The Secret Trick To Finding Your Ikigai

How can we find ikigai? For Nick Kemp, he believes that people can feel ikigai with the roles that they play in society -- it doesn't have to be work-related; it can be one's role as a friend, a family member, or anything that they find purpose in.

Finding ikigai in our day-to-day lives.

I want to touch on a few things you said. So this idea of habits or rituals. One thing I've learned, I think I learned in Japan is that the power of a habit or doing something every day, it makes you present.

And the more present you are, the more you can enjoy these small things we've talked about. Instead of being in some sort of mental conflict, where you're worried about the future or regretting the past, and Japanese have all these little customs or practices to make them present.

And that's extremely powerful. It almost goes back to Ken Mogi's idea of making your day a series of dopamine releasing activities where you just do these small things that release dopamine, whether it's having coffee, or green tea in the morning and a chocolate and then doing some light exercise or getting some sunlight on your body or having a cold shower, which I do now.

So that's a really good point I think you made. And then this idea of being human.. 

Connecting to being a human being, that's actually what Makoto Rexrode touched on in our previous podcast that for her, ikigai is being human, which kind of sounded unusual when she said that, but that's what we want to be.

We want to be human, we want to be connected with other humans, and we want to be connected with our natural environment.

And then this other thing that came to mind is when I first met you, and we had that first talk, and you were contemplating about whether or not to join Ikigai Tribe, you're very polite, but you were...

You seem very reserved and I think you were dealing with a lot of uncertainty. And now here we are, you have this energy, you're almost bouncing off the walls as you talk to me. 

And so I say your true self is so different to... Maybe not so different, but just very different to the person I first met. I think it highlights this importance of having a role in your life and ikigai is tied to a role where you can express your values.

It seems to me or it seemed to me that you lost that role with the pandemic. But you've found it again. Ironically, for me, I found a new role with the pandemic. So in a way, the pandemic gave me the push to start the coaching program with the Ikigai Tribe.

I've done all the podcasts, I actually made a course, I'd written a book. But then people wrote to me saying, "Hey, I want to be an ikigai coach." And I had quite a bit of hesitation because I thought, "Was that ethical?". 

I wrote and spoke to Hasegawa-sensei and Kono-sensei, and they go, "Yeah, do it." So it's really interesting how my life became better because I found a role. I was doing work that I was really struggling to enjoy before this new role in Ikigai Tribe.

And yeah, I had all these values of having integrity and looking after my clients, but I just felt not a lot of purpose in that role. But when I thought, "Okay, yeah. I could teach and coach the ikigai concept", I have this new role, and it's life changing.

So I think.. And this is something I learned from actually a venture capitalist of all people, who basically said, this sort of the way you find ikigai is in a role where you just can be yourself. 

It doesn't have to be a work-related role. It could be the role as a parent, it could be the crazy fun guy in your circle of friends.

So the West has made ikigai almost unattainable in the form of a Venn diagram, where you almost have to be an entrepreneur, or you have to find your dream job. But as we've discovered, it's in these multiple roles we have as either as a friend or as a parent, or even as a daughter or son or as a coach.