The Japanese aptly call the mission of life ikigai, literally: "what life is worth living for." Spotting your ikigai would not only allow you to fulfill yourself, to be happy, to get up in the morning, but also to find meaning in your life.
Through the twists and turns of existence, ikigai can be a compass for orienting oneself, evolving, retraining or even changing one's priorities.
Here are 5 keys to finding your life mission and regaining your free will. Try them: they have the potential to change your life and put stars in your eyes!
The life mission
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The psychologist Jean Monbourquette (1933-2011) described this mysterious life mission as being: "an ideal to pursue, a passion, an important goal to achieve, a deep desire, a lasting inclination of the soul and an overflowing enthusiasm, for a kind of activity ”.
When you are truly aligned with your life mission, everything becomes more fluid and natural, you grow and flourish as you go. By learning to listen to yourself and assert your authenticity and above all follow your heart, you can find that call that fuels your soul and feel more connected with your values. Dare to do what is good for you!
Knowing your life mission helps you make choices and act in the way that truly suits you. It's not set in stone: over time and as the landscape changes, you will change too. You can readjust your travel plan and reformulate your life mission!
1-Get to know you
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Today, what you believe to be your personality is actually the social mask you’ve built, based on what your parents, teachers, and family have all said about you. How do you dissociate the image you have of yourself and your true being? A good first approach is to perform profiling tests. The goal is to detach your mind, that is to say your inherited beliefs from the outside world (some could be limiting!), from your intuition or from the manifestation of your inner being. Examples of questions to ask yourself:
- Am I listening deeply to what my heart desires?
- Am I hearing my body messages?
- Am I meeting my needs (physiological, safety, usefulness, recognition, belonging, growth, recreation)?
- Do I respect my pace?
- Do I know how to balance my professional and private life?
- Am I taking care of myself?
- Am I fulfilled in my romantic relationship?
- Do I make a living from my passion in my profession?
- What are my special talents or what am I pretty good at?
It doesn't matter how useful your talents are in your current life, no matter how small. And if inspiration doesn't come, ask yourself for what you've being asked advice for, usually.
Remember that your talents are to be used in the service of your mission, and not the other way around.
It also helps to listen to your body and what it is telling you, even if you don't know the ins and outs, and take action. Then, as you go, always readjust from what you are feeling. By doing this, you not only get started, but you learn from your mistakes and will discover your unsuspected resources. Movement is the engine of all energy.
2-Find your cardinal goal
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It is important to realize that you may be stuck on the treadmill. If you keep doing this same routine, chances are you will wake up a few years later wondering where the years have gone and why you spent all this time running around while staying on the surface of things. One of the ways to realize that you’re living on autopilot is to ask yourself the following questions:
- What makes me tick and inspires me?
- What are my primary desires and motivations?
- What are my engines and what propels me?
- What makes me feel alive and feeds me?
- What helps me get on the right track?
- What activities energize me and make me grow?
- What is it that recharges my mind?
- What evokes a sense of wonder and excitement in me?
- What makes you lose track of time?
- What does the planet need?
- What are the subjects that concern you in my community?
Your goal is actually defined by the peak of your personal Everest. In other words, what makes sense to you, what is more important and what it might make you be on your "X". For example: a meaningful dream or an ambitious goal, in which the values honored resonate deeply with you. There are endless ways to progress towards your destination. Maybe your goal won't be achieved exactly as you perceived it, but it will give you a beacon in the distance, showing the direction to follow, whether in a stormy or a clear night.
3-Listen to your heart
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It's trusting your instincts and your inner voice. It's about allowing yourself to make your childhood or your adulthood dreams come true and realizing the reasons why you may have abandoned them. It’s about stimulating your creativity by doing your favorite or even finding new activities, taking the time to read and educate yourself in the areas that interest you. Finally, it can be about leaving your comfort zone completely and not being intimidated by the fear of failure. Because if you allow yourself to experiment and learn new things, it can only be considered a victory in the end.
Behind fear always lies a strong urge or need. Open up to yourself first and then to others. You have to know how to overcome your own apprehensions and accept your desires.
4-Release what is holding you back and practice positivity
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Whenever one advances on the path to one's true soul, there may be resistances that arise. When that inner voice rings out, you can always choose to ignore it and still continue to do what brings you joy. By practicing positivity and gratitude to all that is good around you, it will improve your point of resonance and attraction. Being open and creating space is essential for the call of fate to knock on your door. When you remain open to what life presents you, something positive, sometimes surprising, can then emerge.
For many of us, the mission of life is revealed following a difficulty that we’ve had to overcome or during a period of transition and questioning. For example, some people fight to defend causes or human rights among other things. because they themselves, or someone close to them may have been confronted with this difficulty and they want to ensure that no one else should have to live like that, or at least reduce the suffering associated with it. If this causes you strong emotions and you want to support a cause that is close to your heart, maybe this is exactly the contribution you could make to the world, on your own scale.
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The difference between a dream and reality is action. After having imagined your life mission and believed in it deep within yourself and acted towards this dream, you must not give up on it. Persistence and determination are important keys. Such a project is usually a source of enthusiasm. There are different ways to do this. Take pleasure in documenting yourself on the path of your dreams by reading books and articles on the subject and / or by taking training. A psychologist or mental coach can give you the help you need to refocus on your life mission. Such a project requires work on oneself but remains rewarding in the end.
Assume that you will succeed in accomplishing your life mission and start giving yourself the means to do so. Although the discovery of your ikigai does not eliminate the difficulties of the road, it has the power to give you the energy to advance step by step in order to be able to overcome obstacles. Since your life mission draws on your deep identity, it therefore keeps a permanent aspect. It is only the ways to achieve it that can be transformed. Thus, your dream becomes little by little reality!
Identify at least 3 experiences in which you felt fully fulfilled and enthusiastic:
- Describe them as if you were living them in the present tense;
- Circle important words, especially verbs;
- Identify the points common to the 3 experiences: circumstances, actions and emotions.
What comes up the most? By synthesizing the expressions that come up, you will begin to see your life mission emerge and the fact of seeking to express it clearly helps to clarify it.
Then, select at least 5 main qualities to confirm the authenticity of your life mission.
Finally, look for specific situations in which you have already practiced or exercised one of these qualities.
Now draw your ikigai to find your life mission:
Do you know NLP?
NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming, is an approach for discovering and modifying patterns of human thought and behavior.
In order to give you a little taste, here are the main assumptions (in short) that help to change the way we think in order to communicate better:
1-Your map is not the territory;
2- Each person has all the resources to change and evolve;
3-Error is a source of learning OR There is no failure, there is only feedback
4-We cannot not communicate;
5-Trust relationship take precedence over information;
6-A benevolent attitude facilitates human relationships;
7-Any behavior has a positive intention;
8-Meet the other in his model of the world;
9-The unconscious level of communication is the most important;
10-The true meaning of a message is revealed by the result obtained;
11-Each person always makes the best choice among those which seem possible to him;
12-The more choices, the better;
13-The framework used to perceive a situation determines the meaning given to it;
14-The body and the mind are inter-related;
15-Human beings are always more complex than the theories which describe them.
* I am studying NLP with the Center Québécois de NLP and am already well advanced in this long process. I will be happy to answer your questions!