Ikigai: what it is and how to find your meaning in life

Ikigai, or the Japanese concept of finding the reason to live and wake up in the morning. How to find your own?

Do not keep avocado like this: Ikigai, the Japanese concept of finding the reason to live and wake up in the morning, is dangerous. How to find your own?

All of us in different moments of our life have asked ourselves the fateful question: what are we doing here? What is the purpose of our being in the world? In Japan, the idea of ​​having a purpose in life is encapsulated in the term Ikigai.

The concept of Ikigai can be summarized with our most familiar phrases "reason to live" or "reason for its existence". The Japanese believe that each person has his or her purpose in life and there comes a time when it is necessary to come to terms with it by actively researching it.

So many books, lectures and workshops around the world have tried and still try to explain the importance of finding your purpose in life, what you really want to do and what to invest energy and time on. Become aware of this and carry it forward in your daily life it can improve existence in several ways: not only satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment but also greater health and money.

On the island of Okinawa, the southernmost and sunniest region of Japan known for being one of the longest-lived populations in the world, the term ikigai is translated as "A reason to get up in the morning".

In the land of the Rising Sun, the concept of ikigai is of fundamental importance. The term consists of two words ikiru (life) and kai (the realization of what one hopes for) but it can also generically indicate the person you love (in fact this is also an excellent reason to wake up in the morning!). Ikigai is for most Japanese something to be about it is really worth the investment although discovering your purpose in life can take time and effort. There are those who almost immediately recognize their aspirations and attitudes, while those who slowly have to bring them out in order to become aware of them.

Ikigai: what it is and how to find your meaning in lifePhoto: eigonomainichi.com


The 4 questions to find your ikigai 

To get answers, even about oneself and one's aspirations, it is You need to ask yourself questions first. So here is what you need to clarify if you want to become aware of your ikigai. There are 4 essential questions to solve ...

What do you love, what is your passion?

This is a fundamental question to ask ourselves that can be the fundamental stimulus as well the real "motivator" of our existence also and above all in the modern world when we are often led instead to concentrate on the too rapid satisfaction of desires that are often completely material. So ask yourself: what do I really like? What would I do if I didn't have the problem of having to earn And could I really follow my heart in complete freedom?

What are you good at?

This could be it the key question to bring out one's vocation. For many, the answer may be the same as the first question but for many it is not. This is a more practical and less emotional question, why we all know, at least in part, what we're good at. Passion and talent don't always coincide: for example we might want to be an actor because maybe this is our passion but we find ourselves pushed to be a show organizer instead because that's what we do best. This is our calling.

What does the world want from you?

This is probably the most difficult question. Basically it is about understand what the real mission or task we have on earth is. That something useful not only for ourselves to evolve but which will also help others and the planet itself to become a better place.

What can you make a living with? What is your profession?

The last question is the most practical and also quite simple because everyone (or almost) at some point in their life had to work to be able to get the money necessary to live.

Ikigai: what it is and how to find your meaning in life

Naturally the answers to these questions may overlap but they can also be very different. It is necessary find a balance between all things even if it is not always easy for example to follow your passion and at the same time get money with something you are really good at. Also following one's mission but not being able to contribute to the expenses of one's family or on the contrary having a lot of money but feeling dissatisfied in terms of passions and aspirations are roads that do not work and do not lead to ikigai.

On Japan and its philosophy you might also be interested in:

  • 10 Japanese words (almost) untranslatable, but with a really deep meaning
  • The Japanese art of living in small spaces to be happy
  • Kintsugi: repairing with gold to give value to broken things (PHOTO)

In short, ikigai is reached with a demanding process, we can consider it a real puzzle that unfortunately not everyone can solve!

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