12-05-24 ictadmin 0 comment



Tahquamenon Falls. (Image credit: Adobe Stock)



Ikigai is the Japanese word ‘Iki’, which means to ‘live’, and ‘Gai’, meaning ‘reason’. Therefore, it translates to the reason to live. Finding your Ikigai simply means finding that thing that makes you want to wake up every morning and fuels you to work towards achieving your goal. It is a Japanese concept of discovering who you are and your life purpose. The concept encourages people to discover what truly matters to them and live a life filled with purpose and joy.

For some, it’s about becoming a good guardian or caring for someone else. Meanwhile, for others, it is about their friendships and other relationships in whatever they do. Ikigai encompasses one’s passion and life purpose. There are four key things to remember: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and what you can be paid for or recognised for. These things revolve around and rule your Ikigai and your passion intersects through them.

Finding your Ikigai could be a very difficult process, but it is ultimately very rewarding. There are steps to follow in discovering your inner passion and life purpose – your Ikigai.

The first step is to create a personal vision statement. A personal vision statement is a summary of your ultimate career goals and key attributes. It is a statement that describes your values, strengths and goals. Creating a vision statement is very vital in finding your Ikigai because it acts as a compass and gives you some set of directions to follow. It helps you to start with the right perspective, gives you motivation and fuels you to work persistently to achieve your goals. As you make your vision statement, remember to envision outcomes before you act and create and live by your personal vision statement.

Determining your personal value is the second step in finding your Ikigai. When you define personal values, you discover what’s truly important to you. A good way of starting to do this is to look back on your life to identify when you felt really good and confident that you were making good choices. You can determine their values by thinking of the most meaningful moments in your life, thinking of the moments you felt least satisfied, paying attention to what stories inspire you, figuring out what makes you angry, imagining your ideal environment and viewing the accomplishments strengths and achievements you are proud of the most. It is basically discovering those things that are most significant to you.

The third step in finding your Ikigai is exploring ways to tie the things you like together. Having discovered the things that are most important to you, you will now find ways to put them together. You have to find that career or activity that would beautifully incorporate the things that you love doing the most. Finding such will make you live a comfortable life and follow your passion gradually. Take the things you love as condiments and the food as a career or activity. Now, you need to make the food out of the condiments. In the same way, you need to find an activity or job that is associated with what you love to do. This should be the structural form of your activity, what you love doing the most in order to find your Ikigai.

The fourth step of finding your Ikigai is breaking down your fears so you can overcome them. As you find your purpose in life, there will be parts of you that will go into rebellion. Well, I guess that this article itself might be provoking some of those resistance parts! Your fears could be failure, success, visibility and vulnerability. These fears speak in convincing voices, instructing you that you must not do what you love. Do not listen to those voices! You should not let those voices win because if they win, your passion will remain out of your grasp. Instead, look for the fear beneath each of those supposedly convincing voices. Reassure those revolting voices and parts that your ship is sailing in the right direction. For example, if you are afraid of not attaining a grade point average for the placement on the Honour Roll, you can start to work very hard so that you can become confident enough to overcome that fear.

The final step is taking action. Now that you have identified potential paths and values, it is time to explore them. You can only discover your Ikigai by taking action, considering taking a class, volunteering or even switching careers.


It is a long and winding journey, but the rewards are great. The journey is one of self-discovery and reflection. Many of us can gain a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses, our passions and our purpose in life through this process. It teaches us to value our time and be mindful of how we spend it. We learn to prioritise our values and become more aware of our decisions. Through this Ikigai journey, there can be moments of joy and sorrow along the way. Of course, there will be challenges and mistakes, but we will be armed better to move forward in life with more clarity, joy and purpose. Thanks for the understanding of the Ikigai as it helps us appreciate the beauty and mystery of life, and to live each day with gratitude and contentment.

As we move forward in our own unique journeys, let us remember and appreciate the value of Ikigai.


Your life is a result of your own decisions, not your conditions” – Stephen R. Covey

Hilary Chinazam AJOGU

Class of 2027


Hilary Chinazam AJOGU

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