How I Used IKIGAI To Find My Life’s Purpose

IKIGAI is a Japanese concept meaning “A Reason for Being”. It consists of 4 pies: Passion, Profession, Vocation, and Mission.

Do you ever wonder why you live in this world? I DID! I have been wondering about my life purpose since 2012. Millennial’s commonly call this  Quarter Life Crisis (QLC). As we have huge access to information, I found the concept of IKAGAI when cyberslacking on TedX Talk’s YouTube Channel.

The year 2020 has been a year of reflection for me. Many things happened in the first five months of 2020. Personally, I feel like I have been stuck and lived in the middle of nowhere for the past few years after graduating from college. My Quarter-life crisis haunted me since I’ve got many interests but can’t monetize any of them.

IKIGAI is a Japanese concept meaning “A Reason for Being”. It consists of 4 pies: Passion, Profession, Vocation, and Mission.

In my family, my brother and I were taught to be high achievers since early childhood. Our parents are both entrepreneurs and they encouraged us to establish our own business. Therefore, I became an opportunist and tried to learn everything that seemed interesting to me. I heard Ikigai for the very first time on the TedTalk and so I tried to create my own IKIGAI version.

PASSION – What You LOVE      

I used to think that I needed to find a specific purpose and passion in life. Then, I realized that finding your life’s purpose is a journey, not a destination. Self-awareness is the most important thing that you need to figure out. Gary Vee also taught me that I can have several passions in life. It’s okay to have many interests as those things shape your personal branding and make you unique. I’m so in love with sports, investment, psychology, information technology, photography, and event management.

I spent most of my childhood playing various sports activities from basketball, futsal, table tennis, tennis, badminton, golf, bowling, archery, and many more. Since I easily got bored, I loved trying new sports activities and learning how to master them (or at least pretending to have cool moves and trick shots).

As a life learner, I learned the concept of investment at the age of 12. Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens by Robert T Kiyosaki is a life-changing book! I also joined IDX seminars on the basics of investment. Finally, I gathered my courage to open my first savings salary into mutual funds and stocks.

Moreover, I love taking and editing pictures. Seeing life through the lens and different angles. I love it because pictures stay the same forever.

I realized that finding your life’s purpose is a journey, not a destination

PROFESSION – What You are GOOD AT

My very first decision in life was to join a basketball club in elementary school. The main reason was I could play outside and get to make new friends from different schools during tournaments.

Then I spent most of my college life joining several organizations and committees to keep myself active and busy. I love coordinating with people on events. Even now, I still work as a Wedding Coordinator.

In addition, I also love to try new cooking or baking recipes. It’s really fun to challenge myself and see how much I can stretch my limit in terms of strength and creativity. Maybe one day, I’d probably sign up for MasterChef. Lol

Furthermore, as an ambivert, I love both reading and traveling. Self-development books are always at my top list and are perfect to be read on my flight to new adventurous destination.

VOCATION – What You Can be PAID FOR

I landed my first part-timer as a job fair representative for my own campus. Then, I got an official paycheck as a marketing intern in one of the multinational FMCG companies and that’s exactly when I fell in love with marketing. As soon as I graduated, I applied to several marketing positions in different industries and started my career as a Management Trainee. It was both challenging yet fun to have an end-to-end helicopter view for marketing and sales in FMCG Industries.  

As a marketer, I enjoy meeting new people. For me, it was a golden opportunity to gain insights from more experienced people. In business, marketing is like being the Conductor in an Orchestra. The Conductor arranges and coordinates each musician to create beautiful harmonization. In addition to marketing, I also perform the role of a project manager. I can manage and coordinate the whole team through the campaign – from the project campaign initiation, market research, selling story, production distribution, and promotion. That’s exactly what I love about marketing! I love researching and establishing the best strategy for the sake of business growth.

Currently, I work in tech start-up series A which triggered me to have an even bigger growth mindset to become a growth hacker. It’s a small team with a big dream and target. Since we have a big dream to conquer this year and we need to be agile with the current pandemic circumstances.

MISSION – What The World NEEDS

Have you ever watched the movie Pay it Forward? If you haven’t then you should watch it ASAP. It’s about a goodwill movement that proposes: when someone does something for you, instead of paying that person back directly, you pass it on to another person instead. I feel like I have so many blessings in my life, thus I plan to pay it forward to my surroundings.

Long story short, I think the world simply needs equality and peace. My altruistic side wants to create equality for a better world. A world with gender equality, education for all, and no racism. In a nutshell, I want the world to achieve peace. Easier to say than to do, isn’t it?

Rather than dwelling on those vague concepts, I try to change the man in the mirror first which is myself! Instead of thinking about what the world can offer to me, I think of what can I do for the world. Nowadays, the world needs more humanity to fight this pandemic.

Below are 10 Rules in order to  create your own IKIGAI:

Most of all, have fun & enjoy your ride! Stay safe and take care, everyone!

What other advice would you add to this list? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments below.

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Kelly Carolina

Kelly Carolina is a Life Learner, Fearless Marketer, Visionary Investor, Digipreneur, Sports Junkie, and Wanderlust. She has over 5 years+ helicopter views of end-to-end marketing & sales in both local & multinational FMCG in Indonesia. She has experienced to manage a wide range of tasks from market research to 360 IMC as well as from sales front line to account management. Currently, she has been in a joyful learning journey on digital marketing in order to become a growth hacker expert in GudangAda - Startup Series A for the biggest B2B FMCG marketplace in Indonesia. Kelly has a strong passion to explore marketing world, where she seeks a greater exposure in connecting the dots and creating comprehensive story for scalable impacts. Her philosophy is “To Do What's Valuable & Can Create Impact for a Better Society & Environment”.