Find Your Ikigai

How do you find your ikigai, and why should you care?


In the USA, we talk about being productive but few people actually live a productive life. Many books are written on how to be productive. In Japan, productivity is part of their culture. They have one word to describe what they mean when they talk about being productive: Ikigai.

Ikigai translates to English as your reason for being. But as with most languages, it is a word with many nuances.

Rather than just understanding what is important in your life, Ikigai requires us to take action

Ikigai requires you to both be forward looking and to be 

conscious of the moment.

Ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time?” If it is, enjoy the moment. If it is not, change what you are doing.

Our Ikigai is illusive. Most people do not live with purpose.

The Blue zone project recommends finding your Ikigai by creating three lists:

1. Write out your values

2. Write down what you like to do.

3. Write down what you are good at.

Where you find those three things overlapping is your Ikigai. You can have an ikigai for each role in your life.

For instance, I value my family. I like doing things with my family. I’m a knowledgeable bird watcher, Our family goes bird watching together, That is one of my family’s ikigai.

The long-range aspect of Ikigai is knowing what is important in your life. The short-term impact of ikigai is mindfulness. When you know what you do has a positive influence on other people you can feel the warmth of knowing you are helping others. Know why you do what you do. When you are in the moment ask yourself, “Am I contributing to my Ikigai.

Understand your Ikigai.

What is your Ikigai? Knowing your Ikigai is the key to a fulfilling and happy life.

4 thoughts on “Find Your Ikigai”

  1. What a wonderful concept. I’ve never heard of Ikigai before but it makes perfect sense when I read your explanation and example with your family. I know that my happy place is playing my guitar and singing, I perform often and my family enjoy it too and the friendships with positive happy people that we connect with, that is my Ikigai.

    Now I have a name for that joy, thanks so much.

  2. This seems like something that is meant for Chakra people. My partner is very spiritual so I will be sure to share this article with her. I am sure that she will appreciate it but I will let you know what she thinks. If she loves it, I will get her the book to read 

    • Ikigia is important for everyone. It helps you define what you want to accomplish in your life. It gives your life purpose and direction.


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