The Ikigai Self-Test

4 simple questions to ask yourself.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

I tried this simple ikigai self-test.

I am (like many others, I’m sure) partial to the concept of ikigai (生き甲斐). Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “reason for being”.

The below Venn diagram is a famous rendition of one’s ikigai:

Ikigai | Self-Improvement | Doctor Spin
The widely spread Venn diagram for ikigai.

How can you use the ikigai diagram for auditing yourself quickly?

For my ikigai, I would say that my passion is 1) communication, my profession is 2) public relations, my vocation is 3) teaching, and my mission is 4) learning and sharing.

Here goes:

1. Do I love communication? Yes.

2. Am I good at public relations? Yes.

3. Can I get paid for teaching? Yes.

4. Does the world need learning and sharing? Yes.

All good. It seems that I’m passing this simple ikigai self-test.

However, while doing this little exercise, I was surprised that teaching came to me without hesitation. I was surprised since there’s a distinct difference between doing things for others (like a consultant) instead of showing people to do them for themselves (like a teacher).

Moving forward, I will try to be mindful of this difference to ensure that my ikigai comes through — for myself and everyone around me.

Thank you for reading this article. Please consider supporting my work by sharing it with other PR- and communication professionals. For questions or PR support, contact me via [email protected].

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.


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