What gets you out of bed each day?

I believe everyone has a “life purpose” – a purpose or reason to get out of bed each day.

For a fortunate few it is a “calling”, a North Star that they follow throughout their life, but for many it is more elusive and not something they frequently consider… but it’s still there – having a healthy family, an active social life, experiencing the world.

But what happens if our focus is blurred? If we don’t know what we truly need? If we don’t know our Life Purpose? Or we know it but don’t know how to follow it?

This has been playing on my mind throughout my journey as a life coach and as a result led me to a number of life purpose discovery methods, and to focus now on one in particular – “Ikigai”.

Ikigai is a Japanese word originating from the island of Okinowa and it refers to the lifestyle of Okinowa residents who appear to live a longer active life – sometimes up to 120 years or more, owing at least in part to being engaged in life pursuits.

In the words of Psychologist Michiko Kumano, Ikigai "entails actions of devoting oneself to pursuits one enjoys and is associated with feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment". (Kumano, 2018).

As you can imagine, finding and following your Ikigai is not a trivial task.

What are the implications - validate where what and how you work karate overnight. It’s a physical and mental practice that takes years to master, but practitioners develop further each time they return. Karate master Shoshin Nagamine summed up karate mastery by saying, “Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training, and one’s own creative efforts.” The same can be said about Ikigai. Ikigai takes time, practice, and creativity. You must have a singular goal to work toward. You must understand the conflict within yourself in order to realize your full potential. Ikigai is a singular understanding of what you love to do, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be rewarded for. Grit helps you do your Ikigai today and come back tomorrow. You need grit if you are to realize your Ikigai. Tamashiro, Tim. How to Ikigai (pp. 93-94). Mango Media. Kindle Edition.

If you Google “Ikigai” the first thing you’ll notice is a proliferation of Venn diagrams that all look something like this:

Ikigai Venn Diagram
Adapted from Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life

What you can see here are four interlocking circles that represent four aspects of life:

1. What you love

2. What you are good at

3. What you can be paid for