Welcome to the next post in the Transformation in Motion series. So far, we have discussed the Why, micro-change and non-negotiables. If you missed any of these posts, they are available on my website under posts. This week we take it up a notch and start moving into the deeper stuff, namely purpose and meaning.

According to Elaine Houston (Positivepsychology.com), finding purpose in life is one of the most fundamental human needs. Every one of us seeks validation and meaning in our lives. Having meaning and purpose contributes significantly to our psychological and physiological health and our overall well-being.

Meaning can be defined as feeling as though your life makes sense. Purpose describes a feeling of direction and motivation towards goals. For example, with these posts, my purpose and meaning is to help people who may not necessarily be able to afford a coach or a psychologist to live to their fullest potential through transformation. 

In Japanese culture, to find meaning and purpose in life is to find one’s Ikigai (pronounced Ick-ee-guy). According to Sone (et al., 2008), having Ikigai means that each day is infused meaning and reflects your motivation for living. Your ikigai is your reason for jumping out of bed in the morning, what motivates you to revel in and appreciate life every day. To discover your Ikigai, you must first identify each of the four elements of Ikigai, namely:

  • Passion – what you love
  • Mission – what the world needs
  • Vocation – what you are good at
  • Profession – what you get paid for

Image courtesy of Forbes: Find your Ikigai. Bodetree, adapted from Francesca Miralles

It is the convergence of these four elements that helps you to establish your ikigai. If you are interested in finding out more, there is much on the internet about doing this exercise, and several excellent books are written about the subject. I would also highly recommend reading the article on the Positive Psychology website ( where I got some of the information for this post) (https://positivepsychology.com/ikigai/). 

It is well worth doing this as the process can lead to great things for you. There is also a fantastic TedTalk for you to watch by Tim Tamashiro on how to Ikigai (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk-PcJS2QaU

This is but one of many ways to find purpose and meaning in your life. Your Ikigai also becomes your Why, but in greater depth and detail. I hope this has been of some value to you in your journey of transformation. Until next time, play nice, have fun and be safe.

michael theron

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