I was with a client recently who I had not seen since December – on asking them how they were,
they said they’d got their mojo back after a few months of struggling! I asked them to be more
specific and the response surprised me…
…“I just do not want to get out of bed in the morning; I am not sure why I do what I do”. I pushed again; could they be more specific – the response was, “I feel like I lack purpose”! I said, you mean your Ikigai?
I will spare you the response, as this Japanese word takes a little practice – pronounced “ikee guy”.
All we need to really understand is what it means; dating back over 1200 years the simple translation
of the word is “a reason for being” or “what gets you out of bed in the morning”!
Having worked with hundreds of business owners over the past 30 years, if there is one thing that
ties them all together it is fear, regardless of sector; skills; scale of business or wealth. Fear of
failure; success; being seen as less than; under-performing; and the list goes on. This often,
irrational fear starts to gently evaporate once they start to gain an understanding of their sense of
place and above all, their sense of purpose.
In Japan, millions of people have ikigai — a reason to jump out of bed each morning.
ikigai brings together four primary elements:
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)
If all of these converge, you will have achieved your ikigai; and like most goals, to attain such a state
should not be left to mere luck, or the studious reading of interesting articles or books, but actually
striving to understand what you love doing and why; how it affects other people and you and where
and how you can make money doing it. What gets you out of bed in the morning; do you know your