The ikigai self-test

4 simple questions to ask yourself.

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 popular rendition of how to think of one’s ikigai.

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The widely spread Venn diagram for ikigai.

How can you use the ikigai diagram to audit the broader strokes of your life?

For me personally, I would say that my passion is communication, my profession is public relations, my vocation is teaching, and my mission is sharing ideas.

Do I love communication + sharing ideas? Yes, I do.

Am I good at communication + public relations? Yes, I think I am.

Can I get paid for public relations + teaching? So far so good.

Does the world need teaching + sharing ideas? I think it does.

It seems that I’m passing this simple ikigai self-test — which is great. However, as I was doing this little exercise, I was a bit surprised that teaching came to me without hesitation in such an obvious manner. I was surprised since there’s a distinct difference between doing things for other people as opposed to teaching people to do these things for themselves.

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

“Direction is more important than speed. Many are going nowhere fast.”


Photo by Su San Lee on Unsplash.

The ikigai self-test