Ikigai, a simple word... and what great meaning it can give to your life

I remember that day years ago at the train station, on one of those trips that my work took me on. He used to go into the kiosks at the station to look at the books, and many times he ended up buying one.

One day I entered a store of things and clothes designed for traveling people. I noticed that there was a book section and I went straight there. The title especially caught my attention: “ikigai, the secrets of Japan for a long and happy life”.

ikigai, that word that I did not know, to begin with, it sounded nice and intriguing to me. So I decided to buy the book.

It is based on finding the reasons why the island of Okinawa, in Japan, has the highest longevity and happiness in the world. In addition to food, the simple life in the open air, etc. one of the keys seems to be the ikigai that rules his life.

According to the Japanese, all of us have our ikigai, which some philosophers translate as our “reason for being”, or “life purpose”.. Ikigai is within us and exploration requires deep and patient work to find it.

Ikigai is represented as a mandala of four circles as you can see in the figure below:

I started to complete the mandala (I will write another article to tell you how I developed the exercise of completing the ikigai mandala).

The circle of "what you love" was more or less simple, it is true that it was the first time that I began to reflect on my passions in a deep way and it took me a while to think about what I like beyond some of my hobbies . I felt great satisfaction reading what he wrote.

The circle of talents arrived, of what "what you are good at". Here I had two mixed feelings, between shame because I had to think about what I was good at, and ignorance, because I didn't know what I was really good at, I didn't know what made me unique. So I felt that I could no longer continue completing the mandala thinking in the circle of what "I can be paid or rewarded for".

I jumped into the circle of what the world needs. And here again it was a shock, I have always felt clearly that the world needs to improve, but I had never thought what I could do for it. I didn't know how to start writing in that circle.

So I decided to work and work until I saw how I could complete the ikigai mandala. And after a lot of reading and research, I realized that I had to reflect on what my talents and my values were in order to complete those two circles. The talents were going to allow me to identify those activities in which I am good and the values were going to allow me to know what I could do to connect with what the world needs. And this work was what inspired me to develop KitCo.

I had done many dynamics and tests at work to find out my skills. I had even done 360º tests through which you get feedback from your bosses, colleagues or team. Test that I loved to analyze and consider wonderful; By the way, I love the color test of InsightDiscovery, in fact this also inspired me in what is now KitCo.

However, when I set out to complete my ikigai mandala, I felt that this was not enough.

None of the tests I had done at work made me reflect looking inside who I really was, what really made me unique, what were the talents that if I developed in my life made me feel satisfied. And no test I had ever taken asked people around me, outside of work, like my family and friends, what talents they perceived in me..

This is how I set out to develop a dynamic to know my talents, based on references such as Gallup, among others, and looking inside myself, as well as asking those who know me what talents they perceive in me.

On the other hand, I carried out values coaching dynamics to find out what my personal values were, those that, keeping in mind in my life to make decisions, gave me satisfaction.

And this is how the ikigai mandala can end, which led me to discover my ikigai: “Continuous learning of being, in terms of personal growth and emotional intelligence, and taking my learning to actions that can inspire other people to discover themselves and make decisions that improve the satisfaction of their lives, finding happiness within themselves”.

KitCo was born as part of the work of my ikigai, I hope it helps you in your process of self-knowledge and empowers you to make decisions that increase satisfaction in your life.