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Are you an Architect in an Engineers job? A manager in an Architects job? An Engineer in an Architects job. An Engineer in a Managers job?

While others may decide or confer titles on you, we suggest you look into yourself, your soul, and decide first and foremost who the real you is, and then make any changes necessary, so that the real you shines through.

Here we see a diagram from a book called “The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Francesc Miralles and Hector Garcia. Like most models, it is a powerful aid to thinking about yourself (and others) and can help you decide if you are in the right job, doing the right things for the right reasons.

What you love

This equates to what you like to do. What gets you out of bed in the morning. What you would choose to do if there were no other restrictions. Of course, there is not one thing in this set.

What you are good at

This equates to  what are are good at. There will be some things you are good at but do not like doing, and there may be other things you like doing but you are not good at. Again, there answer to this question is likely to be a list.

What others need

This was originally titled “What the world needs” but the word “world” puts a domain constraint on the question that need not be there. To one person “the world” may literally be the world. To others “the world” may mean their family, or the company they work for. As we have learned before “Context is King”™ and therefore you need to place the context you wish on the model to be able to answer its questions.

What you need.

Again, this is not the original title. The original says “What you can get paid for”. Again the word “paid” is constraining the diagram to some form of payment which always tends to intimate money. Sometimes (may times!) people do things for money/payment however many also do things for other kinds of “payment”, fame or the respect of your peers is an obvious one. So, it is up to you to set the context as you wish.

Since you are in control of the context, it allows you to utilise the model in different contexts, for example one to represent your home life where “the world” is your family and “payment” is the respect of your family and the “payment” of your family achieving their Ikigai, and another to represent your working life where the company you work for are your “world” and the “payment” is your salary.

Where these primary domains overlap is where happiness (and sadness) lie.

It would be nice if people can truly achieve Ikigai, but for the most part, many of us do not. From my professional life context (at this point in time – because things always change) I would say that I exist in the “comfortable, but feeling of emptiness” section. That is:

¨      I am doing what I truly love to do (maturing the Transformation domain of Enterprises).

¨      I (believe) am good at it.

¨      I (believe) I am supplying what others need – others being Enterprises all over the world (even though they may not realise they need it)

¨      But I don’t get what I need, which is true recognition that what I have produced is valuable and helps to make the world a better place.


What do you love and what are you good at? Are they the same things?

If not, what are you going to do about that?

How does your home Ikigai map, compare to you professional Ikigai map?


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