What is your purpose?

My purpose Venn diagram

There is a concept in Japanese culture that research suggests may contribute to happiness and longevity.  They call it ikigai.  We don’t have an exact translation in English, but in a nutshell it’s basically your life’s purpose.  As westerners we’d generally think of your life’s purpose as something big and lofty.  Ikigai is more about your daily purpose.  What is your purpose? What you do with each day?  How you live each day well? Why do you get up in the morning?

It can be a lofty goal or it can be small.  It can be your work, watching your grandkids, dancing with friends, gardening, walking, playing golf, or doing the crossword.  Once you know your ikigai you have to live it.  Knowing your purpose isn’t enough.  You must take action to bring your purpose to life.

I found a couple resources for how to determine your ikigai.  One suggested making something like a triple Venn diagram using three circles instead of two.  Each circle represents one of the following: what you value, what you enjoy, what you are good at.  What overlaps is your ikigai.

When I made mine […]