Do you think you need permission to succeed?
We admire folks whose names we see in neon lights. We celebrate bestselling authors, athletes, chefs, ninja warriors, ordinary people showcased doing extraordinary things…yet we fail to picture ourselves as successful.
Countless people have asked me some version of – “How do I find my purpose, and when I find it, how will I know that it’s mine?”
Initially I subscribed to the “find your passion” philosophy but then many would complain that they had no idea what they were passionate about.
Then there was the whole “do what you love and the money will follow” movement. Still many remained confused as they loved many things but simply did not have an idea how to make money doing that.
More recently, exploring your ikigai has become popular. [If you’re interested in exploring this further click here for a workbook guiding you through Finding your Ikigai.]
Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.”
When combined, these terms mean that which gives your life worth, meaning, or purpose.
The famous Japanese sushi chef Jiro Ono provides an apt illustration of ikigai, conceived as devotion to a pursuit that brings a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment.
Chef Ono has devoted his life to innovating and perfecting sushi-making techniques. He runs a small, exclusive 10-seat sushi restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.
Chef Ono has achieved the highest Michelin restaurant guide rating of three stars and is widely considered the most accomplished sushi chef globally.
Central to Chef Ono’s ikigai, one might say, would be pursuing excellence in sushi preparation and sharing this excellence with those who love sushi and fine dining.
So how do you discover YOUR Life Purpose?
The purpose of your life is to serve in a way that brings great joy to yourself and others. Don’t worry about finding it. Instead focus on serving a purpose and then your purpose will serve you, like it seems to be doing for Avalon Arscott who caught my eye this week with her tag line:
Breaker of Language Barriers. Speaker of French and Spanish
Avalon is the CEO and Lead Language Expert at The Language Boutique. She had a clue about her love for languages at the tender age of 9, where she imitated accents, while listening to Spanish tapes her mother would play in the car. Unconsciously she was gleaning a vital skill that would catapult her into doing what she does today. English is one of the hardest languages to learn and teach and so she feels well equipped to teach Spanish and French in a way that is practical, functional, engaging and inspiring.
In her book Yes Shonda Rhimes starts off with “Hello I’m old and I like to lie”. She makes things up because she has to. She enjoys making stuff up. It’s in her DNA.
“The very thing that had me on my knees in church during recess reciting the rosary for one nun or another at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Park Forest, Illinois, is an actual honest-to-Jesus-Mary-and-Joseph job.”
The only obligation you have is to use your abilities to the fullest. You’re here and that’s all the permission you need to be a success. Not sure what you’re bringing to the table? Start here…