4 Questions to Figure Out Your Purpose
It's never to late to make a career shift and find your life's work. I'm sharing the Japanese concept of "ikigai" to help you find out.
Recently I came upon a Japanese concept called “Ikigai” that translated means “the reason for being” or as we like to say…your purpose. As a career coach and entrepreneurial coach, the ikigai has become a supportive methodology
It’s believed that when you discover your ikigai you’ll find your purpose in life. I learned about this concept in the context of discovering my own gifts and how best to serve my clients by ensuring that I’m not only giving them what they need, but doing what I love. More importantly I learned the questions to ask to gain that clarity.
This model is both relatable and helpful and it’s been helpful when working with my clients to uncover their authentic self, their why, and their purpose. With so many influencing factors in life (parents, partners, jobs, children, environments, etc.) it’s not uncommon to loose touch with ourselves and loose sight of who we were meant to be. If we look back, at one point there seemed to be great clarity, in our youth, but disapproving comments or self-doubt caused us to go in an alternate direction.
As a result many of us went off track and just acquiesced. Our life stories no longer being written by us, but for us.
Here’s the good news. It’s never too late!
It’s never to late to course correct and get back to who you were meant to be. You can use the ikigai as your guide.
The four questions to ask are simple, but require a lot of thought and self-examination. They are:
1. What do I love?
2. What am I good at?
3. What does the world need?
4. What can I be paid for? (this will inform your life’s work)
The answers to these questions will help you identify your mission in life and how to translate that into the work you’re meant to do in the world. You can explore these question in more depth in My Little Ikigai Journal by Amanda Kudo.
In order to get to the heart of these questions you’ll have to embrace curiosity. Our self-critical natures will cause us to judge, critique, or limit our responses. In order to fully engage you’ll have to quiet your inner naysayer and be curious about what you learn and what comes up.
Albert Einstein was always a champion of curiosity. He once said, “Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason.”
If you’re in midlife you’re probably thinking, “I’m too old for this,” or “it’s too late to try and figure out what I want”. I can’t caution you enough against that line of thinking.
Don’t think of this journey as starting over. In fact, you’re ahead of the game. Through your discovery process, you’ll become acutely aware of the varied and exceptional talents and skills you possess. All you need to do is take stock of that information and begin to explore how you can use it in a way that you love, gives the world what it needs, and find a way to make a living.
For additional free resources, find me on Facebook and watch my live video on the topic. You can also go to my website, just type in my full name dot com, and go to Free Resources to take my Free Career Change Quiz or click on Blog to find other articles.
Live, laugh and unapologetically shine!