Do the Japanese have it all figured out? Is their concept of ikigai the secret, with Gratitude being the key to helping you identify your life’s purpose? 

While visiting Japan a couple of years ago. I met “Bob” the taxi driver. He left a lasting imprint on my heart. You never know the power you have on others just by exuding positive vibes and gratitude for that person. Go out today and share your positive mojo! Life is too short to be negative!


Ikigai is a Japanese philosophy referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living. How do you live in the philosophy of ikigai? Gratitude might just be the key. Ikigai is living out our passions, focusing talents on a certain purpose, or working towards a personal mission. Living with a sense of gratitude is being aware of often overlooked and taken for granted are the gifts and opportunities afforded to us, which is called gratitude. Gratitude is the deep appreciation for something or someone that has helped you. It is the quality of being thankful and producing an innate feeling to somehow return the favor or pay it forward in one way or another. For the most part, you feel gratitude when you perceive a value in something, be it an object, person, or service; It can be something abstract like a relationship, support, and love. Gratitude is understandably an important component of your ikigai.

“Gratitude is the simple, scientifically proven way to increase happiness and encourage greater joy, love, peace, and optimism into our lives.” – Dr. Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis.

Through thankfulness, a sense of well-being grows within and from this inner well-being, everlasting and meaningful relationships can develop. Gratitude reinforces positive perspectives that lead to an overall enjoyable and happy life. Gratitude is optimistic in nature and with that optimism comes better decision-making. What can we do to further the appreciation of life’s little joys? Although there are several techniques you can use to identify the good in life, it all starts with the practice of mindfulness, which is also a familiar practice of ikigai.

Being mindful simply means that you focus your time and energy on the present, and how the moment might be influencing you. With regular practice, you will be more attuned to your feelings and how they are affected by your surroundings. Ways you might practice gaining gratitude and appreciation-

  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Consider and honor your accomplishments 
  • Meet challenges head-on without trying to avoid them
  • Appreciate the differences in the people, places, and things around us
  • Find the positives in everything, even conflict
  • Work on building your communication skills, with empathy instead of judgment
  • Share the positive impact your family and friends have had on your life, use specific examples
  • Say thank you early and often

Living a life in gratitude creates a habitual practice of authentically expressing yourself. Be it your coworkers, customers, or the clerk at the supermarket, showing appreciation can brighten someone’s day. Most important of all is to show gratitude to yourself and enjoy the little things in life. 

Find beauty in each day, being grateful for the little things life has to offer you can make a big difference! My life’s purpose is to help others find theirs. Many times, we lose sight of the importance of life for whatever reason. Discovering you’re meaning and purpose in life is essential for leading your best life.


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