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What is Ikigai ? #5

What You Are Good At ?

- Give full expression to your skills, uncover previously hidden talents and seek mastery in everything

you apply yourself to.


Attention To Details


A natural aptitude for a particular activity will take you so far, but to fulfill your potential requires

extra commitment. Once you reach a high level of competence, it is harder to make improvements

and any advances are less marked. Slight adjustments you make may or may not be noticed by others -

but your efforts are never wasted. Being endlessly inquisitive and insistent on the highest standards

will expedite your search for ikigai. “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” - Colin Powell

Win when you are losing


We live in a competitive world in which a sharp line is often drawn between winners and losers. The

beauty of ikigai is that 'winning' is something everybody can achieve. It is within your scope to find a

niche that offers you an inner sense of satisfaction, regardless of structural measures of success or

failure. Pay attention to your inner voice and define success on your own terms. None of us are winners or losers; we are all just human.

Other Voices


Although locating your ikigai is ultimately your own very personal business, seeking the opinions of

those who know you well may expedite your journey. Sometimes the things that are most familiar to

us we take for granted, even our own abilities. Ask trusted friends, family members or work

colleagues what they think are your best qualities. What they say might simply reinforce your own

instinct and give you more confidence to follow it. But perhaps their comments will surprise you by

highlighting an attribute you had underplayed and it will open your mind to new possibilities.

Failure is the best way to learn


Just because you are good at something doesn't mean you won't fail. In fact, if you challenge your

ability, failure is inevitable. Failure is the foundation of success. So long as you learn from it, failure can be your friend on your ikigai journey.



Ikigai is linked to a sense of mastery. By choosing options that deeply motivate you, you will be

imbued with the energy and discipline required to make the most of your ability. Whatever the task

you set yourself, consistent, concentrated application to every step of the process will give you the

greatest chance of excelling.

“We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher

Nothing is too simple


Remember that your ikigai does not have to be something ostentatious. It may be that your talents

lie in performing more humble, everyday tasks that might not inspire awe in others, but are still

valuable. Perhaps you are a good organizer of people, which allows them to make the most of their

time. Or you are an empathetic listener who is always available to lend a friendly ear. You might not

be a leader by nature, but still be an able member of the supporting cast. Doing ostensibly simple

things well can be fulfilling.



  • What You Are Good At ?


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