We’re all looking for our place in this world and in our lives. Life doesn’t come looking for you, sometimes you have to go find it.
In the Western world, the biggest question people face is 'what is my purpose in life.’ The Eastern part of the world, specifically Japan, approaches this in a much deeper way. They not only seek purpose in life but connect purpose directly with happiness by finding their Ikigai.
WAIT… WHAT’S AN IKIGAI?
ADHD can make it even harder to find your Ikigai. People with ADHD often struggle with impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. However, ADHD also comes with strengths such as creativity, curiosity, and a unique perspective on the world. By finding your Ikigai, you can tap into these strengths and use them to your advantage.
Finding your Ikigai, or mission in life, gives your life direction. It improves your well-being, your mental health, and promotes a more productive life.
There is no direct translation for the word ‘Ikigai’ but it roughly means, “the reason to get up in the morning.” The Japanese understand that happiness is not something you achieve overnight or a simple end-goal, but more of a form of mastery that you catch a glimpse of daily. It’s bigger than your everyday job or your worthy possessions. Your Ikigai is the intersection between love,
what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you’re good at. You cannot be truly happy and experience the meaning of life if you don’t have the balance of these four elements.
IS MY DREAM JOB ENOUGH?
Having the job of your dreams may fill your heart, but if it doesn’t pay well, it will still create stress and doubt about whether you’re making the right decision. Getting paid well for something that you’re good at but that brings no significant added-value to the world, may leave you feeling empty and useless.
Finding your Ikigai is not easy but if we channel our child-like naivety and belief that everything is possible, then finding “your mission” is achievable. It takes effort, open- mindedness to discover yourself, and sometimes the patience to let life show you your strengths and weakness.
ASK THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
Getting to your mission statement requires a deep understanding of the different sides of your own personality.
To create your mission statement, start by asking the important questions. Getting to your mission statement requires a deep understanding of the different sides of your own personality.What makes you giggle, what makes your heart beat faster, or where do your flaws lie? Download the Ikigai Venn Diagram and use each circle to answer these important questions that will bring you closer to yourself.
What do I love to do, to be, or to say?
What do I think the world needs more of?
What can I get paid to do?
What am I good at? What are my strengths?
Download the Ikigai Venn Diagram and use each circle to answer these important questions that will bring you closer to yourself.
- What do I love to do, to be, or to say?
- What do I think the world needs more of?
- What can I get paid to do?
- What am I good at? What are my strengths?
The answer to these questions may come naturally, but it might also take time to answer.
Sometimes it’s hard to evaluate ourselves, so ask a loved one to help you out. Let your sister, partner, or best friend answer these questions for you. Everyone will give you their perspective and it’s up to you to find the red tape.
Use a personality test to compare their responses and to help see the bigger picture. The Myer Briggs personality test is a world-renowned test that has given clarity to many individuals trying to know themselves better.
Look for a recurring theme between the answers and highlight them. Aim to write a 1 or 2 sentence mission statement with the elements you highlighted.
INTRODUCE IT INTO YOUR LIFE
Once you have the mission the real work begins.
For individuals with ADHD, it can be helpful to break down your mission statement into smaller, achievable goals. Use your creativity and unique perspective to come up with creative solutions to any obstacles you may face. Don't be afraid to ask for help or seek support when needed.
Remember, finding your Ikigai is a journey, not a destination. Embrace the process and allow yourself to grow and evolve along the way.
Celebrate your strengths and use them to make a positive impact on the world. Your ADHD may make the journey more challenging, but it also gives you unique advantages that can help you achieve your mission in a way that is uniquely you.
Keep striving towards your Ikigai, and may it bring you happiness and fulfillment in all areas of your life.