So this next post is inspired a concept discussed through one of the newsletters I subscribe to, the Japanese concept of ikigai. I thought I'd take the topic and put my own spin on it.
The term ikigai translated means “a reason for being”. I would also refer to it as a life force or purpose. It also reminds me of the French term raison d’etre, which means the same thing ("reason for being") when translated to English.
Ikigai is the force behind your life and your business. It is the singular force that combines four areas: what you love, what you’re good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs.
So what is my ikigai? What is the ikigai of Turns of Phrase? Let me first provide answers for the four areas highlighted in the Venn Diagram.
What do I love? I love uniqueness and individuality.
What I am good at? I am good at writing.
What does the world need? The world needs inspiration.
What can I be paid for? I can be paid to highlight the special voice of an organization through words.
How can I combine all four areas to provide a purpose that both fulfills my desires and the needs of society?
I can do this by creating compelling content that promotes the unique voice of an individual or organization.
So this sentence reflects my ikigai, the intersection of what I love, what I'm good at, what I feel the world needs, and what I can be paid for.
The term also reminds me of a mission statement, a statement that defines a company’s purpose. My only question is whether or not a mission statement fully integrates all four components of ikigai, although both stress the importance of having a reason for existing. But that question is for another day.
Whether through having an ikigai or a mission statement, a company with either has a stronger sense of direction. You will know what types of people you’d like to work with, and you will draw those to you who also believe in your purpose.
So this is it.
I will leave with just one more question for anyone who is listening.
Do you have an ikigai? Does your entity, business, publication, or organization have a reason for existing? Do you have a purpose? If so, what is it and can you articulate that in just a few words to someone who knows nothing about you?
Just a few words for thought.
I have one more post for this series after that and look forward to sharing Part III of the series soon.
Until next time.