The Philosophy of Ikigai: 3 Examples About Finding Purpose - Deepstash

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Meaning Of Ikigai

Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki , meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai , meaning “benefit” or “worth.”

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What Is the Japanese Concept Ikigai?

The concept of ikigai is said to have evolved from the basic health and wellness principles of traditional Japanese medicine. This medical tradition holds that physical wellbeing is affected by one’s mental–emotional health and sense of purpose in life .

Japanese psychologist Michiko Kumano (2017) has said that ikigai is a state of wellbeing that arises from devotion to activities one enjoys, which also brings a sense of fulfillment.

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The Ikigai Diagram: A Philosophical Perspective

The Ikigai Diagram: A Philosophical Perspective

Adapted from PositivePsychology.com’s Toolkit, 2020

As this diagram shows, ikigai holds the central position and involves four major spheres of interest and how they might overlap in one’s life. In trying to determine your own personal ikigai  with the help of such a diagram, you would fill in each sphere with its appropriate content based on your own experiences, self-knowledge, and understanding of the world.

Some of the content that would go into these spheres might come easily to you. Other content might take more time and self-reflection.

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You Love It

This sphere includes what we do or experience that brings us the most joy in life and makes us feel most alive and fulfilled. What we love in this sense might be sailing, writing poetry, rock climbing, singing in a rock band, reading historical novels, spending leisure time with friends, etc.

What is important is that we allow ourselves to think deeply about what we love, without any concern for whether we are good at it, whether the world needs it, or if we can get paid for doing it.

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You Are Great at It

This sphere includes anything you are particularly good at, such as skills you’ve learned, hobbies you’ve pursued, talents you’ve shown since an early age, etc. What you are good at might be, for example, playing the piano, being empathic, public speaking, sports, brain surgery, or painting portraits.

This sphere encompasses talents or capabilities, whether or not you are passionate about them, whether the world needs them, or if you can get paid for them.

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The World Needs It

The “world” here might be humanity as a whole, a small community you are in touch with, or anything in between. What the world needs might be based on your impressions or needs expressed by others. The world’s needs might include skilled nursing, clean water, home heating, election day volunteers, or improved police training.

This domain of ikigai connects most explicitly with other people and doing good for them, beyond one’s own needs.

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You Are Paid for It

You Are Paid for It

This dimension of the diagram also refers to the world or society at large, in that it involves what someone else is willing to pay you for or “what the market will bear.” You might be passionate about writing poetry or very good at rock climbing, but this does not necessarily mean you can get paid for it.

Whether you can get paid for your passions or talents depends on factors such as the state of the economy, whether your passions/talents are in demand, etc.

It is further noted that according to this diagram:

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CURATED BY

lightmunnolli

I'm a student I will post what I learnt on the day so, follow my lead. Follow me on Instagram: Light._.kiran

Ikigai is a book which will give you a life lessons and also tell you tips to earn money and focus on it!

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