Ikigai is so much more than the Western interpretation that has become popularized…

I first learned about ikigai when I was training some colleagues from Japan when I was working in food manufacturing a few decades ago.  I was training them to run a brand new packaging line that they were getting installed in their factory in Nagoya.

One of them talked about the cherry blossoms and used one word to explain what it meant to him and that was ikigai. The interpreter translated it to me as something that brought great joy. I didn’t think much of it.  

Fast forward to a few years ago, and I started getting more curious about what ikigai was when I started seeing a Venn diagram floating around the internet.

What I discovered last year from my mentor @Nicholas Kemp is that ikigai isn’t something that can be summed up in a simple Venn diagram that likely most of you have seen as well. Admittedly, when I was trying to figure out what ikigai really meant I thought the Venn diagram was correct too.  

However, although that Venn diagram can be helpful in discovering your purpose in life, it is not how the Japanese view ikigai.

Ikigai isn’t about being super successful in business or life and it certainly doesn’t require you to be an expert at anything. It is deeply personal and defining of what your true authentic self is.

“Most importantly, ikigai is possible without your necessarily being successful in your professional life. In this sense, it is a very democratic concept, steeped in a celebration of the diversity of life. It is true that having ikigai can result in success, but success is not a requisite condition for having ikigai. It is open to every one of us.” – Dr. Ken Mogi

Here is a short video from a workshop I led last year talking a little bit more about ikigai…

If you would like to learn more about how you can discover your ikigai visit my webpage: https://stevebeauchamp.com/ikigai-2/

#ikigai #personalpursuit #flow

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