Unlock Greater Sense Of Fulfillment And Joy With Japanese Concept Of ‘Ikigai’


Last Updated: January 12, 2023, 08:00 IST

Finding Ikigai, according to the Japanese, will not only help you live a longer and more fulfilling life, but will also improve your longevity.

If you’re seeking to learn more about the idea of Ikigai and how it might help you feel more fulfilled in life, continue reading

If you have ever found yourself watching a great Japanese movie, a sense of amazement might have crossed your mind. Somehow, they just know how to capture the essence of life. Believe it or not, this is not a shot in the dark for them. The Japanese people have unlocked the secret of finding a greater sense of fulfilment and joy in life. Perhaps you have come across it too. The key is to find your Ikigai. Yes, the concept that was made popular with Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. In case you are wondering what is this concept and how it can lead you to find a greater sense of fulfilment in your life, read on to find more:

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What Is Ikigai?

Ikigai is the combination of two Japanese words: iki which means life and gai which means worth. Hence, the meaning of Ikigai is life purpose or raison d’être. This concept asks people to define their personal meaning of life. This is done in regard to their talents, passions, and profession, and what can be given to the world. The Japanese people believe that finding this can lead you not only to live a more fulfilled life but also to increase your longevity.

The Philosophy Behind It

The philosophy involves four spheres, the point where they overlap is one’s Ikigai. Finding what you love is the first sphere. This is your passion. It includes what you do or experience that brings the most joy in life. What you love is what makes you feel most alive and fulfilled. The second sphere is your talent—something you are great at. This is any skills you have acquired, the hobbies you engage in, or even your talents.

Moving to the third sphere is your mission, it involves finding what the world needs. Do not confuse this for the whole wide world, it can also include your community. This is where you connect with the world and go beyond your own self. The final sphere is your profession is what you are paid for or what the world would pay you to do.

Unlock Your Ikigai In 3 Steps

If you understand the philosophy behind Ikigai, you can unlock it in 3 simple steps:

  1. Step 1:
    Find the four spheres for yourself. Answer the four basic questions: What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need? What can you be paid for?
  2. Step 2:
    Often times it is not easy to find the perfect overlap at once. You can begin brainstorming ideas about how your mission, passion, talent, and profession can align. Be open to new vocations. Research plays a key role here
  3. Step 3:
    Build a concrete plan with short-term and long-term goals. Invest in creating a network. Once you are prepared, test out your Ikigai.

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