Can you show someone who doesn’t want a long and happy life? Actually, everyone would love to have such a life. But are you having a life like that? Take a moment from your daily toil to think, “Are you really happy?” If yes, keep doing your work, you are just fine. But if your answer is a no, then knowing Ikigai – The Japanese Formula for Happiness can really help you.

‘Ikigai’ means ‘A Reason for Being.’ If we know what is our reason, that is our purpose in life, we could spend rest of our life doing it happily. But knowing our true purpose is very hard and that is why many people don’t search for it and settle down with what they get. One day they would get bored with their mediocre life and changing that will be very hard because that will be too late. Before that time comes let us know how to find out our reason for being. Ikigai consists of four main parts.

1. Something that you love

When you do something that you love, you will be consumed by it. For example, a dancer when he dances he will be fully present there and would never think about what time it is or what he is going to eat for dinner. He will be dancing and that will make him happy. The same applies to a writer, singer, painter, sportsperson or whatever. Find out what you love. It is very easy because you will know it when you do.

2. Something that the world needs

Just imagine we are doing something all our life that has nothing to contribute to the world. We would feel very much unworthy and we will not get a motivation to do that work. We would be just doing it for the namesake of getting money to pay our bills. There can be nothing worse than a life lived only paying bills. You have to do something for the community.

3. Something that pays you well

No one can do any work for a long time if they don’t get food and a roof over their head. For all the basic necessity we need money. If our job doesn’t pay us well we could not do it. Money is an important factor to lead a good life.

4. Something that you are good at

You have to practice it. No one is good at anything by birth. We all become good at something by practising it. The more we practice the better we are. So do something that you are good at.

How to attain Ikigai

For that, we have to combine the above things. Let’s start.

  • Mission: Combine 1 & 2. When you do something that you love and something the world needs.
  • Passion: Combine 1 & 4. When you do something that you love and something you are good at.
  • Profession: Combine 4 & 3: When you do something that you are good at and something that pays you well.
  • Vocation: Combine 2 & 3: When you do something that the world needs and something that pays you well.
  • Ikigai: When you have all these four with you. When you find all, you are at bliss.

“Our ikigai is different for all of us, but one thing we have in common is that we are all searching for meaning.”

Hector Garcia Puigcerver


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