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IKIGAI - “the reason for being”

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that has no direct translation but can be approximated as “the reason for being.”

It’s an idea that suggests a person’s purpose in life is found by bringing together four different elements: passion, mission, vocation and profession. When combined, these forces create a sense of contentment and fulfillment. Passion is the enthusiasm and energy people have for something, which fuels them to stay engaged, motivated and interested. Mission is about giving back to the world, by using resources and capabilities to bring about positive change and contribute to society in some way. Vocation is when people believe their work is meaningful and holds value, it's not just about the money but about finding joy and satisfaction in the job role. Profession is made up of the set of skills and knowledge needed to succeed at a job, which takes dedication and focus. Ikigai is about balance between the inner and outer worlds; it’s not just about money or social status, but finding what truly makes us happy through meaningful relationships and purposeful work. With ikigai, people can find enjoyment and fulfillment in life. Here is a short list of questions which may help you find your Ikigai. 1. Identify what you are passionate about: List three activities or interests that give you joy and energy. 2. What would you like to contribute to the world? Think about what you would like to use your resources and capabilities for. 3. What type of work do you find truly meaningful? Find something you believe has value and makes a difference. 4. What skills can you bring to the table? Make a list of your abilities and the knowledge that you have acquired. 5. Connect the dots: Reflect on how you can combine the elements of your passion, mission, vocation, and profession. Resources: 1. If you want to find out more have a set of worksheets which can help you.

2. You can also try a free online test in English at 3. The video below is also very useful.

Photo: Reforestation done by voluntary group by Freepik.


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