Are you leading a comfortable life but feel like there is something missing? Or, are you wondering how you ended up where you are now or perhaps wondering where you are heading? Do you know what your reason is for being? It may just be that you haven’t found your Ikigai yet.
Ikigai (pronounced “eek-ee-guy”) is the Japanese term and has no direct English translation, but it describes “value in living” “reason for living” or “purpose”. It is the amalgamation of 2 words: iki ( to live) and gai ( reason, worth, value). It’s about having joy and a sense of well-being from being alive and a reason to jump out of bed every morning. Ikigai is about living a personally meaningful life that truly expresses your inner self.
The key to Ikigai is to try to achieve things that align with your true nature. When you embark on your journey, it’s not about the fulfilment of your goals, but more about taking the steps in the right direction – the right direction for you – that is what counts the most.
Ken Mogi, a neuroscientist, states this so beautifully: “Ikigai isn’t a grand target… it’s a spectrum of small things. The really big things might only happen once a decade, so life isn’t sustainable without small daily joys.”
The Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi teaches us to appreciate the innate perfection and impermanent nature of the world around us and this is helpful in the pursuit of Ikigai. For example, say one of your ikigai is to maintain a stable, organised and happy home. Your vision of what this means will be challenged by changes and flaws in yourself and outside influences. Nothing is fixed, or perfect, or lasts forever, so rather than rage against imperfections and idiosyncrasies you will inevitably encounter in your life, find beauty in the blemishes.
The secret to a meaningful and purposeful life is not to live in the hope of a great tomorrow, but rather in learning how to live with intention today. Take time out to unplug, tune out the noise and tune to your inner voice.
Achieving perfect Ikigai is a life journey. It is not something one can accomplish overnight or even over a few years. We are ever-changing beings and similarly so is the world around us. You will go through highs and lows in your pursuit of Ikigai – this is normal – and you do not need to do it alone either.
Should you wish to look into this concept or simply want to discover your reason for being, reach out to a Valueneurs Mentor Coach today. We are here to guide and mentor.
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