On the 10th of October every year it is World Mental Health Day. Poor mental health and its negative effects increased dramatically during the global pandemic in 2020/2021. Now that we are in an economic winter and facing a financial crisis, mental health challenges will continue to rise.

In 2003 I lost my brother when he took his own life after struggling with his mental health for over 10 years. Since then, I have taken responsibility to maximize my own mental health and help others with theirs.

The key to creating strong mental health is to have a compelling future, a life full of meaning and to learn the skill of state management where you own your state instead of it owning you.

The meaning of life is to have a life full of meaning.

The purpose of life is to have a life full of purpose.

The reason for living is to have a life full of reasons to live.

As human beings we are naturally in constant pursuit of assigning reason and meaning to our existence. Often, we may find ourselves questioning the point of our lives, the value of our work, and how we can truly feel fulfilled, which would ultimately lead to happiness.

There is no easy path to finding this ultimate goal; however, there is a rubric which you can use to guide your pursuit. This is known as your ikigai, an old Japanese philosophy which helps to give one a sense of purpose, and a reason for living.

In order to find your ikigai, you must pursue a career that combines four key elements: what you love, what the world needs, what you can be paid for, and what you are good at. The various combinations of these elements will guide you to finding your passion, mission, vocation, and profession, which ultimately leads to your ikigai.

Do you feel like you have already found your ultimate purpose? Or like many others are you still on the journey there? Here are 3 actions steps for you to help you find your ikigai and purpose.

  1. Take some introspective time to go through the four key elements and write down what you discover for each one.
  2. Look at the combinations of each element to find your passion, mission, vocation and profession. Write them down.
  3. Lastly, look at the commonalities in all the key four elements and see if your ikigai reveals itself to you. Write it down. 

Remember it’s never too late to pursue your ikigai, and if not now, then when?