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Flourishing Things: Ikigai

It is no secret that people feel happier and more fulfilled when they feel that they have a purpose in life. The Japanese word Ikigai, which roughly translates to “reason for being,” refers to having a direction or purpose in life through balancing passion and practicality. Ikigai can be found at the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Being able to balance your career and your interests, or in other words, find your Ikigai, will result in a life full of happiness and fulfillment.

Although it can be financially beneficial, pursuing a career solely because it will bring you wealth leaves you with a sense of dissatisfaction and meaninglessness. This way of living becomes unsustainable as it is difficult to find the drive to continue with your work if you are not emotionally and spiritually invested in it. On the other hand, if you are only focusing on things that you enjoy doing and are passionate about, you will find that there can be negative consequences as well. In this situation, the missing factor is wealth. It is financially difficult to stay afloat if you are not considering how to turn your passions into a source of income. This is why it is important to take each of the four intersecting elements of Ikigai into account in order to live a balanced life.

Take some time to re-evaluate your life to determine whether you have found your Ikigai or not. Ask yourself these four questions: What am I good at? What do I love? What does the world need? And how can I transform these things into a money-making opportunity? Don’t be afraid to make some adjustments if you find that one or more of these four elements is lacking in your life!

Book - Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia

TEDx Antwerp - Finding Your Ikigai: the need for a new economic model - Eddy Van Hemelrijck

TEDx YYC - How to Ikigai – Tim Tamashiro


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