Why Research About Ikigai

After grasping the concept of ikigai, Kei Tsuda seamlessly integrated it into his life, experiencing profound transformations. Now, he endeavors to share this knowledge with others.

Researching ikigai as a source of ikigai

Nick: I remember one of my ikigai tribe members said that the Venn diagram is very seductive—it's inspiring everyone, most people would want that dream job, I guess, would want to be in that sweet spot. And then replace purpose with ikigai and then it has this even greater attraction because there’s this element of mystery behind it.

Kei: I agree with that. It added that mystique, you know, it's like, well, I don't understand that word, it's something could be magical. Let me pursue it, let me find my own.

Nick: Yeah, I remember seeing it and my initial reaction was, ah, I remember that word, but that's not how it was described to me. And I remember showing my wife and she just rolled her eyes and walked off.

Even someone today who have connected with me, sent me a message saying, Nick, maybe you need to think about trying to retitle the Venn diagram. And that's actually what I don't want to do. Like, I really don't want to spend too much time focusing on the Venn diagram. I want to spend more time exploring ikigai, both the research but also the opinions of Japanese and non-Japanese, who live it in an authentic way.

And it sounds like for you, researching ikigai has become a source of ikigai, or a source of serious research. So is that the case? Has it become a serious source of research for you?

Kei: Yeah, that absolutely is the case. And I have been really fascinated with these systems and theories, even, I think as far back as I can remember, maybe elementary school days. And at first, right, I was, again, applying those kinds of desire to learn systems and theories towards engineering and towards aerospace.

But then, something happened when I actually started my adult life. And I actually did not pursue aerospace in career, like, I didn't become an astronaut. I mean, if I have, you probably do kind of know or see me on a TV somewhere. But that didn't happen.

I realized that I'm more of a like a people person, and interacting with people gave me joy. And later, I learned that my motivation comes from learning the systems and theories, and applying those things towards the services of people.

And if you think about this ikigai research and the situation that the way into, everybody's trying to figure out how to use ikigai framework or this concept, in context, like, again, some people may be looking to do a career change, great. That's one way to use it. In other aspects, that people are truly looking for that purpose in life, that's great.

But then I'm starting to think about, okay, this concept of ikigai could be applied in so many different situations, for the betterment of people's lives. So that got me going. And as I was learning to apply it for myself, the one idea came to my head and said, well, why don't I start sharing what I'm learning with others? And then I thought about, okay, how do I do that.

And again, I'm into the systems and theories. So I thought about it for a while, said, maybe LinkedIn will be a really good platform, because it's available to everyone, I'm still connected to my network of friends, colleagues from the past, current and potentially future. And it's got these features I learned last summer, that there's like the content, you know, features to create articles, and so on, so forth.

So, basically, I jumped on and started writing articles and started getting some feedbacks and responses from my close friends. And it's kind of interesting, it started to evolve. So that the group of people who were following me first, of course, were the colleagues that I worked with, but then my college buddies from years back, or even the people I worked with in Japan, started to kind of follow and give me words of encouragement, ‘Hey, keep it going. I like what you're doing.’

And now, I'm basically every day reading something about ikigai or related subject. And I'm planning on coming up with a list of articles that I may be able to write in the coming weeks and month. So that's what's happening.