Ikigai: Live a More Fulfilling Life the Japanese Way

What do you do in a typical week?

  • Go to work
  • Spend time with your family
  • Read
  • Meditate
  • Have drinks with friends…

It’s important to have a good balance of work and play, social time and alone time. But at the end of the day, what’s it all for?

There are hundreds of self-help books on how to find your passion or change career path to something more inspiring.

But as my friend Terri would say, window cleaners don’t have that job because they have a passion for clean glass. There’s a certain level of practicality to what we do as well as a need to be financially stable.

So how do we find fulfilment?

The answer can be found on a small Japanese island which is said to be home to the largest population of people who have lived to be 100 years old.

This is largely attributed to the concept of ikigai.

Okinawans use it as their way of life and I was introduced to the concept as I’m doing research for my new book, “Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You

Ikigai is the joining together of four primary elements:

  • What you love
  • What the world needs
  • What you are good at
  • What you can get paid for

When you bring together these four elements it leads to a feeling of fulfilment, which increases happiness and longevity. To follow ikigai you don’t have to immediately quit your job or make any other drastic life changes. Ikigai is more about following the path towards your ultimate fulfilment.

So how can you get closer to your Ikigai? Try to incorporate more of the following into your day to day:

New opportunities – A large part of ikigai is the idea of following what brings you that sense of fulfillment, by taking opportunities that match with the four tenants above. You might take up dance classes. This brings out a talent you didn’t realize  you had or could introduce you to someone who helps you with a new opportunity. It’s not about taking on as many opportunities as possible but simply seeking out the things that you enjoy.

Go with your gut – Do you ever have one of those days where you’ve planned everything out, but your gut is telling you to go a different route? Sometimes that gut instinct can save your life. Your instincts are there to lead you to where you need to go. Much like seeking out opportunities, finding ikigai often come from following an instinctive path, rather than doing what you feel like you should be doing. Change should come from within not an external source.

Take it easy – So you haven’t reached your true harmony – or your ikigai just yet! And you might not get their next week either. In the rush to find your fulfilment you could let life pass you by. Trust that within time you will find what’s right for you. I worked for nearly 20  years as a news producer before I changed direction and starting teaching people how to build their media presence. For a few years before I left Fox News Channel I had people telling me I should go freelance, but I waited for what felt like the right time. I’m glad I did! If you’re always looking to the future you can miss out on the now!

Have you found your Ikigai?

PRE-ORDER LISTFUL LIVING: If you’re inclined to buy a copy of my new journal book, Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You,” please do it now.

The book will be out in the fall of 2019 but pre-orders are a big deal for authors and it would help me out tremendously.

Pre-orders tell the publisher and the media that this book is going to be a big deal. And I’m offering some great pre-order bonuses that you’ll be eligible to receive. All you have to do is send a copy of your receipt to my assistant at Tabitha@paularizzo.com and when they are unveiled you’ll get them! Thank you!  

Image by Myriam Zilles from Pixabay

2 replies
  1. Gustavo
    Gustavo says:

    What you love
    What the world needs
    What you are good at
    What you can get paid for
    4 lists to do for a harmony life….ikagai
    Thank you fo sharing.


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