Happiness Evangelist

The Place to Be Happy is Here…

Leave a comment

IKIGAI – The Reason for Being

Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”.

The term ikigai is composed of two Japanese words: iki (生き?), referring to life, and kai (甲斐?), which roughly means “the realisation of what one expects and hopes for”.

  • It lies at the centre of the interconnecting circles of Passion, Mission, Profession and Vocation.
  • It refers to mental and spiritual circumstances under which we believe our lives are valuable.
  • It is the process of allowing the self’s possibilities to blossom.
  • It is not necessarily linked to one’s economic status or the present state of society.
  • Behaviours that make us feel ikigai are natural & spontaneous actions – not actions which we are forced to take


According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. It requires introspection as it is believed that the discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.

What is our ikigai?

  • What are the things that makes our lives worthwhile?
  • What is our life’s potential?
  • What is the reason for music in the soul?
  • What is the reason for that spring in our step?
  • What is our reason to smile?
  • What is our reason to enjoy life?
  • What is our reason to get up each morning and do the things that we do?
  • What is our deep sense of purpose?

Have we found our ikigai?

  • Are we doing something that we love?
  • That the world needs?
  • That we are good at?
  • That we can be paid for?

In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner referenced ikigai as one of the reasons for long and happy lives.

How can we live with a sense of purpose, for PURPOSE is the platform on which all other decisions are made?

The secret to a happy life is not to live in the hope of a great life tomorrow.

It is to live with intention today.

Best wishes for a Purposeful and meaningful 2016.