🙋 3 Simple Steps to Finding Your Purpose

The journey to identify your Ikigai

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Good morning.

3 lessons my 10-year-old reminded me of last week:

  1. It's OK to take your time to create quality work

  2. Create, publish, learn, iterate, repeat

  3. If it’s no longer fun, stop doing it

Kids these days, am I right?

Let’s get into it.


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3 Simple Steps to Finding Your Purpose

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means "reason for being."

It's often represented as a Venn diagram with four overlapping circles.

  1. What you love (Passion)

  2. What you are good at (Profession)

  3. What the world needs (Mission)

  4. What you can be paid for (Vocation)

Here’s an example:

Where these circles intersect is your Ikigai.

Ikigai is the harmonious intersection where your passions, talents, societal needs, and financial opportunities converge, creating a fulfilling and purpose-driven life.

Unfortunately, few people choose to invest time to find their true purpose.

It’s no wonder the recent global pandemic caused such a seismic shift in how people want to work.

People were forced into a relative state of peace, free from distractions and the endless busyness of life, and were able to reflect on their lives and what they really want.

If we want to live a life rooted in joy, impact, and fulfillment, we need to understand ourselves at a deeper level.


  • Reflect on Who You Really Are

  • Identify Your Core Elements

  • Move Toward Your Ikigai

Let’s begin with reviewing twelve questions to identify your Ikigai.

Step 1: Reflect on Who You Really Are

Begin by asking yourself a series of questions to help see yourself from a 30,000-foot view. Much like a coach would be able to see you.

Below are each of the four circles and three questions to ask yourself for each circle.

Circle 1: What You Love (Passion)

What you love represents the activities and interests that bring you joy and fulfillment. It's about what you enjoy doing in your free time and the subjects you are naturally drawn to.

Passion is the sweet spot where you are doing what you love and are also skilled at it, providing a sense of purpose and enjoyment.

  1. What activities do you enjoy doing in your free time?

  2. What topics or subjects fascinate you?

  3. What would you do if money were no object?

Circle 2: What You Are Good At (Profession)

What you are good at encompasses your skills and talents. It includes what you excel at, the abilities you've honed over time, and the tasks that others recognize you for.

Profession is the intersection of your skills and market demand. It's where you can use your talents to earn a living by providing valuable services or products that people need and are willing to pay for.

  1. What skills do you excel at?

  2. What have you been recognized for in your career or personal life?

  3. What tasks do people often ask for your help with?

Circle 3: What the World Needs (Mission)

What the world needs focuses on the impact you want to make on the world. It reflects the problems or challenges you feel compelled to solve and the causes you are passionate about.

Mission is where your passions align with the world's needs. It's about pursuing what you love in a way that addresses important issues and makes a positive impact.

  1. What problems or challenges do you feel compelled to solve?

  2. What causes are you passionate about?

  3. In what ways do you believe you can make a positive impact on the world?

Circle 4: What you can be paid for (Vocation)

What you can be paid for covers the practical aspects of earning a living. It includes the services or products you can offer that people are willing to pay for and the career paths that align with your skills and passions.

Vocation is about finding ways to address important issues, contribute to society, and sustain yourself financially.

  1. What services or products can you offer that people are willing to pay for?

  2. What career paths or business opportunities align with your skills and passions?

  3. How can you monetize your existing talents and interests?

Step 2: Identify Your Core Elements

Applying your Ikigai involves integrating the insights from each circle and the overlapping areas into your daily life and career.

Begin to put your Ikigai into practice.

Reflect on the insights you gained from answering the twelve questions across each circle of your Ikigai.

Then, recognize the overlapping areas (Passion, Mission, Profession, and Vocation) to see where your natural abilities, what motivates you, and the needs you can get paid for align.

Define your three to four terms that summarize your target areas.

These four areas provide the focus for moving toward your Ikigai and becoming the best version of yourself.

If you create content for your personal brand or business, these areas can also become categories, or pillars, of content.

Step 3: Move Toward Your Ikigai

You’ve gotten to know yourself on a deeper level and chosen a few focus areas. Now, it’s time to take action and move toward your purpose, step by step.

Set Clear Goals

  • Short-Term Goals: Identify small, actionable steps you can take in the next few weeks or months. For example, if your passion is music production, set a goal to complete a new track this quarter or take an online course to enhance your skills.

  • Long-Term Goals: Outline broader objectives for the next three to five years, such as launching a business that aligns with your Ikigai or transitioning to a career that fits your passion and skills.

Create a Plan

  • Daily Habits: Integrate activities that align with your Ikigai into your daily routine. Scheduling time for your passions, practice your skills or engage in activities that bring you joy.

  • Professional Development: Look for opportunities to improve your skills and knowledge in areas where you excel and that the world needs. This could involve further education, networking, or gaining experience through projects and collaborations.

Seek Opportunities

  • Career Exploration: Look for job opportunities or career paths that align with your Ikigai. Use your insights to tailor your resume and job applications to roles that fit your passions and skills.

  • Entrepreneurial Ventures: Consider starting a business or side hustle that combines your passions and skills. This could be anything from project-based work to launching a company.

Build a Support Network

  • Mentors + Coaches: Find mentors or coaches who can guide you in your journey to align your life and career with your Ikigai.

  • Community + Collaboration: Engage with communities or groups that share your interests and values. Collaborating with like-minded individuals provides support and inspiration and opens doors to opportunities.

Evaluate and Adjust

  • Regular Reflection: Periodically reflect on your progress and experiences. Are you finding fulfillment in your pursuits? Are there areas that need adjustment?

  • Flexibility + Adaptation: Be open to adjusting your goals and plans as you grow and gain new insights. Your Ikigai may evolve over time, and that's okay.

The key is to use these insights to change your life if your work isn’t currently aligned with your interests and strengths.

Change can be scary, and it is usually worth it in the long-run.

Perhaps you’ve had it all figured out and are already in your purpose. Use this exercise as an opportunity to dial in your life by design even more.

If I haven’t already, I can’t wait to meet the real you.

I’m rooting for you.

See you out there.


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My Favorite Things 💙
What I’m reading, watching, and studying

  1. Non-Fiction Book: I finished reading Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. 10/10, highly recommend reading it if you’re looking to unlock your creativity. I’m back to reading Feel Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal (one of my favorite YouTubers), and I’m 32% through it. Ali breaks down how joy is the secret to being more productive. Feeling good generates positive energy and boosts productivity.

  2. YouTube: Another one of my favorite YouTubers, one of two guys who hooked me on watching YouTube as my primary source of learning, inspiration, and content, Peter McKinnon, posted a video titled, I Quit Digital Photography for 365 Days. This is what I learned. Peter talked about the pros and cons of shooting only on film for a year and how it impacted his creativity and skill level.

  3. Podcast: I don’t listen to many podcasts; in fact, more often than not, I watch them on YouTube when I do. However, something called me twice this week to the Founder’s Journal podcast by Alex Lieberman (co-founder and chairman of my other favorite newsletter, Morning Brew ☕️). On Episode 127, he share the story of how he started Morning Brew and grew it from 0 to their first 10,000 subscribers. It was interesting to hear how crude and inefficient it all started. If you’re unfamiliar with Morning Brew, it’s the first email newsletter I started reading and fell in love with, back in 2018. Two Michigan students started it their senior year of college in 2015, grew it to 4M subscribers, and it was acquired by Insider, Inc. in late 2020, valuing it at $75M.