<span class='p-name'>Ikigai</span>

As I think about what I’d like to do with my digital spaces, I’ve also done a lot of thinking about goal setting.

I’m also struggling with then challenge of ultimately thinking about what I actually want from all of this.

Guidance on this topic was shared with me years ago by good friend, Eylan Ezekiel. He shared a link and the schematic below to discuss Ikigai, the Japanese concept around a “reason for being.” He came across these concepts while reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

Learn more about ikigai in the deeper dive below.

Goal setting

As I detail goals, I’m not having trouble with day to day goals. As an educator, there is some rhythm to my daily week. I usually three classes a semester and will have the steady stream of classes, grading, emails, etc. I’ll also have several research projects that cannibalize the in-between spaces in my week.

The challenge I’m having is as I’m deep in thought about what longer term goals should be in my life. I don’t think that tenure should be the one and only goal in my life. It is a big target on the radar, but I’ve gone through too much in the last year or so. I also think that there should be larger goals that I strive for.

I’m moving to a quarterly system of identifying and achieving goals. I want to be able to identify a goal, and identify what I’ll do over the next week or two to work toward that goal to make it a reality.

But what do you really want?

Lately I’ve been thinking more about what is important in life. I’ve spent more time thinking about my own health. I’ve also been leaning in more to serving as the father in my household. I’ve never shirked this responsibility, but 8 months in the house during a global pandemic…and…you get the picture. 🙂

I’ve been thinking about stress & well-being. Thinking about what brings me joy in the world, and what do I ultimately want from my life. How will I be remembered after I’m gone?

Follow your curiosity

Eylan is the ulimate black belt in ikigai, but the guy in the video below is brilliant.

Over the coming months, I plan on trying to be Ikigai AF as I think about next steps. I’ll think about the following:

  1. What do I love?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What can I be paid for now — or something that could transform into my future hustle?
  4. What does the world need?

I’m also inspired by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles in Ikigai The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life and the ten rules to help you find your own ikigai:

  • Stay active and don’t retire
  • Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
  • Only eat until you are 80 per cent full
  • Surround yourself with good friends
  • Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
  • Smile and acknowledge people around you
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive.
  • Live in the moment
  • Follow your ikigai

We’ll see how it shakes out. 🙂


This post is Day 9 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

Photo by Andrew Bui on Unsplash

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