I'm reading
Find your ikigai
Pass it on
Pass it on
I'm reading
Find your ikigai
Pass it on
Pass it on
I'm reading
Find your ikigai
Pass it on
Pass it on
Articles
6 October 2022

Find your ikigai

iki … “to live” (life/ being alive)

kai … “the realisation of what one hopes for” (what is worthwhile and has value)

This story originally ran in issue #70 of Dumbo Feather

Discussed in this Story
Your ikigai is a verb, an active pursuit. It’s something we serve, bring or create.

This story originally ran in issue #70 of Dumbo Feather

This story originally ran in issue #70 of Dumbo Feather

You probably already know what makes you happy and fulfilled. But you might not have thought about it as something as grand as your purpose for being, for living. That might feel huge and overwhelming. Ikigai is a beautiful Japanese concept that means purpose for living. It is a framework to shift your thinking beyond identifying only with what you do: it connects to why you do it, who you do it for, and how what you do is uniquely you. The ikigai uses a simple sequence of enquiry questions to unlock a complex answer to the question, “What is my purpose in life?”

To find your ikigai is an ongoing process of self-reflection. It is dynamic, not static: your ikigai is likely to change as your circumstances change over time. Your ikigai will transform with a richly-lived life experience that supports the idea of us constantly growing and changing on our human journey.

The practice of reflecting on your ikigai would be good to complete once a year, as well as whenever your circumstances change significantly.

This can be a 20-minute exercise, or it can be one that you come back to over a few days as the enquiry prompts other thoughts. This might include conversations with people whose perspectives you value. My practice with the people I work with is to do a first pass in 20 minutes, discuss together, and then leave it for a week while thoughts percolate, then return to it and complete.

There are four central questions to unlocking your ikigai. As you answer these questions, consider any aspect of your life: your work, family, friends, social and volunteer activities, and personal interests and hobbies. I encourage you to use a pencil and possibly a highlighter. You may want to do this a few times over before you feel you’ve captured your ikigai.

Download the worksheet

 


 

Pick up a copy of Dumbo Feather issue 70 to explore more ways to live a meaningful life. Get your copy online or find us at your local independent retailer. 

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