Ikegai : Japanese philosophy of finding the goal of life

Ikegai: Japanese philosophy of finding the goal of life

Ikegai : Japanese philosophy of finding the goal of life
Ikegai : Japanese philosophy of finding the goal of life
Find your own ikigai, if you want a part of life, it could add you some years.-Samara Sutton

Have you ever asked yourself this question, what is my goal? With so many opportunities offered by life and all these different professions, it is sometimes difficult for us to decide what we want to do in life.

Society requires us to make decisions at an early age about the path that we have to follow.

Most of the time, children have no idea what life is in the future and what they want to do at adulthood.

The Japanese created a philosophy called "ikigai" meaning "cause of existence". Ikegai can help us decide what we want to wake up for every morning.

That thing that we can invest our minds and hearts in, and then we are so engaged in doing this work that we do not feel anything around us, and we are in a state of flow.

Ikegai helps us define the essential ingredients for harmony with the state of flow, and makes our pursuit continuous and valuable in the world.

Many people practice professions that they hate. When we do that, the sense of depression that we feel about us gradually becomes more controlled.

And at the end of the week, when we remember the disturbing Monday, when we have to drag ourselves to the workplace while we know that that week will pass on us like embers.

And when we get back to work, we start waiting for the weekend again. This is not the best way to live our lives in the same manner.

Doing something that we do not like is not in our interest or the interests of those around us, especially when we see our colleagues really enjoying what they do and with distinction as well.

Many people become unhappy with their jobs, which can lead to health problems such as depression and some can even kill themselves because they find no way to deal with feelings of failure, disappointment, despair and their sense of failure in life.

But in reality we can control to some degree our circumstances. We can try to change our view of our situation and make our current work more enjoyable.

Or we can reassess our own nature and the nature of those around us and conclude that it is better to find something better to do. So the change we have to make is divided into two types:


  • We have to change our mentality and the way we think. 
  • We have to change our circumstances.
When we do the right things with the right and straight mindedness, we are able to enter the flow state.

Ekigai helps us determine the right things a person has to do to be able to wake up in the morning with a sense of desire to do work and a goal to accomplish it.Thus, he will be able to practice his profession without effort.

Ekigai is made up of four dimensions. First we have to choose something we are good at. Second, that must be something we love to do. Third, the world must need it. And fourth, we should hire it.

1. Do something that we are good at

Everyone has a different skill set. Some things are based on sustenance and others on nature. We can learn and develop some skills.

But we possess innate skills that make some people more suitable for doing some things more than others. These differences are represented, for example, in the ratios of intelligence, motor skills, empathy, physical strength, and others.

People often focus on improving and developing skills that they feel lacking experience.

And they spend their entire lives repairing themselves and rejecting the things they are naturally skilled at, while they can focus on them and improve them to be excellent.

According to Ikegai's philosophy, there must be something the world needs.

2. Do something we love

While you can measure the amount of your skill in doing something, this dimension is objective and slightly complicated. You can love being a YouTube content creator, for example, but you can find some things you don't like about it.

You can be someone who likes to edit videos and write texts but you hate photography. In this case, photography is an impediment to your success in doing this.

But you can also make photography fun by visiting many places so that you can do this work in a state of contentment and enjoyment and be in a flowing state.

The way of thinking is the key here, and we can perform these necessary tasks that we do not like or prefer without effort.

But when the whole task is unpleasant to us, and we find no fun way to do it, it is preferable to find something else to do as a profession. 

Sometimes, you have to let your intuition lead you and not force yourself to do something against your will.

3. Do something the world needs

It's good to be determined to do the thing we love and be skilled at doing it, but that is not enough to call it Ekigai, because our activities must be in one way or another useful to the world.

If not, then it is only a hobby. Fortunately, the world's needs appear in many different ways. Some of the work despised by some is often of high value.

Someone has to pick up the trash, and another has to fix the sink, and we won't be able to progress and develop as a community if there are no people cleaning the place. If we find fun doing things like this then it's really cool.

To discover what the world needs, can we simply search the business market or we can look at the world from a broader perspective and ask ourselves what we can do by using our skills to make it a better place?

4. Do something we rent

Some say that money is unimportant but when we look at reality we see that money is what drives the world, and that we cannot pay our bills without money. So, in order to make our efforts continuous and find the 'cause of existence' really the profession has to be generating money,

And if not, it is only a hobby. Nothing is wrong with hobby, of course, but this means that we must have a profession to be able to pay our bills.

Thus, we sacrifice most of our time and energy for something we are not passionate about, and we do not see it as a good life task, so we can see money as a source of energy that motivates us to carry out our job with conviction.

When we do something we love and are good at doing, we have a 'hobby', but this hobby is not enough to be Ikegai. Because this hobby can be unhelpful to the world or even destructive to our surroundings.

Doing what we love and what the world needs is what we call a 'mission' but the mission alone is not Ekikai, because we may not be adept at doing it, or not help us make money.

When we do something that the world needs and helps us earn money, we have found a 'job', but does that mean that we love what we do and are not good at? not necessarily.

So the job should be something the world needs, and we do it as a duty but we can totally hate doing it. So the job alone is not Ekikai.

Doing what we are good at and what we are renting at the same time is what is called a 'career'. Does this mean that the world needs it and that we love it? Not necessarily. 

Some people hate their careers and some occupations are devastating to the world. So the profession alone is not enough to be Ikegai.

Ikegai is a combination of these four dimensions. This means that the 'cause of existence' includes passion, hobby, mission, career and profession together.



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