weighing upon your soul. Weighing you down on the prospect of waking up each day.
When you wake up in the morning working on your Ikigai you are filled with wonder and joy. This is because you start thinking in terms of the things you get to work on rather than the things you have to work on. Ikigai is being happy in the process.
Most people define happiness by the results they got or the achievements that they accomplished. Ikigai, on the other hand, aims to find happiness in the work for work’s sake.
Professionals in competitive environments find happiness by consistently working on their craft. After winning a trophy they celebrate for a day and then go right back to their practice regimen the next day.
That is what it takes to succeed in the highest levels of competition. Ikigai is thus being present in the moment doing the work that you look forward to each day.
What stops us
When you are inspired to something that calls to you. Immediately all sorts of thoughts come to your mind and tell you the reasons why you can’t pursue it.
Stephen Pressfield in his book (The War Of Art) calls these thoughts the resistance. Resistance tells you that you lack the resources or the experiences to pursue your callings.
We begin to think about all the other people that are much more capable than us that are doing the thing we are drawn towards. Our mind begins to Fear and that fear tells us all the reasons why it can lead to a giant failure.
You can understand fear by its acronym ‘False evidence appearing real‘. It makes us stick to the known and familiar. All our Fear can think from comes from our own past experiences.
Instead of trying to fight the paralyzing fear or trying to distract ourselves, we should learn to accept it.
Instead of letting it control the conversation just accept the fear as a part of you. When we accept the fear that we feel and still act towards our calling, fear loses its grip on us.
By working on your Ikigai you leave behind the unfulfilling life and instead start being in the moment improving on your true calling. Your meaningful life isn’t a destination you need to reach. Your meaningful life is something you can do right now and anytime you want.
How do you find your Ikigai?
- do what you love
- what does the world need
- can we be rewarded for it
- what we are good at
Any work you can do where all those things intersect forms your Ikigai.
1)Doing what we love
We all have things that take us completely in the zone or flow state. The moment we start doing it. We completely get engrossed in the task at hand. It comes out naturally from the inside and we don’t realize as the hours pass by.
2)Doing what the world needs
This component of Ikigai was easier to achieve in the past since whenever you put in your work, you were rewarded with immediate feedback. The way you saw your work affecting other people made you realize the worth of your work.
Nowadays people are given a small role in their jobs. Even if they put in a tremendous amount of effort, they can rarely see the impact of that work. It feels like even if they leave today no change would happen.
3)Doing what we can be rewarded for
This component talks about money. Without being paid enough to lead a comfortable life you will never find happiness even if you are pursuing something you love. You can’t be happy if you are struggling for survival. Thus you need to earn enough to lead a comfortable life.
4) Doing what we are good at
This means that you will keep facing challenges and improving your craft. This overcoming of the challenges in front of you makes you feel the growth and your efforts paying off.
You can guess what you need to work on by looking at the picture above-
What we are in this moment
If you have what you love and are good at it you have Passion. You aren’t getting paid enough to for doing what you want
If you are doing something that you love and are doing something the world needs you to have a Mission. You aren’t yet good at what you do and by overcoming obstacles you will get good enough over time.
If you get paid well and you are good at it then you have something most of the people have that is a Profession. You don’t love what you do and you don’t feel how what you do makes any change in the world.
If you are doing something that the world needs and you are getting paid enough to do it you have a Vocation. You feel stagnant doing what you do or the monotonous life begins to clamp down on your growth and you lack the love for the work you do. You must find a way to constantly get better in what you do.
In the book titled (Ikigai) written by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, they refer to a town called Okinawa in Japan.
It has the most number of people over the age of 100 and they never retire and live a life of purpose following their Ikigai. The book mentions 10 rules people in Okinawa follow to stay in tune with their Ikigai but that’s a topic for another blog :P.
This week reinterpret your current position in life and find out which of the four questions of your Ikigai are you in line with. It’s a difficult and challenging path to finding your Ikigai but it will lead to a life worth living.
We urge you to explore what your callings are. Do you possess the courage to chase them? We provide a free ebook called The perfect beginning that might help you in finding those callings.
Well, that’s all for this post. Have a good day and a good life.