Revisiting Ikigai Moments

What are the things that you focus on? Aside from focusing on our future, it's also important to look back on our past experiences, as these may be a source of ikigai -- going back to these meaningful experiences may help give us motivation especially during the trying times of our lives.

Nick and
Dr. Yasuhiro Kotera discuss how our memories of past experiences can be helpful whenever we're faced with uncertainties and how they may be a source of ikigai.

Nick: A lot of coaches have a vision board, and it's really only focused on the future. I said, why don't we make an Ikigai board where you have things from your past, your present, and future on this board.

o it could be postcards, or letters or certificates, or photos of past things you're working on now and things that you want in the future. And it can be quite a powerful experience when you go back and you look through old photos or you look through old letters -- it really brings those things back to life.

Yasuhiro: Yeah, I can imagine that. That's a very helpful exercise. Then we need that, it's important to us to look at the vision. But at the same time remembering, revisiting those Ikigai moments or maybe resourceful moments in your life.

I'm feeling that because you need to feel confident, you need to feel doable, you need to feel that you are capable in order to achieve that vision. Sometimes, like, if your boss shows a vision of your team, and you feel so depressed or you feel so not confident, you want to take action toward it.

You need to feel you can do it, you need to feel that the vision is valuable. And to do that, visiting those Ikigai moments is very helpful.

Nick: I guess it's recognizing your capabilities and you realize I'm capable of more. I just don't recognize it because I'm so focused on the future or I'm so focused on negative things.

Yasuhiro: I'm a psychotherapist and I see clients regularly. Then sometimes it's hard for them to remember those times internally, like if I asked them questions and having a conversation really helps in their daily life, for example.

If I give them homework or they visit the Ikigai time of their life, sometimes it's hard because they're distracted in their daily life. And there are lots of external stimuli in their life. And with a depressed mind, they interpret it in a different way. So sometimes it's good to have external objects that can anchor you to that time.

For example, if you have someone who really is caring for you, or there is potential then you can put the picture of that person on your desk, something external that can trigger your experience. I know one example, if you know the baseball player, Ichiro Suzuki.

Nick: Oh, yeah, of course. 

Yasuhiro: One time Ichiro wasn't playing well. This was when he was in the States. He wasn't playing well that year; his wife saw that he was so distressed that his breathing is different at home. Normally, he doesn't talk about baseball at home. But he was only thinking about baseball, at dinner tables, and then his wife brought a picture of Mr. Ogi, the guy who recognized Ichiro's potential. 

And he started to use Ichiro very actively, then, Ichiro bloomed, like in the third year of his professional career. So Ichiro saw this picture, then remembered those ikigai times of his life. Then that day, he hit like four or three hits in the game that he recovered from. And achieved, like 10 straight years of 200 hits per year, something like that.

But that's a good example of ikigai moments, sometimes if your mind is not there, they're hard to remember. But putting objects is then useful to bring them back to the memory.