The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Self-Discovery

It’s easier to feel when we aren’t aligned with our Ikigai then to figure out how to find it.   If you feel like you aren't doing what you should be doing, you probably aren't. It's just that simple.

The difficulty in finding our Ikigai comes from our inability to be mindful and present.  In an age of constant stimulus, we want fast answers to complex problems. We would rather have an app tell us what to do with our lives.  But finding your purpose, your Ikigai, is not that simple. It takes time to reflect and think.

Taking the time to figure out both what you are good at and what you are passionate about takes time.  And it also takes patience. You will need the patience to explore, experiment, and test along the way.

Finding a practical way to apply your introspection can be even more complicated.

SO HOW DO YOU START?

The One Thing You Need To Find Your Purpose

Ikigai means “a reason for being”; it is the Japanese “why” in why one gets out of bed every morning.  It‘s a more practical philosophy than our Western “happiness lies in following your bliss”.  The Japanese search for their purpose is not a search for happiness.  Happiness for them comes from the mastery of their purpose.  

This is how the sense of pride they get can come from the details in a bento box or from providing excellent service.  This sense of purpose, and the perpetual need to master it, is how they find meaning in their work.  It‘s also why they don’t have the same need to retire as we do.   If one loves what they do, and continue to get better at it, why retire?

4 Ways to Avoid Frankenvation

If we all know that frankenvations are bad design and thus bad for customers, why do we still produce them?  Features added willy-nilly - especially pre-release – means somebody doesn’t know what they are doing, and is hoping that something sticks to the wall.  Or worse, knows in advance that the product sucks and is trying to cover it up by throwing additional features into the mix as the technological equivalent of a Hail Mary.

Fall In Love with the Customer's Problem, and Not Your Idea

You love your idea.  You birthed, nurtured, fought through corporate politics tirelessly for it.  You see its potential even when no one around you shares that passion.  But this is a one-way love fest; and the resulting delusion that can come with pride of ownership could tank your success.  Fail safes must be put into place to ensure objectivity and maintain an ongoing perspective so that your idea actually solves the customer’s problem.