Having a sense of purpose is perhaps the best way to be grateful and give back to those that give our life meaning. When we live with purpose we are really working for the betterment of others and society. In other words, we find purpose through service to others via our relationships and roles.
How To Find Purpose
You find purpose by defining who you want to become – the most honest version of yourself. Who you want to become will ultimately dictate what you will do. If you want to be a loving and kind parent, and you are mindful of your behavior, then you will perform acts of kindness of love towards your children.
By defining the type of husband, wife, parent, work role, etc we want to be, we can then work towards that with a sense of purpose, and you get closer to the vision of who we want to become. It is not about becoming the best version of yourself, it is about becoming the most honest version of yourself. You want to live your life true to your values.
Becoming Who You Truly Are
At the core, you are already who you want to be, but life’s challenges, societal pressure, the expectations of others and life’s immediate problems can get in the way and lead us astray from who we really are.
You need to take time to reconnect with your true self. Ken Mogi states you really need to get to know many people in order to find out who you are. Doing this will help you discover your own “set of ikigai”.
“It is only in the context of comparison with other people that you can get to know yourself. So you really need other people, and the communication with other people, to know yourself. So it is very important to get to know people from various backgrounds, people with different personalities, different value systems. When you communicate with these people, you realise what kind of person you are. Then you can start to build on your own set of Ikigai. Your set of Ikigai is likely to be very different from the set of Ikigai of your neighbor, of your friends, or even your family or your loved ones.” – Ken Mogi
Once we know who we really are we can then define our roles and relationships. Doing this gives us the chance to live our lives with purpose, where we can find meaning and our self worth in our day to day living – we find our ikigai.
If we define our roles and how we want to behave, then we can also assess whether or not we are being true to ourselves. For example, if we find ourselves neglecting some of our parenting duties because of stress at work, we can take action to solve our problems at work to get back to being the parent we want to be.
Being present and mindful is key here. You want to know who you are and be both present and mindful to make sure your actions and behaviors represent your true self.