Metro-Work-Sleep. For many, every day is the same: it's bland and tasks are done automatically or even robotically. Despite a stable and comfortable situation, you still can't find fulfillment in your work and give meaning to what you do. If you're in this situation, it's a safe bet that you may not have found your raison d'être, the one that makes you want to get up every morning. It's time to introspect and find your Ikigai. But what exactly is Ikigai ?
Ikigai: Origin and Definition
Ikigai is a word that originated in Japan, more precisely on the island of Okinawa. This island is well known for its many century-old inhabitants, who have a very healthy lifestyle and are fulfilled in their daily lives. But how do they do it?
According to them, each individual has his or her own Ikigai within him/her, which corresponds to his/her main raison d'être. In other words, Ikigai could be the guide to not miss out on our life and determine which job really makes sense to us. It helps us to identify our qualities, our potential, our life missions and the reasons that lead us to make certain choices. The dream job does exist: you have to look for it inside!
How to find your Ikigai?
To find your Ikigai, you'll have to face your worst enemy, which is none other than... self! Starting to reflect on yourself can seem scary and time-consuming: a few hours, a few weeks or a few years depending on the person. But it's the best way to be in line with your values and aspire to a daily life and a job that makes sense. So get a pen, a notebook and try to answer the following points:
1. What you like
The first question to ask yourself is what your interests and passions are. Start identifying activities that stimulate you, give you pleasure and energy. Whatever things you like to do in life, from football to reading to taking care of children, make a list! There is no wrong answer.
2. What you're good at
The second step to finding your Ikigai is to look for your potential and natural talents. Out of humility, some will say that they have no talent at all. Others won't even realize their potential because they'll find it "normal." If this is the case, don't hesitate to ask your loved ones and make a list of the recurring compliments you have received since childhood. Also ask them what they envy you: if certain aspects come back to each interviewee, look no further, you are faced with your qualities!
3. What the world needs
As a third step (phew, we'll get there soon!), it's a matter of listing the causes or themes that are close to your heart. Animal protection? Gender equality? It's not necessarily about wanting to save the world, but about finding everyday topics that fascinate you, revolt you, or arouse your curiosity. Once you've identified the causes, think about the people you want to help (parents, children, the elderly, etc.) and the problem you want to solve. All these elements must be added to the quest of your Ikigai as they will allow you to define your identity even more deeply.
4. What you're paid to do
Once you've identified your interests, your innate talents , and what you could bring to the world, it's time to think about your ideal income. If you already have a clear idea, you can ask yourself other questions: Why is it important for me to earn this amount? How do I plan to use it? What sacrifices am I willing to make for a new professional project?
Ikigai is located at the junction of the 4 elements. By grouping the different answers, your Ikigai takes shape little by little. It's time for you to thrive in your professional life!
A little reminder: To find your Ikigai, you have to be honest with yourself and remain optimistic throughout the process. Answer from the heart and don't be ashamed of your answers. This method is for everyone and there is no need to wait for burnout to take stock of your life. The sooner you do it, the better!
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