How to Find Ikigai in Our Lives

June 13, 2022 in Ikigai

ikigai blog

“There is more in us than we know if we could be made to see it; perhaps, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” K. Hahn

Do you often find yourself going through the motions of life? Day after day goes by in a blur. You are always prioritizing the perceived immediate needs in front of you, not doing them consciously but chaotically, and perhaps, begrudgingly…

Distractions - that were never quite as omnipresent in the past - seem to permeate our modern lives. Social media, cell phone addiction, and the rapid spread and bombardment of information are the norm. We have more and more to fend off for the sake of our stability, soundness of mind, and connection with others.

As we lead ever busier and busier lives, it is harder to find time to connect with our friends and family, engage in the hobbies and activities we love, and appreciate the small things that bring beauty, joy, and satisfaction into our lives.

As we move through the world this way our mind and spirit yearn for more. But how can we, how do we achieve a greater sense of well-being in these times of modern chaos and infinite demands?

The answer is pursuing and feeling ikigai in our lives.

When is the last time you stopped and thought about what things big or small are important to you and bring you joy? Have you considered thoughtfully how to pursue them in your life? Are you doing them in harmony with yourself and those around you? And are you doing them from a place of curiosity and not for recognition or reward?

It may seem superfluous to some to ask questions like, “do you know what you like?” or “do you know what makes you happy?”, but many of us have never stopped to ask ourselves these important questions.

For as long as we can remember, our circumstances and people around us may be dictating what we do and the activities in which we engage. We may be leading lives of convenience, or perhaps performing the duties and activities that are expected of us due to our gender, age, or culture.

Or maybe we have been pursuing hobbies, goals, and activities that we love, but have yet to put them into the greater context of our lives, building our self-awareness and giving them the recognition that they are indeed part of what makes our life worth living.

If you are truly aware of what makes you vibrate - what brings you comfort but also requires an effort, what stimulates you, what brings you enjoyment - are you pursuing it? Are you making space for it? Do you know what your ikigai(s) are?

Ikigai is as multidimensional as life itself.

Iki: comes from the verb Ikiru, meaning life

Gai: means value

It can be broadly translated as “the value of living” or “what makes life worth living.” As part of the common Japanese language lexicon, this concept isn’t overly existential or philosophical for the Japanese, but rather has tangible qualities and tools that we can use to contemplate our life’s purpose, meaning, and indeed our pursuit of happiness.

Ikigai involves a process of cultivating your inner potential, being authentic with yourself in your relationships, work and creative processes, and approaching life with a strong sense of self.

This multidimensional and positive perspective on daily living helps us build self-awareness, gain clarity of direction, and experience life with joy and vibrancy. Ikigai is an honest and authentic way to look at ourselves.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help find and feel more ikigai in your life:

1)          What puts a smile on my face just thinking about it?

2)          What brings happiness to my everyday life?

3)          What is the most fulfilling way I spend my time?

4)          What events do I look forward to in the future?

5)          What would I still pursue even if the rest of the world didn’t understand?

Life can be busy, and we can be distracted. Acknowledging the areas of our life that satisfy us, bring happiness, and make us feel alive is the first step to building awareness of ourselves and finding our ikigai. Once we start to acknowledge these aspects of our life and have awareness of them, it is hard to forget them. And “perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.”



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Our clients are often: ex-pats, trailing spouses, those looking to change careers & moms. 

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KARLY & cHLOE

Karly and Chloé are certified NLP and Ikigai coaches. Vibrant Ikigai offers workshops and 1:1 coaching services to help you find your ikigai.

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