Ikigai – Finding your Core, Part 2


Welcome back to our series about Ikigai, the Japanese word for purpose.  Last week we talked about two of the four components of Ikigai….What you LOVE and what you are GREAT at.

I gave you some journaling prompts to support you in exploring these important questions to get to the “intersection”, your passion.

If you didn’t get a chance to check out last week’s post, click here to explore.

Let’s now turn to the remaining two components of Ikigai, What the world NEEDS, and what people will PAY you for.

What the world NEEDS

These days, most of us would agree that this is a pretty long list! The key here is to think about what you really passionately believe will make the world a better place.  Don’t be afraid to think big here!  You have the power, and even the responsibility, to share your gifts to make the world a better place.

I firmly believe that entrepreneurship is one of the greatest opportunities to be a catalyst for ground-breaking change in the world!  So grab your journal and head to your favorite quiet space, preferably in nature, and consider these prompts…

  • What I see as possible is a world where….
  • What I know I naturally am here to bring more of to the world is…
  • What the world really needs more of is…
  • What really pisses me off or breaks my heart is…
  • The change I would most love to create in the world is…

What people will PAY you for

OK, a little bit of reality needs to settle in here.  A business is designed to make money!  Otherwise, it’s just a great hobby, right?  It’s important to think through what you have evidence that there is a market for…what people will actually give you money for in exchange for something that you can offer, create, or share.

Here are a few thought starters to consider…

  • What do people value that you could provide?
  • What problems are you best qualified to solve that people would pay to have solved?
  • What have your life experiences and the strengths those experiences given you that you could turn into a program or service that is of value?
  • Where in your past have you experienced your ability to add value and make a difference?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring, or could you bring, that brings real value to others?
  • What do people need and are happy to pay for that you could provide?

Now that you’ve explored “what the world needs” and “what people will pay you for”, take a few minutes to write down whatever key words, phrases and ideas come up for you in each of these two areas, then look for areas of natural overlap.   This overlap area is your VOCATION, what comes naturally to you and is something that is in demand.

You’ve now looked at the intersection of two of our four “circles”.  As a reminder, the four areas we are looking at are:

Passion:  The intersection of what you are GOOD at and what you LOVE (you looked at this last week)

Vocation:  The intersection of what the world NEEDS and what you can get PAID to do (this week’s work)

Now let’s look at the last two “intersections”.

Profession:  The intersection of what you can get PAID to do and what you are GOOD at

Consider the work you did last week around what you are good at and this week’s work around  what you can get paid to do and you’ll get some clues to the profession that you are best suited for.

Mission:  The intersection of what you LOVE and what the world NEEDS

Last one….At the intersection of what you love and what the world needs is your mission. Look at your work in these two areas and write down a list of some of the key words that summarize your mission.

Find Your Ikigai

Congratulations!  You’ve now explored all four components of finding your Ikigai and the intersections of each of the “pairs”.  Now it’s time to sum it all up with the “gold” in the middle…the intersection of all four circles…your Ikigai.

Reflect on the sum total of all of the four circles and how they may relate to each other. Spend some quiet time considering where the natural intersections and overlaps occur in the four key areas.  Brainstorm a list of words that “sum it all up” for you and truly encapsulate your purpose.

<< Welcome to your Ikigai!  >>

Once you come up with your Ikigai, post it in the comments and declare it yours!

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