Is it just me? My quest to finding my Ikigai
For many years, I struggled with finding my path. It was a hard road, and I took a lot of time to sort through it, but the most difficult part was that I felt as though everyone around me had it all figured out.
I walked through a lot of my life as a chameleon, trying on different things to see if they “fit.”
Quickly I would shrug them off like a loose sweater, and move on to the next thing.
Was I this? Could this be it?
I witnessed people around me doing what seemed to make sense to them, without questioning it at all, and I couldn’t understand how they all got it so quickly and how it all just made sense to them.
My friends that were driven to move up the corporate ladder.
Women around me that couldn’t wait to become a mother.
A community of people that seemed perfectly content with where they were in their life.
No matter how hard I tried, I felt a yearning for more, and it was when I turned down a promotion and a relocation to our companies head office that I was struck by the fact I wasn’t living into my purpose.
How could I have worked this long on this path to say no to this? By this point, I was in my early thirties and felt so isolated by the fact everything I had thought I wanted and was working towards, was a complete fallacy.
This experience shook me to my core, but, what’s more, is that once again I felt so alone in my quest to figure out what I wanted for my life.
That’s when I turned inward and stopped comparing myself to others. What we see on the outside is not always the reality of what is.
I recently heard the Japanese word Ikigai, which translates to “a reason for being.”
Beautiful, isn’t it?
The Japanese believe that everyone has an Ikigai, and finding it requires a deep search of self.
Finding your Ikigai is discovering what brings satisfaction and meaning to your life or “why you wake up in the morning.”
Ikigai is about obtaining balance in four areas; what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you are good at.
Through my reading and learning of this concept, I have listed here a few questions that may help you in your quest for Ikigai;
- What difference can you make in the world to make it a better place?
- How do you see yourself?
- When do you feel at your best?
- What achievements are you most proud of?
Upon learning about this idea, I suddenly felt at peace with everything that I have been through and where I am in my life. I understand that this journey is part of my destiny, and a way in which I have been able to help others, and most importantly, a reminder that we are not alone in our quest to find ourselves, and our “Ikigai.”