Every Sunday, Arti Kashyap-Aynsley drops by to discuss all the many things we may be facing, feeling or going through with our daily life transformations. Share your questions and / or requests for topics with Arti anonymously at email@example.com.
Each week typically begins with an idea of what I will cover on here, with my email inbox quickly becoming a slew of thoughts or reminders to myself on what to include. And no matter how routine this has come to feel for me, it should also be no surprise that by the time I sit at my lap top to write this weekly column, I go in an entirely different direction to what I initially thought, with those emails still populating my inbox in a way that seems like I am having a therapeutic conversation with myself.
Why might you ask am I sharing the process of this column coming to life with you? Well, simply to illustrate how we can so easily get caught up in this routine life, without stepping back to really think about why we are doing what we are doing and how in the grand scheme of things it links to what we believe our true purpose to be.
Purpose. Well now there is a small yet profound word that seems to mean so many different things to everyone. What does it mean to you? And when was the last time you sat back to really think about what you believe your purpose in this mad world to be?
At the firm I work for “Purpose” seems to be the latest new buzz word that everyone seems to be throwing around. So much so that we have rebranded our Talent Partners to “People & Purpose” Partners. For me, in my world of wellness, purpose has always been a part of the definition, so irrespective of it being the new “it” word, it has always been something at the top of my mind. Especially knowing that for so many years all I seemed to do was get lost in a slew of routine tasks and activities, working long hours, getting little sleep and yet always seeming to wake up and continue the repetitive pattern. Being “busy” or everything seeming to be moving, always was enough to have no reason to stop, think and evaluate life.
But a couple of years ago as I recognised the upswing my corporate career was on, I had this moment of “what am I actually doing? And do I even want this?” It was such a scary question to have to face and I tried my hardest to avoid it, but avoidance wasn’t helping the lack of the motivation I was feeling every morning as my alarm went off. I had no choice but to face it and to really evaluate this idea of “purpose” in my life.
Now don’t get me wrong – my definition of purpose seems to always be changing in the same way we are always transforming. But what that period of reflection taught me was that it was important to be thinking about it and to be using it as a mechanism to evaluate how I was spending my time and what I was doing on a day to day basis.
This whole concept can seem completely and utterly overwhelming – I mean where do we even start? And how do you even evaluate this idea of purpose? I mean do you just get up, sit at a desk, take out a piece of paper and begin?
Not sure it is that simple and knowing my evaluation of “purpose” began two years ago and is still ongoing is a reflection of the lack of simplicity that goes with the idea. But the lack of simplicity doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all try to begin to understand how we find the meaning in what we do and how that links to what we believe our purpose is.
So here is what I leave you with this week to think about and try.
Ikigai. Iku, meaning “to live” and gai meaning “reason”.
So Ikigai is essentially to live with reason – which many could argue is purpose. The idea of Ikigai can be evaluated in four ways:
Something you love (makes your soul smile)
Something you are good at (seems almost like second nature)
Something the world needs (impact no matter how big or small)
Something you can make money from (supports your living needs)
If you google Ikigai you will come across a Venn diagram like structure that links the four of these ideas together, thereby illustrating that when these things are in harmony, we seem to be aligned to our purpose.
So using the criteria above. Why not start a bit of reflection this week by evaluating the day to day or week to week against the criteria to really take a moment to understand what and how we should be continuing forward.
Here is to a moment, day or week ahead where we all get at least one experience of feeling our ikigai.
As always, I'd love to hear what you think. Let's keep the conversation going over at @the_wellness_chief or @ladieswholaunch_ Also have a topic you want me to address in the weekly column and / or are looking to explore the idea of coaching or relationship or looking for a coach? I would love to help and see how I can support you. Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember, all emails are treated as confidential.