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Have you found your ikigai? Ikigai is the Japanese concept of “a reason for being.”

Everyone has an ikigai, but yours is personal to you. You ikigai is the intersection of your passions (what you love), your talents (what you are good at), your purpose (what the world needs) and your enterprise (what you can be paid for).

Advice from an ikigai master

Look at what’s in front of you

“Ikigai is not something grand or extraordinary. It’s something pretty matter-of-fact.”

Remember why it’s important

“It really does matter. If you have an ikigai, you probably won’t ever kill yourself, unless you lose it, and you’re probably going to have a better life, because you will have something you live for that’s key.”

Consider why you do things

“I wrote about a guy who hates his boss, hates his work, and then comes home to his daughter clinging to his leg. That’s why he puts up with this; that’s his ikigai.”

Take time to decide

“You damn well better find work and love in a way that suits you. You damn well better be best friends with the person you choose as your spouse.”

Be wary of the individual pursuit of ikigai

“If you sleep around outside your marriage, you may find ikigai elsewhere in different people, but you’ve left a lot of human wreckage behind you.”

Remember that it's never fully secure

“Even if you are completely in love with your spouse, it’s always possible you wake up one morning and there is a note on your pillow saying ‘Goodbye’. Misfortune can happen to anybody, so ikigai is never completely secure.”

Re-examine your ikigai from time to time

“I make sure that, occasionally late at night, I’ll have a drink or two, not think about anything in front of me but just sit back and think about my life: How’s it going? What’s bothering me? What’s really going on now?”


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