The word Ikigai is composed in Japanese using the characters iki, or life, and kai, translates loosely as your purpose in life and finding it could change the way you live, work and lead.


The international bestselling guide to the Japanese concept of ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy) is told in the daily habits of the world’s longest-living people in the bestselling book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life co-authored by Héctor García.

According to Japanese tradition, your ikigai lies at the heart of four overlapping circles – what you Love, what you are Good At, what the World Needs, and what you can be Paid For.

The concept is when there’s a confluence of these elements you get the best outcome and find your life’s purpuse for the best outcome in the work that you do — or the fourth aspect of ikigai — what you are paid for.  And it is easier to feel ‘ikigai’ by creating social connections.

In theory incorporating the ideas of ikigai into your life you become better at appreciating and understanding what you find joy in.

Finding your ikigai may not shorten your working hours, but it could help to lighten the load and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. When you are working with purpose and passion, your overall happiness and effectiveness become one.

Photos courtesy Amazon and Michael Paton