To Live Intentionally Embrace Your Ikigai.

To Live Intentionally Embrace Your Ikigai.

To Live Intentionally Embrace Your Ikigai.

The purpose of life is an intentional life of purpose, passion and professional
contribution. You are either living intentionally or accidentally plodding along
hoping to arrive at some great station in life. Do not gamble with your life,
living in the clouds and pretend that you own the Casino. The player is the
gambler, while the owner of the slot machine is in business. Live intentionally,
focus your efforts on what matters most, refine your skills and direct your
energies. In this way you will live fully and die with few regrets. A spectacular
failure is someone who has all the trimmings of success, popular Instagram
photos, an adventurous Facebook timeline but yet feels like a hollow failure. It
is not a fun way of living to be popular and broke, or to be financially loaded
and purposeless. Living an empty existence and waking up to posture big is
no way of wasting living.
Laugh Often
There are many definition of success and you can also add yours to the
many. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882), success to him
could be defined as: “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of
intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of
honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy
child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life
has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
What success and greatness means to you is more a matter of your own
purpose and values. Live intentionally, abounding with energy and express
your purpose.
Embrace “Ikigai”
The people of Japan believe that everyone has a reason to get out of bed
each morning. They call this your “Ikigai.” By pursuing your Ikigai you feel
validated, useful, profitable and you will want to live long and do a lot for
more. There is no reason to aspire for a long life when you have nothing of
value to give to other people and when your life is a burden even to yourself.
Your Ikigai is more than just an expression of intent or your purpose. In
English it can be loosely translated as: “the happiness of always being busy.”
It is the art of staying young and vibrant while you are getting old. When you
find your Ikigai there is no reason why you should retire or give up living.
Your Ikigai is a confluence of four important elements, namely: Passion,
Mission, Vocation and Profession. You are truly expressing life and inspired
when you are doing what you love; What you are good at; will be added
bonus that you are paid for it and world needs what you do. This is the
essence if Ikigai. Get any of the elements out of shape and you get frustrated.
Align passion, mission, vocation and profession and life become rich and
exciting. You will not have any moment of idleness that is why Ikigai is the
happiness of being busy. You do not have the luxury of complaining that you
have too much work when you are doing the work that you love and you are
good at it.
Your Passion
It is not enough to live, you want to live your life vibrating with wonder and
passion. Your passion embodies what you are good at and enjoy doing. You
can tell what you are passionate about because when engaged in your
passion time stops and you can be engaged the whole night and wake up
with more energy. You cannot sulk and complain doing what you love. When
you are doing what you are passionate about you are never bored or boring.
Find your passion and the things that you do well; and do them well. Do the
things that make you sing and dance. Create space in your work to do what
you are passionate about. Create space in your home for your passion.
Create space in your time for your passion. Direct your time, priorities and
energy towards your passion. Do the things that make you come alive and
aglow. Life is more than just a fool’s burden. It is more than a purposeless
terrible pilgrim’s progress. Your passion is what you love, live at the centre of
your passion.
Your Mission
Your mission is what the world needs; and what you were born for. It is your
purpose in life. Your are born to be a blessing to other people and to make a
difference. You are an answer to some problem that someone has. What is
that difference and touch that you bring? Why does your phone ring? What
do people look for you for? Reflect deeply on your mission and live beyond
just entertaining yourself. Be passionate about your mission and you will
never miss a step.
You are at your best when you can combine your mission with your passion
into a strong force for good. People who do passionately their mission do
great things and are a blessing. Find your calling and express it with passion.
There is no big work or small work – all there is is work done well or badly. Do
not express your mission as though you were wearing some else’s clothes.
Martin Luther King Jr, said it well when he said: “If a man is called to be a
street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or
Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep
streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here
lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Your Profession
Your profession is the work that you are good at or were trained to perform. It
is not enough to have passion, you also need skill and competence. Passion
without skill makes you an unemployable clown. It is not enough to know
your mission and to pursue an otherworldly existence; you need competence
and professional grounding. Turn whatever you are passionate about into a
profession by diligently studying and applying yourself. Go beyond pursuing
certification and seek to be competent and excellent. In the Bible in 2
Timothy 2:15 the Bible says: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a
workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Work to develop mastery and do excellent work. You can not do excellent
work and remain at the same level for long. You cannot starve if you are truly
excellent at what you do. Being passionate is not enough, you have to horn
your skills through training, application and practice. Having a sense of
mission is not enough you have to study, train and apply yourself. Training
means that some of the work you will have to do will not be fun. At times you
will have to do what you do not like now in order to do what you like for
longer.
The key to journeying towards Ikigai is know your mission; link that to your
passion and then have the discipline to train and develop skills that express
both. Stop talking about following your purpose when you are not willing to
have the discipline to train and learn. Follow your passion to the place of
disciplined learning. Learning starts but has no terminal point.
Your Vocation
Your vocation is what you are paid for. What is it that you do that is worth
paying for and has value? This is your vocation. What is interesting about the
concept of “Ikigai” is that it is a combination or confluence of all these four
elements. Package your passion so that it is aligned to your mission and you
are paid for it. In this way Ikigai is a grounded approach to life that allows you
to live intentionally and never complain that you are not being paid.
You are truly in your “Ikigai” when what you are passionate about is what
makes a difference in other people’s lives; you give value that other people
are willing to pay; it is your mission; and you are engaged and developing
your skills to be able to serve and give more value. With this approach to
living you keep growing, expanding and making a difference and you do not
have the luxury of purposelessly killing time. How do you retire from your
passion, when you are paid to do it, you do it well and touch other people in
meaningful ways? Once any of the mission, vocation, passion and profession
circles is not aligned, you tend to feel and live a frustrated life. Retrace your
steps to your Ikigai and your will find the juice of life and motivation flowing.
Do yourself a favour and do not outsource your future or your own
authenticity. Be true to yourself and make the decisions that move you closer
to the centre of your Ikigai. Work to align your mission, passion, profession
and vocation. You may need to invest time, energy, resources and money. In
the end it will all the work to your advantage when you live at the centre of
your Ikigai and you are passionately pursuing true greatness. Live
intentionally and you will want to live long and make a difference in many
ways.
Committed to your greatness.
Milton Kamwendo
© 2018, Milton Kamwendo

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