Have you forgotten why you’re an educator?

Yen-Yang Rocks stacked

ikigai Venn Diagram with Passion, Mission, Profession, and Vocation

Why are you in a classroom teaching? Why did you become a principal? Where are you headed as a district administrator?

If you’re not sure or can’t remember, let me introduce you to the Japanese concept of Ikigai. In a recent article, Laura Oliver from the World Economic Forum  delved into the concept that is often linked with happy and long-lived populations.

As Laura explains,

“While there is no direct English translation, ikigai is thought to combine the Japanese words ikiru, meaning “to live,” and kai, meaning “the realization of what one hopes for.” Together these definitions create the concept of “a reason to live” or the idea of having a purpose in life.”

As a mid-career professional, a parent, and a spouse it is easy to fall into a familiar but stifling routine. If you are feeling like you are in a rut or just looking to happier life, ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What do you love?
  2. What are you good at?
  3. What does the world need from you?
  4. What can you get paid for?

Ikigai’s key philosophy is to find balance in those four areas. If you are unbalanced, you will be less happy.


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