Turning your passion into purpose

You know what you’re passionate about, but how do you translate that into something meaningful you can do every day? You may have figured that out already, or have no idea where to start. Wherever you’re at, this week’s blog helps us do just that and continues our journey to find our Ikigai, or reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Last week we looked at what we love and what we are good at. The purpose of this was to find or rediscover our passions. You may have realised one passion or multiple ones. This is the first step in finding your Ikigai and knowing your purpose in life. This week we are looking at the next step – exploring what the world needs and what we can get paid for – to help us live each day with more meaning and fulfilment.

How can Ikigai benefit my wellbeing?

Why are we even looking at Ikigai and our purpose in life? Well, Ikigai has been linked with a range of benefits for our wellbeing, including:

  1. Living longer. People with Ikigai have a reduced risk of developing health problems and are more likely to live longer. Residents of Okinawa, Japan, have the highest life expectancy in the world. What do they have in common? Ikigai.
  2. Life satisfaction. Both men and women with Ikigai have been shown to be more satisfied with life and experience fewer symptoms of depression.
  3. A sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. Ikigai is linked with feeling fulfilled and like we have accomplished something. This sense of achievement in turn, further promotes wellbeing.
Image by Forbes

What the world needs and what I can get paid for

When we think about what the world needs, we could come up with a whole host of things – reducing plastic use, equality for all, less crime, more community engagement, better health…the list goes on. This can feel a bit overwhelming and hard for just one of us to address.

For this stage of Ikigai, think about what the world needs in relation to your passion. For example:

  • If you care about the environment and are good at organising events, could you apply your passion to organising group litter picking or cleaning up community events?
  • If you love getting fit and are good at helping others, could you encourage others to do the same to help tackle obesity?
  • If you really care about mental health and are good at writing, could you start a blog to improve others’ wellbeing? (This is how 15 minute wellbeing came about!)

We often think of what the world needs as huge solutions to huge problems. However, it is difficult for one person to have all the answers. However, just one person can make a massive difference by focusing on just one aspect of what the world needs. This is where the ‘what can I get paid for?’ question comes into play.

Using the above example of loving getting fit and being good at helping others, there is no job titled (as far as I’m aware) ‘Obesity Tackler’. However, you could get paid for working as one of the below (among others):

  • Personal trainer
  • Gym manager
  • PE teacher
  • Sports coach

This week’s activity

To help figure out what the world needs and what you can get paid for, try answering the questions below. For all the questions in this week’s activity, you can give more than one answer, so don’t worry if you don’t find your Ikigai straight away – this is completely normal. Spending 15 minutes on these questions can get you in the Ikigai mind set so don’t rush and answer everything honestly.

What does the world need?

  • What are the things my friends and family struggle with in their day-to-day lives?
  • What could be done to benefit my local community?
  • What issues are commonly featured in the news?

What can I get paid for?

  • What roles exist that relate to what I want to achieve?
  • What project(s) could I work on alongside my main source of income? This is known as a ‘side hustle

All the questions are included on this week’s worksheet, so you have somewhere to record your answers. Click the link below to download the worksheet. You can fill it in using the ‘fill and sign’ tool or alternatively print it off and fill it in by hand.

If you enjoyed discovering your Ikigai, or feel that finding your Ikigai has helped improve your wellbeing, please do get in contact and share your story.

I share wellbeing-related research, news and stories on twitter and Instagram in between weekly blog posts so do follow @15minwellbeing on both platforms to keep up to date.

2 thoughts on “Turning your passion into purpose

  1. This is mine, helping people have healthy relationships with money. So many people have emotional baggage about money that makes it hard to manage it well, causing stress and misery. We just don’t talk about this enough and that’s not good, so my friend Alex (ex-accountant) and I (ex-financial adviser) started this podcast to share our financial fails and start a conversation.


    Liked by 1 person

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