What is your reason for waking up in the morning? As I work with people on the process of setting their personal goals, I have started using this question to get the mental ball rolling. Are the things you are doing everyday supporting and improving your main reason (s) getting up in the morning? There is no doubt that some of your goals will not line up with your reasons for waking up in the morning, but what if you started to work on the process of looking at the work that the world needs, aligning that with what you can get paid for, while doing what you are good at and hopefully doing what fuels your passion? As it turns out, that is the idea behind Ikigai. In a 2001 research paper, co-author Akihiro Hasegawa, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at Toyo Eiwa University, placed the word ikigai as part of everyday Japanese language. It is composed of two words: iki, which means life and gai, which describes value or worth. In short, what is your life purpose? What is getting you up in the morning and are you putting the right amount of effort in the things that will drive your goals.
Below is a venn diagram with four overlapping qualities: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. Check it out and start the search for your Ikigai.