FINDING IKIGAI (AKA YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE)

One of the top questions I get asked is, “How do I find my passion and purpose?”.  Many times, we ask this question because we feel burnt out, or are experiencing a mid-life crisis, or maybe just experiencing a particular bad patch at work. Regardless of what is spurring you to ask this question, it is a very important one because as humans, we need more than just a good salary and progression up the corporate ladder to feel fulfilled, we need a sense of purpose.

There are many ways to find your passion and purpose. In my coaching practice, I deploy traditional methods of using tried and true assessments combined with a variety of visualization exercises, clarification of values, and a lot of self-reflection. I have found success in defining what you want in order to achieve it and recently, I have been exploring the concept of Ikigai (pronounced A-KEY-GAY-I) to deepen this practice. Ikigai is a Japanese word that roughly translates to “a reason for being” or in simpler terms, the things that make your life worthwhile and makes you want to get up in the morning!

 Let me explain to make more sense. Ikigai starts with four categories:

1.       Things you love to do

2.       Things you are good at

3.       Things you can get paid for

4.       Things the world needs.

Then where each of these categories intersect, you find added layers. Still with me? Let me break it down more:

  • Where things you love and things that you are good at intersect, you find passion. When you have a lack of passion, you are typically spending too much time on things that you are either not good at or things you don’t really care about.

  • Where what you are good at meets what you can get paid doing, you are finding your profession. Which, unfortunately, isn’t always fulfilling.

  • Then you have what the world needs intersecting with things you get paid for, this is vocation. This is where you are getting paid for a greater purpose – usually thing is where you are making more of an impact in your job. Working for a nonprofit is a great example of this.

  • Lastly, you intersect the things you love with the things the world needs and you have mission. Mission is where you spend time on a cause that is close to your heart. Volunteering is a great example of this.

Phew! Is your head spinning yet? While all of these categories have positive and negative attributes, they all have a purpose and one is not better than the other. Our ultimate goal, however, is to find a career where all four of these come together. This is that rare, hard to find spot called Ikigai or our “sense of purpose” and encompasses a situation where you can get paid to solve the worlds needs in an environment that you love and that you can use your talents at.

So, back to the ultimate question, how do you find your passion and purpose? In order to answer this, you are going to need to do a bit of work.  Take time to reflect on the four main categories and create a list – and make sure you are being truly honest with yourself. This requires a lot of soul-searching and introspection to work. Once you have identified your Ikigai, you can apply it to a mindful job search.

Defining and being confident in your values, passions, and strengths will give you greater clarity and focus in your job search and help you find a place where you can not only can make an impact and love what you do while using your talents, but get paid to do it!

Are you ready to find your Ikigai and start living a life of passion and purpose? Message me today and let’s chat!