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Ikigai: The "Why"

Ever since the word "ikigai" was introduced in the Belle De Jour Power Planner several years back, I have always thought about it. But it was only just last year when I decided to really spend time discovering it. I signed up for Ms. Dar's workshop during the BDJ Fair but even after that, I still haven't found that one word or phrase or whatever which I could consider a solid ikigai. Until today. 

When I decided that I would still go for the Belle De Jour Power Planner this year (because there are a lot of other good planners out there, you know; and I had three great planners to choose from at that time, all of which I got for free), one of the first pages I filled out was the Ikigai page. But I was not able to finish it. Last January 12, I had my 2017 BDJ Power Planner blessed by Fr. Benedict. And it was only after that I did fill out the other pages. 

Today, I was finally able to discover my ikigai. :) 


It required me to really think about four things: what I love, what I'm good at, what the world needs, and what I can be paid for. 

The intersection between what I love and what the world needs is my MISSION. 
The intersection between what the world needs and what I can be paid for is my VOCATION. 
The intersection between what I can be paid for and what I'm good at is my PROFESSION. 
The intersection between what I'm good at and what I love is my PASSION. 

And the intersection of them all is my IKIGAI. My ultimate "WHY."



In Collateral Beauty, Howard (Will Smith) asks, "what is your why?" He said, "we're here to connect" and that "life is about people." And all of us care about these three things: Love. Time. Death. We long for love. We wish we have more time. And we fear death. 

When his daughter died, his whole life fell apart. But it was also then that he got to rediscover Love, Time, and Death. He wrote them letters. The shortest of which is addressed to Love. And it only contained the word "GOODBYE."

During their last confrontation, Love (Keira Knightley) begged him not to live without her. When Howard told her how he trusted her and how she betrayed him (God, that scene was so moving I found myself crying a river), this was her answer: "I'm in all of it. I'm the darkness, I'm the light. I'm the sunshine and the storm. Yes, you're right, I was there in her laugh. But I'm also here now in your pain. I'm the reason for everything. I AM THE ONLY WHY."

There lies my ikigai. 

My mission is to love. I drop everything for people I care about. I always put others before myself. My greatest achievements were those I did for other people, especially the ones who truly matter. And I love life. Every form of it. 

My passion is excellence. I'm about giving my best and my all in everything I do. I don't settle for anything less. I'm not content with "pwede na." I fully agree with Dory's father when he said "there's always another way." I hate mediocrity. 

My vocation is to set things right. I fight for what is just. I do not tolerate even the slightest degree of corruption. I abhor that sense of entitlement. I advocate living simply. I value integrity. 

I'm an analyst by profession. I don't stop at finding faults and errors, I find solutions. I work to make things easier for others. I look for better options. I strive to come up with streamlined processes and eventually more efficient systems. I go the extra mile in serving my clients. I basically get things done. 

And at the core of it all is LOVE, as described in 1 Corinthians 13. 

Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered nor does it seek its own interest. Love overcomes anger and forgets offenses. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in truth. Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Love is my ikigai - my only WHY. :)


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