The Cross Section of Purpose - Finding Ikigai

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Finding something you love and can be paid for is a gold standard to achieve in life.

Ikigai is broad concept of purpose; why we do what we do.

I recently came across this concept again and feel like it should be shared:

By Mark Winn in Toronto Star
By Mark Winn in Toronto Star

We should pursue to find something that fulfills all 4, possibly in this order:

  • What the world needs
  • What you are good at
  • What you love
  • What you can be paid for

Idealistic, but isn't that what visions are? By doing something that fulfills all 4, our needs can be fulfilled, we can be happy doing it, we are making efficient use of our time by using our strengths, and fulfilling something the world needs.

Isn't it funny, my description follows the reverse order of my list.


By the way, that is not a Venn diagram. It doesn't have an option for both dimensions on opposite sides.

These are both variants of true 4 dimension Venn diagrams:

By Kopophex, released into public domain
By Kopophex, released into public domain

By RupertMillard, released under a Creative Commons license
By RupertMillard, released under a Creative Commons license

(They go much more extreme the more you increase the number of dimensions.)


I sincerely apologize if any sources are incorrectly attributed. I tried very hard to find the original illustrators.


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