Ikigai the reason to live

A few days ago, I read an article of the World Economic Forum that I found interesting to share with you about the concept of IKIGAI (生 き 甲 斐) and that led me to research and write this article about this concept that is mainly handled by the inhabitants of Japan.

What is the Ikigai?

Ikigai is a Japanese term that means "the reason to live" or "the reason for being". According to the ancient Japanese wisdom, everyone has an ikigai. Finding it requires an internal and deep search in each person, often prolonged. It is considered that the ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to your life.

So, this Japanese term would be translated as the reason to live or be of each person, what gives meaning to your life and what is worth living. So you get up every morning.

"Have a motivation, a purpose and do what you love. If you identify your goal, you will increase your self-esteem and, as a consequence, you will have a calmer and happier life ", according to Hector García and Francesc Miralles in his book" The Ikigai Method"

As we have seen before, according to Japanese culture, we all have our own Ikigai. Some people are aware of what is yours and others have it stored inside them. To discover it, there are four fundamental components that will help you find it:

  1. Passion. Corresponds to everything you love and excites you.
  2. Vocation. It is everything for which you are really good and you can contribute value.
  3. Profession It is what you can believe and value.
  4. Mission. It is the motive or the purpose of everything that you can contribute to the world.

The Ikigai nature can be understood as a philosophy of life. Since this is based on living the present, in our daily life and in a positive attitude that we face in our lives.


For the Japanese, the secret of a long and happy life. What motivates you to get up every morning? To find your IKIGAI you should answer four questions:

  1. What do you love?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What does the world need from you?
  4. With what can you earn a living?

Finding the answers at the intersection of circles can be a quick way for Westerners to find our IKIGAI. In the model of this: the intersection between what you love and what you are good is your source of PASSION. What you love and what the world needs originates your MISSION. The things in which you are good and for what someone would pay you will give rise to your PROFESSION; and the intersection between what is going to give you back and what the world needs will generate your VOCATION. If you find a field that agglutinates everything, PASSION, MISSION, VOCATION AND PROFESSION, you will be a lucky one: you will have found your IKIGAI. We should teach children, as one of the priorities of the education system, to find their IKIGAI.

Why should you look for your Ikigai?

Each person must find their meaning in life, their reason for living. We are each unique and have our own values ​​and dreams. When we lack illusions, goals and do not realize our vital objectives, it provokes a decay, an existential void ... right?

That is why we must be able to design our present and future. Through a purpose, a goal that gives meaning to our life and that serves as a lever of concrete and daily action. In order to achieve inner security, enthusiasm, meaning and make us fully satisfied and happy. A personal mission

"Happiness is achieved when what you think, what you say and what you do, are in harmony. Gandhi "

How can you find your Ikigai?

To find your Ikigai, it is necessary to perform an internal search. A deep and spiritual analysis with oneself, since it is often difficult to find it.

Ken Robinson proposes in his book "The Element", to find and strengthen our personal skills and passions, what we like, what we are good at, to achieve our well-being and personal success.

These are an excerpt of some phrases that we find in your book:

a) If you are not prepared to make mistakes, nothing original will ever happen to you.

b) One of the enemies of creativity and innovation is common sense.

c) Doing what we like fills us with energy and vitality and not only physical energy, but also mental energy.

d) Creativity is applied imagination.

e) What determines our life is not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us.

f) The extraordinary happens when we get out of our routine, reconsider our trajectory and recover our passions.

If we have not yet achieved our goal, our mission is to find it, since within each one is hidden that passion, that talent and that illusion that makes us get up every day with a reason to enjoy.

In short, and taking the IKIGAI model to the business plane, if we substitute "what you love" for "vision", "what you are good" for "essential capabilities", and "how you can earn your living" for the "Business model", then the idea applies perfectly not only to people, but to an organization.

And personally, our Ikigai must look for it in the everyday, since it is not found in the exceptional, but in those small routines that make us passionate and we hope. We must pursue our well-being and our internal balance. Enhance our achievements and satisfactions, as well as our personal abilities, our imagination, creativity and thus achieve our goal. Be happy.



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