A Pathway To Purposeful Living: For Business Women Ready For Their Encore
You have years of wisdom, ingenuity, and grit as a savvy businesswoman. With your encore life in front of you, you stand at a pivotal point: The business landscape where you are or have been may no longer have the same allure. You’ve been at it for 30 or 40+ years, after all. But you also don’t want to be idle or lose a sense of purpose.
I recently stumbled on a new idea. At least, it was new to me. It’s the concept of ikigai. For me, it came at precisely the right time. Five years ago would have been nice, but then, five years ago, I wasn’t ready to hear about it. Today I’m more than ready, and it might be just what you’re looking for if you’re one of those women who’s 59+.
Ikikai is a Japanese concept and, loosely translated, means reason for being. It encompasses four primary elements: what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for. It’s a framework that encourages balance and fulfillment, aligning passion with practicality, satisfying the craving for purpose, and contributing to society.
Unearthing Your Ikikai:
Let’s review the four elements individually and give you the foundation for finding your Ikikai …
- Identify What You Love
What are your passions? These are things you love: The activities, ideas, and topics that excite you and make you lose track of time. As a businesswoman, you’ve already experienced the thrill of business, but there are probably interests or hobbies you’ve overlooked or put aside while working. What have you put on the back burner until you could find the time?
- Acknowledge What You’re Good At
Reflect on your professional journey and personal life. What are the skills, talents, or abilities that come naturally to you? This isn’t limited to your business skills. Maybe you’re a good listener, an exceptional baker, or you have a knack for gardening. Identifying your skills can give you a clue to new paths aligned with your interests.
- Discover What the World Needs
For purposes of ikigai, you’re not necessarily referring to the great, big, global world. The world might be your local community or a world bigger or smaller than that. You might discover that your local community needs a quality bakery, a mentoring program for young entrepreneurs, or an urban gardening initiative.
- What You Can Be Paid For
In Ikigai, payment isn’t always about money but also about the value you provide and receive in return. This could be a service, product, or knowledge that others find beneficial enough to pay for or the sense of fulfillment and gratitude you gain from contributing to your community.
How Ikigai Benefits You:
Ikigai is part of Japanese culture and is instilled in them from birth. It is their way of life and contributes to their longevity and happiness. Each individual knows their own Ikigai and lives it. So what does that me for you? Here are some of the ways Ikigai benefits you:
- Ikigai nourishes your passion: Embracing your Ikigai helps keep the spark alive by encouraging you to pursue what you love. This pursuit doesn’t have to mirror the scale of your previous ventures. It could be as simple as starting a book club or as ambitious as creating a mentoring program for emerging entrepreneurs. The focus is on fulfillment, not magnitude.
- Ikigai honors your skill set: By focusing on what you’re good at, Ikigai allows you to refine old and learn new skills. It will enable you to keep growing and evolving without the high-stakes pressure of your business past.
- Ikigai promotes contribution: The heart of Ikigai lies in aligning your passion and skills with what the world needs. This focus ensures your efforts positively impact your community or even the world. Your professional experience and personal passion can lead to innovative contributions that fill gaps you’re uniquely suited to.
- Ikigai balances value: The principle of what you can get paid with Ikigai encourages a balance between giving and receiving. This doesn’t always mean financial exchange. The value might be bartering, volunteering, or simply feeling joy when sharing your passion with others.
As a seasoned businesswoman, you’ve already forged unique paths and impacted lives. Embracing the concept of Ikigai now is not about slowing down or stepping away; it’s about reshaping and redefining your journey to bring you purpose, joy, and fulfillment.
Your Ikigai is waiting to be discovered, ready to guide you towards a vibrant new chapter in life.
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