If you’re still trying to figure out what the Danish mean when they talk about “hygge” – that cozy moment that gives you a feeling of wellness and happiness, buckle up ’cause “ikigai” is already here! This Japanese philosophy wants you to be happy. It lets you find out what makes your life worthy for you to live in happiness. Ikigai can be translated as the “reason of being” – and that’s exactly what we’re going to try to figure out here – what’s that thing that can help you have a happy life.

How Does Ikigai Work?

Ikigai - Discover your passions

Make yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea, look for a cozy place at home – or anywhere where you won’t be disturbed – and take some time to think before completing your ikigai flower. Follow these steps and share your results!

Download and print out the Find Your Ikigai Worksheet. It will help you visualize what you’re actually good at and what your passions are. If you don’t have a printer at hand, a piece of paper will also work.

What is ikigai?

Steps to Complete Your Ikigai

  1. First, fill out the red circle. What do you love? What is it that you can’t stop doing? What’s your hobby? What does nobody have to remind you to do?
  2. Second, fill out the blue circle. What are you good at? What are your skills? Is there anything you feel especially proud of? Is it writing? Cooking? Communicating? Dancing? Singing? The answer is no? Then think again! I’m sure you’re good at something!
  3. Third, have a look at the yellow circle. What can you be paid for? What’s your work experience? What’s that thing people would pay you for?
  4. Fourth, take some time to fill out the last circle on your right. What does the world need? What can you offer the world? How can you give back what you receive?
  5. Next, you’re going to go through the mid-sized intersections:
    • Passion: Pick your passion by combining your answers for what you love and what you’re good at.
    • Profession: This would be what you’re good at AND can be paid for. What is it? Is it your current job? Congrats! It isn’t? What about changing gears?
    • Vocation: If you get to combine what you want to help the world with and what you can get paid for, you’re a very lucky girl. What’s more gratifying than helping others by doing your work?
    • Mission: Now, if what you offer the world is what you love, you have a mission to follow, babe! Fill out this field thoroughly, ’cause this is an important one!
  6. Now that you’ve written down what your passion, your profession, your vocation and your mission are, try and combine them all into one single word. That’s your ikigai. That’s what you wanna pursue to achieve happiness. That’s what’s going to make you want to jump out of bed every single morning.

How Can You Use Your Ikigai In Your Daily Life

Japanese secret to happiness

Doing this kind of exercises wouldn’t mean anything if you don’t apply the results in real life, right? So now that you know what your ikigai is, your goal should be to enhance your strengths for you to live a life where you actually enjoy your work. We spend most of our time working, so how are we going to be happy if we hate our job?

It’s possible that you have to shift your priorities – or what you think your priorities are. You may even have to work hard before making it. But don’t forget why you’re doing it. What’s happiness but enjoying as many aspects of our life as possible?

Now, I know that just by filling out a flower with a Japanese name isn’t going to change your life, but you’d be surprised to what extent it could help you to take the time to sit down, realize how your current reality really is, and how you’d like it to look like.

More Ikigai Philosophy Tips

  • Make sure you take enough time to enjoy your passions and hobbies.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Stay active.
  • Show gratitude.
  • Surround yourself with people you love.
  • Stay curious.

According to the New York Post, “if hygge is the art of doing nothing, ikigai is the art of doing something – and doing it with supreme focus and joy.” So, tell me, what’s your ikigai?

Alicia RG
xoxo - Born to Freelance
Born to Freelance

PS. Are you an ikigai, a hygge or rather a mindfulness-type of girl?