Thousands of versions of the ikigai graphic below are all over the internet defining the concept of ikigai in an easy to understand framework. The only problem is, it does not accurately represent the Japanese concept of ikigai. While it could be considered a Westernised version, the truth is it is a complete misinterpretation of the concept.
When Japanese think of ikigai they do not ask themselves:
- Am I doing something that I love?
- That the world needs?
- That I’m good at?
- And that I can be paid for?
I go into detail about this in the post titled Ikigai Misunderstood & the Origin of the Venn Diagram
To the Japanese, ikigai could be your job, your partner, your family, your hobby, or anything else. It’s whatever brings you satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.