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4 advices to find your ikigaï - 生き甲斐

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

Did you hear about ikigaï, the personal development tool to find your mission in life?

Ikigaï comes from a Japanese word meaning “a reason for being." Everything started with the study of the inhabitants of Okinawa island in Japan where there is a higher proportion of centenary people. How do these Okinawan people reach such old age still in good health? One of their secrets is that they know and follow their ikigaï. This means they have a reason to get up in the morning, a deep sense of purpose that keeps them active all life-long.

Your ikigaï lies at the center of 4 interconnecting circles: What you love, What you’re good at, What the world needs and What you could be paid for.

Here’s 4 tips to help you find yours:

1. Get your energy back

Knowing your ikigaï will give you energy, but you can’t find your ikigaï if you have none. It’s difficult to dream about the person you want to be while being depressed and feeling sorry for yourself. You have to start pretending you’re there already! Get moving, learn how to breathe deeply, eat more fruits and vegetables. You will feel much better and will be willing to explore more possibilities.

“Anna recovered from a burn out by starting to run. She would go out in the countryside and pass by beehives. Soon she met the beekeeper, got fascinated by the bee products, and wanted to have bees herself. A few months later, she quit her job to start her apiary.”

2. Surround you with positive people

Jim Rohn, the founder of personal development, said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Are the people around you positive? Do they help you thrive? Are they an example for you? Have they found their ikigaï? If not, look for people that you admire, that is just ahead of you in terms of spirit or success and spend more time with them.

“We created a group of professional expat women in the city I was expat in explains Emily. At first, none of us had a job, but we called ourselves professionals because it was our objective to find a job or start a business there. It was such an empowering experience. Being around these great women made all the difference for me. After only six months, half of us had either started a business, got a job, or took up training.”

3. Stop worrying, you’re already following your ikigaï

Your ikigaï is not something outside of you; it’s within you. It’s something you do since you’re a kid. Even if you don’t realize it, you’re making choices according to your ikigaï. But just like emotional decisions are hard to explain, your ikigaï is challenging to put into words. Once you can grasp it, you’ll realize you’ve been on the right path the whole time. So relax and reflect on your past: what did you like doing when you were a child? What were you drawn to when choosing for your studies or your first job? Who’s the last person that made a big impression on you and why? What these answers have in stock will get you closer to your ikigaï.

“When I decided I wanted to become a life coach, one of my friends from college told me: “You have always coached. Remember how you coached me 20 years ago?” I was stunned. I had no recall of what she was telling me. I thought I had changed since that college time. I thought I was a different person now that I knew what my mission in life was. What she was telling me was the exact opposite: I had not changed, and I had been on my ikigaï all along!”

4. Ikigaï is a verb, take actions!

You won’t find you Ikigaï only reflecting on your life at your desk. That’s the first step, but then you’ll have to go out in the world and try things! Take the first thing that arouses your curiosity and follows it. Opportunities will start to show up, so don’t shut the door to them; they may lead you far!

“My friend Estelle was intrigued by the cost of craft chocolate bars. She decided she would sample and video review 37 different chocolates before her 37th birthday. What started with a fun and delicious challenge turned out to be a life-changing experience that revealed her passion for chocolate and the people behind these bars. She became a chocolate sommelier! Find her story here:”

Putting words on your ikigaï improves and strengthen your self-confidence and confidence in life. It brings you peace because you can enjoy the person you indeed are compared to the person you think you should be.

Are you ready to reveal your ikigaï? Join us for a 2,5-hour workshop in Lyon.

Discover more about the ikigai concept and begin your discovery process for a more aligned life. Limited slots only.

About Juliette

Juliette is a French life coach specialized in helping expat women find their balance in a new country as well as taking advantage of this time abroad to find their mission in life. She lived in Italy, Turkey and the United States and experienced having to reinvent herself after having worked as an engineer in the industry for 15 years. She offers group workshops as well as individual programs.

Juliette’s ikigaï is to share her optimism and confidence in life.


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