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Ikigai and Hokey Pokey: The meaning of life?

authenticity ikigai project management best practice project management career Apr 14, 2018

I love to explore other languages.

At times it seems to me that other languages can be more rich and beautiful than English because they have one spectacular word to sum up a thought or collection of words. It seems so elegant and amazing to me that one word can express a very deep, expansive thought.

One of these words I recently came across is from the Japanese language. Have you heard of "ikigai"?

According to Wikipedia: "生き甲斐, ikiɡai, is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." It is similar to the French phrase Raison d'être. Everyone, according to Japanese culture, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self."

Life's sweet spot. The convergence of passion, mission, vocation, profession.

When I look around, I see most human beings wanting to live in this zone, but noticing that few actually do.

Because it's hard work.

It's easier to stay in our comfort zone even if we are utterly miserable, plodding through each day out of balance. One thing I've discovered myself - it takes more energy to sustain depression, anxiety, stress and fear than it does to step into positive thoughts and peace.

I feel like I'm just getting into this zone, one toe in, looking to get my whole self in. Or at least being aware I'm putting my whole self in.

Kind of like the Hokey Pokey song we used to sing as kids.

I think life is like that - one foot in, one foot out, one arm in and shaking all about.

That said, it's hard to put your whole self into something when you don't know what the hell you want to be doing. It often takes time of discovery, experience, knowing what you definitely do not want to be doing.

Filtering all of this through who you are, your faith, your relationships. Testing the waters by putting one leg in and shaking it around, then hastily pulling it back out because it was just too scary.

Sharks. The unknown.

Who knew the Hokey Pokey had a life lesson embedded in it?

The other thing about "ikigai" is that it is not static. This is not something that is in place and unchangeable for your whole life. S

o many times we are told to "find our passion", "what makes us happy", as if there is this one destination we need to get to when that is not a destination at all!

There are those who find their one life's passion and are all about that their entire life.

But that is not the norm.

For most of us, we have many destinations along the journey.

Your personal ikigai, your convergence zone of passion, mission, vocation and profession - any one of these areas can change from time to time, giving you a new trajectory and experience to move onto the next down the line.

That's what I love about this life. We don't have to stay in one place. We can move various parts around and create a whole new space to experiment in as we find out new things about ourselves.

What are the pieces in your current ikigai?

Is it time to change it up?

Maybe explore one of these areas in your life?

Don't miss a beat!

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