Ikigai…Finding Your Core, Part 1


Two weeks ago (thanks for your understanding for my “left turn” last week!), I introduced you to the concept of Ikigai, the Japanese word for purpose.  If you missed it, you can click here to check it out.

As a reminder, your Ikigai is the intersection of…

  1. What you love
  2. What you are good at
  3. What the world needs
  4. What people will buy

Let’s take a look at the YOU in your Ikigai.

What do you LOVE?

It’s a serious question, and we probably don’t consider it often enough.  Yet only when you are clear about what you love…truly, truly love…not kind of love or think you should love can you find your soul’s purpose.

Oftentimes we end up in careers, relationships, and even entire lives that we really, really hate because we don’t ask ourselves some basic questions.  So find a quiet spot, preferably in nature, and consider these questions.  Allow yourself to journal around the questions and be really honest with yourself!

  • What is most important to you in your life?
  • What is your favorite way to spend your time?
  • If you could make money doing anything you wanted, what would you do?
  • What is your idea of a perfect day?
  • When in your life were you at your absolute happiest?
  • What opens your heart and makes you feel alive?

Once you have some clarity around what you LOVE, let’s turn to our next question….

What are you GREAT at?

We all have things that we are really great at being and doing, and sometimes we don’t give ourselves credit for them!  This is a great time to practice your muscle of tooting your own horn. Each of us was given our gifts to share with the world, and when we hide them or press them down, the world is cheated.

One of my favorite quotes is from Marianne Williamson.  In it, she says…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Allow your own light to shine!  Marianne Williamson goes on to say…

“It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”

Oh so true!  You have so many things you are great at!  So continue your exploration by answering these questions…

  • Make a list of the great things people tend to say about you. Don’t stop until you get to at least 10!
  • If I asked 5 people you’d worked with closely what you did best, what would they say?
  • What do you do that you are really proud of the results you create?
  • What unique skills come naturally to you?
  • What have you done in your life that has earned you recognition for your accomplishments?
  • What have your life experiences and the strengths created by those experiences given you or made you uniquely qualified to make happen in the world?
  • What do you excel at without even trying?
  • What are the things that when you complete them , you have a huge feeling of accomplishment?

Now that you have explored what you love and what you are great at, go through your work and circle the things that you’ve written that have a positive spark or charge for you.  This gives you a clue to what you are really passionate about!

Passion is the intersection of what you love and what you are great at.  When you do what you love and you are great at it, how can you not be passionate about it?

Way to go! You’ve now explored two of the four components of Ikigai….what you love and what you are great at.  Next week we’ll explore the other components and pull it all together!

Have a great week.  Go do what you love and share your gifts!

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