3/30 Find Your ‘Ikigai’ | Unlock a More Meaningful Life

Finding Your ‘Ikigai’ And A More Meaningful Life
I love a good hardcover coffee table book. The bigger and more obnoxious, the better.

At the Met Museum bookstore, there are GREAT BIG ONES. I salivate over the covers, like a kid at the ice cream counter.

As I was doing my audit, an itty bitty light blue book caught my eye. White, delicately drawn Japanese cherry blossoms dotted the cover. It was titled “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life.” 

I started to read the first few pages, but my friend I was meeting showed up, and I completely forgot about it.
My keen interest in “Ikigai” was rekindled this week in Matt Gray’s newsletter. In 2016, Gray called his dad crying from a hotel room in LA. His business was running him into the ground.  He was turning to alcohol to alleviate his loneliness and despair. Everything felt dark.

Something needed to change.

That’s when he discovered this Japanese philosophy, “Ikigai” which literally translated means “reason for being.” He shared these questions to arrive at the intersection of 

  • what you love
  • what the world needs
  • what you can be paid for
  • what you are good at

I did the following:

  • I answered the questions.
  • I put them into a Venn diagram. I share my Venn diagram here.
  • Then I enlisted an accountability partner to review it with me to see what I may not see.

 What’s your Ikigai?

 Here are the questions:

  • What do you love?  What are your passions in life? What do you lose track of doing? What kind of tasks do you love doing? What do you spend a Saturday afternoon learning about?
  • What does the world need? You have heard me talk about this with Melanie with her speaker reel.  What do you hear people asking for? What do you think the world could use your help with? What do customers or friends wish they had more of?
  • What can you be paid for? What do you have results in? What do you hear people asking for?  What do others say they would pay you for help with? What challenge have you conquered that you could be paid to help others overcome it?
  • What are you good at? What are you world class at?  What comes naturally to you?  What do you find yourself researching for fun?  What do your friends reach out to you for help on?
  • Friday: Who can you enlist to review this Venn diagram? I believe in accountability partners for everything. It helps to get fresh eyes on what my ‘Ikigai’ may be? 


I host a business Mastermind for C level women and 7 figure business owners. Each of the 8 women spend the year, building a powerful personal brand, culminating in them giving a Tedx style talk on a NYC stage in November.

I’m currently enrolling for the 2024 class.  Join the waitlist here.

Ikigai Diagram

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