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How To Find Your Ikigai (生き甲斐)...

Trying to find some purpose in your life, but not sure where to begin? The Japanese may have the secret weapon in helping you gain fulfilment. So what does Ikigai mean and how can we use it?

Ikigai (生き甲斐) or (eye-ka-guy) refers to the words 'a reason to begin/live'. The word can be referred to a source of happiness and fulfilment in your life. The theory focuses on life which can, sometimes be hard to grasp. The idea of importing Ikigai into your lifestyle strives to balance the spiritual with the practical. It can also be referred to 'the reason to getting up in the morning'. This Japanese concept combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.” Studies have shown Ikigai is a state of wellbeing that arises from devotion which actives a person's enjoyment, bringing a sense of fulfilment. By discovering your Ikigai isn't something you do once and then forget about it- it's an ongoing process of figuring out how best to spend your time to make every moment count!

What is the main purpose you get up in the morning?

We tend to get up for one main reason, which is completing outstanding task. But have you thought about the reason to why you get up in the morning? For example, we all had our lazy days where we say 'all you want to do is stay in bed and do nothing' but have you actually gone ahead and done this?

Many of us would answer No. Why? Finding your Ikigai is hard to discover, many people associate this to work and try to find their Ikigai through work but we all know work doesn't bring you happiness and fulfilment. The key is exploring within yourself which you can share with others. The purpose of Ikigai is offering you a sense of self worth, our behaviours and actions are not forced, they are spontaneous which we reflect after on what happened.

When finding your Ikigai, you have to ask yourself the following 4 core elements:

  1. What you love (your passion)

  2. What the world needs (your mission)

  3. What you are good at (your vocation)

  4. What you can get paid for (your profession)

These four primary elements are a source of value or what makes one's life truly worthwhile. Individuals can use the four core elements for career, life and finding happiness.

How can I find my purpose?

Ikigai is about finding joy, fulfillment, and balance in the daily routine of life. It’s all too easy to fall victim to siloed thinking, that our job, family, passions, and desires are all separate and unrelated aspects of our lives.

The fundamental truth of Ikigai is that nothing is siloed. Everything is connected.

The first steps is 'letting go'- ever heard about the saying baggage or burden? That's what you need to do right now, is let go of this and begin to move into a new mindset where you begin to discover new things which will excite you.

10 rules to finding your Ikigai:

  1. Stay active; don’t retire. Keep the body and brain moving to help you rediscover new skills, happiness and fulfilment in life.

  2. Take it slow. Rushing around in life can lead to more mental health issues without realising.

  3. Don’t fill your stomach. Find out what excites you in life. What makes you get out of bed everyday? Don't settle for something which does not bring you happiness.

  4. Surround yourself with good/postitive vibes- Their energy will motivate and inspire you.

  5. Don't Retire- Retain your purpose in life. Keep doing what you love for as long as your health allows you too!

  6. Smile. When you smile, the world smiles with you! Happiness does not only come from the inside, showing happiness outside can lift up your mood and others mood too.

  7. Reconnect with nature, a simple walk can help you feel at peace and help gather your thoughts.

  8. Gratitude- show/give thanks, appreciate the little things and show gratitude each and everyday to others and yourself.

  9. Live in the moment. Being Mindful instead of Mind-Full can help your journey in life be more purposeful.

  10. Follow your Ikigai and don't look back...

In summary, the secret to a long and happy life is to live with purpose everyday. The first step to living with a purpose is to regain control of your destiny and the Japanese concept of Ikigai is such a wonderful tool to use. It might take years, even decades, to discover your reason for being. But be patient, you owe it to yourself. Once you find your Ikigai you will be on a journey of peace, happiness and joyment.

Pursue it with everything you have, as soon as possible. Finding your ikigai is a very enlightening process and is totally worth the time and effort it takes.

Begin your Ikigai journey today...

"Never give up: if you fall down seven times, stand up eight times"

Thank you for reading.

By Chandni Patel @madeadifference

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