Finding Purpose in Life: How Buddhism & Ikigai Helped me Overcome Job Loss and Find Fulfillment

by Leif Harum January 17, 2023

We've all been there, feeling lost and purposeless after a major life change. I remember when I lost my job, I felt like my entire world had crumbled beneath me. I didn't know what to do with myself and felt like I had lost my sense of purpose. I felt like a failure, and it was a very difficult time for me. But it was through my struggles that I turned to Buddhism and the Japanese concept of Ikigai. 

Buddhism & Ikigai offers unique perspectives on finding purpose in life. Both recognize that true happiness and fulfillment come from living in alignment with our values and finding meaning in our actions. According to Buddhism, when we understand the impermanence and interconnectedness of all things, we can let go of our attachment to the idea of a fixed self and find meaning in the present moment. According to Ikigai, in addition to living in the present, you also need to find something that can support you financially.

According to the teachings of Buddhism, below are 6 steps and realizations that helped me find new purpose.

 3 Ways To Find Purpose According To Buddhism

  1. Understand the true nature of things: Buddhism teaches that understanding the impermanence and interconnectedness of all things is essential for finding purpose in life. By letting go of our attachment to the idea of a fixed self, we can begin to see the world and our place in it more clearly.

  2. Cultivate mindfulness: The practice of mindfulness, which involves paying attention to the present moment without judgment, can help us understand the true nature of reality and find peace in the present moment. This can be achieved through meditation or other mindfulness practices.

  3. Develop compassion: Buddhism emphasizes the importance of compassion in finding purpose in life. By developing compassion, we can find meaning in serving others and understand that our actions can have a positive impact on the world around us.

7 Ways To Find Purpose According To Ikigai

  1. Discover your passion: Take some time to reflect on what you are passionate about, what activities bring you joy and fulfillment. This will help you to identify the things that you are truly passionate about and that you want to pursue.

  2. Identify your mission: Once you know what you're passionate about, think about how you can use that passion to make a difference in the world. What is your mission or purpose in life? How can you use your passion to contribute to society and make a positive impact?

  3. Find your profession: Look for ways to turn your passion and mission into a profession. This could involve further education, training or volunteering. Look for opportunities to put your skills and passions to work in a way that is meaningful and fulfilling.

  4. Look for what you are good at: Identify your strengths and skills, and think about how you can use them to contribute to the world. This could be through your work, your community or your personal life.

  5. Determine what the world needs: Identify the needs of the world and think about how you can use your skills and passions to meet those needs. This could be through volunteering, starting a business or joining a non-profit.

  6. Align your passion, mission, profession, skills and the world's needs: Once you have identified your passion, mission, profession, skills and the world's needs, align them to find your Ikigai. It's the intersection of all these elements, your reason to wake up in the morning.

  7. Stay motivated: Finding your Ikigai is a continuous process, so it's important to stay motivated. Use tools such as journaling or mentorship to help you stay focused and motivated as you work towards finding your purpose in life.

Everyday Enlightenment: Purpose

For those who are looking for a more structured approach to finding their purpose, I highly recommend the Everyday Enlightenment: Purpose journal. It is a 21-day journal that draws on the principles of Buddhism, Ikigai, & modern psychology to help individuals find their purpose in life. Each day includes a unique breathing exercise, a question of self-reflection, a daily mantra, and an action that the user can take to help them discover their values, align their actions with those values, and find meaning in their life. It's a powerful tool that can help you stay focused and motivated as you work towards understanding the true nature of things, living in alignment with your values and finding your purpose in life.

Conclusion

Buddhism & Ikigai helped me to understand that true happiness and fulfillment come from living in alignment with our values and finding meaning in our actions. The Everyday Enlightenment: Purpose helped me to find new ways to give back and make a difference in the world, which gave me a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

So, if you're feeling lost and purposeless, consider turning to Buddhism and give the Everyday Enlightenment: Purpose journal a try, it might just change your life.





Leif Harum
Leif Harum |

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