Have you lost your spark?
Maybe you were once gung-ho about your business, and now something does not seem quite right.
Or maybe you have never felt passionate about what you are doing.
So you wake up uninspired and don’t feel like putting in any effort.
There has got to be more to life.
So what’s going on here?
You may not be aligned with your purpose or understand why your life and business are meaningful to you.
Your why is your North Star, guiding you and motivating you forward. The deeper your why the more motivation it will bring.
So what do you do about this?
It could be time to unfold the beautiful petals of Ikigai.
Wait, what is that?
Ikigai is the Japanese word meaning reason for being. This term has appeared as far back as the fourteenth century and has various interpretations and embodies the idea that cultivating inner potential creates life’s significance.
iki= life, gai=purpose
Think of this diagram as a fun treasure hunt. As you learn more about yourself, you will discover new elements to guide you on your journey.
What you LOVE
As adults, we are so caught up in day-to-day life that we can entirely forget what we truly love.
Ever watch kids playing on the playground? They embody sheer joy as they are genuinely loving life.
So for a moment, step into your time machine and go back to when you were a child.
What did you truly love doing?
Remember what lit you up inside. What did you appreciate and enjoy?
Think of at least five things that you loved to do.
Was it swimming or did you love to paint? Did you invent new potions, climb trees, or play “store” and merchandise all the clothes in your parent’s closet? Or maybe you played a lot of sports. What was it that you loved?
Now flash forward. Is there something you do right now that you love to do? Try to brainstorm without judgment or preconceived notions. No buts allowed here.
What would you love to do more of or have more of in your life? What activities do you enjoy?
What gets you fired up or in your flow?
Is it walks in nature, reading, meditating, dancing?
Is there something you are doing now that stands out?
What would you gladly do all day for free?
Pro Tip: If you feel stuck, remember old times with friends, look through old photo albums, ask your parents, siblings, or family to reflect what you used to cherish. It can also be an excellent opportunity to reminisce and connect.
Extra Bonus Pro Tip: Tap into this by going out there and being a kid. Get silly, go on the swings, even play with kids if possible!
What you are GOOD at
What has come naturally to you, either in the past or present?
Is there special knowledge, talents, or skills that you do well or differently from others?
What makes you who you are?
Make a list of your unique character traits, strengths, skills, talents, and superpowers.
Are you a great violinist? Artist? Do you have the gift of the gab? Are you a great listener?
What do others consistently seek from you? It can also be a great indicator!
Pro Tip: It is common to downplay your expertise as you may not understand that it is a gift if it comes naturally. Ask five people you know what makes you great at your work already. What talents and skills do they feel you possess? You may be surprised!
What the world NEEDS
What do you feel that the world truly needs?
Is there something that the world needs more or less of?
What do you hate that is currently happening that you wish you could stop? Does the world need a solution to the environmental crisis? Hunger? War? Plastic bags at the grocery store? Human motivation? What do you feel passionate about?
Or is the world saturated in a specific market, yet you notice a gap in other markets? What can you provide that would make an impact?
Identify a problem that needs a solution. And make sure not to limit yourself by assuming there is already an answer or someone else will solve this. Perhaps this is you.
What you can be PAID FOR
Last, what skills do you have that can you get paid for?
Reflect on your zone of genius and most important skills. What comes naturally to you that people value? Perhaps you have special knowledge, talent, skill, or a process that you help people with.
Write down all of the current profitable skills that align with your passions and what you love to do.
Figure out what people come to you for help with. These do not need to be skills you have been paid for in the past.
The important thing is that these are traits someone would value in exchange for money in the future.
What have you overcome that has given you a particular skill?
Bottom line: What are you good at that can grant you financial freedom?
Ikigai Comes together:
After you have outlined what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for, you are ready to uncover your reason for being.
What you love and what you are good at is your PASSION.
It may still feel overwhelming because, for years, you may have heard that you have to “find” your passion as if it is something missing that you have to go out and obtain.
You may have been on an endless search feeling that everyone else has their passion figured out and there is something wrong with you. What if you never find it?
You may even have questioned your existence.
The good news is that passion is not something you need to “find.” It is cultivated over time and is already within you. And you most likely have multiple passions.
For more clarity, passions begin as a curiosity or interest you gravitate towards, and as you learn more, you are exposed to it more frequently. After some encouragement and multiple exposures, you develop your skills.
It is enjoyable, starts with play, and initially does not require your talent. You continue to perfect your craft despite challenges because you love it.
Over time, you develop your skill with effort, deliberate practice, and commitment.
Since you already have written about what you love and are good at, you are well on your way!
And when combined with a higher purpose, your passion amplifies.
If a specific interest still doesn’t come to mind, remain open and enjoy the discovery process. Continue to think about what interests or hobbies you have had in the past that you enjoyed. Was there anything you stopped pursuing because you were not good at it? Deep down, would you be interested if there was no judgment? Would you like to try it again?
Remember that it is never too late to pursue your interests more deeply. You can always try new things and stop doing them if they lose their shine.
Now, it’s time to reflect on the last three sections of your Ikigai chart.
What you are good at and what you can get paid for is your PROFESSION.
What you love and what the world needs is your MISSION.
Your VOCATION is what you can be paid for and what the world needs.
And in the center of it all is your IKIGAI, your reason for being. It is a beautiful collage of all of the things that truly matter.
Take the time needed to reflect on this deeply.
It will take careful consideration, and eventually, one idea will stand out as most meaningful.
I hope that this small exercise helps you find more profound meaning and creates more alignment in your life and business.
And if you still need help getting unstuck to create an aligned business action plan so you can start seeing results, I am launching an EPIC 6-month group coaching program that is highly discounted for a limited time.
Please email me the word PROGRAM for details!
I am excited to see you start doing more of what creates that spark for you every day.
I am looking forward to hearing from you!