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During a coaching session with a client a few weeks ago, she said ‘Nico, what you do with your coaching is what the Japanese call “Ikigai”.

Straight after our session, I Googled “Ikigai” and if you go to my home page, you will see that I now call myself an ‘Ikigai Coach’, as my purpose in life is to help people to find their ‘Ikigai’.

So what is ‘Ikigai’? In short, Ikigai means ‘the reason for being’ or ‘the thing that gets you up in the morning’.

According to the Japanese, everyone has an Ikigai, a purpose for being.

To find your Ikigai, you need to know four things about yourself:

1. What are you passionate about?

2. What are you talented at doing?

3. How can you serve the world? Or to put it another way, what does the world need that your talent can provide?

4. How can you be paid for doing what you love?

This is how it looks:

Your Ikigai resides at the intersection of these four circles. The combination of the above four things is the secret to living a meaningful and happy life. Each circle is equally important, and if one is not clear, it will affect all the rest.

In order to have answers to these questions, you first need to know who you really are, and let go of old blueprints and social conditioning.

You will never find your Ikigai by trying to make other people happy. It’s about discovering what you have inside and putting it in service of others.

Ikigai What you need to know

What things do you love to do? Know Thyself – Who you really are.

What can you contribute to the world? How can you help, inspire, teach, give or serve?

What can you get paid for? What problem can you solve?

What are you good at? What are your talents and skills?

1. If you know what you love to do and you know what you can offer to the world you will find your mission in life.

2. If you know what you can offer to the world and you know what you can get paid for, you will find your vocation in life.

3. If you know what you can get paid for and you know what you are good at you will find your profession in life.

4. If you know what you are good at and you know what you love to do, you will find your passion in life.

This is how the diagram will look like

Knowing your Ikigai will keep you focused on what really matters in life. Things that don’t add value to your cause won’t distract you.

In my own experience, I can tell you that your life will radically change for good when you find your Ikigai. Helping/teaching/serving/inspiring people by doing what you are good at and what you enjoy doing is the best reward that you will ever have. The good news is that there is no limit to how much you can get paid! Best of all, you will experience ultimate happiness as you will be living based on your purpose, your Ikigai.

True love is a love of giving not a love of receiving and as our essence is love, the more we give, the more we will love.

Your Ikigai won’t show up fully formed. It will become clearer and clearer as you work on it. But the key is to get started and allow it to come out.

If there is a part of you that knows that there is more to life, don’t stop working towards finding it. Your story is important and you were born to make an impact on people’s lives.

To your Ikigai!

Nico Curia


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