A Japanese social concept called “ikigai” provides a new way of looking at what most of us can relate to in our lives at some time. For this culture, traditionally men relate this to career and women to motherhood and family.
Iki : life
Gai : value or worth
The interpretation of “ikigai” is to find value in life or discovering your self purpose.
In the post-modernist, Western world, religious life has decreased substantially, patriotism has been replaced with a widespread distrust of the government, and getting ahead has become exceedingly difficult. As a result, more and more people are falling victim to ennui. This dreadful feeling of bitter disillusionment stems from the loss of meaning in their lives.
Exploring the concept of ikigai and the questions that come with it, can help one find a solid purpose and through this, contentment and drive.
As a visual person I can relate better to this diagram illustrating the balance and direction that “ikigai” encapsulates.
“Have you ever been so absorbed in a task that you forget to drink and eat?” Garcia asked. “What type of task was it? Notice those moments when you enter flow, and your ikigai might be embedded in those moments.”
Hector Garcia (Ikigai author)
For more on this, read Perry’s article here