I recently came across a fascinating concept called ikigai. It's a Japanese concept related to finding your purpose and living a life worth living.
- The place where what you love overlaps what you are good at is your PASSION
- The place where what you are good at overlaps what you can be paid for is your PROFESSION
- The place where what you can be paid for overlaps what the world needs is your VOCATION
- The place where what the world needs overlaps what you love is your MISSION
- The place where all four overlap is your IKIGAI
Here's a diagram I drew that (hopefully) makes it a little more clear:
Overall, I like this visual as a tool for helping you identify what you are here on this earth to do. I do have some issues with some of the definitions (the root word for passion is the Latin word pati, which means "to suffer" - the exact opposite of doing what you love 😂), but this visual can be helpful in finding what you are here on this earth to do (ikigai = reason for being).
I feel very strongly about the importance of this personal mission statement. I call it a LifeTheme, but I've had mine for years:
I filter everything I do through this LifeTheme. If I don't see a connection, then I (usually) don't say "yes" (and when I do, I usually end up regretting it). This way, I make sure I'm living in alignment with my vision and values and I feel accomplished every day that I take consistent action. My LifeTheme helps me live my life in alignment with my values and goals.
A personal mission statement is so important because it directs everything in your life. It influences your core values, and ultimately drives the motivation behind your daily actions. If you don't have a personal mission statement, you can't be sure that your values are the right ones, and you have no compass to make sure you're moving in the right direction.
Do YOU have a LifeTheme? Have you found your ikigai? If not, I encourage you to start thinking about it. You only get one shot at living - make yours count!