Ikigai is a Japanese concept, which loosely translates to “your reason to get up in the morning.” It’s similar to a “raison d’être,” but connotes more than just “being” — it’s about what you are good at, what you love doing, what the world needs and what you can be paid for. Your ikigai is at the centre of those different elements. So, in other words, people who tell you to single-mindedly “follow your passion” are missing a few other important components. If your passion is something that the world does not need, or something that you are not good at, or something that no one will pay for, then it’s probably not going to work for you as a fulfilling lifestyle (though it might make a great hobby).
Mogi outlines the five pillars of ikigai: starting small, releasing yourself, harmony/sustainability, the joy of small things, and being in the here and now. These are the foundations that let you discover your ikigai and allow it to flourish. Some people seem to find ikigai very easily when they are young. Others may take much longer to figure out their path, their flow, their ikigai. If you are still figuring yours out, the pillars of ikigai can be your guide. Mogi shares many examples of people who are living their ikigai. With some work and diligence, you can be among them. This book may be the start of your inspiration and, as a small easy read, it’s worth a look if you are currently languishing and feel that there must be something better — a reason to get up with a smile and a sense of purpose every morning.