By Lina: Hi there! Today I want to introduce you myself a little bit more. If you know me, you already know I am Italian, but you might not know how fascinated I am about the Japanese culture. I have been to Japan a few times and every time I had the pleasure to learn something new.
A few years ago I came across to the word IKIGAI.
What does this word mean? Is it a Mantra? Is it a way of living? Is it a tradition? IKIGAI is not translatable, but its meaning is quite simple. Iki means life, existence, while gai means the reason, the purpose, the benefit, something for which it is worth it. The meaning of Ikigai is “your reason we get out of bed every morning “, your “reason of being”, it is your “Daily Why”, it’s your “meaning in life”, it is something that, once you’ve found it, you’ll keep in yourself for the rest of your life.
In a single word, the Japanese express different meanings: the reason why we get up every morning, what we want to achieve with our time, our passions, our vocation, the way in which we contribute to this world, and in definitive what our intentions are.
Ikigai is the cross between:
-What you love
-What you’re good at
-What the world needs
-What they pay you for.
The complicated aspect of ikigai is that while looking for it you risk going around it several times. In fact, it includes:
The main factors of the Ikigai are:
-Passion: what you love and what you are good at.
-Profession: what you are good at and pay you for.
-Vocation: what they pay you for and what the world needs.
-Mission: what the world needs and what you love.
Then there is a further level of approach to ikigai, where we tend to stop because in fact it is not bad, and it is where three of these four aspects intersect. But only where all four – passion, profession, vocation and mission – are intertwined, our ikigai is formed.
What is the best way to find your Ikigai?
To be completely honest with you I cannot tell you that I have found my Ikigai yet, even though being here writing for you and being in chat listening to you, gives me the feeling that I have come close. My passion for years has been the one of helping others, of helping someone to find his/her own path. I get paid for it so I can add another point to my list. I’ve been doing it for years, it’s one of the first thing I remember wanting to do, plus I feel we all need help in life and Mission, I do strongly believe we all need help and support but it’s really what the world need? I cannot take the presumption to say that. Overall, I am still trying to evolve, to improve, to look into myself to be sure that I have found my Ikigai!
But how do you find it?
Only by intentionally dedicating yourself to what you like and cultivating your values , gives you the possibility to find it.
What you like is what you are good at, but to become good at something you have to apply yourself a lot and this requires sacrifices; That the path you have taken is the right one, you never understand it before you arrive, but if you intentionally cultivate what is important to you, even if you never find the right path, if you go wrong you will find one that goes the same direction and takes you close to your ikigai.
The only way to find your ikigai, as far as I understand it, is to start looking for answers to these four questions:
What is it that you love more than anything else?
What are you good at and don’t you have the trouble it takes to become even better?
Which of these things are you good enough to get paid for, motivated enough to try and never give up, and stubborn enough to keep going even if everyone tells you to let it go and if you keep failing relentlessly?
How can you help others and make your small contribution to leave this world a little better than how we found it?
What I can tell you is that you can only find your ikigai by cultivating your passions through side projects, personal projects that you treat as a real “second job” and help you realize yourself.
Behind the concept of ikigai we find a philosophy that revolves around 5 great pillars:
-Let it go
-Harmony and sustainability
-The joy of little things
-Be in the present moment
In addition to being a philosophy, ikigai is a real lifestyle, you have to feel it, to live with it, to make it YOURS!!!
Love and Light,