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  • Writer's pictureBright Wisdom

What's Your Ikigai? Discover Your 'Reason for Being' with a Simple Personality Test

Have you come across the term "Ikigai (生き甲斐)"? It's a Japanese word that translates to "reason for being."

Recently, I attended a Career Development Workshop tailored for Korean Immigrants, where the first segment delved into discovering one's vision and life purpose. An intriguing exercise we engaged in was the Ikigai exercise.

Ikigai Personality Test

Ikigai Diagram
Ikigai Diagram

The Ikigai concept suggests that individuals can discover fulfillment and happiness by identifying and pursuing the intersection of four key elements:

  • What you love (your passion)

  • What the world needs (your mission)

  • What you can be paid for (your vocation)

  • What you are good at (your profession)

The Ikigai test is structured to assist individuals in pinpointing their ikigai by examining these four elements and determining where they converge. By grasping their ikigai, individuals can gain insight into their driving forces, strengths, and what they find meaningful.

This understanding can then guide career decisions, personal growth, and overall life contentment. Typically, the test entails answering questions or undertaking exercises related to these four elements to uncover one's ikigai.

What struck me was the similarity in my responses across the four elements: What I love, what the world needs, what I can be paid for, and what I am good at.

For instance:

  • Meditation: I derive immense joy from achieving a clear state of mind. While I acknowledge that meditation can sometimes feel tedious and requires discipline for its benefits, I firmly believe it's worth the effort. This sentiment resonates with what the world needs today, especially amidst prevalent issues like anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

  • Dancing: Recently I started teaching dance again. Teaching contemporary dance classes to young students aligns perfectly with what I love and what I can earn from. Initially apprehensive due to my prolonged hiatus from teaching dance, I found that once I commenced teaching, it felt entirely natural, and I relished every moment of it.

  • Travelling & Hiking: Ever since I started blogging, I've actively sought out new destinations, cafes, and hiking trails. Not only does it keep me physically fit, but it also provides fodder for my blog. As my blog garners more attention, it also generates some income, albeit modest.

  • Languages: I derive pleasure from learning and teaching languages. Currently, I tutor Korean and English, which not only aligns with my interests but also provides a source of income while helping others learn.

a lady jumping for happiness
Live your life to the fullest
This realization was incredibly reassuring.

It affirmed that I'm living a life aligned with what I love, what the world needs, what I'm skilled at, and what I can earn from. It's a wonderful feeling!

This awareness has heightened my appreciation for everything I do and imbued me with a newfound sincerity. Knowing that I'm living a life aligned with my purpose and reason for being, what's next? Simply living life to the fullest!

If you're intrigued by the idea of discovering your ikigai, you can also explore the test for yourself through the link provided below.


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