In Japan, it is believed that everyone has an ikigai, defined as a reason for being. In Japanese culture, the process of finding one’s purpose, or reason to wake up every morning, is regarded as important and essential to one’s happiness. Since every person’s Ikigai adds meaning and joy to their life, it is considered valuable to spend time seeking it.
Interestingly, the French have a phrase for a similar concept: raison d’être, which translates to “reason for existence“. Perhaps, the North American version of this concept is the word purpose. Regardless of what you call it, humans desire a meaning, a focus for their energy, and a reason for living. But discovering your ikigai or raison d’être can be a lifelong process. Perhaps this is why the saying “the journey is the destination” rings true; we don’t simply arrive at purpose; we follow the clues and find purpose through the journey of seeking it.
What’s your reason for waking each morning? What are you here to do? These are questions worth pondering as you take your journey through relationships, new places, new friendships, and careers. Look for the subtle thread of consistent meaning that is carried through all your experiences. What makes you feel alive? What fills you with excitement and devotion for something greater than yourself?
For me, I know part of my purpose is to join people together and to help us to discover how interconnected we are. That’s at the heart of why I started this blog. I believe that by working towards a cure for the societal diseases of loneliness and disconnection, we can heal ourselves and thus, heal the world. And in order to heal, we need connection. We need love and we need togetherness.
The thread of meaning you weave is uniquely yours and yet, miraculously, there are others who carry a similar string of raison d’être. Maybe that’s love: when we recognize a bit of our own purpose in someone else’s eyes. It’s exciting, isn’t it, to think of all the people you have yet to meet who burn with the same passion you do? This is the good stuff, folks.
**Life is a grand adventure, waiting to collaborate with you at every step of the way. Expect the best for yourself and trust that every experience is chipping away at the stone of your understanding to reveal the beautiful sculpture that is your purpose in life.**
“He who has a why to live for, can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” – Gautama Buddha
“…Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you’ll get everything you wish for. Maybe you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.” – Whitey Durham, One Tree Hill