Gina Larkin News

Purpose: The Meaning of Ikagi
August 1, 2018

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into you purpose.” – T.D. Jakes

Find your passion and you will find your purpose. Is it possible it’s that simple? I’ve been obsessed with this concept for several years. In fact, it was a big part of my transition from the corporate world to my evolved career as a transformational leadership coach.

The first step is understanding how important the concept is. Research studies show that living your purpose is a major factor in leading a full, happy and long life, and that losing one’s purpose can have a detrimental effect on living a meaningful and fulfilled life. That loss can also easily spill over into our careers, relationships, home life, and our overall sense of well being.

Ikagi is the Japanese concept which means “A Reason for Being.” The word is often used to describe a source of value in one’s life, or the thing (or things) that make living vibrant and worthwhile. Essentially, ikagi is the confluence of four essential elements:

  • Your Passion: What you love
  • Your Mission: What the world needs
  • Your Vocation: What you are good at
  • Your Profession: What you can get paid for


So where you do you start? Put pen to paper and make three lists, answering the following questions:

1)    What values are important to me?

2)    What things do I like to do?

3)    What am I inherently good at?

Review your answers to those questions and look for the cross sections between them. Are you surprised by what you see?  Does your soul crave more meaning in your life? Get curious about what it might mean to explore or pursue what you’re truly passionate about. In my coaching practice, I’ve seen clients transform their life by changing or evolving their career, starting a side business to pursue their passion, or even join the board or volunteer for an organization that’s close to their heart.

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