“L’amitié améliore le bonheur et estompe la misère, en doublant notre joie et en divisant notre chagrin.”
“Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief.”
“Il n’y a pas un seul brin d’herbe, il n’y a pas de couleur dans ce monde qui ne soit destinée à nous faire nous réjouir.”
“There is not one blade of grass, there is no colour in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.”
― John Calvin
Source: Avik Chatterjee
Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept which literally consists of ‘iki’ (to live) and ‘gai ‘(reason) and means « a reason for being » – equivalent to the Western concept of « purpose » or raison d’être as one says in French – at the very center of four dimensions: what we love, what we are good at, what the world needs and what we can be paid for. In other words, it is more fulfilling and rewarding than passion, mission, profession and vocation separately.
Psychiatrist Mieko Kamiya, explains that ikigai is what allows you to look forward to the future whatever the way you feel right now. It is what gives you strength, resilience and hope when tragedy occurs. Whatever it may be, it is a source of energy and inner light.
Of course, your ikigai may differ from what you do to make a living. And this is absolutely fine as it can help you find your own balance. However, finding your own ikigai and living it daily is a way to secure a fruitful life and – potentially – a flourishing career as well. It is also how you could find pleasure in your current work, or a direction you would choose to realign your career. Dan Buettner formulates the hypothesis in a Ted Talk it would even be a way to live longer.
Coaching surely can help you identifying your ikigai.
In his book Ikigai, the Essential Japanese Way to Finding Your Purpose in Life, neuroscientist Ken Mogi suggests to start asking yourself three questions to find the first clues that will help you find it:
Going further, you can ask yourself additional questions to detect and explore the components of your own ikigai:
Answering those questions and digging into the material you will collect is the first step of a beautiful journey, no matter how long it takes. So let yourself be surprised by the destination. This is why Ken Mogi also set the framework of ikigai which he presents as being based on five pillars. Pillars that we would also present as benchmarks for your progress.
From theory to practice and to observe the concept of ikigai in action, we invite you to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a 2011 American documentary film directed by David Gelb. The film follows Jiro Ono (小野 二郎 Ono Jirō), a 91-year-old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant. Sukiyabashi Jiro is a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station and Jiro Ono is the oldest living three-Michelin-star chef. Dining in this restaurant is like experiencing with your five physical senses a perfectly well orchestrated choreography raising from a life dedicated to talent and perseverance.
Here are a few quotes coming from this film…
« There are some who are born with a natural gift. Some have a sensitive palate and sense of smell. That’s what you call « natural talent ». In this line of business, if you take it seriously, you’ll become skilled. But if you want to make a mark in the world, you have to have talent. The rest depends on how hard you work. »
« All I want to do is make better sushi. I do the same thing over and over, improving bit by bit. There is always a yearning to achieve more. I’ll continue to climb, trying to reach the top, but no one knows where the top is. »
« Always doing what you are told doesn’t mean you’ll succeed in life. »
« If I stopped working at 85, I would be bored out of my mind… I have been able to carry on with the same job for 75 years. It’s hard to slow down. I guess I’m in the last stretch of the race. »
« Always try to elevate your craft. »
And you, what is your ikigai?
“Dans la joie comme dans la tristesse, les fleurs restent nos amies.”
“In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.”
― Kakuzō Okakura
“La terre rit avec des fleurs.”
“The earth laughs in flowers.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“J’ai bu assez largement à la coupe de la joie,
Et je ne veux point goûter d’autre vin ce soir.”
“I have drunken deep of joy,
And I will taste no other wine tonight.”
“Ceux qui ne croient pas en la magie ne la découvriront jamais.”
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl