Do You Want To Become An Ikigai Coach?

A Little History First

I was first introduced to the word “ikigai” in Tokyo, Japan when I returned there to teach English in 1998. On a lunch break, a Japanese coworker asked me “Nick, what’s your ikigai?” As I had never heard the word before she explained it as “the reason why you live and battle through life”. I was fascinated that one word could encapsulate this life philosophy. The word took a comfy spot in the back of my mind and I moved on with my life in Japan.

That Venn Diagram

Then 18 years later I started seeing a Venn diagram with the word ikigai in the center of it on several of the blogs I followed. It seemed very strange and un-Japanese to me that the concept would be defined this way. Even my own business coach posted a video about it. I was bemused by this interpretation of ikigai.

A few years later a book became a best seller on ikigai claiming it as an Okinawan word and the Japanese secret to a long and happy life. More and more blog posts shared the concept as this Venn diagram framework of doing something that you love, that you are good at, that the world needs, and that you can be paid for. It had gone viral.

Bemusement turned to annoyance as I saw more and more blogs, videos and TedTalks all teaching a concept that conflicted with the truth about ikigai. Then one day, I was shocked to discover that the Venn diagram framework was on the World Health Organization website.

This made me think I had to do something about it and share with the world what ikiagi meant to the Japanese. The problem was at that time, I really only knew that it wasn’t this Venn diagram and that it meant something more meaningful and personal than just the pursuit of one’s dream job.

In March of last year, I started researching and found out how ikigai become misinterpreted and redefined as a Venn framework. I reached out to Japanese professors, authors and researchers and interviewed them. This would later lead me to creating a podcast on the concept.

On July 23rd 2019, I wrote and published my first blog post “Ikigai Misunderstood and the Origin of the Ikigai Venn Diagram” sharing with the world what ikigai meant to the Japanese. I have updated that post several times adding more content to it when I discovered new insights.

Then in November, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of Japan’s leading authorities on the Ikigai concept, Professor Akihiro Hasegagwa as my first podcast guest. The episode went live on the 20th of that month and has had over 2300 downloads to date.

Later guests even included Mark Winn, a self-confessed “mischief-maker and lover of changing the word” who merged the Purpose Venn diagram with the ikigai concept.

Since then I have pretty much dedicated most of my working hours to researching, interviewing experts, and sharing my learnings on the ikigai concept with a worldwide audience through my website.

Early this year I started privately coaching people using the ikigai concept. In collaboration with Professor Hasegawa I created a new Venn diagram framework that represents what the concept means to the Japanese. I have been using this framework as part of my coaching methodology.

Do You Have An Ikigai Coaching Program?

In the past 6 months, I have had many people reach out to me and express their gratitude for what I have been doing. This has meant a great deal to me. Recently, several people have asked if I offer a coaching program on how to become an ikigai coach..

” I’m wondering if you do training for becoming an Ikigai Coach.”

“Hi, I would like to be a certified ikigai coach.”

Until recently, I was selling an ebook that compiled my research on ikigai. Also, I have just added the finishing touches to an online video course called “Find Your Ikigai” course, but my audience seems to want to help others find their ikigai as coaches so I am pivoting and offering a certified ikigai coaching program using my ebook and video course as coaching collateral.

A Tribe of Coaches

My vision is to have a tribe of coaches helping others find their ikigai. I hope together we can have as much of a positive impact on the world as the misinterpreted Ikigai concept has had.

My personal mission is to help a million+ people find their ikigai with the help of a tribe of ikigai coaches.

If your ikigai is to help others find theirs, then join me on this journey, and together we might be able to make the world a better place