IKIGAI – Live and work with purpose

I recently came across a little book about ‘ikigai’. It’s a Japanese concept that means ‘a reason for being’. The word refers to having a meaningful direction or purpose in life, constituting the sense of one’s life being made worthwhile, with actions (spontaneous and willing) taken toward achieving one’s ikigai resulting in satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life. The concept of this idea comes from a larger and more inclusive philosophy used within the Japanese traditional health system called the Wuxing that was introduced into Japan in the early 6th century from China and embraced by local folk religion and culture.

Ikigai can describe having a sense of purpose in life, as well as being motivated. For me, it’s about finding the ‘sweet spot’ in the chart below. You get to this sweet spot – or purpose – when you manage to occupy yourself with what you love to do, what you are good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world (at least a small part of it) needs. What is this ‘sweet spot’ for you? If you are not one of them who are already there, can you give it a chance and go for it?

If you are interested to find out more about this interesting topic, there are several books on Amazon and other online book stores.

“You’ve tried hygge and lagom—but it turns out ikigai is the key to happiness.” —The Independent (London)

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