Webinar Review: Find your life’s purpose – The Ikigai method

“Purpose” is a quest that every person begins at some point in life. The webinar “Find your life’s purpose – The Ikigai method”, i attended at the 18th of May, was very compact and helpful to unwind after a day of work. It had a sense of calming effect, which was quite different from other online seminars which are usually content intensive. The two ladies, Ms. Nicky Marshall and Ms. Sharon Critchlow, presented their message in forms of conversations, which was yet again different from the routine one person talking seminars.

On the look of the topic, the name is very fascinating. Ikigai. What is Ikigai, how is it related to our sense of purpose. Like the name suggests, Ikigai is the Japanese philosophy of finding one’s true purpose. It speaks of how a positive outlook in general can have positive influence on all walks of life. When one looks at life as a whole, not over focusing on minute details like work, it can help them to become a better person overall. This way, one aims higher in terms of what he wants and is not put into a confined thinking space, which boosts his energy in doing a lot more.

Stress is said to have very negative impact, both mentally and physically. So, combating stress and preparing the mind to think about greater things were some topics which were discussed at length in the beginning of this webinar. However, people with questions about the origin and history of Ikigai, could have been a little disappointed because this only touched upon very quicky and was not really the core of discussion.

This online seminar spoke very distinctly of uniting a variety of things to find a purpose in life, or the Ikigai. Ikigai is about finding something that you are passionate about, which is also something that you are good at, while also being something that you are paid for and - more importantly - something that the world needs. When your passion, mission, vocation and profession align, it becomes your ikigai. It is important to recognize and nurture thoughts in these lines.

While we know what Ikigai is, how can one find out their ikigai, is there a path that leads into this? Although these things are quite specific to a person, it certainly helps to have some pointers. The hosts kindled the idea of thinking what one loves to talk about passionately? When you untangle the mess in thinking about routine things and look beyond, by asking yourself what you would want to do if you know that you will certainly not fail? Thus, being in the right mindset, in the right environment helps in developing vision which forms the path towards realizing purpose. 

The most beautiful concept introduced in this webinar was called the blue-sky thinking. It emphasizes on thinking beyond; beyond just everyday life and bringing in a sense of what you actually like to do in life. Just like the sky that is so endless and limitless, one should not restrict himself with a set of mundane and routine chores but rather explore the true meaning of life and enjoy every minute of it.

While the sense of purpose can be very vague to discuss, one can realize it by having a vision. To reinforce your quest to your vision, doing some creative tasks like using post it notes to constantly remind you of how you feel about something, or have pictures that calm you and sooth you, or unwind yourself in an environment that is calming can help you stick to or find your purpose. Also, a very powerful technique in neuroscience is using the gesture by pressing your fore finger and thumb to retain a certain memory. When you think of some a happy moment of your life while doing this gesture, it retains the memory of this in your mind. So anytime you want a break from something stressful, performing this gesture will calm your stresses and help you concentrate better. This concept is not alien in Indian yoga; we cannot help by draw similarities here! Once you have your vision in place, you have to imbibe it, be grateful and acknowledge it. Learn to appreciate yourself and work on the vision, but also give it time to see how it reflects in your life.

To sum up the whole online seminar, it deals with the ikigai approach to find purpose. It deals with stress relieving solutions which addresses the very soul of purpose; to find a vision. Proceeding from this, it also preaches some creative methods to realize purpose and summarizes by providing three thoughts: Finding your ikigai, creating calm environment to realize your vision and finally creative methods in realizing vision.

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