Ikigai as a way to find your purpose in life

Introduction of the concept of ikigai as a way to find your purpose in life and therefore profound happiness.

Happiness is a direction, not a place.
Ikigai- The Japanese Way of Finding Purpose and Happiness

According to Japanese norms, everyone has iki and gai. Although the name sounds icky, its Japanese meaning is to ‘reason for existence,’ and you only find it through in-depth inquiry and lengthy self-search. This search is highly regarded and takes effort and time to find. The concept of purpose has haunted humanity since creation. Ancient generations took their time to contemplate and honor purpose through rituals and ceremonies. Most people currently depend on practical reality to survive in complex societal systems. Knowing your purpose is inspiring; it identifies your way to fulfillment and offers guidance in periods of aimlessness.

Defining “iki” and “gai”

It originates from two words: Iki, which means life, and Kai, which loosely translate to realizing what you expect or hope for. It is an intricate combination of four life defining crucial elements: your passion, life’s mission, vocation, and profession. The Japanese believe the convergence of these four elements as a source of true happiness and value.

The origin of this concept dates back to a pre-historic era between 794 and 1185. It doesn’t entail acquiring what other individuals have for yourself, but achieving happiness and satisfaction in life.

What’s Your Purpose?

Garcia Hector, a writer with multiple published books on reasons for existence such as ‘Ikigai: The Secret to a Long and Life Full of Happiness,’ admits in the book that studying ikigai theory has altered how he faces his day.

Figuring your ikigai is revolves around four fundamental questions that you need to be wholly and truthfully answered in a particular order. Draw your Venn diagram consisting of intersecting circles of Ikigai and put your answers to the following questions in the big, outer circles. This enables you to quickly identify words that appear to the opposite or adjacent section of the diagram.

What Do I Enjoy Doing? What Do I Engage in During My Leisure Time?

Do you have something you truly commit yourself to every day—something that makes your filled with happiness? It could be cooking, practicing yoga, or reading a journal. Engage in it every day for most parts of your life since your ikigai could be concentrated on your career.

What Do I Thrive in? Strengths and Hidden Talents

You need to identify your natural gifts, such as skills and talents. Identify components of your present job that you naturally excel in. Check if more experience and education will bring out the best of your work.

What Can I Do to Transform Not Just Myself but Make the World I Live in a Better Place?

What you enjoy doing should offer value to the world. If you enjoy yoga, create a way of sharing your passion. It motivates you to be a better person.

What Activity Can I Get Paid For?

This Japanese concept is associated with finances. When you are paid for doing something you enjoy doing, you have the perfect foundation for achieving more happiness in your life.


Achieving a happy and long life is living according to your purpose every day. Recover control over your destiny using the above concepts of ikigai.