Finding Your Passion: A Path to Ikgai for Women 59+ (Part 1 of 4)

If you’re a woman aged 59 or older, you might be at a stage in life where you’re considering shifting gears in your career, getting ready for your encore. It’s both an exciting and somewhat daunting time. But there’s a Japanese concept offering a meaningful guide to this transition. It’s called Ikigai and translates to “a reason for being.”

Ikigai is about finding joy, fulfillment, and balance in the dimensions of life. At its core are four elements:

  1. What you love (passion)
  2. What the world needs (mission)
  3. What you’re good at (vocation)
  4. What you can get paid for (profession)


In this first post, I’ll focus on the passion element and how you can align this with your encore. (I’ll focus on the other three in future posts.)


Finding Your Passion:

The transition from working to not-working doesn’t have to be a complete stop. Instead, it’s an opportunity to rediscover what fuels your spirit and motivates you. Here’s how you can find your passion and make it part of your encore years:

  • Reflect on Your Interests: What activities or hobbies have always intrigued you but you never had the time to pursue? Your encore years allow you to explore these passions without work pressures.
  • Experiment and Explore: Allow yourself the freedom to try new things. Whether painting, volunteering, or even starting a small business around a beloved hobby, your passion might lie in an unexpected place.
  • Connect with Others: Engaging with community groups or networking with friends with similar interests can foster growth and passion. It’s a way to enhance joy and find meaning in everyday life.
  • Embrace the Journey: Finding your passion is not always a straightforward path. It’s a journey that requires patience, curiosity, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.


As a working woman entering your encore years, embracing the concept of Ikigai and focusing on finding your passion can lead to a fulfilling and joyful transition. This phase of life is not about ending; it’s about beginning something new and exciting.

Whether pursuing a lifelong hobby, connecting with others over shared interests, or even starting a new business venture, your passion can be the driving force that helps you live these years with joy and peace of heart.

By aligning your passion with your encore, you’re honoring yourself and contributing positively to the world around you. It’s never too late to find what makes you feel alive and let it guide you through this significant and empowering phase of life.

Remember, passion is only one step in the process. There are three more to follow, AND it’s a process. Don’t rush it; enjoy the journey!

Next week I’ll talk a little about mission.

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