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The meaning of Ikigai plus Tips for your Happiness.

The meaning of Ikigai plus Tips for your Happiness.

Meaning of Ikigai

Have you ever thought about what the purpose of life is? Well, the Japanese have a great word for it, Ikigai. In this article, we explain what the meaning of Ikigai is, how you pronounce it and what it can mean for your Happiness.

Why do we do what we do? Why do you wake up every day, and why you do the stuff you do? Most people have no specific answer to those questions. For others, it feels like a routine.

Looking for a life purpose is a never-ending journey of the human race for many centuries, but it may be closer than we think. 

In Japan, folks have explored a unique, excellent concept of finding their purpose in life. They do it in the most basic way—Ikigai. But what is the meaning of Ikigai? 

What is the meaning of Ikigai, and Where Does It Come From?

Finding your purpose in life
@Dragon Images/

The word “ikigai” is a combination of the words “iki” (life) and “gai” and connects with worth or value.

2001 research paper put the word as part of the everyday Japanese language. The concept of the word aligns more to “seikatsu.” In Japanese social science, seikatsu (生活) is similar to livelihood; the conscious and non-submissive activity of ordinary people in shaping their lives.

Researchers found out that Japanese folks thought that the total of little happiness in daily life leads to a more fulfilling life in general. 

In short, the meaning of ikigai is all about seeking accurate fulfillment and happiness in life through living out your purpose. 


That concept originated in Okinawa, Japan, which is considered home to the most significant population of centenarians worldwide. Ikigai is the intersection of four key elements:

  • Vocation (what you’re good at) 
  • Mission (what the world needs)
  • Profession (what you can get paid for)
  • Passion (what you love)

It may sound a bit complex at first, but the opposite is true. 

How Do You Pronounce Ikigai?

How to pronounce Ikigai

The proper pronunciation of ikigai is as follows:

  • Pronounce the “i” as the “i” in the word igloo.
  • “ki” is pronounced “ki” like the words kiss or kick.
  • Pronounce “ga” the “ga” in the word gamble.
  • “i” is once more pronounced “i” like in or it.

Keep in mind no syllable is stressed when you say the word. It must sound i-ki-ga-i. 

5 Tips to Use Ikigai For Your Happiness.

Japanese red sun
@ bc21/

Here is how you start supporting the proper mindset to establish your ikigai. 

1. Ask yourself basic questions.

Get the closest part and begin by noting the things you have spent your time with throughout the week. Ask yourself these question about every item on the list:

  • Could you be paid for it?
  • Is that something you are good at?
  • Does the world need it right now?
  • Is this something you love doing? 

Be honest to yourself. Don’t be scared to write down anything that comes to your mind.

2. Experience with trivial changes.

The power of finding your happiness lies in putting action. Commit to taking consistent effort to make such changes—and make the necessary adjustments throughout the way as you learn.

3. Follow your curiosity.

Find your Ikigai
@Ilina Yuliia /

What would you do if you were not getting paid for it? What offers you intrinsic motivation? Making creativity and curiosity a part of your routine will help you prevent straying from your journey.

4. Don’t overthink.

Having a clear idea of the larger picture behind the things you do will help you keep the bad days in perspective. 

5. Let your Ikigai become your compass.

Remember that your ikigai of more of a compass than a map, helping you point in the correct route. You’ll end up more in a longer, happier life by relying on it to direct you to the right path.

With this knowledge about the meaning of ikigai, and tips on finding it, you’re ready to look for your happiness. 

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