Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is the Japanese equivalent of the French, raison d’être. In English, these translate respectively as: ‘something important one lives for’, and ‘a reason for being’
The Japanese attribute their longevity and overall quality of life to their desire to find ikigai. Unlike our ancestors, why obsess over what the results of our efforts must be when instead we can love ourselves, steadfast in our purpose, confident in our prospects and prosperous in our experience of life.
Credit for this inspiration belongs to Dr. Jane Goodall.
Everyone, according to the Japanese, has a hidden ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as being very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.