Ikigai

Discovering your purpose is not spending your life looking outside to find what you think is for you and that will make you happy. Your purpose is within you and that is why I propose that you do the exercise of sitting down to observe, listen to yourself and look within. It is not about finding THE purpose, but living YOUR purpose from within.

The tools proposed by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles in their Ikigai method can help you carry out this exercise of looking within, within yourself. In this article, I have chosen some of these tools to guide you in that look inside. You can do this exercise both personally and professionally. I am going to focus on the professional level, because, given the current situation, you may find yourself in the positionof rethinking how you invest your time and energy at work.
The Ikigai method is based on four circles and there are different exercises to define each circle. I will comment on an exercise for each circle, for inspiration.

  • DREAMS. What you love.

A great starting point is that of dreams: with our passion, with those things that inspire us and what we love.
What is it that you love to do?

If you do not know how to identify your passion, going through what you do not like you will get to what you like. Take a piece of paper and make a list of all those tasks in your job that you don’t  like and why you don’t like them. When you have it done, identify the common denominator of those tasks. Then make a list of everything you do like and look for the common denominator. Then write down the time you spend on the two columns and observe. What are you spending your time and energy on?

  • YOUR SKILLS. What you are good at. Feedback

Your talents are those qualities and abilities that you have by nature, which are innate. However, you will learn some along the course of life.
Many people have a hard time detecting what their talents are. If this is your case, think of simple things, those things that you do without realizing it and that do not require any effort. Probably, you do not consider them talent because for you they are the most normal thing in the world. This is the true essence of your talent; observe what has been given to you so naturally that you do not pay any attention to it, and that is exactly your natural talent!
Surely, your colleagues always ask you for the same things, what do they often ask you to do?

Moreover, when you have identified it, ask yourself again: how much time do you spend on what comes naturally to you in your work and how much time do you spend on what is an effort and really costs you?

  • YOUR VALUE. What can you are paid for.

Have you ever thought that some of the best things that have happened to you in life have been by chance or accident?
In the world of science, it is well known that many great discoveries are made by accident and not by planning. That is serendipity.
In addition, you wonder, what does this have to do with my worth? Well, it has to do with it, because we do not often value ourselves, we pigeonhole ourselves in the known and we think that they are only going to pay us for what we know and we ourselves close the doors to new opportunities.

Therefore, it opens the door to the unexpected. Practice serendipity, get out of your comfort zone, talk to someone you don’t know, send a message to someone, even if you think they won’t answer you, talk to a partner you don’t normally talk to, offer help to someone selflessly, do something you havent done before.
Then, ask yourself again: how many of the things that have happened in your life have been by chance or accidental?

  • YOUR SERVICE.What the world needs. 

You can close the circle with this part: your service, your profession, your vocation. When you have rethought the circles and exercises above, how do you think you could transform it into service, what can you offer to the world you already have inside? Perhaps it is what you are already doing now or you are going to rethink.

Kyudo is a Japanese word and it is archery. In Japan, they define it as a practice to exercise the soul since it integrates body, mind and spirit. It is also a Zen practice where we learn to be patient, constant, humble and flexible. This practice teaches that the value lies inside the archer, not within the external target.

You are the archer and you have your share of responsibility. You decide what service you want to provide and how you want to do it. We often put the blame on the job, the boss, the company, colleagues. However, what about you? What part of responsibility do you have? What could you do to improve the situation? What mental changes can you make so that the situation does not recur or does not affect you?

In closing, I would like to remind you that energy follows thought. What we focus on is what we are going to attract.

Think about a situation today that you did not want: have you been thinking that you did not want such a person to call you? So, did he call you?
Have you thought that surely such a client would not pay you? So, has he paid you?
Consider how much energy and time you spend on things you dont want, and how much you spend on things you do want to happen.
Think about what it really IS your purpose and live it, appreciate it and thank for what you DO have today.
What passion, what talent, what value and what service are you living today?

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