If you were to ask someone in Japan when they will retire, they would look at you with a befuddled face! You see, in Japan there is no word for retirement in their dictionary. However, if you asked them for their Ikagai, they would smile and tell you “Why they wake up in the morning”. Ikigai is their purpose! It’s a reason to wake up! It’s what helps them and many other communities in the world live lives well past 100 years of age. Purpose, or a reason to wake up, is what many people since the pandemic are desperately seeking. How they find purpose, however, has been somewhat allusive.
So, what is purpose? Purpose is the reason why people wake up every morning. Purpose is why people do what they do every day and still do them every day. That is your motivation.
Having purpose knows no age. In fact, what would you think was the most well-attended class at Yale (yes Yale University) in 2020? Well, it started out with only 300 students and grew to 2400 within 6 months. That class was Happiness 101. Even Gen Z and Millennials are looking for a purpose as most of us are suffering from digital dementia and virtual relationships. Having purpose has never been more important as we’re all looking for “A reason to Wake Up”.
However, Millennials and Gen Z seem to realize that intrinsic motivation is the bigger purpose that they need. They are not looking for higher pay or the “corner office” (that’s extrinsic motivation), but they are looking for work that gives them meaning that it would help solve social issues, help with the climate problem, etc. While these big purposes are nice, I would like to ask ourselves, do you know why you are here on Earth? What are you here for? If you know the answer to that, then that’s your purpose and that would drive everything that you do.
Simon Sinek did a famous TED talk in 2010 called, “Knowing your Why”. I recently took a client through this exercise, as most of us know “what” we do and “how” we do it. But we rarely know our WHY. Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t move the masses by telling everyone that he was a pastor or his process for writing speeches. He moved mountains because he had a dream, he had a vision. Most of all, he knew his WHY!
So, what is your WHY? There are a number of ways to figure it out, but I’d like to follow our “SHAPE”:
S – Strength
H – Heart
A – Abilities
P – Personality
E – Experience
Next time, we’ll dive deeper into what that means.
So, do you know your purpose? If so, how to find your purpose? Type in the “Reply” and let me know.
(This blog is co-written with Stan Gibson)