What is life, life is what you make it, life is what you plan, the things you dream, the opportunities you take to drive you towards your dream, the faith you apply, the belief system you align yourself to, that story you can tell using your own words to describe your experience in the universe.
My article this week seeks to assist one in simple steps of figuring out the path to take next in life, this can be done at whichever age of life you are at.
The requirement is that you have some life experience, knowledge and understanding of yourself well enough out of the life you already have experienced.
You have to take note that this is not the only single approach or formula to use in figuring out your next step in life, there’s an array of other options different from this that can be equally useful in helping one figure life in it’s entirely, bearing in mind that man has not found a more reliable way of predicting his future. There are ways to haul in on some clues on what you could do with your life that would make you feel fulfilled as well as give you a way through which you are going to make a living.
The way I see this, we are born with an array of talents and skills which we are meant to use as we go through life, in addition to this, we learn and pick up skills from different people and different situations, and I believe we are meant to use those as well.
So we are equipped with a wealth of abilities we can call “resources” that are meant to be used by us to do things that we love, things that contribute to the world, help others in a way as well as make a living encourage us to keep doing what we like.
When we draw this in intersecting circles as in the representation diagram below, we realize a region develop at the point where all the circles overlap, this is the area we seek to find within us, explore and later remember to develop it .
To help through this, allow me introduce you to a Japanese concept I found interesting and fascinating called “IKIGAI”
In Japanese IKIGAI stands for life realization, “IKI – Life” and “GAI – Realization” of what life stands for; meaning our reason for living, our reason for getting up every morning. ikigai is the answer to those three questions that seem to plague most people throughout life: What should I do with my life? What would make me happier? Isn’t there more to life than this?
It consists of four parts and an area that overlaps in the middle which is what I focus on in today’s article. Everyone has an IKIGAI, you just need to work to find it, many a times IKIGAI can go by several phrases; our purpose, reason for being, mission in life or whatever label we want to put on it, it’s essentially the same thing, it’s generally means what to do with your life.
These four components are;
- What you are good at;
These are the gifts, talents, skills and whatever else you have in your arsenals.This part of the circle develops from the overlaps of the intersection formed between the circles “what you are good at” and “what you love to do”.
2. What you love to do,
These are your passions, interests, curiosity, things that spark something in you as well as those that excite you, or should I say get you excited. This part of the circle develops from the overlaps of the intersection formed between the circles “what you love doing” and “what the world needs”
3. What the world needs,
Identify ways you can contribute to the world, ways you can help others, help society in some way.
This part of the circle develops from the overlaps of the intersection formed between the circles “what the world needs” and “what we can get paid for”
4. What you can be paid for,
Things you can do that people will pay you for.
This is the overlap formed between circles “what we are good at” and “what we can get paid for”.
Brain storm on your what you are good at, what you love, what the world needs or things you can offer to the world and what you can be paid for, once you have listed down all the things in all these sections, figure out what aspects overlap into the other parts, Whatever gets listed in the middle is what forms your IKIGAI, or should I say that is your purpose.
If you wish to work though this exercise on paper, get an A4 paper and draw up 4 columns on it, each with the headers of the four components of IKIGAI, then go ahead and populate the list with the relevant items, It is recommended that you begin with a long list comprising of not less than 10 items.
To make this even easier, let’s go through the exercise practically
- What you are good at. You can give answers similar to this; Am good at music, writing, can sing, organize, give directions, photography, and more in that line, the longer your list the better.
- What do you love; Live art, performing, improving yourself, dancing, getting inspired, listening to music, traveling, growing, exploring new things, saving.
- What the world needs, People who are confident, supportive, loving, Kind, proactive, going for their dreams people giving their best to the world, not settling for what society taught them to, educators with real business experience who’ve been out there and understand the market.
- Things I can be paid for Uber driving, teaching, writing, solution provision, Courier, art, music, poetry, dancing, photography, social media marketing and more of such nature.
After filling extensively this four areas, look for those items that fall in
- All four of those categories, you must use some creativity here as it might not be so obvious but its good enough for a start to assist point you to your IKIGAI, this will be good enough for now.
- Those items that don’t fall in certainly all of the four bubbles, those that you love but don’t contribute to the world, or those that contribute to the world but you don’t love, or those that make you money but you don’t really love, or when it does not generate enough income.
- Those that fall in just one or two other circle say you can ride a bicycle because you love it or it’s your talent, or you could be making a living Uber driving but how much of a waste would it be to just Uber when you have all these other myriad of gifts and talents.
- If you are doing just what falls into one circle, it means you are missing areas that are equally important, more like missing what is crucial in other areas assist in helping realize this life balance.
Find those moments where you shine, when you come alive, when you thrive, when you are at your best and feeling amazing. It will help you figure out the direction but might not be clear to do.
Start paying attention to moments where things are just flowing example; While in class, some lecturers and teachers have more of a glow to them than the others, that’s because they connect exactly with what they are meant to be doing, meant to empower and inspire, you don’t get the same with other lecturers, so look for those moments that put you in the lecturer’s shoes.
This are all the clues made very simple to help you figure your life direction. Get the best of yourself, bring out the best in you, bring out the best to the world and fill your life with fulfilled and successful life.
Last I wish to take you through an elusive question that we should ask ourselves and be truthful with our answers.
If your answer to the question “Who are you?” Begins with the below phrases,
- Am the Mother/father/ son/daughter of
- Am a lawyer….
- Am a Christian…
- My name is….
- Am the husband/ wife of….
You just might need to retake “Finding your purpose” exercise
Note; I say this because the question does not ask whose father/mother/husband/wife/son/daughter/religion you are; neither does it ask what your profession is nor what your name is lastly, it doesn’t give a satisfactory answer to the question.
Try using this in your answer and point out the difference, I am the one who wakes up each day to inspire the lives of others, nature positive minds, care for family and development of self.
Finding your IKIGAI can be very rewarding, and satisfying but can be very elusive for others.
Repeat this exercise as long as you need to, I say this because life is a journey, and in a journey, you need to reevaluate your position to ensure you are on the right track to your destination.
Some of the reasons that prevent you from finding your Ikigai?
- You don’t think you can make a career out of your passion
- You can’t risk leaving your stable job to pursue your passion
- You’ve become too tied up in the daily grind and have lost sight of what makes you happy
- You were told at an early age that your passion wasn’t a viable career option
- You’re worried that you’re not good enough to pursue your passion
“Do the things you love, do the things that you are really good at, do the things you can get paid for.~ James Schramko”
Mind Grid Perspectives!