What is Ikigai?

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has be ‘THE YEAR’ of very few people, it certainly didn’t go the way I was expecting and I didn’t have great hopes for it to start off with! Something it has done is helped me to reflect on the things that are important to me and how I want to move forward in my own life. I don’t want to change myself; the last few years have emphasised to me the importance of accepting yourself as you are fundamentally, but I do want make changes to the environment I create around myself to highlight the positive parts of myself and others and to give myself a calmer and happier life.

All this being said I have decided to begin to make changes that can ultimately lead to a career change, starting with this blog page. Now as I said I accept myself as I am, I will often find myself a frustrating pain in the neck but this is ok. One of the most frustrating things about being me is that when I should be sleeping I tend to find myself laying awake and thinking about many, many, many things that will in no way help me go back to sleep. At 4am I decided to at least on this occasion turn it into a positive and rather than focus on the fact that I didn’t buy cream cheese yesterday and the resulting internal struggle (no salmon roulade on Christmas day vs braving the shops AGAIN in the midst of a new super version of a super virus), that I’d instead start to plan my first blog post. I’ve been planning this for a while now so I’d though about it carefully, got ideas from friends and family, made a list of the posts I would write and finally decided to focus on ‘making your workspace a positive space’. I will still be writing this blog so keep your eyes peeled. I wanted to research other peoples thoughts and see if my ideas aligned with other people and ‘professionals’ so I hit google and was presented with a range of amazon ideas for teacher self help books, not usually my thing, but in the interests of research I decided to give it a go…and then I stumbled across this: Ikigai this is a Japanesse word (full disclosure I have NO idea how its pronounced) but it’s meaning is simple: a reason for being, the thing that gets you up in the morning. Now I know a lot of my parent friends will see this and probably think immediately of their children, others might think of their job, or a passion but underneath the heading was a diagram which highlights how much more this really is and showed me that in my own unique and muddled way the ideas and attitudes I have been grappling with over the last year or so equate to my need to create this and I can actually further focus myself and my goals using this diagram. It’s about creating meaning, purpose and joy in yourself though the coming together of essentially 4 different elements: passion, profession, mission, vocation.

I then hit Pinterest (my go to ideas site) to see what else was out there and one of the first things that came up was the 10 rules for Ikigai. I love these lists, why does EVERYTHING seem to need 10 rules these days??? I am really not one for rules and definitely don’t like to be told how to follow something. A little bit further down was another 10 rules for Ikikai and unsurprisingly enough they were completely different from the first lot. Which emphasised my feeling that in many instances rules are made to be broken and that everyone should have their own set of rules, especially when it comes to finding your reason for being. I am going to have a go at completing the venn diagram and creating my 10 rules but I’d like opinions: what rules would you give yourself creating Ikigai (meaning, purpose and joy) within yourself?

What would your 10 rules be to find/create this?

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