The pandemic caused me to lose my job and reevaluate myself especially when it comes to my career. It’s been three months and I’m continually lost and in need to look back on what my inner core wants me to do. I found this fascinating perspective on how to find out that calling and purpose. I found it in Ikigai.
A brief explanation of this term: Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “reason for being”. This would help a person determine specifically on what direction should we take in this life and turn it into something worthwhile. This will help a person know what steps should one make and what actions does he need to do for satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.
If you happen to stumble in this blog, you’ll notice that most of its contents are about me, my self-discovery, rants about life, and Asian Dramas. I am making this post in order for me to align myself in the concept of Ikigai and eventually finding out what I should do in life that will not only give me a sense of purpose but also at the same time, will also help me pay the bills. Sometimes you just get really tired of being so melancholic and negative all the time that you just want to make a move and get yourself out from obstructive and cynical thoughts. Because who else will help you get out of the gloom? You. And me. We only have ourselves to help us get back up again. We can listen to a lot of motivational videos, or advice to friends, but if we’re not going to make a decision to stop being hopeless, then we’re just going to get stuck on the same path and a cycle of misery for the rest of my life.
I’m not saying we are not allowed to feel any sorrow or frustration. Grieve if we must, but don’t stay for a long time. Allow yourself to feel the destruction of your thoughts, to mourn what was lost, to be passive and just binge-watch your favorite Netflix shows or Korean Dramas, then once it’s all done–decide. Decide that leaving a messed-up life is just a repetitive motion with no good results in our life. It’s alright to feel the sadness from time to time, but live. Learn to live that life is chaos and constant asking of what, why and how. Life is a constant pursuit of what to be and how to become. And maybe, once we get to understand that the world is a disarray planet and our life is in sync in this world we live in, we will get to accept that even though some circumstances are a pain in the neck, there might be something worth valuable to continue living.
Breaking down my Ikigai:
There’s four big circles in the diagram for us to be clearer about what can really be our purpose.
- What you love
- What you are good at
- What you can be paid for
- What the world needs
Combining 1 & 2 = PASSION
Combining 2 & 3 = PROFESSION
Combining 3 & 4 = VOCATION
Combining 1 & 4 = MISSION
We might have our Profession but it could be different with our Passion. Or we can be doing our mission but it doesn’t really help us earn money for that one. Again, we want to achieve a purpose that hits all the notes in the diagram. According to the articles I read, and some videos–in order for us to determine what we love, we have to look back the time where we are kids or we don’t have any responsibility yet to put food on the table.
What do you love to do when you are kid? What do you love to do that you will forget the passing of time?
A. WHAT I LOVE WHEN I WAS A KID AND WHAT I LOVE TO DO IN MY FREE TIME
- I do this when I was a kid – talking to myself in front of the mirror like I’m doing interviews :D,
- teaching (I remember we had a small board and I’m role playing as a teacher. Note that I’m imagining myself with students Haha!),
- I’m gonna add that I love watching Asian dramas and anime
- I LOVE TO EAT
- travelling (who doesn’t, right)
- playing ukulele
B. WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT
This is hard for me to answer. You see, ever since kid I’ve been battling this problem wherein I am not confident of my skill. It’s hard for me to answer this because whenever I feel like I’m good at this skill, I will eventually realized that I’m lacking a lot on this areas. Anyway, I’ll still gonna answer this question to the best of my ability.
I think I’m good at:
- public speaking
- and at a certain point in my life, motivating people.
- cooking (not all dishes though)
C. WHAT YOU CAN BE PAID FOR
So I’m going to write down the jobs that I did before and we’ll check if any of those are included in what I love and what I’m good at
Brief background about my past jobs:
- worked at a kids’ theme park doing role-play activities. This is actually a job that I really enjoy to do but then it becomes repetitive for me in the long run and the “role-playing” part of the job slowly becomes too operational and statistical for me.
- worked in a cruise ship facilitating both active and passive games for children. Plus, we get to learn different skills in performing like circus skills and storytelling for kids. This is actually a fun job but it got halted because of the pandemic.
What was included in my previous jobs that has relation to what I love and good at?
Oh wow. The answer kind of shocked me because there were none. You could say performing but not really as much because I didn’t really perform but help the kids perform. I can add the teaching but not the academic one but more of leisure and fun.
In summary: I get paid facilitating for kids.
Now the next question I will answer is what skills do I have that could get paid?
- writing (my niche is creative and fictional writing, contents about pop culture (esp Kdramas), spirituality and religion)
- public speaking
- as a motivational speaker
D. WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS = Another tough question to answer!
So I find out some possible questions that can help us answer this question:
- What problems in your society would you like to help solve immediately? – the purpose of other people (funny coz I can’t even understand mine :D), how to be positive amidst tough times
- What issues in your community/ the whole world touch you emotionally? – the fact that people works hard all their life but still don’t get compensated for it
- Are people willing to part with their resources to buy what you’re selling? THIS IS ACTUALLY A TOUGH QUESTION but I don’t think so
- Will your work still be relevant a decade (or even a century) from now? Yes (ref: https://inside.6q.io/guide-to-ikigai/)
Now with all these questions slowly unraveling the answers to my Ikigai. I am now going to try to find out what my Ikigai could be.
- writing content about motivation and healing
- something to do with entertainment and to help people be informed and have fun at the same time. In short, entertainment with a cause
To be honest, that’s all I can think of for now. So I’m going to reflect deeply about this one and see where it would take me.
To end this lengthy post, I think searching for our Ikigai will change over time. The world is vastly changing and so as our needs to be able to keep up with that changes. We will all find our Ikigai soon. And if we already did, there will always be room for improvement and learning.
How about you? Have you found your Ikigai? I am very welcome for more tips and information regarding this concept.