Finding my Ikigai?

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Date: 11/2/20

*Finding my Ikigai?*

For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt a certain existential frustration that stemmed from the conflicting desires.

On one hand, I wanted to live a life of meaning and consequence.

On the other, I wanted to enjoy the lifestyle that came along with money.

The result was an infuriating struggle between the things that made money and the things I truly cared about.

I set out to solve this with a concept I called “Enlightened Entrepreneurship,” which tried to find the right balance between these seemingly conflicting goals.

However, I always felt it was missing a certain something that I could never put my finger on.

I now believe that Ikigai is the refined version of the concept I was looking for. It is, simply put, your reason for getting out of bed every morning.

*We all have an Ikigai*.

It’s the Japanese word for ‘a reason to live’ or ‘a reason to jump out of bed in the morning’.

It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions and satisfaction meet.

A place of balance.

Small wonder that finding your ikigai is closely linked to living longer.

Finding your ikigai is easier than you might think.

Ikigai above all else, a lifestyle that strives to balance the spiritual with the practical.

This balance is found at the intersection where your passions and talents converge with the things that the world needs and is willing to pay for.

One of the many mistakes I’ve made in my life was believing that money led to fulfilment. That’s largely why I kept on trying out different things and finally went into finance, because as they say, “You have to be in money to make money.”

When I think back on those days, I can’t help but think of the James Taylor lyric

“You can play the game and you can act out the part, even though you know it wasn’t written for you.”

It never felt right, but I thought that if I had money, then I could have an impact on the world.

What I learned, however, is that form follows intent.

To discover your Ikigai, you must first find what you’re most passionate about.

Then, you find the medium through which you can express that passion.

Steve Jobs is a fantastic example of this idea. It’s easy to think of Jobs as a titan of technology, but that would be inaccurate. Jobs was a lover of fine craftsmanship, first and foremost.

Whether it was a matter of collecting handmade Japanese tea cups or obsessing over design details of various products, he wrapped himself in his passion for finely made items.

Apple and Pixar were merely his chosen mediums of expression.

This is something that I can relate to. I’d be lying if I said that I always cared deeply about finance, Hospitality, retail or food distribution.

Truth be told, those things are not particularly meaningful to me in and of themselves.

What I am passionate about is helping people live up to their highest potential, to becoming independent, to giving them a choice to follow their passion, to find their Ikagai,  by ensuring they have enough money and resources.

My Financial Distribution and Advisory business is simply the vehicle through which I can take these passions, apply them to the things that the people need, and make a profit in the process.

In other words, Sahayak Associates, my firm is my Ikigai.

This is not to say that work is the most important thing in my life. That honour falls to my faith and my family.

While I’m far from perfect, I strive to make sure that they remain the centre of my life.

However, there’s a difference between the things that are important in your life and your life’s work.

Ikigai is about finding joy, fulfilment, and balance in the daily routine of life.

It’s all too easy to fall victim to fragmented thinking, that our job, family, passions, and desires are all separate and unrelated aspects of our lives.

The fundamental truth of Ikigai is that nothing is fragmented. Everything is connected.

This realization has changed my outlook for the better. Whether you call it Ikigai or Enlightened Entrepreneurship, the truth remains,  It is possible to be true to your passions, live a life of consequence, and still use business as a medium of expression.

At the intersection of all of this are feelings of peace and lasting happiness that can sustain us throughout our lives.

This too shall pass,

Find your Ikagai and stay blessed forever.