04 June 2020
Published in: ABC Life
It took Josh a while to figure out what he wanted to do.He'd been earning good money as an engineer, so he used his savings to backpack around Europe, working occasional odd jobs to help pay the bills.
But even travelling and partying gets old, and it was while volunteering in a refugee camp that Josh found purpose through helping other people.
These days, he works with groups of university students, teaching them how to set goals and become leaders.And one tool he's found helpful has been adapted from the Japanese concept of "Ikigai", which roughly translates into "reason for being".
The concept means different things to different people. But the Western interpretation, which is the one Josh teaches, is about finding meaning through work that is satisfying, enjoyable and helps others.
It's about focusing time on activities that:
You are good at;
You can be paid for; and that
The world needs.
It's useful because it links the practical — what you're good it, what you can be paid for — with the spiritual — what you love and what the world needs.
And it can be a helpful framework for identifying work or jobs that will bring that deep sense of fulfilment and purpose.
"When people think about fulfilment in the past, they thought about certain things, like what's practical, what they can get paid for," says Tunteeya Yamaoka, a registered psychologist who incorporates the ikigai concept into her practice.
"But I also think it's important to think about your mission: how you can make a contribution."
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