Ikigai and Resilience

Sometimes it is also essential that we experience some difficulties in life because, through life challenges, we get to know ourselves better; we get to know what we are capable of; it helps in molding us to become the better versions of ourselves. Are there some challenges that you experienced that made you appreciate and embrace life more?

Nick and
Dr. Yasuhiro Kotera discuss how people can find meaning in life's challenges.

Nick: One aspect we touched on earlier, and it kind of relates to what we're talking about, I think is resilience. And you're right, the experiences of ikigai are experienced more vividly, when individuals are undergoing some form of crisis, or are facing complex challenges in their lives. 

As I mentioned before, I don't think our audience would know this, but I think, intuitively or from life experience, they probably would know this after overcoming some challenge, or some crisis, we understand something about ourselves.

So we learned something about ourselves. So can you share some knowledge about that?

Yasuhiro: I feel that Ikigai is fit with existential positive psychology. It's also regarded as the second wave of positive psychology that recognizes meaning in life suffering, and your resilience, it's also bouncing back from some difficulties.

And Ikigai is also about finding meaning. It's very good to talk about after we just talked about this intrinsic extrinsic type of motivation, that if you are obsessed with extrinsic presentations, extrinsic instruments, it makes it difficult to digest or appreciate life's difficulties because, to them, it has lost interest in going back. They're losing something. 

But if one sees the meaning, or intrinsic nature of experience, more like Ikigai, they can appreciate that change for what these people may not see as a problem, some learning experience or some different path.

That's where Ikigai, and resilience come across each other. That resilience is also this ability to bounce back from difficulties. And for those who live with ikigai, can appreciate and find meaning in life's difficulties. So that's what we talked about in that section there.

Nick: Do you think a part of it is, when we do overcome a challenge, that we discover our potential, or we discover who we are, because these, I guess challenges, they're not a daily thing.

They might only happen once a year, or some challenges might only happen once or twice or every hard challenge in your life. Sometimes you choose your challenges, right, I want to achieve this.

But you might learn that achieving the goal wasn't what made you happy or satisfied, it was the journey and overcoming challenges and what you learn from it. So it seems like we gain a sense of life satisfaction, but we also discover our potential and we learn something about ourselves that we didn't know existed.