Ikigai - What's your purpose?

A long-lived Japanese philosophy with a local influence

Finding your ikigai

Motivation shows itself in many different forms at the Digital Greenhouse, whether it is the drive of our entrepreneurial members, the enthusiasm of our team and partners, or the passion of the community who attend and support the variety of activities we organise. But how does motivation compare with ikigai? A long standing Japanese concept, ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced ick-ee-guy) literally translated means ‘life value/worth’, the source of value in your life, your raison d'être, your reason to get up in the morning.

Ikigai Venn Diagram created by Marc Winn

According to Japanese culture everyone has an ikigai, the difficulty lies in finding out what yours is. Enter the Venn diagram created by local coach and mentor, Marc Winn, it is designed to be a framework for identifying your calling or purpose in life. Ikigai is the sweet spot that results from combining:

  • that which you love,
  • that which you are good at,
  • that which the world needs and
  • that which you can be paid for.

Balancing these elements to create your ikigai and live it with intention is said to bring happiness and longevity.

Studies show that Ikigai is a key component of why people live a long and happy life

Marc Winn

Behind the scenes

Marc Winn popped into the Digital Greenhouse to tell us about the origin and inspiration behind the Venn diagram / famous meme.

Marc is quite modest about his moment of innovation but, having read the book The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time by Allen Gannett, we think he should give himself more credit. In his book, Allen argues that flashes of divine inspiration don’t just happen, that they are actually a clever combination of the new and familiar brought together by those who have a good knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Marc found his own ‘sweet spot’ on the creative curve when the timing of him sharing the Ikigai Venn diagram tied in perfectly with the (still) increasing trend of looking for fulfilment and purpose in ones’ life.

You only have to google ‘Ikigai’ to see the success it has had, spreading far and wide across the internet. Even books, courses, documentaries and more have been created using the concept. Here at the Digital Greenhouse we aim to create an ecosystem that supports people in their journey to find their Ikigai, whether that is by attending an inspiring talk or a practical workshop, participating in one of our business development programmes or becoming a member and sharing the workspace with a like-minded community.

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