Ikigai is the Japanese term for a purpose for living similar to the French concept of raison d’etre, reason for living. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning.
Dan Buettner, in his TED talk “How To Live To Be 100,” asserts having meaning in life is what keeps the Okinawans living into old age. Okinawa, an island in Japan, is where one can pinpoint the origin of the concept of ikigai.
It’s a personal vision for work and life, a motivation for living, and a purpose in what one loves and is good at doing. Ikigai is uniquely personal. It’s can only be defined by each individual.
To find one’s ikigai, a person must figure out what they love or value, what they do well, and what the world needs. By answering those questions, they can find how they can earn a living while being happy and fulfilled at work.
Growth expert, Dr. Alison Eyring, the CEO of Organization Solutions and Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Business School, applies the approach in her business.
“By having such a rich and meaningful conversation about what we loved, were good at and thought the world needed, the team got a deeper understanding of each other and what we all have to contribute to the company,” said Eyring in a recent article for Business Insider.