ikigai life purpose self self-improvement

Finding purpose and meaning during the pandemic

The world we knew changed over the last four months and living through this pandemic has been quite a rollercoaster ride for most of us…

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Find your Ikigaï

Photo by Ravi Roshan on Unsplash

Doesn’t Ikigaï sounds cool ? Because it is, this is a Japanese word that means life purpose. The concept of life purpose is something that every human being is wondering about.

  • Why are we here ?
  • What should I do with my life ?
  • Am I doing the right thing ?
  • How could I have an impact on the world ?

All those question that we keep asking ourselves. To be honest, nobody really knows the answers for sure. But we can still try to find what fits the best with us at this point and time with the knowledge we have.

I am going to tell you the process to find your Ikigaï. It is really simple, but it’s not, in any way, a permanent answer to your questions. This is something that you should reconsider from time to time, when you have some doubts about your choices. To reassure you that you are on the right or make a change in your life.

Take a piece of paper and draw 4 columns. In the first columns, write LOVE, in the second GOOD AT, in the third WORLD NEEDS, and in the last PAID FOR. I am going to give the example that I did for myself. Do it by yourself. Put as many things as you can come up with. The first two columns are entirely up to you and I can’t help you with it.


  • Environnement
  • Construction/Architecture
  • Luxury
  • Photography
  • Nature
  • Organisation
  • Space
  • Skiing/Running/Swimming


  • Learning
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Programming
  • Planning
  • Organisation
  • Photography


  • Technology
  • Sustainable solutions
  • Food
  • Collaboration
  • Teaching
  • Make things easier
  • Health


  • Time (making things faster)
  • Information
  • Technology
  • Marketing
  • Sells
  • Specificity of the value you give (the harder the more valuable)

Again, this is just an example to help you fill out your columns.

Now that you have things in every area. Try to find something that is in the 4 columns. This doesn’t come easily I understand, you might need to extrapolate some concepts. For me an easy path would be, I love space, I am good at math/physics/programming, the world needs tech/making things easier and we can get paid for tech/specific value.

So I can be an aerospace engineer that could work for a company like SpaceX that is making space more affordable. Or with a lot more ambition I could get on the ride along with SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin as the fifth space musketeer.

It was easier for me to figure that out because I am already an aerospace engineer and I have already done that work before. It might not be that easy for you. Possibilities might feel endless, but you already narrowed it down a lot. Now you can see that some of the things you love to do have some application that doesn’t fit everywhere. I am good at photography and I love it, but the main application would be marketing and that is not what I want to do with my art.

This is a tool to help you find your life purpose. It gives you a list of choices that fits your personality and who you are. The final decision is still up to you. This is not in any way a 100% accurate or permanent. The final answer is within yourself and you will only know if you made the right choice once you tried.

I know it’s a little disappointing. There is no shortcut for life, there is no universal truth about yourself, there is nothing that gives you a clear answer and path for your life. This will always be entirely up to you and only you. Tools like this one are created to make this process a little easier by making the possible roads clearer.

Send me a DM on Instagram (@augustinvll), I curious to see what you came up with. It might even question all my life choices by showing me things I didn’t even think about.

Now shoot it is time to shoot for your star.

Photo by Maciej Ruminkiewicz on Unsplash

Find your Ikigaï was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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