Drifting and in search of ikigai

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Maybe it is just navel gazing. Maybe it is just an affinity for wasting time thinking abstrusely. Or maybe it is the usual symptoms of being part of the entitled, self- indulgent generation. Or maybe it is the culmination of a lot of different things but I can’t quite shake that feeling of drifting. Maybe this is all part of growing up, to realize that maybe the intense feeling of being driven by a purpose comes and goes like the ebb and flow of tides and sometimes you are left stranded at the shore thinking how the fuck did I get here? Or maybe the idea of having purpose in life is a myth altogether. I’m determined to give this life some kind of meaning but right now it all feels a bit foggy. So many maybes lurking everywhere…trying to find something concrete to hold on to feels about as useful as chasing rainbows. It reminds me of a quote from the book I would love to read again right now to remember what it feels like when an author gets the essence of quiet humanity so right that it makes you feel happy and sad and thoughtful and alive:

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

Stephen Chbosky, Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Where is this going you might be thinking? Is this leading up to a point? Nope and nope. I was quite certain this was going nowhere but I absentmindedly refreshed my Facebook and expected to see nothing of value as usual but something in a post caught my eye: “We are all seeking a purpose…” Yes, yes I am! Please go on. So here I am, deeply intrigued and reading about the Japanese ‘ikigai’ or reason for being. The article tells me it requires a lot of soul searching to find ikigai but at this point, I don’t care. I know I need to have a purpose, and I know I need to assign my own meanings so I’m going to try this out.

Ikigai is also thought of as THE reason to get out of bed in the morning which I think is a beautiful idea. For most of us, or at least me it is the deafening cry of my alarm and nothing more. I want to find this thing that makes all the struggles and potential hurdles more worth it. So here are the four elements that are central to finding your ikigai if you are also interested:

  • What you Love (your passion)
  • What the World Needs (your mission)
  • What you are Good at (your vocation)
  • What you can get Paid for (your profession)

I hope that everyone who craves purpose in this world find their reason to get up in the morning.