IKIGAI | The Japanese Art of a Meaningful Life
IKIGAI is the Japanese concept of finding purpose. It’s likely you will have seen an illustration similar to this before.
WHY I LIKE THE ILLUSTRATION OF THE CONCEPT
Ikigai is often simply illustrated with a Venn-style diagram.Venn diagrams have a way of visualising segmentation and cross-over elegantly.
Ikigai, or purpose, is positioned at the heart of everything we do.
Around the concept of Ikigai are the areas of life through which we seek fulfillment:
- Being good at something
- Doing what we love
- Giving to the world in some way
- Being paid/rewarded for what we do
The diagram shows how each of these areas comes about:
- Doing what we love: through having a passion and a mission
- Doing what we’re good at: through having a passion and a profession
- Giving to the world: through having a vocation and a mission
- Earning or getting paid: through having a profession and vocation
WHY I PARTICULAR LIKE THIS ILLUSTRATION
What I particularly like about this illustration is that it also highlights emotions we might feel. Look at the areas around Ikigai at the centre.
Listing both positive feelings we receive by doing what we do, as well as what we may feel is lacking in areas, might provide us with a little laser insight about how things are working out for us.
WHAT I TAKEAWAY FROM THIS
Over time I’ve come to accept that purpose, or Ikigai, need not come from one single source.
Multiple and varied aspects of our lives each provide us with specific rewards and forms of fulfillment.
The trick is neither to misplace nor magnify what isn’t working as representation of everything failing. Conversely, what is working well in one area may not require the same approach in another area. Nor need it demonstrate itself with the same form of fulfillment or joy.
We can possess a portfolio of means to attain these which, collectively, benefit us.
That, for me, is the enriching quality of Ikigai.
PS. If anyone can read who originated this version of the diagram, I’ve love to thank and credit them.