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Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “value” or “worth.”

When combined, these terms mean that which gives your meaningful life or purpose in life.

Ikigai is similar to the French term “raison d’être” or “reason for being.”

What Is the Japanese Concept Ikigai?

Ikigai is an ancient Japanese philosophy that has enveloped the way Japanese people live. Some believe it’s even the reason for their happiness and longevity. Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means your ‘reason for being.’

Your ikigai is your life purpose or your bliss. It’s what brings you joy and inspires you to get out of bed every day. It’s important to mention that while traditional Japanese philosophy focuses on finding your bliss, western interpretation has used ikigai as a method of finding your dream career.

The full IKIGAI focus on these 9 Principles:

1. Stay active and don’t retire.

4. Surround yourself with good friends

7. Reconnect with nature

2. Take it slow.

5. Get in shape for your next birthday

8. Give thanks

3. Don’t fill your stomach.

6. Smile

9. Live in the moment

Japanese Garden

The Westernized version of Ikigai says you’ve found your dream career when your career includes these four qualities :

  •  What you love

  •  What you’re good at

  •  What you can be paid for

  •  What the world needs & matters to you

The center point on the Venn diagram where all four circles overlap is your ikigai.

Knowing your ikigai can help you:

  •  Align with your purpose in life

  •  Create a healthy work-life balance

  •  Create joy & happiness in your existence

  •  Make a positive impact on the planet

  •  Perform at your best

  •  Create strong social connections at work

  •  Design your ideal work lifestyle

  •  Do what you love most

  •  Pursue your career dreams


DevelUpLeaders will guide you in the journey of discovering yourself and will bring you awareness.

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