Ikigai, or “reason for being”, is a Japanese term which, like western beliefs relates to realizing your passion. How do you discover Ikigai?

Unfortunately, for some people, it takes decades of their life to realize their reason for existence. Finding our purpose in life, helps us, not only enjoy our lives more but helps to benefit others now and when we are gone. The Japanese have a word for this, and it’s called Ikigai.

This term not only means the search for our purpose but also means the search for our purpose in what makes us passionate.

The 4 elements of Ikigai

Within Ikigai, there are 4 elements that form the belief. These elements drive us toward our goals and give us the motivation we need to live our dreams. With these elements, we have the mental tools needed to complete what we desire.

1. What do we love?

The first simple element of Ikigai is the focus on what we love. In order to be passionate about anything, we must definitely love that thing. Here, we target the most lovable aspect of our lives, what fulfills us in ways that other things cannot.

Many people believe, for instance, that if we love our work, it really doesn’t work at all. This is a simple way to define the feeling of this element of Ikigai.

2. What are we good at?

We may love to do certain things, but are we good at these things? Do we have the skill set to complete the projects and ideas that give us chills? Well, in order to understand the direction of our purpose, we must hone in on our gifts and apply this to what we love.

This will help mold things and cut away from others, further targeting our Ikigai, or reason for being.

3. What does the world need from us?

Now, let’s say we know what we love, and some of those things we happen to be skilled with. Well, which of those selections help the world as a whole? Are there skills, gifts, and loveable pastimes that can help improve life for others?

If so, this could be a pathway that leads you closer to your purpose. Always weigh the first two against this third element to further create focus and motivation. After all, helping others can change the world, step by step.

4. Is this profitable?

Last, but also really important is the idea that your skilled craft that benefits others can also benefit you financially. After all, you must have a way to support you and your family while doing the things you love, right?

Nothing is worse than working at a job that makes you unhappy…maybe except a job that pays nothing or little to nothing, right? Well, in order to put all these elements together, you must make sure your passion or reason for being is also helping you get through life financially as well.

Here’s how to find your Ikigai

So, now that you know the 4 elements of Ikigai, let’s examine how to realize this purpose. No, it might not always be easy when learning life’s purpose for you, but, in the end, it will be worth it. Use these tips to help you find your path.

1. Search your heart and mind

The first step in Ikigai is to search inside and discover what makes you happy, truly happy. Also, contemplate on how those things can help others as well.

It’s almost like a reflection of the first two elements of Ikigai but in action form. Now, outline a plan on how to start the pursuit of Ikigai.

2. Take action on your pursuits

The biggest mistake people make when trying to pursue their dreams is not taking action. Many people think they always have tomorrow, but that’s not true either. The best time to take action is now.

Although things may not always go as planned or as fast as planned, every small step counts towards reaching your goal. You just have to get started.

3. Connect with others

Take time to make connections with other people, especially the ones who are searching for their purpose as you are. Then talk to those who are further on their journey and learn about the ups and downs of the pursuit.

Learning about the negatives and positives will not only help you understand better routes to take but will also help you see that no one is perfect.

4. Accept setbacks

When striving towards your life’s purpose, you will encounter setbacks. It’s just the way life operates. When this happens, don’t focus on the failings. Instead, use your failures as lessons to help you perfect Ikigai.

Over time, you will notice how much you’ve achieved, despite your mistakes. It will be even better with your experiences.

Discovering Ikigai

Before you embark upon your journey, take a deep look within. What is your life’s purpose? Is it grand, or is it the simple desire for an uncomplicated life. Either way, if you persevere and utilize all available tools and elements, you will eventually get to a place of contentment.

Take a few moments each day and focus on Ikigai, and this will make all the difference in your life.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new life-advancing articles!

Copyright © 2014-2024 Life Advancer. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

Leave a Reply