Ikigai: Finding Joy in Your Life

Carly Taylor has been using ikigai in her presentations and sees a lot of positive feedback from her audience. Knowing about the authentic meaning of ikigai, people begin to understand that they can always find simple joys in their daily lives, even when faced with difficulties.

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Ikigai is like a joy hunter

Nick: So let's talk about ikigai and how you stumbled upon ikigai. So when did that happen?

Carly: So I stumbled across ikigai, like most people, on the Venn diagram that comes up on all the Google searches, which hopefully you are going to influence that, and I bought Hector Garcia's book, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to Happiness and Long Lasting Life.

But then after that, I still found it quite obscure and out of reach. I was kind of confused about what it was at that point. Then Trudy Boyle at the ToDo Institute talked about ikigai with such passion and her bringing ikigai into her work with terminally ill people, and that they could use ikigai to really live fully even with the illness. 

So that kind of sparked my memory. And then by chance, I stumbled across the Ikigai Tribe and you, and did your course. 

And that completely changed my course, and I understood the authentic ikigai, which is what you are wanting to get out there. And it's something that I've incorporated in my own life, and every day, and also with my clients as well. So thank you, Nick.

Nick: Thank you. It's been interesting, actually. Because every so often, I'll get an email from you saying, can I use this image? Or do you have this as a slide? And I'm like, awesome, you're using it. You're always very supportive of people who use ikigai. And yeah, you're right, you sort of touched on it. 

It was very important for me to find some evidence and not just talk about what I thought ikigai could be. So there has been a wonderful journey, interviewing all these amazing people, both Japanese and non-Japanese, who've either researched the concept that they've written on it, or that they actually try to implement it to help others and help themselves. 

And it's funny how for Japanese, it's a word they don't use often. And usually their ikigai source is something quite humble: a relationship, a hobby, a pet.

But behind it all, there's this fascinating growing body of research, I'm always using this phrase, growing body of research because that's what's happening from the 60s, with the research pioneer, Mieko Kamiya, to Ken Mogi writing a book or the work of Shintaro Kono and how it relates to leisure or ibasho. 

And all the sub theories like ibasho. So I can't get enough of it. And I'm so happy that you're using it. So do you want to talk about how you've used it? Because I know you've done several speeches and presentations. So how have you used it? And what's the response you're getting from your audience and clients?

Carly: There's such a link with Morita therapy and attention. Because if you think about where our minds go, like dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, none of those things are happening in the here and now. And if we can use our attention to bring us back into the here and now, we're more likely to tap into our ikigai. 

Coaching with my individual clients, I call it being a joy hunter. Especially if somebody feels that their life doesn't have any meaning and joy in it. And I think it was Gregg that said, even in the darkest days, you will find moments of joy.

And that's ikigai, it's crying out, even if I'm having a really bad day, and all these emotions are coming up, if I can just pause or just stop and look out the window, or just sit for a moment and enjoy my cup of coffee, that's when you can tap into ikigai. And it's almost like these moments of reprieve from all the other stuff that's going on. So that's kind of with my individual clients. 

And I think that's been the biggest impact is no matter what's going on, you can find joy in your life. And with the presentations, I think the response has been really, really good. It's almost like there's this relief that it's not a Venn diagram, and you don't have to get paid for it.

And it's not something you've got to go out and search for. But it's actually there to be. I think in that last podcast is the word cultivated. And I find that what people are doing is recognizing what their ikigai is when they haven't actually connected that before. There was one guy that said, surfing is his ikigai.

And he'd never thought about it before. But now it's got this meaning: it's like I love surfing. When he's out there, he just feels this, again, like a connection with nature. I'm sure it's like you're out on the sea and riding those waves, and it's amazing. 

And either that, or I've had people write to me and say that they are going to start recognizing what their ikigai is so they're going to start a hobby that they'd been putting off. And I think we're so busy with deadlines, and busy with life and getting places and kids going to activities and all that sort of stuff.

And even if you can find five minutes between waiting for your kids to put their shoes on, and getting out the door, there's an opportunity there to just tap into something. It's really amazing, ikigai has such a huge impact on me. It really has had such a positive impact on my life. It's been amazing.