I recently read the book – “Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” authored by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. It is mainly about how the people in Okinawa, a tiny Japanese island, live very long, healthy and happy lives; and what we could do to emulate them.

But the diagram presented below, adapted from one in the book, is of broader interest to us:

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ikigai-EN.svg

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ikigai-EN.svg

It is difficult to provide an exact translation of the term Ikigai. However, it can be understood to mean the purpose or direction in life that leads to satisfaction and self-fulfilment.

<aside> 🔰 What is evident is that the Ikigai principle represented in the image above can be used as a framework for identifying one’s career choice. In essence, you choose a career in an area that meets four criteria – what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for.


But the problem is that this is easier said than done. The most difficult criterion to meet is the fourth. What we love to do and are good at may also be helpful to society. But it may be nearly impossible to make a living off it until we establish ourselves in that field. And what if we fail and never make it? When that happens, most people give up on their “passion”.

Is there a solution to this problem? It is not too easy either. However, watch the TED talk – “How to Ikigai” by Tim Tamashiro 👇🏽for some guidance and inspiration. You might find a practicable solution.