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What is Ikigai ? #2

What you love

- Love links to your passion and mission. How can you harness your love for activities, objects and

people to add new layers of meaning to your life?



Do you ever get so engrossed in an activity that you lose all sense of time, are focused solely on the here and now and immune to all distractions? It is at such times that you release your ego and achieve flow. The pleasure you feel comes purely from what you are doing, without any need for financial reward or recognition from others. You can observe flow in a young child playing with a favourite toy. Doing something you love in this psychological state is bliss. But imagine if you could achieve flow in relatively mundane everyday tasks. Well, this is possible too when you realize that they are part of your ikigai - that which makes your life meaningful.

  • Beware obsessive passion

Passion is a powerful motivational force for human beings, but you need to be aware that you can

express 'obsessive'; passion as well as 'harmonious' passion. Obsessive passion is when you feel an

uncontrollable urge to participate in an activity you view as important or enjoyable. The problem is

that you get frustrated when prevented from doing this activity. Equally, if you spend excessive time

on the activity while neglecting, say, pressing work- or family-related commitments, you feel

distracted and cannot possibly achieve the flow state. Dissatisfaction reigns.

  • Embrace harmonious passion

If you express 'harmonious passion'; for an activity, you have control. You choose to engage in the

activity you love, rather than feel an uncontrollable urge to do so. This eliminates conflict between

your personal passionate activity and other important activities in your life. Immerse yourself in your

favored activity whenever you get the chance to do so. Fully focused on what you are doing, you can

flow. When you have to spend time doing other necessary tasks, you can adapt and give them

proper attention without feeling resentful. So harmonious passion, rather than obsessive passion, is

conducive to ikigai.


Sometimes you need to look beyond your inner circle to connect with others who share your

particular passion.


Finding meaning in every day can extend to objects. Ikigai may be about living in the present, but that doesn't mean you lose your memory. Objects that remind you of meaningful moments in your life, of who and what you have loved, and continue to love, give context to your current endeavors.

  • When to let go

Following your ikigai requires passion and persistence, but if a passion becomes an unhealthy

obsession there could be dire consequences. Whereas harmonious passion is flexible and allows

space for self-development in other activities, obsessive passion is rigid and can smother the rest of

your life. When you are seeking excellence in a certain area, it is easy for your passion to slip into

obsession, so be wary. If an activity that once brought you joy is now consistently causing upset to

you and others, it's time to pull back and rebalance your priorities. It might even be time to let go

and enjoy searching for a new passion.




  • What You Love ? (Passion & Mission)



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