Ikigai is a profound Japanese concept often translated as “a reason for being.” This philosophy is a guide to finding one’s career path and a broader directive for achieving a fulfilling life. It encompasses what gives our lives meaning and makes us eager to greet each new day.

Central to the concept of Ikigai is the idea that an individual’s true purpose and contentment lie at the convergence of four fundamental elements:

  1. What you love (your passion)
  2. What the world needs (your mission)
  3. What you are good at (your vocation)
  4. What you can be paid for (your profession)

The journey to discovering your Ikigai is not just about identifying a profession but a deeper exploration of what makes life worth living.

Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Ikigai

  1. Identify What You Love (Your Passion): Reflect on activities that bring joy and fulfilment. You find These pursuits incredibly rewarding, even when no external rewards are at stake.
  2. Understand What the World Needs (Your Mission): Consider how you can contribute to the world. What challenges or issues do you feel compelled to address?
  3. Recognize What You Are Good At (Your Vocation): This involves candidly assessing your skills and strengths. You naturally excel in these areas, where people often seek your advice or assistance.
  4. Determine What You Can Be Paid For (Your Profession): Reflect on your skills and knowledge that can be monetized. This aligns differently from your current job but includes any viable paths to financial stability.
  5. Finding the Intersection: Analyze where these four elements intersect. This is your Ikigai, where passion, mission, vocation, and profession meet, offering a roadmap to satisfaction and meaning.
  6. Experiment and Explore: View the search for your Ikigai as an evolving journey. Be open to new experiences and learning opportunities that can shift your perspective and lead to new insights.
  7. Reflect and Be Patient: Self-discovery is a process that requires time and introspection. Allow yourself the space and time to ponder your true purpose.
  8. Seek External Feedback: Engage with friends, family, or mentors to gain different viewpoints. They might offer valuable insights that can guide your journey.
  9. Align Your Actions: Once you have a clearer understanding of your Ikigai, strive to align your daily actions and long-term goals. This unity can lead to profound satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.
  10. Maintain Balance: Remember that Ikigai encompasses all aspects of life, not just professional achievement. Balance is critical to sustaining physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Finding your Ikigai is a personal and evolving journey. It’s about discovering what truly matters to you and how you can make a difference in the world while sustaining yourself financially and emotionally. The path to Ikigai is one of curiosity, openness, and balance. Embrace the journey with an open heart and mind, and find the unique purpose that makes life richly satisfying.


  • Sunita Sehmi

    Organisational Dev I Exec Leadership Coach I Author I Mentor I

    Walk The Talk

    Org Dev Consultant I Exec Leadership Performance Coach I DEI Warrior I Author I Mentor I Work smarter I Live better I Think deeper. With over three decades of expertise in multicultural environments, Sunita brings a unique blend of Indian, British, and Swiss heritage to her consultancy, fostering a deep understanding of organisational contexts and her clients. Sunita’s insights and expertise are tailored to elevate your leadership.