Think for a moment and try to imagine tomorrow. What are the odds that it will be a good day for you? How likely will you reach your goal or achieve that breakthrough you have been striving for? Will tomorrow be meaningful and filled with purpose? Will it be a day for ikigai?
An excellent method you can use to answer such questions is to simply look at what you did today, or any day before that for that matter.
Your past actions, or rather, lack of action can offer an honest glimpse into what you can expect tomorrow. Simply stating, if you have done little to advance your dreams today, then there is probably not much you can expect from your dreams tomorrow. Note the word probably.
What you should realize is that you can change your behavior anytime. It is entirely possible to start right now. Sure, it will take commitment, but soon enough you will find yourself at a point where you may indeed accomplish something that makes you proud.
The secret to getting yourself in a position where you can do that is based on whether or not you can prepare yourself to meet the challenges of the next day with all the intention of following your ikigai.
What does a day for ikigai look like?
Ikigai is unique to all of us. Your ikigai is different from everyone else’s. Your dreams are for you, and what you want to accomplish is entirely up to you. You are in control. Only you can decide if you are on the right path or not.
This is where some self-reflection and mindfulness, two key components that keep you focused on what is important for your Ikigai, play an essential role. It is important to take some time to focus on yourself to determine just exactly what you deem to be a meaningful day. After all, ikigai is what gets you up in the morning.
Prepare yourself for a day of ikigai
Humans are innately designed to explore and discover the world beyond their reach. Inactivity makes life dull. You don’t have to solve world hunger or build a better mousetrap (unless of course, you want to) to live a day of ikigai, but you should consider what you need to do to get you there.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The key to getting to where you want may be found in incremental steps. Large or small, consider what actions will bring you a step closer to your goals. What is something you can do today or tomorrow that will keep you on your journey and help maintain a purposeful life?
If you follow through with even the smallest of actions, you can certainly declare your day to be a great one, regardless of whether or not you accomplish your main goal.
One of the most difficult challenges, however, is creating a habit of making each day a good one. Too often people start off with the best intentions but somehow fail to live up to their own expectations.
Indeed, it is okay to fail, but if you are not reaching your dreams due to inaction, then you are only procrastinating. You need to hold yourself accountable. So, get into a daily routine where you set yourself up for success.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to get yourself moving in the right direction is to start as soon as you wake. I don’t mean jumping out of bed with exuberance and determination – although that helps – but rather a mental preparation or type of positive affirmation that today is a day when you will move forward.
A typical morning
To help you understand it in more concrete terms, first, consider for a moment what you currently do once you pull out of that sleep. When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing that you do? Like so many people nowadays, do you reach for your cell phone to check out your social feed? Perhaps you visit the news sites or even the weather, before wiping the sleep from your eyes.
Not that any of this is necessarily bad, but surely starting your morning routine by focusing on no one but you from the very moment you wake, will set you in motion to providing yourself with a day that is meaningful to you. And realize this, starting off by focusing on you is easier than you think.
A new morning
When you wake up, while you are still in bed, run through the day’s priorities in your mind. Before you pick up your phone and check out Facebook or Twitter to see what your friends are up to, consider what you are up to today. Consider what you will do for the rest of the day and what your priorities are.
Ask yourself why you are getting yourself out of bed. Is there anything you want to get done? Whatever it may be, take a moment to look at the day ahead of you and decide what it will take for it to be a purposeful one and set your goals for the day.
To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction. – Stephen Covey
Commit to at least two actions that support your ikigai whether they are professionally based or on a personal level. These actions should be achievable and not lofty, in other words, be smart about your goals. The actions can be as big or small as you like.
Determination and Persistence
Next of course is to remain focused. Stay on track and be persistent about reaching the objectives you set. Outside of some rest or downtime, don’t waste your time dwelling on superficial nonsense or the lives of others, or rather, what you perceive their lives to be. Get to following your ikigai.
Prioritize your activities in ways that benefit you, else you just may be limiting your own potential or ability to accomplish your goals. There is an old saying, “Keeping up with the Joneses,” and it’s not very productive.
Continue such behavior over time and you will find several positive outcomes.
First and foremost, you will surely notice that you are getting things done, which builds integrity, character, and reliability among other things.
You will also find those daily achievements to build confidence and motivation.
In turn, you will have created a forward-moving habit reinforcing purpose and meaning, worthy of yourself.
Once you become comfortable with achieving daily, micro-goals the bigger picture starts to become much clearer. Your image of what a good day might look like in your future not only comes into focus but your ability to plan your next steps and follow through with the actions you need to take becomes easier and more manageable. It can be done.
A day for ikigai is within reach
Know that it does not take much to follow your ikigai starting tomorrow morning. But it does take commitment. Having a meaningful day is not only about your mindset and belief but also about action.
Make it a point to pay attention to yourself and your actions from the very moment you wake. Decide what your day will look like and follow-through on those promises by getting things done. The daily goals you set can be as grand as you like, but remember, they should be realistic. Do this daily and you will surely find yourself in a positive place, living the life you really want.
Otherwise, what is your alternative?
You can live every day for your ikigai, starting now.
Today is going to be a great day.