What is your Ikigai?


There are several ways to refocus your mind and purpose if you are feeling lost and unsure about what is your IKIGAI.

‘Ikigai’ compounds two Japanese words, “Iki” means ‘to live’ & “Gai” means ‘reason’ and together, in short, can be described as something that makes life worth living.

The feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment that follows when people pursue their passions, is considered as the feeling Ikigai. Activities that allow one to feel Ikigai are not forced on an individual.

We all have an Ikigai, It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meets. A place of balance. Small wonder that finding your ikigai is closely linked to living longer.

There is a place in Japan named ‘Okinawa’ where the people have less desire to retire, as people continue to do their favorite job as long as they remain healthy & is considered an important reason for the people of Okinawa to live longer than people anywhere else in this world.

In April 2016, a book was published by Penguin Random House,

This book first came into being on a rainy night in Tokyo, when its authors sat down together for the first time in one of the city’s tiny bars.

Why do some people know what they want and have a passion for life, while others languish in confusion?

Ikigai is a 208 pages short but not-so-short book based on this Japanese concept full of facts, real-life experience from Japan’s Okinawa and compels you to focus more on yourself, your health, your choices, your focus, and your inner happiness.

Don’t think that I am exaggerating if I say this book is life-changing as I personally believe, that having a purpose in life and then giving it your all is the most important to lead a happy life and this book validates so.

This is what you leave for, the passion and the purpose of your life. Have you found your Ikigai yet? It is the joy found in living, whether it is your job, volunteer work, your family, or your friends. It is what you are trying to achieve from this life that you are given.

The language is as simplistic and beautiful as the cover and it’s content. Not many tough words and very beginner-friendly in the reading world. The structure to is great with a prologue, 9 chapters, an epilogue and a list of more suggestions for you to explore in the end.

The concept of ikigai has long existed in Japanese culture, it was first popularised by Japanese psychiatrist and academic Mieko Kamiya in her 1966 book “On the Meaning of Life” (ikigai ni tsuite). The book has not yet been translated into English.

Ikigai is the union point of four fundamental components of

  • life:
  • passion,
  • vocation,
  • profession, and
  • mission.

In other words, where; what you love meets what you are good at, meets what you can be valued and paid for meets that which the world needs.

So, what is your Ikigai?

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