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Ikigai: Meaning and Purpose

by Sofia Navarro
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Ikigai is a Japanese concept that roughly translates to “a reason for being” or “a purpose in life”. The term is composed of two Japanese words: “iki”, which means “to live” or “to be alive”, and “gai”, which means “value” or “worth”. Together, the term “ikigai” represents the intersection of four elements: what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

The concept of ikigai is believed to have originated on the Japanese island of Okinawa, which is known for its high number of centenarians. According to research, Okinawans attribute their longevity and vitality to their sense of purpose and fulfillment, which is closely tied to their ikigai.

The four elements of ikigai are often depicted as overlapping circles, with the intersection of all four representing one’s ikigai. The idea is that when you find your ikigai, you are living a life that is meaningful and fulfilling.

Here is a brief description of each of the four elements of ikigai:

  1. What you love: This refers to your passions and interests. It’s what gets you excited and makes you feel alive.
  2. What you’re good at: This refers to your skills and talents. It’s what you excel at and what you feel confident doing.
  3. What the world needs: This refers to the needs of others and the world around you. It’s what you can contribute to society and how you can make a positive impact.
  4. What you can be paid for: This refers to your ability to make a living from your ikigai. It’s how you can support yourself financially while pursuing your passions and making a positive impact.

Finding your ikigai requires self-reflection and introspection. It involves identifying your passions, strengths, and values, as well as exploring how you can use those to make a positive impact in the world.

In summary, ikigai is a Japanese concept that represents one’s reason for being or purpose in life. It involves finding the intersection of what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. By living a life that is aligned with your ikigai, you can experience a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and meaning.

TYT Newsroom

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