Ikigai: Value in Living

This week's exercise is inspired by a Japanese concept called ikigai, which is about discovering your purpose.

Feeling uncertain about what's next? 

We often find ourselves so focused on the day-to-day that it can be challenging to take a step back to see how it all relates to a broader purpose. 

While it has no direct English translation, ikigai, is thought to be a combination of the Japanese word ikiru, "to live," and kai, "the realization of what one hopes for." This loosely translates to the idea of finding your value or purpose in life. 

Your Ikigai Exercise

What It Is
A 15 minute opportunity to identify what's meaningful to you.

Why We Love It 
We spend so much time in our own heads with lots of unsubstantiated self-talk about who we are and our purported purpose. That conversation often plays out in our minds without resolve. This activity breaks those thought patterns by taking a systematic approach to imagining all of life’s possible directions. 

How It Works
Take 15 minutes to answer each of the following questions and a second 15 minutes to play with the potential overlap between them.

1. What do you love?
2. What are you good at?
3. What does the world need from you?
4. What can you get paid for?

Image Credit: Toronto Star
Want to learn more?
  • To learn more about how ikigai is way bigger than a framework, check this out. 
  • To explore the cultural nuance of ikigai, check this out from an anthropologist who focuses on Japanese culture.
  • To go deeper on the philosophy and five pillars behind ikigai, check out Ken Mogi's book.
Whaddaya Think?
If you have praise, gripes or random thoughts about this trek, drop us a line at treks@lifetrekkers.me.
Here is what one trekker had to say about the Mindful Meals trek:
"The 'mindful meals' trek was one of my favorites. It started with one meal, but I've found myself focusing more intently on almost everything I've eaten since."
Ev Boyle, Director @ LA-Tech.org
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Shankar Desai