How to Finally Connect to Your Purpose

Discovering your life's purpose is a voyage guided by Ikigai, the Japanese philosophy of finding your reason for being. Ikigai leads us to the intersection of passion, talent, societal need, and financial viability. In this journey, we tap into flow state, where time seems to vanish, and our actions align effortlessly with our essence. With resilience as our anchor, we navigate challenges, propelled by the promise of a life rich in meaning and authenticity. Join us on this transformative quest to unlock your true purpose and live a fulfilling life.

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In the quest for fulfillment and meaning in life, many find themselves searching for their true purpose. This journey often feels elusive, leading to frustration and confusion. However, by incorporating the concept of Ikigai, a Japanese philosophy centered around finding one’s reason for being, individuals can embark on a transformative journey toward discovering their unique life’s purpose. In this week’s Evolve Article, we will explore how Ikigai can guide you towards aligning with your True Self’s core values, beliefs, and aspirations, ultimately leading to a life of fulfillment and authenticity.

Understanding Ikigai:

Ikigai, which translates to “a reason for being” or “a reason to wake up in the morning,” is a concept deeply rooted in Japanese culture. It encompasses the intersection of four elements: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Visualized as a Venn diagram, Ikigai lies at the convergence of these four domains, representing the optimal balance between passion, mission, vocation, and profession. In plain terminology, this is what your “mission statement” for your life, or what’s commonly referred to as one’s “life purpose” is. We all have an intuitive pull, yet few of us are actually tapped into where we’re supposed to go in life; what path to travel, how and when to travel it, and to what level of certainty can we lock in on the quickness of our step in that full body “right” direction.

Exploring Your Ikigai:

To begin your journey towards discovering your Ikigai, reflect on each of the four elements:

1. What do you love? Identify activities and interests that ignite your passion and bring you joy. Like what I tell my clients when we tap into this dialogue, you are almost embarrassed by with how much you LOVE it.

2. What are you good at? Recognize your strengths, skills, and talents that set you apart. This might require some reflection in areas a part of you might’ve been “toning down” because you in your glory would make others realize how much they sucked at this very thing, often, in comparison.

3. What does the world need? Consider how you can contribute to the needs of society and make a positive impact. The world is a BIG place and your role within it has a place. You belong, and your unique gift’s relevance is dependent upon the needs of society.

4. What can you be paid for? Explore opportunities to monetize your passions and skills while aligning with your values. When do so, you are solving that need in society exchanging value for value.

By introspecting and exploring these aspects of your life, you can start to uncover clues that lead you closer to your Ikigai. This is the “exploration” phase that can sometimes take years of coming back to as you uncover, introspect, inquire, reflect upon, and re-discover more about it. Or, like me, it can take what can seem like forever.

Tapping Into Flow State:

Flow state, a concept introduced by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, which refers to a state of optimal performance and engagement where individuals experience deep focus, heightened creativity, and a sense of timelessness. By engaging in activities that align with your Ikigai, you can more readily access the flow state, allowing you to make continuous progress toward your life’s purpose. Try to think of those times in your life when you just got “lost in the sauce”. You completely lost track of time and slipped into that category of “time blindness” because you were just so very deeply in something. That very something was a flow state, one which science continuously shows that the more humans can cultivate… the more that translates to a well-lived, fulfilled, and prosperous life filled with purpose.

Practical Strategies for Progression:

Here are some practical strategies to help you tap into your flow state and make progress toward your Ikigai:

1. Set clear goals aligned with your Ikigai, breaking them down into manageable steps. When’s the last time you wrote those goals down, and broke ’em down into bite-sized chunks?

2. Cultivate mindfulness and presence to enhance your ability to focus and engage fully in your activities. How well are you slipping into a present state when you want to?

3. Embrace challenges and seek opportunities for growth and learning. When’s the last time you had a coach that stretched you?

4. Surround yourself with a supportive community that shares your values and aspirations. When was the last time you leaned on Evolve Ventures Society or the Evolve Community to enhance your growth journey?

5. Practice gratitude and celebrate your achievements along the way. No your baby-steps aren’t silly to acknowledge, and heck yes it’s important for you to celebrate the small wins!

Embarking on the journey to discover your life’s purpose is a deeply personal and transformative experience. By incorporating the principles of Ikigai and tapping into your flow state, you can make practical progress towards aligning with your True Self’s core values, beliefs, and aspirations. Remember that the path to finding your Ikigai may be filled with twists and turns, but by staying true to yourself and following your inner compass, you can ultimately live a life of meaning, fulfillment, and authenticity.

Ready to uncover your unique purpose and ignite your journey towards fulfillment? Reach out to Emilia on Instagram (@EvolvewithEmilia) or email her at Emilia@EvolveVenturesTech.com today. Take the best quiz designed to guide you toward your true calling and unlock the path to a life of meaning and authenticity. Don’t wait any longer to embark on this transformative adventure – your purpose awaits!

References:

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. Harper & Row.

Frankl, V. E. (1984). Man’s search for meaning. Washington Square Press.

Héctor García and Francesc Miralles. (2017). Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life. Penguin Books.

Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2002). The concept of flow. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 89-105). Oxford University Press.

Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 1069–1081.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68–78.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. Free Press.

Vallerand, R. J. (2000). Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory: A view from the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 312–318.

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