The "Ikigai" conundrum...

"Ikigai" is the Japanese word for "your reason for being". To me, it goes so much deeper than meaning or purpose...but I don't want to get sidetracked from the core essence of this post.

I cannot remember when I first heard this word. Probably when I was desperately seeking answers when I was deeply despaired!!!! (Isn't it weird how how strongest learnings and moments of growth happen at the valley of despair 🤔)?????

Anyway, when you examine your life in the context of those beautiful intersecting circles, what comes to mind with your current situation?

In my own personal experience as well as many around me, I find that hitting the eye of the target 🎯, is really, really, really hard!! Almost as hard as walking a tightrope 20,000 ft above ground, on a piece of thread that's barely a few millimeters wide, juggling 16 balls and 22 plates, while balancing a red ball on a stick that's 25 feet long on the top of your nose...Well you get the picture!

Now it's true that there are a few people who have achieved marvelous success at getting the 4 quadrants just perfect like that elusive vegan chocolate cake recipe that has zero calories and is delicious enough to make you go mad.

But the rest of a way that's life's journey, isn't it? FIGURING IT OUT.

It could be that we are in a job we hate, but we stick it out.... miserable, lonely and unhappy.... because we've been told, suck it up.. it's called "adulting". And really??? You want to have it all? Ha.

For others, it may be the joy of volunteering for a cause they really believe in, for the camaraderie that comes with being amongst "my people", for giving back and helping others much less fortunate....but darn it.. there's bills to be paid and no money coming in. Sigh.

And then there's the group that dives head first into a profession (it's my calling, OMG!), it pays well (yay), I am making a true difference in others lives (hurrah).... and then as time goes on the light of passion fades. They don't love it anymore. Things in the industry change. It was simply not what they dreamed it would be.

Oh man. Wouldn't it be so much easier if we were all sent down to Earth with an "Ikigai locket" around our necks and a scroll of instructions tucked inside on how to get there?

Now that would put the multi trillion dollar "self help" industry out of business in a flash, wouldn't it 🤣??

Okay, since no such magic locket exists, what is one to do?

Well, start by taking an inventory of your life. Every. Single. Aspect.

I love using the Wheel of Life worksheet.

Take the parts where you scored low and ask yourself, "What needs to happen to improve the score here?"

Now try to do this without judgement, criticism or jumping to "how". Notice how your brain literally jumps in (gleefully), with a ba-zillion reasons why it cannot be done. Just notice. Try not to get into an argument with it. Try not to accept those reasons as definite truths. Really, try to watch this stream of thoughts with curiosity and detachment.

And then, wait for it. The magic moment. It can happen in a flash. It can happen next week or year...or sadly next decade.

And that is truly up. To. One. Thing. YOU.

How REALLY ready are you to find that deeply buried truth of your unique Ikigai? And then how courageous are you to walk away from all that is comfortable (and boring enough to want to drown yourself in an inkpot 😐)?

Because I can tell you with the confidence of 400 hours of coaching experience, that's what it takes.

Readiness to jump off that cliff, trusting that the parachute will open and land you safely in the beautiful field of your dreams.

And when you get there, you realize it simply could not have been any other way.

Ikigai exists. I am living proof.