There are only two mistakes on the path to truth – not starting the path and not going all the way to the end.
Since I can remember, I’ve always been a curious individual. Throughout my life I have pushed, poked, and prodded to understand “Why.”
“Our Why,” is what should make us get out of bed each day. It should be the center of our purpose and what motivates us to push onward. Even when we hit apparent roadblocks and difficult times, it is the fuel and empowerment that can bring us back toward our calling. All of us have it – some just know it with deeper conviction. “The Why,” is our power – without it we have no meaning. Today, as we move through an ever-changing and often challenging reality, the search for truth should take on an even higher purpose. When we seek for truth with intention, it is revealed for us. It takes hard work, and is not going to simply appear for us. We have to put out the intention and do the work. Those that seek truth in earnest will be rewarded. Those that look for the quickest and most readily available sources are often misguided. There are repercussions for closing one’s eyes and hoping the world passes by, while we just simply live our lives. Ignorance is not bliss…
But many of us have a hard time finding what our purposes are. Below is great diagram that comes from the Japanese lifestyle designed to help us find our reason for being.
The key is to find the sweet spot where we can:
- Do what we are good at for a profession
- We happen to love what we do for that profession
- What we do meets the needs of the world and others around us
- And we can monetize this profession to keep bring more to those in need of our services
There are numerous books dedicated to ikigai, but one in particular is considered the most definitve: Ikigai-ni-tsuite (About Ikigai), published in 1966.
The author, psychiatrist Mieko Kamiya, teaches that as a word, ikigai is alike to “happiness” but has a subtle difference in its meaning. Ikigai is what allows you to look forward to the future even if you’re miserable right now. The key is to keep pushing onward, sending out mental intentions of wanting to have your focus and reason for being brought into light.
As you work your way around the diagram you can see some examples of where many of us often times fall into places of comfort, but lacking fulfillment of some sort. When we recognize these shortcomings, it can tee up the possibility for some self-exploration and search for more meaning in our lives.
“Where needs of the world and your talents intersect, therein lies your vocation.”
~ Aristotle ~
I love this quote from Aristotle. It challenges us to seek our truest purposes in life based off our passions and levels of impact they can make in the world. When we can effectively bring our life into focus in this manner, we will feel more purposeful and the truths that we need to discover in order to continue to keep our lives in alignment with our purpose will continue to be brought before us.
I have found this to be the case in my life as I work closer and closer to my passions and my purpose. There is a certain type of synergy and synchronicity that I discovered when I bring my life and work into alignment to my purpose and mission. It is also very invigorating and motivating to watch this process happen because it is reaffirming that you are on the right journey.
While venturing down your path, just know you can only make two mistakes. If you have begun down the path, you are well on your way. The only other mistake is giving up. There are no other rights or wrongs – simply take the step and never stop. Keep seeking your passions.
Remember the teaching of Japanese Ikigai and even if you find yourself within a career or position where you feel you do not align with your purpose, look for ways to still make impacts that do align with your personal truths. Perhaps you find that new doors within your company open up for you to better align with your purpose. Maybe new positions will be brought before you that you can take up. There is always the possibility as well that you find yourself in a career or job change for the better.
When we turn our lives over to our higher selves and allow the flow to take place, we begin to see the magic take place.
Keep after “Your Why” – the rest will follow.