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The Ikigai Self-Test

4 simple questions to ask yourself.

I tried this simple ikigai self-test.

I am (like many others, I’m sure) partial to the concept of ikigai (生き甲斐). Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “reason for being”.

The below Venn diagram is a famous rendition of one’s ikigai:

Ikigai | Brain Fuel | Doctor Spin
The widely spread Venn diagram for ikigai.

How can you use the ikigai diagram for auditing yourself quickly?

For my ikigai, I would say that my passion is 1) communication, my profession is 2) public relations, my vocation is 3) teaching, and my mission is 4) learning and sharing.

Here goes:

1. Do I love communication? Yes.

2. Am I good at public relations? Yes.

3. Can I get paid for teaching? Yes.

4. Does the world need learning and sharing? Yes.

All good. It seems that I’m passing this simple ikigai self-test.

However, as I was doing this little exercise, I was surprised that teaching came to me without hesitation. I was surprised since there’s a distinct difference between doing things for other people (like a consultant) instead of showing people to do these things for themselves (like a teacher).

Moving forward, I will try to be mindful of this difference to ensure that my ikigai comes through—for myself as well as for everyone around me.

Spin for the win,

Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Prints/Instagram)


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Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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