Today, I would like to talk about “Ikigai”. In Japanese culture, there is this concept called “ikigai,” (pronounced “eye-ka-guy”) which loosely translates as “reason for being.” Every person, it is believed, has an ikigai that they must search for. The search is long and deeply personal, but once your ikigai is found, it is what you devote your life to. It is your calling, your one true purpose. Ikigai is, above all else, a lifestyle that strives to balance the spiritual with the practical.
We follow through with our daily habits, noticing nothing, only mindful of the lack of excitement in what we have to face. We don’t live through the day; we make it through the day. Then, at night before we close our eyes, we inevitably lie awake thinking about the crappy day we have to face tomorrow.
Let’s consider how ikigai can help you with your pursuit of happiness. Imagine waking up to an awesome feeling, especially next morning and say “How great would it be to know that the day ahead of me will be a day for me?” It gives you the motivation you need to enjoy life in the way you want to enjoy it. It is waking up with passion.
Of course, life, whether you have ikigai or not, is not always glitter. We all experience loss and failure and. Circumstances out of our control throw life’s curveballs at us constantly and we get knocked down. Ikigai does not eliminate these things from your life. However, it is at those times when you need your purpose in life the most. Ikigai will help you pick yourself up through tough times as it provides you with the balance you need in your life. Ikigai is as much of a guiding light in times of difficulty, pain, and sorrow as it is a reason for waking up.
Have ikigai and you will find yourself saying, “Today was a great day. I lived today.”