Do We Need Money For Ikigai?

For Kei Tsuda, experiencing ikigai doesn't hinge on money. Nevertheless, for some, finding fulfillment in earning money can be a significant aspect of their ikigai, particularly when it's tied to supporting themselves and their families.

One can feel ikigai with or without money

Nick: You note that earning money holds significant practical importance in life. And then, of course, we need money. But do we need money for ikigai? Or could money ever become a source of ikigai?

Kei: To answer your first question of is money required for ikigai? Of course, the answer is no. And of course, Mieko Kamiya has pointed out that you could feel ikigai with or without money. And I think it's more often without.

Or having said another way, it's easier to find ikigai when you remove that money component from the framework. But to answer your second question, I do believe that some people can feel ikigai from earning money. So that's why I think that the Ikigai Venn diagram may work really well for those type of people.

So making the earnings or making living by working and earning money, that may be very, very important. If that ranks really high on their life importance, then that can be their ikigai.

Nick: Yeah. Even Gordon Mathews, who wrote an incredible book on ikigai, What Makes Life Worth Living, noted that some people might have morally, it's morally wrong, or almost shallow sources of ikigai, like, cigarettes or alcohol. Or maybe money might fit into that. I guess it's what you do with it.

But yeah, you know, if that cigarette helps you get through the day, and if that first sip of beer makes you feel good, then it can be your ikigai, which is interesting.

Kei: We kind of say that ikigai can have a negative effect when applied, because it is a feeling. So if you have feeling towards something that you know that might lead over time to bad health, but then you're applying it, that means, I believe that is still your ikigai. And just that, that ikigai may ultimately give you a shorter life. So it won't be a good book

Nick: Not something worth dying for. But be you know, you had something unhealthy, but you still do it, which a lot of people do, because it gives them that relief, it gives them that comfort.