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How To Find And Do Work That You Love (Ikigai)

Is it possible to do work that you love and make money?

We think yes. But to find a job that you love, are good at, creates a sustainable income, and does something for the world takes a little introspection and the concept of Ikigai.

Ikigai (pronounced icky guy) is a Japanese concept of something you live for, or something that is your reason for being. Ikigai prompts you to search for that meaning as it pertains to your career. It asks you to look for what you love, what you’re good at, what makes you money, and what benefits the world to help you find and do work that you love.

For many, the opportunity to do what you love is a dream come true; to wake up every day and be excited to get to work. But this doesn’t have to be just a dream. Through the Ikigai exercise, you can be well on your way to turning your dream into your every day life.

We’ll break down the four steps of Ikigai:

1. What do you love?

There’s something, or multiple things, that you simply love. Write down the things you love to do, see, study, learn from, or just feel a deep appreciation for.

2. What are you good at?

We all have skills that make us unique, so what are yours? Are you good at processes, designing websites, speaking to clients, or cooking?

3. What skills are in demand that you can get paid for?

This one requires a bit of deeper thinking. If you’re a web designer, for example, something that’s in demand could be design thinking, or UI/UX research. Take what you love and are good at and use those as a way to search for what the market needs based on what you can do.

4. What does the world need right now?

This isn’t the part where you run off and become a humanitarian—although, if that’s your thing, go for it. Figuring out what the world needs involves taking what’s going on in the world right now, and how your skills and passions can drive positive change.

You have a gift as a creative person to see what others might not, to question the norm, and be a divergent thinker. Use this creativity and different perspective to find what you really love.

Doing work that brings you pure elation is something that’s only become a reality thanks to the millennial generation. Whereas back in the day, people worked 9-5 and lived for the weekends.

Ikigai will help you see that there’s more to life than work, and that you can make your work something that you love.

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