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Personal Growth

Find your Why with the Japanese concept of “IKIGAI”

Before we start with how to find your why, I want to tell you a bit about the story how I found out about the concept of “Ikigai”. Since my visit to Japan in 2015, I have been fascinated by the people and the unique culture. One thing about the country that also really stood out to me was the longevity.

Since I was very intrigued by it, I started watching documentaries about how these people are living particularly healthy, long and happy lives. Of course, there are various good habits that contribute to this longevity – a healthy diet, eating only until you’re 80% full, moderate consumption of alcohol, physical activity, etc. However, there is another secret the Okinawans have which is more related to mental health: It is their concept of “Ikigai”!

The word “ikiru” means “to live” and “kai” translates to “the realisation of what one hopes for”. Together they create the concept of “a reason for being”. This means knowing WHY you get up in the morning, WHY you put in the work and are willing to go through hard times, WHY you are here and what legacy you want to leave in your life.

find your why

I think us humans all want to find our WHY and we get easily frustrated on this search for our purpose because it requires vulnerability and a good self-insight. Plus, we have been conditioned from a young age to live the lives our parents and/or society expect from us and more often than not, we end up in careers that don’t fulfil us and work becomes nothing more than a means to an end.

“It’s about unbecoming who the world told you to be, and discovering who your soul came to be.”


1.What do you love doing?

2.What are you good at?

3.What does the world need/How can you help others?

4.What can you be paid for?


This often holds true in real life. How many people do you know who are good at what they do and get paid for it, but don’t feel fulfilled? When you find your why, all aspects will be fully integrated.

A recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time employees found that 23 percent reported feeling burned out at work very often or always and an additional 44 percent reported feeling burned out sometimes – together this makes up an alarming 67% of full-time employees.


I use my strengths of empathy and a deep understanding of people to guide others on their path of finding their why, expressing who they are and living their purpose.

Are you ready to get one step closer to finding your WHY?
-Take your journal or a piece of paper and write down your answers to the four questions above. It’s important that the answers really come from your heart.

-Now, try to find out the thing that includes all four aspects. I also recommend trying to think outside the box. It’s also possible to turn a creative passion into a career. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be one of the “typical” jobs you would think of.

I hope this exercise was helpful for you and you are now one step closer to finding your why.

Sending you lots of love and light,


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