Find Your Purpose

Happiness 5 questions

Find Your Purpose

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that helps you to find your purpose by thinking about what you love, what you're good at, can get paid for, and what makes the world a better place.


“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” — Robert Byrne

The best way to make a living is to do what you enjoy, are uniquely good at, and what is useful for society.

If you can combine your unique assets (skills, strengths, passions) with the right path (hard work, opportunities, projects, and people), then you can create a significant about of value that only you can create. 

This will give you fulfillment as you contribute to making life around you better. By providing value for society, you’ll also get paid, which is crucial to keep yourself sustainable and get the most out of life.

Japanese have a beautiful concept called ikigai that means “reason to live” and can be a guide for life.

It’s primarily associated with the town of Okinawa that has the highest density of 100-year-olds in the world. Locals claim that this is because they live their lives according to the principles of ikigai.

Ikigai is the sweet spot between four distinct elements:

  • What you love to do
  • What you’re good at
  • What makes the world better
  • What you can get paid for

If you’re at the intersection of all four, then you’re living your ikigai.

Keep in mind that you can have multiple ikigai’sYour purpose is not single facet and can change in time. Ikigai is a constant practice of living a meaningful existence.

How to think with IKIGAI

  1. Click “Start session”
  2. Answer the questions. Consider them as prompts that make you think. Some questions come with bite-sized learning modules.
  3. Export your notes to your email. We don’t store or have access to your session content.

Read more about how it works.

Passion: What do you love to do?

What would you continue to do even if you had enough money to live happily ever after? Your passion is a process you love to do over and over again.

Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • Look at the activities where the sense of time disappears.
  • Look at the things you have done in the past that you have enjoyed.
  • Think about what people ask your help with.
  • If you don’t have any idea then try a lot of things. Find the things you don’t like. By doing this you get closer to the things you enjoy. Write a list of things you are interested in and go from there.
  • Try to combine different things that you are curious about. In this way, you can turn your passions into a healthy obsession and arrive at something more novel.
  • Sometimes it’s also important to just choose to love the things you already do. Focus on the parts that you like and double down on them.
  • Pay attention to the processes, not the outcomes e.g. singing is a process, and being a pop star is an outcome. Falling in love with an outcome leads to a loss of passion.

Vocation: What you're good at?

Do you know your strengths and skills? What are they? What do people ask you to help them with?

To be more engaged, confident, and happy at work we need to focus on developing our strengths and not try to make our weaknesses better.

  • Look at the things you have done (well) in the past and think about what skills you needed for doing that.
  • Ask friends and family what you’re good at.
  • Do the Gallup StrenghtsFinder test here (not affiliate).
  • You are usually good at the things you like to do because to get good at something you need to practice a lot. If you like something your practice feels effortless so you do it.
  • Curiosity create expertise. Expertise builds credibility. Credibility creates opportunities (job, business, collaborations, etc.)

Mission: How can you make the world a better place?

What and who inspires you? What makes you annoyed or frustrated? Think of different ways you can contribute and provide value to society.

From the world’s viewpoint, everything is totally fine, just the way it is. But we people need a more conscious, harmonious, and sustainable world.

  • Make life around you better. Start with yourself and your immediate surroundings. Then your family and friends. Only after this society on a greater scale. Grow your contribution naturally.
  • Do sustainable things and limit the waste of resources.
  • Tackle local or global issues affecting the quality of life.
  • Reduce suffering in some way.

Profession: What can you get paid for?

What service or product could you sell that people would pay you for? What job could you do?

There are three ways you can make money. Join some company whose vision you believe in and get paid for a job. Learn a valuable skill and become a freelancer. Start your own business and go all in.

  • Find the people who have done what you want to do and study how they did it.
  • Look for the commercial aspect and where people in your domain make money.
  • Think about different skills you are good at that are in high demand.
  • Think in niches and be specific, not broad.

What would be the intersection of all those things?

Take all the four parts (love to do, good at, better world, get paid for) and try to combine them. Keep in mind that you can have many ikigai’s, not just one.

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“Growth comes from acknowledging the questions we don't know the answers to.”

— Jaime Schmidt