Find your Ikigai

The inhabitants of the Japanese islands of Okinawa are known for their longevity.  They also believe in the idea that everyone has an Ikigai – a reason for living, the source of value in your life.  They believe that to live a long and happy life you need to work out what this is.

If you learnt about Venn diagrams from school, you’ll remember that they were circles which each contained some items. These were laid over each other, and where they interconnected was where the contents of each circle overlapped.  Have a go at drawing four circles, laying them out with one at the top, one at the bottom and one at each side. Give each a title:

-what I love

-what I am good at

-what the world needs

-what I can be paid for 

Think about words and ideas that come to mind under each. Move the circles towards each other so that they interconnect.  Where do your ideas overlap?  Are there areas to follow up?

The more you can spend your working life in the most overlapping part in the centre of the four circles the more in balance your life will be and the more you will have your Ikigai.