Friday, April 1, 2016

Have You Found Your Ikigai?

courtesy Wikipedia
"Ikigai is a Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being". Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self."

I've heard this concept before. Many people refer to it as a "calling" or a "life purpose". I love the japanese interpretation of it. 

You could say I haven't blogged in awhile because I've been searching for my ikigai.

As I considered my ikigai, I began to wonder how many people have truly discovered theirs. Why is it that some people realize their ikigai early in their lives and some when they're elderly? It could be any number of factors. These are just a few I've thought of.

1. familial responsibilities
2. distractions
3. financial pressures
4. fear of failure

Every choice we make either brings us closer to our ikigai or pushes us further away. We naturally want to achieve harmony by following our ikigai, so if we let it lead us, we'll choose the path closest to it. It can be a process of elimination, but it's always a process of growth.

I encourage my little art class students to try different media so they can find the one they prefer, the one they're best at. That doesn't mean they should never use the medium they're weaker in, but they should practice the one they love. This is how they can find their ikigai, trying different things, expanding their world. Once they find the thing they love, they can embrace it with their whole self.

When you're young, life should not yet have taught you to fear failure. No one should tease you or pick on you, because everyone is still learning too. It's important to remember this when you're grown-up. Everyone is still learning too, and if they say they're not, they're lying to themselves or stagnating. Either of those is bad.

Prayer and meditation can reveal your ikigai. God has led me this far and he'll lead me the rest of the way. It does sometimes feel like throwing darts at a board, but I like an adventure. I tell people I've taken the scenic route.

Have you found your ikigai? Are you working toward it? What are some steps you've taken this year to achieve your dreams?


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