You have probably already experienced an existential crisis. Then you may have wondered how to find your way back? I’m telling you about mine today, and how the ikigai helped me find myself.
A few months ago, I went through a difficult period professionally. This made me wonder big questions about why I got there. And the impact on my personal life was such that we could say that it was a small existential crisis… I needed so much to understand what was happening to me that I searched and searched and I ended up finding what I needed: IKIGAI.
Two months ago I introduced you to the article “IKIGAI: How to find your purpose” what this tool is for and how to use it. In this one, I tell you how this tool helped me to (re) find myself.
So that you understand how the ikigai can be powerful, I will start by presenting my professional and personal journey.
From passionate about biology to food engineer
I was born and raised in Martinique with a passion for nature, biology and plants. So I followed a scientific course with a dominant Life Sciences. Then, I went in France at 19 years old to continue my studies and I joined the agricultural engineering school of Montpellier Supagro.
And since I came from a tropical island, I chose to join the Institute of Warm Regions (Institut des Régions Chaudes : IRC) which is specialized in training in the valorisation of tropical products. I chose this school because I always wanted to develop the raw materials of my island.
So far everything is rolling, everything is going wel…
Graduated with double competence…
With an engineering degree in my hands, I am going back to France because my internship in Martinique does not lead to a job, due to the lack of financial resources in the company. So I decide to start an additional year of study. I have always been convinced that one day I would have to start a business and that I needed to learn skills in finance and project management. So I chose to acquire a double competence in project management and creation of innovative companies.
Okay now, let’s get started! Studies completed, welcome to the “job market”. I find that the term is very realistic because it is suddenly a real market … A year of job search, canvassing, selling yourself, and looking for yourself too! But my persistence, my desire to move forward helped me to overcome this crossing of the desert. So I finally managed to sign a permanent contract for a position as a consultant in innovation strategy at the end of 2016. Position that I will hold until June 2019.
The existential crisis: where am I and where am I going?
A year after being hired, I am going through a period of profound questioning. I have come to perform many of my acts by automatism, without knowing what it would bring me personally. Am I fulfilled? Do I contribute to a better world? Will what I learn serve me and will it serve me later for my projects?
In fact, so far I have always made my choices naturally, knowing which direction I want to go, why I am going and what is the next step. But at that moment, it was the first time that I felt lost. Lost, you know, like in a labyrinth. As if I had darkened for years and paf! all of a sudden I come across a wall in the labyrinth. Should I jump over the wall or turn around?
By exhaustion, for lack of having run too much without resting for several years since my adolescence, I wanted to sit facing this wall. Stop. What if I took a breath? All my plans, all my projects, all my dreams were turned upside down in my head …
So I wondered how to get my sight back in this fog and there came across this powerful tool: the ikigai.
The ikigai helped me find myself (re)
Ikigai is a Japanese technique that helps us find our purpose on earth. It crosses 4 aspects of our life: our passions, our profession, our vocation and our mission. If you want to understand in more detail the interest of this technique I advise you to take a look at the article “Ikigai: how to find your purpose”.
So I decided to fill my ikigai to find myself and my way (back). I put “back” in parenthesis because deep inside me, I know that something strong knows precisely what I should do and where I should go. My intuition knows that I am not lost. I just need to find my way back. To pause, take a deep breath and set off again on the road towards my aspirations.
”Sometimes getting lost is the best way to find your way (back)
Sometimes getting lost is the most effective way to find yourself and find your way back. It’s when you get lost that you end up asking the right question: why?
Implied, why am I doing this ? Why am I where I am today? Searching my ikigai helped me put the words (and bandage the wounds) on a sheet.
I’ll let you find out how I filled my ikigai:
For those who do not understand French, here is an explanation of my ikigai. I like to write, I like to share with others, to transmit knowledge. I am good at teaching and writing, and I want to help humanity enrich itself to live a successful life every day and in respect with nature. I also like cooking and baking. I like science: psychology, biology, neuroscience. I am good at creating natural recipes for hair, for understanding others and their behavior (psychosociology). And finally, I am passionate about change, self-elevation and personal development.
In short, so many things that have one thing in common: the food of being! Intellectual (science, reading, etc.), physical (cooking, hair and body care, etc.) and spiritual (personal development, faith, etc.) food.
At the crossroads of my passions, my vocation, my mission and my (or my future) professions, I found my ikigai there : I want to help humanity to nourish itself intellectually, physically and spiritually.
My revelation: you can live your ikigai in multiple ways
That day I understood something great. Something that relieved me. I understood that I simply had to make each of my future actions or future projects towards to my ikigai. Whatever the means, the way, the tool used, I simply had to to be at the crossroads of the 4 domains. And in reality, there are multiple ways to achieve your ikigai.
If my business projects take time, it does not matter ! I can always create or do something in the meantime that allows me to experience my ikigai in a different way.
So I wondered what I could start to live my ikigai, with the means and tools I had that day, in December 2017. Well, guess what … I created my blog! It came to me as evidence! Why not start by spreading my knowledge, my experiences and my journey to others first? Keystosuccess was then born!
“Nourish your mind, body and soul” is my ikigai.
The change is now…
Since then, I feel that a big change is coming in my life, that it begins a turn at 90°. And even if nothing is certain and precise yet, I know deep inside me what drives me and why I will take each of my next actions. Now I know what I’m going to find in the heart of the labyrinth. I also know that all the detours I have made and all the cards I have collected along the way will be useful to me one day or another.
And that’s what is important … Act in conscience, know WHY we make the choices we make and above all have faith in our future.
And you ? Do you know what is your ikigai? :)