We all want to be happy but most of us have no idea what we want to do. Finding what you like to do means having a purpose in life that fulfils not just your desires but the world's needs as well. And if it's something you love, you'll naturally want to do it repeatedly every day. Today, I'm going to teach you the concept of Ikigai and how to find your Ikigai.

So what is Ikigai?

Ikigai 生き甲斐 is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being."

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that roughly translates to 'a reason for being'.

A lot of people relate Ikigai to finding a purpose in life but it's not an end goal. It's a process of discovery. You may or may not be able to find your Ikigai today and that's okay because the whole point of this exercise is to just get started.

The recommended time for this exercise is 30 minutes.

When you're writing, try not to spend too much time thinking. Just write down whatever that comes into mind immediately. You can also do this exercise with your friends, but don't discuss with them until everyone has completed the exercise.

Remember to assign one person to mention the prompts for every question.

Ready? Let's begin!

Step 1

Download a journal app for free and draw a table with 2 columns and rows (excluding table header). This will divide the table into four sections. It will represent the four circles in the Ikigai diagram above.

Step 2

Starting from the top left section, write down these headers in every section and go in a counter-clockwise manner.

  1. What do you love?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What can you get paid for?
  4. What does the world need?'
Download Journey to start your Ikigai exercise.

Step 3

Next, you can start filling the sections one by one. Try to take just around 3 to 5 minutes to complete every section.

Let's start with the easiest section: 'What do you love?'

Here are some prompts to help you think:

  • What have you never gotten bored of?
  • What's something you've always been drawn back to do over time?
  • What gets you in the flow that you forget to eat or drink when you do it?

Once you're done, you can move to the next section: 'What are you good at?'

Here are some prompts to help you think:

  • What skills have you been spending time to practice?
  • What do people look to you for help with?
  • Is there anything you want to be good at?

Next up: 'What can you get paid for?'

Here are some prompts to help you think:

  • What have you been paid for before?
  • What would you be doing if you're not in your current job?
  • What do you want to get paid for?

Finally, this is a section that most people find the hardest to answer. Let's change it up a bit, so that it's not so overwhelming. Instead of 'what the world needs', think about your world. Think of your immediate society and community. The reality you live in.

Here are some prompts to help you think:

  • How are the people like? What do they need?
  • How can you contribute to create a positive effect on those around you?

Alright! Take a look at all of the sections and see if there's anything you'd like to add.

If not, we'll move on to the most exciting part: Finding your Ikigai.

Step 4

It's really simple! All you need to do is find one thing that's common in all four sections.

In this case, it would be: writing meaningful stories. Congratulations, you've found your reason for being!

But, it isn't always that simple, is it?

Not all of us find our Ikigai immediately after doing this for the first time. Some will take days, others might take months. And that's all perfectly okay.

Remember, finding your Ikigai is a constant process. Take your time.

Ask yourself tough questions and answer them honestly. Always be open to try new things because you never know how much you love something until you actually do it.

Your purpose in life is not fixed forever.

So feel free to do this exercise as many times as you want and keep exploring different possibilities. We hope you'll find your Ikigai.

Start your Ikigai exercise in Journey today!