Ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy) is a Japanese concept that means a reason for being. This word consists of two parts: “iki’ means ‘life’ in Japanese and ‘kai’ means result or benefit. The word Ikigai could be translated as a reason for living. Japanese people say that Ikigai is the reason why they get out of bed in the morning.

Ikigai involves the idea of finding a purpose in everything you do in your life. According to this concept, you should seek meaning in your hobbies, community, travel, friendships, work, and family life. Ikigai helps people to discover their passion and follow their mission.

Recently, this Japanese word has become very popular all over the world. Thousands of people all over the US and Europe like to grab an Ikigai book and read about the reason why Japanese people live for so long. Probably, this concept plays a key role in aging healthily.

Ikigai is often explained with the help of an Ikigai diagram. It consists of four circles which represent things that you love, things you are good at, something you could be paid for, and things that the world needs from you. You can apply the Ikigai concept only if you know what’s included in these circles.

So to find your Ikigai, first of all, you should answer the question ‘What do I love?’ Define what things you enjoy most in your life and try to add them to your everyday routines.

Then give an honest answer to the question ‘What am I good at?’. Think about your skills, talents, and knowledge and try to apply them in your life as much as possible. Then ask yourself ‘What can I be paid for now?’. Ideally, the reason why you get up in the morning should be also financially rewarding. Money plays an essential role in our lives, so that’s why we should do things that provide us for living.

Finally, give an answer to the question ‘What does the world need from me?’ You should understand what way you can help the people around you and how you can make the world a better place. Use your intuition and inner wisdom to find the right answers to these questions.

After answering all these questions search for the overlap of these four circles. Look at the whole picture and try to find connections between these four aspects. It will take some time to find out what your Ikigai is, so don’t rush and brainstorm as many ideas as possible by keeping your mind open.

Having an Ikigai is beneficial for every person. This concept helps us enjoy our work, do what we really love, and it gives meaning to our lives. Besides, it is believed that people who practice their Ikigai are more successful than those who don’t have a life purpose.

Anton Kurapov

Anton Kurapov

PhD, a professor assistant at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Fascinated by the role of psychology in lives of people and simply astonished by the complexity of the brain and its functions.

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