Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Find your Purpose this way-Ikigai-Finding Meaning
As a little girl, I was always curious to know what my purpose in Life is. As crazy it may sound, but when I was in college, I started looking for answers. I came across the concept of Ikigai. It is a Japanese concept that means “reason for being”. It is a tool to find your Purpose or Meaning in Life in an easy to understand method. It also emphasises in finding happiness in small day to day activities rather than fixating on big goals only. Ikigai gives you reason for living even when you might be unhappy or sad in the moment. I found this so helpful & it is the reason why I started Mindsutra. So it has 4 parts as follows:
1. What am I good at?
List down the things you think you are good at. It could be singing, public speaking, writing, cooking, managing team, teaching etc. For me it’s teaching, coaching, writing, cooking, art, analysing, and researching. So list them down. If you are struggling with this, you can ask your family, friends & colleagues about your strengths. It will be an interesting task & you might learn about yourself. Further, your qualification is also an indicator of what you are good at. Suppose, you have a degree in computer programming so you might be good at it.
2. What I Love?
In this category, write down things you Love doing. What brings you Joy? What makes you go in a state of flow. Flow can be defined as a state where you don’t realise the passing of time. You are totally absorbed in doing that work. For eg; for me flow state comes when I am coaching, teaching, when I am creating something like art, researching, reading, dancing, listening to music. So list the things that make you go in a state of flow.
3. What can I be paid for?
Here you need to list, which of the skills you have can bring you money. For eg, I am a Life Coach & I can earn out of it as well. So l will have Coaching in my list. Another example is that I am an Engineer by qualification. I can earn out of my degree. So, I will add this in my list. So think about how you are making a living. If you are not making a living, just observe around and list things for which you can be hired.
4. What the World Needs?
This is a very important category. Does World really need your talent? Think about in current times, what is essential in the World that your skills & passion can fulfil. I have written in my list, world needs tools & resources for Personal Growth & inspiration to create their dream Life. Methods to overcome fear, anxiety & self-doubt, support & guidance to move ahead in Life.
The overlap between, what you are good at & what you love is called Passion. The overlap between what you are good at and what the world needs is called your Mission. Overlap between what you are good at & what you can be paid for is called Profession. And, lastly, overlap between what you can be paid for & what the world needs is called Vocation. The Overlap of everything is your Sweet Spot/ Ikigai or Purpose. So your purpose is the common factor between what you are good at, what you love, what you can be paid for & what the world needs.
The figure in this post will help you gain clarity.
As I Love to Coach , Teach, guide & Support people, I am good at Coaching, teaching guiding, I get paid for this & world needs resources & guidance for personal growth, so my sweet spot is Life coaching. Through Life Coaching as a Profession, I use of my gift to help people gain clarity in life & move towards their Goals & Vision.
I hope this exercise is helpful. This is inspired from the Japanese book of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to Long & Happy Life. It is not necessary to find the sweet spot immediately. Just keep revisiting it from time to time adding & deleting things as per your choice. The answer will come to you. Or in other words, Your Purpose will find you. Also, it is not necessary to have the same Purpose Life Long. Things, situation, passions, likes etc. changes from time to time. The key here is to keep revisiting this exercise & evolve.
What tools you use for finding your purpose? Comment below and spread the knowledge.
Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life https://amzn.to/378coYX