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Let’s be real, if we really wanted to be healthier, do that passion project or finally read that book we’ve been putting off, we could have done it at any time of the year.

It’s hard to inculcate new healthy routines you see online or become a changed person within days. I’m sure we all wish that we could tick off a long list of resolutions without losing motivation so quickly.

So, for 2024, why not try Ikigai?

Principles of Ikigai

The Japanese principle Ikigai directly translates to the meaning of living. Finding fulfilment in our daily lives is more rewarding than extrinsic measures of success such as wealth or status.

Using Ikigai as a compass for our new year can help us focus on what aligns with our true nature and personal goals rather than following trends or the lifestyles of others which may not bring us joy.

Image Source: Dreamstime

Within our Asian culture, it’s easy to fall into the narrative of the standard success route, that high-paying job, going after prestige or status.

Yes, it could give you that stability you’re looking for, but it may leave you feeling empty somehow or unsatisfied. Being on this journey to find out what makes life worth living can bring us joy not just in the big but also small day to day things.

Discovering our Ikigai

Aligning our Ikigai helps us feel inner joy and satisfaction even if we aren’t necessarily doing a ‘productive’ activity. For instance, there’s something about organising the mess in my room that makes me feel refreshed.

Though it sounds mundane, cleaning even for that 10 minutes gives me a much needed mental break. Finding what we are naturally inclined to do requires us to observe what we enjoy doing even if it is as simple as cleaning or a bigger task like taking on a new job responsibility

Knowing what the world needs gives a bigger sense of purpose beyond ourselves. Just last year, I felt compelled to be a child sponsor knowing how life-changing it could be for someone who may not have the privilege of a good education system nor the resources for a better livelihood and sanitation.

This ties in with my overlapping mission of empowering a life and the soft spot I have for kids. It could be volunteering or activities you do on the weekend that puts a smile on your face.

Our profession is what we spend most of our waking hours on and it should enrich our lives. To make a living doing something we love can give us great satisfaction. Being in the design industry, I love how practical creativity can as it solves the needs of the users and business.

It’s important to realise that your pursuit may not be a conventional job nor have immediate financial rewards, and sometimes career switches are part of the process to figure out what aligns best.

Image Source: Pixabay

How you can get started in 2024

It may seem daunting to have it all figured out, but embracing self-awareness and reflection can make us more in tune with what we naturally are inclined to.

Reflecting on what you’re currently already doing is a good starting point before mapping out your passion, mission, profession and vocation. Here is a notion template you could use for your weekend activity to jot down and reflect.

Let’s find our Ikigai and become greater versions of ourselves. May this year be an even more fulfilling one for us all!