Man (and Woman) Search for Meaning Part 1

This is the 1st video and blog in this series of…who knows how many!!

If you prefer to watch, click HERE. 

If you’ve thought to yourself “Hmm, I haven’t heard from KateLyn lately – I wonder if she’s still writing and what she’s up to?”, well, I have to admit I haven’t really written lately. I haven’t been present on social media, because, for lack of better words, I’d say that I’ve retreated inward to do some major self-reflection and growth. Sometimes you just gotta turn it all off to turn it all on again. 

I’ve spent the majority of my time either listening to an audiobook, reading a book, in meditation, receiving some sort of holistic healing like massage, reiki, or laying in a float tank, and the rest of the time I’ve spent taking a yoga class or teaching a yoga class.

This introspection is not a bad thing, though, as I consider it just another season of life, which I wrote a whole blog post about HERE.

Through my reading and reflection, though, I discovered a really cool philosophy called “Ikigai”.

What in the heck is Ikigai?

Ya, that was my reaction too. After reading about and doing a little bit of my own research, I discovered that Ikigai is comprised of two Japanese words; Ikiru, which means “to live” and kai, meaning “the realization of what one hopes for”. When you put these together you are left with the concept of “having a reason to live, your purpose in life, your meaning, or your reason for being.”

Pretty cool, right?

The synopsis of Ikigai is, basically, to find your true purpose in life, the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. To discover this purpose you first start by asking yourself these four things, and once you answer these questions the overlapping answer is your Ikigai.

These four questions are:

  • What do you love?

  • What are you good at?

  • What does the world need from you?

  • What can you get paid for?

This concept, combined with reading Viktor Frankl’s “Man Search For Meaning”, got me thinking about this Universal search for meaning. As I’ve traveled the world and talked to new and old friends and family from all backgrounds and beliefs, the most popular topic that continues to come up time and time again is finding meaning and purpose in life.

This got me thinking (SHOCKER!) – How is it that human beings have lived on the Earth for thousands of years and we are STILL trying to figure out the purpose of life? That meaning, that purpose, that drive? The thing that gets us out of bed?

Even back in the 1800’s Nietzsche said;

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

I’ve heard it before, but this quote especially resonated with me this time.

It truly does seem an overwhelmingly but important and inborn desire to discover a reason to live in order to have the kahunas to keep going.

I mean, do you ever really keep doing anything if you really can’t find a reason? Even down to the simplest of tasks of why we might work out or why we don’t eat cookies for every meal just because they taste good. We do or don’t do these things because we have a “why” behind it.

So – again, I don’t claim to have the ONE answer, but I do believe it’s true that we as human beings have spent centuries trying to figure out this inner need to find meaning and purpose for a reason. BECAUSE IT MATTERS!

And there’s a reason that you’re YOU and not someone else. Because you are ENOUGH and SPECIAL and BEAUTIFUL – and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Sometimes it seems so far off and impossible, but one thing’s for sure – there are many who have accomplished this sometimes seemingly insurmountable feat and so can you, too.

In closing, here’s a wonderful list of 10 steps that Francesc Miralles lays out at the end of his book in order to live a happy and fulfilled life, led by your Ikigai:

  1. Stay active and don’t retire
  2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
  3. Only eat until you are 80 percent full
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
  6. Smile and acknowledge people around you
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive.
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your ikigai

So…what is YOUR Ikigai?

Comment below or drop a line on Instagram or Facebook! I can’t wait to hear from you. And Stay tuned for Part 2!