What Can You Be Paid For ?
- The personal value to you of a job or career cannot be measured purely in money earned, so aim for
work that enriches your life.
It seems that a career built on the principles of ikigai can be the secret to a happy working life. A
typical Japanese worker is said to be highly motivated and quick to take action, is driven by
teamwork rather than self-interest, and thrives on being thanked for their hard work. The
conclusion: if you feel your work makes a positive difference, you've probably found your ikigai.
“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” - Steve Jobs, entrepreneur
Work isn't everything
- Your job should allow you to maintain other ikigai outside of work. The key is for your work to represent just one among several ikigai in a rich tapestry that gives meaning to your life. If you find your work is suffocating all your other interests, it is time to make a change.
The Reward Gap
Pursuing a new career path does not necessarily yield immediate financial rewards and this can
cause people to give up prematurely. Finding ikigai in the daily process can help to sustain you on
the journey. So long as you love what you do, and can find some means to continue, the daily
experience may enrich your life beyond any monetary considerations. Just because your work isn't
highly valued in the marketplace doesn't mean that it isn't valuable to you.
“An ikigai, in some ways, is like a compass. As your career evolves and you're presented with more opportunities, you can rely on your ikigai to steer you in the right direction.” -Melody Wilding, high-
Build your Moai
Embarking on a new career path can be very daunting, so it is important to have a support network
as you follow your ikigai. Borrow from the people of Okinawa, who have a moai system whereby
everyone is assigned a little 'club' of friends from birth who stay with them throughout their lives.
The support of their moai is regarded as a key factor in the long and happy lives enjoyed by
Okinawans. To guide you in your nascent career, look to build your own little moai, including expert
mentors in your new field, people you meet who are taking a similar path and you find a personal
connection with and valued friends, all of whom support your exploits in their own ways.
After some consideration, you may conclude that while your job is not your ikigai, there are
compelling reasons to continue nonetheless. Perhaps it helps you to maintain other ikigai, for
example by financing hobbies, supporting your children in their passions or allowing you to
contribute to causes close to your heart. Or maybe you just don't feel strong enough to make a
change at this time. Relax - there is nothing wrong with appreciating what you've got. Simply remain
mindful of the possibilities.
Making the best of what you've got
If case; any social activities related to work, and so on. Which parts make you feel good? What could
you do better? Do any activities engage you sufficiently to get you into the flow state where you lose
track of time? Can you affect change where you do more of the things you enjoy?
In many countries, retirement is a rite of passage. Suddenly, you become an 'unproductive' member
of society and if work was your ikigai, your main reason for getting up in the morning, this
adjustment can be particularly difficult. A statutory retirement age may prevent you from continuing in your own job, but doing some form of work can help you to sustain your ikigai in later life.
What Can You Be Paid For ?